4 Ways the Game Improves Demon Negotiations

Demon negotiation has long been a staple of the Shin Megami Tensei games, helping them stand out from other monster-collecting titles like Pokémon. While the specifics have changed over the years, the general concept and basic mechanics remain the same -- for better and for worse. By answering questions, bargaining or handing over money, items or health, players can convince a demon to stop fighting them and join their cause instead.

This unique system comes with its drawbacks. By nature, demons are unpredictable, so it can be tough for players to determine which response will earn them an ally and which will cause the enemy to attack again. However, without taking away the challenge, Shin Megami Tensei V includes a few quality-of-life fixes that make demon negotiations a little less frustrating.

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Demons (Usually) Won't Take Your Money and Leave

Any longtime Shin Megami Tensei fan could probably recount a story of handing over lots of Macca and items to a demon they really wanted to recruit, only for that creature to turn around a leave the fight altogether, taking their money and items with them. SMTV changes this up by splitting most negotiations into two parts. First, the demon will present a question or some sort of skill challenge. Successfully answering questions or having a certain one of the Nahobino's stats be higher than the demon's in question will either cause them to join immediately or move you on to the next phase.

From there, demons will ask for money and items. Players will have the option to hand over what they ask for, request they ask for something different or refuse to give them anything else. Refusing won't always cause the demon to leave or attack again, as some will acknowledge that they knew they were pushing their luck and join the player anyway. Getting to the bargaining phase doesn't guarantee the player will win over the demon (unless they say yes to everything no matter the cost), but it certainly beats going back and forth with a Jack Frost only to watch them leave with thousands of the player's hard-earned Macca.

Demon Negotiations Give Players a Little More Choice

After making it to the phase where the demon starts asking for money and items, players may find that a demon wants an exorbitant amount of money or a rare item the player is hesitant to hand over. While it is a risk, players do have the option to ask them to pick something else. This could ultimately upset the demon, causing them to attack or flee, but having this as an option provides players with a little more power.

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Miracles Can Make Demon Negotiations Easier

Shin Megami Tensei V provides more ways to build and customize its protagonist. By taking down Abscesses, players will gain access to new Miracles, which they can learn by spending Glory. Some Miracles will make demon negotiations easier. For example, Articulate Discourse will make it so talking to a demon only takes half of a Press Turn Icon instead of a full one, Art of Intervention will all players to use an ally's action to speak to a demon instead of relying solely on the Nahobino, and Deathly Aura I will sometimes cause desperate demons to beg for their lives, allowing players to easily recruit them.

Perhaps the most important and useful Miracle pertaining to demon negotiations is Pacification. After learning it, there is a chance that, should the player give a wrong answer that causes the demon's mood to sour, there is a chance that they will forgive you. Given the unpredictable nature of SMT's demons, having a second chance to win one over is incredibly helpful and, while the odds of it triggering are not clear, it should happen often enough to be a benefit rather than a waste of Glory.

RELATED: Critics Think Shin Megami Tensei V Is the Best in the Franchise but Far from Perfect

Even Higher Level Demons Can Be Bargained With

Like in other SMT and Persona games that include demon negotiations, SMTV players won't be able to recruit demons who are higher in level than the Nahobino. However, this does not mean they cannot negotiate with them. Should the player succeed, the demon will ultimately refuse to work with someone who is weaker than they are, however, most will indicate that the player should speak to them again once they have gotten stronger.

Once the player has reached or exceeded the demon in question's level, it will easy to recruit them. Simply choose the "Talk" option in battle as usual, and the demon will remember their previous encounter with the Nahibino. Instead of asking new questions or demanding more Macca, the demon will join the party right away.

KEEP READING: Shin Megami Tensei: How to Find & Play the Main Series Games

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Noelle Corbett (277 Articles Published)

Noelle is a Features Editor for CBR. She can usually be found underneath a large pile of Pokémon plushies thinking about an RPG she never completed while trying to finish a different RPG. On the occasions Noelle remembers she has a Twitter, she can be found @Noelle_Corbett.

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