Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Children

   Long before Pokémon ever existed, Atlus and Namco's Megami Tensei (aka Revelations) games offered players a chance to recruit and fight alongside monsters (termed "demons" in Megaten lingo). The feature has remained a mainstay in nearly every Megaten game and spin-off, and it seemed only a matter of time before the ever-present Pokéinfluence began to show. It did, and the upcoming Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Children is the result: a Game Boy Color Megaten-based Pokémon clone.


   Like Pokémon, Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Children comes in two different editions (Red Book and Black Book), each of which contain only some of the game's demons -- you'll need to trade between the two editions of the game in order to collect all 200 or so demons. The classic Megaten foes have also been redrawn in a substantially cartoonier style to appeal to a younger audience; don't expect the series' usual dark imagery here.

 It's two, two, two demons in one!
Merging demons

   That's not to say all of the Megaten traditions have vanished, however. Recruiting demons is still done by contacting the foe before battle and answering a series of questions to convince it to join you. Two demons can also be merged to form an entirely different third demon. And unlike Pokémon, more than one enemy demon can appear at a time. (It's not yet clear whether you'll also be able to use multiple characters at once.)

   Devil Children also differentiates between the two editions of the game far more than Pokémon did, to the point where the two versions include completely different main characters. The Black Book's hero is a teenage boy with a dog-like devil (or is that Pokémon?), while the Red Book stars a teenage girl with split personalities and an eagle-like demon. (an RPG hero with split personalities? Imagine that!) Different side quests will also be available in the two versions of the game, though both Books share essentially the same plot.

   Unfortunately, the Megami Tensei is famous for its absence from North America -- only two of the sixteen other Megaten games have been translated. One of them, however, was a fellow Game Boy Color title (Last Bible, known in the U.S. as The Demon Slayer), giving Devil Children some chance of being localized. Its lighter theme and association with the ever-popular Pokémon give it an even better shot; Megaten fans should keep their fingers crossed.

Preview by Fritz Fraundorf, GIA.
Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Children
Developer Atlus
Publisher Atlus
Genre Traditional RPG
Medium Cartridge (? mb)
Platform Game Boy Color
Release Date  11.17.00
Atlus announces Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Children
8 screenshots
Main characters