Shin Megami Tensei fans around the world are tuning up their Demonicas for their expedition to Antarctica when Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey Redux launches on May 15*! This won’t be an easy mission (what kind of SMT game would it be if it was easy?), so we’ve enlisted the help of Strange Journey Redux’s elite core development team, including Director Eiji Ishida, World Setting Investigator / Level Designer, Tatsuya Watanabe, and Alex’s Character Designer / New Demon Designer, Masayuki Doi. Together, they took some time to answer some of our fans’ questions on the series, the results of which can be read below. Learn about what drove the team’s inspiration behind SMT games’ stories, get insight towards the creative process for character and demon designs, design priorities for Redux as a remaster, and more!
Q: Strange Journey’s setting stands out among fantasy JRPGs and even other SMT games. Why go for a military setting in the Antarctic?
Eiji Ishida: I decided to make Antarctica the stage for this game to pay respects to the vaunted tradition in science-fiction disaster films where the majority of the “unprecedented danger” starts in Antarctica.
I am partly joking about this, but one of the reasons was that I didn’t want the cause of the Schwarzwelt appearing to be tied to any specific country or people, so I decided to have it show up in Antarctica. I wanted the location to symbolize a place where the negative karma of all humanity would gather, and I wanted to start the story from a place that didn’t belong to anyone.
As far as the military setting, everyone does have armaments, but strictly speaking those investigating the Schwarzwelt aren’t armed forces. The task force that the protagonist belongs to and the commander of the ship are all soldiers, but within the investigation team there are countless specialists in scientific and technological fields from all over the world.
I think that having people from across the globe work together as one against an unprecedented danger is a setting that really raises morale.
Full Q&A here