Digital Devil Story: Megami Tensei is the first of two games in the Megami Tensei series released for the Famicom. An enhanced remake of this and Megami Tensei II was later released for the Super Famicom, titled Kyūyaku Megami Tensei.


Digital Devil Story: Megami Tensei is a traditional role-playing video game in which the player takes control of a party composed of two humans and a number of demons. The party explores a large dungeon using a first-person perspective. The human characters use a variety of weapons and items, with the primary weapons being swords and guns. The items, which can range from healing items to different types of currency, are picked up from enemies or found in chests scattered through the dungeon. Weapons and accessories are purchased at different shops found within the dungeon. Progress is saved using a password system.

Battles are turn-based, with random encounters taking place while exploring dungeons. At the end of a successful battle, experience points, money, and items are obtained. Experience points are shared by Nakajima and Yumiko; by gaining enough experience points, their levels raise, and they are given one ability point each, which can be given to one of five character attributes: strength, intelligence, attack, dexterity, and luck. During battles, the player can try to persuade enemy demons to join them, in exchange for magnetite, money, or items. The player can keep seven demons at a time, of which up to four can be summoned at the same time; summoned demons aid the player in battles with physical and magic attacks, but cost money to summon, and consume magnetite as the player walks around. The demons' attitude towards the player is governed by the moon phase, which cycles through eight phases from new to full. Demons do not level up; instead, the player can create stronger demons by visiting a special location and fusing two of their allied demons together into a new one.


The plot sees Akemi Nakajima, a clever and bullied high school student who is the reincarnation of the deity Izanagi, develop a computer program which summons demons from Makai, the realm of demons. Initially using his program to gain revenge on his tormentors, the program goes out of control and he unleashes a horde of demons. The demons are commanded by Lucifer, who resurrects the demonic gods Loki and Set following their defeat by Nakajima and Yumiko. With help from his friend Yumiko Shirasagi, a transfer student that became interested in Nakajima and is the reincarnation of the goddess Izanami, Nakajima takes her into Makai to help combat the demons. The pair travel into a vast subterranean labyrinth, where they defeat Lucifer's generals—including Loki and Set—before fighting Lucifer himself and defeating him, closing the entrance to Makai.

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