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Monark - new JRPG from Shin Megami Tensei alumni


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So, now that there's an actual trailer this seems like a sensible time to post about Monark. Said trailer:





You suddenly awaken in Shin Mikado Academy.


Before you is a barrier separating the campus from the rest of the outside world.


Within the academy grounds are the madness-inducing Mist, cryptic phone calls that connect to the Otherworld, and seven Pactbearers — each with their own Daemonic Authority ruled by their Egos.


To resist the irrationality surrounding you, you acquire the Authority of Vanity, a Daemonic power that subsists off of your Ego and madness.



It's being released by NiS America in the West, due out early 2022.


What has been shown and described of Monark makes me think most of Shin Megami Tensei If... (the 1994 SMT spin-off that provided inspiration for the Persona series). Demon invasion? Check. Trapped in a school? Check. Various potential allies who'll lead you towards different endings? Check. And one of the minds behind this is Ryutaro Ito, planner of Shin Megami Tensei If..., so that probably counts for something too.


Will it be any good? No idea. But SMT If... is one of the great un-localised, unmodernised games in the series, so the potential for a modern take on it it certainly appeals to me!


Edit: forgot to actually mention who the ex-SMT developers are. Aside from Ito, staff include:

  • Kazunari Suzuki (original Megami Tensei and Shin Megami Tensei writer)
  • Aya Nishitani (the actual Megami Tensei novelist whose work inspired the SMT series)
  • Tsukasa Masuko (composer for the early SMT games, up to and including Soul Hackers)
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There are more details at https://www.monarkgame.com/


Gameplay notes (please excuse the Chrome translation):



Show that ego .


Arrogance, anger, jealousy, lust, greed, gluttony, laziness .
The parameter "EGO" that expresses your desire value on seven axes.
The value that rises greatly changes depending on how you answer the diagnosis etc. that is given according to the progress of the story

How your "EGO" changes depends on your ego.


A copy of your ego " genus "
The devil "genus" that only you can use .
From the 7 attribute genus , you will be able to use in order from the "genus" that reflects your ego .

In addition to being able to customize the appearance and voice of the "genus", the range of equipment enhancement will expand in proportion to the strength of your ego


An uplifting feeling that dominates and overcomes the power of madness
"Power " is a powerful power that can be activated instead of increasing the degree of madness .

When the degree of madness reaches MAX, it becomes "mad" , and after attacking both enemies and allies for several turns, it self-destructs and becomes incapable of fighting. If you can control madness, you will be one of the strongest.


Up to 6 people in the free-move turn-based command battle

The battle is a turn-based command battle of free move. Your battlefield control is the key to victory, such as attacks from behind and collaborative attacks with nearby allies, such as situational judgments that are always conscious of the positions of allies and enemies


Combo elements that increase by "connecting"

The authority "empathy" that only you can use. You can connect multiple units and share the authority, state change, and status change of allies. Connect with many units and defeat your enemies with your own combo.


Incoming call leading to another world
In the fog, there is a phone call that leads to a different world where the cause of the anomaly in the school exists . To resolve the anomaly, you need to search within the reach and explore the fog.


(The screenshots on the page are a little more illuminating - for instance, the "ego" thing and the seven axes looks similar to the five-point personality graph you get in something like Persona or Yakuza 7. The "genus" (the "fiends" from the clip in @Wiper's post) being a "devil only you can use" could be another way of saying "the protagonist has a cool summonable thing." The "power" and "madness" thing sounds like a berserk move which damages foes and allies alike, and comes with a cooldown.)

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