This is a guide meant for people new to Nocture or even Shin Megami Tensei as a whole. Those who played any of the other Shin Megami Tensei games or even any of the Persona games will know this stuff.
Make sure to Select the Right New Game Option
Nocturne on PC is a tad bit more convoluted than its console counterpart, and for one specific reason... you have to select what type of new game you are starting.
On PlayStation 4 and Nintendo Switch starting a new game using the normal "New Game" option will result in you starting a new game using the "Chronicle" pack, meaning you'll have Raidou in your game (Korean and Chinese versions of Nocturne will NOT get Raidou in their game because Atlus had to censor him out over in those countries. Speaking of, if your not living in either of those countries you can download Raidou as DLC and it is free. Have fun). On PC if you select the "New Game" option you will be playing the original Nocture as it was released on the PlayStation 2 back in 2003, so you'll be missing all the content that was added in the Chronicle package (an extra ending, the Labyrinth of Amala, etc). If for some reason you want to relive a meme then choose the Maniax option and instead of Raidou you'll have Dante in your game (because that meme is probably the reason why most people have heard of this game to begin with. Also fun fact: this was the version that Europe and the US got when it released on the PS2 and PS3, but in Europe it was called Lucifer's Call).
Now, what if you started a new game and realized that you chose the wrong option? You'll have to start all over from the beginning. I hate being the bearer of bad news, but your save file doesn't go between the different versions of the game. Trust me, I've already had this issue.
Use a Controller
Keyboard and mouse also works, albeit it may not be all that comfortable after awhile.
Steam natively supports Xbox One, PS4 and Switch Pro controllers so you don't need to rely only on what Windows itself can detect.
I also recommend a controller because this game was made with a controller in mind, as this game was originally released on the PlayStation 2.
Pay Attention to the Tutorial
This game has a rather light tutorial and does not hold your hand. If you don't pay attention when this game attempts to teach you something then this game will not hesitate to punish you for it later. You have been warned.
Abuse the Mechanics
The Press Turn system is a double-edged sword in a couple ways.
For one it is a blessing because you can take however many turns you have at the start of the player phase and essentially DOUBLE how many actions you take. Likewise this system is a curse because enemies can do the exact same thing you can.
Now that you know that I can freely tell you to target enemy weaknesses. Each time you hit an enemy weakness you only consume half an action, which results in what I told you above this paragraph happening. Landing critical hits on opponents will also trigger this effect. You can also have your actions taken if an enemy absorbs your attack, your attack misses, or the enemy dodges your attacks.
If you take all of that into consideration when building your team then you should be able to breeze through random encounters and some of the bosses. Note that there are times where swapping Magatama's is advised. I'll leave you to figure out when.
Fuse Your Demons
This game is like Pokemon, yes. But there is one key difference here.
In Pokemon your encouraged to stay with one team of Pokemon for the entire game. In Shin Megami Tensei your encouraged to fuse your demons away when they are no longer needed or when they are dragging you down.
If demons start to require absurd amounts of XP to level up then fuse them into something that has the abilities that you need. If a boss is absolutely steam-rolling you and you want to toss the controller like this is Dark Souls then fuse your demons. Sometimes to beat a boss one must structure their entire team around defeating said boss.
Another thing is that sometimes fusion accidents can happen. They are rare, but make sure to keep track of the demon that comes out of said accident as they can some really cracked abilities sometimes.
Do Not Hoard Consumables
I get it, it is rather tempting to hoard all those beads, chakra pots and life stones.
This is a mentality I also brought into Shin Megami Tensei when I first started this series after playing Final Fantasy, and trust me this mentality freaking HURTS you more than it helps you throughout the entire Shin Megami Tensei series.
While you want to try to have some of these items in stock for demon negotiation you also don't want to hesitate to use them if it's the difference between winning an encounter or angels taking your soul to Kagatsuchi.
Also a nice little note... starting in Shin Megami Tensei IV Altus started putting a cap on how many of an item you can carry around. That might be present here as well now.
Prepare for the Worst Possible Outcome... Always
$#!7 in this game can go south in a heartbeat, so always be ready.
Maybe you tried to recruit a demon... it got mad and is now trying to kill you. Maybe the boss used an attack you or one of your demons are weak to. Maybe you ignored your environment and now just realized that the floor is lava or a pit fall.
Make sure you have your team structured to cover your weaknesses and always be watching your environment. That way a trap doesn't catch you off guard and you defend yourself when you make the demon your trying to convince to join your team angry.
And here is another absolutely fun thing that can happen: a demon can ask for a bunch of things and then run off and leave you a bunch of resources short. I mean, they are demons but c'mon, that's rude!
If your stuck and need help, r/MegaTen is the place to get help. Your post reaches the eyes of a good-sized chunk of the SMT playerbase, and someone is bound to help you devise a strat to get you out of the pickle your in.
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