shin megami tensei infodump


> the protagonist

there's a lot of speculation regarding the intentions of our stated protagonist - smt nocturne supposedly deals with the "tabula rasa theory," which follows the philosophy of John Locke, in his pamphlet "Common Sense." however, i'd say otherwise - none of the characters truly represent the 'blank slate' described - there is a little bit of evil within them (something that is also explored upon in the persona games nonetheless) - which allows them to be exploited for their reasons. the philosophy that "all men are born evil" alligns more with Thomas Hobbes' social commentary, "Leviathan."

considering this, what do we know about our nameless protagonist? he is an ordinary highschooler, and as evidenced with pre-game dialogue, perhaps yuko's "teacher's pet." he is relatively quiet and not shown to have many friends, but is well known nonetheless. in the drama cds, he is morally strong, stating that "picking on the weak is pathetic," but also commenting that the weak must stand up for themselves, and that he doesn't understand those who just continue to let themselves take it. even though smt 3 is a sort of 'choose your own adventure game,' causing people to think that the protagonist follows this blank slate, it's not necessarily true - at the end of cd 1 he states that "everyone must choose their own destiny." the fact that the protagonist has the ability to choose which reasons to accept - or to reject them entirely - displays that he is a being of some kind of free will.

now referring back to in-game, his teacher sees something special in him as well as isamu and chiaki, to only allow the survival of those students. maybe it is her preference towards the protagonist, but we must also consider that he is the only one out of the group of students to make direct contact with lucifer during the conception. as the old woman states in the beginning, child lucifer sees potential in him, and allows him to remain strong in this world through the insertion of the magatama. in fact, lucifer directly relies on him (hence the kalpas) to restore power to the labyrinth via the candelabra. following the demon end, which has been referred to as the canonical/true end (via observing the complex smt timeline and the smtiva dlc), he has completely discarded all of his humanity. the protagonist has alligned himself with lucifer and discards all of the reasons given to him to recreate a so-called ideal world (which would be a false world; utopias are impossible) - he has entirely rejected his previous state of life for a sense of power perhaps. before kagatsuchi is destroyed he states that the protagonist acts with the "cold heart of a demon," "becoming the living incarnation of bane itself." our protagonist has never been innocent. "what good can come from this when you are tainted black?"

having eliminated kagatsuchi and also by breaking the cycle of world reincarnation, he is doomed to roam as an overpowered yet lost being - kagatsuchi reminds him that his "soul will never be at ease," and that he will "not escape from fire of judgement." he is doomed for eternity - through effectively damning the world, he is trapped to roam in a dead domain. though he becomes fiercely powerful and battle-hungry, he is still lost, travelling from terminal to terminal for more and more duels - a hopeless crusade perhaps.