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Shin Megami Tensei III demon reviews


This update includes three demons that form an evolutionary line (although you can meet and recruit Queen Mab in the field).


Fairy Pixie

"In English mythology, they are fairies of the forest that love to play tricks on people. They can also be a hard worker when necessary."

pixie

SMT III game model

pixie

Promotional art by Kazuma Kaneko (very similar but shows the wings better)

Pixie is the first demon you'll recruit, when she realises that you can help her escape from Shinjuku Medical Centre. She's a cute creature quite suited to the role of your first ally, but as a pixie she's a little off, looking more like a Disney fairy. In Cornish lore, pixies are sometimes enemies of the fairies, which makes SMT III's Pixie's grouping with the Fairy race rather inapt!

Her leotard is an odd choice too, considering that traditional pixies dress in rags. Pixie's outfit, according to Kaneko, was inspired by the character Cham Fau from the anime Aura Battler Dunbine.

Pixie's design is cute, and I like her tendriled wings despite their presumable impracticality. But as a depiction of a traditional pixie as opposed to a fairy, she misses the mark.

2

Fairy High Pixie

"A leader of the Pixies. Only pixies with power, charisma and that special 'something' are awarded this title."

high pixie

SMT III game model

high pixie

Promotional art by Kazuma Kaneko

Pixie's metamorphosis into High Pixie doesn't improve any on the failings of her previous design, though I do appreciate that her hair is now somewhat close to the style called a 'pixie cut'. Plus I like the earrings she has in the promotional art. I think they're there in the game model, but it's hard to tell. I'm also a bit puzzled by the shade of teal her hair has in the game model - the blue-grey in the promotional art kept her palette more cohesive by keeping the hair in the same colour range as the wings and the metal armour.

It's kinda nice, but it's still not really a pixie.

2

Night Queen Mab

"The Queen of fairies, stemming from Celtic mythology. She is often seen as one and the same as Titania, Oberon's wife. She would give mead mixed with her blood to her many consorts."

mab

SMT III game model

mab

Promotional art by Kazuma Kaneko

Despite the Compendium entry, Queen Mab is not a being from traditional folklore - she is believed to be an invention of William Shakespeare, first referenced by Mercutio in Romeo and Juliet. Queen Mab is described by Mercutio as "the fairies' midwife", though later writers would conflate Mab with the fairy queen Titania (another demon we'll be reviewing later). Mercutio calls Queen Mab '[the one who] bakes the elflocks in foul sluttish hairs, which once untangled, much misfortune bodes'. Given that Shakespeare is all about knob jokes and that, I'm assuming this means that she sticks people's pubes together.

Kaneko's interpretation of Queen Mab is an interesting one! He stated "I love fur so I put it on her collar and sleeves." I haven't been able to find an explanation for the stripy leggings or the somewhat Robocop-like face. It's possible that SMT's Queen Mab is a conflation of the Shakespeare character and the Medb Lethderg of Irish folklore (suggested by the Compendium entry's statement that Queen Mab gave mead mixed with blood to her consorts).

I'm not terribly keen on Queen Mab's design in itself - it's too busy for my tastes - but as a design for a high-ranking fae, I appreciate it a lot! Fairies should be incomprehensible and a bit scary, and this design achieves that. Queen Mab looks alien and bizarre, while clearly being of high status.

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Images sourced from the Megami Tensei fandom wiki except where stated otherwise.
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