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Shin Megami Tensei III demon reviews

Here's another solo review. Hua Po is an early encounter with no evolutionary line.

Jirae Hua Po

"Tree spirits in Chinese mythology that are born when three or more people hang themselves from the same tree. They cannot talk, but they can chirp like birds. They will dry up if they don't receive water."

hua po

SMT III game model

hua po

Atlus official artwork

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Hua Po is another example of a demon whose in-game behaviour doesn't match its Compendium entry. Despite ostensibly being unable to utter sounds other than birdy chirps, Hua Po can talk just fine. I would have liked it if Atlus had added a written 'cheep' as a verbal tic, but it probably would have been too much bother to add another speech type just for one demon. (They did do just that for Jack Frost, whom we'll review later, but he is their company mascot.) It's also odd that Hua Po is a fire type, of all things, when it's established in her Compendium entry that she needs water.

The Compendium also seems to make the same mistake it did for Queen Mab, in that it wrongly ascribes a mythological origin to a literary creation. Hua Po appears to be an invention of the 19th Century collection of short stories Zǐbùyǔ, ('What the Master Would Not Discuss').

Hua Po isn't a bad design per se, and I like her translucent butterfly-like wings. She just has too much incongruity between her concept and her design (why butterfly wings and not bird wings?) for me to be a fan.






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