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Shin Megami Tensei III demon reviews

Today's update covers two demons who aren't an evolutionary line but look as though they are! They have the same base model and similar animations.

Haunt Preta (Gaki)

"They are 'hungry ghosts' as they are unable to swallow food. This is a punishment in reincarnation. One with too many desires in life is doomed to spend time as a Preta."


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'Preta' is the Sanskrit name for these creatures. However, their depiction in this game is (unsurprisingly) typically Japanese, so it would have made more sense to call them by their Japanese name 'Gaki'. It would also have made more sense to keep their in-universe role consistent with the Compendium description: the Compendium states that Preta cannot swallow food, but some Pretas in-game are employed to eat the corpses of the losers in Ikebukuro's trials by combat.

Kaneko comments on the design: "Truth is, the charms are like a piercing, and if you remove it, he starts getting hungry and can’t help it… This is just my idea though." That's honestly brilliant, and it would have been good if this piece of trivia had been expressed in the game. I was going to give Preta a 3/5 for being a solid example of a horrid little goblin man, but now I have to bump it up a point for the hunger-suppressing earrings idea.


Haunt Yaka

"Demons of disease in Sri Lankan mythology. Masks of them are made so shamans can talk with them. They can be summoned and exorcised through ritual dancing while wearing the mask."


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I haven't been able to find much information about how Yaka are normally depicted in real-world folklore. I did find out that they are ruled by a king (who appears in earlier SMT games as Sanni Yaka) who has forbidden the Yaka to kill humans directly, which seems kinda nice as demons go. However, he's not bothered by the Yaka inflicting disease on humans, which they do so gleefully.

SMT III's Yaka is a pretty good monster! It's a bright pink disease goblin in a fancy gold mask and what looks kind of like a clown collar. That is a solid brief for a monster concept.






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