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Monark, New Game by Shin Megami Tensei Devs Revealed by NIS America - Characters, Story, Battle System Explained

Everything you should know on Monark.

After a countdown site and a partial reveal through Famitsu magazine, we now have the full details on Monark, the new game JRPG made by developers of the original Megami Tensei and Shin Megami Tensei.

Monark is described as a “new type of School RPG”, and its western release was confirmed on June 10 by NIS America, on Nintendo Switch, PS4, PS5, and PC via Steam. We have all the details below, translated from the game’s Japanese press release.

Monark 1st PV

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Monark 1st PV
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Monark – Release date, platforms, reveal trailer

Monark is a new JRPG coming to PS4, PS5, and Nintendo Switch on October 14, 2021 in Japan, and in early 2022 in the West on the same platforms plus PC (Steam).

The theme song heard in the trailer is Nihil, sung by VTuber KAF, who also recently did the 11th Ending Theme of Black Clover, Hana to Kaitou. The composer and lyricist is Iori Kanzaki, who’ve been composing all the songs by KAF so far.

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Story and characters, party members

Monark is set in the high school section of Shin Mikado Academy, suddenly cut from the rest of the world inside a barrier, linked to another world and shrouded in the Mist. The protagonist is the only one who can save the school, developing his Ego and breaking the pacts set by the nefarious Pactbearears. Here are the profiles for each character:

Protagonist (voiced by Gakuto Kajiwara)

“The player’s alter ego in the world of Monark. He’s a second year high school student who suddenly wakes up at school, right after an incident which transferred it to another world. Our protagonist also suffers from amnesia. He meets a demon called Vanitas, who grants him “the power of Vanity”. Depending on the player’s Ego and choices, the protagonist will reach four different conclusions, and then…”

Nozomi Hinata, voiced by Honoka Kuroki

“One of the protagonists’ fated comrades, who will lead him to his four conclusions. Nozomi is the student council president and a third year student in high school. She has a friendly and decisive personality, which makes her very popular among other students.”

Shinya Yuda, voiced by Yuki Sakakihara

“One of the protagonists’ fated comrades, who will lead him to his four conclusions. Shinya is a boy in second year of middle school. He’s also the son of the principal, and has been receiving a special education to inherit the school. He’s versed in martial arts and has a well trained body.”

Ryotaro Date, voiced by Taito Ban

“One of the protagonists’ fated comrades, who will lead him to his four conclusions. Ryotaro is a second year high school student and famous at school for his fighting prowess. He’s the heir of a prestigious company, but doesn’t think he’s above others because of it, has a wild personality, and exudes a certain charisma which draws others toward him.”

Kokoro Surugadai, voiced by Kotori Koiwai

“One of the protagonists’ fated comrades, who will lead him to his four conclusions. Kotori is a mysterious first year high school student. She has a high IQ and was actually studying at an university overseas, before dropping out to join this school. She spends all her time in the school library and describes herself as a safe and secure person. She despises getting hurt or hurting others.”

Monark – Story and side characters details

Vanitas, voiced by Shigeru Chiba

A black stuffed rabbit who appears and disappears unpredictably, laughing with a “gehehe” sound. Vanitas is the demon who gave the protagonist the power of Vanity, allowing him to defend himself from an attacking demon. Vanitas speaks arrogantly but becomes meek if you hold his ears.

Chiyo Aikawa, voiced by Madoka Asahina

A girl who adores the protagonist. She’s a first year middle school student and part of the newspaper club. She went to the high school section’s building to interview Nozomi Hinata, so she ended up there when it got isolated into another world. Her lungs are wea, and she’s affect by te ist that pread in the school.

Kakeru Hasegawa, voiced by Wataru Hatano

The school’s sloppy doctor. He’s bad at remembering people’s names, organizing things, and sports. Because of his flat personality, he’s well liked by the students, but it’s a nightmare for his colleague Neiko Yasuragi. As the school doctor, he will support the protagonist. He’s an adult who picks the right choices at the right time, and gets the job done.

Sora Jingu, voiced by Suzuko Mimori

The headmaster of the academy. She’s the wife. A beautiful, mysteriously young looking woman. When she learns the protagonist formed a conract to earn the Authority of Vanity, she explains to him the current situation and how he must defeat the Pactbearears. She has knowledge of the other world and demons.

Yugo Jingu, voiced by Shinichiro Kamio

The butler of the academy, Sora’s husband, and the father of Shinya Yuda. He’s also the one who taught Shinya martial arts. Because he married into the Jingu family, he has no knowledge of the other world or demons unlike Sora. Even after the school is wrapped up into the incident, he keeps following his duty and taking care of the facilities of the academy.

Monark – Ego, tactical turn-based battle system, gameplay explained

Exploration

In the school, the protagonist and his party members will receive “phone calls linked to the other world” that leads them into the other world. They will need to explore it to destroy source of anomalies.

Battle system

In battle, you can use up to six characters simultaneously. The battle system is a “free movement turn based” system, which allows a high degree of freedom and strategy. The key to victory lies on how to place your comrades to trigger coordinated attacks, and having good situational judgment based on your allies and enemies’ positions.

You can trigger Assist Attacks if you allies are properly positioned. Attacking enemies from behind is also advantageous as there’s a Back Attack system.

Moreover, the battle system lets characters use the Authority of Vanity, powerful skills with a caveat. The Authority of Vanity increases a character’s Madness level which each use.

If a character’s Madness reaches the maximum level, they will go insane, attacking friend and foe alike for a few turns before destroying themselves.

The Ego system

Depending on your choices during the game’s story, the protagonist will earn points in the Ego system. There are seven different Desires you will get points for: “arrogance” “anger” “jealousy” “lust” “greed” “gluttony” and “laziness”.

The Daemons

The protagonist can use Daemons in battles in the other world. The Daemons have seven attributes, each corresponding to the seven Desires of the protagonist in the Ego system. Which Daemon you can befriend will depend on your Ego. You can customize the Daemons’ appearance, equipment and voice.

Monark – OST samples

several OST samples were uploaded on YouTube:

Monark : Staff Megami Tensei links explained

Monark is most notably developed by:

  • Suzuki Kazunari: Megami Tensei 1 & 2, Shin Megami Tensei 1, II, If…
  • Masuko Tsukasa: Digital Devil Story Megami Tensei

Suzuki Kazunari was one of the scenarist on these games, including writing the world building and the demons dialogues and lore.

Meanwhile, Masuko Tsukasa was one of the composers of several 80s Namco titles. Digital Devil Story Megami Tensei was the first game in the Megami Tensei series, making Masuko Tsukasa the composer who first established the rock feeling the OSTs of all Shin Megami Tensei and Persona games are known for.

The game’s official site also has a limited edition on sale.

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Iyane Agossah

Living near Paris, Iyane is the head of Japanese content at DualShockers. You can reach him on Twitter at @A_iyane07

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