Shin Megami Tensei V - Tips for demon negotiating

Demon negotiating is a staple of the Shin Megami Tensei series, sending you on some interesting back-and-forths in an attempt to get former baddies in your party as allies.  Encounters can vary depending on the day, how a demon is feeling, and what you’ve got to offer. It’s your bread and butter, and how big a challenge future encounters are for you will heavily depend on who you’ve persuaded along the way. 

The actual negotiating bit takes place mid-battle. When you encounter a demon that you’ve never recruited before, scroll down to the ‘Talk’ option in the battle menu and see what the demon has to say. If you mess up, the demon may leave or continue to smack you around. Don’t get discouraged if you offend them though, you can chat with the same demon again for another chance at persuasion. 

How to negotiate with Demons in SMTV

Demon negotiations can last one turn or several. Before striking up your first conversation, we’ve got a few tips: 

Immediately get chatty and start registering.

There’s no reason to wait when you first set out in SMTV. Recruit a full party of demons to start leveling and preparing for boss encounters. When you have no more space in your roster, start registering them in your Demon Compendium in the World of Shadows. You’ll need to grab who you can to start fusing and play with skill sets to prepare you for future challenges. Strategically planning out skills and party members from these encounters will matter more than anything else. 

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Read the room, demons are moody.

As irritating as arguing with some of them can be, your first reaction isn’t always right. Sometimes demons will hint at what they want you to pick when they pose a question, but some of them are pretty strange and expect the least obvious choices. Demons care about your life’s philosophy, they’ll ask questions about your ambitions or if they can nibble on your head, and the wrong answer can turn them away. 

They’ve all got a different personality, so you may have to encounter the same demon a few times before getting a feel for what’s a reasonable response. There are also special conversations, which can take new turns based on other demons you have in your party. 

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You can ask for a better deal. 

Demons have no shame, they’ll ask you for a gift before agreeing to join your party. Sometimes those requests are reasonable, they’ll want things like a chunk of your HP or MP, a cheap consumable, a small sum of Macca. They may ask for these things several times, so it slowly adds up to a bigger sum. 

They can also have big requests, asking for items you work harder for or consumables in bulk order. If you fumble it, you don’t get these items back. Demons don’t always offer up a deal that’s worth agreeing to, and sometimes they’ll be nicer about the whole thing in another encounter or respond in the same instance with a better bargain. Feel free to say no and wait for another chance, but remember they can get angry and attack or flee. 

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Full parties don't matter. 

If you're eager to recruit a demon but your roster can't hold anyone else, that's okay. You can still sweet-talk your foes and convince demons to join your team through successful negotiations despite the party limit, they'll just end the encounter and wait until next time. Once you've freed up a slot, go find the demon again and try to talk to it. They'll remember your words from before and agree to become an ally. 

Pay attention to the Moon Phases. 

All demons don’t have the same preferences for moon phases, but if you catch them at the right time they’ll be much more amicable. Some enemies really like the full moon, while others prefer a half-moon. Watch that calendar in the top right of your UI, that may make a huge difference in more troublesome negotiations. 

Pick your fights wisely. 

Unfortunately for you, talking your way out of everything isn’t always an option. Demons do care about how strong you are, and they may not be keen on listening to underpowered players. You don’t have to spend hours grinding, but try to even out any level disparities. If you do convince them while you're lower level, you may have to return to the demon again to actually pick them up, just as you would if your party were full. 

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