Released in 2000, Shin Megami Tensei Devil Children: Black Book and Shin Megami Tensei Devil Children: Red Book, followed by White Book in 2001, have been a successful incursion of Atlus on the monster-breeding, young audience-oriented RPGs market. The games have even been made into an TV anime series. The latest MegaTen spinoff series is now yielding a PlayStation port, in a game that will compile the first two games and some original elements.
Setsuna Kai and Mirai Kaname, respectively leads in the original Black Book and Red Book, will thus star in the same game. Setsuna is a 10-year old boy who tends to decide things without thinking too much. Described as 'cool' and 'smart' (in English in the text), he is nonetheless bad for love affairs. One day, when he was away, his little brother Nagahisa was attacked, kidnapped and brought to the Demon World by a devil named Jack Frost... Setsuna's quest for his brother will thus begin. Setsuna's devil companion is Cool, a Cerberus bound to Setsuna by a very ancient contract. Cool had been sealed in the Demon World for a very long time before he joined Setsuna. He hates to be treated like a dog. The main character from the Red Book is Mirai, a 11-year old girl described as a honor student, whose maths and sports ability are praised. When a jewel she cherishes, as a souvenir of her mother, is robbed by a devil, she decides to follow him to the Demon World get her jewel back - and possibly find trace of her missing father. Mirai's partner is Veil, a proud griffin. Setsuna and Mirai are both in 5th year at Harajuku elementary school (hence the clothing?).
In a present time Japan-like world, the weather has degenerated and the sky is covered by dark clouds. Because the light of the sun can no longer reach the ground, the temperature has dropped to -10°C.
"Devil Children" are half-demon half-human children. When the situation demands it, a mysterious pentagram appears and their special powers are unleashed. Because this power would be strong enough to destroy the world, Devil Children are regarded as a myth and their existence is not proven.
Devil Children: Black Book - Red Book features basically the same system as the previous DeviChil games. Upon encountering monsters ('devils'), the player can choose between "fight" and "talk". When choosing 'fight', the character's partner and another summoned monster will fight against the two encountered monsters. When choosing "talk", the monster might join the party, or it may result in a battle. Two devils can sometimes be "combined" to become a new kind of devil; certain devils can only be found through combinations. There are over 270 kinds of devils, all associated with one of the 7 elements - Fire, Water, Metal, Wood, Earth, Sun, Moon, and part of one of the nine species of demons - kami (sprit/deity), akuma (devil), tenshi (angel), oni (ogre/oni), rei (spirit), ryuu (dragon), youma (ghost), mute, boss. Some monsters will only appear in one of the versions, although most monsters appear in both.
The PlayStation version will feature a number of new elements, such as a brand new opening animation and animated scenes (where the animated series' voice actors will be doing voices). Also, 20 devils will be added to the original 250 devils the GBC games featured. Another new element of the PlayStation version is the BattleNet, an arena network where Setsuna and Mirai can challenge other players and encounter new devils.
Shin Megami Tensei Devil Children: Black Book - Red Book should be released sometime this year in Japan. As usual, a domestic release is rather... unlikely.