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Shin Megami Tensei: Nocturne - Hardtype

Hack of Shin Megami Tensei: Nocturne


Introducing Shin Megami Tensei: Nocturne - Hardtype! This is a hack of the original game designed with several primary goals in mind:

  • 1) Rebalance many aspects of the original game.
  • 2) Create a gameplay experience that is challenging to veterans of the SMT series.
  • 3) Add in some fresh new enemies and skills to revitalize the gameplay experience.

This hack is intended for people who have already played (and generally mastered) the original game, and is designed to be played on Hard mode. For those who don’t fit this profile, or don’t want a more challenging experience than the original, then feel free to play on Normal mode.

This download includes a patch with instructions to apply changes to a ROM file of SMT Nocturne. It also includes a patch for the useful Heretic Mansion tool and instructions on where to get it.

Here is a list of features by category. This list is not comprehensive, but covers many of the more important changes:

Qualify of Life Enhancements:

  • Lower quality skills are no longer more likely to transfer in fusions (I’m looking at you, Pester)
  • Unlearned skills on demons and magatama are no longer hidden
  • Swapping demons now uses half a press turn
  • Demons can now swap themselves out
  • Demons in stock gain 75% of the XP gained in battle (100% with Watchful)
  • Geis can now be bought in a shop in addition to being won from Puzzle Boy
  • Shop prices are now only doubled on Hard mode, not tripled
  • Son’s Oath now gives Dante the Pierce effect
  • Retreat is now possible (albeit unlikely) in Hard mode
  • MP pools are increased by 1/3
  • AoE healing now affects your entire roster, not just the active party

Difficulty Enhancements:

  • After the earliest areas of the game, new and powerful enemies will show up during full Kagutsuchi
  • Enemy encounter sets have been enhanced
  • Enemy scripts have been enhanced
  • Boss scripts have been selectively altered, and their stats have been increased substantially
  • The HP of random encounter enemies scales up more over the course of the game
  • New maximum of 2 -Kaja stacks on the player and 2 -Kunda stacks on enemies
  • Trafuri is removed
  • Tetra/Makarakarn now only affect the caster
  • Estoma’s effectiveness is reduced (until you get Masakados)
  • Mitama stat bonus cap lowered from +100% to +25% of base stats

Balance Changes:

  • Physical skills have been improved in the early and mid-game
  • Magic skills have been improved in the late-game (and magic damage no longer caps)
  • Pierce now also penetrates Resist/Null for magic skills
  • HP-based skills now use strength for damage, and their damage output ranges from 60%-100% of normal based on your current HP% (the power of these skills was raised a bit to compensate for this)
  • Agility and Luck now have much higher impact on the things they effect
  • Luck now affects the rate of ailments and instant death
  • Luck now affects critical hit chance
  • Luck is now the primary factor in magic accuracy (yes, Luck did almost nothing in the original game…)
  • Dark/Bright Might crit rate reduced to 50%
  • Might crit rate increased to 30%
  • Might skills, Drain Attack, and Attack All can now all stack with each other
  • Drain attack healing increased to 100% of damage dealt
  • Shock and Freeze can now work on bosses and only last through one physical attack
  • Tarukaja now affects both physical and magical attacks (Makakaja was repurposed)
  • Tornado damage reduced from Heavy to Med
  • MC’s unique Phys skills have been re-tooled and re-balanced (check ‘em out!)
  • Many new skills have been placed on Magatama
  • Stat bonuses on Magatama have been generally improved
  • Magma Axis now treats a target’s Drain Fire or Repel Fire as Void Fire (works with Pierce)
  • Resistances and skillsets of demons have been rebalanced
  • Elem Boost skills reduced to +30%

New Skills (a few are re-works):

  • Scald: AoE Light-Mid Fire damage. Lowers enemy physical attack.
  • Laevateinn: Acts as Fire Boost and enhances Surt’s regular Attack
  • Chill: Single target Light-Mid Ice damage. Inflicts Sukunda.
  • Cocytus: 3-7 hits of Mid Ice damage. High odds of Freeze.
  • Niflheim: AoE Mega Ice damage. Lowers enemy evasion.
  • Zap: Single target Light Elec damage. Extremely high chance of Shock.
  • Mjolnir: Single target Mega Elec damage. High chance of Shock.
  • Thunder Reign: AoE Mega Elec damage. Moderately high chance of shock.
  • Odinson: Passive skill that acts as Elec boost and doubles Shock chance. (unique to Odin)
  • Dervish: AoE Light-Mid Force damage. Lowers enemy evasion
  • Panta Rhei: AoE Mega Force damage.
  • Vayavya: 3-7 hits of Heavy Force damage. Low odds of Stun.
  • Antichthon: Single target Heavy Almighty damage. Inflicts Debilitate.
  • Last Word: Single target Severe Almighty damage. Uses all remaining press turns.
  • God’s Curse: AoE Med-Heavy Almighty damage. Inflicts random Curse/Nerve ailments.
  • Sol Niger: AoE Heavy Almighty damage. Dekaja effect.
  • Babylon Goblet: Sukunda effect. Mid odds of Panic.
  • Soul Drain: Drains HP&MP from the enemy. (More powerful than Life Drain / Meditate)
  • Fang Breaker: Single target Light Phys damage. Tarunda effect.
  • Akasha Arts: Single target Heavy Phys damage. Greater damage with lower HP%.
  • Primal Force: Single target Severe Phys damage. Cannot crit without Shock/Freeze.
  • Skull Cleave: Single target Heavy Phys damage. Rakunda effect.
  • Chi Blast: AoE Light Phys damage. Low accuracy, high crit rate.
  • Earthquake: AoE Mega Phys damage. High accuracy, low odds of Stun. Cannot crit without Shock/Freeze.
  • Gate of Hell: AoE Heavy Phys damage. Low odds of Petrify.
  • Poison Arrow: 3-5 hits of Light Phys damage. Low odds of Poison.
  • Bloodbath: 3-5 hits of Mid Phys damage. Low accuracy, high crit rate.
  • Sakura Rage: 3-5 hits of Mid Phys damage. Low odds of Charm.
  • Amrita: Heals all ailments on the party.
  • Cadenza: Increases accuracy and magic attack.
  • Heat Riser: Grants all -kaja effects twice to one target.
  • Luster Candy: Grants all -kaja effects to the party. (AVAILABLE AS CONSUMABLE ITEM ONLY)
  • Anti-Magic: Grants Fire/Ice/Elec/Force resistance.
  • Anti-Ailments: Grants Nerve/Curse/Mind resistance.
  • Void Ailments: Grants immunity to Nerve/Curse/Mind.
  • Unshaken Will: Grants 2x resistance to Nerve/Curse/Mind/Death/Expel.
  • Magic Boost: Acts as Fire/Ice/Elec/Force Boost.
  • Arms Master: Halves the HP cost of physical skills.


  • The XP gain on player demons not participating in battle and the half turn cost to swap them in makes using more than 4 demons much more powerful than in the original game. Use this to your advantage, and think beyond your 4 active party members.
  • Be mindful of helpful consumables that can be purchased from Rag’s Jewelry.
  • If a non-boss battle is going poorly: see if you have a Smoke Ball to use.

v1.1 Changes:

  • 1st Person view no longer requires New Game+
  • Patra/Me Patra now cures Charm
  • Spectre (round 1) toned down a bit
  • Various minor to moderate bugs have been fixed

v1.2 Changes:

  • Fixed a bug with enemy HP-based Phys damage
  • Fixed a bug where ailments would sometimes have lower landing rates than intended

v1.3 Changes:

  • Fixed a bug where Summon would fail after using Counter

v1.4 Changes:

  • Fixed a bug related to Counter/Retaliate/Avenge
  • Fixed a bug with Last Resort
  • Fixed a bug with Babylon Goblet’s Panic effect not working
  • Fixed a bug where Full Kagutsuchi encounters wouldn’t show up in the certain rooms in a few areas
  • Anti-Elem skills now remove “Weakness”
  • Altered a special encounter in the Third Kalpa due to grapical limitations
  • Reworked some early game Full Kagutsuchi encounters and gave all of them the special music
  • Removed Akasha Arts from Scathach (she can’t inherit Phys)
  • Gave Scathach resist Ice
  • The following bosses made a bit less difficult: Sakahagi, Mother Harlot, Spectre (round 1)

v1.5 Changes:

  • Various lesser bug fixes

v1.5.1 Changes:

  • Improved patch compatibility

Gameplay and Development Videos:

ROM / ISO Information:

  • Generated using SMTNOCTURNE.mdf




User Review Information

Definitive Nocturne Experience

Reviewed By: mngalahad on 23 Jul 2020

From the original concept, it seemed that this hack was simply going to be a harder game. Which could have been easily done by increasing damage taken by 100%, decreasing damage dealt by 50% and what not. But since that wouldn’t necessarily make it more fun, entire mechanics were reworked, to give the player all the tools needed to face the bigger challenges.

This resulted in an improved Nocturne in every way: broken mechanics were fixed, grinding was decreased, prices were reduced and the experience plays out as organically as the original Nocturne.

Despite all of this, the game is still way harder: managing money early game is really hard and it’s a lot easier to get wiped out. It’s a success in becoming a harder experience: every improvement to the gameplay in favour of the player simply gives them the tools to fight such strong enemies without it becoming frustrating or too time consuming.

It took me just as much time to beat the hack as regular Nocturne so it’s clear it was carefully crafted into being the amazing experience it became. Similar to regular Nocturne, late game becomes much more manageable since the demons start getting the best skills in the game, such as repel physical and debilitate.

Therefore, I consider it the definitive Nocturne experience: it works out just like regular Nocturne but much more interestingly and allows players to dominate the battle system to an extend the regular game didn’t allow, while still keeping a greater challenge.

Even though I’m excited for the rerelease in HD, I’m pretty sure even if a harder difficulty is included, it will be a simple damage multiplier instead of completely reworked sets and encounters (specially since some of the encounters in the hack go against the plot). Therefore, I would encourage anyway to play this hack.

Nocturne is already one of the best games ever made that is still relevant through sheer quality so this hack took this game way over a 10/10.

Version 1.5.1 Recommended - Yes

User Reviews
not disappointed!LooseManhole23 Sep 20201.5.1Yes
Definitive Nocturne Experiencemngalahad23 Jul 20201.5.1Yes
Love at first sight!!!acausin01 Aug 20191.5.1Yes
Registered only to recommend this romhackShogil31 Jul 20181.5.1Yes
The definitive way of playing nocturnedinklederp02 Mar 20181.5.1Yes