The last of the untranslated SNES Shin Megami Tensei games (as opposed to Majin Tensei, Last Bible 3, or the Digital Devil Story remakes), if is a bit of an odd duck. Gone are the sweeping stories of biblical conflict, gone are the branching stories based on your choices and alignment, though your alignment is still present. Instead, if tells the story of a disturbed teenager who makes a deal with a demon, and in doing so drags his school, his classmates, and his teachers into the Abyss, where they are subjected to various tortures modeled after the seven deadly sins. Instead of having path splits based on alignment, individual changes to your story are determined by which of four partners you recruit at the very beginning of the game, one of whom is only available on subsequent playthroughs.
The more character-oriented plot and the high school setting almost makes this feel more like a Persona game(or a Devil Summoner game, if you discount the high school bits) than a mainstream SMT. In fact, there are distinct parallels that can be drawn between if and the Persona games, especially the first one. The plots are somewhat similar, for one - the final dungeons in both games are essentially the creations of one of the main characters´ psyches. The female version of if´s main character is canonically Tamaki Uchida, who shows up in Persona 1 as a student and in Persona 2 as a Devil Summoner employed by the Kuzunoha Detective Agency. And whenever the protagonist or partner characters die, they acquire a new "Guardian," a demon whose darkened image sits behind their portrait and that grants them spells and stat bonuses... sound familiar? Unlike personas however, Guardians cannot be freely swapped or fused; a character unfortunately needs to be killed in battle in order to receive a new Guardian.
Progress-wise, the text has been translated completely. Since SMT2 and SMTif are built laregly on the same engine, most of the code I wrote for SMT2 can be dropped into if with only the most minor of alterations. I´m still working on improvements, though!
This project "Shin Megami Tensei: if..." page has been viewed 78960 times so far.
Related NewsOctober 11th, '14: Progress ~ SMT if... - First of Three
November 9th, '12: Progress ~ Quick progress report on if...
April 14th, '12: Announcement ~ PAX East No.2: Shin Megami Tensei: if...