2020 is coming. I’ve never seen an upcoming year that people seemed so nervous and uncertain about. To be fair, I grew up in the 90s, which was an incredibly optimistic time by comparison, at least where I lived. But now? No, no matter who you talk to, no matter their political affiliation — the world is ending, our culture and values are being destroyed, and future AI will destroy human society (but that last one only if you ask Andrew Yang supporters.)
So who better to ring in the upcoming, terrifying new year and decade both but Trumpeter, an infamous Megaten demon and one of the angels of the apocalypse mentioned in the Book of Revelation in the New Testament? According to Revelation, at the end of the world, seven angels will blow seven trumpets, each causing a different plague or disaster. So Trumpeter isn’t an individual angelic character like Abaddon or Gabriel but is rather a type or class of angel. Or maybe the Trumpeters are just regular angels who get assigned trumpeting duty at the end of the world, like how you might be given extra tasks at work. I wonder if they get special overtime pay for that, perhaps from the heavenly version of Melchom.
Trumpeter is also in this Christmas series representing Megami Tensei’s Fiend race of demons. The Fiends typically have skulls for faces and include other apocalyptic Biblical figures like the Four Horsemen as well as original characters like Matador and Hell Rider. They usually act as optional bosses in the SMT games, though a few of their fights are mandatory, such as Trumpeter’s in Nocturne. Trumpeter is usually a high-level demon with excellent resistances and skills, making him a pain in the ass to fight but a real asset to have on your team if you can defeat him. The Nocturne battle is so fucked, in fact, that I’ll just do something I haven’t all this series and post a link to a longplay clip of it. I know it’s only in 480p, but this is from ten years ago when streaming HD videos didn’t exist yet. And I feel the need to pay respect to MasterLL, the guy who recorded this and a lot of other Youtube SMT content early on.
If you don’t want to sit through that whole fight, basically Trumpeter has special attacks he uses at regular intervals, one healing the character with the lowest HP (including Trumpeter himself) and the other killing the character with the lowest HP (not including Trumpeter, because he’s not an idiot.) This fight provides another example of how Nocturne and SMT games generally don’t let you get away with brute-forcing your way through — you actually have to strategize. Powerleveling won’t help you here, not unless you really go nuts, and then you’ll just be wasting your time.
Despite all that bullshit, it’s usually worth taking on Trumpeter even if he’s an optional boss as he is in Strange Journey and Shin Megami Tensei IV. The same is true of several of the other Fiends in SMT. Daisoujou, for example, can utterly break the MP system in Nocturne if you manage to beat him and get the right skills on him. See, these games aren’t nearly as cheap as some people claim: they give you ways to screw the system; you just have to figure them out.