Shin Megami Tensei: Why Neutral people are so smug

People supporting the Neutral alignment in the Shin Megami Tensei series tend to think not only that Neutral is the only solution to the crises in the MegaTen universe, but that it is the best alignment in the series, and represents balance and individuality. These people tend to be rather smug, and they also tend to ignore that the game is about choice. So in the MegaTen universe, any path you take, even the Law path, is individually discerned and ultimately your choice, and none of them are perfect. If Neutral was really perfect, then what is the point of being able to side with Law or Chaos?

Neutral is not really balance, or individuality, it’s just restoring the status quo or refusing to decide how to resolve a crisis. But one thing is true: it definitely means rejecting both Law and Chaos, for whatever reason. It’s definitely not about individuality if, in the end, you end up taking orders from other people and following their goals, not your own. In Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey, the Neutral path isn’t about balance or individuality, it’s about continuing the mission and you take orders from a revived Commander Gore. I’ve heard that Shin Megami Tensei IV’s neutral path has you taking orders from Steven to revive Masakado and the Goddess of Tokyo, restoring Tokyo to how it was before, thus effectively restoring the status quo, but what good does it do?

What’s interesting is how they brag about how they think Law killing everyone who doesn’t believe in God and Chaos resulting in a death toll is a problem, but Neutral having you kill everyone including your friends (even your best friend) is justified.

I’ll admit to being a fan of the Chaos alignment, and thus subject to Chaos bias. But that’s because (a) it suits what I believe, and (b) the major problem with Neutrality. Don’t Neutral fans see that you can choose a non-Neutral path for individually discerned reasons, thus making the idea that Neutrality is the path of individuality moot?

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