Most people would take one gander at Mishaguji and think they know everything there is to know about him: “Another penis monster? Thanks, Japan/Kaneko.” And they would be…right, at least superficially—penises might actually be involved in the god’s actual myth and rituals. But as a god, Mishaguji’s story is an ancient one, dating back potentially 4000 years. In addition, a major tradition seems to regard Mishaguji as a female deity. He/she/it is a slippery figure to find information about in English (other than what’s in Shin Megami Tensei), but I’ve finally found a few sources which go into great detail to shed light into why Kaneko designed the god the way he did and prove that Mishaguji is more than just a pretty face.
Also, man I miss Beyourtruemind.net's scans repository. Was that scan better quality than ours?
I did a reverse image search on my own and found the one below. Dates to 2008 so that dates to around the time of the sorely missed BYTM.net. It’s a bit darker but the fact of the matter is that the Pandemonium books just don’t scan very well due to the grainy paper stock used, especially with shades of black which of course is the entirety of this Nyarlathotep.
So now that there's a complete fan-translation of Kyuuyaku Megami Tensei and English-speaking fans can enjoy it, how does it rank against other Megaten games?
As a game/games, not very well! As part of the Megami Tensei milieu, a bit better.
The first game I’d go so far as to say is inessential despite its seminality. The story and gameplay are simplistic. You’re not going to get much more out of it than you could reading a synopsis or LP. Or, watch that crazy, B-grade anime adaptation (this is actually a recommendation).
The second game is far more interesting. It expands and diverges so much compared to the original and it’s better for it. However, a lot of 2’s story is echoed in both SMT1 and 2 and is done far better in those games, but 2 may nonetheless impress when considering its era. Still, the big thing for me is that the gameplay is a slog and that’s killer. Megami Tensei 2 is fascinating when viewed from a distance and I think it’s deserving of the most basic of remakes to bring it up to Strange Journey levels of player consideration, and adding features like deeper fusion customization. I’d be frothing at the mouth for something like that, actually.
Bottom line: You need a taste for old-school dungeon crawlers to appreciate them as games despite the few Kyuuyaku improvements and conveniences, but MT2 goes places and clearly forges ahead where SMT1 and 2 would follow.
Amazing KK Nyarlathotep design from Persona 2 I’d never seen before aside from Pandemonium Vol. 3, so I scanned it! Really nails the black, human-like avatars of Nyarlathotep.