Sugu ni Kese: Tracing the Roots of Shin Megami Tensei’s Infamous Urban Legend
With Halloween obviously approaching in a few weeks, this month has been as good a time as any for Atlus fans to either acquaint themselves with or rekindle old memories about すぐにけせ (sugu ni kese, or “turn it off”), an urban legend ostensibly involving the first Shin Megami Tensei game on the SNES that dates back to decade and some change on the Japanese Internet. While some ado has been made over the years to investigate the actual merits of it, few efforts have been launched to investigate the overall history of すぐにけせ and figure out just how it all started and how the details most commonly associated with the legend took off.
Luckily for us all, Japanese blogger Shibayama wrote up a detailed post investigating just that. As is often the case with these sorts of stories, the origins of this one might turn out to be a little anticlimactic for some, but the journey involved in getting there, one which entails digging through decade old 2ch threads and even some computer science, is, in my mind, throughly interesting and worth the read in and of itself.
So, with permission from Shibayama himself, here’s my English translation of his fantastic article. And if you happen to not know yet what すぐにけせ actually is, stick around. Learning it is practically a right of passage as an Atlus fan.
[Edit: For whatever reason, my Tumblr theme botches the formatting of the text in that line breaks disappear for a while after the first YouTube embded. I’m not sure what’s wrong because it doesn’t look like that in the editor, but I’ll try to fix it when I can. Hopefully will be okay if you choose to reblog it!]