Why Europe got “Lucifer’s Call” while others got “Nocturne” with ‘SMT III’

Shin Megami Tensei III (SMT III) HD Remaster trailer snapshot

Nintendo has just recently announced the upcoming HD remaster of the third installment in the Shin Megami Tensei series, Shin Megami Tensei III (SMT III), a game that came with two unique titles which varies according to region.

Whereas both Japan and the United States used the label “Shin Megami Tensei III: Nocturne,” Europe adopted a different title instead. Not only did the European version dropped the Roman numeral in the label, it also employed a unique name as well. Instead of “Nocturne,” which was the original coming from Japan, Europe adopted “Lucifer’s Call.”

The Western World’s First

The need to drop the number that chronicles the game as an entry in the series does make sense. After all, as the West did not see the first two SMT titles in the first place, Lucifer’s Call makes it first in Europe.

But what did not make sense is why Europe had to drop “Nocturne” in favor of “Lucifer’s Call.” While Atlus did not officially make a statement of why that is the case, the topic is a subject of speculation that points to reason.

A Labeling Issue

One probable cause for the decision to rename the game is due to labeling issues with a pre-existing game of the same name. Just before SMT 3 even became a thing, there’s already a survival horror game titled as “Nocturne,” which plays similarly to Resident Evil.

While the term itself does not necessarily denote “horror,” both Nocturne and SMT III do share a common theme involving supernatural creatures. Essentially, to adopt the Nocturne label in Europe is to put Atlus in a licensing dilemma. One that could cause the company a substantial sum over just a name.

Finally, it’s “Nocturne”

It is worth reiterating that the aforementioned reason is not necessarily the actual reason for the multiplicity of SMT III’s labeling in two distinct regions. But it does hold water, as far as logic, considering the deductions that derive from the sample.

Whatever the case may be as to why the game got renowned by different names. One thing is certain now, however. With the game’s up and coming HD remaster on the Switch, it seems that Europe is finally adopting the game with its original label.

With the Lucifer’s Call label dropped, the world can finally agree on one name to a game that saw massive success for its developer. Much that it merits an HD remaster treatment for a current-gen platform.

Shin Megami Tensei: Nocturne HD Remaster will see release on the Nintendo Switch sometime in 2021.

Image used courtesy of Nintendo/YouTube Screenshot

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