Mastema is an angel of the Herald race in Shin Megami Tensei: Imagine. He arrived in-game on 01/11/11.
age: 30-ish (but actually about 6000) - canon
origins: Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey - canon
app link: here
hmd: coming soon!
played by: Mirr
contact: aitradeahalin (AIM), jemaryllis -at- gmail -dot- com (email)
In a nutshell? Crapsack future. In a big way. The world is an overpopulated, polluted, consumer-driven shithole where war is just a step down the road. The governments of the world seem more concerned with maintaining their own power than changing things for the better. So in other words, just like right now! But in the future. In fact, things have probably gotten a lot worse--considering that the earth's immune system kicks in: it creates the "Schwarzvelt", a time-space anomaly similar to a black hole that started out as a tiny hole in the snow of Antarctica and grew to be several miles in diameter, devouring every human observation base it came in contact with. Within the Schwarzvelt, where the game's protagonists entered as part of an investigation team outfitted with technology that would protect them from the Schwarzvelt and aid them with their investigation, it is composed of several time-space layers, right on top of each other, some of them mirroring human society. A burning battlefield, a pleasure palace, an indoor shopping mall, an enormous junkyard, and a hedge maze filled with monitors and surveillance cameras can all be found there. It also happens to be infested with demons--creatures from every cultural mythology you can think of, from fairies to Aztec gods to angels like Mastema. But while the demons are there to obliterate humanity as a service to the mother goddess Mem Aleph, who kicked the whole thing off in the first place, the angels are there to enforce the will of God. Does that mean they're on the humans' side, though? Hell no. Turns out God is just as pissed off at humanity as the demons are, but He has a much different plan for the future: revoking the free will of every human being on earth. To make them slavishly obedient to God, singing His praises for eternity, their lives dictated by the divine. In other words, mass brainwashing on a scale unheard of by any cluster of morons in the middle of nowhere drinking poisoned Kool-Aid. For this, though, they need a new angel, since every angel in existence now cannot affect the minds of humans with their singing anymore. Enter Zelenin, the only human who has the willpower and ideals needed to make such an angel. And so Mastema has requested to be the forefront of the angelic host's activities in the Schwarzvelt. In return, he hopes, his efforts will be recognized by God Himself, and he can ascend to something greater...
Mastema is the angel of punishment, a being created to tempt humans and test their faith in God. As such, he has seen some of the very worst of human behavior, and so he tends to be a bit cynical towards humans in general. He feels that they are flawed creatures incapable of controlling themselves. They have had numerous chances to prove themselves, after all, and now the Schwarzvelt has appeared to swallow them up. So as far as Mastema is concerned they fully deserve to be manipulated and used as tools to achieve a neat, orderly world ruled by God. Trust is something he can not bring himself to rely on, as revealed through his conversation with Zelenin in Grus. He only knows trust in God, and as an angel, it is in his very being to stand by it no matter what. He is also a master manipulator--being an angel of temptation, he can easily read people and cultivate a close yet still somewhat autonomous dependency on him. He's not entirely heartless, of course. He did help Jimenez, a crewman who sympathized with demons, to get back on his feet after a fit of recklessness, and he doesn't shove the anti-demon propaganda down Zelenin and the main character's throat at every turn. He knows the perfect balance of lies, half-truths, and whole-truths to get what he wants. So what does Mastema want? It is extremely vague, unfortunately. From his breakdown in the chaos path ending, he hints at wanting power greater than that of an angel. Perhaps even something akin to being like God Himself. Delusions of grandeur, definitely. God across the board of this series would never even think to share his power with one of his own creations. Not even humans, with their elevated status on the hierarchy, are safe to assume that. So why Mastema believes it so vehemently, it is unclear. Perhaps it's a sign that the master manipulator is probably being manipulated himself by his own creator. So yes, he is quite a bit self-absorbed and questionable in his practices. But in Mastema's eyes, he isn't doing anything that might question his status as an angel. To him, what he does is for the glory of God. ...and himself, of course. At the same time, it's pretty damn obvious he either doesn't realize that he's lying to himself, or he is, in fact, just sucking up to God to get a nice shiny bonus of sorts.
Abilities & WeaknessesEdit
There are quite a few significant abilities that Mastema possesses. One is Killing Wind, a powerful spell that generates hurricane-force winds in a compact area, easily slamming the intended victim around mercilessly. Another is Megidolaon...think of the power of a nuke inside a small, contained radius. NEEDLESS TO SAY both of these will likely be significantly reduced in strength. He also has a healing spell called Salvation. Its effects are potent and it can even alleviate things like poison and paralysis. (basically, it's a full heal with the added bonus of curing status effects). Shooting Mastema is a bad idea. A really, really bad idea. Bullets will repel off of him and probably injure you instead. The same with any ice or wind spells you might have in your arsenal. But Mastema's own spells are restricted by his own mental fortitude (read: MP) and casting too many times in succession will wear him out and leave him vulnerable. He's a caster, as has already been stated, and so he tends to be something of a glass cannon. Cutting him with a sword or smacking him around with a club will definitely hurt him. He's also weak to fire, and any fire spells or a flamethrower will severely injure him quickly.