I’m at a loss as to what the new ending possibly could be. The entire story seems pretty much wrapped up and finished and I honestly wonder if people on this forum are even going to like the “new path” or the direction that Atlus Japan is taking with this series. We have Neutral with Arthur the Alma Mater and Gore, Chaos with Jiminez, and Law with Zelenin. What the heck is the point of adding onto an already finished and well-structured story? More precisely, what is there to add on what feels like an already complete storyline and game?
Also, a lot of this has to do with possible speculations on who the Red woman is and her goal. I think we can safely assume her goal is to use the cosmic eggs to remake the world for either herself or the owl god.
I’m assuming she can’t be human because she can breathe just fine in the Schwarzwelt. Although, the possibility that she’s a zombified human can’t be overlooked.
I find it unlikely since she has demonic silver eyes (similar to in-game Demifiend) but she does have the demon summoning gauntlet … so perhaps she’s just blessed by the owl?
Anyway, here’s my speculation on what the new possible endings could be, I’ll sort them from least to most likely.
Least Likely Possibility
A Godslayer ending. They may take the godslayer concept from SMTIV Apocalypse and present you with the option of becoming the Godslayer of the owl demon or whomever the red woman is. Least likely possibility though, but I thought I’d throw it out there since the possibility of brainwash was clearly made evident within the original game. They had laser guns meant for Arthur to utilize to brainwash the crew in case they had to destroy the Schwarzwelt or required a suicide mission, Zelenin’s latter arc is explicitly about brainwashing, and it is possible that the “voice” that snapped him out of nearly shooting himself dead was not, in fact, himself/his subconscious but rather a mysterious god/des (possibly the red woman or owl). Mem Aleph very nearly murdered the MC and Gore via brainwashing them to kill themselves so the possibility of the MC tragically getting brainwashed and used as a weapon by the red woman and owl should be considered. Although, again, random speculation and I don’t believe this is going to happen.
Unfortunately, we can’t discount the possibility because one of the recurring themes made explicit in the original SJ that was carried into IV and IVA is that humans are just tools to be manipulated by all of the deities. That was a defined theme that Mastema outright says in the Chaos path of SJ, the White explicitly say it in SMTIV, and Dagda is explicit about it in Apocalypse.
This could very well be the most tragic, brainwashed path and it fits with Atlus’s style. They juxtapose a lot of themes with contrasting dichotomies. We’ve seen example after example of this:
DDS2’s ending is in direct contrast to the themes of Nocturne’s TDE route. The themes are polar opposites to their very core. Acceptance of a Divine love and finding life’s purpose through religious belief in the ultimate God vs Rejecting all of Gods and making your own path through conquest by accepting the ultimate God’s curse.
Flynn’s idealism and ignorance, with a very hopeful slant for the human race, even in ignorance of the nihilistic plot twist of SMTIV, and being the chosen Messiah. Feeling like every single one of your decisions matter. vs Nanashi’s realism and hatred for being an outcast. Constantly having to live with danger, death, loss of life as a norm, and being shit upon by humanity only to be glorified the next day like a prop. Being used by others and forced to deal with situations with an inability to make a meaningful choice until the end.
Even small things like Flynn viewing the signs in Naraku as “the Mystic script” vs Nanashi reading them as “in English” which demystifies the wonder and makes you realize the mundane nature of it all.
So, in contrast to the Mastermind Dagda route, you’ll be the pawn and take-up Flynn’s role with the red woman or the owl taking control of you after brainwashing you. Possibly killing and resurrecting you. The first demon boss of SJ, Morax, actually says this is possible, if you agree with his philosophical point in the original game.
Mother Goddess Path
Although the goddesses are seemingly unified, there is reason to doubt that they all have the same interests. While their goals and Lucifer’s goals seem to coincide (despite having nothing to do with each other), the side plots showed that there was a mother goddess, Amaterasu, who didn’t align herself with the rest of the Mothers in deposing YHVH and quietly went back home to heaven despite the call by an apparent previous life of hers.
This implies two things:
1. The Mother Goddesses aren’t all working together. Just the majority of them have aligned to kill off YHVH to break him apart limb from limb to trap in pocket dimensions across the Schwarzwelt. Based on IV’s Chaos path, we can assume the “voice” was actually Lucifer and that their goals aligned in even keeping YHVH sealed away because both refer to Demiurge as the arrogant God in their mission statements.
2. Since “yay humanity!” neutral is already an ending and the Mother Goddesses working together are all staunchly Chaos, there is a possibility… that we’re finally getting a Law path that is completely separate from YHVH. In other words, a Lawful Mother Goddess who may give us a positive Law ending that is entirely separate from YHVH’s law path.
If that is indeed the case, and since Lucifer was already pre-established in the original game but never did anything besides backtalk Mastema, then we can infer that Lucifer will be either the final boss or secret boss of the updated 3DS version. Lucifer already makes significant appearances but never goes anywhere with it in the original game so if they don’t do this then it’s a waste.
Lucifer vs You and the Red woman as the final confrontation after killing off Mem Aleph seems to be the most likely possibility. It may come with a new Lucifer design, since Doi stated that he regretted the Apocalypse design and had wished to make it better than it was.
So, assuming this is a wandering Mother Goddess with their own goals, unaligned from others, then she is a usurper and it’s possible that this is going to be like SMTIV’s Neutral path where you have to do every mission and it’s the hardest route of the game. And, although maybe I’m overthinking this, it’s possible that unlike the brainwashing of both the Chaos and Law path for the people in the Red Sprite, you may just kill every single one of them since the Mother Goddess has their own goals on a new world order or to recreate humanity like the Divine Powers for her own purposes. This will be played up as a parallel and inversion to Jiminez’s decision to kill Jack’s squad (assuming you took that option). So, obviously, the crew will revolt and fight you to the death after you kill off the Ubergeltast Gore because they don’t want this Mother Goddess’s goal to happen since you’ll need the Cosmic eggs to run their course like in the Chaos path but with her tampering.
Sadly, despite these possibilities, it’s most likely going to be some perfected or superior version of the Arthur-Neutral ending, but possibly happier. The Red Woman is possibly just a human with a contract with the owl and is secretly trying to help avoid some disaster or something along those lines. Despite her presentation in trying to kill you, there could be time travel shenanigans (as time travel was established with the Diser and Norn) to save the human race from some abysmal fate in destroying the cosmic eggs. But, it’ll probably be “do every neutral mission to get perfect ending” as the requirement.
That being said, I would be flabbergasted if Lucifer is not the true final boss or secret boss of this updated game. They have all the material they need already, just make one new scenario and a boss fight and it’s done.
For this, the Red Woman would possibly be some Rebel who time traveled to prevent a terrifying Law or Chaos world from coming to fruition or perhaps to avoid humanity’s doom with the Owl simply being her demon companion.
Lastly, the city area probably isn’t a place on earth, it’s most likely just another pocket dimension/sector of the Schwarzwelt. I mean . . . the locations differentiate from blood dripped hellholes, to weird sci-fi white spaces, and human grocery stores like Horkos level. The buildings and area are most likely another sector as it doesn’t make sense for them to be fighting in the human world, if their mission is the Schwarzwelt and ends upon researching it. Although, if I’m wrong and that is true, it just confirms a Neutral+ route as no other ending has you going to the human world.
Possibilities on who Alex is:
Alexandra/Cassandra, a prophetess in Greek mythology
Saint Alexandra, a martyr of the Diocletianic persecutions
Or, considering the Owl, we may finally get some variant of the Triple Goddess (who goes by many names, most prominent of which is The Morrigan).
Or she’s just some original character from a as-of-yet unspecified country that obviously isn’t Japan.