Beastly Battle of Wits in SMT V: Vengeance

Solve Nozuchi’s riddles and conquer the Beastly Battle of Wits in SMT V: Vengeance.

How To Complete The Beastly Battle Of Wits Quest In Shin Megami Tensei V: Vengeance

Let’s help you solve Nozuchi’s riddles and find the Sangaku Beads.

Most of the early game quests in Shin Megami Tensei V: Vengeance explicitly tell you where you need to go, but you’ll find a few exceptions. A prime example of this occurs when you meet the Nozuchi in a corner of West Shinbashi, who presents you with the “Beastly Battle of Wits” quest.

To complete this quest, you’ll have to solve three “riddles” the Nozuchi presents to you. However, each objective is different from the last, which can turn you around if you aren’t paying close attention.

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Before we dissect each phase of the Beastly Battle of Wits, know that some combat is involved to complete this quest. There’s no major boss battle here, mind you, but the combat can catch you off guard if you’re under-leveled. The strongest monster you’ll face here is level 18, so use that information to decide if you’d like to tackle other quests to level up first.

With that out of the way, here’s how to complete each phase of this quest.

Beastly Battle of Wits Step 1: The Question

After accepting the quest, talk to Nozuchi again. It will present you with a multiple-choice question pertaining to the teachings of Buddha. Fortunately, the stakes for this question are very low. If you get the answer wrong, you can talk to Nozuchi again and pick a different answer with no consequence.

That said, if you want to save yourself the trial and error, the correct answer here is “An empty path.”

Nozuchi’s question is designed to test your knowledge of Buddhist philosophy, specifically about the concept of emptiness and the transient nature of life. The correct answer, “An empty path,” reflects the Buddhist teaching that enlightenment is found by following a path free of attachments and desires.

Beastly Battle of Wits Step 2: Where to Find the Sangaku Beads

For the next phase of the quest, Nozuchi will ask you to find some Sangaku Beads that it has hidden. By talking with it, we can ascertain that the beads are hidden on “a hill of green,” and we’re looking for a dead end in the Shiba region. Also, by talking with Nozuchi again, we’ll learn that the “green” we’re looking for refers to the monsters you’ll find there (as opposed to any greenery you may find in this barren desert).

If you look through the monsters you’ve encountered to this point, you’ll figure out that the green spirits Nozuchi refers to are Kodama. So, if you look for a hill in the Shiba region where Kodama lurk, you should find the Sangaku Beads.

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Kodama are small tree spirits that appear throughout the game, often associated with nature and greenery. In Japanese folklore, Kodama are spirits that inhabit trees and are considered protectors of the forest. In Shin Megami Tensei V: Vengeance, they serve as a clue to the location of the Sangaku Beads.

If you’d like a more explicit hint, here’s the exact location:

  1. Head to the Shiba region.
  2. Look for the Kodama spirits.
  3. Search around the hill where Kodama are found.

The hill where the Sangaku Beads are hidden is a notable landmark in the Shiba region. It’s a small, elevated area that stands out due to the presence of several Kodama. As you approach the hill, you’ll notice the Kodama wandering around, indicating that you’re in the right place.

When you find the Sangaku Beads, they will appear as a small, glowing object on the ground. Interact with the beads to collect them. With the beads in hand, return to Nozuchi for the final phase of the quest.

Beastly Battle of Wits Step 3: How to Make Nozuchi Walk

Dismayed at how easily you solved its previous riddle, Nozuchi will challenge you with what it thinks is an impossible task: make it move. Though it will gloat about how you’ll never accomplish such a task, the solution is actually rather straightforward. You’re about to enter combat, so save your game before continuing.

To make Nozuchi “walk,” attack it as if you were trying to enter combat with any other monster on the overworld. Nozuchi won’t take too kindly to your sword smacking it in its…nose…and will promptly attack you, along with a couple of its friends.

The combat with Nozuchi is the final test in the Beastly Battle of Wits quest. As mentioned earlier, the battle isn’t too difficult, but it can catch you off guard if you’re not prepared. Here’s a detailed strategy to help you defeat Nozuchi and complete the quest.

How to Beat Nozuchi in Shin Megami Tensei V: Vengeance

As mentioned at the beginning, fortunately Nozuchi isn’t too tough. Two lower-level Kodamas will aid it in battle, so AoE attacks will come in handy here. The Kodamas are capable of healing, so focus on taking them out first.

Nozuchi and Kodama share weaknesses to Fire and Ice. Nozuchi also has a lightning weakness, which your protagonist can exploit if you’re still using the Zio spell he started with. Nozuchi does resist physical attacks, so if you’re using any physical-focused party members, have them target the Kodamas.

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If you just focus on exploiting weaknesses, you should come out on top. Just be careful that you aren’t using any party members that are weak to Force (Wind), as the enemy party can exploit this hard and gain easy extra turns in the process. As a general rule of thumb, battles can go south very quickly in Shin Megami Tensei if you don’t mind your resistances.

Here’s a more detailed breakdown of the battle strategy:

  1. Preparation: Ensure your party is adequately leveled. Since the strongest enemy is level 18, aim to have your party around the same level or higher.
  2. Party Composition: Include members who can exploit Fire, Ice, and Lightning weaknesses. Avoid members weak to Force.
  3. Combat Strategy:
  • Initial Attack: Start with AoE spells to deal with Kodamas quickly.
  • Focus Fire: Prioritize taking down Kodamas to prevent them from healing Nozuchi.
  • Exploit Weaknesses: Use Zio spells or other lightning attacks on Nozuchi. Follow up with Fire and Ice attacks.
  • Defensive Measures: Use buffs and debuffs to manage incoming damage and reduce Nozuchi’s effectiveness.
  • Healing: Keep an eye on your health and heal as necessary. Do not let your HP drop too low as the battle can turn quickly.

Additional Tips for Shin Megami Tensei V: Vengeance

  1. Exploration: Always explore thoroughly. Many quests and hidden items are found off the beaten path.
  2. Save Often: The game can be punishing. Save your progress frequently, especially before challenging battles.
  3. Party Customization: Adjust your party according to the enemies you expect to face. Flexibility is key.
  4. Grinding: Don’t shy away from grinding for levels if you find certain battles too challenging. It’s better to be over-prepared.
  5. Elemental Mastery: Know your enemies’ elemental weaknesses and resistances. This knowledge can turn the tide of battle in your favor.
  6. Item Management: Stock up on healing items and status effect cures. They can be lifesavers in tough battles.
  7. Demon Fusion: Regularly fuse new demons to keep your party strong and diverse. Experiment with different combinations to find powerful allies.
  8. Quests: Take on side quests for extra experience and rewards. They often provide valuable items and new demons.
  9. Combat Tactics: Use buffs and debuffs effectively. They can make a significant difference in the outcome of battles.
  10. Map Awareness: Pay attention to your surroundings. Hidden paths and treasures are often tucked away in corners of the map.

Conclusion and Rewards

Once you defeat Nozuchi and its allies, the quest is completed. You’ll receive experience points, valuable items, and perhaps a sense of satisfaction from outsmarting the cunning Nozuchi. Additionally, completing this quest will help you progress further in Shin Megami Tensei V: Vengeance, opening up new areas and opportunities for more quests and adventures.

Completing the Beastly Battle of Wits quest not only provides valuable rewards but also serves as a test of your problem-solving skills and combat readiness. The combination of riddles and combat challenges makes this quest a memorable part of your journey in Shin Megami Tensei V: Vengeance.

By following these tips and strategies, you’ll be well-equipped to handle not only the Beastly Battle of Wits quest but also many other challenges that Shin Megami Tensei V: Vengeance throws your way. Happy demon hunting!


1. What is the Beastly Battle of Wits quest in Shin Megami Tensei V: Vengeance?

The Beastly Battle of Wits is a quest where you must solve riddles posed by the demon Nozuchi and complete various tasks, including finding hidden items and engaging in combat.

2. Where can I find Nozuchi to start the Beastly Battle of Wits quest?

Nozuchi can be found in a corner of West Shinbashi. Speak with it to initiate the quest.

3. How many riddles do I need to solve in this quest?

You need to solve three riddles as part of the Beastly Battle of Wits quest.

4. What is the correct answer to Nozuchi’s first riddle?

The correct answer to Nozuchi’s first riddle about the teachings of Buddha is “An empty path.”

5. Where can I find the Sangaku Beads in the Shiba region?

The Sangaku Beads are hidden on a hill where Kodama spirits are found. Look for a green hill in the Shiba region where Kodama lurk to find the beads.

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6. How do I make Nozuchi walk in the final phase of the quest?

To make Nozuchi walk, you need to attack it as if you were engaging in combat with any other monster. This will trigger a battle with Nozuchi and its allies.

7. What are Nozuchi’s weaknesses in combat?

Nozuchi is weak to Fire, Ice, and Lightning attacks. It resists physical attacks, so plan your strategy accordingly.

8. What level should I be to comfortably complete the Beastly Battle of Wits quest?

It is recommended to be at least level 18 to comfortably handle the combat encounters in this quest.

9. What rewards do I get for completing the Beastly Battle of Wits quest?

Completing the quest rewards you with experience points, valuable items, and progression in the game.

10. What should I do if I struggle with the combat in this quest?

If you struggle with the combat, consider leveling up your party, fusing stronger demons, and ensuring you have the right elemental attacks to exploit Nozuchi and its allies’ weaknesses.

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11. Can I retry the riddles if I get them wrong?

Yes, you can retry the riddles without any penalty if you get them wrong. Just talk to Nozuchi again and select a different answer.

12. Are there any other tips for completing this quest?

Explore thoroughly, save often, and pay attention to the clues given by Nozuchi. Make sure your party is well-prepared for the combat encounters by exploiting enemy weaknesses and managing resistances effectively.

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