"It's been a long while since the dharma vanished from people's hearts and the adharma took hold... I must cleanse this impurity. If you wish to change my mind, then show me the strength of your dharma!"
—Vishnu, Digital Devil Saga: Avatar Tuner 2
Vishnu (ヴィシュヌ, Vishunu)? is a demon in the series.
Vishnu is one of the primary deities in the Hindu pantheon. He is called The Preserver and is known for a kindly demeanor and genuine interest in the welfare of humanity. In the Hindu religion, Vishnu the Preserver is one of the three principle deities of the Trimurti (Hindu Triad) along with Brahma, the Creator, and Shiva, the Destroyer. He was first seen in early Vedic mythology as the god that assisted Indra in defeating Vritra and is now the supreme deity within Vaishnavism, a branch of Hinduism that focuses on the worship of Vishnu. As the preserver, Vishnu maintains balance within the world, and at the end of our current aeon he will appear as his final avatar Kalki and judge whether mortals have been good or evil. After this, the universe will end and creation will start anew. He is depicted with up to four arms, blue skin, holding a chakra wheel, a lotus flower, a mace and a conch, and rides on the back of Garuda. He also sleeps on the back of a great naga named Ananta Shesha.
Vishnu's first prominent appearance in later Hindu mythology was in the form of his first avatar, the fish Matsya, where he warned the first human, Manu, about a great flood that was soon to come and to tow his ship full of plants and animals to the mountains where they would avoid the high water levels. After this he appeared in many incarnations, both as humanoids and animals, throughout Hindu tales. Probably the best known incarnation of Vishnu was within the Hindu epic Ramayana, where he appeared as the hero Rama who set out to save his wife Sita from the rakshasa king, Ravana.
He is the husband of the goddess Lakshmi in all her incarnations and has ten personal incarnations starting with Matsya and ending with Kalki. He may also be worshipped in the form of Harihara, the perfect fusion of Vishnu and Shiva.
He is known to have countless avatars (the word avatara is generally put after the avatars' name), but these ten are considered the most important:
Matsya - The fish avatar. Plays a role in the story of Manu (the first man in Hindu myth) by warning him of an impending flood.
Kurma - The tortoise avatar. Supports a sacred mountain on his back during a battle with demonic entities.
Varaha - The boar avatar. Is known to have rescued the earth (sometimes in the form of a woman) out of the ocean after she either falls in or a demon pushes her in.
Vamana - The dwarf priest avatar. Tricks the demon Bali who stole the three worlds.
Parashurama - The warlike human avatar. Born into the Brahmin caste, he carries a great battle axe given to him by Shiva to destroy the caste of secular kings and warriors. Kills the thousand-armed king Kartavirya of the Himalayas.
Rama - The kingly avatar carrying a bow and arrow. A popular mortal hero in Hinduism and the central figure in the epic Ramayana. Kills many demons including the Rakshasa, Taraka, Kabandha, and Ravana.
Krishna - The Mahabharata avatar. The central character in the Bhagavad-Gita / Song of the Blessed Lord, in which he is the charioteer for Arjuna.
Buddha - The historical avatar. The only avatar that can be connected to an actual person, though some historians debate that Buddha was made an avatar to bring his worshippers back into the Hindu fold or weaken the demons in their war against the gods by converting them to Buddhist beliefs.
Kalki - The avatar that is yet to be. He is the coming avatar who will ride in on a white horse, sword in hand, to end the evil of the current age (called Kali Yuga), and usher in a new time of prosperity. His coming is prophesied to happen sometime in the next 400+ years.
"Origin: India. One of the major gods in Hindu lore. He is the preserver of the universe. He rides Garuda and holds a conch shell, chakra, mace, and lotus flower. He is usually seen equipped with a bow and sword. He appears in the human world in various guises and rids the world of evil."
—Shin Megami Tensei A-Mode DDS Dictionary
Vishnu will join the party to defeat his old arch-rival, Ravana, if the player is following the path of Law. If they are Neutral or Chaos, Vishnu will attack them in the Tokyo Government Office. After being defeated, he laments that he was defeated not by Ravana or a god, but by mere humans. Vishnu cannot be used in any fusions.
Vishnu appears as a powerful event boss, spawning with Narasimha and Garuda. Acquiring his plug-in within game requires achieving the highest monthly score within the Ultimate Battle Coliseum and completing the Champion Course. He can be fused by a special double-fusion of Ananta and Garuda.
Known as Vishnu-Flynn (ヴィシュヌ フリン), he is a fusion of Krishna, lead of the Divine Powers, and Flynn, who is temporarily made into his Godslayer. Depending on the route the player takes, Nanashi's destruction of the entity will kill Flynn, though he can be revived as his Godslayer, albeit deranged and maddened. However, alternatively, Flynn will survive the battle, and joins Nanashi afterwards.
Vishnu is the ultimate Emperor Persona, at level 86. Obtaining Vishnu requires fusing the Spell Cards of Gandharva and Yaksini with the Avatar Totem, which is received after obtaining all 142 Spell Cards.
Kazuma Kaneko's design motif for Vishnu in this particular game is the "King of Persona-users" due to his numerous avatars. Vishnu's bust still retains traditional Hindu symbols, but he wears upper hose which were popular in England as formal garment through the 17th century and can be seen in many English kings' portraits.
Vishnu appears as an optional boss in a room opposite that of Shiva's. To meet with Vishnu, the Embryon must first prove their worth to his avatar Narasimha and obtain his sword. Upon meeting the Seraph, Vishnu states that it has been a while since the dharma (righteousness) has vanished from peoples hearts and been replaced by adharma (wickedness) as it has now. He claims that he must cleanse this impurity by destroying Seraph and the others, and the only way to change his mind is for them to show the strength of their dharma.
During the battle, Vishnu's resistances will shift each turn unannounced. He will shift to an elemental resistance to counter the last elemental attack used on him. Using an Almighty attack may prompt him to use Chaturbhuja during both of his turns. Once he is low on HP, he will cease shifting between elemental resistances and focus on using Rage, Chaturbhuja, Vanity, and Rakunda/Makakaja.
Defeating him gives you the bullet Pandemonium (attack power 300, strongest in the game) and infuses the Nandaka with his power, unlocking the God of Light Mantra. After Vishnu's defeat the player can open the chest in his room, which houses the Aura Ring (+20 to all stats).