This is NOT your typical Jidai Geki you're going to find here.
"It's time for the Japanese creators to enter the world-wide stage. This is a great new challenge which offers an entirely new perspective in the development of the fantasy world. Movie is dead, and we will enjoy a new form of drama through the computers in our homes. I feel 'KABUKI' brings a whole new dimension to RPG not present in the western RPG. I hope 'KABUKI' will strike Hollywood and Disney with this oriental magic."
Tengai Makyou (also known with the English subtitle Far East of Eden, albeit the literal translation of the Japanese title is The Devil's World Far From Heaven) is a trilogy (and spin-offs) of Japanese RPGs (and many other media) released by Hudson Soft and the Red Company and created by Ouji Hiroi (aka Hiroshi Adachi aka P.H Chada, who was also the creator of the Sakura Wars franchise) since 1989.While each game has his own plot, the whole story of the original trilogy deals the feats of the Fire Clan and their allies against the forces of evil who tries to rule or destroy the land of Jipang, the Fantasy Counterpart Culture of Feudal Japan. Despise this, many of the heroes and villains aren't exactly too serious (excluding the Big Bads, albeit that depends of the game). All of this is told from the (exaggerated) point of view of a 19th-century American sociologist/historian named P.H. Chada (who is just another pseudonym for Ouji Hiroi, the creator of the franchise)The Main Trilogy
Remade (with a somewhat different plot) in 2006 for the Xbox 360 as Tengai Makyou Ziria: Harunakaru Jipang.
Remade in 2D based on the X360 version with full voice acting and dungeon design enhancements, for i-mode Japanese cell-phones in 2010. A straight port of the PC-Engine version for mobile phones was published earlier in 2003.
An enhanced port was published in 2006 for the PSP. It removed some battle animations but added new story scenes and battle mechanics inspired by Mother 3's timing gimmick.
Oriental Blue: Ao no Tengai (Game Boy Advance, 2003) — Despise being technically part of the franchise, the plot take place in another version of Feudal Japan (not Jipang this time), the plot is Darker and Edgier and there's no comedic heroes and villains. It was originally planned for the ill-fated Nintendo 64DD. A Fan Translation was released by the Romhacking Aerie in 2013.
Tengai Makyou Shinden (Neo Geo, 1995) — Similar to Samurai Shodown, this is a Bat Family Crossover between the heroes and villains from Ziria and Manjimaru who follows a very condensed version of the plot of the first game. Also notable for being the only game of the franchise officially released in English, under the title Far East of Eden: Kabuki Klash.
Alternate History: Not only Jipang's technological level is more advanced (in the original games, anyway) than the original feudal Japan, but also, at least from we can see in The Fourth Apocalypse and Kabuki-den, Jipang seems to never implemented an isolation policy just like his real life counterpart, as we can see many descendants from the original heroes in America and also Kabuki traveling to England in his respective game.
Anachronism Stew: It would be easier to list the things that aren't anachronistic than the other way around.
Contrasting Sequel Main Character: Subverted between Ziria and Manjimaru: The only difference between both heroes is Ziria doesn't have a family, when Manjimaru is the only character of the franchise with living parents, but other than that, they're both Keet heroes who rarely angst for long. On the other hand, Namida is a stark contrast with everyone else from the franchise: Not only he's more angsty than any previous hero, he's also the only main hero from the series is not human and the only one who is not a member of the Fire Clan (his girlfriend Ichiyo is).
Culture Chop Suey: As a part of the Anachronism Stew the series has, many aspects of the Jipangese culture, especially the clothing, are a mix between Japanese and Western cultures. One of the bigger offenders are the regular Samurai Ziria finds in the OVA: Their armor is a mix between a traditional Samurai armor with a European Medieval knight one, complete with using laser rapiers rather than katanas.
The Fourth Apocalypse is even worse: Despise taking place in the U.S., all the heroic American characters, excluding Ace, has Japanese names written in kanji, rather than katakana, who is normally reserved for foreign names. In that game, we have the "American" Raizing (雷神 as Raijin, "Thunder God" in Japanese), Yumemi (夢見) and the worst offender, the Native American Yuuno (夕能), who she as Japanese as Tonto. This could be lampshaded as all of those characters are members of the Fire Clan from Jipang.
Dance Battler: Kabuki, Okuni in Fuun Kabuki-den and Yagumo in Kabuki Klash, justified, since she is Okuni's twin sister.
Darker and Edgier: Namida and Oriental Blue are possibly the darkest games of the series, in the case of Namida' this is justified because that game was intented to be the Grand Finale of the franchise. Averted, at first with The Fourth Apocalypse: Even if the cover of the game says otherwise the game is ever more insanier than its predecessors.
Expy: Karakuri's moveset in Kabuki Klash is essentially those of Sentinel.
Fictional Document: The whole franchise is supposed to be inspired in a book named Far East of Eden, who was written by P.H.Chada, but the name is another pseudonym for Ouji Hiroi, the real creator and author of the series.
Funny Foreigner: Hoteimaru in two first games and Zengo in The Fourth Apocalypse, inverting this trope, as he's a Jinpangese samurai in America, and a very stupid one for that matter.
Guide Dang It: Manjimaru, due to the sheer volume of the game, has lots of missable items and goodies.
Also Zero and IV du to events tied up to Real Time Clock. Zero has many events that appear only on Japanese holidays (and Christmas, where you can meet Santa Claus somehow), and one Secret Boss require an item that appears only three times per year (lasting two weeks each time).
Heroic Mime: Manjimaru, Higan and Namida. Rizing averts this trope.
Impossibly Cool Clothes: Also overlaps sometimes with Rummage Sale Reject, as almost nobody in Jipang seems to dress with something fitting for their time period: The worst offenders of this are most of the named characters from Manjimaru, Fuun Kabuki-Den and Kabuki Klash, especially many of the named females: Okuni and Yagumo are traditional dancers, but they're dressed like Arabian belly dancers and Kinu is supposely a Miko, but she's dressed as a walking stereotype of a traditional Christian saint (like the Virgin Mary).
Jidai Geki: The whole point of the franchise is making fun of the stereotypes many Westerners has about Feudal-era Japan, except the Japanese are the ones who are doing on themselves.
Ninja: Ziria is oddly the only one who looks the part, but he's basically a goofier Robin Hood.
No Communities Were Harmed: Oddly subverted with any country who is not Jipang, as they kept their same names just like the real ones. The only thing that differs from the real life ones is their size: The U.S is more bigger in the Tengai Makyou universe, as it also include Mexico and Canada along the U.S. as well.
Level Grinding: The need for it is Averted in IV and Oriental Blue. Leveling gives you a wider array of new spells but that's it.
Literary Agent Hypothesis: This deserves a special mention, as almost the entire franchise relies on this: Supposely, the whole plot of the three main games and spin-offs are based in a book named Far East of Eden written by some American guy named Paul Hieronymus Chada and Hudson Soft themselves decided to adapt his book in a videogame and call it as Tengai Makyou. Or more precisely, Ouji Hiroi (the creator) managed to got that book, translated it to Japanese somewhat and trying to tell the plot of the book somehow. How much of the content of that book was true, exaggerated by Chada (or Hiroi) or how the hell Chada got all those chronicles in first place remains a mystery for everyone.
Loads and Loads of Characters: Subverted: While there's a lot of named characters, at least in the two first games and in less degree in The Fourth Apocalypse, you only have between three to five playable characters, when the rest are NPCs with names and backgrounds. Averted in Namida, since the cast is much bigger than previous games.
No Plans, No Prototype, No Backup: Hudson lost almost all of the resources they had for the series when relocating their building. As a result, Namida is widely different than the original intended concept (though the scriptwriter did release the original script years later, with names changed to avoid a lawsuit by Hudson). Besides that, Manjimaru and IV were recreated from scratch (or emulated), based on the final retail version.
Palette Swap: Zero and IV made a point of averting this trope, which was quite impressive.
Schizo Tech: Despise Jipang being the Fantasy Counterpart Culture of Feudal era Japan, the technology is a mish-mash of ancient technology with many modern ones. Not only the Jinpagese had cars, buses and even robots, in the animated OVA they even had antitheft alarms with infrared sensors, as Ziria finds out the hard way. Oddly enough, this was reverted in the Xbox 360 version, since in that version the technological level is now more or less the same one like the Real Life Feudal Japan.
Shotoclone: Manto Ace, a normally unplayable boss character in Kabuki Klash.
Updated Re-release: Tengai Makyou IV was ported to the PSP with higher quality visuals, new events revolving about Ace and Zengo and the aftermath of the Final Boss battle (the Saturn version skipped straight to the credits roll) and the ability to save everywhere.. even past the Point of No Return in the final dungeon.
''Tengai Makyou II: Manjimaru' was the second game in the "Far East of the Eden" saga, this time set in the kingdom of Jipang, and arguably the most famous entry in the series. it begins with Manjimaru, a 12-year old young hoodlum, going with some of his local friends to watch the throne ascension of the Tycoon as the new Emperor of Jipang, where seven warriors of light once fought a great evil and sealed it with seven mythical swords carrying their souls. However, the Tycoon was told by some Treacherous Advisor that removing those seals would grant him eternal life. As a result, the Root Clan arose again from the ashes and a giant Demoniac Orchid (the first one, with six more to go before the Evil Lord Yomi larva the three Evil Doctors from the Root Clan plot to revive throughout the game) appeared, utterly destroying the town.Manjimaru's mother was then kidnapped by the three Shinigami Brothers to attract him and thus dispose of the last descendant of the heroic Fire Clan. After saving his mother from being burned alive, the young boy realizes his own destiny and sets out on one of the longest RPG adventures ever made... meeting a colorful cast, like the Jerk with a Heart of Gold buffoon Kabuki, the giant Gokuraku who was doomed to a thousand-years lumber from daring to drink from a longeviety water, and Kinu the kind young girl who's so afraid from her own powers that she adamantly refuses to fight for the most part of the game, only casting support spells in combat.It was released in 1992 for the PC-Engine Turbo-CD exclusively in Japan (though an American localization as Far East of Eden II was considered, though passed over likely because of the failure of the platform in the US, and the gargantuan amount of text to localize). The game was re-released later for the PSP (as a modified emulated version), the DS (as an enhanced port), and receiving a budget 3D remake for the PS2 and the GameCube.To this day, no fan-translations exist for this game, and the only Western appearances of protagonists from this game would be Far East of Eden: Kabuki Klash (a Neo-Geo fighter) and Saturn Bomberman. In Japan though, Manjimaru is also a playable character in the SSB-clone Dream Mix TV Fighters, with a stage based on the Dark Orchid in the first Doomed Hometown... and in typical Konami fashion, as a pachinko slot machine skin.
Tengai Makyou II: Manjimaru contains examples of:
Artificial Limbs: Duke Pepe comes back multiple times to revenge his wife Madam Barbara of the Saijin Castle after the party killed her. He has to resort to this trop during each showdown to "fix" his increasingly damaged body...
Baleful Polymorph: Nikusuke, the lord of Darkness Castle, transforms the entire party to pigs. Luckily, he forgot about Kabuki...
Brainwashed and Crazy: Kinu's dog, Shiro, is controlled by Nikusuke to turn against the party... However, they manage to make him snap out it.
Bowdlerise: Every single re-release was affected by this to maintain an acceptable CERO rating (such a concern wasn't present when the 1992 original was released):
The manji symbols were edited out from every re-release/port of Manjimaru (which is quite frankly stupid, given it's in the title).
Frothy Mugs of Water comes into full play whenever there's sake that young Manjimaru can drink (except a village where Manto steals all of the sake, where the script is left unchanged).
A certain particularly gory ice cave showdown (end-game spoilers!) was heavily toned down and shortened in the DS/PSP ports to edit out Fubuki losing her arm, and her face's right half, with graphic detail. The PS2 remake did away with almost all of the blood and the strangling scene altogether.
Queen Benten's nipples were visible through her clothing only in the original TG-CD version.
Dead Person Impersonation: Kinu's mother was abducted by the Evil Root Clan, but Fubuki Omae made sure to make her join her husband to the afterlife, so that she impersonates her and then successfully freeze the unsuspecting party when they come to her rescue. Needless to say, Kinuwasn'thappy.
Gory Discretion Shot: This game is pretty dark. Some parts however were shown in their full gory glory.
Heroic Sacrifice: The three Ninja Maiden sisters, as they help the party escaping a dungeon the Rot Clan made collapse so that the heroes are buried alive. The youngest one Taking the Bullet when a deadly arrow trap activates when the party is passing, the middle sister blewing herself up when enemies overwhelm them during their escape, and the eldest one, whose death is the only one not shown onscreen, has the entrance collapse right as she is passing last under it..
Interspecies Romance: Kinu's human mother (whom she inherited the physical appearance) and oni father (where her dark powers came from).
Shape Shifter: Princess Hamaguri tries to impersonate Kabuki and Manjimaru's mother.
''Tengai Makyou Zero' was the first Far East of Eden game for a Nintendo platform (though a spin-off), the Super Famicom. It's also one of the most gorgeous games on the platform alongside Chrono Trigger, thanks to a special graphical decompression chip that allowed for much more and better looking graphics, though it's a bit on the easy and short side. Once again, it's about a descendant of the Fire Clan who's named Higan (literally "Fire Hero") and his quest to slay Niniji whose minions have been wreaking havoc in the country (and murdering his grand-father and the previous king), after he was liberated from the Hell gates by the jealous elder brother of the late to-be king.It got a Super Famicom release in 1995, with another much more rare version made as a tie-in with a Jump magazine. A Fan Translation is currently underways.
Tengai Makyou Zero contains examples of:
Death by Origin Story: The fate of the previous king (and hero of fire) in the introductory scene in Zero, after the Hell Gates were opened by his evil brother. (Not that it kept his ghost from appearing at various points in the game)
Heel-Face Turn: Akamaru. In fact, he's the second Hell General you'll face.
Face-Heel Turn: Akamaru, the Dark Warrior (who helps you evade being messily murdered by Niniji during the Hopeless Boss Fight at the cost of being incinerated alive by Popopiakou) and even Manto. It helps if you show them kindness and spare their lives when given the choice, as they could even give you some goodies.
Hopeless Boss Fight: First encounter in the Dragon Castle with Niniji from Tengai Makyou Zero, before getting Agumi's sword (after Higan gets it, Niniji uses another form). While he can be defeated in that form through heavy grinding, disappearing just like a regular mook, the game will proceed anyways as if he won.
Living on Borrowed Time: Hisui has to die so that the new fairy is born, however due to Niniji's actions she fails in fulfilling her duty and collapses. Higan gives her enough vital force so that she can live a little while longer for her goal t be fulfilled.
Load-Bearing Boss: Raido's ice castle disappears once he's slain. Same goes for Akamaru and his red tower.
Sexy Discretion Shot: Zero, twice: Higan's bride, and whenever he meets with the maiden he chose in the cave between the first two kingdoms.
You Killed My Father: Higan's grandfather who raised him after his parents death (you can visit their graves) was fatally wounded while trying to protect the Doomed Hometown from being frozen to death by Raido, the first Hell General serving Niniji. Higan realizes his fate as the hero of fire and manages to kill Raido by the end of the first dungeon.
Tengai Makyou IV The Apocalypse contains examples of:
Apocalypse How: The Dark Cult plots. Includes Nuke 'em and recreating the great flood, among many other mass destruction plots.
Big Brother Is Watching: In IV, after the Recurring Villain immortal idiot monkey Manto proclaimed himself as the King of Lake Tahoe, he placed monkeys in all the houses to watch the local populace, and punish everyone who badmouths "the awesome Lord Manto". One of them is blocking the train station leading to the next area.
Of course there's the Jamaican trainer Bob, when the Mexican bobsleigh team lets him down.
->Bob:"Why! What you say!"
Birthmark of Destiny: Played straight then hilariously deconstructed in IV with the Fire Clan Mark. Rizing bears one on his shoulders, but then we find out Yuno (and Yumemi eventually) has it on her breast, and Zengo bears that mark on his... um.. posterior.
Heel-Face Turn: Billy, Yuno (albeit against her will, and for a very short period of time) and Doctor M.
Yumemi is absorbed by the Final Boss when he other side, her brother, calls to her subconscious.
Heel-Face Revolving Door: Ninja robot Number 3/Kamon, justified in that he's a robot that shifts sides whenever his circuits are shorted.
Hello, Insert Name Here: Averted for the main cast, but you can later in the story not only name a party member, but actually draw his face. The voice acting actually includes the name you chose (at least in the Japanese version), voiced depending on your input!
Hopeless Boss Fight: Rizing encountering ... Death? while casually claiming the soul of an inuit baby. During the fight, Rizing can't use the attack command because the baby is in the way. Cue Seia's entrance, coming to the rescue and slaying him anyways.
Kurabe, before getting the three treasures, is invincible.
Mood Whiplash: Just after the Disc One Final Boss, as you go out of the city you just saved, it is nuked from orbit by the Dark Cult. The body count raises dramatically afterwards and the story becomes much darker than before, and in the PSP version, the title screen even becomes crimson red.
Nonstandard Game Over: During the Alamo arc, you have to infiltrate the Houston base to stop the fake president from firing a laser that will annihilate Seattle, San Francisco, Las Vegas, Phoenix, and the Houston base you're inside. Usually whenever your party is KO'ed, you escape barely to the nearest inn. However, this boss battle is different, it's a Timed Mission: if you take longer than 10 minutes to defeat him and stop the beam (which is unlikely unless you really suck), you lose the battle instantly and the monitor shows the cities being erased one by one from the map, and then your turn comes... The game then pulls out a Reset Button and returns you to just before that boss.
The Neo-Cattle factory is set to explode after 10 minutes in a very similar fashion. You'll have to solve a conveyor belt puzzle for that to happen... However this trope is averted here. While you get to see an alternate cutscene, there's no penality whatsoever for running out of time: you'll start in the inn and the story will proceed normally.
Played straight when you don't manage to defeat Mecha-Capone on the elevator in Chicago before it reaches Floor 110. He explodes killing everyone.
Paper-Thin Disguise: Zengo posing as "Mister White" (only in the PSP re-release) in front of his family, and as "the Mysterious Shadow" in front of the party whenever they meet him in the final dungeon. The reason being he said he won't come back unless he became a successful demon hunter. However, nobody is fooled.
Point of No Return: The Very Definitely Final Dungeon, the New York "Devil Island". What's bad is that the Saturn version doesn't warn you at all of this coming. While the PSP Updated Re-release added a mini-dungeon in-between and warned you that you can't come back if you continue further, you can still save beyond that point with no chance to go back.
The Final Boss: He even offers you to chose what would be the second phase (after you beat his summon Logoss): "Endless Summons" (a Boss Bonanza), "Four Souls" (where he keeps reviving himself four times, naturally with his nasty potentially One-Hit KillLimit Break used four times as well) or "Iron Skin" (where only Rizing can deal anything more than Scratch Damage on him). And afterwards comes the Eldritch Abomination.
Updated Re-release: The PSP Polished Port: besides the new content (mostly added just before The Very Definitely Final Dungeon), the interface got cleaned up and the cutscenes are in a much higher quality than the Saturn version even considering the videos in that version were among the best for the system and the few that used the Cinepack codec. However, the 3D overworld map scaling effects (from the end of the game) look much more gorgeous in the Saturn original than the PSP one, and lots of FMV of Rizing doing a finishing attack on bosses were removed to streamline those fights.
Video Game Perversity Potential: When you meet with Candy with both Rizing and Yuno, she will wonder what are you fighting for, then concludes it must be love. "What men long for is the b-o-d-y. My body is gorgeous. So... want to come in my room and take a look for yourself?" You can accept and indeed she obliges and takes Rizing with her. ... But she won't show him her body. He'll have to fight her alone.
What the Hell, Hero?: Ace says this to you when you try to leave to the rest of the country while affected by the extremely contagious blue pleague (everyone and everything you talk to -except for one very special NPC- is affected).
Would Hurt a Child: The Dark Cult manage to find inventive ways to do so... scarring a young Raizing, brainwashing them through terrible pop music/TV/drugs, making them werewolves, zombify them by stripping out their hearts and bathing in their blood, making them obese, and then of course casually claiming baby souls and collecting human flesh and blood...
You Killed My Father: Rizing was raised by the elderly Red Bear after they survived a shipwreck, but Blizzard, the first Dark Cult Apostle, fatally wounded him (who's also the boss of the first dungeon, an ice dungeon as per the series tradition). He sets then after taking revenge to continue his father figure's legacy and defeat Santomo.