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Video Game / E.V.O.: Search for Eden

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About 4.6 billion years ago, the "Sun" had nine smaller stars and named the third one "Gaia".

The Sun: My dear Gaia! Please listen to me. From this time forward, every 1 billion years, you will have children called "Life". One of them will be able to help you to build a new era. Each child must endure a difficult trial. You might think it's too severe, but it is necessary. The trial is a test of Nature: "The survival of the fittest". If he passes, I will allow him to be your partner and to enter Eden.

A very unusual and highly obscure Action RPG for the SNES, in which you play a creature which evolves in order to survive the dangerous prehistoric world and eventually to join Gaia, a personification of Earth, in Eden. However the evolutionary process has been disrupted, and it is slowly revealed that there is an overwhelming force behind this.

The game is actually a sequel to/sort-of remake of 46 Okunen Monogatari: The Shinkaron ("The Tale of 46 Hundred Million Years: The Theory of Evolution") an even more obscure Japan-only PC-98 Eastern RPG based on the same premise. A Fan Translation came out in 2017, combining its title with the SNES game's English title to form E.V.O.: Theory of Evolution.

While the game received little attention upon its release, it has since become a cult classic and is now considered a pioneer of the evolution gaming genre. It is noted for its unique gameplay system, sprawling world and its epic, eon-spanning scale.


It was developed by a small company called Almanic, under the publishing of Enix.

Has a developing character sheet. Please contribute, especially if you've played the original.

See also Spore, in which the Creature phase had drawn several comparisons with this game.

Not to be confused with the fighting game tournament, EVO.

Related Tropes:

  • Alluring Anglerfish: You, with the Angler Horn evolution.
  • Ambidextrous Sprite
  • Ancient Astronauts: A throwaway line early on mentions some kind of alien interference in seeding the crystals. Later on they apologize for screwing evolution up by doing so.
  • Anime Hair: Gaia, and how. Not much because of the odd shape, but rather because it's the ocean itself. The rippling light underwater is used on her hair. You can take a look here. Oh, and extra points for it being blue.
  • Advertisement:
  • Apocalypse Wow: Shown at the end of Chapter 3 when a huge swarm of meteors falls down to Earth on the dinosaurs, killing them and bringing the Apocalypse Class to Class 4. Even the baby dinosaurs aren't spared from the destruction.
  • Applied Phlebotinum: The crystals.
  • Artistic License – Biology: The game's evolution theme is novel, but players expecting a scientifically-accurate depiction of evolution will find The Series Has Left Reality very quickly.
  • Awesome, but Impractical:
    • Many of the Red Crystal evolutions fall into this category as they just aren't all that useful, nor do they last longer than a minute or two at best. A prime example of this is the red crystal in Fort Birdman that grants you the elephant evolution in Chapter 4. Your speed and jumping ability are severely nerfed, your Bite strength is average, but your HP, Defense, and Strength go through the roof. However, this is during a dungeon where you either need precise and accurate jumping skills or flight in order to make it to the end. Thankfully, you can record the evolution for use with a Green Crystal and perhaps use it for a more appropriate time, which helps at subverting some of the impracticality.
    • Depending on your play style, the human evolution is this. The human has the most HP of any non-red crystal paths you can choose, has a strong attack strength, and can attack quickly. What makes it impractical however, is the lack of any knockback from the human's axe. Some of the final bosses (for example, the Giant Zinichthy during the Bolbox final boss), can instantly counterattack if not knocked away from your character, leading to you taking a lot of damage very quickly. Also, the simple "Evolve a minor body part to heal" trick only applies to the change in body size, which costs a hefty 1500 EVO points as opposed to the Mammal's neck evolution costing a mere 200.
  • Back from the Dead:
    • Sure, the Queen Bee only says that Bolbox made her big again, but she DID die at the end of Era 2 and was eaten.
    • No matter how many times you are defeated, Gaia is content to revive you. Just don't let her father, the Sun, know.
  • Bag of Spilling: Your evolutionary points do not carry over when you evolve into a new form between chapters. Though you may choose not to evolve into a mammal in Chapter 4 (and remain a dinosaur or bird), in which case you keep the points you had.
  • Bamboo Technology: The Monkey Humans and the Dino-People utilize this.
  • Batman Can Breathe in Space: If you've evolved into a bird, then there are two secret areas (one in World 3 and one in World 5) in which you can fly right up into space.
  • Big Bad: Bolbox
  • Bird People: After the dinosaurs are wiped out the player can find a society of bird people living in a fortress in the sky.
  • "Blind Idiot" Translation:
  • Boring, but Practical:
    • The Angler Horn isn't used to attack, but it makes Level Grinding easier.
    • The Mammal. During Chapter 4, you can choose to either keep your Dinosaur or Bird body, or change into a Mammal, and later a Human if you so desire that path. After Fort Birdman, keeping your Dinosaur or Bird body becomes significantly more awkward during the latter stages, and changing into a Human offers loads of HP and a fast, powerful attack but can be quickly destroyed by certain bosses due to the costly evolution required to heal HP and the lack of any significant knockback outside of the charge attack that does about a third of the damage. The Mammal offers plenty of versatility in its stats and attacks due to having bites and a kick attack unique to them, and can easily be healed for a mere 200 evolution points by extending or shortening the neck.
  • Boss Rush:
    • The first miniboss arena of the Ice age consists of three mammoths.
    • The Final Boss, Bolbox, is a minimal threat on his own. He is immortal with his eight crystals, six of which summon powerful enemies that are strengthened versions of previous enemies and the second boss, Debustega. The fight with Bolbox is more against these monsters, while dodging his occasional tentacle attack. Bolbox can only be defeated when he can't summon any more monsters.
  • Bread, Eggs, Breaded Eggs: The three best amphibian tails are the Spring Tail, the Thorny Tail, and the Thorny Spring Tail.
  • Braggart Boss: Many of the bosses are like this, especially Debustega.
  • Broken Aesop: The Survival of the Fittest Aesop gets mangled when the Crystals come into play. After the first era, each era's enemy species use the Crystals to become more powerful and overcome their opposition, so that they can survive in a world of pitiless evolutionary struggle, and they're treated as bad for doing so. Meanwhile, Life uses the crystals as well, and isn't condemned for it.
  • Bullfight Boss: The shark boss at the end of Chapter 1 attacks by charging at you. If it rams into the wall, it is stunned for a few seconds, allowing you to get a few attacks in.
  • But Thou Must!:
    • Making it worse, the game also likes to show you just how much damage you did when you do what Thou Must. The game makes clear that you're repeatedly committing genocide against multiple other species to clear the road for your own evolution. While it's shown to be necessary in many instances, or else an act of self-defense, evolution is still an extremely unforgiving mistress.
    • Several times, you're given options to side with or otherwise concede to major bosses. The result of this is a short flash-forward of the effects this decision has on history. Afterwards? You're booted back to the map screen without a word of explanation, and re-visiting the boss' area initiates hostilities immediately. You get a peek at what would happen if the game let you, but nothing more.
  • Call-Back: Before the final two areas, the Final Ocean is a reminder that the player started in an ocean populated with fish and sharks. But the mood is quickly subverted with the presence of the futuristic Rogon.
  • Class Change Level Reset: EVO points are lost on a new body, which starts on the weakest form. However, the green crystal lets you borrow an earlier form to make recollecting some EVO points easier.
  • Colony Drop: How the Dinosaur Age chapter ends.
  • Collision Damage: Of the near infuriating kind. Even enemies that normally stand still until attacked will cause damage. (See Cycle of Hurting below.)
  • Crystal Spires and Togas: Fort Bird-Man has a bit of this aesthetic; flying Mayincatec castles built on crystal-powered technology. Even more so, the Rogons and the Martians.
  • Cycle of Hurting:
    • The fact that every attack causes stun lock can make the game easier or harder than usual.
    • An enemy that overlaps your character's hitbox will become either a minor annoyance or, in the case of a strong boss, a guaranteed death.
  • Death Is a Slap on the Wrist: Dying in the game only results Gaia resurrecting you at the cost of half of your saved up EVO points. Not much of a penalty when you don't have very many saved up.
  • Degraded Boss:
    • The King Cladoselache/Kuraselache, boss of Chapter 1, reappears in Chapter 5 as a regular (but rare) enemy.
    • Also, the Tyrannosaur/Tyrasaur group, the boss of Chapter 3, appear in normal areas in the next two eras.
    • The Queen Bee is not degraded from boss to enemy, but from Era Boss to a normal boss.
  • Demoted to Dragon: The Queen Bee and the Tyrasaurs become loyal followers of Bolbox after he brings them back in the end.
  • Developers' Foresight: Defeating the King Bee causes the giant bees to stop spawning in the two areas where they appeared.
  • Difficult, but Awesome: Dinosaurs, fittingly, have a lot of trouble with the Ice Age (though in this case, it's because they slip on the ice, not because it's too cold for them). However, they retain their EP from the Dinosaur Age (which are lost if you evolve into a mammal), and have a slight edge over mammals in raw power and defense, which can be helpful in the final age.
  • Dinosaurs Are Dragons: After you get all of the best evolutionary traits for your amphibian form, you'll have thick scales, unusable wings, and cranial horns. The apparent implication of this is that dragons evolved from reptiles or dinosaurs.
  • The Dragon:
    • The Allosaurus/Omosaurus in Chapter 3 appear to be followers of the Tyrannosaurus/Tyrasaurus clan in Chapter 3.
    • Cro-Maine to Bolbox.
  • Dying Race: The dinosaurs in Chapter 4. A small group of Stegosaurus/Segosaurus survive the Ice Age, hidden away in a forest on North America in Chapter 5. All they ask is to be left in peace and let nature take its course. You are part of nature's course, so you can kill them if you want. Don't worry, they respawn when you come back in. However, agreeing to leave them in peace will result in them giving you the secret of evolving into a human.
  • Easy Levels, Hard Bosses: A lot of the main areas are pathetically easy, but most of the bosses are excruciatingly difficult.
  • Eldritch Abomination: Bolbox, a hideous giant cell.
  • Everything's Better with Dinosaurs: Even after the Dinosaur Age chapter.
  • Everything's Better with Monkeys: In Chapter 5 you run into Monkey Humans which are just starting to evolve tool-making and technology.
  • Everything's Better with Penguins: At the North Pole, though penguins (well, their ancestors) actually lived that far north at the time. Gradually they moved farther south until almost all species were in the southern hemisphere.
  • Evolutionary Levels: A necessary concession to the game mechanics. There are some exceptions in that it's not a clean "leveling" and there are many Mutually Exclusive Powerups.
    • When you get a new body, you'll even find your previous fish form to be better than the base amphibian, and the same for each evolution afterwards. Though oddly, using a green crystal to devolve back into a fish proves to be a significant power-down compared to just swimming as an evolved, later life-form type.
  • Feathered Fiend: The many bird enemies. Also, the Bird-Men.
  • Fish People: The Rogons.
  • Flunky Boss: Mother Prime Frog spawns baby Prime Frogs to help her fight you. Killing them provides meat, which can be used to regain health during this battle.
  • Gaia's Lament: During the Age of Amphibians, much of the world has turned into a barren wasteland due to the insects' overeating of the plants. Fortunately, the world gets better.
  • Gainax Ending: If you think about it, yes. Era 1 is the most accurate of the Eras (from a scientific point of view), but after that, things get... odd. It climaxes in Era 5, which features monkeys with wooden elevators, mutant fish riding mutant sharks and wielding guns, and ultimately a giant cell with the name of a type of algae (volvox, translated as Bolbox). Oh, and Martians were responsible for everything by creating an evolution-boosting Crystal that might really have been eight Crystals the whole time and sending it/them to Earth, only for Bolbox to eat them and turn them into living creatures. Yeah...
  • Gender Bender: Your character as you evolve them. While most species you evolve to don't have many hints as to what gender they are exactly, one of the evolution options is the secret Mermaid evolution (female) and the human evolution (male).
  • Giant Space Flea from Nowhere: The Rogons. Most of the rest of the enemies have some kind of foreshadowing, even if the plot's a bit thin, but the Rogons are both required and have nothing to do with anyone else.
  • Goal-Oriented Evolution: The object of the story, as well as the game's central basic mechanic (unless the player is more concerned with creating entertaining life forms than functional ones).
  • Goomba Stomp
  • Green Aesop: At the end, Gaia's father - the Sun - acknowledges your victory in the trial, granting you the gift of Intelligence so that you can create Civilization and improve the world. He then cautions the player to use this gift carefully: "If you use it improperly you will have a much harder trial than the one you just experienced. If you choose wisely, you will create a wonderful world."
  • Green Rocks: The crystals.
  • Hit Points
  • Hopeless Suitor: Bolbox, a hideously mutated single-celled organism, wants to be the one to enter Eden with Gaia. After you defeat him, Gaia straight up tells you that he would have had no future with her in Eden.
  • Horn Attack: Evolving horns lets you charge into enemies for a powerful attack. Unfortunately, your horn will break if you use it too often.
  • Hyper-Destructive Bouncing Ball: The Trilobites from Chapter 1 and the Nautiloids from Chapter 3 can morph their bodies into a round shape and bounce around to attack. If you happen to be close to the ground and one of them does this beneath you, they'll basically ricochet between you and the ground until you die.
  • Infinity +1 Sword: Two-Legged Mammal and the Dragon.
  • Innocent Blue Eyes: Gaia has blues eyes.
  • Innocent Fanservice Girl: Gaia is naked.
  • "Instant Death" Radius: Cro-Maine can hit you from almost halfway across the screen when he swings his club. Not only does it do a lot of damage, it'll send you flying right out of the level, and you'll have to start all over again. Meaning that he will have full health again, but you won't unless you went and ate some T-Rex meat to recover.
  • Interspecies Romance: You and Gaia (especially if you're not human). Bolbox also has an interest in Gaia, for a more extreme example.
  • In-Universe Game Clock
  • Irony:
    • Bolbox proclaims himself to be the pinnacle of evolution. When you finally see him, he turns out to be something resembling a giant amoeba. Single-celled organisms being the beginning of life/evolution.
    • Bolbox' name was "Volvox" in the original Japanese, and Volvox is a genus of extremely basic green algae. Algae is trying to kill you!
  • Killer Rabbit: The Bunny form is comically overpowered.
  • King of the Dinosaurs: The last fight of Chapter 3 has you facing off against a horde of Tyrannosaurs. Once you've won, the meteors begin to drop, heralding the end of (most) of the dinosaurs.
  • Leap of Faith: Jumping off the top of Mt. Brave is the only way to evolve into a bird.
  • "Leave Your Quest" Test: Tyrannosaurus, Birdman King and Rogon King will each offer you a choice to join them and abandon your quest to reach Eden. If you accept, you will see a cutscene of the possible outcome then get sent back to the world map.
    "We shall look into your future."
    • These endings all show that humans become the dominant species on Earth with or without you, which means that Bolbox's own plan ultimately fails anyway.
  • LEGO Genetics: E.V.O. runs on this trope. Every time you add or remove a part, the change is done instantly. This can be exploitable in boss battles by changing one's neck from short to long or vice-versa whenever you get low on health, completely refilling your health. The neck is the cheapest part to change, but you can substitute any part and do the same thing.
    • A better tactic - and an even stranger example of this trope - was to grow a cheap horn, which would also refill your health. The horn would 'break' after attacking with it 3 times... and this would somehow count as an evolutionary change, which would refill your health again.
    • Admittedly, EVO isn't exactly clear on whether or not it's supposed to represent real evolution. There's substantial hints that the whole process is being hijacked by aliens, at least in the case of certain enemies, and many creatures berate you for not evolving "the proper way".
  • Level Grinding: You will need to farm EVO points to improve your base body (especially when it gets reset to zero on a new species type). Even after the necessary evolutionary steps, you still need to do it if you want to build the EVO to health buffer for extended battles.
  • Lighter and Softer: Compared to the original PC-9801 game. It's still fairly dark for an SNES game, mind.
  • Magnet Hands: Tool-based creatures don't drop their weapon when hit.
  • Mama Bear: Prime Frog Mother gets angry at you for scaring off the children tormenting a reptile.
  • Meanwhile, Back at the…: This phrase is used after finishing the last area in the world of Dinosaurs.
  • Mega-Microbes: The Big Bad Bolbox is a giant cell.
  • Mind Screw: If you don't go out of your way to explore and find secrets, you won't be able to piece together the overall plot, particularly regarding the whispering voices you hear throughout the game and the Crystal.
  • Mix-and-Match Critters: The player character can be one, especially as a mammal.
  • Mook Bouncer:
    • The annoying Pteranodons on Mt. Brave will attempt to grab you and drop you off the mountain during your ascent.
    • The Cro-Maine miniboss uses a Ring Out tactic, with his attack knocking you out of the arena.
  • Mother Nature: Gaia
  • Mutually Exclusive Powerups:
    • Back-of-the-head mutations always have trade-offs.
    • The top fins in the Amphibian Age.
    • The bird path has worse armor and HP than the dinosaur, but maintains their high attack power, and flies.
    • The dinosaurs have the highest possible attack and defense, but lack special abilities. They also have the largest amount of possible forms.
    • The mammal path loses wings, tails, fins and bipedal shapes. Aside from the semi-secret hominid path, but that's a sub-path separate from the rest of the mammal evolutions. They gain a backwards kick attack, and the ability to not slip on ice.
    • Four-Legged Mammals have more versatility than any other classification; everything from jaws to body types to becoming human has a trade-off somewhere.
    • The monkey, human and mermaid lose most evolution paths. The monkey and humans can only adjust their own body size.
  • Nature Is Not Nice: What you get when you combine But Thou Must! with Video Game Cruelty Potential. You Bastard!.
  • Never Say "Die": You don't kill anyone. You "defeat" them. Especially funny when the bosses declare that "I'm going to defeat you!"
  • Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot: Comes naturally with the ability to mix and match the body parts of different animals. Tiger head with bull horns on a rhino's body, anyone?
  • Nintendo Hard: This game can be quite challenging. Prepare to grind a lot, or be destroyed by some more aggressive bosses.
    • The key to boss battles is to go in with a lot of EVO points so you can restore your HP. However, you're bound to run out eventually and die; and your punishment for dying is to lose those very same EVO points. This leads to tons of grinding or forced Save Scumming.
  • Not the Intended Use: Each time you purchase a modification to your current form, it has the side effect of completely restoring your health. Players naturally abuse this system by buying the cheapest upgrade (like horns) or even downgrade as a quick and dirty healing method as opposed to their actual purpose.
  • One-Hit Polykill: If they're all in the same area of your strongest bite.
  • One-Winged Angel: The well-hidden dragon form.
  • Our Mermaids Are Different: The secret mermaid evolution seems to be a human head and arms on a fish body. And you attack by kissing.
  • Palette Swap: Later incarnations of bosses do this, but one changes its skin entirely.
  • Parabolic Power Curve: Some upgrade paths are a bit more unwieldy (e.g. humans may have trouble in the Boss Rush); and one path entirely loses the ability to heal using evolutions until you complete that section.
  • Point of No Return: Normally contained only across eras, but the first world has a one-way path.
  • Power Up Let Down: The chance to "upgrade" to a mammal form is actually a downgrade if you are a bird. The bird gets to take the offensive power of the dinosaurs combined with great agility and the best mobility in the game, so neither the dinosaur or mammal can really compete. That's what you get for wanting to be a tiger when you could instead be an Eagle/Tyrannosaurus hybrid!
  • Press X to Die: At the end of almost every stage, you are given the option of allying with the then-current Big Bad. Doing so always results in a Non-Standard Game Over for your character.
  • Prestige Class: There are two hidden evolutionary paths you can reach: evolving into a bird in Chapter 3, and evolving into a human from a mammal. There's also a third route you can take in Chapter 5, which lasts for exactly one level: evolving into an aquatic mammal, which culminates in a mermaid form.
  • Recycled Soundtrack: Most of the game's music is recycled from the PC-98 game. For instance, the boss battle theme is the PC-98 game's normal battle music.
  • Schizo Tech: Early humans use stone-age Bamboo Technology, but certain crystal-powered species (Bird-Men, the Rogons, the Martians) have access to Crystal Spires and Togas.
  • Schmuck Bait: Go ahead, try jumping onto dry land before you've beaten the first boss and released oxygen into the atmosphere.
  • Scratch Damage: Minimum of 1 point of damage regardless of defense.
  • Scripted Event
  • Secret Level: In Chapter 3, the cloud level and the River of Asteroid.
  • Self-Imposed Challenge: Beating the game as a dinosaur, mainly because the Ice Age is slippy-slidey for them, and unlike birds they can't get around that by flying. Also, they're somewhat weaker than mammals, and far less agile.
  • Side View
  • Shifting Sand Land: The second half of the amphibian chapter, thanks to most of the vegetation being eaten by giant bugs.
  • Slippy-Slidey Ice World: The Ice Age chapter, naturally. Mammals don't slide on it, though.
  • Spell My Name with an "S": This occurs due to text constraints and regular letter mutation, e.g. dinichthys to zinichthy, stromatolite to strolite, cladoselache to kuraselache, ichthyostega to ikustega, brontosaurus to brosaurus, tyrannosaurs to tyrosaurs, volvox to Bolbox.
  • Starfish Aliens: The final boss is a gargantuan mutant single-celled organism.
  • Stock Dinosaurs: Styracosaurus, Brontosaurus, Parasaurolophus, Stegosaurus, Triceratops, Plesiosaurus, Pteranodon, Rhamphorhynchus, Ankylosaurus, Allosaurus, and Tyrannosaurus rex all appear in the Age Of Dinosaurs chapter. Some even appear later, claiming they have difficulty surviving.
  • Tech Points: You acquire EVO Points and spend them as you wish to evolve body parts.
  • That Makes Me Feel Angry: The Ikustega boss does this after you laugh at him.
    Debustega: You make me very angry! I am going to defeat you!
  • Threatening Sharks: The Cladoselache/Kuraselache and their King in the first epoch, with the King becoming a standard enemy in the fifth epoch.
  • Two Decades Behind: The body enabling human evolution is the Ramothecus / Ramapithecus body. Ramapithecus was known not to be a human ancestor by the '70s.
  • Unmoving Plaid: Gaia's hair, which resembles shimmering waves.
  • Video Game Cruelty Punishment: Eat the friendly elder ikustega and child ikustega in Chapter 2 and you're dropped to 0 HP (unless you evolve immediately after chowing down). This does not occur if you have evolved so that one jump on each will kill them.
    • The ikustega that you can rescue from the bees can be killed and eaten but the gain per HP lost is really not worth it.
  • Violently Protective Girlfriend:
    • The cause of That One Boss, the Yeti.
    • The Queen Bee also counts, as she's furious with you for defeating her husband.
    • Subverted by the female Mammoth, who doesn’t fight you and says her male conspecifics were idiots.
  • Voluntary Shapeshifting: The whole gimmick of the game.
  • What the Hell, Player?: Attack the friendly ikustega after defeating the first Chapter 2 boss.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: The Whispers/Dino People/Martians, who wanted to help Earth civilization out a little bit by completely messing up the evolution process so it's sped up and, if a mistake is made, undo it with the green crystals. They are responsible for the giant insects, the Bird Men, Rogons, and Bolbox. They apologize if you can find them high above the mountain in the final era and attack them.
  • Wolfpack Boss: The third major boss, the Tyrannosaur/Tyrasaur Clan.
  • Wrap Around: In World 4, you're somehow able to travel down from Australia and end up at the North Pole.

Tropes related to the original PC-9801 game:
  • All Your Powers Combined: In the final battle, you gain abilities based on the 5 major species that lived on the planet. Lucifer meanwhile combines this with The Assimilator as each of her attacks calls on the power of a world she has destroyed in the past.
  • Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence: In the ending, you merge with Gaia after you lose your body in the final battle
    • The Earth itself goes through this, leaving the rest of the Solar System behind.
  • Astral Finale: For the final battle, you transcend your physical form and ascend into space in order to fight Lucifer, who bursts out of the moon.
  • Atlantis: A visitable location during Chapter 5, which is shown to be a Lunarian colony. Their current target is the continent of Mu, also a Lunarian colony.
  • BFG : The Orihalcum cannons.
  • Boring, but Practical: Throwing rocks at your opponents does a surprisingly high amount of damage.
  • Boss-Only Level: The final chapter has no enemies except the Final Boss.
  • But Thou Must!: You can choose to join Lucifer's side, but it triggers an immediate Non Standard Game Over. Same goes for choosing anything but Wisdom for your civilization in the endgame. In both cases (as well as every other Non Standard Game Over), the game immediately rewinds to shortly before the choice.
  • Cast From HP: To use the higher end techniques.
  • Creator Cameo: You can both fight as a random encounter and evolve yourself into a musical dinosaur called Sugiyaman, named after the game's composer Koichi Sugiyama.
  • Disc-One Final Boss: Lucifer is this to herself— after beating her, you evolve into a human, Gaia says your quest is done, and you go dwell in Eden... but there is one chapter left, in which the Devil comes back, and you have to beat her once and for all.
  • Distant Finale: The final chapter is a Boss-Only Level taking place in the far-distant future, where humanity (and dino-sapians) have evolved into a Crystal Spires and Togas civilization.
  • Evil Laugh: The Big Bad does it a few times but a noteworthy one is when it's done so, as meteors fall down on the Earth and she says, "Have you seen my power Gaia? Life on this planet has ended!"
  • Evolutionary Levels: This game has an even less accurate take on evolution than its remake, which is saying something. It’s actually possible to evolve into a species, and then evolve again, back into the earlier species, but much stronger. Furthermore, the final evolution will always be humanoid regardless of the path taken to get there, though depending on your path you can be either real-world ape-descended humans or Dino-Sapians descended from dinosaurs.
  • Family-Unfriendly Death: Is seeing small dinosaurs being swallowed by carnivorous plants bad enough for you? How about seeing dead dinosaurs with blood coming out of their eyes?
  • Kaiju: One of the bad endings has you evolved into this.
  • Multiple Endings: The game has over thirty bad endings, most of which are achieved by making "wrong" evolution choice. It's not too hard to figure how to trigger them. Some others are triggered by making wrong choices in the game.
  • One-Winged Angel: Lucifer has one and it's quite ugly, like her favorite one has her flesh melted off. Taken at a whole new level at the end of the game where, she pops out of the moon, breaking at least a quarter of it.
  • Our Dragons Are Different: One of the alternate endings has you as a fabled Green Dragon bestowing knowledge to humans.
  • Phlebotinum Killed the Dinosaurs: Lucifer sent the meteor that killed the dinosaurs, and is earlier responsible for the extinction at the end of the Paleozoic, by crashing her starship or something...
  • Running Gag: Throughout the ages you repeatedly run across groups of four creatures of the same species, involved in some scheme to get ahead in evolution. The results vary from comedic to disastrous.
  • Satan: In this game, we have Lucifer, who for some reason bears some resemblance to Marilyn Monroe.
  • Schmuck Bait: This fountain. Not only does the game describe it as surrounded by horrificly mutated creatures, not only do you feel the evil of it in your heart just by looking at it - if you drink from it once, you get a hefty reward, but if you drink from it repeatedly, you get less and less combined with obviously dangerous messages, including pain wracking your body and the urge to vomit (costing you half your health); if you drink it again after that, your body begins to melt. Even after that, you can still walk away - you have to drink from it one more time to get a Non Standard Game Over.
  • Shout-Out: Several of the alternate endings.
    • In one ending, you turn into Shenlong, very clearly based on the Dragon Ball version.
    • In another, you turn into a thinly-veiled version of King Kong and are shown in his iconic death scene.
    • In yet another, you turn into the slime from Enix's own Dragon Quest series.
  • Stylistic Suck: The images for the bad endings are not as detailed, as the one used for the story scenes in the game. Probably justified as those endings are Played for Laughs. Usually.
  • Violation of Common Sense: Drinking from the corrupted Fountain of Evolution in the Dinosaur chapter seems like a bad idea, since you can see dinosaurs that turned into Slimes after drinking and the water is infested with horrible monstrosities. But you must drink to trigger the next Event Flag, and drinking once is harmless, and will give you E.V.O. Genes. Drink five times, on the other hand...
  • You Can't Thwart Stage One: By the beginning of the last chapter, the protagonist has spent millennia preparing a contingency plan for Lucifer's return and executes it the instant signs of her return start manifesting. Lucifer takes all of a couple seconds dismantling the entire operation and utterly disintegrating the protagonist's body.


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