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Video Game / Tengai Makyou

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This is NOT your typical Jidaigeki 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."
P.H. Chada, Gratuitous English note in the manual of Fuun Kabuki-Den

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 it's own plot, the whole story of the original trilogy deals with the feats of the Fire Clan and their allies against the forces of evil who try to rule or destroy the land of Jipang, the Fantasy Counterpart Culture of Feudal Japan. Despite 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

  • Tengai Makyou Ziria (PC Engine, 1989) — The first Eastern RPG ever released on CD-ROM.
    • Remade (with a somewhat different plot, and low budget production values) in 2006 for the Xbox 360 as Tengai Makyou Ziria: Harunakaru Jipang.
    • Remade in 2D based on the Xbox 360 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.
    • Gaijinworks, the offshoot of Working Designs, worked with Hudson USA on an almost-finished English release, slated for 2009. Microsoft rejected the release because it didn't meet their high sale projection quotas.
    • A fan-translation is underways for the original PCE version, but it seems like it's undergoing Development Hell.
  • Initially announced for US release as "Far East of Eden II". NEC dropped plans to publish it and according to former Hudson USA president John Greiner, they (along with Working Designs) couldn't have it or its spin-off Fuun Kabubi-Den localized, despite "trying really hard".
  • Remade in 2003 for the PlayStation 2 and Nintendo GameCube, in 3D. While earlier previews showed a cartoony cel-shaded game, it was ultimately released as a low-budget 3D remake.
  • An enhanced port of the original version was released in 2006 for the Nintendo DS.
  • Tengai Makyou III: Namida (PlayStation 2, 2005):
    • Was in Development Hell for around ten years, first for the ill-fated PC-FX, then the PlayStation. The project reportedly went over budget, and most assets got lost. This would have been the third game with three more numbered sequels to follow, but those plans were scrapped.
    • One of the scenario writers eventually published a novel with the plot of the original concept with changed names.
    • A new game bearing the same name and rough premise but done from scratch and having little to do with the original was developed and released for the PS2. A GameCube version was planned but ultimately canceled as well. Konami USA announced a US release for 2005 but pulled the listings along with Boktai 3, after the game's Japanese release was delayed repeatedly.

RPG Side-Stories

  • Tengai Makyou: Fuun Kabuki-Den (PC Engine, 1993) — Starring Kabuki Danjuro, the Ensemble Dark Horse of Manjimaru.
    • Was considered for English release according to former Hudson USA president John Greiner but dropped.
    • Re-released on PSP and PSN in emulated form.
  • Tengai Makyou Zero (Super Famicom, 1995)
    • A fan-translation was released in October 2017
  • Tengai Makyou IV The Apocalypse (Sega Saturn, 1997) — The first game not set in the Far East of Eden universe, instead its plot takes place in a Fantasy Counterpart Culture of America.
    • 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 takes place in another version of Feudal Japan (not Jipang this time) and focuses on the Blue Eyes Clan rather than the Fire Clan. While it still has some comedic elements and characters, the plot is substantially Darker and Edgier than usual for the series.
  • Was originally planned for the ill-fated Nintendo 64DD. As the device was never released in time for third parties, development got moved to the Game Boy Advance like with Mother 3.
  • A fan-translation was released by the Romhacking Aerie in 2013.

Fighting Games

  • 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.
  • Kabuki Itou Ryodan (PC Engine, 1995) — Another Bat Family Crossover, this one being a 6-button fighting game requiring the Arcade Card.
  • Tengai Makyou: Dennou Karakuri Kakutouden (PC-FX, 1995) — A Full Motion Video fighter.

Other Games

Other Related Media

  • Tengai Makyou: Ziria Oboro Hen (subtitle translated as Ziria's Hazy Episode): A single-episode OVA which is an animated adaptation of the first game, albeit with a different premise and plot, and ends on an unresolved Cliffhanger.

Not to be confused (at least the English title) with Eden of the East.

This franchise contains examples of:

  • Americans Are Cowboys: Ace from The Fourth Apocalypse, who is also a descendent from Kabuki from Jipang.
  • 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 have never implemented an isolationist policy unlike its 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.
  • Apocalypse Maiden: Yumemi in The Fourth Apocalypse and Ichiyo in Namida.
    • In Manjimaru, fearing becoming this trope, Kinu doesn't join your party unless you find a way to restrain the dark side of her powers.
  • The Chosen Many: The Fire Clan.
  • Contrasting Sequel Main Character: Subverted between Ziria and Manjimaru: The only difference between both heroes is that Ziria doesn't have a family, while Manjimaru is the only character in the franchise with living parents, but other than that, they're both Keet heroes who rarely angst for long. On the other hand, Namida stands in stark contrast with everyone else in the franchise: Not only is he more angsty than any previous hero, he's also the only main hero from the series who 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 traditional Samurai armor and Medieval European armor, even using laser rapiers instead of katanas.
    • The Fourth Apocalypse is even worse: Despise taking place in the U.S., all the heroic American characters, excluding Ace, have Japanese names written in kanji, rather than katakana, which 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's about 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 intended 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 even more ridiculous than its predecessors.
  • Direct Line to the Author: Supposedly, the whole plot of the three main games and spin-offs is based on 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 into a videogame and call it Tengai Makyou. Or more precisely, Ouji Hiroi (the creator) managed to get that book, translated it to Japanese somewhat and tried 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 these chronicles in the first place remains a mystery for everyone.
  • Expy: Karakuri's moveset in Kabuki Klash is essentially that of Sentinel.
  • Fantasy Kitchen Sink: Besides humans, we can see demons, Youkai, gods and many mythological beings in Jipang on a regular basis.
  • Fictional Document: The whole franchise is supposed to be inspired by a book named Far East of Eden, which 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 the first two games and Zengo in The Fourth Apocalypse, inverting this trope, as he's a Jipangese samurai in America, and a very stupid one at that.
  • Foreign Language Theme: In a deep contrast with the soundtrack from previous games, the opening theme of Namida is sung in English by none other than famous British opera singer Sarah Brightman. And it's awesome.
  • Guide Dang It!:
    • Manjimaru, due to the sheer volume of the game, has lots of missable items and goodies.
    • Also Zero and IV due to events tied to the 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 requires an item that appears only three times per year (lasting two weeks each time).
  • Heroic Mime: Manjimaru (except for Kabuki Klash), Higan and Namida. Raizing 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 supposedly a Miko, but she's dressed as a walking stereotype of a traditional Christian saint (like the Virgin Mary).
  • Jidaigeki: The whole point of the franchise is making fun of the stereotypes and misconceptions many Westerners have about Feudal-era Japan, except the Japanese are the ones doing it towards 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 that isn't Jipang, as they keep the same names as their real-life counterparts. The only thing that differs from the real life ones is their size: The U.S is much bigger in the Tengai Makyou universe, as it also includes Mexico and Canada in there.
  • 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.
    • Played straight for Shadow Ukon in Oriental Blue, though, since she wields an Empathic Weapon that gains power as she levels up (and can't wield anything else.)
  • Meta Fiction
  • 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 legal issues with 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 and modern technology. Not only did the Jinpagese have cars, buses and even robots, but in the animated OVA, they even had antitheft alarms with infrared sensors, which Ziria finds out the hard way. Oddly enough, this was averted in the Xbox 360 version, since in that version the technological level is now more or less in line with 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 anywhere.. even past the Point of No Return in the final dungeon.
  • Wutai: The land of Jipang.