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.
- Tengai Makyou II: Manjimaru (PC Engine, 1992)
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Deden no Den (PC Engine, 1994) — A multiplayer-only dolled-up Bomberman 94.
- Tengai Makyou Collection (PlayStation Portable, 2008) — Compilation Re-release of Ziria, Manjimaru (with the censorship), Fuun Kabuki-Den and Kabuki Itou Ryoudan.
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.
- The Unchosen One: Namida from the third game.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.)
- Literary Agent Hypothesis: This deserves a special mention, as almost the entire franchise relies on this: 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.
- Loads and Loads of Characters: Subverted: While there's a lot of named characters, at least in the first two games and, to a lesser extent, The Fourth Apocalypse, you only have between three to five playable characters, with the rest being NPCs with names and backgrounds. Averted in Namida, since the cast is much bigger than previous games.
- 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.
''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: Almost 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 almost 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 GC/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.
- Surprisingly, the PC Engine Mini version of the game (released in March 2020) is uncensored. This marks the first time since 1992 that the game was re-released in its original, uncensored form.
- 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, Kinu wasn't happy.
- Disappeared Dad: Manjimaru's. He gets better in the ending.
- 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).
- Shapeshifter: 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 was released on October 22, 2017, after 15 years of development.
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)
- HeelFace Turn: Akamaru. In fact, he's the second Hell General you'll face.
- FaceHeel 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.
- Alien Blood: Santenomo.
- 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.
- Gratuitous English: IV being set in America takes this to ludicrous levels:
- MANTO'S CHALLENGE THE TRAP! IN USA!!
- WERUCOME TO ALCATRAZ!
- 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.
- Bloodless Carnage: Averted unlike with the earlier games, and how.
- Degraded Boss: Scar Wolf becomes a regular enemy during Yuno's training.
- Expy: Ace in IV to Kabuki in Manjimaru.
- HeelFace Turn: Billy, Yuno (albeit against her will, and for a very short period of time) and Doctor M.
- 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!
- Heroic Sacrifice: Magu... and much later in the story, Seia.
- But she gets better.
- 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.
- Kill the Ones You Love: A very popular method among the Dark Cult.—Belladona:"So Yuno, how does it feels to kill the one you loved?"
- Mental World: No less than three times, and then there are journeys inside a movie, a cursed children book and two dungeons of the Womb Level variety.
- 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.
- Sequential Boss:
- Robot Number 3/Kamon.
- 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 Kill Limit 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.
Oriental Blue: Ao no Tengai is a spin-off of the series for the Game Boy Advance, set in a different alternate Japan. It still has some comedic moments, but compared to the main series, it's Darker and Edgier, with a more serious plot and characters.
Oriental Blue: Ao no Tengai contains examples of:
- Ancient Astronauts: As you find out if you bring Kashin Koshi or Kagura to the incomprehensible old wizards in one of the shrines to translate for you, the Blue Clan were actually colonists from a distant star.
- The Chosen One: The main character was prophesied by name. Apparently nobody else has ever had that name, since simply saying it is enough to convince most people of your identity. The prophecy was extremely specific; it'll even be updated to reflect whatever gender you chose for your character at the beginning.
- Darker and Edgier: While some of the supporting characters are still comedic, and there are occasional humorous scenes, the overall plot, setting, and backstory of this game are far more serious than is usual for the series; the core storyline begins with a city in danger of literally falling into hell due and only gets darker from there.
- Disc-One Nuke: An Indestructible Dagger (and some other junk shop equipment) has very high stats for the early game in exchange for a high break chance; if you fully enchant one, however, its break chance drops to zero. While you eventually get better equipment (and the very late game either has better innate abilities or can be enchanted in unique ways), Indestructible Daggers enchanted with strong attack magic can easily carry you through the first part of the game, and even if you don't know the recipes for the strongest enchantments, an Indestructable Dagger is still a better weapon than you'll get for a long time.
- Dungeon Town: Daito, the capital, has monsters wandering it outside its main districts, which has a lot of people worried in-setting. And as the game progresses, it gets much worse, with its districts falling into Makai one by one until the whole place is one big Dungeon Town.
- Emotionless Girl: Princess Wakana. It's because she's actually a robot.
- Evil Sorcerer: Mahouin, the Big Bad. Also, Suigetsu, although he's Brainwashed and Crazy.
- Evil Weapon: Kagemaru, the cursed soul-destroying blade wielded by Shadow Ukon.
- Fortune Teller: Sunayomi, who tells the future using a bed of magical sand. You can visit her for advice early on if you want, but her guidance is fairly cryptic.
- Guide Dang It!:
- Whether you get Kashin Koshi or Kagura as a party member is decided last digits on your game clock were 00-29 or 30-59 when you talked to an otherwise-unimportant NPC in the northwest section of Daito. (If you don't talk to him at all, you get Kashin Koshi.) There is no logical connection between these things, and the impact isn't seen for hours and hours later, but the moment you talk to that particular NPC, which one you get is irrevocably set and the other one is permanently unavailable.
- Whether you get Shadow Ukon or Jubei is decided by whether you looked at a particular mural in an unrelated dungeon; if you look at it, then much later in the game, you will get Shadow Ukon; otherwise, you get Jubei. In both cases, not only is there no indication of why you got one character over the other; there's no indication (outside the cast roll) that the character you missed even exists.
- Some of the recipes for spells and weapon enchantments. Some spells can be discovered by reverse-engineering ones you found or by modifying them slightly; and some of both are told to you during sidequests (and others can be logically determined by making substitutions in those.) But a few are completely secret and can only be discovered from a guide or with huge amounts of trial and error. On top of that, some equipment will just never gain special abilities from enchanting it with stones (with no indication that that's the problem); other equipment will randomly break. Only a few pieces of equipment both gain abilities from enchantment and won't break afterwards, and for the most part there's no indication of which equipment this is.
- Incendiary Exponent: One of Gedo's skills allows him to set himself on fire (taking constant damage) in order to increase his damage.
- Instrument of Murder: Garasya fights using a giant bell.
- Insurmountable Waist-High Fence: All over the place, of course, but in particular, Heian palace has the most obvious path to the throne room blocked by little chains hung across the hall, with a 'no entrance' sign hanging on them. Your characters respect these chains and will not pass them while fighting their way through armored guards to the throne room to kill the palace's lord. And you'll still have to take the long way around it when revisiting the palace even once he's gone.
- Intelligible Unintelligible: Prince Rikoudo, who roars instead of talking. Mahouin somehow has no trouble understanding him (and repeats everything he says in a "so, you're saying..." way for the audience.)
- It's Up to You: Subverted with a few of the sidequests in Daito; if you don't deal with the haunted tower in the southeast before you beat Oboro Shikibu, say, a nameless new city guard recruit will deal with it for you. Naturally, it's played straight with anything relevant to the main plotline.
- Large Ham: Judge. His reactions when you claim to be the heir of the Blue Castle are hilariously over-the-top; and once he joins you, he makes a huge ritual of it every time he gives you the key to open a blue chest.
- Lethal Joke Weapon: The Indestructible Dagger looks like its name is an ironic joke at first, since while it has a very high attack power for when you get it, it has a 50% chance of breaking after every fight (and you buy it in a junk shop, of all places.) However, unlike most weapons, its break chance decreases when you enchant it, rather than increasing; it's one of the few weapons in the game that has a 0% break chance when fully enchanted.
- Load-Bearing Boss: Oboro Shikibu's castle collapses when she dies. Hanzou sort of shouts something about why, but it doesn't really make sense when you think about it, since Oboro Shikibu is supposed to be a ghost haunting a castle that already existed...
- Obviously Evil: Everyone realizes that Mahouin is evil. Everyone. Random NPCs you meet in the street will complain about how evil he is. It helps that under his rule, the capital has literally started to drip with evil and part of it literally falls into hell. Similarly, nobody has the slightest trouble realizing that Suigetsu has turned evil since he started hanging around with Mahouin; for the first part of the game, it's pretty much all anyone says about him.
- Orphan's Plot Trinket: The letter you begin the game with.
- Miko: Princess Wakana; her skills and abilities are mostly based on this. Or her initial ones, anyway, since she has a secret second skillset based on the fact that she's actually a robot.
- Permanently Missable Content:
- If you don't recruit Tenkamaru before beating Oboro Shikibu, you'll never be able to get him.
- You have to choose between Kashin Koshi and Kagura, and between Shadow Ukon and Jubei; whichever one you pick, the other one of that pair will be lost. To make it worse, the actions that decide which one you get are a Guide Dang It! in each case.
- Fail to save Judge before you beat Bebiron Tower, and he'll die, so you can never recruit him. Oh, and he's the only one who can open the blue treasure chests you've seen scattered everywhere, so all the unique equipment and items in them will be lost forever, too, including some of the best equipment in the game. Also, you won't be able to get your hydrofoil, or its submarine upgrade, or the large amount of stuff you can only get with those things. Fortunately the game has the cut-to-villains cutscenes basically hammer you over the head with "you imprisoned that lizardman?" "Yes, hopefully the players will never rescue the very important lizardman, who I imprisoned at..." over and over for pretty much every relevant cutscene during the window when he's available.
- If you don't save Garasya (via a quest started in Garuda) after beating Bebiron Tower and before beating Kohaku and Kokuyo, he'll die and will be lost. Unlike Judge, there is no hint that he's in any danger and no reason for the player to revisit that area.
- Any quests in Daito will be lost when the corresponding part of the city falls into Makai, so make sure you do quests there at the earliest opportunity if you want to finish them; likewise, the shops there will be lost as the game progresses (and some of them are the only place where you can buy particularly powerful gear).
- If you don't bring Tenkamaru with you when you go to fight his archnemesis, he'll never get the Ogre Horns back, keeping him very weak and preventing him from learning his most powerful techniques.
- Person of Mass Destruction: Gedo; in the past, his fight with the Dharma Djinn nearly destroyed the world, and he's now remembered only as a "dark lord" who threatened the world.
- Player Headquarters: Blue Castle; reviving it is your first major quest. It's plot-important, since reviving it is your proof that you're the heir of the Blue Clan and successor of Tentei.
- Red Eyes, Take Warning: Suigetsu while in evil-mode.
- Ridiculously Human Robots: Princess Wakana... sort of. She passes perfectly as a human physically as long as she doesn't get injured, but once you find out the truth it suddenly becomes obvious why she's an Emotionless Girl.
- Robotic Reveal: Princess Wakana is actually an artificial human created by Suigetsu to serve as a daughter for Tentei; you find this out when he cuts off one of her arms and she exhibits no more than minor annoyance. Afterwards, she unlocks a secret second set of skills she can switch to based on using her robotic parts rather than her usual spiritual powers.
- Schizo Tech: Even more so than usual for the series. The setting is, in theory, a Jidaigeki-style fantasy feudal Japan, but Blue Clan's technology is clearly futuristic, and much of it has been adopted and modified by various people in the setting.
- Sequence Breaking: The game is a bit of a wide-open sandbox, which lets you do some things out of order; in particular, you can in theory beat Masked Onyx long before you're supposed to, almost as soon as the game begins. Doing so changes a few cutscenes where he appears later on.
- Summon Magic: Both types.
- Suigetsu can summon paper shikigami to assist in combat; they stick around attacking automatically until they're 'killed', and mostly serve to distract the enemy by taking hits for you.
- Garasya summons the gods of his region for powerful attacks that hit everyone.
- Teaser Equipment: All over the place. Daito, for instance, has a shop in the merchant district which sells endgame gear right from the start for several hundred thousand gold. Kuron, likewise, has a secret shop near the docks that sells insanely valuable gear for suitably high prices.
- Vengeance Feels Empty: Shadow Ukon feels this way after finally killing Oboro Shikibu, and joins your party permanently to try and work it out.
- Villain: Exit, Stage Left: All the time early on; you encounter most of the game's villains several times, and they always escape after your first few fights. Subverted, however, if you have Shadow Ukon with you when you fight Oboro Shikibu (since Shadow Ukon's motive is entirely focused on getting revenge on Oboro Shikibu); though she tries to fade out and promises to get you later, Shadow Ukon isn't taking any of it and lunges across the room to impale her on the wall with her sword, meaning you don't have to fight her again later on.
- Warp Whistle: The Guide Unit you get after reviving Blue Castle summons a flying machine to take you to any city you previously visited.
- Zombie Apocalypse: One of the villains has causing this as his main goal, with several sidequests and plot-events based on his efforts to cause it in a localized fashion.