Revelations: The Demon Slayer
Game Boy Color
© 1992, 1999
I have come to love and appreciate the games made by Atlus. As I mentioned previously, I never used to pay much attention to who made games. I was introduced to Atlus’ games, and realized I had played through a few of them over the years, including an odd title I’d picked up in my local videogame shop known as Revelations: The Demon Slayer. Known originally in Japan as Megami Tensai Gaiden: Last Bible, this game may have had one or two biblical references in it to differentiate it from other Dragon Warrior-esque JRPG’s of the day.
Revelations: The Demon Slayer is part of the Megami Tensai franchise, a respectable RPG series that can be described as in depth, extensive and generally serious business, tackling some topics and ideas that tend to be a little more heavy than other series’ of its day. You’d fight demons, Hitler, your evil morality… all kinds of big epic things. Revelations and it’s spin-off branch of this mighty tree, the Last Bible series, are a little more accessible to the general public: instead of demons, you’re fighting monsters. Instead of a daunting post apocalyptic landscape devoid of hope, you’re in a typical medieval European fantasy setting, reminiscent of other rival franchises of the time.
This is the story of El, Kishe and Uranus, and their quest to save the world using the power of Gaia. I strongly suspect this English translation may have been changed slightly to make it less Christian themed, but I couldn’t tell you for sure. You begin the game as El in your hometown, before collecting your other two characters.
One of the interesting features of gameplay here is that you can speak to monsters, to try and convince them to join your party. It seems like a crapshoot, but different monsters respond to different lines of reasoning. This aspect of the game seems to put people into two camps: it’s either considered charming and interesting for the time, or it’s hackneyed and irritating. Once I figured out what monsters responded best to the yes or no responses, I actually thought it was kind of amusing, especially considering the out of place responses most of the monsters seemed to give when they would join you.
After acquiring these monsters, you can fuse two of them to make bigger and better monsters, or just put them in your party to fight alongside you. I’m a sucker for having monsters in your party in games, and so I always found this to be an enjoyable time.
Graphically, this game is what you’d expect: it was first released in 1992 for the Game Boy. I played through the English translated re-release on the Game Boy Color, which didn’t look bad necessarily, but it seemed relatively average in the overworld map. The graphics for the monsters were admittedly cool looking, and I did enjoy those, despite rather generic looking character sprites. The game background itself didn’t stick out to me as especially good or bad, but again, it’s a reskin from a Game Boy game. I did learn that Sega had released a version for the Game Gear that actually had really nice looking graphics, a real step up from the original Revelations (and even it’s re-release), but I could find no fanslations to try it out myself.
The soundtrack for Revelations is surprisingly good. I never hold my breath for most older games, particularly the handhelds – but I was pleased to hear that the soundtrack was good. It had a kind of rock soundtrack to it that made the game stand above and beyond others in the genre that came out around the same time.
When it came to the gameplay, it wasn’t too crazy. You had confirm and cancel, and a series of menus. Equipping items was an irritating process, and occasionally mixing up the two buttons can happen. Along with the shining star of this RPG that I mentioned above, talking to monsters, you could also pick an option to auto-fight: when faced with the need to button mash your confirm button on some weakling cannon-fodder, you could just make the game play it through for you. It was an interesting feature that wasn’t present in most RPG’s of it’s time (though one could argue it still isn’t nowadays).
For the Game Boy (and in turn, Game Boy Color), this is an excellent game. The translation has a few amusing lines, but nothing confusing. It’s an older RPG, but it’s got some fun gameplay going for it. While you’ll have to do your own search for the English translation, the Japanese Game Gear version of Last Bible is available here!