(Note: This is a blog of my playthrough of Makaishin Trillion. It is full of spoilers. If you're looking for my review of the game, please click here instead.)
Compile Heart's latest game Makaishin Trillion gives off major Disgaea vibes, and there's good reason for that, since many of the old Disgaea team left NIS and worked on this title. Let's see how it turned out. Our protagonist is Zerbolos, the ruling Demon Lord of the underworld. Suddenly appearing at the gates of hell is an incredibly powerful world-destroying monster that they know as the 'Demon Destroyer God' (Makaishin). On a side-note, I really wish the localizers would hurry and decide on an official translation or title for this so that I could use that instead, but oh well. Trillion brought the underworld to the brink of destruction several generations earlier, and now he's shown up again.
Unfortunately, the Demon Lords assigned to guarding the gates of hell are off on irresponsible personal errands (Perpell, Demon Lord of Gluttony, is busy snacking and Mammon, Demon Lord of Greed, is off gathering treasure in dungeons). Zerbolos' older brother Astaroth asks to be sent out to dispatch Trillion, and Zerbolos reluctantly gives him permission to go buy them some time. He's sent off by worried younger sister Elma, who is so sickly that she carries an I.V. drip around on her staff. She sends her guard-dog Cerberus with Astaroth to help him. Meanwhile the royal advisor is sent off to gather up the remaining Demon Lords so that they can go assist Astaroth.
Only a short time later, we get word in the throne room that Astraroth's forces have been completely wiped out - they were the best troops in the underworld and there were thousands of them, and they're all dead. Zerbolos heads out for some revenge - along the way his own underlings start falling dead, Trillion has an intense aura that kills off lesser demons on contact, anyone below Demon Lord-class can't even get close to him, so Zerbolos heads on alone, just in time to see Astraroth in Trillion's claws. Astraroth asks Zerbolos to look after his daughters, and to run, seconds before Trillion devours him whole.
Zerbolos goes berserk and attacks Trillion, and we get a tutorial explaining how fights against Trillion work. The battlefield is a grid but it's more responsive than your typical SRPG grid, the gameplay is more like a roguelike game. Each time you make a move, the enemy also gets to make a move - the moves happen at the same time. Trillion has one trillion HP and four parts, the goal is to dodge his attacks and get close enough to attack his main parts to destroy them. Destroying his parts will take away some of his attacks and weaken him. That's what the tutorial screens said anyway, it wasn't too relevant here because I got 4 or 5 hits on him that took less than 1% of his HP away before I was obliterated.
Everything goes dark, and a voice calls out to Zerbolos asking him if he wants power. This is a JRPG, the answer is always yes. The voice says that in exchange for power, Zerbolos must give his soul, and he still says yes, anything to get revenge on Trillion and protect the underworld. We come to in Zerbolos' room, and the person behind the mysterious voice introduces herself as Faust. Zerbolos is pissed because his body is a complete wreck, he's a patchwork abomination who looks like a zombie and he's barely alive, much less in any condition to fight Trillion. Faust tells him that yes, it's already far too late for him to ever see combat again with his ruined body. As long as he's alive there's still hope of defeating Trillion though, and she plans to help however she can in accomplishing this. Elma is happy that her brother is still alive even if he does look like a battered zombie now, and informs them that the Demon Lords have been gathered in the main hall.
The Demon Lords are all assembled here - each of them represents one of the deadly sins. We have Ruche (Pride), Levia (Envy), Fegor (Sloth), Mammon (Greed), Perpell (Gluttony), and Ashmedia (Lust) all gathered to hear what's going on. Faust explains that Trillion is currently in sleep-mode, staying put by the gates of hell after it took Zerbolos' last attack, but that it will soon re-activate. While sleeping, its demon-killer aura is even stronger than while awake, so they can't just leave it alone or the underworld will be wiped out eventually. To even get close to it requires wearing a special ring made by Faust from a piece of Zerbolos' soul, but she could only make one ring. In other words, only one person at a time can attempt to battle Trillion.
The Demon Lords have varying reactions to this whole situation - Ruche doesn't want anything to do with it, doesn't trust Faust, and is probably still hurt about her dad Astaroth dying even if she doesn't show it. The three who do volunteer for the task are Levia, Mammon and Perpell. Levia is Zerbolos' childhood friend and very friendly towards him, always getting mad at the other demons for being disrespectful to him. Mammon and Perpell volunteer because they feel bad about shirking their gate-guarding duty from earlier. So it's decided, we'll choose one of the three to be the first to try taking down Trillion. Mammon asks afterwards if there will be any reward for the winner - Zerbolos says that since the underworld's leader is decided by power, the reward will be becoming the next Great Demon Lord, ruler of the underworld. Now Ruche is suddenly pissed that she didn't volunteer and wants to be sent out, but Zerbolos tells her nope, it's a volunteer-only job and the three who volunteered before the prize was announced get first dibs. After the meeting, Faust points out that Zerbolos didn't tell any of the Demon Lords about their contract, about how when this is all over Faust gets his soul. He says it's fine, after Trillion's dead she can have his soul and a new Great Demon Lord can rule the underworld. I guess Earth literature isn't too popular in the underworld if none of the Demon Lords know what making a deal with someone named Faust means (yes I realize Faust was the one who sold his soul in the story, but this time it's a demon selling his soul, so it's the other way around now).
So here's where the player gets to decide who will be the first to try their luck against Trillion. The chosen Demon Lord will wear the ring that Faust crafted which will bestow her with a portion of Zerbolos' power, and will spend the time until Trillion re-awakens training herself and getting stronger in preparation for the battle. The choices are the three who volunteered from earlier - Levia, Mammon or Perpell. I went with Levia, I like her design the best out of the choices. Thinking about it though, there's no way she'll be able to beat Trillion since she's the first one up, so isn't being picked first a certain death sentence?
Oh well, she's happy to take on the task and next the game explains how raising the Demon Lord works. You have a certain number of days until Trillion awakens, and you can use those days doing various tasks, like training different attributes and using those points to strenghen the chosen Demon Lord's stats. As training proceeds, you'll get tokens which can be used to go dungeon diving for treasure and experience - again, the system here is similar to the fights against Trillion, the enemies and you move at the same time. You have a limited number of turns to explore the dungeon and gather treasure/defeat enemies and then you must find an exit to escape, or else you'll lose everything you gathered in the dungeon so far. The resources (experience, tokens, money, equipment) must all be prepared in order to face Trillion when the timer hits. You can check on Trillion's status from the menu at any time - right now for me, he's at 99.9% health with all four parts in perfect condition. I imagine as the game goes on and we throw more and more Demon Lords under the bus to injure him, his condition will slowly get whittled down more. This actually looks like a pretty fun system, I'm looking forward to exploring it more. I'm not going to use any wiki or 2ch thread help on my first playthrough if I can help it, so this run may be pretty tragic. It would be a shame if I lost every one of the Demon Lords without taking Trillion down, but let's see how it goes.
By the way, this isn't a 3DS resolution game anymore like my Fire Emblem and Stella Glow plays, so you can click any of the images here to show the full-res screenshots.
Random JRPG blogging about the games I'm currently playing.