Title: Revelations: The Demon Slayer
Publisher: Atlus
Features: GameBoy Color/GameBoy/Super GameBoy Compatible. Battery Back-Up.
2 Player Head-To-Head Battle Option By Link Cable
Format: RPG
Reviewer: Heiss


"Revelations: The Demon Slayer" is a spin-off of the popular Megami Tensei (loosely translated as "Reincarnation of the Goddess") or Megaten series of RPGs in Japan. First released in 1987 for the Nintendo Famicom, the Megaten series have since encompassed more than 10 games on a wide variety of console platforms, ranging from the Nintendo SNES to the Sega Saturn. With the sole exception of "Revelations: Persona" for the Sony PlayStation, no other Megaten game has been released in the US. Until now. In 1992, Atlus released "Megami Tensei Gaiden: Last Bible" for the Game Boy in Japan, and "Revelations: The Demon Slayer" is the English, colorized version of that game.

Game Play

You play El, a student in the art of Gaia, defined as "powers that only Gods could harness." During your graduation, darkness covers the land, and monsters start to appear in the world. Assigned to investigate this strange phenomenon, you'll discover a sinister plot and must rely on your growing powers to stop this threat. You won't be alone though--two other characters, Kishe and Uranus, will eventually join you on your quest, and you can also get help from an unlikely source--the monsters themselves.

Whenever you encounter a monster, you have the option to fight, run, or talk. Fighting turn-based battles is necessary to earn much-needed experience points, but successful negotiations will result in the monster joining your group, providing additional strength or magic in defeating opponents. You can avoid battles by having a monster of the same type talk to the others, or let other monsters gifted with the ability to recruit (like Tanki and Harpy, as recommended in the manual) persuade the other monsters to join you. You can recruit up to 10 monsters placed in your stock and summon up to 3 in your group, making a total of up to 6 persons in your group at any time.

Revelations features a notable aspect of the Megaten RPGs--Monster Fusion. Once Kishe joins your group, you'll discover that he has the unique Combine ability to fuse two different monsters into a new type of monster--you'll be shown a Fusion Chart, select two monsters, and the resulting monster will be displayed. You can view the new monster's status plus its abilities, and if satisfied, proceed with the fusion process or cancel the fusion. Unique, one-of-a-kind monsters can also offer to join your group, either by helping them out first or finding their hidden lairs.

The game is fairly linear; you solve a series of logical puzzles that lets you progress from point to point, gathering clues and advice from people you meet. Random encounters are plentiful in this game, and the monsters can be pretty tough, but victory can bring great rewards in the form of experience points and money. Each advance in level gives you 1
point that you can add to any of your stats (endurance, intelligence, strength, speed, and luck), and having lots of money can let you purchase powerful weapons, armor, and items. You can rest at inns to regain hit points and magic points, heal your wounds or revive knocked out characters. Money and items can also be deposited at the Banks found in towns.

Graphics & Controls

Revelations is a feast for the eyes, with its bright colors and superb animated fusion sequences. Traveling on the map will show super-deformed characters (big heads and all) similar to Pokemon and the Final Fantasy Legends series, but combat and fusion will display highly detailed monsters. Music is very good, particularly the title sequence. Towns, dungeons, the world map and battle scenes all have their own themes, and further enhance the gameplay rather than distract from it.

Controls are fairly simple enough: control pad for character movement or menu item selection, A button for most Action commands, B button to Cancel or open the menu screens, while pressing all buttons will restart the game. The game has a very handy "save anywhere" feature, providing you with three save game slots. There's also a Vs. option, in which two players can battle it out via the Game Link cable.

Final Comments

One annoying thing about this game is the limited space you have in your inventory; each character can only carry 8 items, 3 of which is reserved for your weapon, armor and shield. None of the monsters can carry items, and it's frustrating when you find an item and you realize none of your characters can get it. Some town layouts are confusing, and you will often run into dead ends. A mini onscreen map could be helpful, but there isn't one in the game, so you'll have to constantly refer to the World Map in your manual. The scrolling can be off at times; if you're trying to enter a narrow entryway, your character will sometimes miss it by one tile, and you have to move back.

The colorful game manual is adequate, with a large World Map, partial listings of weapons, armor, magic and items, plus really helpful hints. Strangely enough, the screenshots in the manual show the Super Game Boy borders, reducing the actual GB screen area to a tiny portion of the photo with barely readable text.

Despite these minor complaints, Revelations: The Demon Slayer is a fine and welcome addition to the limited but growing selection of GBC RPGs. As someone who was initiated into the Megaten series by way of Revelations: Persona on the PSX (a game that I thoroughly enjoyed), I eagerly waited for this release once it was announced, and I haven't been disappointed. With a huge world to explore, over 100 monsters to battle or recruit, along with a wide variety of weapons, armor, magic spells and items, this game is a worthy addition to any RPG gamer's collection of GB titles.

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