Kishin Douji Zenki - Battle Raiden
It was the first Kishin Douji Zenki game to be released for the home consoles in Japan and hit the stores on August 4, 1995.
Battle Raiden is based on the first 3 issues of the Kishin Douji Zenki manga and thus features a slightly modified version of the Jushi ark.
There is also a sound test, which can be accessed from the game's main menu. It can be found by entering the CONFIG menu.
Romanized Titles and omitted Gods
The game is also known as both "Kishin Douji Zenki - Batoru Raiden" and "Kishin Douji Zenki - Rettou Raiden" in the original Japanese version, due to the romanization, but not translation of the Kanji and Furigana titles. The English translation by Dynamic Designs calls it "Demon Child Zenki - Battle Raiden" instead, due to the Kishin Douji Zenki series being shipped as Demon Child Zenki, omitting the God (aka Shin) due to religious reasons, back in the nineties.
Did you ever wonder why they called the game "Battle Raiden"?
Here's Semerone's answer:
The game's titular "Battle Thunder" (also "Battle Raiden") isn't an ingame item or special object, it's actually the game/developers making a pun that is referring to Zenki himself.
This relation can be explained by two simple facts regarding Zenki: He descended from heaven as a thunderbolt, before he materialized as a demon, and he loves fighting.
How To Play
Battle Raiden is a sidescrolling jump and run game where you play as Zenki (both in his Chibi and Demon God forms) as you traverse through different places, ranging from forests to icy mountains to graveyards and even bizarre (almost alien) architectures in the fourth ingame stage.
To play the game properly, it is advised to let the intro cycle a few times, so you can watch Chiaki's tutorial on explaining the controls.
Mastering Zenki's controls is almost essential, as game can be really hard, if you don't.
This is especially the case in the stage sections, where you play in Zenki's Demon God form.
The tutorial is featured as it's own gallery in the middle of the "Stages and Controls"-subpage of this article.
The game consists of five stages, each made up of four individual level-sections.
The first and the third section are normal levels, while the second section is a mini-boss level and the fourth section the stage boss.
The bosses (also a few, but not all, of the mini-bosses) will always be fought as Demon God Zenki, while the playthrough of the individual sections might be either in his Chibi or his Demon God form.
More about the individual stages can be read in the "Stages and Controls"-subpage, which also explains how to play as Zenki.
New Game Plus
Kishin Douji Zenki - Battle Raiden is the only game from the Kishin Douji Zenki series featuring a new game plus. Once the player has played through the game and defeated Shijura for the first time, the credits will scroll and the game will start over from Stage 1-1.
The player will keep their score, lives and Rudra Protection Scrolls from their previous playthrough.
While the general layout of the stages is the same in new game plus, it features slightly different placements of platforms and enemies and will be indicated by the text in the hud showing the stage, the player is currently on, being blue/cyan instead of orange/yellow.
The new game plus amps also up the difficulty by introducing some enemy types earlier than usual and decreasing the drop rates for items like the Hyouinomi (which now has a higher chance of being hostile instead of a health refill) and lives (the Zenki masks/faces).
Despite this, the difficulty of the mini-bosses and bosses stays the same, thus don't expect much change in difficutly there.
After beating the new game plus, the credits will scroll once again and the player will be returned to Battle Raiden's title screen.
The only other known Kishin Douji Zenki game to feature a similar mechanic to Battle Raiden is Kishin Douji Zenki FX - Vajura Fight, which features two difficulty settings instead.
The game features different items which Zenki can collect. These exist both in regular and huge versions and more about these will be explained in this section.
If Zenki collects these, he will gain points which will go towards his score counter. Otherwise these do nothing. Also, the score counter is just there to show off your awesome score and doesn't do anything else.
There are two kinds of Hyouinomi ingame.
One can be collected, causing Zenki to eat it and restore some of his health.
The other kind is an enemy which will reveal itself if Zenki gets too close. It will gain spider-like legs, walk over to Zenki and leap at him. If it's successful, it will cling to him, slowing Zenki down, making him jump very low and draining his health.
Zenki can free himself by shaking it off. (the player has to quickly change directions between left and right to do so)
Zenki can prevent the monster from leeching onto him by punching it while it leaps at him. If Chibi Zenki punches it, it takes two hits to destroy the monster, while Demon God Zenki instantly kills it.
Rudra Protection Scroll
If Zenki collects three of these and has enough health left, he can use the Rudra which will cause him to yell "Rudora!!!" and explode. The explosion will hit all enemies on-screen.
Minor foes will be taken out instantly while the mini-bosses and bosses would take multiple Rudras to be defeated. The only exception is Anjura, who dies in about 2 Rudras because of her elemental weakness.
More about Zenki's Rudra attack can be read both in Chiaki's Tutorial and Zenki's article.
This item looks like a mask and is probably supposed to look like Zenki's face. If Zenki collects this, it will give the player an extra life.
If the player can't collect any more lives, Chiaki will show up and tell them that "The number of people won't increase any further."
More about this can be read in the FAQ section of the Testing and Cheats article.
Notable differences to the Manga plot
The game switches the introductions of Anjura and Kajura around.
In the games Anjura is the second boss and Kajura the third boss, whereas the manga introduces Zenki's fight against the Kajura first.
In the manga Anjura especially uses the information, which she gained from watching Zenki fight her brother, to get an advantage over Zenki.
Although this is only notable if you have read the manga and played the game (in whatever order).
Voiced grunts and lines
- Battle Raiden is notable for being one of the rare SNES games, to feature voiced lines and grunts for its characters. While the former only applies to Zenki and Chiaki when they perform the Vajura-on-Ark and a few other single instances, the latter applies even to minor foes like the Crazy Monks or mini-bosses like the Crab man.
- Voiced lines and grunts didn't become common in games until the Nintendo 64 era and even then, voiced lines were a rarity
A common mistranslation
- The correct translation of Kishin Douji Zenki would actually be Demon God Child Zenki
Japanese title and a proper translation
- In Japan, Kishin Douji Zenki - Battle Raiden is known via the Kanji and Furigana writings of
鬼神童子 ゼンキ - 烈闘雷伝 and きしんどうじ ゼンキ - バトルライデン respectively
- Both writings can be either translated as "Demon God Child Zenki - Battle Thunder" or
"Demon God Child Zenki - Battle Lightning"
- This is due to イデン (Raiden) being derived from the English loanword "lightning",
but also being commonly translated as "thunder"
- This is due to イデン (Raiden) being derived from the English loanword "lightning",
Zenki's mask or face
- The header image, that appears at the top of every manga volume's table of contents, starting from Volume 1, has been the template for the menu background in Kishin Douji Zenki - Battle Raiden. This becomes obvious when putting both of them into direct comparision without the menu elements.
The Good Guys
- He is the main character, you play as him throughout the whole game.
- Chiaki Enno
- In this game she is a minor character that only appears in the beginning of the game, the tutorial section and the "Vajura On Ark!"-Transformation cutscenes.
- Ozunu Enno
- He only gets mentioned a few times and never appears physically.
The Bad Guys
- Amon is the first boss. Halfway through the battle, he throws his robe away.
- Ingame, he is referred to as Mouryu.
- Anjura is the second boss. Halfway through the battle, she transforms into a purple naga with a trident. Zenki can defeat her very quickly by using Rudra.
- While the original Japanese version has her flirting with Zenki and telling him, that she is his "dragon princess", the English translation features an alternate transliteration of the Kanji and calls her Princess Ryuuki.
- So the original version actually never has her stating her name, while the translation just forgot to translate that part of her line. (likely be sheer accident)
- Kajura is the third boss. He wears a flame armor and takes little damage. Zenki has to use the Gale Dragon move to fight him properly.
- The English translation of the game calls him Enjuurou
- Majura is the fourth boss. He eats a few Seeds of Evil to transform himself and then charges at Zenki. Halfway through the battle, he eats more seeds and becomes more aggressive.
- The English translation of the game calls him Goukaku
- He is the game's final boss. Shijura often warps around the arena and is hard to hit.
- Ingame, he is referred to as Shiguma.
In this section you can read about the various traps, so you can learn how to avoid them ingame.
The spike floor is introduced in Stage 1-1. Zenki can avoid it by jumping onto the floating platforms and riding them.
If Zenki misses the jump and leaps into the spike floor, Zenki will get hurt and receive a medium knockback. He will keep getting hurt until he leaves the spike floor by jumping back onto the normal, non-harmful terrain.
The first time Zenki misses his jump and leaps into the spike floor, Zenki will start cursing.
Zenki's cursing differs between the original, Japanese version and the Dynamic Designs version:
So in the original version, Zenki blames himself, while in the translation, he blames someone else. (presumably the Jushi's ingame counterparts)
Large Spike Pillar
The large spike pillar is a large pillar made of what seems to be crystal or ice which ends in a spike. They often apper in groups up to three and are first hidden underground. If Zenki walks too close to them, they will shoot out of the ground at a very fast velocity and then go back in at a slightly lower speed.
These are used as obstacles and are almost twice as tall as Demon God Zenki, so he can't jump over them without hurting himself. If a large spike pillar hits Zenki, it will hurt him and cause a low knockback.
Zenki needs to take note of the timing it takes to traverse the large spike pillars and has to use the dash to traverse them safely.
First appearing in Stage 3-3 of Kajura's volcano themed stages, the classic bottomless pit makes its first appearance in this game.
It behaves just as expected as just like in any other classic jump-and-run game, Zenki will immediately lose a life if he misses a jump and falls into one of these. Luckily bottomless pits are very rare in this game and only appear in Stage 3-3 and Stage 5-1.
In stage 3-3 they take the appearance of a deep pit filled with lava. While regular lava doesn't harm Zenki unless he is more than waist deep in it, falling into a bottomless pit in a sea of lava only implies why he loses a life if he ends up in it. As it's too deep and Zenki can't swim, he will be submerged in the lava and end up burning to death as Chiaki, being a human, obviously can't help him in this situation.
In stage 5-1, which features many swinging bridges and is set in the sky, Zenki will fall into a quite literal classic bottomless pit. While it's not implied ingame, the manga states that the previous stages have turned into an infinite void. So everytime Zenki falls offscreen in stage 5-1, he falls into an infinite void, where he would be stuck forever if it weren't for the game, well... being a game.
To do: This trap needs one or more images...
The Spike Ball is a trap that first appears in Stage 4-1. It comes in two variants: The Spinning Spike Ball and the Spike Ball Chain.
The Spinning Spike Ball is a single spike ball spinning in mid-air and floating up and down in a set pattern and at a medium speed. Zenki needs to avoid it, by waiting for the right moment and then dashing past it. He will get hurt if he attempts to jump over it or uses the spin jump.
The Spike Ball Chain is a chain of up to five spike balls that is mounted to the floor or ceiling and will spin similar to the fire chains from the Super Mario Brothers' series 2D games. But unlike them, it will spin at a very fast pace, making it almost impossible to safely cross paths with a Spike Ball Chain.
Not only can the Spike Ball Chain spin in a clockwise or counterclockwise motion (which will luckily always stay the same), the ones that are hard to cross are actually only the floor mounted ones.
Crossing paths with the ceiling mounted Spike Ball Chain is easy. Zenki just needs to wait for it to disappear in the ceiling, then move forward and crouch as it appears again to avoid getting hurt. Once the Spike Ball Chain has passed him, he can dash away and is safe.
If he crosses paths with a floor mounted Spike Ball Chain, he needs to react to it accordingly to its rotation. If it spins counterclockwise, Zenki needs to wait for it to disappear in the floor and then quickly dash forward and make a dashing jump and continue dashing to avoid getting hit.
When Zenki faces the clockwise spinning variant, he needs to wait for it to appear from the ground and then dash and make a dashing jump in sync with the Spike Ball Chain to avoid getting hurt by it. This is difficult as it needs precise timing.
If Zenki makes contact with the spikes, he will still be safe and won't get hurt, but if he touches the main body, he will get harmed by it.
More traps will be added soon.
Title screens and Box art
- Demon God Zenki not only has basically twice as much health as Chibi Zenki, he is also twice as strong both in offense and defense, but the latter two aspects are never depicted in the hud.
- The number of Rudra Protection Scrolls rises as Zenki collects them and the white scrolls on the side will light up one by one. If Zenki uses Rudra, the number decreases and the scrolls will fade out, leaving only a shadowy silhouette.
Stage Intro and the Config Menu
Death and Game Over
Zenki VS Amon (Stage 1-4)
Zenki VS Anjura (Stage 2-4)
Zenki VS Kajura (Stage 3-4)
- Demon God Zenki will return to his Chibi form after winning the battle against Kajura. There is no way to prevent this, as it is a scripted event. The next section will be played as Chibi Zenki.
Zenki VS Majura (Stage 4-4)
Zenki VS Shijura (Stage 5-4)
- Stages and Controls
- Visit this subpage to learn about the various ingame stages,
how to use Zenki's various moves and the two currently known definate elements!
- Visit this subpage to learn about the various ingame stages,
- Visit this subpage to learn about the various minor foes, mini-bosses and bosses, Zenki fights over the course of the game!
The cutscenes from the game are now featured on their own subpage!
You can either visit the subpage by clicking here or visit the individual sections from this selection:
- The game's intro cutscene. It explains the plot leading to the actual events of the game.
- Vajura on Ark
- As usual, the Vajura on Ark cutscene depicts Zenki's transformation from his Chibi form into his Demon God form.
- The ending, which is seen after beating Shijura.