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It was the second Kishin Douji Zenki game to be released for the home consoles in Japan and hit the stores on September 1, 1995.
Kishin Douji Zenki quickly summarizes the beginning of the first volume and the final chapter of the third volume of the Kishin Douji Zenki series' manga., but is heavily based on Inugami ark.
It starts out with the Chiaki releasing Zenki from his sepulcher and fighting Sairousaiko, then instantly moves on to Zenki and Chiaki meeting Miki Souma. Afterwards, it quickly escalates to the aforementioned Inugami ark, completely skipping the Jushi ark. Just like in the manga, Zenki starts out in his Demon God form, but is quickly turned into a Chibi when he threatens to kill Chiaki. Zenki does this because he holds a grudge against the Ennos for sealing him without telling him the reason for it, thus feeling betrayed by them and wanting revenge.
Kishin Douji Zenki is a classic side scrolling jump and run game where you play as Zenki (both in his Chibi and Demon God forms) and Chiaki as you traverse through different places, trying to collect different colored orbs to advance through the game.
This game also has an boardgame-like overworld map where Chiaki can move between the different ingame stages.
Whenever you start a stage, you can choose whether you want to play as Chibi Zenki or Chiaki. The only exception are boss stages where you will always see a short cutscene of Chiaki transforming Chibi Zenki into his Demon God form. The boss stages force you to play is Demon God Zenki, but you can never use Zenki's Demon God form anywhere else.
Kishin Douji Zenki (this game) is loosely based on the manga's plot. The game's characters and bosses are based on the Inugami ark, causing Zenki to fight the likes of Chimaru and Hiki the Black Tortoise, but the actual ingame stages just seem very random landscapes which have a puzzle platformer like feel to them but can't be placed anywhere in the actual series plot. The regular enemies are also various monsters that seem to be exclusive to this game, as they are never seen in the manga, anime or other Zenki games.
Notable differences to the Manga plot
Interestingly, the game features a slightly altered version of Goki's introduction from the manga. In the manga, Goki first appears after Zenki's defeat at the hands of Hiki the Black Tortoise.
Zenki has died and is now sealed in some kind of crystal ball. In the manga Goki actively helps Chiaki by jumping in and saving both her and Zenki. After that, Goki goes and revives Zenki, using his healing powers.
Yet, in the game things go differently. Hiki has been defeated earlier ingame, forcing him to retreat and now Kimon the White Tiger kinda takes over his part of the story.
When Zenki and Chiaki enter the city once again, they mit Kimon, who boldly introduces himself and almost instantly triggers a boss battle.
No matter what the player does, Kimon can't be hurt, leaving Zenki to use Rudra in a scripted sequence.
Just like in his battle against Hiki in the manga, Zenki dies, but unlike the manga, he kills Kimon with this, but Chiaki is surprise attacked by Hiki's second form.
As Zenki can't revive himself, this causes Goki to appear and protect Chiaki from Hiki all on his own. Despite the fact that Hiki's second form can't be seen ingame, it is very likely that Goki just keeps fighting Hiki while he tells Chiaki to leave and find five cosmic elements to revive Zenki.
In the manga, Hiki's second form is so powerful that he breaks Goki's heavenly shield with something akin to a charged shot from his buster gun. This makes Hiki too tough for Goki in his level 1 form, but if Zenki is dead, there's no Great Demon God Zenki to defeat Hiki, so Goki has protect Chiaki with all he's got.
This leads to Goki, being the selfless hero he is, obviously giving all his strength to protect Chiaki and Zenki's remains.
Chiaki runs off in an attempt to gather the five cosmic elements of Aether, Earth, Water, Fire and Wind, which Goki needs to fix Zenki's broken body.
Ingame these elements can be found as colored crystals with the corresponding element's symbol engraved into them. Chiaki has to visit various locations of the ingame world to find them, which are now marked by the colored crystals floating above their stage selection spots.
As Goki can't leave Zenki's side while preparing the "Strategy of Resurrection", he is unable to do anything else besides keeping Hiki from following Chiaki, which is still a great deal. This forces Goki to stay at Zenki's side while Chiaki has to search for the elements, yet Goki will still encourage Chiaki and cheer at her whenever she walks by.
As Zenki is dead, the game now also skips the usual character select screen, as it would make no sense to be able to play as Zenki's broken remains.
Once Chiaki has found all five elements and brings them to Goki, Chiaki and Goki go ahead and a cutscene will start, showing them using the elements to revive Zenki.
As soon as this is done Zenki will come back to life, there's a rather weird ending to the cutscene. While Zenki's Great Demon God form is not available ingame, the game oddly shows a closeup of Great Demon God Zenki's face, which then cuts to a short flash.
Zenki has defeated Hiki (offscreen) and the game now cuts to Zenki (who has oddly returned to his Demon God for some reason) and Goki talking to each other in a manner similar to their first meeting in the manga.
Once the player returns to the overworld map, they will be able to play as Chibi Zenki again.
Zenki's revival obviously also means that he's now being available as a playable character again.
Japanese title and a proper translation
- In Japan, Kishin Douji Zenki is known via the Kanji and Furigana writings of
鬼神童子 ゼンキ and きしんどうじ ゼンキ respectively
- Both writings translate as "Demon God Child Zenki"
- Hiki's buster gun is very similar to the one from the unrelated Mega Man/Rockman series.
The similarities go even further when he uses a "charge shot" in the manga and ingame.
- The strange event of Great Demon God Zenki's face appearing, but Zenki being in his Demon God form happens a few times in the game's later cutscenes. It is still unknown why the developer decided to depict Zenki quickly switching between his Demon God and Great Demon God forms like this at seemingly random.
- Interestingly, Kishin Douji Zenki for the Sega Game Gear is the only Kishin Douji Zenki game, that lacks an options or config menu.
Chiaki plays very similar to her appearance in Kishin Douji Zenki 2 - Den Ei Rai Bu for the SNES. She can shoot fireballs at her foes and charge them up to shoot a more powerful and larger fireball at her foe. Chiaki can move by walking to the left or the right and jump. She can crouch to avoid enemy attacks and shoot fireballs while crouching. When the player holds down the attack-button, Chiaki will not only charge up her fireball, but also be able to run, allowing her to jump farther and slightly higher if the player makes her run into one of the aforementioned directions.
But one has to be careful, as just like in the other Zenki games, Kishin Douji Zenki FX - Vajura Fight being the only exception, the characters can't grab onto ledges, so being too careless while running close to an edge might make the player lose a life as Chiaki falls into a bottomless pit.
Like Demon God Zenki (mentioned further down), Chiaki also has a wheel-like menu with four available moves, but unlike Demon God Zenki's wheel, Chiaki's wheel always stays the same.
Her abilities from the wheel seem to be similar to the spells she can learn and use in Kishin Douji Zenki 3 - Tenchi Meidou, but unlike Tenchi Meidou, Chiaki's spells behave slightly different in Kishin Douji Zenki for the Game Gear as it's still a jump-and-run game and not a board game like Tenchi Meidou.
One of Chiaki's spells allows her to create temporary platforms, which enable her to reach places, which are unavailable to Chibi Zenki. This obviously also goes the other way round as Chibi Zenki has his own moves, which enable him to reach places, Chiaki can't reach.
Chibi Zenki's Moves
Chibi Zenki behaves similar to his appearance in Kishin Douji Zenki - Battle Raiden. He can punch his enemies, do a flying kick and do flips in mid-air, the latter which leave him invincible while doing them. Just like Chiaki, Chibi Zenki can walk to the left and the right, he can jump and crouch. Chibi Zenki is also punch foes while crouching.
Unlike his appearance in Battle Raiden, Chibi Zenki from Kishin Douji Zenki for the Game Gear moves forward slightly whenever he punches his foes. While this only applies while he's standing, this might or might not become a problem while playing. It might still make a difference when being close to an edge as the game just loves throwing bottomless pits at the player.
Like Chiaki and his own Demon God form, Chibi Zenki has a wheel-like menu where he can select special moves.
One of them is a rolling move, which Chibi Zenki performs while crouching. It makes him roll forward and enables him to break rocks and access passages that Chiaki is unable to access.
Chibi Zenki is not only smaller than Chiaki, he also walks faster, but unlike Chiaki he can't run. But just like Chibi Zenki can access places where Chiaki can't go, the same goes the other way round with Chiaki's spells.
Demon God Zenki's Moves
Demon God Zenki's moves in this game are very similar to the ones he can use in the SNES game Battle Raiden, so feel free to check out Chiaki's Tutorial section in the "Stages and Controls"-tabber.
They also behave almost exactly the same as they do in Battle Raiden, but in Kishin Douji Zenki for the Game Gear, Zenki can also use the Diamond Axe later on in the game, which then replaces Raigeka.
Unlike Battle Raiden's button combinations, Kishin Douji Zenki uses a wheel-like menu with four available moves.
Zenki can still use his regular punch, his jumping kick, the Vajura Beam Excorcism and the Raigeka via the same button combinations as in Battle Raiden, but his Vajura Lightning Fang, Crimson Attack, Rudra, Gale Dragon and Diamond Axe are selected from the wheel-like menu instead.
While the Raigeka, Crimson Attack and Gale Dragon just behave as they did in Battle Raiden, the Rudra from Kishin Douji Zenki for the Game Gear works a bit different. If Zenki uses Rudra in Kishin Douji Zenki, he will actually die without causing the player to loose a life, but as long as Chiaki and Zenki haven't met Goki, Zenki will stay dead, limiting the player to Chiaki.
Once the player has met Goki and Chiaki has brought him the five cosmic elements, Zenki will gain the Diamond Axe which replaces Raigeka.
Interestingly, the Raigeka can be used both as the Thunder Smash (a close range thunder punch) and the Vajura Lightning Fang (throwing a thunderbolt at the foe) in this game. Again this makes it very similar to Battle Raiden. The Diamond Axe has the same possibilies, being both a melee and a ranged weapon.
While Rudra oneshots bosses and hits them regardless where they are, the Diamond Axe can be either used to hit a foe with it or be thrown while jumping. Unlike Rudra the Diamond Axe doesn't oneshot bosses, but deals more damage than Zenki's other attacks.
The manga and the anime also sometimes show Zenki combining the Diamond Axe with Raigeka, which might explain why it replaces that move in this game.
Rudra's side effects
Even after Zenki has acquired the Diamond Axe, he can still die from Rudra. Most of the time this will just cause a cutscene where Ozunu berates Chiaki on her failure as a master, which causes her to be shocked and then start crying while Goki comes along and tries to comfort her. Goki then talks to Ozunu. After that Ozunu leaves and Goki revives Zenki regardless.
If this happens before meeting Goki, the same cutscene will happen without Goki and without Zenki's revival. But it is implied that Zenki has somehow returned to the Enno Shrine to rest and recover from his wounds as Chibi Zenki reappears when entering a boss battle.
Thus the player could just go and Rudra all bosses if they wanted to, but the penalty would be missing out all the "boss defeated"-cutscenes. The only exception is the final battle against the transformed Inugami Roh, where using Rudra to defeat him causes a bad ending.
The bad ending
In that alternate ending, only Goki returns safely, implying that poor Zenki died for real. It also shows Chiaki with a sad expression, where she cries and mourns Zenki's death while Goki stands at her side and tries to comfort her.
After that it will just cut to the "end"-Kanji like in the normal ending.
Main Menu and Box Art
Chibi Zenki and Miki Souma
After Hiki's Defeat
After Chimaru's Defeat
Zenki's Death and Revival
Zenki's Death and Goki's Introduction
The Strategy of Resurrection (Zenki's Revival)
It is especially notable that Zenki's Great Demon God form only appears in Kishin Douji Zenki for the Game Gear and in a single image, namely the one shown in this gallery!
The five cosmic elements
If the player defeats Roh by fighting him normally, they will gain the good ending. If Zenki uses Rudra, he will oneshot Roh, but this will lead to a bad ending, where Zenki has died.
Inugami Roh's intro cutscene
In this cutscene, the Inugami Roh flings his pentagram seal surfboard at Chiaki. Luckily Goki is there and jumps straight in to protect her with his Heavenly Protection Shield, instantly reflecting Roh's attack. This leaves the Inugami rather surprised.
The translation of Goki's dialogue has been kindly provided by Semerone.