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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 can move around by walking, running and jumping. While walking is done by pressing the directional pad to the left or the right, running is done by keeping 1 pressed while pressing to the left or the right.
If Chiaki jumps while running, she can cross larger distances.
If the player presses 1, Chiaki can shoot a flame from her fingertips. She can do this while standing, crouching or jumping.
Crouching is done by pressing the directional pad downwards and keeping it pressed.
Unlike Chibi Zenki, but just like Demon God Zenki, Chiaki can't move much more than changing directions or attacking at melee range while crouching.
If Chiaki uses her flame to break a sealed rock, she might be able to find a spell tag.
Spell tags come in three flavors: Fire, wind and light(ning).
Chiaki can only carry one spell tag with her at a time and spell tags are one use, but respawn when leaving a stage section and reentering it.
If Chiaki has a spell tag in her possession, it will be shown beneath the Bracelet of Protection at the upper left corner of the screen.
Chiaki can use her currently possessed spell tag by having the player press up and 1.
The fire spell tag causes Chiaki to summon four flames, which circle her and then fly away, destroying all enemies on-screen.
The wind spell causes four wind spell tags to fly up from Chiaki, circle her and are blown away by their own wind. This spell also destroys all enemies on-screen.
The light(ning) spell makes Chiaki perform an attack very similar to the lightning spark, that is used by Demon God Zenki. Chiaki shoots a lightning spark from her fingertips, which flies in a straight line in the direction which she was facing before using the spell. As such, the light(ning) spell can go to the left or the right, but only hits enemies in its path.
Just like Chibi Zenki, Chiaki doesn't have a wheel menu.
Chiaki and Chibi Zenki are very fast and can slide around, if they are running. As such, the player 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 or Chibi Zenki falls into a bottomless pit.
Kishin Douji Zenki (Game Gear) features rock-like barriers. While both Zenki and Chiaki can destroy the ones to the left or the right of them, only Chibi Zenki can destroy the ones above or below him, as Chiaki can't attack upwards or downwards. This turns them into a natural barrier, which forces Chiaki to take a different path through the stage or prevents her from playing some stages alltogether.
Of cause, there are also types of rocks, which can only be destroyed by Chiaki. Only Chiaki can destroy sealed rocks, as the seal seems to prevent Zenki from breaking them. As such, Zenki can't collect any spell tags for Chiaki's spells.
There are also totem-like enemies, which can only be taken down by Chiaki's spells, but are invulnerable when faced with Chibi Zenki.
It is currently being investigated, but it seems like Chiaki can only destroy these totem-like enemies with the appropriate spell of the corresponding color in her possession. (for example a blue totem can only be destroyed by the wind spell)
Gameplay Gallery (Chiaki)
Chibi Zenki's Moves
Chibi Zenki's movement is the same as Chiaki's, but he uses different attacks. His controls for walking, running and jumping are the same as Chiaki's, but he is smaller and faster than her.
Also, Chibi Zenki can only use a rolling attack in this game.
If the player makes Chibi Zenki crouch and presses 1, Chibi Zenki will roll forward and hurt or take down any enemy in his path while being invulnerable as he keeps rolling.
He will also do his rolling move whenever he jumps, which makes enemies harmless to him if he jumps through them. He will still get hurt by projectiles or if he directly collides with a foe. Though, the latter only hurts Zenki, if he is in the same place as the enemy when he stops rolling.
There are totem-like enemies, which Chibi Zenki can't get through. These can only be defeated with Chiaki's spells, thus making them a natural barrier, that prevents Zenki from advancing these paths and forcing him to take a different route through the stage.
Unlike Chiaki, Chibi Zenki currently has no known stage, that can't be finished by him.
Also, he can destroy rock-like barriers with his rolling attack while jumping, which can't be destroyed by Chiaki due to her lack of an upwards facing attack. This is also notable for some other rocks.
Regular rocks can only be destroyed by Zenki. These contain one or more bananas, which can be eaten by Zenki to restore his health.
Why Zenki magically grows his bananas inside regular rocks is just as much as a mystery as why Chiaki hides spell tags inside sealed rocks and likely a hint towards Zenki hiding his food from Chiaki and Chiaki keeping spell tags around for when she needs them to defend herself against Hyouijuu when Zenki or Goki aren't around.
Interestingly, Chibi Zenki doesn't have a wheel like menu like his true form or Chiaki, so all he can do is his rolling attack and nothing else.
His rolling attack and small size also allow him to get into small paths, that Chiaki can't enter.
Using the normal version of the rolling attack is not advised when Zenki is close to a bottomless pit, as he might fall into it, because he keeps rolling and there is no way to stop him once he has started doing so. He only stops on his own accord after the regular length of his roll. As such, it is safer to use the jumping variant of the attack when Zenki is close to a bottomless pit.
Also unlike other games, Kishin Douji Zenki for the Game Gear just loves throwing bottomless pits at the player. Notably, Chiaki and Chibi Zenki can't swim in this game, so deep water also acts as a bottomless pit, which should be avoided by the player.
Demon God Zenki's Moves
Demon God Zenki's moves in this game are both similar and yet different to the ones found in other games.
While his basic controls allow him to punch his enemies with his Diamond Horn extended from his fist while standing, crouching or jumping, as well as blocking enemy attacks. The latter is a mechanic unique to this game and Den Ei Rei Bu's Anime Sequence Battles.
No other Kishin Douji Zenki game allows Zenki to block attacks in a jump-and-run stage. Despite this, only Demon God Zenki can block attacks, while Chiaki and Chibi Zenki can only avoid them.
Pressing the control pad to the left or the right makes Zenki walk to the left or the right, pressing 1 makes him punch and pressing 2 makes him jump.
Demon God Zenki can block attacks by the pressing control pad up or down and keeping it pressed. Keeping it pressed upwards allows Zenki to block projectiles aimed at his chest and upper body, while keeping it pressed downwards allows him to crouch.
Crouching allows Zenki to perform a crouching punch, avoid some attacks aimed at his upper body and even to block projectiles aimed at his lower body, legs or feet.
While these are the basic controls for Demon God Zenki, his special moves are more of a mixed bag, yet still easy to handle.
To access them, the player needs to press start.
This opens a wheel ability menu, which allows the player to select Zenki's special move from four available ones via the directional pad and pressing 1 to confirm the selection.
Zenki starts out with a fireball, a lightning spark, a dash and tornado attack. The fireball is his standard move, which is set automatically whenver the player enters a boss battle as Demon God Zenki.
More about these moves can be read over at the Wheel menu abilities-section of Zenki's related ingame article.
Uniquely to this game, Zenki is also able to use the Diamond Axe. While he doesn't start out with it, it replaces Zenki's lightning spark attack after a certain point in the game.
Demon God Zenki keeps all of his starting abilites up to his battle against Kimon. After defeating both Kimon's helicopter and cyborg forms, Kimon will turn into a lighning orb, which can't be defeated.
Once Zenki runs out of health, he will use Rudra and kill Kimon. Because he has used up all of his energy, Zenki will die as well and won't be available for playing until Chiaki has collected all five cosmic elements for Goki, so that he can revive Zenki.
Once Goki has revived Zenki, Zenki will automatically gain access to the Diamond Axe, but will never be able to use his lightning spark attack ever again.
This isn't too bad, though, as the Diamond Axe is basically an upgraded version of his old move, which hits the foes twice and behaves like a boomerang when thrown, which in turn gives Zenki greater mobility.
While Zenki can use Rudra in this game, he can only do so if he dies or in the aforementioned, scripted event against Kimon.
Whenever Zenki uses Rudra, he will only do so on his own and without any player input. Outside any other event than his battle against Kimon in his lightning orb state, the player will lose a life if Zenki rudras himself into oblivion.
The manga and the anime also sometimes show Zenki combining the Diamond Axe with his thunder elemental moves, which might explain why it replaces Zenki's lightning spark move in this game.
Glitched bad ending
If Zenki fights the the transformed Inugami Roh and both finish off each other at the same time, Zenki's actor might go missing in the ending cutscene, which leads to what looks like a bad ending.
This is likely due to how the game treats cutscenes. Internally they are treated as regular ingame stages. As such, Zenki using Rudra and dying causes him to disappear.
As Zenki is gone, but doesn't have any respawn point in the cutscene, the game just continues as normal without Zenki's actor. This leads to ending cutscene playing out as usual, except for Zenki being invisible.
Note, that this is a very rare occurence and a glitch, as the player would normally lose a life, but due how the Inugami battle is the final boss and there's no Hyouinomi to collect, the game just mostly ignores Zenki's death and keeps on going.
There is also another similar and just as rare glitch, where Zenki's death is interrupted when both he and a regular boss finish off each other at the same time, but Zenki ends up collecting the dropped Hyouinomi as he dies. This interrupts Zenki's death/Rudra animation, as he doesn't have 0 hit points anymore and allows the player to continue playing as normal instead of losing a life and having to redo the boss battle.
Gameplay Gallery (Demon God Zenki)
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
Glitched Bad Ending
If the player defeats Roh by fighting him normally, they will gain the good ending. If Zenki and Roh kill each other, the player rarely ends up with a glitched bad ending, where Zenki has died and his actor doesn't respawn for the cutscene.
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.