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Devilman

Nintendo Entertainment System

Game Description:

You may have heard of Go Nagai if you’re into giant robots. He created Mazinger Z. Here’s Devilman, another creation by Go Nagai. Devilman isn’t a giant robot, rather a giant… demon. But he’s a good demon, more or less- he fights other demons for the good of mankind!

Well, in this NES game, you get to play as Devilman! Actually, you start off playing as his alterego, Akira Fudo. As Akira you really can’t kill anything (in the streets, you pretty much face off against blue gangsters). You first have to find a certain person, who then tells you what you must do to become Devilman. After that, the game gets slightly more interesting. Now, you can kill the demons that are running rampant across the streets, although that won’t do you much good if you don’t go around collecting information. After some talking, you can end up playing as Miki, Akira’s girlfriend. And that’s pretty much up to where I got.

The game seems to be more of a detective game in the sense that to get anywhere, you really do need to talk to people and give them the right answer (sometimes, the right answer is kinda… weird- like having to answer that, no, you did not watch TV yet). From where I played, it seems the game is more focused on information collecting rather than fighting enemies. In the streets there’s only one type of enemy. That may change in the later levels, though.

Fighting itself is kind of awkward. Not too awkward if you’re Devilman, but if you’re someone like Akira or Miki, enemies pretty much just fall back and run right back at you. You pretty much have no way of getting anywhere unless you jump over them (although I did fight one mini-boss as Miki and beat him up).

You might need to savestate if you want to get to the ending, unless you like noting down passwords. Also, if you die, the game will let you continue from there automatically (you have select continue first, though).

The game seems pretty fun. Snark’s translation is kind of pre-90’s in a way. Think something along the lines of the old Final Fantasy minus any apostrophes. Still, the game itself is pretty enjoyable.

To end this, it might be useful to know some controls:

  • A - Jump
  • B - Punch (or in Miki’s case, slap)
  • Start - Pause. Here, you can select talk if someone’s in the same room you’re at, or you can view the password
  • Select - Once you’ve transformed into Devilman once, you can transform back and fro at will by selecting either up (Devilman) or down (Akira) in this menu. Later on, after you’re done with Miki, you seem to need to punch demons out as Akira to build more anger so Devilman can fly to the next area.

Usually, characters will be terrified of Devilman and would much rather talk to Akira. Still, it’s fun to see their wailing screams as Devilman tries to talk to them.

Edit: After having played a little further from the time this review was written, I have determined that there is a greater action focus later into the game. I was actually unable to get any further because I suck at fighting in this game.

Translation Description:

Go Nagai’s Devilman comes to life in this graphic and text action-adventure game for the Famicom/NES. High atop the Himalayas, ancient devils are stirring beneath the ice after ten thousand years of imprisonment. Archdemon Xenon, their four-faced master unleashes them upon the Earth much to the chagrin of humanity. You are Akira Fudo who combines with a powerful ancient demon named Amon to become Devilman! Six levels of fire, ice, water, secret demon research labs, Tokyo ruins, and much more to explore as Devilman, Akira, his friends, or girlfriend Miki! Four exciting alternate endings! Check the read-me file for the walk-through and level passwords!

ROM / ISO Information:

  • Devil Man (Japan).nes - NOINTRO
  • CRC32: 0D327F0A
  • MD5: 4C0253FA8363340B11B5DB88CFF69459
  • SHA-1: 124E79FABB941F98DC439085BD8EAA1A1183921B
  • SHA-256: F0A960108D634A2120966BF152ACD095F72B25599EC6AEFF6396B41C0A8EC5B9

Links:

Screenshots:


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Credits:

Credits
ContributorType of contributionListed credit
snarkHackingTranslation

User Review Information

Reach the sky with devil power!

Reviewed By: goldenband on 02 Feb 2020

I first played through Snark’s translation of Devilman shortly after it came out in 2009. Back then, I’d savestate my way through everything in a kind of video game tourism, and as a result I could hardly remember a thing about it. When I went to give Devilman another shot this weekend (this time without savestates), I only had the vaguest memory of aimlessly wandering around city streets, barging into houses to have inscrutable conversations, and teleporting up into the heavens.

That’s only the first part of the game, though. Devilman is mostly a standard action-platformer, albeit a really weird one, with a dash of adventure game and a sprinkle of RPG. (It’s kind of a mashup of other games: take the forest levels and rescue dynamic from Friday the 13th, the strange enemy spawn patterns from TMNT, the big man/little man gimmick from Amagon, and so on.)

Devilman has a cryptic reputation, but I found much of it to be oddly intuitive: there are no Castlevania II moments here. It’s also forgiving, with infinite continues and a checkpoint-like system in some levels; the only real penalty for dying is losing some of your max HP, forcing you to grind to regain it. None of this is to say Devilman is a good game, though: the visuals and music are crude, the gameplay is mediocre at best, and the stage design relies too much on mazes. Maybe it’s not quite kusoge, but it comes close. I actually enjoyed my playthrough, but I enjoy bad games.

Snark’s localization isn’t what I would call stylish. It’s all-caps, it avoids using apostrophes for some reason, and the dialogue has that truncated, choppy quality I associate with early fan translations. That said, somehow it fits. Devilman feels like it should be a little bit enigmatic, a smidge rough around the edges. A florid, typographically-elegant translation would just be incongruous.

Extra kudos to Snark for making sure the password system still works. It’s one of the stranger ones I’ve ever seen, using a mix of italic and non-italic uppercase letters, plus a random handful of lowercase letters and symbols. But it works, and since it’s possible to screw up your game by failing to rescue people, having the option to restore from password is actually quite important. The README also includes a full walkthrough, which is a nice touch.

Version 1.0 Recommended - Yes

User Reviews
HeadlineAuthorDateVersionRecommended
Reach the sky with devil power!goldenband02 Feb 20201.0Yes