Welcome to the world of Serika Shirufiru. Welcome to Ikusa Megami Zero.
Released on June 13, 2008, Ikusa Megami 0 is the prequel of the Ikusa Megami series. It is entirely about the Godslayer, Serika Shirufiru, and his origins, detailing how he who was once human received the loathed and sought-after title of Godslayer, and of the tragedies that followed suit. In all sincerity, this is really one of the most epic eroges out there, and you owe it to yourself to play this one. Not just because this ties in to VERITA, which I’ve been going nuts over, but because it really is very good.
At the heart of Ikusa Megami 0 is Serika Shirufiru, the man who would later become the Godslayer, and throughout the game you control him (for the most part). He’s the pivotal character, and everything happens around him. Kind-hearted and very talented with his sword skills, Serika’s goal is to become strong enough in order to protect the weak and put an end to conflict. He’s similar to other morally upright characters like Emiya Shirou in that regard, though Serika is more compromising when it comes to doing what has to be done and is nowhere near as insufferable. He’s also very much a tennen boke, but not so much when it comes to the fuckans.
The story of Ikusa Megami 0 starts off with Serika and his comrades, comprising of his sister Kaya and his best friend Dalnoth, kicking monster ass as they investigate the matter of monsters attacking villagers. Cue to the first dungeon of the game which is a big tutorial, where Kaya ends up getting separated from the rest of the group only to be reunited with Serika and Dalnoth right before you fight the boss at the end, with some monster-on-girl fuckans in between. Serika later revisits the dungeon in remorse for having killed the resident water serpent, and in his wish to find its infant, he runs into a girl who goes by the name of Sateia instead, who believes that their meeting was destined to happen.
Oh, and he’s also the Yuusha candidate of Balhart, and after a ritual involving him coming into close contact with their “sacred treasure”, he is given the mission of finding a way to purify the said item, the same mission that his father was entrusted with – and failed at, long ago. During his journey to search for the method of purifying the treasure, he runs into several characters and finds out more about the true nature of Balhart’s so-called sacred treasure, and ends up becoming embroiled in something that would lead to several future tragedies.
I’m tempted to spoil the story for you, but I won’t because it’s something that you have to read through and experience for yourself. Admittedly, I’m relatively new to the mythos and world of Eushully so I didn’t get some of the things that happened or were discussed (which is a nice way of saying that the events in Omal mountain in particular confused the fuck out of me), so if you’re new to the entire thing, then heads up – you’re not gonna be able to understand every thing in the Eushully world all of a sudden just by playing Ikusa Megami 0. The story’s emotional value and impact, however, are not to be underestimated.
Discovering that Serika, who only desired power in order to protect those he loved and end conflict, ends up obtaining power by actually killing those he loved, and becomes a cause of conflict; as well as the deep realization that, in the process, he lost not only his purpose for power but everything that actually mattered to him yet gains a new purpose (the promise he made) in the process, was quite a moving experience, one that I was very much glad to play through. It’s much like 君が呼ぶ、メギドの丘で, only Ikusa Megami Zero’s emotional undertones go understated until you stop and actually think about what happened to Serika throughout the story.
While it’s epic in scale and impact, it’s not perfect. There are some parts that do feel awkward, like the “last” sex scene between Serika and Sateia – you’ll know it once you see it. In terms of pacing, the story’s got itself paced nicely – none of the buildups felt too slow or fast, while the immersion factor is such that once it grabbed me, I had a hard time tearing myself away from the game.
With regards to the characters, while Serika is the main focus and star of the game, the other characters are still very interesting and decently-fleshed out, like Sateia. Myself, I ended up being drawn to Rekushumi.
Gameplay-wise, the game’s easy to navigate through, and if you pay attention to the tutorial you’ll know everything there is to know about the system. The combat is simple and easy to follow, with the characters and enemies represented with both statues on the battlefield and cards to designate effects and damage taken as the battle unfolds (something that reminds me of 冥色の隷姫/Princess of Darkness). There’s a nice variety of skills to choose from, such as magic skills, summoning skills, and special attack skills, so you can mix and match your ass-kicking preferences.
Also, certain gameplay decisions can have an impact on the story – for example, depending on how much Steinrura soldiers you choose to run into and fight, their village will either survive or end up being destroyed.
The music is excellent, with some of the tracks sending chills down my spine during certain events or dungeons, while the voice acting is very much remarkable, as the performance and delivery of most of the seiyuus were just wonderful to listen to.
How about the fuckans? It ranges from the bizarre to utterly delishuz, and while some of the scenes might not click well with some people, 41 scenes is bound to make sure that at least some of them end up being memorable enough to replay.
You know what? I’m just going to start rambling at this point on, because this review will never do Ikusa Megami 0 justice. It’s really one of the most epic games out there, and if you’re after an epic experience with fun and challenging RPG gameplay and an emotionally engaging and riveting tale, then go get Ikusa Megami 0, and get hooked on it. HOOKED ON IT, I TELL YOU!