We’ve all had that boss. You know the one I mean, the one who thinks they’re inherently better than you, who thinks they can do whatever they what with no consequence, who seeks to devour the entirety of the universe’s three ancient realms in order to sate their unfathomable hunger for chaos and destruction…okay, that last one was a touch specific, but you get what I mean. Luckily for all, despite the existence of these so called bosses, there are those willing to stand up for what is right and say no to evil. Those who lay their lives on the line to fight for a better tomorrow, to refuse to back down and…oh, those guys died? Screw it then, bring out the demons.
Welcome to the Underworld, a location best known for its balmy summer nights, abundance of small businesses and prevalence of Fallen Ones who rebelled against God and were cast down from the heights of Heaven for their hubris. A real vacationer’s dream. Or perhaps it would be, were it not for the impossible behemoth that decided it would be a laugh to eat the core of the Underworld. Well not actually a laugh, I don’t think it possesses any emotions beyond…screaming. Anyhow, with Fallen Ones being the prideful creatures they are, many soldiers rush to the battlefield in order to slay this foul beast, who we will come to know as Trillion, the titular God of Destruction (I’ll be damned if that isn’t a name to run away from really fast). Of course the faceless NPCs all perish, as they are known to do, and so the mantle falls to Astaroth, Overlord of Gloom and brother of the Great Overlord. He dies. Luckily, if you can call it that, he is not our protagonist, rather the Great Overlord himself, Zeabolos, holds that distinction. He dies too. Game over, goodbye, go home everyone, ta ta…but wait, what is that? Did someone say Necromancy? No? Well too bad, good ol’ Zeabolos is coming back for a second try, because of magic…and a girl named Faust.
Following Zeabolos’ mystical revival, he discovers that he is now unable to fight, frailty being a major side effect of reanimation. for this reason, the Tyrant Ring is forged, an object of immense power that channels the strength of Zeabolos’ soul and former life into the one wearing it. Being a game from Compile Heart, the candidates who step forth to beat this burden are your usual anime girl archetypes. There’s the brash one, the sleepy one, the cutesy one, the seductive one, the scary one and the brat. So get ready to pick a best girl and then weird yourself out when you find yourself unable to tell how old half the cast is and then, for and extra dose of weirdness, follow that up by reading how five out of the six are related to Zeabolos…not that that stops some of them. I don’t think this game knows what cousin means…Anyway, as per the game’s premise, your time with each lady will inevitably be cut short as they are forced into battle against something so evil that it frightened Satan, yes that Satan, way back in the day. So…good luck with that.
Let me put this simply; Trillion is a game about death. Like, a whole lot of death. Like seriously, so much death. The opening alone sets this up by killing everyone of note, which is a pretty bold move, made all the bolder by actually forcing you to play the unwinnable fight against Trillion itself. However, this is the entire point of the game, which is the reason I’m throwing this vague thematic wrap up into this review so early. By going into this game with the mentality of winning unscathed, or even minimally injured, you are setting yourself up for a hard fall. In fact, it is almost assured that your first playthrough will end in failure. Your whole first playthrough. Sure, I have heard that some are able to win during their first game and I tip my finest of hats to them, but I am not one of those people, I most certainly achieved Game Over status. Now, as to why I said achieved when I followed it up by saying I lost? Well that’s because I whittled Trillion down to below half health, which I consider a major, major win. Why? Well for those who are not yet aware, the title of the game does not merely refer to the creature with which we fight, but also how many Hit Points it has…let that one sink in. That’s one with twelve zeroes after it. 1,000,000,000,000. So yeah, perhaps you see the folly of believing in victory from the outset. Not that the game expects that of you, what with the providing of six playable Overlords and all.
Though the fight itself is the goal of this game, the bulk of your playtime will be spent in preparation. With generally four weeks of time allotted for Trillion to sleep, you must market a very finite amount of time into training your chosen Overlord. At first, you will be provided with a selection of three willing volunteers; Levia, Perpell and Mammon. Should all three fall in battle, Ashmedia, Ruche, Fegor will follow in turn, with perhaps some secret additional characters should…let’s face it, when you need them. But I’m getting ahead of myself. As with any RPG, characters possess stats, each granting them a specific benefit; Health, Magic, Attack, etc. Each of these are fairly self explanatory, with the only slight tweak being Speed. Instead of determining attack order, speed determines how many moves you can make in between Trillion’s attacks. This is important because, unless you make a concerted effort to bolster your defences, you will probably be taken out by a single hit from Trillion, especially later in the game. To this end, training options are similarly broken up, allowing you to specify which area your Overlord will improve in and thus become your weapon against Trillion. However, being the type of game this is, events do not unfold so neatly. Overlords also possess a fatigue meter, meaning that training constantly will result in injury and a forced ban on said training. This of course prevents you from increasing stats, which is terrible, but such is the price we pay for ignoring a doctor’s warning. Seriously, there’s a cut-in event called Doctor’s Warning if you’re training to hard. I saw it quite a bit myself. If however you are the responsible type, your days might be spent interacting with your Overlord, boosting their morale and your affection towards one another. In addition to being cute, this provides you with a nice buff in battle as Affection Points serve as a cumulative pool for HP and MP to draw from,, before they begin taking from their actual individualised bars. So be friendly people because it will help you in the long run…and is also a nice thing to do regardless.
Money also plays an important role in strengthening your Overlord, as it can be used to purchase upgrades for their unique weapons in two distinct ways. The first path involves boosting their base damage by paying the Blacksmith increasing amounts, as per the business norm. The second path involves paying to unlock Magic Seals, again at an exponentially increasing price point, allowing you to employ the use of some pretty serious buffs. Be it increasing attack, lessening critical damage taken, or altering the way in which your default strike deals damage, these Seals are an invaluable tool in strengthening your Overlord. For those wondering where you acquire these Seals, and the money used to purchase them, I would like to direct your attention to the Valley of Swords. This procedurally generated dungeon is an area in which you are allowed 120 turns (movement and attacks combined) per visit. Within this time frame, it is your job to open chests, beat enemies and make it to the exit. Should you be defeated or fail to make it to the exit, you receive none of your collected loot, forcing you to plan out each and every move you make. The Valley of Swords also has the distinction of being the only time outside of the Trillion fight, or the practice bouts with Mokujin, wherein you can actually control your Overlord. So relish the opportunity.
For those wondering what I meant by “practice bouts” and “Mokujin”, allow me to elucidate. As mentioned, you are given a few weeks to prepare before Trillion awakens. At the end of each week however, you are forced to fight a practice bout against Mokujin, a wooden mimic who assumes the form of Trillion. The purpose of this endeavour is to allow you to get a handle on controls, attack patterns and anything else you should need to know before you face the ultimate evil. What this “anything else” usually boils down to is that you always wish you had more attack, more defence, more speed and more everything, because Trillion is ridiculous. From personal experience, I was most successful when buffing attack and speed, with my record being somewhere around the 160,000,000,000 range for Mammon. Which is not actually that much of Trillion’s health bar…at least not as much as you think.
Trillion: God of Destruction is a very unique game. Okay, so maybe stats aren’t anything new and boosting affection has been around since visual novels decided love was in the air, but the configuration and combination of this game’s elements are certainly unique. The main standout of this experience however, is the fact that the entire game is one prolonged boss fight. There’s no mid boss, no smarmy second in command, just Trillion, in all its horrifying glory. Nothing quite conveys a villain’s power like spending 30+ hours barely making a dent in its HP. Of course, for this very same reason, God of Destruction can be an infuriating game. In addition to my previously mentioned, and self declared, 16 billion strong success, I also sent one Overlord into battle to deal a total of 0 damage against Trillion. Due in no small part to my lack of amazing skill, there is also something to be said about the Overlord’s default status. Despite granting you time to practice and develop a strategy, the game forces you to forgo some ideas by presenting you with a character who specialises in a stat that you previous Overlord did not. If you are the type who prefers Attack, then a fighter adept in Magic will certainly change up the dynamic, not necessarily in a good way either. With a disposition to stay at a distance, Magic wielding characters generally possess a far lower base Speed than brute force fighters. As such, without a lot of investment, they will often be unable to escape the ever expanding attack zones of Trillion’s pesky strikes. The game itself also seems inherently biased towards Attack based characters, as the number of passive skills that bolster said stat far outweigh those that buff Magic. Which kinda sucks.
To cut a very long story short, Trillion: God of Destruction is a game about trying. When you first start the game, you are bound to make mistakes and will probably wind up losing your first Overlord in a stupid way. For those concerned by this factoid, I provide this nugget of wisdom; progress is never pointless. when one Overlord dies, their experience is passed on to the next. Not directly mind you, but the points are made available for you to spend on your next contestant, allowing them to start roughly as strong as the last before they fell. Fallen Overlords also persist via their Death Skill, a powerful set of abilities that can deal colossal damage to Trillion, seal one of his body parts to prevent it utilising its full list of moves, empower the weapon of the Overlord who follows them, extend Trillion’s sleep cycle to allow for more training or allow them to remain as a ghost for a set period of time and aid in battle. Of course each Overlord may only choose one of these options, but it is still a powerful factor nonetheless. The final, and perhaps greatest, detail I can convey is that this trend continues through to New Game Plus. Yes, even if you lose to Trillion in your first game, your experience will carry forward to your next attempt which, combined with your knowledge of the gameplay mechanics, will serve to make this impossible foe more and more possible to defeat. Unless it has like, multiple forms or something, but there’s no way that’s true…
Delve into the Underworld and learn everything straight from the source. Be warned though, I hear that place is a bit Iffy…