Unique concept of the fresh Makai Ichiban Kan label, Trillion God of Destruction had aroused my curiosity for months. A clearly choatic development later, it’s indeed a original and complex game that I got, but maybe too much actually…
The Idea Factory-published game starts as tragically as it will (probably) finish. Trillion, giant monster of unprecedented strength, has invaded and starts eating the Underworld. Astonished at the news that his brother fell, the Great Demon Lord Zeabolos himself goes to fight the dangerous invader. In vain, Zeabolos will be torn into pieces by Trillion, before being saved just in time by a mysterious scientist named Faust.
Having lost all its strength after his defeated against Trillion, Zeabolos cannot fight anymore but most of his power has been transferred into a ring by Faust. The ring can be bestowed to other Overlords, who happen to be all demon girls related to Zeabolos. From there, you play as the Overlords one after another until you stop Trillion… or until you run out of characters, which means utter defeat.
To start depleting efficiently Trillion’s trillion of HP, you’ll have to train your Overlord the best possible way. In Compile Heart’s new title, time is limited : after each encounter, Trillion will eat the Underworld a little more, a then hibernates and you have only several weeks to be ready until it wakes up again. Most of the actions you take in training mode cost you 1 day in the game. The “training” command will be the most commonly used : after a short scripted sequence, you accumulate points of various categories (Attack, Magic, Responsiveness, Appeal, Sense).
Those points can then be converted into definitive statistics but there’s a sort of exchange rate proportional to the stat value you reach. For example, at high level, you need 16 points of responsiveness (among others) to add 1 to your character’s Speed stat. Note that Attack and Speed are your top priorities when converting points, especially the latter that allows you to anticipate Trillion’s attacks.
You’ll also want save some of your points to invest in skills. Active skills for starters : those are the physical/magic abilities you can cast from afar to hit Trillion and its pawns. But it’s not just that and you’ll find movement skills of utmost importance, because they allow you to move 2 or 3 squares at once. There are dozens of passive skills you can choose from : some improve your strength, defense, critical rate following varied conditions. Some others will make you save some MPs, increase gained experience, etc. You have to read them carefully, because some will be more or less useful depending on Trillion’s current state and strategy. For example, fudô no ishi, which increases the damage dealt as long as you stay on the same square, must be chosen only if you are sure to have a reliable opening against Trilllion.
Other possibility to train, senjin no tani is a training zone where you have to open as many treasure chest as possible in a limited number of turns. You can loot gold, equipment, but more importantly, seals for your weapon. Seals are key to prevail against Trillion because then improve your stats dramatically or give various effects like increasing your reach.
Trillion God of Destruction also feature a fatigue gauge so you’ll have to hit the “rest” menu from time to time. You have 4 possibilities : sleep for an entire night (great recovery), collect gold from inhabitants, go on a date or pick some presents. That’s where you realize that the story is more about love and humor than fan-service. Trillion God of Destruction indeed focuses on the relations between Zeabolos and his relatives, in a fun and moving way which is directly linked to the sacrifices that happen in the game. Like in Fire Emblem Fates, it’s pretty hard to send to death characters you came to like for their sweet personalities. Trillion God of Destruction achieves his goal, because you do feel the bitterness of loss and defeat. Last but not least, this sub-menu will grant you omoide points, which are a reserve of HP/MP to be used on the field. In other terms, as long as you have omoide points, our character won’t have to use its own HP/MP. The more you have, the longer you can stand against Trillion. In the same way, offering presents allows Zeabolos to raise his affinity level with the girls. Up to you to find out which present suits to whom, and bear in mind a 100% affinity is a big help at the end of the game.
With a personality derived from the 7 sins, the Overlords are a crazy bunch. Overlord of pride, Luche is a tsundere like you’ve never seen who keep complaining and talking down to her lord. Levia on the contrary, being the Overlord of envy, will be so overprotective of Zeabolos that she’ll drive him crazy. Angel Uriel is by far the most hilarious character : arch-rival of the demon world, he must cooperate with Zeabolos against his will in the common goal of destroying Trillion. Absolutely disrespectful, his defiance towards his hosts is pure fun!
Trillion God of Destruction is remarkable for its design somewhere in-between Mugen Souls and Disgaea. This is no coincidence : while Mugen Souls’ character designer Nanameda Kei is indeed behind’s this game’s art, the producer is Masahiro Yamamoto, former Nippon Ichi Software staff who directed Disgaea 4. No surprise to find this little satanic touch in Trillion’s universe : the medic says DEATH instead of です in japanese, and the present are all weird with eerie descriptions like the 98° sake, the obscenity candle or the dôjinshi of darkness. With its numerous characters and all those little details, the niche publisher built an comprehensive and appealing universe.
Let’s get to the heart of the matter, the actual fight against Trillion. One and only boss in the whole game, boasting 1 trillion HP, you’ll need to hit it little by little with countless blows, which also means you have to get close to it. Each Overlord can fight Trillion up to 3 times, but its hibernation time (and then the time left for you to be prepared) is reduced every time. But of course at the same time, Trillion keeps going forward towards the core, and it’s game over if it reaches it. Battles take place on a grid like any tactical-RPG, with squares marking the distances. Trillion will essentially do two things : attack and advance. Cruel and heartless, Trillion will never flinch and will slaughter your poor girls with no hesitation. The battle stops when your character dies or retreats, or if Trillion reaches the line of defense (in case your character is strong enough to resist that long). At the 3rd fight of the same Overlord against Trillion, the giant will spread a toxic breath that will kill your character for sure. To be clear, death in Trillion God of Destruction is definitive, but also unavoidable.
Any direct attack from Trillion will kill you on the spot. So you do have to know the color code that works as a countdown for its attacks.
White → attack coming in 4 turns
Yellow → attack coming in 3 turns
Orange → attack coming in 2 turns
Red → you really should get the fuck out of there
A lot more disturbing, Trillion also has abilities affecting your movements. You absolutely need to learn when it’s going to do such a thing and anticipate so as not to end up on a lethal square.
Once it has lost a certain number of HP, Trillion evolves, a bit like a pokemon (Trillion would make a damn fine pokemon if only it weren’t so evil). Each time it transforms, it becomes at least 20 times more dangerous and changes all its attacks and its strategy. Therefore, the player must rethink his approach too by taking into account Trillion’s new behavior. That way, the idea of fighting a unique opponent in the whole game is not as repetitive as you might have feared, because you need to adapt Trillion’s rising power and dirty tricks all the time. At this point, Trillion leaves very few openings, so you’ll have to build them.
When one of your characters is about to pass away, she will activate her Death Skills. You can then choose between the following : deal a great amount of damage to Trillion (like dozens billion HP), revive as ghost to help the next Overlord, extend Trillion’s hibernation, improve the net Overlord’s weapon or seal one of Trillion’s body part. The latter is by far the most useful one as it will deprive Trillion of some of its capabilities, which makes the next fights a lot smoother. Besides, when to the ring is bestowed to another character, there is a little experience bonus which makes her theoretically stronger than the former.
But here’s the snag. Trillion God of Destruction is impossible to clear in one playthrough (the producer downright said it in a Dengeki interview). You therefore need one or several new game+ to expect something other than a game over screen. It’s really disheartening and Trillion’s last form doesn’t help : you need to seal almost every part of its body to just get near it, which you must sacrifice several characters. Besides, it rushes towards the defense line a lot too fast, which leaves you very few occasion to deal damage.
There are also pretty huge gameplay issues : for some reason I won’t reveal here, magic is useless against Trillion at the end. But there’s a set order of characters at this point and several of them are magic users, which means a annoying lack of attack power. On the top of that, there’s a problem about seals. Trillion’s last form requires some precise seals on your weapon, but you have no guarantee to have them since the drop of treasure chests is completely random! We also lament poor graphics overall, unsophisticated maps and chibi characters very unlike the first screenshots shown in 2014, sign that a downgrade occurred. To finish on a more positive note, I must stress that the music in this game has been surprisingly good, with solid battle theme and even better character themes. Dubby Witchcraft has some awesome vibes and Fragile Female is simply the best composition that came to my ears last year.
Trillion God of Destruction is a fairly unique tactical-RPG boasting clever mechanics and remarkable design, but it’s seriously hard as fuck. It is made to break the player psychologically in giving a very feeble glimmer of hope. It is possible that you play this game dozens of hours and see nothing else than a game over screen. Is it still entertainment at this point? Everyone shall find his own answer to this question.