SFC Game 102 – Tengai Makyo Zero (Finished)

I did finish the game this week. After the Fire Bear Nation, you essentially go through the other five nations sequentially with a similar pattern — go to the nation, learn what is happening to it, and then make your way to the boss and defeat it.

The most annoying thing about all this is the very high random encounter rate. These aren’t encounters you can just hold down attack to beat — it’s appreciated that you should be using elemental attacks and such, but when there are so many of them it becomes quite tedious.

Peacock Nation

Blood is raining from the sky here, making everyone get sick. But to get to the tower with the boss we need a flying machine. This guy named Akamaru tries to trick you into giving him the key to the machine, but it turns out he’s the villain of this land. Fortunately Subaru, your second companion, shows up to help you out.

Some of her skills involve this egg/animal raising minigame, but it can’t be done if the clock is not working so I didn’t get any of those skills.

Once we get the ship we go to the bloodshed tower and finish off Akamaru.

Crane Nation

This land has suffered a severe drought that has turned everything into desert. You walk slowly through the desert but can hire a Sand Rat Cart to help out.

The boss here is Sara, the third of Ninigi’s underlings. We also get our third companion, Tenjin, who was one of the fire clan 600 years ago. He was in love with one of the Hell people Mizuki, but was cursed to have Mizuki inside him. He and Mizuki can switch who is in the real world but they can never meet.

Once Sara is beaten, the next person Juri absorbs Sara inside herself and then goes to the next world.

Turtle Nation

Juri has caused everything to be overgrown with forest. She’s a weird person who leads you through the world, putting up a lot of games, quizzes, signposts, and such.

Eventually though, she’s forced to fight — you fight her twice, once in the main form and then she combines with Sara and you have to fight her again.

Canine Nation

Here, some scientist has taken over and everyone has turned greedy, going after gold.

The first task is to deal with his big cat giant robot…this involves mining some gold ourselves and doing some other tasks to revive an ancient robot.

After a minigame we can get into the main castle, and beat the boss.

There’s a minigame in this nation that gives you a 1 in 3 chance to double your money, so you can save a few times and easily have several million gold which is enough to buy anything in the game.

Dragon Nation

We now have freed five of the six divine gods, the final one is the dragon in dragon nation. In a break from the past nations, we actually revive the Dragon as the first task. But this is also the land where the Gates of Hell is, so we’ll have to deal with that too.

The Dragon tells us that to beat Ninigi we’ll need Agni’s sword, which was what originally sealed him. It’s beyond the gates of Hell, and using the six stones of the divine gods we can open Ninigi’s barrier long enough to recover the Agni Sword. Higan has to do this on his own, but after going through a few tricks and traps he recovers it.

Now we go take on Ninigi in the Dragon Castle, but despite the Agni sword he wipes the floor with us and breaks the sword. So what do we do now? The Dragon tells us our only option is to go to Takamagahara in the heavens and ask Agni directly to help us. We need to use Ark’s Mirror to activate the divine ark that will take us to the heavens.

In Tamagahara, Agni is pissed off that we came to the heavens and brought conflict with us — she never liked the fact that the Fire Clan and the six nation gods rebelled against the heavens. She’ll help us if we show our strength by dealing with some of Ninigi’s monsters that have come to the heavens.

This just involves going around the heavens and beating three bosses in various towns. Higan’s “Dragon Strike” attack is helpful. The random enemies get much harder at this point.

Back at Agni’s place, one of Ninigi’s minions, the Atramentous Alabaster, is trying to break in, but we drive him off.

    Higan has to go through another solo dungeon to get the Fire of Agni in his sword, and then Agni also gives the other two their ultimate weapons. Now it’s time to take on Ninigi.

    I thought this was a tough fight. Higan needs a lot of health to use his Dragon Strike, and my basic strategy was to have Subaru and Tenjin mostly healing and buffing (Tenjin gets a skill at level 50 that lets him use any spell), but I kept getting Higan’s turn right after Ninigi’s — some speed manipulation helped here.

    But the game still is not over, we have to go to the Dragon Palace and fight Ninigi one more time.

    This was an easier battle, I thought, but the same strategy.

    Once Ninigi is beaten and sealed, Higan can choose to become the new king. I chose to become king, which seemed like a good idea.

    In the end this isn’t a bad game, but it’s really hampered by two things — the ridiculous random encounter rate, and the inability to do any of the clock-based events on an emulator (which is not the fault of the original game). There are a lot of other minigames and random stuff that I didn’t cover in the post. It of course suffers with comparison to the PC Engine games with the lack of speech and CD-quality music, but it’s a decent late-SFC period game.

    6 thoughts on “SFC Game 102 – Tengai Makyo Zero (Finished)

    1. Atantuo

      Judging by the screenshots, this game’s graphics seem to range from cartoonish but pretty good to outright amazing. I feel inclined to give it a try, but the encounter rate would certainly kill my enthusiasm fast. The clock issue is also a bummer, of course.

      1. kurisu Post author

        They made good use of the compression chip to have a lot of nice graphics.

        So many of these games would be improved by halving the encounter rate and doubling the XP/gold. In a sense this one is more onerous than usual because you can’t just hold down a turbo A button and a speedup key to finish the battles. Normally this is a good thing because it means the battles require some strategy, but the encounter rate quickly saps my resolve.

      2. Carlos

        It’s strange because, when I played this game back when the translation was released, I had no problem with the clock feature. Everything worked as intended to do in real hardware. But I didn’t use snes9x as it didn’t support all the features of this game back then, so I used one of the more accurate emulators that Byuu/Near developed (I think there were two, one named Higan and another one that I can’t remember now).

        But somectime after the TMZ patch was released, snes9x was updated adding full support to the patched game and all its features. Maybe the latest snes9x versions have some regression that breaks compatibility with the game’s clock? I’ll do a quick test with the Android version of this emu and I’ll share the results.

        About the random encounter rate, I honestly wasn’t very annoyed by them. I’ve played far worse ones in that regard and, to me, being able to finally play this game after so many years of wait, overshadowed any other negative thing. Also, i think there were items to reduce or temporarily eliminate them, and I even found some no encounters cheats on Japanese pages that worked fine with the patched rom.

          1. Carlos

            Yes, bsnes. That’s the one I used as well back then. Can’t recall which version, though.

            By the way, I’ve done the test I talked about in my other post. Tried the patched game on Snes9x EX+ 1.5.67 on an Android phone with kit kat 4.4 (Huawei G620S). Everything has worked like a charm, clock included. So it must be either a problem of the emulator or the patched rom you used. It seems that, for the clock system to work, the emu has to create a file with a .rtc extension and the same name as the rom file (in Android, it creates it in the same folder where you store the roms. On a Windows system, though, I think it uses a different path). The rtc file contains apparently some kind of binary data, as opening it with a text file shows some garbage characters.

            1. kurisu Post author

              Interesting — I have that .rtc file in my folder and the .xml file associated with the game mentions “rtc” as well but somehow it didn’t work in the emulator. I may just not have done something I was supposed to do before playing.

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