SFC Game 97 – Maten Densetsu (Part 1)

Maten Densetsu: Senritsu no Ooparts (魔天伝説 戦慄のオーパーツ), released 10/27/1995, by Takara

I’ve chewed through my buffer and am not done with this game yet so this will be a 2 part (hopefully) game. The game seems to have only been a minor release; there’s almost nothing available on it in Japanese. The subtitle means “terror of the ooparts” (an oopart, or Out Of Place Artifact, is a real term in pseudo-history/science referring to things like the Baghdad Battery or other things that supposedly support ancient alien or “lost civilization” theories.

The game begins abruptly — you choose one of five main characters (I don’t know how they are different, I chose Rai), and immediately start in a ruined Tokyo with this strange mask staring at you. Rai manages to somehow manifest a gun out of nowhere and tries to fight the mask. He can’t really do much but then he wakes up with a woman’s voice in his head telling him to come to Shinjuku, and he has the gun.

Rai wakes up in the house of someone named Akihiko. Because Rai was able to manifest this gun, Akihiko thinks he should have an invention that works on satellite data to find living things, automap, and do other things. It turns out that Japan is now floating in the air, and monsters are all over the country. Rai also has gotten a ball that can revive allies.

Everything in the game works off of Energy, which you get either from beating monsters, or finding certain places in dungeons or on the world map that grant you energy. You can do three basic things with the energy:

  • Raise your stats. I’m not clear on what the exact effect of each stat is, but it seems to be Physical Strength, Physical Endurance, Physical sPeed(?), Mental Strength, Mental Energy, IQ, and Defense. The amount it costs to raise each stat is shown at the right.
  • Upgrade your weapon. You need to raise your IMG stat (which goes up from Mental stat points) to at least the level of energy it costs to do the upgrade. There is a limit to how much you can upgrade, and some weapons can’t be upgraded. For the woman companion that you get later, you can learn new “spells” by raising her “psychic circle” level, which runs off the same IMG idea.
  • Make items. Any time you find a consumable item it goes in your item matrix, and then you can use energy to make more of the items. This is your main way to heal and recover (there are very few places in the game where you can rest to restore PSY/MP), and it’s important to find the items like the Coffee (which restore PSY).

On the overworld you move around like this (with the blue triangle representing your position). Pressing Y will show pink diamonds in areas where you can find things. They might be enemy encounters you can’t run from, or places you can go in, abandoned JDF cars you can search for items, people to talk to, and such. There are random encounters as well.

The dungeons are first-person with an automap. By looking at the top right of the view you can see black crosses where there are places of interest, so you do not have to enter every square. I think the dungeons are a bit too large, but maybe they had to do that because they can’t expect you to spend time exploring every square.

The combat system is the same-old same-old. Nothing to say.

I wandered around as Rai for a while, and picked up two monsters to join my team. You can get more of these throughout the game and use the revive orb to “store” the monsters you are not currently using.

Rai encounters a number of survivors hiding from the disaster, including one named Ryuji who is also able to manifest weapons (though he doesn’t join). Rai learns that reaching Shinjuku to find the mysterious woman’s voice will require going through subway tunnels. After finding some bombs in a JDF installation, Rai removes the rubble and then goes through the tunnels to Shinjuku.

In a park there he finds Chisato, the woman whose voice he heard. She joins the party as the “spellcaster” of the group. Chisato claims that Rai is the only one who can gather the 5 powers necessary to fight and defeat the root of this cause, and that by gathering the right energy she can teleport to various places.

We head for an underground area that has Fujin and Raijin monsters in it — defeating them both gives Rai a new weapon, and gives Chisato enough energy to teleport, but only once. We go to Hiroshima.

This is where I currently am, so I will update next week. So far the game is OK; I’ll have to wait until the end to see if it gets more tedious than I enjoy.

4 thoughts on “SFC Game 97 – Maten Densetsu (Part 1)

    1. stepped pyramids

      I had the same reaction. Even the overworld map where you move around a little triangular marker is very similar. Of course, they omitted the monster recruitment and fusion systems. Probably too interesting.

      1. kurisu Post author

        Although it clearly is inspired by SMT I don’t know if I would go so far as to call it a ripoff. It doesn’t have the SMT-style monster recruitment, it lacks the religious themes, and the energy system doesn’t really match anything in SMT.

  1. Morpheus Kitami

    While most of the gameplay seems to be generic, that energy mechanic is fairly interesting. Having one single stat powering everything could put the player in some interesting situations. Not as much as if, say, the game made your sources of this energy limited, but even as it stands this is one of the more interesting character mechanics I’ve seen in an untranslated SFC game.


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