Foreword: When I first played the Memoria remake in 2014, I thought it was a very good game with amazing character design and a unique gameplay, and found it unfortunate that the story was not quite up to par. My review also revealed that I had only gone through what was the tip of the iceberg, with two prequels that I’ve completely neglected.
Ikusa Megami Zero
Ikusa Megami Verita
I’ve taken the time the past 2 weeks to actually go through every one of these games in its chronological order (with a maxed out savedata; grinding is so annoying), and found out that the story is indeed much better in the beginning games than the successive ones. In fact, I felt like a dumbass when I figured out that by playing the remake first, I’ve effectively spoiled the entire series for myself. Fuck you, me from 2014.
What I’d like to do to myself from 2014
This’ll be a fairly long review WITH SPOILERS discussing the main characters, story, and gameplay. I’ll try to go deep into what I found good about the series and what I didn’t. Now, please do keep in mind that I’ve only played the Ikusa Megami series from Zero -> Verita -> Memoria (remake). This may have biased my viewpoints onto Serika instead of Louie. In addition to this, I’ll be less descriptive about the Louie side of the story, because I have not yet played this “arc” of the series. One thing to note is that “Memoria” which is a remake, is pretty much the “Ikusa Megami 1” that was released waaaay back in 1999.
Also, you may notice that I use my own spelling instead of the Englishese that Eushully presents in the game. I personally think their “translations” are freaking retarded, so please forgive me in this aspect.
Please note that this game contains HEAVY spoilers! It contains a LOT of my personal analysis on the implications made within the game.
Summary: What do you do, when you lose your loved ones? How would you respond if the entire world hated you, and sought your death? What if your eternal, immortal life was filled with sleepless nights and silent anguish?
Don’t think society is the only thing that shuns your existence; gods will find your presence disgusting, monsters will haunt your back for as long as you breathe, and evil will always follow the path you walk.
At least for Serika, he didn’t know he would be walking this path as he returned from the Nohia Ruins after an expedition. As he is completely unaware of his eternal fate after returning to Markle, he meets a beautiful girl whose name was Satia.
Do you believe in Destiny? Serika replies with a strong “no”, but his own will drag him into the depths of Death and back.
Story Length: Moderately Short (~15 hours; without gameplay) | Very Long (>40 hours with gameplay)
Complete Story Clearing Difficulty: Very Hard
Comments: The difficulty of this game stems from the presence of multiple routes that’s available through very subtle decisions made throughout the game. In the very sense, this game had “flags” that you needed to raise at that moment, and was very difficult to complete without outside assistance. While uncertain about the “Zero” title, Verita and Memoria requires multiple playthroughs of the entire game to actually “complete” the game
Character Design Rating: 9/10
Story Rating: 5/10
Protagonist Rating: 9/10
Game Quality: High
Overall Rating: 8/10
Rating Comments: I’ve tried my best to actually combine all three titles into a single rating. I know this isn’t the best idea, but it would become too confusing to explain if I did divide all scores into separate titles.
Character Design is highly superior, with multiple characters contributing to the series. Each have unique and memorable traits, and this score received a large boost due to the design that some of them were “connected” across games, as I’ll explain further below. If I had to make a complaint, it was that within the first two titles, ALL the male characters were unvoiced, while even the most insignificant heroines had a voice AND H-scenes. This was a big negative since said H-scenes were often unnecessary even annoying to a certain extent, while some male characters (especially Serika) would have been considered to have a better design with a voice.
Oh yeah, Louie too. For the record, Lifia (green-haired loli on the left) is actually Louie’s granddaughter.
Story Rating falls greatly. As a game that incorporates an interactive element into the novel, there is less focus on the validity of the story and loopholes were present at some points. The game never explains “why” the things happened as it did and uses its “Own-World’s Logic” to commence with the scenario instead. While this “Own-World’s Logic” can both be a good and bad trait, it was considered “bad” within the Ikusa Megami Series context due to spanning three games and still not having a good explanation (e.g. Sex Magic).
In addition to this, the romance flat out sucks. This trait carries onto Memoria to a certain extent (while less prevalent), the characters pretty much fall in love for the smallest things or for the most trivial reasons. Really, I think future remakes need to dedicate a bit more in this field since that’ll make the H-scenes a bit more valuable. As it stands, it really made the heroines very shallow, having sex with the protagonist just because he “needs to”.
Though on the other hand, the game is HIGHLY climactic. From the mere CG backgrounds used to display battle scenes or the various stage designs which were intricately created, it was hard to believe that Ikusa Megami (At least the Zero title) is a game from almost 8 years ago. Don’t think the game skimps out on the gameplay either; well designed enemies with relatively easy to understand gameplay is really why I stayed to play the “prequels” of the game.
As mentioned in my previous review, this type of protagonist is highly favorable in a game like Ikusa Megami. While donkan and oblivious to romance and completely desensitized to sexual pleasure, Serika has a heart of gold and is often very caring (even overprotective at points) for his apostles. Despite the hatred that entire world points at him, he’s often sympathetic to his enemies and actually tries to understand them before killing them. His tendency to “not expect anything” even after saving someone’s life draws people to trust him more and more, and I can definitely say that Serika was a dynamic protagonist throughout the entire series (whether it was for the better or for worse).
Character Summary: Due to the nature of the title having so many characters, I’ll focus on Serika, his apostles, and a couple of the key characters, who I think were the most significant.
Obviously, this guy’s gonna be the first, the main protagonist for the Ikusa Megami series and one called “God-Murderer”. In reality, while it seems that Serika accepts this pronoun instead of his real name, he himself does not like it, since he’s not actually a “God-Murderer”; he was forced to kill a goddess while being controlled.
Imagine killing someone you love with your own hands. Yeah, not so great.
Due to various reasons, his memory is erased at various parts of the game throughout the entire series likely due to trauma or via other characters who didn’t want this character to go out of control. While he does have scenes within the Verita title where he regains all his memory, this comes at the sacrifice that he must forfeit his goddess powers and immortality.
It’s explained that due to the forceful “taking over” of the goddess’s body, Serika retains the goddess’s beauty as well as her female body parts. In order to maintain his gender as a male, it seems that Serika requires the collection of energy via killing demons (who have magic that can be drained), or via sexual intercourse (much more effective). It’s shown that Serika is highly skilled with “Sex Magic”, which he can perform various things, from giving a girl an orgasm or modifying curses. In fact, in this game’s setting, it seems that “Sex Magic” is widely accepted as one of the forms of rituals relating to gods and such, which was really awkward in my opinion.
I honestly found myself sympathizing with this character quite a bit throughout the story, since here you have an orphan who’s alone except for an older sister, but due to corruption of the leaders of Markle, he is forced to kill his loved one, “raped” his older sister, and placed the burden of immortality and eternal hate from society. At this point, I was actually slightly irritated that the game conveniently erased his memories, since Serika would have had a better design if he retained this caring personality even with all the memories of pain and suffering he went through.
Me: Um, I think I’ll just leave now
Serika: No you can’t
Another thing that I really didn’t like was how his “love” jumps all over the place, first to Satia, then to Shamala, then to Eclair, to Luna, and so forth up to Loka during the Memoria title. I mean, I get that Eushully was trying to make this character super-popular, but how his affection jumped all over the place made me question the value of the affection he was displaying for each character.
Remember that creature in Satia’s arms; we’ll see her again soon
I’ll admit after playing the third game and having this character appear in the beginning scenes of Ikusa Megami Zero, my first reaction was “Oh Shit” because I was able to immediately recognize who this was. As someone who should be more prevalent than how much she’s displayed, Satia is indeed the Goddess that Serika unwillingly kills. The sad thing about this is that Serika was madly in love with this goddess and vice versa, and with both characters about to die, Satia actually relinquishes her body to her loved one with the promise that Serika “live on”.
In this sense, Serika didn’t take over Satia’s body; it was forcefully given to him. It’s shown explicitly in game that this promise then haunts the poor protagonist as he genuinely contemplates breaking the promise and killing himself. It becomes bad enough to the point the game suggests that his “convenient memory loss” (which I kinda think was a bad element), was a good thing since it would cause Serika to break down much more easily.
Satia herself has very little role within the entire series, as strange as it sounds. Although playing the first game is crucial to help understand her occasional appearances in both the Verita and Memoria titles.
The Blue Demon of the Land is what this Demon God is called, the fearful ruler who is first seen performing a large-scale genocide on the half-snake tribe (Naga) when Serika visit their land to borrow their knowledge. Hyshera has an unknown motive to “attain more power”, and after witnessing Serika with the goddess’s body, decides to do whatever she can to take the body from him.
While she does have failed attempts, Hyshera eventually succeeds in pushing Serika’s conscience away and taking over the goddess’s body, which she utilizes to the fullest extent to take over a country and initiate wars with the surrounding neighbors. Her plan is foiled as she is defeated by Ancient Weapons and Serika takes over the body again.
Hyshera has somewhat of a rivalry with Serika at this point and challenges him to a 1-on-1 duel, where after her defeat, agrees to be sealed within Serika’s sword to guide him in any way she can. She is an irreplaceable guide and a 3rd wheel (in a good sense) throughout Verita and Memoria.
As someone who’s only played the Memoria game from the entire series, this antagonist was very hard to understand at first glance. Abiruse is a magician who meets with Serika at an underground cave-like town called Funoro as he escapes from his pursuers, and offers his help and friendship. He has a pure goal of trying to create a war-free world for magical beings including his apostle Perrel, and actually “falls in love” with Serika for his “beauty”.
However, this same romantic affection soon mutates into crazed obsession as he literally throws away everything in order to obtain the goddess’s power. Readers can see this character doing anything in his power including summoning the Dragon of Death in order to obtain his goals.
The 3rd title actually briefly repeats the same events that happened between him and Serika up to this point, which was a nice reminder for players. It also shows that due to his forced elongating of his life, Abiruse soon dies with Serika offering farewell for one of his “dearest friend”.
However, one of the routes in Memoria does involve Abiruse regaining this “pure intentions” again, and being saved by Serika. Considering how Abiruse is Serika’s “oldest friend” (they’ve known each other for well over 200-300 years; maybe up to a thousand), this was a great bonus.
The beginning of the second game, Verita, occurs perhaps another hundred or so years after the ending of Zero, where Serika is still hunted down for having the absolute powers of the Goddess. Ironically, Eclair was also one of them, as she starts to follow our protagonist hoping that he would kill her.
That sounds really weird, but it’s true. Eclair genuinely wants to die, but cannot due to a certain reason and knows that as the almighty God Murderer, Serika can grant her this wish.
Remember that tiny creature I told you to remember? Scroll up if you don’t.
Dragon Puberty OP. Nerf plz
Eclair’s character doubles up to how she’s actually a princess as well, and is quickly revealed that she has two younger sisters; the second sister who died due to having a frail body, and the third one who she actually killed. It is not shown at least in Serika’s side of the story what happened there, but due to the third sister actually being married to Louie, it’s presumed that his story series continue this tale.
This is the last scene in Ikusa Megami Zero where Eclair pops up very briefly, suggesting her presence in Verita, the sequel.
As someone who wants to die, Eclair naturally finds Serika continuously saving her very strange, and soon change her mindset that she wants to devote her life to this person who seemed to care for her despite her past. Eclair plays a major role in the “Verita Story” and one of the characters that connect Serika and Louie together. She is also Serika’s first apostle.
Shamala, the merchant who loves seeking for treasure
Marinia (on the left)
Shamala / Marinia
After Serika has “re-awoken” and obtains the goddess’s body from Hyshera, he is taken care of by the elves in Traismeil, who shelter someone who is essentially their enemy. At this point, Serika meets up with a girl named Shamala while strolling through the town square, and agrees to “hire” this merchant to guide him north towards Pureria.
As with every story putting two opposite-gender characters together for a long time, the two characters start to develop genuine affection for each other, and seemingly promise their future together. However, they are unfortunately split apart with Serika regaining a portion of his memories and heading to the Temple of the Gap (狭間の宮殿) to fight against his fate.
Shamala is pretty much the second character that Serika falls in love with, after Satia.
The Verita title’s “正史” route, roughly translating to “True History” displays a blue-haired character who’s hired by Lifia to investigate and protect her as she explores the lands. This “thief” like character named Marinia is later dispatched to “spy” on the famous God-Murderer, and end up joining him after the town they were staying at was attacked.
This character may seem very familiar to the readers who have gone through Ikusa Megami Zero, and Marinia oh-so-coincidentally also has the same last name, “Crepe”, as the Shamala from the first title. This suggests that not only is Marinia possibly a reincarnation of Shamala from hundreds of years ago (as seen by the two characters saying that each other seems very familiar), but also a direct descendant of the girl that Serika loved after Satia in Ikusa Megami Zero. Readers may feel a sense of relief and joy at this point that while Shamala wasn’t able to walk the same path as Serika, her reincarnation and descendant fulfills this role as the Second Apostle of Serika.
It just sucks that the romance is terrible, or at least non-existent.
Luna=Clear (I find it absolutely hilarious how Eushully translates her name into Luna Clearness. I’m so done)
Loka Ruscot. She actually makes a brief appearance in Verita at the very end, like how Eclair did in Zero.
Luna=Clear ; Loka Ruscot
Luna=Clear is actually present from Ikusa Megami Zero, as she is the Saint who led Serika and others into the Temple of the Gap to actually bait the “Final Boss”. After seemingly another hundred years and still retaining the beauty she had since then, Luna=Clear makes her appearance in Ikusa Megami Verita still as the Saint who receives a twisted fate and role of bearing Serika’s child in addition to killing him. She is then stripped from her position as a Saint by a new but corrupted Pope (Funny how this doesn’t change even in reality, eh?) and trapped in the Grave of the Gods along with Serika. This is where she sacrifices her life to save him.
I’ve always thought it’s freaking retarded for Luna=Clear to actually follow through with the orders until the last moment when she dies to save Serika. Bitch, if you wanted to save him in the first place, don’t follow those damn orders =_=;;
Loka Ruscot is briefly shown in Verita’s “True History route” and appears in Memoria, where she is actually assigned to Rerun, the same as Serika, to investigate the Mines. Her meeting with Serika is essentially the same as how Luna=Clear met with him, with the phrase “May I sit here?” along with the same tone of voice AND the same CV (Aoyama Yukari), so readers won’t have trouble realizing that these characters are related.
In reality, this is why Serika was so bewildered when he saw Loka. While he didn’t remember who she looked like, the very words she said and how she looks was so familiar to the protagonist as he essentially has a moment of “love at first sight”
Like the Shamala/Marinia combo, the game makes some implications that Luna=Clear and Loka are also reincarnations of each other, and actually present a very similar story line with a small exception that I’d rather have the reader find out themselves.
Personally, I’m not too fond of Aoyama Yukari’s voice. This is purely my own personal preference and has nothing to do it anything; I just wanted to throw it out there. (Aka, I wish Luna/Loka was voiced by someone else)
I’ll be honest, I was pretty DAMN surprised when this character was introduced in the later portions of the “True History” route in Verita. Even as a child no more than 5 or 6 years old, the absolute lack of emotions and how this character doesn’t even talk at first was very surprising (since I’m obviously used to the very well-behaved and friendly Shuri in the Memoria title).
Now I’d like to describe the scene that I found the most shocking, and I’m not even exaggerating here; the Serika, who realizes that he brought this misfortune to the young girl actually comes up to her and says
“…Please save me”
When you have a fucking badass protagonist who kills enemies for breakfast (literally) and even manages to kill the Dragon of Death (邪竜) coming up to a girl not even 1/100ths his age and asking for help, you know shit just got DAMN serious.
And this is really what happens to its most literal sense: Shuri takes this phrase seriously as she devotes her life to this protagonist while he recovers from the battle with the Dragon of Death. Learning household work from Eclair, Shuri becomes a maid for Serika in his residence in Lewinia and slowly gains emotions to what you see in Memoria. While I’m actually not too sure why Serika said this phrase to Shuri, though…
Nonetheless, Shuri eventually becomes Serika’s Third Apostle.
One thing I found funny was that how Shuri “grows” quite a bit between the ending of Verita’s “True History” and the beginning of the Memoria games. These two were supposed to be connected, yet she looks like she aged a lot despite being an apostle.
Before (Last scenes from the Verita’s True History Route)
After (Beginning of Memoria title)
Clumsy is what you might describe this character, a slave-girl who worked for a merchant named Grock. Spacing out often doesn’t do well for Grock himself, who strangely keeps this girl around with him. However, he seems to know something about Saria that both Serika and Ludon find out; she can actually communicate with spirits. This is shown by how she “talks” with a spirit named Marimo in the game and leads Serika to the Land of the Spirits later on in the game if the conditions are met. Ludon, a wealthy merchant himself who finds out about Saria’s powers, kidnaps her hoping to make her powers his, but eventually foiled by Serika.
While not exactly significant compared to other Apostles (except for the fact that she’s a loli-kyonyuu :D), Saria soon becomes Serika’s Fourth Apostle.
I missed a lot of characters like Nabeurius and Rita over here, but they’re not exactly “significant”. They ARE adorable though :D
Sexual Content: High
Comments: Alright, so for some comments.
Apparently, this game’s battle system that I call “Final Fantasy Style” actually has name for it (LOL) called Simulated Life Game (SLG). It basically means that there’s no “turn-based” strategy here; but more based on character stats in terms of speed that varies with what kind of attacks are used (big attacks are slower). I actually like this kind of gameplay (although I might be heavily biased since I love FF) though I can definitely say that the game does require a bit of grinding at times.
Though in a difference sense, I actually liked this game for having these “elements” similar to what we know of from Pokemon. Ah, the nostalgia
Back onto the story though; in general, I’d like to say the following for the three games within this series:
Zero: This is a “must play”, pretty much something you really need to play to understand the rest of the game. Strange how it wasn’t released until a bit later (after Ikusa Megami 1)
Verita: I would actually consider this the “best” out of all three, mainly due to how you are given the same scenario with the viewpoint of two protagonists. I love it when games present two protagonists.
Memoria: Probably the most fun due to all the side-stories that can be unlocked.
More battle scenes between Serika and Louie would have been GREATLY appreciated
On the other hand, I really, REALLY think that the Sex Magic is just retarded. Yes, there are scenes in Zero where Sex Magic is used in a pretty dark manner, but unlike titles like Last Cavalier, there’s really no good reasoning to all this sex magic taking place; it’s just accepted as such and that’s it. In fact, Eushully brings up two excuses to include H-scenes in this series in the first place, Sex Magic and Romance, and while the former already sucks without a “good reasoning” to support this awkward element, the latter is also clearly underdeveloped (e.g. Luna=Clear/Loka) and very poor. I guess it was at least bearable how the characters were colorful and original unlike recent charage.
In a sense, the relationship between Serika and Abirus was more clearly defined. Serika x Abirus anyone?
No? …Wait, who just called me a fag?!
But in terms of design, Eushully deserves some recognition because of all the foreshadows that might be present even from the beginning portions of the game. They made the story between all 3 games connect, and even have Louie’s route that needs to correspond to all this as well! This I think is superior design that they need to be praised for, even if the story itself isn’t that great
Eushully didn’t put that ominous dark shadow behind the final boss for nothing.
Affection for the Characters: Moderate
CG Score: 6/10. Great CG, especially in the remake, but some of them (in addition to sprites) are slightly distorted
Music Score: 8/10. I generally like the music within the Ikusa Megami series. Plenty of tracks ranging from battle music to peaceful ones.
Addictiveness: Moderately High.
Conclusion: I personally think Ikusa Megami series is a pretty nice series for anyone to go through because of the three titles having a connection while Verita and Memoria have multiple possible routes. In addition to the characters being very original and colorful, the protagonists presented (this comment includes Louie) are also quite powerful and sometimes funny, adding to the value of the story.
The bad points are that the sex-magic element is plain retarded and there’s almost no romance within this game. Otherwise, prepare yourself for a treat if you plan on playing this game!
Serika’s so pretty~
…Wait, that’s Satia? O___O