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Dhux's Rage

''La Cicatriz de Dhux'' is a Spain RPG Maker 2000 adventure which was released in English in 2009 by ''Erilex'' under the title ''Dhux's Scar''.

Story:
In a world full of demons there is one demonic creature known as the ''Dhux's Scar'' which seems to be the most mighty and dangerous one of them all that appears every 5000 years and its list of victims is incredibly long. Therefore it is granted a very high amount of money by the church to that one who is able to catch the demon and bring it to the castle of Jehridan until it causes too much damage.
One day the nerdy Elijah finds the outpowered and badly hurt Scar of Dhux in a forest and decides to take care of her... just to bring her to Jehridan alive and to get the money. Fortunately the Scar that claims to be a normal teenage kid named ''Celliann'' also wants to go right there, so they agree to travel there together. For some reason Elijah indeed takes the risk to go all the way along with that very dangerous demon playing that he has no clue about it and that he is believing her to be an ordinary child. Soon they are joined by an old friend of Elijah called ''Faye'' who seems to be some kind of transvestite or hermaphrodite at first. The way to the castle is long and full of other demons crossing their way.

The story is very interesting, because it is not only about the journey of the trio itself, but also about other relevant happenings that took place elsewhere in the world including other demons e.g. the very well done sequence about Hal, his childhood and the little girl that has fallen in love with a demon he needs to kill.
Especially the characters are very well done. There is the nervous weakling Elijah, fighting against his feelings for Dhux's Scar telling himself that she is a kid anyway and he does not want to be a pedophile. Dhux's Scar a.k.a. Celliann trying to hide her real identity by playing the role of a child, and finally the mysterious man/woman Faye cooperating with Elijah and hiding his/her interest for him.
While playing you can absolutely feel Elijah's conflict who on the one hand begins to like Cellian, but on the other hand knowing that she is a demon and fighting against her illusive petite and somehow vulnerable and wounded appearance. Faye seems to be a very cold-hearted, egoistical and arrogant person with the only goal to receive the promised part of the award being the best role-player of the group with the most unselfish intentions which he hides.
At the end there is a very shocking, incredible and sick truth revealed. Prepare yourself for emotional scenes!

The game has 2 endings: a bad one (''Elijah'') and a good one (''Sybil''). If you manage to unlock the good one there will be some more passages to play. Also you will find out about the truth only by unlocking the good end.

This game's story was one of the best ones I have ever played. Interesting characters, surprising turning points. It gets more interesting while coming closer to the end. The end itself though is a little bit confusing and you have the feeling that a tremendous encounter/final is built up, but then it suddenly ends. But I think it is hard to make a better story than this.
4.75 out of 5 points

Gameplay:
The gameplay is definitely the weakest point of the game. The standard battle system of the RM2k is very well used including a lot of great artworks and battle animations. I do not think you can get more out of the 2k battle system.

As nice as this looks, the balancing keeps a frightening thing...


Unfortunately that's the only good thing about the gameplay. At the beginning the fights themselves are well balanced except the very first fight. If you have figured out that Celliann can lower the opponents' HP to 1 with one single move which does not even cost SP you know how to do it. It may be happen that an opponent kills Cellian with one single hit though. So can be depend on luck. But that is not the problem about it. The point is that IF you die you have either to watch long sequences again and again, because they are not skippable nor are there savepoints or you have to fight your way through an army of on-map monsters again which are hard to avoid since the maps are full of them. I give you the hint to avoid as many opponents as possible until you have reached the savepoint behind them. Then fight the respective boss first before you go back a few steps to the savepoint and start to level up against the monsters laying behind you. The lack of savepoints higher the level of frustration.
At the end the battles get more and more unbeatable. I cannnot remember having played any game which forced me to cheat that often. Somebody who does not possess RPG Maker 2000 will have a big problem playing this game. Also there are some fatal bugs. The game collapsed in the first campfire scene because for some reason there is a ''clear timer''(''erase event'') set in middle of a dialogue. In addition to that I couldn't unlock the good ending without cheating even though I did exactly what the instructions after the bad ending told me. Remember that Cellian's special attack ''Unholy Prayer'' costs you PE (''travelling points'') which means if you use that attack too often you have a big problem, because you maybe could not reach Jehridan.
The movement speed of the hero is quite slow but I could live with that because otherwise it would have been too difficult to avoid the monsters.

So this game's gameplay includes incredibly bad mistakes which are completely unnecessary. I never got why a game that uses the standard menu anyway does not allow the player to save all the time, but in that case there have to be more savepoints. After all the major mistake keeps the fact that sequences are unskippable forcing the player to watch them a lot of times if he dies. That has to be fixed, because it causes a lot of rage when you play this. Therefore:
1 out of 5 points

Graphics:
The amount of selfmade tremendous and bloody artworks in this game is damn high! Selfmade facesets with lots of expressions for the most important characters are also used. This was absolutely awesome and I am sure there is a lot of work and effort put in these pictures. Some sequences have special tall sprites and a nice side view perspective.



Unfortunately the mapping is below average. The maps are well filled with stuff, however they look way too constructed. Cliff edges and canopies are damn straight for example which destroys the naturalness of the landscapes.

Do you see the character behind the stalagmit? If you think you can step onto the right tile you are mistaken which can be fatal if there are monsters incoming.


The chipsets contain edited parts of the 2k RTP as well as complete selfmade tiles. The problem is that they do not fit to the RTP chips very well. Also the edits are often not quite an eyecatcher.

I did not really care for missing light effects, because the tons of artworks absolutely compensated that for me, but the mapping makes me lower the rating a little bit down. Really a pity because of all the great artworks. With good mapping I would surely give the full rating, but so it's just...
4 out of 5 points

Sound:
There are not many RM games out there which contain not one single known or overused music file, but while playing ''Dhux's Scar'' I heard exactly zero music tracks I already knew. I don't know if they are self-made, but I don't care as long as I haven't heard them before. Especially the battle musics were awesome!
Some of the map musics maybe could have been more catchy, but at least the battle tracks were!
5 out of 5 points

Conclusion:
This game could have been my new favourite RM game just because of the big amount of all these unique violent artworks and the tremendous story with all these religious aspects. Unfortunately the gameplay mistakes that were made are absolutely horrible and cause a lot of rage. Those were really major mistakes which should not appear in any game. Thank god they would be quite easy to fix. Making the sequences skippable and placing more safepoints, also auto savepoints right before each boss battle, would solve the problem. Therefore I really recommend the author to bring up one more fixed version with less frustrating gameplay. It would be worth it. Seriously. But as long as that isn't fixed I can't give another than the standard rating for a good long full game which is...

Posts

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Cool review. I agree with most of what you said.
I finished the game cheating only once, final boss.
And I got no bugs or crashes.

That cliff screenshot is funny, I also got stuck and was attacked there a couple of times.
kentona
weaponizing mild annoyance into military-grade indignant outrage
17448
Holy crap that angel scene is epic. Now I HAVE to play this game!
I thought about posting that screenshot in my review, but I thought it could be too much of a spoiler. Actually, this review is full of spoilers.
It isn't. I broke up the info about the stroy before the surprises and the REAL STUFF happen. And about the picture: Those 2 creatures appear at the end. So it's a spoiler for maybe 1 minute. ;-) The screen is too awesome not to be shown. Just look at kentona's reaction and the effect it caused which was intended by me.

Otherwise send me the stuff you consider as a bad spoiler via PM and I will see what I can take out or change. :-A
you might want to put a spoiler warning...
Oh, I just saw the last two comments were about this. But those are some pretty strong spoilers!
RMN supports no spoilers.

Oh, it does, but somebody had lied at me...
woooo! it is complicated


Reviews are always spoilers though... therefore: No.
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