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Completely over-the-top, but you'll enjoy every minute of it.

Without question, Dhux’s Scar was the most bizarre RM game I have ever played, but also one of the most enjoyable. Featuring an absolutely absurd amount of original art, almost entirely custom resources, and unconventional battles, this is one game this is sure to keep you entertained.

Every five hundred years, a demon called Dhux is reincarnated upon the world to terrorize humanity. Long ago, God sealed Dhux’s powers and branded him with a scar on his forehead so that all men could recognize him and be wary. In this era, Dhux has reincarnated as a young girl named Celliann. When unscrupulous merchant Elijah stumbles upon Celliann in the woods, he immediately formulates a scheme to turn her over to the Church in Jehridan and claim the enormous bounty on Dhux’s head. Little does Elijah know that Celliann has begun to regain her powers, and has her own reasons for wanting to reach Jehridan. And so the two become locked in a dark chess game as both play ignorant to the other’s ambitions while planning to stab each other in the back as soon as the time is right.

Of course, the truth about Dhux is not so simple as humans believe. Celliann’s true nature is far stranger. And the true nature of Elijah is stranger still….

Balance 4/5:

Battles are both well-balanced and extremely interesting in this game. For most of the game you’ll have three party members. One of them, Faye, is an absolute beast with incredible strength, endurance and useful abilities. The other two, however, are much weaker. Elijah functions as a mage type character by casting spells from scrolls he can purchase (and later, craft into more powerful versions) for high damage, but he cannot sustain much punishment. Celliann is even weaker; unable to use her demonic powers without arousing suspicion, she will spend much of the game throwing rocks at enemies for miniscule damage and dying to stiff breezes, although she can subtly alter conditions in battles to her favor. However, Celliann has a very powerful ace up her sleeve. She can unleash the devastating Unholy Prayer to instantly annihilate any foe, even bosses. However, abusing this technique can have repercussions that will be discussed later.

Basically, this is a game where you simply cannot have all your party members attack or spam magic and come out on top. It requires planning and careful inventory management. You will not pile up stacks of useless healing items in this game, you will use every single one and need more, because bosses are devastatingly brutal. Fortunately Unholy Prayer is available to bail you out, if you need it. Enemy encounters are on touch only, and leveling is extremely easy compared to most games. In fact, for much of the game you’re likely to gain a level after every encounter. This means you’ll often actively be seeking out enemies to fight to gain levels, as long as you manage your item supply well.

Later in the game battles become less interesting as your party grows exponentially in power and the interesting party dynamics that made the earlier part of the game so enjoyable are no longer to be found.

Level Design 2/5:

This is the game’s greatest weak point by a wide margin. While towns are exquisitely designed, dungeons are extremely linear and you’ll nary encounter so much as a single switch in the entire game. You can use one of Cellian’s abilities to hunt for hidden items in some locales, but for the most part dungeon areas are just crowded, encounter-filled mazes requiring you to walk from one end to the other. The same few types of areas are even reused over and over again so they become fairly repetitive quickly.

Puzzles are almost non-existant and the few that do exist often have vague or ambiguous rules. One very near the end of the game even gives a game over for an incorrect response in a confusing sequence with no explanation.

Characters 4/5:

The characters in the game are incredibly well-developed and explore a variety of themes. Very few characters are nearly as good or evil as they appear at first glance. Cellian is a fascinating character, combining being a scornful, angry demon and a naïve child, she can horrify you one moment and make you sympathize with her the next. Faye, the androgynous, near godly mercenary has a fascinating background, and a few other characters that appear throughout the game are endlessly entertaining.

But by far the most intriguing character in this mix is Elijah, the protagonist. The very antithesis of a traditional RPG hero, Elijah is weak, cowardly, self-serving, conniving and amoral. Watching him interact with the world around him as he implements his schemes, and other characters’ various reactions to him, are perhaps the highlight of the entire game. Sadly, towards the end of the game Elijah undergoes some…unconventional character development and becomes a far less interesting protagonist from this point on.

Aside form a few translation errors, the script is excellent, the dialogue witty while never taking itself too seriously, which would the otherwise incredibly dark world far more pretentious. One flaw however, is near the end of the game a number of interesting side characters who have undergone considerable growth throughout the game are suddenly dropped for little reason and become irrelevant. This felt like something of a let down.

Storyline 4/5:

Aided at times by wonderful art panels to accentuate key moments, the initial story of the two main protagonists plotting against each other while ostensibly being on the same side is a fascinating and thoroughly entertaining premise that manages to stay interesting for quite a while. However, it also adds a unique aspect to the game in the form of a time limit of sorts. Moving from location to location, or using Celliann’s Unholy Prayer subtracts from a supply of P.E. If your supply of P.E. runs out, the game is over (Celliann gets bored and kills you). How many P.E. you have determines some other important things too, namely which ending you end up getting, so it’s best to not squander it. This means there is a limited amount of times you can run back and forth between a town and a dungeon to re-supply, sometimes forcing you to forge ahead with less than optimal resources. It’s a very clever mechanic that forces you to be more judicious about your actions.

Later on the story takes some conventional twists regarding religion, but it also throws some truly bizarre plot twists at you as well. . The game appears to borrow heavily from Xenogears (and, while we’re at it, Akira), and the game tells you up front that it is rife with religious overtones so there should be no surprise there, but it manages to avoid being too obnoxious about it. The main narrative is entertaining enough to see you through to its conclusion, unless you are put off by the truly absurd amounts of sexualized violence and gore. Unfortunately, the narrative feels weaker the closer you get to the game’s conclusion, and the ending itself feels very rushed and not quite as good as it could have been.

Music and Sound 4/5:

The game borrowed from a variety of sources, both commercial games and anime, achieving a dark and wonderful soundtrack to accompany the game. The attention to detail regarding music is excellent and key moments are played up with some truly epic compositions. The battle soundtracks are also great and do not get tiresome the way some can, and some of the ones you’ll hear later in the game are wonderful.

Overall 4/5:

A truly spectacular game brought down by very few flaws. Moreso than anything else, this game feels unique. This is not your typical RPG Maker game. You will never play anything else quite like it. Everyone should play this game immediately. Be aware, however, that this game is for mature players only; it contains a great deal of nudity, violence, gore, mature sexual themes, and other things you don’t want you little sister to see.

Posts

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Thanks for reviewing! I'm now a step closer to world domination, MWAHAHAHA-

Funny how the people of RMN actually seem to enjoy the battles, considering how much whining and moaning there was about their difficulty when I released the Spanish version of the game. I guess hardened RPG veterans are more common around here.
We are tough cookies.
Craze
it's been a long winter
12842
This review (and Karsu's insistence) makes me want to play. Downloading.
This review made me want to play the game... and it's definitely paying off. Great game, great review, I'll probably write one myself once I'm done.
Solitayre
Circumstance penalty for being the bard.
18012
My evil plan is working then.
love this game but iam stuck at third puzle where it says worshipped by belevers feared by hereticks soon very soon our path will undoubdedly what to do in this puzzle thanks for the help i apresiated
Solitayre
Circumstance penalty for being the bard.
18012
Try drawing a cross with the tiles.
thanks it worked thank you very much
Damn I loved this game, it´s unique indeed. And close to the ending, some of the more hardcore bosses I´ve ever battled against...

https://rpgmaker.net/games/1492/bosses/

those ones, damn. Most hardcore ever.
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