This was my first Memorable RPG that I replayed over and over as a child. I thought I had discovered everything but I still missed mutations somehow…huh. Anyway, R:TDS was the name of this old Gameboy Color game that was also called “Shin Megami Tensei: Last Bible”. Now years later upon finding out that this was a Shin Megami Tensei game, I tried to play games like it like Persona and SMT 4 but they just don’t capture the same magic for me. I’ve yet to finish either of them, great games that they are, but I can put the game back in my Gameboy Advance and play it through. I remember buying it back in EB games for $20 and its my favorite GB game ever with Pokemon Silver coming in a close second (Lugia for life).
So the story starts out with your character El. Thats his name but you can name him whatever you like, along with the other two leads. He graduates from Hogwarts when demons attack and steal the Horcrux and instead of solving it with a wand he solves it with a sword, bloodshed, murder, and mayhem.
El has the ability to talk to monsters and recruit them to his cause. This ability is never really explained nor do I see anyone else use it besides the -GAIA MASTERS- which are the bad guys of the game. Typical gameplay goes
- Fight for a while and level
- Attempt to recruit (insert monsters name here)
- Get Hit
- Try Again
- Fail Again
- Get Hit
- Try again
- Succeed because you’ve learned its pattern.
This will continue for a while until you get to your second character named Kishe. Kishe can use his polymerization card to fuse demons like Jaden Yuki in every duel. There are some demons that you cant make because of your level restrictions (you cant make any demon thats a higher level than you) but this is where you’re typically going to go crazy with ALL the combinations. I spent a good 3 hours recruting the max amount of demons, fusing them, fusing the fusions, and continuing this until I couldn’t fuse anymore because of the cap. Fusing is a great mechanic and something i’ve always loved about the Shin Megami Tensei series.
The last character you will get is Uranus. She is basically Dr.Dolittle. Both in the sense that she talks to animals and in the sense that she doesn’t really do much else from what I remember. The animals give you hints and clues on what to do next and point you in the right direction, but aside from being mandatory in the story…once? You’ll never have to talk to a horse or dog again. I might be wrong there but I honestly don’t ever remember it being mandatory aside from her recruitment quest. Another ability she has is she can talk to plants as well. You’ll use that a bit more than the animals . Her one BIG use is that shes your white mage. She will heal you for great deals of health so you wont have to waste a slot on a monster with crappy healing because you need it. You have to save her father from a tower and around this point in the game the difficulty spikes for me. It never gets too tough, but i’ve grown out of grinding too much in games. I usually go 1-3 levels above the enemies and move on.
I want to mention that there are also special monsters too. These monsters are like optional minibosses that you can recruit and when you do they help a great deal for a long while. You can’t manually fuse them though, you have to talk to a certain NPC at a certain point in the game or else it’d break the game. Imagine getting Yojimbo as soon as you met Yuna, except he did his duties for free. Those monsters are Orthrus and Cerberus. When you defeat these two powerful lions you’re naturally gonna wonder “I wonder what would happen if they fused” You will indeed get that question answered if you are patient enough. The OTHER type of special monsters are the “bone” monsters as I like to call them. You collect 3 sets of 3 bones to create 3 different monsters. They are also powerful additions although I never used them as much. They are “Dragon”, “Kirin”, and “Amon”. Although after watching “Devilman: Crybaby” I might start using Amon more, esp with the last boss “hint, hint, wink, wink, nudge, nudge”
All in all I have alot of fun with this old title and although its on the easier side of the SMT series, its still fun for a nostalgic romp through the past. It’s probably my nostalgia bias but its one of, if not my first story driven RPG and If you can play Pokemon Red over and over with a simple rock-paper-scissors playstyle, then this game and its strategy, deserve a playthrough. I’d say 7/10 realistically but 9/10 with nostalgia bonus.