Exploding prinnies and self-destructing super robots. Just the few things you can stumble upon the zany adventure of Prince Laharl and her vassal Etna as he aims to conquer the Netherworld. Nippon Ichi Software’s 15th Anniversary title Disgaea 1 Complete is an HD Remaster of Disgaea: Hour of Darkness, the title that started the series back in 2003. Includes all the trinkets you’d expect like the Etna mode which will feature new characters not present in the original game as well as an option to choose between English and Japanese audio.
Demons, an overlord, monsters, and batshit crazy people. The series that made me think that being a demon doesn’t sound too bad… probably!? Laharl and his cast of misfortunate characters are not your typical good guys. They’re bad obviously! And jerks… yes! Jerks! Yet the story comes off with sunshine and butterflies. It’s cheerful with all the insane and comedic dialogue especially when demons party up with a dimwitted angel which makes the game a delight to play.
Starting off with Etna and her diabolic tools (and no I’m not talking about the prinny doods!) whom is trying to wake up the over-sleeping Prince of the Netherworld, Laharl. Two years have passed and he wakes up in a coffin bed while his father dead and possibly in a coffin six feet under. Now with trouble brewing for the fight for the throne, it’s up to Laharl to put them back in line. Onto the dimensional gate we go! Open some portals to varying locations to track demons and reclaim his rightful title.
There’s a hefty amount of grinding involved and one that I find very hefty indeed. Grab the next wormhole to the Item World and start leveling up those gears. This wormhole of sorts let you go deep inside an item’s innards filled with floating platforms and enemies we will call levels and clearing each level will then gain a level to the chosen item once you leave. Attack, gang up, or throw exploding prinny bombs at your enemies. Anything is A-Okay and everything is exploitable. So grab your grinding socks on and start exploring the isometric RPG in tactical play. Move a character in position and attack or throw them with another character to cover more ground before executing devastating abilities. Everything is fine in love and war even executing one at a time or in succession as you end your turn. Geo symbols, you either use them to your advantage or leave them be… using them to your favor however allows you to rack up scores and earn more rewards after a level clear so shame on you for not using them.
Open up the Dark Assembly screen and gather your senators to pass a bill, be it extorting money from senators or adding better or worse stuffs in the shops among a few other things. Naysayers can rot to hell though! As you force them to submit to your bidding. Maybe create new characters from previously defeated enemies or get a promotion exam for your chosen character. All of which can be done by expending mana you obtain by playing the character and beating enemies with it.
Your father died but that doesn’t mean Laharl and his gang shouldn’t. In fact I advise you to do so! Die a bunch of times… die every battle for goodness sake. Just make sure to have enough cash to pay your resurrection bills. Dying in the game is usually ill-advised but this is an exception as you can claim prizes to beef up your team which is always a good thing.
While the graphics has been updated, it can get a little hard to navigate due to the uneven plane of land especially in the item world. Unlike the more recent titles which also includes an overhead view to make the game a bit easier in the eyes and fix certain platforms blocking your line of sight on some areas this one doesn’t have it. The sprites however are crisp and looks good in the big screen which is always a plus. The menu however had an overdue appointment for a makeover which apparently wasn’t implemented. The simplistic look of the menu and the lack of an EXP bar is rather jarring as I get flash images of an annoying talking dog as he shouts “Did you level up yet, did you level up yet? Is it coming now? Is it coming now?” over and over again as I kill countless mobs in a quick swing of my demonic sword of godly destruction.
There’s a huge journey to be had and a grueling grinding session that needs to be done. Veterans of the series might not be its main audience especially after pushing through thousands of levels and character reincarnations and the lack of quality-of-life improvements in sequels and spin-offs. But as a newcomer it might as well be the best starting point when things are simple and there’s not a lot of things to consider. Price is of no importance but the $49.99 tag can be a huge turn-off especially for a game that’s been remade a bunch of times on different systems already.