Friday, August 7, 2009

Look Ma, no English: EVO

Last night I plopped down on the couch and decided I was in the mood for a game. Not just any game - an old SNES game (or Super Famicom, as the natives call it). Browsing through the posibilities, I settled on an old favorite - a unique game that never got as much play as it truly deserved - EVO: Search for Eden. I don't know if you've ever played it before, but it's quite the hidden gem. As I've played through it many times, I decided to mix it up a little this time. That's right: we're going through it in Japanese! Let's go! (Get ready for a long post)!

Ah, glorious. In Japanese, the game is called 46 Okunen Monogatari: Haruka Naru Eden E. In English, that's roughly "4.6 Billion Year Story: To Reach Distant Eden." Are you as excited as I am?
Ah, so here's Gaia, the Sun's daughter. She's explaining that we're going to get a chance to go through the ages and do our best to survive - all that good stuff. If we do make it through, we get to enter Eden. Hurrah! What are we waiting for? Let's rock this world.

All right, so we're starting off as a fish. Took us 3 billion years to get to this point. Thanks, Gaia. Oceans, get ready to be owned.

Here we co- oh, yeah. So as you can see, this is what 3 billion years of evolution gets us - the wimp fish. Well, no matter. Pretty soon we'll be BA.

Mr. Jellyfish tells us that in order to survive and evolve, we must attack other creatures and eat them. It's a harsh world, he says. It sure is, Mr. Jellyfish!

Let's repay him for his kind advice. As you can see, our wussy fish bite attack only does 1 damage. Fortunately, these jellyfish are weak sauce.

A couple bites and the jellyfish meat is ours!

We eat the meat, and it restores HP and gives EVO points, which we can use to evolve. Speaking of evolving, let's evolve up some better chompers, shall we?

Ok, so first we go to our menu. #1 says evolve, so let's pick that.

Here are the different body parts we can evolve. Looks like jaws, horn, body, limbs, fin, and tail are available at the moment. Let's pick the first one, アゴ - jaws.

Moving things along a little bit - that brought us to a menu with different kinds of jaws to choose from. I'm no fish expert, so I don't know a great deal of fish names in English. In Japanese, I have no I just picked the next best set of jaws - maybe they belong to some type of shark or something. As you can see, the mystical time stream is allowing us to change, represented by our wimp fish blinking yellow. Aaaannnd...

Ta-daaa! Look - he seems meaner now, doesn't he? Let's check it out.

Sweet - our attack power appears to have tripled.

With the arrival of our newfound power, a jellyfish slaughter ensues. All are helpless before our new teeth.

After a little more evolution, we become some sort of pickle fish and seek new quarry. Here are some eels. They quickly fall to our might. Ooo, a cave.

Inside we encounter some weird-@$$ green sluggy thing. Shall we take a bite?

Apparently it splits when bitten. Weird.

Two meats are our reward. Eat up, picklefish.

We then encountered some weird out-of-place crystal. Apparently these things have been appearing unnaturally and throwing off the intended course of evolution. So I decided we should eat one of these crystals. Why not, right? Everyone else is doing it. And behold - we have become an eel, with a crap ton of HP.

After a while, we returned to our original form. To speed things up a bit - we ate some more fish, evolved some more. One of the few faults I find with this game is that when you choose to evolve the best pieces of different kinds of animals, your creature often winds up looking rather dumb.

I mean, look - here is our ultimate BA fish form. He's quick, tough, powerful...but he looks like a freak of nature. Anyway, we're on the last stage of this Age, so let's proceed into the ominous cave.

Ah, a boss. Ouch. Ok, let's teach Sharky a thing or two.

And look, here's another thing. I think it's cool that bosses yield huge chunks of meat, but at this point we don't need them. Each one of these babies gives us +250 Evo points, but we're already decked out.

Well, I guess there's nothing left to do but evolve lungs.

And our reward: we are stripped of all our evolution points and changed into a wussy frog-reptile. On to the second Age.

Anyhow, that's the first part of the game. I believe there are three Ages in total. It's quite a fun game, with a great soundtrack and a lot of personality. There are also some surprises along the way. If you have access to an SNES, I highly recommend seeking out EVO. And if you don't, well...I can't officially condone using emulators, but, erm...


  1. Yes! I loved this game when I was younger, and played it countless times to see all the wacky creations I could make. I even knew the "secret" steps to evolving the mammal into a human being -- a creature who was significantly weaker than the other badass mammal forms you could make. Just like real life!

  2. Remember that time you played Evo for like a week freshmen year.

    Your thoughts : "WOW. Playing Evo is awesome!"
    Our thoughts: "Crap this game is outdated. How many times does he have to kill the same 16 bit dinosaur to level up his tail?"

    Play a real SNES game, like Battletoads ;)