The fight to survive.
When I first heard of Trillion: God of Destruction, I learned that it was an incredibly powerful boss with exactly 1,000,000,000,000 HP.
That’s a lot of zeros.
As someone who has downed all manner of super bosses from the notorious Elizabeth from Persona 3 FES (to this day the only boss I fought with a calculator) to basically every incarnation of Baal (minus 2) from the Disgaea series, I pride myself in my ability to not only beat games, but to destroy them.
So, it seemed like Trillion would be just another name on the list of bosses I’ve toppled along the way.
However, I was unprepared to pay the price for this victory, as even though I was able to win the war, I had lost many battles along the way.
The curtain opens to the land of the Underworld, where a menacing foe is devouring everything in its path.
The great overlord Zeabolos challenges this threat but is quickly defeated, and in his last ditch to survive, he makes a pact with an enigmatic girl, “Faust”, who offers him a chance at redemption for the small price of his soul, to paid when the deed is done.
However, having lost his original body and all of his power, Zeabolos is informed that he must choose an overlord to train and go fight in his stead.
So begins the campaign against Trillion, where sacrifices are not only expected, but wholly necessary.
Trillion lies dormant for some number of cycles, made up of seven days.
During this time, the player is tasked with training the overlord they’ve chosen to increase their stats, learn new skills and also interacting with them to increase the benefit of the overlord’s ring, which gives them a cushion for HP/MP via “affection points”.
Most actions during this training cycle take up a day and also increase fatigue, which can have negative effects on the overlord when it gets too high.
The overlords can also spend medals earned by training to battle it out in the valley of trials, which is a randomized dungeon filled with monsters and loot.
They can also be given gifts, which increase affection and unlock new events.
During the course of the training cycle, random events will occur where the player can make a choice which will result in an effect like gaining a skill, item or even increasing fatigue by mistake.
It’s a gameplay mechanic reminiscent of the Princess Maker games, except instead of prepping for festivals and parties, the overlords may as well be counting the days to their own funeral.
When I first began the fight I picked Levia, as she seemed the most interesting of the bunch, with the intent to finish the game with her.
However, in my hubris, I unwittingly doomed her.
The combat in Trillion is very similar to the one in the Guided Fate Paradox. In a grid based map, wherever the player takes an action like attacking or moving, so does the enemy.
It’s a highly strategic system, where one wrong move can spell instant death, as even though the player can anticipate Trillion’s moves by looking at the panels on the ground, they can become impossible to dodge if the player is not planning ahead.
The first time I faced Trillion, I was overwhelmed rather quickly, and lost the fight as all it took was two direct hits to finish me off.
After multiple attempts I learned most of his patterns, started using mobility skills and eventually retreated after doing a bit of damage, but I had even less time to train before he would awaken again. Knowing that I could only retreat a few times, I was on the clock to become as strong as possible.
I min-maxed my time, saving and reloading constantly to get the most out of the training, and just when I was facing Trillion with no retreats left, I felt as though I finally had him on the ropes.
I was dodging every one of his attacks and attacking him relentlessly, and it felt as though I was actually going to pull it off.
That is, until he changed to his second form.
With even less time to train I tried my best, but it just wasn’t good enough, and eventually after a half dozen tries, I deemed it impossible in my current state and had to let Levia die.
When an overlord is defeated, they unleash the last bit of their power for one final blow, resulting in a number of effects like massive damage, sealing off a body part or building a barrier that will grant the next overlord more time to train.
As she was devoured alive while begging for help, I gritted my teeth and felt an anger I haven’t experienced playing a video game in a long time.
I was angry at Trillion for defeating me, but I was actually furious at my own powerlessness.
I’m the sort that plays a Fire Emblem game and reloads whenever a character dies, or goes nuts to collect 108 stars in a Suikoden game just so I could stop someone from dying, but here I was forced to resign myself to this terrible fate.
Worse yet, I’d gotten to learn a lot about Levia during the course of training, and ended up liking her as character, and to see her die in that way was more painful than I anticipated.
This cycle continued on until I was laying flowers by three more tombstones.
Even though I was ultimately successful, the battles lost to win this war were quite mentally and emotionally taxing, and it’s a testament to the game’s design and writing that I felt this way.
If I had any complaints about Trillion, it would be that the process of training can get quite repetitive after a while.
The various random events began repeating themselves too often, and even though there were more events and activities that were unlocked over time, they were few and far between.
Perhaps more combat areas other than valley of trials that would have taken multiple days to tackle for significant rewards could have eased the tedium.
Trillion: God of Destruction is a game with a unique concept, expertly executed with clever mechanics and solid writing. It’s easily the best I’ve seen come from Idea Factory/Compile Heart, and an experience that reaffirmed some of my own personal traits not just as a gamer, but as a human being. If you fancy yourself brave enough to face Trillion, be wary – you too might not be prepared for what’s in store.
Fun Tidbit – If you find a lot of similarities to this game to Disgaea in terms of art design and music, that’s because the director and music composers have both been involved with many Disgaea games in the past.
Review copy of game provided by publisher.