Hello! Welcome to my second Travel the World with Video Games series! For this round, we’d be visiting one of the countries most associated with video games. Japan!
Historical Japan, that is.
Isolated geographically, and then politically for hundreds of years, Japan developed a culture that is truly different from anywhere else. Today, it shines as one of the foremost gateways to Asia. In the case of geeks like me, Japan is also HOLY GROUND, it being the birthplace of manga, anime and otaku culture. Of course, Japan is also renowned for its gorgeous architecture and breath-taking sceneries. The most famous of the latter being majestic Mount Fuji.
Toukiden Kiwami (討鬼伝 極), Our Travel Vehicle
All game screenshot are owned by Omega Force and Tecmo Koei Games.
Please support their great work by getting a copy of Toukiden Kiwami!
Toukiden Kiwami is the expanded version off Toukiden: The Age of Demons, an action role-playing developed by Omega Force and published by Tecmo Koei. It is very much a Koei kind of game, with Anime-like characters, outrageous armours and super oversized weapons. Gameplay itself consists of venturing into different “ages” to slay demons, known as oni, and thereafter crafting better gear from materials dropped by vanished demons. The ages are intriguing for they represent distinct periods of Japanese history. All the way from the prehistoric Jōmon era, to pre-modern years of the Meiji Restoration.
PS: In a nutshell, Toukiden Kiwami tells the story of a historical Japan ravaged by demonic invasion, in which historical periods have been jumbled up into fantastical battlegrounds. While this is convenient for our video game tour, needless to say, you aren’t going to see things like 100 feet tall lotuses or idyllic rivers of lava in the real Japan.
The Age of Grace
Our guide for touring medieval Japan, Atsuo Kun. I.E. … Me.
Yes … me. I’d be doing this round personally. If you’re wondering why I chose this name, Atsuo is, well, the first name I thought of when booting the game for the first time. It was a very warm evening that night. (Atsui means hot in Japanese).
Toukiden Kiwami Travel Itinerary 1: Nara and The Age of Grace
The Nara and Heian Periods of Historical Japan
Known as Miyabi (雅) in the Japanese original, the Age of Grace is the first accessible battleground in Toukiden Kiwami. It is a golden world basked in evening sunlight, with towering lotuses and abandoned vermillion structures. Historically, it is based on the classical Nara and Heian periods that lasted from AD 710 to 1185. This age is one of the most “immediately Japanese” battleground within the game.
In actual history, the Nara and Heian periods are considered the formative years of the Japanese Empire. It was during these years that several grandiose capitals were established, the most famous of which being Heijō-kyō (Nara) and Heian-kyō (Kyoto). In the earlier years of the Heian period, the Heian court also successfully consolidated control over the Emishi people of Northern Honshu. A move that completed its domination of the largest island of the Japanese archipelago. Lastly, many of Japan’s most cherished structures nowadays hail from these two periods. For example, the many distinctive temples and pagodas of Nara Park.
Toukiden Kiwami: The Age of Grace
Continue to our second itinerary, where we would be relive Japan’s first two shogunates!
If you’re thinking of visiting Nara in person, check out this comprehensive list of attractions!