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Disgaea: Hour of Darkness

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Disgaea: Hour of Darkness is tactical, role playing game developed by Nippon Ichi and released on January 30th, 2003 for the Playstation 2 game console. It has been re-released three times as Disgaea: Afternoon of Darkness (PSP), Disgaea DS (Nintendo DS), and a re-release to be compatible with the Playstation 3. The game is the first in a 5 game series that is still active to this day. The game itself started with a small cult following that has led to a series that has sold more than 2 million copies by 2012. Disgaea features many anti-heroes fighting in a very humorous story. The game is very “grind heavy” which is to mean that the game requires hours upon hours of playtime, hundreds of hours of playtime is not unheard of in this series. While this has turned away its fair share of players, many of the hardcore fans believe the grinding aspect is what keeps them interested in the game for so long.

The game takes place in The Netherworld, a place where demons roam free. There are also parts of the game that occur on the Earth and in Celestia, a world that is similar to Heaven and inhabited by Angels.

Disgaea Gameplay

The Disgaea story is comprised of episodes, made up of 4 or more acts. The player will play through each act to progress the story line. Each act is a battle on a grid based map with varying objectives required for the player to win. The player will move the characters around the map and give them “orders”. The orders, however, are not executed until the player chooses to do so. This creates a combo system which can affect the game in varying ways. There is also the option of a “team attack”. The team attack occurs when characters are placed next to each other and is based on a percentage chance. An interesting option to the player is the ability of the characters to throw each other across the map. This ability proves invaluable when a character needs to be moved a great distance.

The battle map itself has a feature known as geo symbols. To explain this as simply as possible, different grids on the map may have a color overlay. When a geo symbol is present on a grid square that has a color overlay, every grid of that color will have the effect that the geo symbol possesses. These effects can vary from improving friendly character attack power to causing percentage damage to friendly characters. Geo symbols, like characters, can be lifted and thrown.

The player also has the option to create characters in addition to the main story characters. These additional characters can be humanoid or monster characters. This adds a lot of depth to the game, as the player is challenged to unlock and master all the character classes. There is an additional random dungeon generator which is known as the “item world”. This random dungeon is utilized to strengthen items. There are many features to the game which are unlockable, creating a very lengthy game play experience. The game also features the “new game +” option. This allows the player to play through the game multiple times with the same characters.

The player spends part of the game within the main character, Laharl's, castle. In the castle, the player can buy and sell equipment and items, create characters, and access acts and episodes.

The Main Characters

Laharl

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Laharl is the young son of the former overlord King Krichevskoy. He is temperamental, arrogant, and head strong. Laharl only wishes to be the most feared, strongest overlord of all time. His only weaknesses are “busty women” and kind words.

Etna

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Etna is Laharl's not so loyal vassal. She dreams of replacing him as overlord, as she doesn't feel he is fit to replace her idol King Krichevskoy. Etna has some delusions of grandeur and a little bit of a complex about her body. She is also in charge of the Prinny squad.

Flonne

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Flonee is an Angel Trainee who was sent to assassinate King Krechevskoy. However, when she arrives in the Netherworld, she meets Laharl and learns that King Krechevskoy is already dead. After seeing Laharl's indifference to his fathers death, she vows to find out if demons can feel love.

Prinnies

Prinnies have become iconic characters in the Disgaea series. These penguin like creatures are vessels which hold the souls of the “not so righteous”. These souls must work to pay for their sins by doing the dirty work in the Netherworld and Celestia. They are generally lazy and unreliabe. They are also known for their over use of the word “dood”.

Not so Main Characters

Captain Gordon

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Captain Gordon is the “37th Defender of Earth”. When Earth intelligence officials say the Netherworld is preparing to invade the Earth, Captain Gordon is sent to stop the invasion. However, he discovers much to late, that the whole thing is a trick and he gets abandoned in the Netherworld, where he is forced to become Laharl's vassal.

Jennifer

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Jennifer is Gordon's sort of sidekick. She was born a super genius and often times sees the obvious things the good Captain doesn't see. Her beauty constantly throws Laharl off and she knows it. She designed the super robot Thursday.

Thursday

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Thursday is the “all purpose robot” designed by Jennifer. He enjoys making jokes about Gordon, but is close to both Gordon and Jennifer.

Other Characters

Vyers

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Vyers is Laharl's self proclaimed rival. Unfortunately, Lahalrl doesn't share the sentiment and often ridicules Vyers. He refers to him as “Mid Boss” at many points in the game. He calls himself, the “Dark Adonis” and claims to have a pure heart.

King Krichevskoy

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Not much is known about Laharl's father, the former Overlord. He was idolized by Etna, who believed he was the kindest, gentlest, most giving man she had ever met. He died by choking on a black pretzel, his favorite snack.

Big Sis Prinny

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Big Sis Prinny is different from the other prinnies. She speaks more elegantly, rarely saying the word “dood”. She is also acts as a big sis for the other prinnies, encouraging them and reminding them their debts are almost paid.

Kurtis

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Kurtis is the rival of Captain Gordon. He lost his family and most of his body in an incident on Earth. Kurtis, a genius, created a cybernetic body for himself and vowed to take over Captain Gordon's title of Defender of Earth so that no one would suffer like him ever again.

Seraph Lamington

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Seraph Lamington is the ruler of Celestia. He orders Flonne to go to the Netherworld and assassinate King Krichevskoy. This is actually a part of a much larger plan. Not much is known about Seraph Lamington, nor is much revealed about him in the story.

Vulcanus

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Vulcanus is the archangel of Celestia. He discovers that Seraph Lamington has sent Flonne to assassinate King Krichevskoy and gets very angry. He decides to watch over Flonne, where upon he deludes himself into believing that Flonne is working with Laharl to overthrow Celestia. (not to be confused with Vulcanus from Disgaea 4: A Promise Unforgotten)

Maderas

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Maderas is a former vassal of King Krichevskoy. He was banished from the castle for eating the Overlords favorite food, the Black Pretzel. Maderas is considered on the most cunning demons in the Netherworld.

General Carter

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General Carter is the father of Jennifer and the commander of the Earth Defense Force. He is the “partial” mastermind behind the plan to invade the Netherworld.

Role Playing Game


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