Leveling Down: The Story of Hentai RPGs

Chapter 8. Drum Roll: English Language! Cobra Mission Forever! Xentar: The Most Awesome Parody.

I've been deliberately saving this for so long. I can imagine how nervous the readers have become by now. "Oh no! We've read seven chapters, and he still hasn't discussed Cobra Mission and Knights of Xentar! He rambled about all those stupid games I can't play anyway because I don't know Japanese, and didn't talk about those two classics that were translated into English! How utterly cruel and terrible!"

Fret not! Here they come. The two games that for most people in the West stand for hentai RPGs. The two games that are the only hentai RPGs to many people. Two legends, two freaks of nature. Hentai RPGs in English. Japanese hand-drawn over-sized boobs accompanied by the language of Shakespeare. The most important pact between the two cultures after the end of World War II. Cobra Mission. And Knights of Xentar.

Okay, now I'm sure many people want to ask this question: "Why were only those two translated? Why not all those other hentai RPGs that you said were great?". Unfortunately, I don't have the answer to this question. I can't say "because those two are even better than the others". They are not. In some aspects, they might be, in some others maybe as good, or inferior. But it's not that those two stand head and shoulders above other hentai RPGs. They are great and I love them, but we shouldn't fool ourselves into thinking Western publishers have brought us the creme de la creme of the genre and what they've left behind was just trash.

Cobra Mission is the more original game of the two. Actually, as a RPG, it's rather primitive compared to most games I mentioned in the previous chapyers. But it has a lot of very cool and fresh ideas. First, it doesn't have a world map or something, all the action takes place in a city. Second, it has some side-quests and locations you are not obliged to visit. Third, the battle system is very fresh and unusual, with real-time clicking on vulnerable parts on the pictures of the enemies. Fourth, after completing a game chapter, the hero could call a girl he saved (optional), go to her place, and have a cool mini-game during which he had to choose the correct actions to successfully have sex with her. The translation by the way is bad, but still, it's in English. It's a great little game, check it out.

Knights of Xentar is in fact Dragon Knight III, the third in the successful Dragon Knight series by Elf I've referred to in Chapter 2. It is the most famous hentai RPG ever, naturally because it was translated into English. But it's also way better than the other Dragon Knight games, for several reasons: much larger world, towns and world map instead of just dungeons, more comfortable interface etc. But for me, the chief reason is the English translation, which is superb. It has so many puns and bad jokes and parody on RPGs that it turned into a real comedy. Gameplay-wise, it is quite traditional (with the exception of fun, fast-paced semi-automatic battles), but the writing is just too good to be true. The CD version has full voice-overs, which in itself is amazing. The hentai content is very mild in this one, by the way. It doesn't go beyond pictures of semi-naked girls.

I'm grateful that those two games were translated into English (and in case of Knights of Xentar, translated really well). We had to wait until Brave Soul hit the shores of the West to witness the next hentai RPG translation event. They were like glimpses of light in the darkness of untranslated Japanese text.

Continued: Chapter 9. The Zone of Greatness. Undress, Ye Heathens! The Sad Tale Of Crimson Lotus.

Table of Contents: Leveling Down: The Story of Hentai RPGs