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After a two-year sleep, Prince Laharl awakens to find his father, King Krichevskoy, dead and the Netherworld in the middle of a civil war over who takes the throne. Not willing to give up his rightful place as the next king, Laharl joins with his subordinate Etna and her underlings to fight back.

The Overlord's castle acts as a hub to manage the party. It has shops to get new equipment, a gate to the different battles, a NPC to travel to the Item World, which is used to boost items, and the Dark Assembly, where the player can create new units, and have the assembly vote to pass (or not) special laws that will affect the game. To unlock some characters, a special chapter must first be unlocked by the Assembly.

The story progresses in the form of chapters. In each chapter, new battles become one after another, with dialogues at the beginning and end of those battles. Any completed battle becomes available to play again, sometimes with minor changes. At the end of every chapter, a parody cut-scene announcing the next chapter,(most often, it is Etna who tells the story as if she were the protagonist) is shown.

    In a similar style to Final Fantasy Tactics and Ogre Battle, Disgaea is a turn-based strategy RPG on an isometric grid. Characters are dispatch in battle one after another, and each have a move action and an battle action. Each class has its own set of abilities, ranging from simple attacks and area attacks to magics that can affect all the battlefield. In each battle, up to ten bonuses can be obtained by clearing the Geo Panels and defeating enemies to fill the Bonus Gauge. The battle is won when all enemies are defeated, or, in the Item World, by accessing a gate to move to the next floor.

The Item World
    The Item World is a world divided in floors, inside any of the player's item. The goal of the Item World is to progress through the floors, which raises the item's level. The more enemies are defeated before moving to the next floor, the more the item will improve. A special king of enemies, Residents, can be found in the Item World. These have their own level, and add a bonus to the item in which they reside. Once a Resident is defeated, it is "subdued", its level doubles and it can be moved between items. Residents can be fused together to get better bonuses. This is necessary because each item has a maximum number of Residents it can contain, determined by the item's rarity (common, rare or legendary) .


Disgaea: Hour of Darkness PlayStation 2 Combos make character faces appear briefly like this
Disgaea: Hour of Darkness PlayStation 2 Not sure how to take that comment of one of your supposed vassals..
Disgaea: Hour of Darkness PlayStation 2 Geo Combos clean the screen of Geo Panels.
Disgaea: Hour of Darkness PlayStation 2 This is basically the central base of operations, from which essential features and areas of the game can be accessed

Promo Images

Disgaea: Hour of Darkness Screenshot
Disgaea: Hour of Darkness Screenshot
Disgaea: Hour of Darkness Screenshot
Disgaea: Hour of Darkness Screenshot

Alternate Titles

  • "魔界戦記ディスガイア" -- Japanese spelling
  • "Makai Senki Disgaea" -- Japanese title

Part of the Following Groups

User Reviews

One of the best Strategy RPGs of all time Nick Rycar (200) 4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars

Critic Reviews (GAF) Aug 19, 2003 10 out of 10 100
PSX Extreme Sep 10, 2003 9.5 out of 10 95
IGN Aug 26, 2003 9.2 out of 10 92 May 28, 2004 18 out of 20 90
Diehard GameFan Oct 01, 2003 9 out of 10 90
GameCell UK 2004 9 out of 10 90 Jul 26, 2004 88 out of 100 88
PlayFrance May 28, 2004 8.5 out of 10 85
Gamezine Oct 10, 2004 17 out of 20 85
Adrenaline Vault, The (AVault) Sep 29, 2003 4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars 80


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1001 Video Games

Disgaea: Hour of Darkness appears in the book 1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die by General Editor Tony Mott.


An anime version of Disgaea was made, and aired in Japan in April to June 2006.


  • GameSpy
    • 2003 – PS2 Strategy Game of the Year
    • 2003 – #9 PS2 Game of the Year

Related Web Sites

Kartanym (12771) added Disgaea: Hour of Darkness (PlayStation 2) on Aug 27, 2003
Other platforms contributed by Sciere (539071)