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Long time ago, humans lived in a paradise, the Garden of Eden. But the brave and audacious members of the Fire Clan were banned from Eden, and had to seek shelter on the Earth. They built their own paradise - the land they later called Jipang. However, the evil demon lord Masakado wanted to destroy Jipang, and the Fire Clan fought and defeated him. Now, many years later, a young thief named Ziria learns that he is a descendant of the Fire Clan. He must now find the other members, and prevent the resurrection of Masakado by his followers.

Loosely based on the Japanese folk tale of the ninja Jiraiya, Tengai Makyō: Ziria was the first role-playing game released on a CD ROM; thanks to the medium's greater storage capacity, the game was able to include full-screen anime-style cutscenes with voice-overs. It is the first entry in the Tengai Makyō series, and is generally considered the first RPG with significant humorous content. The game's setting parodies many aspects of feudal Japan, containing comical and sometimes deliberately stereotypical portrayals of characters and plenty of supernatural elements.

Basic gameplay mechanics follow a template introduced in early Dragon Quest and Phantasy Star games. The player navigates Ziria and other characters who eventually join him on a top-down overworld, visiting towns to rest and buy supplies, and facing randomly appearing enemies in round-based combat viewed from first-person perspective. Each character uses his or her own unique weapon and equipment types. Magic spells cannot be bought or learned automatically when leveling up; they must be sought out in specific locations, often those not required to visit in order to advance the story.

The game's overworld is fairly vast, divided into provinces, each containing several towns and other locations. It is possible to teleport instantly from the world map to any previously visited province.The game emphasizes overworld exploration; dungeons tend to be smaller and less maze-like than in many other contemporary role-playing games. In towns, the player can gamble and deposit money in banks; this money is preserved if the party is annihilated in combat and transported back to the town, with the money it was carrying cut in half. When a character levels up, his or her hit points (HP) and magic points (MP) are fully restored.


Tengai Makyō: Ziria TurboGrafx CD This is Ziria, the hero, talking to the old hermit
Tengai Makyō: Ziria TurboGrafx CD Hmm, I'm not sure I want to join this religion
Tengai Makyō: Ziria TurboGrafx CD Intro: the beautiful land of Jipang...
Tengai Makyō: Ziria TurboGrafx CD ...for this man! Yes, the evil Masakado!

Promo Images

Tengai Makyō: Ziria Screenshot
Tengai Makyō: Ziria Screenshot
Tengai Makyō: Ziria Screenshot

Alternate Titles

  • "天外魔境 自来也" -- Chinese spelling (simplified)
  • "天外魔境 Ziria" -- Japanese spelling
  • "Far East of Eden: Ziria" -- English title

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Critic Reviews Feb 01, 2009 7 out of 10 70


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Beside being the starting point of one of the most successful and long-running RPG series and of semi-humorous RPGs in general, Tengai Makyō: Ziria holds another record that will never be broken: it was the first role-playing game (and one of the first games generally) that came on a CD-ROM.


Tengai Makyō: Ziria comes with a thick manual (72 pages) that contain not only story summary, character introduction, gameplay explanation, etc., but also a comic-book intro to the game, and a whole "Making Of" section that introduces the developers and shows how the game was made.


Ziria is loosely based on the Japanese folk tale of the ninja Jiraiya. The main character's name is pronounced identically, though it is romanized differently and also natively spelled with different Chinese characters (自来也 instead of the original 児雷也). Two other prominent characters from the folk tale, Tsunade (綱手) and Orochimaru (大蛇丸), are also the game's main playable characters. All three share some characteristics with the prototypes, particularly in the type of special attacks they possess, all based on a specific animal (toad for Ziria, snails for Tsunade, snake for Orochimaru). The plot and the relationship between the characters, however, are quite different.

Release history

There are both standard CD and Super CD releases of the game. The CD version is the original commercial release from 1989, while the SCD version was released as part of a promotion for the PC Engine Duo in 1992. It was sent for free to the first 30,000 people to purchase a PC Engine Duo. The SCD version of the game is virtually identical to the CD version, except that it has fewer (though longer) load times.

Information also contributed by jotaro.raido and Kaminari
Unicorn Lynx (181593) added Tengai Makyō: Ziria (TurboGrafx CD) on Dec 19, 2004
Other platforms contributed by Charly2.0 (245845)