Almost 35 years after the original, there is a successor to the Famicom-exclusive (that’s what the NES was called in Japan) title GetsuFumaDen. This time, however, players outside of Nippon can finally take on the fight against the demon king Ryukotsuki: Undying Moon will be released in Early Access on Steam on May 13th and will land in the West. A switch version is to follow in 2022, which is more than ideal for the short and intense rounds of a roguelike. We were allowed to venture into the shallows of hell beforehand and report what it feels like to cut through Japanese mythology. If you want to know more about Undying Moon, you can also read our exclusive interview with lead producer Shin Murato.

A hell of a reunion





Every 1000 years the groundhog greets: Demon King Ryukotsuki simply does not rest and makes life difficult for the title hero Getsu Fuma again.



Every 1000 years the groundhog greets: Demon King Ryukotsuki simply does not rest and makes life difficult for the title hero Getsu Fuma again.

Quelle: PC Games




Undying Moon is set 1000 years after the events of its predecessor. Demon King Ryukotsuki has risen from his hibernation, unceremoniously opened the gates to hell and thus enabled countless demons and evil spirits to enter the world of mortals. Title hero Getsu Fuma, current head of the Getsu clan, of course, cannot tolerate this and sets out to stop the terrifying rattling skeleton. He also goes on a search for his missing brother, who is said to be somewhere in the depths of hell.


F stands for furious arsenal

GetsuFumaDen: Undying Moon is playful, a 2D roguelike in which you usually slice your way through the floors of hell from left to right. Of course, all kinds of demons and legendary beings stand in your way and want to prevent your descent.





Thanks to a wide selection of main and secondary weapons, you can adapt your style of play to suit your individual taste.



Thanks to a wide selection of main and secondary weapons, you can adapt your style of play to suit your individual taste.

Quelle: PC Games




The game offers you a wide range of weapons that offer a standard attack as well as a special attack. Umbrellas can be used to block and swords to parry. Double blades are rotated around your character in a tornado that is painful on contact, while you throw your opponents into the air with iron gloves. If you do it skillfully and land enough hits without taking damage yourself, the demon within you will awaken. In this form you not only loot more items, you also move much faster and deal harder.

In addition to the main weapons, GetsuFumaDen: Undying Moon also brings a number of ninja-worthy secondary weapons to the start. Crow’s feet can be scattered as traps, with bombs, kunai or bows and arrows you can make life difficult for your enemies from a distance. Like the main weapons, they can be exchanged for better variants at any time. GetsuFumaDen rewards extensive exploration and looting and is reminiscent of titles like Diablo or Nioh. Precisely because you lose everything when you die anyway, you shouldn’t hold onto a weapon for too long, but rather remain flexible according to the prey. In addition, you can also find rare souls with which either the main weapon, the secondary weapon or your health can be improved for the respective round.




So that you don't just march through the different levels of hell, challenging boss fights await you at the end of each area.



So that you don’t just march through the different levels of hell, challenging boss fights await you at the end of each area.

Quelle: PC Games




Bouncer from hell

At the end of a level, a threatening boss blocks your way to the next area, which has a lot to offer with a decent life bar and a multitude of nasty moves. After triumphing over one of the eerie monsters, you can either advance into the next area or return to your hub, the Getsu clan’s estate, to secure the looted materials. In addition to weapons, opponents also drop all sorts of useful raw materials that can be used to improve your arsenal bit by bit. But because you change weapons more often than a chameleon changes its color, you do not upgrade an individual sword, but make the prey to be found in the future stronger.





The fights with the demonic vermin run smoothly, the different weapons all feel different.



The fights with the demonic vermin run smoothly, the different weapons all feel different.

Quelle: Konami / Guruguru




As you would expect from a 2D roguelike, sprinting and jumping in GetsuFumaDen runs smoothly and the arguments with the inhabitants of hell are also pleasant thanks to the evasive role and double jump. However, everything could happen a bit faster, because GetsuFumaDen can only approach the speed of a dead cell if you are in the awakened demon state. The slower pace of the game may be intentional, but it is definitely a matter of taste and may be adjusted depending on the player feedback in Early Access.

Wrapped in a traditional garment





The traditional Japanese ukiyo-e style is reinforced by the often Japanese-inspired surroundings.



The traditional Japanese ukiyo-e style is reinforced by the often Japanese-inspired surroundings.

Quelle: PC Games




The idea of ​​standing out from what is actually an oversaturated genre with a special art style is never wrong, and GetsuFumaDen succeeds in doing this skillfully. The traditional Japanese ukiyo-e style is a real eye-catcher and stands out from its genre colleagues due to its artistic identity. Translated, Ukiyo-e means something like “pictures of the flowing world” and describes a style of Japanese painting that primarily, but not exclusively, includes color woodcuts.

Despite the gloomy theme, GetsuFumaDen is surprisingly colorful and impresses with its harmonious effects. The only downer: some of the effects are very noticeable and occupy the majority of the screen, which means that it is not always easy to keep track of the action.





Colorful: The style and the effects shine with their great appearance and strong colors.  But sometimes the overview suffers as a result.



Colorful: The style and the effects shine with their great appearance and strong colors. But sometimes the overview suffers as a result.

Quelle: PC Games




In addition, there are extremely detailed backgrounds, which take up the numerous themes of hell. In the second area, the Devilish Abyss, demons can be seen, for example, who torture people and cook a hearty soup from the remains. Undying Moon thus borrows numerous elements from traditional depictions of myths and legends.

Atmospheric soundscape

The sound also contributes to the traditional Asian approach. Appropriate instruments underline the atmosphere of the hub, special attacks are accompanied by familiar sounds. Among other things, the Hyōshigi, Japanese counter strike blocks, known from the Kabuki theater, or the Nō drums are used. It’s similar in the levels, but now and then the drums and electric guitar heat you up while chopping and ensure an adrenaline rush.

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Every 1000 years the groundhog greets: Demon King Ryukotsuki simply does not rest and makes life difficult for the title hero Getsu Fuma again. [Quelle: PC Games]

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