It Came From Japan

It Came From Japan – Devil World

Devil World Famicom

こんにちは! Today I’m looking at a fun little puzzle game for the Famicom called Devil World.  Devil World is a puzzle maze video game developed and published by Nintendo for the Famicom by Mario creator Shigeru Miyamoto and Takashi Tezuka. A lot of people feel that it is a Pac Man clone, and in some ways it definitely does resemble it, but it’s also different in a lot of ways. It was released in Japan on October 5, 1984 and eventually in Europe on July 15, 1987 but due to the all of the religious icons in the game it went against Nintendo of America’s strict policies so it was not released here. This makes it the only game designed by Miyamoto that hasn’t been released in North America. The great thing is like a lot of his other games, you can just pick up and play without having to know Japanese to play it.

You play as a little green dragon named Tamagon, who along with his red colored friend (if you play 2 player) attack the Devil’s World. The devil world is made up of a series of mazes that you must guide our dragon friend through eating dots (just like Pacman) but searching for the crosses that will give you the ability to breathe fire, be sure to collect this as you are totally helpless if you don’t. You must collect all the crosses in the level to be able to complete the maze. At the top of the screen you will notice that there is a devil dancing, his funky dance moves signal the minions to move the maze.


This is where things get dangerous for our dragon hero, if you get stuck between a moving outer boundary and a maze wall squish you are a pancake.  The pattern of these three levels will then repeat (also like how the levels in Donkey Kong repeat). I’ve broken down the 3 stages you will see in the game and what to expect when you get to them.

Stage 1


The dots that you see are called Boa-Boa dots.  They apparently supply the Devil World with its magic. So your task is to destroy all of them, which is quite easy to do since you just have to walk over them.   Be sure to collect Crosses by walking over them giving you the ability to breathe fire on the enemies that are trying to hunt you down.  When the power of the Cross depletes it will flash then disappear.  You will clear the stage once all the dots have been destroyed.

Stage 2


In the center of the maze the “Devil Caves” open up.  In this level you need to get the four Bibles that a placed around edge of the maze and get one in each of the Devil Caves. Since this is the second level, harder enemies will appear.  Luckily holding the Bible is just like holding a cross so Tamagon can attack enemies by breathing fire. Once you get all of the Bibles to the Cave the Devil will retreat to the next level.

Bonus Stage


This is a timed bonus level where there are 6 bonus boxes for you to collect.  If you get 5 of them you get points but if you are fast enough and retrieve all 6 you will be rewarded with an extra life!  This level is a bit different than the previous ones you have seen because you are the one controlling how the screen scrolls.  If you notice in the picture there are a bunch of arrows on the floor, if you step on it the screen will move in that direction.  The nice thing is if you are crushed you won’t lose a life you will just move onto the next round which is the first level again.


While you progress through the levels besides having to avoid the moving walls you have to keep an eye out for the Devil’s minions. There is Fried-Eggman, Bon-Bon and Medaman that you will have to use your fire breathing skills on to evade. They definitely don’t sound too scary but they are definitely a nuissance when you are trying to collect everything while avoiding getting squished!

This isn’t the most complicated game that you are going to play, but it’s definitely a lot of fun and a bit different! Plus it’s cool getting to play a game that Miyamoto made that we never saw here. Apparently if you have an Action Replay and Super Smash Bro. Melee you can get a trophy from Devil World that only appeared in the Japanese version of the game, so that would be cool to check out if you can.


So if you are looking for a game that you can just pop in for a few minutes and not have to worry about something that takes a large time commitment, plus you can buy it on ebay for around $10 or less so this is definitely a must play game!

さようなら! and have fun gaming!