Zenki: Batoru Raiden is a licensed game based off of the popular (at the time) manga series by Kuroiwa Yoshihiro, which ran from 1993 to 1996 and spawned several games. It also saw an anime adaptation the same year this game was made. Two more games were released for the Super Famicom months apart from this game, Kishin Douji Zenki: Denei Raibu and Kishin Douji Zenki: Tenchi Meidou, though this title is the only action/platformer related to the license.
The player takes control of Zenki, a large and powerful demon imprisoned in servitude long ago by a Enno Ozuno, the ancestor of the female lead, Enno Chiaki. Zenki is revived from his long sleep by the re-appearance of hyoi no mi ( 憑依の実, or "seeds of dependence") evil seeds that bind lives to the desires and needs of the physical world. However, to help keep him under control Zenki's powers are sealed the majority of the time, leaving him in a small and weak body.
The player maneuvers Zenki using the D-pad; Zenki is also capable of a forward dash or back dash, using the R trigger for for the former and L trigger for the latter. Zenki can also jump (B button), attack (Y button), and perform a variety of special moves. Zenki performs a flip if B is pressed twice; this is necessary to make some jumps.
These can only be performed by Kishin ("Demon") Zenki. Douji ("Kid") Zenki can only attack, although he does have a special dive kick.
- Gurengeki: Zenki punches rapidly... the move is understandably performed by pressing the Y button rapidly.
- Reppuryu: Zenki creates a tornado with the force of his uppercut. This move is performed by pressing up and Y.
- Raigekiha: A mighty electric punch. This move is performed by holding down the Y button, then holding forward as it is released.
- Vajra Maha: Zenki's classic finishing punch. This move is performed by double tapping forward and pressing Y.
- Vajra Raikoga: A projectile. This move is performed by pressing and holding the Y button, then letting it go without pressing a direction.
- Ludra: A massively damaging attack that hits all enemies on the screen, performed by pressing the X button. However, it costs 3 ludra scrolls per casting, and it damages Zenki as well!
Items are sealed inside of tombs (塚/tsuka) and are found throughout the game. The color of the tomb indicates what will be inside of it, or if it will change the terrain of the area (some tombs must be destroyed to open gates, etc.)
- Hyoi no Mi: The seeds of dependence, Zenki loves to eat these. However, some aren't as dormant as the others and will come to life and attack. They restore some of Zenki's life when eaten, and come in sizes both large and small.
- Ludra Scroll: These allow Zenki to perform Ludra.
- 1-up: An extra life.
- Crystal Ball: These also come in both large and small varieties. The small crystal balls are worth 10,000 bonus points, while the large are worth 100,000 bonus points!
Chiaki has a precognitive nightmare where five mysterious figures are undoing a seal on the tomb of the "Shadow Dragon Emperor", hidden on Mt. Fuji... chaos ensues. Obviously this dream is a warning and leaving it unheeded can only lead to something terrible, so Chiaki sets out to Mt. Fuji with Zenki in tow to stop this before it gets out of hand!
A very powerful demon passed down in the Ennou family, although he's been sealed for a long time. He is forced to spend much of his time trapped in a small, powerless body; because of his prideful nature this bothers him deeply. He is arrogant and violent, but generally does what's right with a little coaxing from Chiaki. He mellows dramatically as the series progresses.
The most recent in the line of the Ennou family, she is a shinto priest (well, priestess) in training just like her ancestors. She has a strong will and eventually builds a level of trust with Zenki.
The leader of the villains trying to free the shadow dragon emperor, in order to seize his power for themselves.
Each stage is divided in to several areas.
Stage 1: Chiaki and Zenki arrive at the base of Mt. Fuji. Time to begin the climb! Zenki starts out as Douji Zenki, although when he arrives at Area 2 Chiaki releases his full power. The stage's mid-boss is a fierce stone turtle called Ganryuukaku; the boss is the first of the five villains of the game, Takeru. He mostly hovers about, landing on occasion to fire lasers at Zenki.
Stage 2: Mount Fuji is starting to transform to reflect the dark powers gathering there; the area Chiaki and Zenki are in now appears to be a graveyard. Of course, no video game graveyard is complete without zombies! The stage mini-boss is a disembodied flying oni head called Youganki. Zenki makes a childish attack on Chiaki, so the player is reduced to Doujin Zenki again before moving on to a rapidly flowing mountain river. Thankfully, Zenki is restored to his full power again before fighting the boss: the second of the five villains and the only female member, Ryuukihi. She transforms in a snake monster in order to fight.
Stage 3: Zenki falls to an underground area full of magma. The first part is vaguely mine-like, while the second part is obviously a long-lost temple. The stage's mini-boss is a fire dragon named Enryuuouga. The stage boss is the third of the villains, a man with fiery armor named Enjyuurou. He is invulnerable so long as he's wearing his armor... find some way to put it out!
Stage 4: Zenki and Chiaki continue their advance inside the mountain; the caves in this area are full of strange growths and huge, crushing iron weights. The mid-boss is an unnamed purple demon which is capable of shooting its arms at Zenki and performing a Gouki style teleport. The next member of the villainous organization, Goukaku, awaits at the end; he powers up after a certain point during the fight, unleashing a new move set.
Stage 5: Near the summit, Zenki and Chiaki must advance every further, now through a raging storm. The stage's mini-boss is an unnamed demon with lightning powers who likes to ride about on a flying iwakura (those sacred stones with the ropes around them often seen in many Japanese games, " 磐座"). After his defeat, Zenki advances in to a foreboding palace in the sky; finally, in front of the very seal of the Shadow Dragon God, Zenki must fight Shiguma, who absorbs the souls of his four minions for maximum power!