Tengai Makyou is a Japanese RPG franchise initially released for the PC Engine-CD by Red Company and Hudson. A majority of the series follows the adventures of different heroes throughout the history of the fictional country of Jipang.
Tengai Makyou originally began in 1986 as a screenplay for a live action film written by Teruhisa Hiroi for Red Company. The film was going to be an amalgamation of different Japanese legends mashed into an Alice in Wonderland type setting. However after Hiroi's pitch was turned down by Studio Daiei the company took the script to Tokyo Movie Shinsha and reworked the film into an anime series. During this time Tengai Makyou’s long time character designer Torajiro Tsujino, a TMS animator at the time, joined the project to design the story’s world and characters. Again the project hit a road block when TMS did not approve the anime’s production budget. After two failed attempts Hiroi was introduced to Hudson Soft who wanted to turn his script into a showpiece title for the company’s upcoming PC Engine-CD. The project changed once again into an RPG and production finally began in 1987 under the title Tengai Makyou: Ziria. However Ziria's development did not go smoothly and after several delays the game was in trouble of being canceled once again until one of Hudson’s PR staffers named Shoji Masuda stepped in. Frustrated with the constant delays Masuda decided to get Ziria back on track himself so within 3 months he rewrote the script, reorganized the game’s scale, and created a new battle system. The project was saved and Masuda would later serve as the director/scenario writer for Ziria's sequel and eventually found his own development studio called MARS Corp. Tengai Makyou: Ziria was finally released in 1989 where it was met with high praise and strong sales. The single game eventually grew into one of Japan’s most popular RPG franchises spawning several sequels and spin-offs over the course of two decades.
Far East of Eden
Most of the games in the Tengai Makyou series feature English text on their packaging and title screen that reads “Far East of Eden.” This has led many people to believe that Far East of Eden is the series's English name, however this is not the case. Far East of Eden is the title of an imaginary book written by a fake historian named Paul Hieronymus Chada, or P. H. Chada, who is also often credited as being the director of "Oriental Research Lab #3" at the Smithsonian. The book, Far East of Eden, is a historical novel about the history of the in-game country of Jipang, which is suppose to be a parody of many Western misconceptions of Japanese culture and history. The story behind the Tengai franchise, as described in the first game's manual, is that Red Company worked with P. H. Chada to adapt his novel into a video game called Tengai Makyou. To honor Tengai Makyou’s “source material” Far East of Eden's title is placed next to the game's logo. So whenever a game in the series has “Far East of Eden” above its logo that means that that specific game takes place in the country of Jipang from Chada's book. There are other entries in the Tengai series, such as Oriental Blue and Apocalypse IV, that do not have Far East of Eden in their titles because they are not about the history of Jipang.