Hell is a prominent location in the GetsuFumaDen series. It is an underground place composed of cavernous layers where the souls of the damned are sent to be tormented. It plays an important background role in GetsuFumaDen storywise and is the main setting of the second game, Undying Moon.
Overview[edit | edit source]
Hell is perceived as an underworld place where the souls of those people who have sinned in life are sent to dwell in and be punished for millions of years.
The hell portrayed in the GetsuFumaDen series is prominently inspired by Asian folklore, such as those seen in the Buddhist or Taoist religions, like the Naraka, instead of the more Western-influenced depictions of Hell. As such, hell is portrayed in a more traditional Japanese style, with environments inhabited by bizarre creatures known as yōkai and replicating classic Japanese landscapes. Physically, a Naraka is thought of as a series of cavernous layers which extend below the surface world into the earth.
In GetsuFumaDen, the main antagonist of the game, a dragon bone demon known as Ryukotsuki, escapes from hell and, after unleashing a first attack on its three rulers, she and her followers head to the faraway island of the "Raging Demon". The island itself is a faithful replica of hell on earth, composed of innumerable underground caverns that are roamed by all sorts of dreadful monsters, as well as twisted and corrupted versions of traditional surface places.
Nonetheless, the events of the first game don't go beyond the island itself and the real hell is never visited during the course of the story.
However, in the sequel, Undying Moon, hell is portrayed in a more palpable form and members of the Getsu Clan are known to have access to it, with their leaders having been known to descend into its pits for generations for diverse purposes. While these warriors are known to be able to enter hell through a gate in limbo, the creatures contained there normally cannot escape into the surface world.
History[edit | edit source]
In the first year of the "Demon Age", 14672 A.D., the Demon Lord Ryukotsuki managed to escape from the pits of hell and along her a myriad of other monsters escaped from there as well. Seeking to conquer the surface world, Ryukotsuki set her first priority to attack its three rulers, the Getsu brothers. With the aid of her minions, Ryukotsuki managed to subdue and slay the two eldest rulers and left the youngest, Fuma, for dead. She stole their three treasured spiritual swords from their bodies, the Hadou katanas, and set off to Raging Demon Island. However, Fuma survived the attack and, filled with grief and thirst for revenge, he also embarked to the island on a long and arduous journey to retrieve his family heirloom weapons. He successfully achieved this task, slaying Ryukotsuki's three Majins in the process and confronting Ryukotsuki herself at her castle at the top of the largest mountain in a battle to the death, where he ultimately emerged victorious.
After defeating Ryukotsuki, Fuma used the power of the three Hadou katanas to banish and seal Ryukotsuki's soul from the surface world into hell. The monsters eventually disappeared completely and peace was slowly restored to the world once again.
- Note: The following paragraphs include some speculations based on the current available information provided in GetsuFumaDen: Undying Moon.
It is implied that Fuma, having an uneasy feeling that the cataclysm could be unleashed again, returned to the Estate to reestablish the Getsu Clan –since he was its last remaining member– and looked for new disciples to follow its teachings and philosophy. Once he finally achieved this, he set off alone into hell and traveled to its main core, Cocytus, to make sure that the seal remained undisturbed forever.
The other clan members grew concerned that Fuma didn't return from this journey and the second leader, Komei, descended into hell as well looking for him, only to also disappear himself. From then onward, the members of the Getsu Clan remained always vigilant, prepared in case the cataclysm was unleashed ever again.
Throughout the course of many generations, other leaders of the clan were known to descend into hell as well, although it's unknown if they went there looking for Fuma or if they had their own agendas. Of the little information that can be obtained from these travels, is that the 13th leader brought a woman from hell who resembled a mechanical doll, who was then employed as a swordswoman. In time, she became the caretaker of the Estate and assistant to its warriors.
A millennium went through this way and a new Fuma –who was a direct descendant of the original– was proclaimed as the clan's new leader. Not long after this, Rando, his older brother and also a previous candidate to become the clan's leader, descended into hell and never returned.
About this time, the seal suddenly started to weaken and Ryukotsuki once again attempted to escape from hell. Nonetheless, she was cut short by Fuma before she could achieve this.
With the seal broken, a miasma started to emanate from hell, threatening to spread all over the land, and horrendous yōkai of all types headed to invade the surface world. Nevertheless, Fuma –just like his predecessors– courageously traversed limbo and descended into the pits of hell as well in an attempt to reestablish the seal, but also to investigate the whereabouts of his older brother.
In hell, the world is presented in the form of various planes that replicate common landscapes from the surface world, although in horrendously twisted and corrupted forms, with its inhabitants presented as hideous and bloodthirsty creatures, such as giant insects, reanimated skeletons, roaming spirits, corrupted beasts, dragons, all sorts of demons, malformed giants, and a vast roster of other monstrosities.
Fuma managed to successfully travel through all of these worlds and eventually arrived at the gates of the innermost core of hell: Cocytus. There, he finally found his long lost brother, but to his surprise he was instead confronted by him. Rando had grown jealous of him for being given the place of leader of the clan, an honor he wanted for himself.
Rando had descended into hell in an attempt to find a way of obtaining the necessary power to become the new clan leader. When he arrived at the gates of Cocytus, he found the petrified body of the original Fuma, who one thousand years ago had set up the seal and remained there to protect it. In his reckless thirst for power, he attempted to remove the Hadou katana from his hands, but by doing so the seal started to weaken and eventually broke, setting loose the current cataclysm.
Having no other option, Fuma dueled with his insane brother to the death. He sorrowfully emerged victorious from this battle and, filled with grief, set off to stop the cataclysm at its innermost core once and for all. Inside, he met and was challenged by Amatsu-Tosu, the "Ruler of the Outer Heavens", an eldritch-like giant octopus monstrosity who was the main force behind all the current catastrophe. Both battled in a battle to the death, from which Fuma ultimately emerged victorious and reestablished the seal.
Locations[edit | edit source]
Beyond the Land of Limbo is hell. Hell is presented in the form of various planes, or layers, replicating common landscapes from the surface world, although in a corrupt and twisted form. These are:
- Hellfire Cliff: A barren wasteland engulfed in flames where bodies have been burned to a crisp and souls wander aimlessly and are tormented for millions of years.
- The Great Wave of Damnation: An ocean-like landscape constantly producing enormous waves and filled with all sorts of aquatic creatures.
- Frozen Graveyard: A desolated place where the dead no longer rest and which is covered by an everlasting snowfall. The souls of those buried there are tormented by spirits.
- Misty Peaks: A place lying high on the mountaintops where visibility is obscured by a dense fog and bestial winds make progression difficult and hazardous.
- Avenue of Pleasure and Illusion: Once a district where people sought all sorts of pleasures. Now, its inhabitants appear as twisted monsters preying on the living, eternally condemned for their previous sinful lives.
- Ancient Battleground: A barren land result of numerous battles, now desolate and sown with the corpses of long dead warriors. Prelude to the entrance to the inner core of hell.
- Cocytus: The innermost core of hell, where all that is corrupted and twisted emanates from.