Dark Half

Dark Half

A grim RPG for the Super Famicom where the player alternates playing the hero and the villain during the final days of the world.


Dark Half is a tactical RPG for the Super Famicom that features two concurrent campaigns that the player alternates between. It was developed by Westone, better known for the much more lighthearted Wonder Boy series, and published by RPG giant Enix.

The player alternates between Rukyu, a demonic overlord who commands the forces of darkness to raze villages to the ground in order to absorb their soul energy, and the paladin Falco, who visits these destroyed towns and helps its souls find peace. The goal of Rukyu's chapters is to find and eliminate Falco which will sever his benevolent God Rudo's connection to the world, and Falco's is similarly to eliminate Rukyu to prevent the destruction of the world.

The game was released late in the Super Famicom's lifespan and never saw an English localization, though a long-in-production fan translation was picked up and completed by the Aeon Genesis group in 2015.


The game adopts an isometric perspective which persists in the grid-based tactical battles. Each chapter has the player alternate between Falco and Rukyu, who have similar combat mechanics but play very differently. One constant is the use of "soul points": a resource that constantly ticks down as they move around the map. Falco needs soul points to maintain his connection to his God Rudo, and spends them to perform magic spells in combat. Rukyu's magic is also powered by soul points and so he needs them to maintain his physical form in the world. If either character loses all their soul points, the game is over.

Falco's chapters are a more traditional RPG experience. He can acquire companions and must purchase new weapons and equipment to survive. Rukyu doesn't use equipment, and instead of human companions acquires monster followers that act on their own prerogative. Rukyu must acquire new soul points to power his spells by murdering townspeople, and many of his chapters involve attacking towns with his monstrous minions.