The History of Lewd: Divine Sealing

Did you know the Mega Drive had a dirty game? An unlicensed one, granted, but a dirty game nonetheless. It’s called Divine Sealing and it was developed by a Japanese group called Studio Fuzzy, who don’t appear to have done anything else. Best estimates for the game’s original release place it somewhere between 1991 and 1992, but no-one seems to know much about this game, where it came from or why it exists.

It’s particularly noteworthy as a Japanese unlicensed Mega Drive game, since the majority of games released in this way tended to come out of non-Japanese Asian territories such as China and Taiwan. The reasons for it being released in an unofficial manner will doubtless be obvious, however; even on its home soil, Sega wasn’t about to allow naked ladies in games for its smash hit console.

Divine Sealing

We could, of course, ponder why Sega wasn’t about to allow naked ladies in games for its smash hit console, since naked ladies in games on other platforms were already an established formula in Japan at this point, but that’s probably a discussion for another time. Instead, let’s see what this Divine Sealing thing is all about.

As a Japanese-only release, English language information on Divine Sealing is somewhat hard to come by, but it appears that you take on the role of a character called Falchion who is asked to help with something or other by an attractive blue-haired lady named Elias.

After a lengthy dialogue sequence (rendered entirely in hiragana and katakana, so those afraid of kanji but confident with basic Japanese might be able to parse things out) you’re thrown into a combat, and Divine Sealing reveals itself to be that genre most beloved of the Mega Drive platform: the shoot ’em up.

Divine Sealing

Unfortunately, Divine Sealing is not a very good shoot ’em up; the enemy waves are a bit boring, the collision detection is a little bit dodgy, the sound effects are woeful and the parallax background of the first stage is migraine-inducing.

It’s not a complete write-off, mind; the boss encounters are fun — and have an enjoyable twist in that the boss’ main body does not trigger collisions with your ship, so you can fly “over” them while avoiding their bullets — and the music is atmospheric. It’s just… not very fun.

There’s no real sense of escalation as Divine Sealing’s levels progress, a speed control for your ship would have been very welcome (since the default will see you flailing around the screen just a little too quickly to be comfortable) and the only power-ups you seem to get are a rather useless rear-firing shot every time you score 10,000 points and get an extra life.

Divine Sealing

It’s a shame, because there’s some potential here. Aside from the horrible waterfall effect in the first stage and a level that appears to be a blatant Xevious ripoff, Divine Sealing’s stage backgrounds show plenty of variety and even, at times, some nice graphical effects.

The aforementioned music gives the game a distinctly “spooky” feel in contrast to the usual energetic shooter backing tracks. And with a bit more variety in the enemies — particularly in terms of how many shots they take to down — the levels could have been much more interesting to negotiate.

But we all know why you’re here: the lewd stuff. And thankfully that side of things doesn’t disappoint; the character art between stages is absolutely gorgeous (albeit at the limited resolution of the Mega Drive) and, upon completing a level, rewards you with several different poses of the girl of the hour gradually disrobing.

Divine Sealing

The exact reason why shooting hordes of robotic bees in your spaceship eventually results in a lady’s clothes falling off is presumably buried deep within the Japanese dialogue and the game’s undoubtedly deep lore, but the game can at least be enjoyed on a surface level simply by blasting your way through the stages and enjoying the sight of some pixel-art anime tiddy.

Is it worth the effort? Depends how much you want to see that pixel-art tiddy. It’s very good pixel-art tiddy, yes, but the shooting action is so aggressively mediocre that it’s just a bit of a chore to play through the actual levels in order to get your pixelated kicks. It’s neither bad enough to slam as a terrible game whose only redeeming feature is its lewd aspect, nor good enough to recommend you play on its own merits for any reason other than to see the artwork.

It just sort of… is. It’s interesting that it exists at all, and I wish we knew a bit more about how it came to be — but it’s by no means a retro game I think anyone should be rushing out to try and add to their collection, unless you simply like having peculiar, unusual stuff on your shelves.

Divine Sealing

For a superior lewd shooter experience, try something like Deep Space Waifu or Waifu Uncovered. That or play a proper retro-style shmup like Crisis Wing and reward yourself after every level with five minutes on exhentai. You’ll probably have more fun with both parts of that equation.

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Pete Davison
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