Eternal Poison review

A lavish, demon-capturing strategy RPG with a rich, gothic style and haunting music? Yes, please

GamesRadar+ Verdict


  • +

    Deep strategy combat

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    Bending demons to your will

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    The game world


  • -

    PS2 can't do the art justice

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    Captured demons get used up

  • -

    Can get tough

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The events of Eternal Poison are triggered by that timeless chestnut of plot clichés: the kidnapping of a princess. However, very few other details of this captivating strategy RPG are typical. The princess was kidnapped by demons, whose country seems to have just sprung out of nothingness. One of the three initially selectable main characters – clearly the one we’re meant to choose – is not a knight type. She’s a young sorceress in black lace, who runs with a talking, horned wolf and has a magically bound boy warrior as her slave. Most of your enemies are demonic majin that you can force into servitude. Grab this one now, because it’s going to be a cult classic in a few years.

One of Eternal Poison’s strongest strengths is its atmosphere, which starts infecting you before you even get the cellophane off the game case. This is a gothic RPG in every way. Everyone is in frock coats and lace, with puffy sleeves long hair and exquisite posture, and the art is velvety rich and filled with deep, dark colors. And in-game, the art is gorgeous. In fact, our biggest gripe is that this game isn’t on a 360 or PS3, which could show off the details of the visual style much better.

But like most Strategy RPGs, the real meat of Eternal Poison is in its battle system. Here, the usual meets the unusual. Combat itself is a fairly standard, turn-based affair: you’ve got a grid, and you maneuver up to seven units around it, hacking at the bad guys with blade and spell. And many of the details you monitor are familiar: you’ve got three kinds of physical damage: slash, strike, pierce, as well as seven elements: light, dark, fire, water, earth, air, and null.

These are typical. But you’ve also got five classes of demon: starving, wretched, howling, dreadful, and infernal, each with specific weaknesses (or lack thereof). And while some status effects are typical (slow, regenerate), you’ll also suffer through exotic conditions like bleed, fracture, disease, and chill. That’s fresh. So are the facts that many of your units are captured demons and that you can choose to nuke captured majin instead of keeping them – learning their skills as a reward or gaining extra gold for your bloodlust.

More info

GenreRole Playing
DescriptionA niche-y strategy RPG that will delight some and infuriate others. But if any of the words gothic, witch, demons, art, or grid-based battle thrill you, absolutely check it out.
US censor rating"Teen"
UK censor rating"Rating Pending"
Alternative names"Poison Pink"
Release date1 January 1970 (US), 1 January 1970 (UK)
Eric Bratcher
I was the founding Executive Editor/Editor in Chief here at GR, charged with making sure we published great stories every day without burning down the building or getting sued. Which isn't nearly as easy as you might imagine. I don't work for GR any longer, but I still come here - why wouldn't I? It's awesome. I'm a fairly average person who has nursed an above average love of video games since I first played Pong just over 30 years ago. I entered the games journalism world as a freelancer and have since been on staff at the magazines Next Generation and PSM before coming over to GamesRadar. Outside of gaming, I also love music (especially classic metal and hard rock), my lovely wife, my pet pig Bacon, Japanese monster movies, and my dented, now dearly departed '89 Ranger pickup truck. I pray sincerely. I cheer for the Bears, Bulls, and White Sox. And behind Tyler Nagata, I am probably the GR staffer least likely to get arrested... again.