Tsuki no Megami or Tsukimeg is an ongoing series of video games developed by the Kyopro software division of Kyoto Processed Ricepaper Concerns and published for a variety of platforms. The series’ full name, Tsuki no megami no densetsu, roughly translates as ‘Legend of the Lunar Goddess.’ Localized versions have been available internationally under a variety of titles, but since 2000 the name Selenic Mysteries has generally been used for the series, with the word “Selenic” being used instead of “Lunar” to avoid confusion with the Lunar series of JRPGs from Game Arts.

While there is considerable variation in individual games, the series’ trademark is a combination of visual novel style storytelling, usually with an element of mystery and investigation, and traditional turn-based JRPG combat. This relatively unusual combination has made it quite popular in its native Japan while being regarded as a “hidden gem” by many western gamers, and a popular subject for fan translations.

The heroine of each game is Tsukuyomi (ツキヨミ), the moon goddess of Shinto mythology; her name is generally translated as Selene for western releases. After a sincere person wishes on the moon for aid, Selene is able to possess the body of a recently deceased person nearby in order to aid them. This usually takes the form of investigating a mystery, though later games also add in an additional element of Selene having to impersonate the soul whose body she is possessing, with her effectiveness having an overall bearing on the story as a whole.

Interspersed with investigation and conversation are turn-based battles, which occur randomly in certain areas and at predetermined points in the story. Selene, and in later games her companions, can equip weapons, level up, and gain skills that can also in some cases be used outside of battle. These battles are typically represented as attacks by vicious oni, demons from Shinto mythology, who are actively working against Selene and her quest.

The large number of endings–dozens in earlier entries, hundreds in later ones–is a key aspect of the series, and obsessive replayability has long been a Tsukimeg hallmark. A melancholy tone, especially at the end, is also noteworthy, with many entries gradually moving from bright and colorful antics to somber and mournful over the course of a game. Selene is, after all, only temporarily possessing the body of the recently deceased, and her departure means an apparent second death for that person. It also means that there is no easy way for Selene to revisit the area, giving each adventure a firm note of finality.

In keeping with that, Selene herself is the only regularly recurring character in the series, though she regularly makes references to past adventures. In later games in the series, some supernatural creatures like the Eclipse King and fan-favorite Akima the Reluctant Oni reappear. A few mortal characters have done the same, most notably Inspector Takahashi, who appears in several games at various stages of his life, from young boy to police academy recruit to weathered veteran.

As of this writing, the most recent game in the series is Selenic Mysteries: Cruise Ship Chaos (月の女神の伝説:ミステリークルーズ; Tsuki no megami no densetsu: Misuterīkurūzu), which was released in 2018 for the Nintendo 3DS as a physical cartridge in Japan but as an eShop exclusive in North America and Europe.

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