Kaijuu Monogatari came out in 1988 for the NES, and there were two sequels on the SNES. King Mike made a translation of the game, however it seems to have some issues with spelling errors and glitches. Due to the difficulty of applying the translation, I can’t promise if newer versions of the translation has less errors. However, it’s perfectly playable in the current state, and definitely isn’t as bad as the translation for STED.
As games go, you can tell the game is very early. Many of the menus have the same functions and the same general layout of the Dragon Warrior menus. There’s also a similar plot layout in the early game. You get clues where to find things like “There’s a shrine north of a lake” or something like that. You also have a coordinate system for finding where you are. Several Japanese hints for the game simply offer coordinates for where to progress the game. Graphically, the game has a blocky look to the sprites, much like the early Dragon Warrior games.
There are some interesting features. For example, buying new weapons offers the chance to sell the old ones, and automatically equips the new ones. Another interesting feature is a non-linear progression. You can swap over to other characters, and make parties and split them as needed. Much like Juvei Quest, you get to upgrade your inventory space so you can carry more items. You can select which monster you want to fight, and you do see a visual representation of your character on the screen. You also get sprite changes for wounded enemies.
The main negatives of the game are more elements of the era. The world map is large, and you can quickly die if you wander away from the correct areas. Poison is annoying, and frequent enough that you can need two antidotes to handle a walk over to the second town. You cannot buy antidotes in this town. Let’s say you want your map examined. To do this, you head north and west of the starting town until you find a C shaped mountain. From there, you head west until you find a lake, and then north to a shrine. In the shrine, you find out that you need to buy a key to open the door. When you get the door unlocked, you find out that you need water for the guy to read your map. You have about four inventory spaces open, assuming you’re carrying the minimum of stuff (the first map, a poison poppy to cure poison, and a healing item.) Other options are a town portal item, sake (used on goblin guards,) the silver keys for locks, and a stronger healing item dropped by enemies.
I could see this game being interesting as an example of a Dragon Warrior era game which is definitely not an exact clone. It’s got rough elements, but the unique ideas and the nonlinear flow to the game is pretty interesting.