Eastern Mind: The Lost Souls of Tong-Nou

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Eastern Mind: The Lost Souls of Tong-Nou
Original name 東脳
Release date JP: 21 May 1994 (Mac)
21 October 1995 (Windows)
NA: December 1995
Format Game
Lost? No

Tong-Nou (東脳, Ton'nō lit. East Mind), localized in the west as Eastern Mind: The Lost Souls of Tong-Nou, is a point-and-click adventure game developed by OutSide Directors Company and published by Sony Music Entertainment for Microsoft Windows and Macintosh.

Its sequel, Chu-Teng, was released in Japan only in 1995.


The story begins with Rin getting their soul stolen by Tong-Nou, a living "island" with a long history of devouring human souls. Tong-Nou is a giant green head, with his ears, cheeks, and the back of his head leading into a different "land". Each land is themed after one of the five elements of wuxing.

Rin embarks on a journey to Tong-Nou to retrieve his soul. Before doing so, he decides to visit the Yashiro shrine. On the way he meets a white snake who gifts him with the Furoshiki, in which Rin can carry items, and an Amulet, a one-use item that will protect him from death. At the Yashiro shrine, Rin receives a temporary soul from an old man. This temporary soul will last him 49 days.

Upon arriving at Tong-Nou, a strange island in the shape of a human head, Rin dies after the player finds some way to kill him. However, once he does so, he is told that from now he will acquire nine lives, and that his soul exists as five Magatamas scattered across the five lands of Tong-Nou. Only when he has them all may he retrieve his soul. He is given a Mirror, as well as a Nameplate bearing his name.

Then, he is directed to the roots of Mingke-shu, the Tree of Life. Here, he can select one each from a set of two eyes, two noses, and two mouths, to be reborn as a creature bearing those parts. He is given a mission to complete, and instructions on how to complete it. Half of these missions are simple and require little input from the player besides clicks, while the other half involve fulfilling some menial task for one of the four Kings.

When each creature's mission is completed, that creature will also die. Again, Rin is given a Nameplate bearing the creature's name and directed back to the roots of Mingke-shu to be reborn once more as a different creature.

In total, there are eight creatures to be reborn as, and so eight more Nameplates to acquire (Byou, Tou, Sha, Kai, Jin, Retsu, Zen and Gyou).

Once each of the creatures' missions has been accomplished, and all eight Nameplates acquired, Rin is reborn as himself once more, and instructed to go to the Central Mountain Tong-nou and break the seal on the mountain. This is done by placing all nine Nameplates into the seal.

Having broken the seal, Rin heads up the steps to the top of the mountain. Partway up, he encounters an image of Tou-gyou. This image tells him where to acquire four of the Magatamas that make up Rin's soul. Once he speaks to the image while in possession of the four Magatamas, it tells him that he still lacks the power to retrieve his soul. It then gifts him with a Katana Gem containing the force of Earth (Source). Rin must then fill this Gem with four other forces from the other four lands of Tong-Nou. To do so, he must visit the images of Tou-gyou that exist in these lands. Firstly, he must visit Yui-wang, the Land of Desire, to acquire the force of Metal (Eternity), then Mon-chien, the Land of Dreaming, for the force of Water (Change), then Ming-ken, the Land of Life, for the force of Wood (Life), and finally Shi-chieng, the Land of Time, for the force of Fire (Confrontation).

Once the Gem has been filled with all five forces, Rin goes back to the Central Mountain Tong-nou. Tou-gyou's image creates the Katana of Five Forces from the Gem, and tells Rin that the time to recover his soul has come. Rin climbs to the Octagonal Shrine Par-fang at the top of the mountain and enters. Here, statues of the four kings of Tong-Nou have entrapped the fifth and final Magatama of Rin's soul, the Earth Magatama. Rin uses the Katana of Five Forces to set the Magatama free. Then, the empty shell of Rin's soul appears. He places the five Magatamas into the shell and his soul is restored.

Tou-gyou, the king of the Central Mountain, who had also been set free by the Katana, appears in the flesh. He explains to Rin that Tong-Nou is not an island that devours human souls. It is an island that purifies troubled souls. The four kings of the four lands had discovered that they could use the souls' Magatamas for their own selfish needs. They had trapped Tou-gyou in the Octagonal Shrine to prevent him from interfering with their plans, and tore him into eight pieces and scattered them all over the Tong-Nou world. He explains that he had been calling out for a soul to save him, but none had been strong enough to withstand the powers of the four kings and were devoured. Rin's soul, however, was strong enough, and he was able to travel the Tong-Nou world and restore Tou-gyou to health. In doing so, his soul became more powerful than ever before. Rin's soul returns to him once more, and the game ends.


The game was originally released for Macintosh in Japan on May 21, 1994. This release came with a double-sided insert containing a map of Tong-Nou and a message written in the Tong-Nou Alphabet. On October 21, 1995, the game was re-released to coincide with the launch of Chu-Teng, alongside a Windows port.

The US version was published by Sony Imagesoft and released on both platforms in December 1995, after several delays. This version includes 3 tracks from Transmigration and the contents of the Transcript CD that was packaged with limited copies of the album. To commemorate its release, a launch party was held in San Francisco, California, where a selection of Sato's work was flown in from Japan to be displayed. Signed copies from the event have occasionally surfaced on auction sites in the years since.

Games by Outside Directors Company
PC Eastern Mind: The Lost Souls of Tong-NouChu-TengRolypolys no Nanakorobi YaokiRolypolys no Sekai Daibōken
Console LSD: Dream EmulatorTokyo Wakusei PlanetokioRhythm 'n' Face
Mobile ●▲■Pocket Montage
Eastern Mind Lands
Land of Life Tree of LifeSha-mo Desert
Land of Time Plains of Chi-uFire Tower of TimeComputer Room
Land of Dreaming Palace of Dreaming
Land of Desire Helix Palace (Room of GreedRoom of AppetiteRoom of ImmortalityRoom of Sexual DesireRoom of Destruction)
Central Mountain Octagonal Shrine
Tong-Nou Phantom Marketplace
Eastern Mind Characters
Reincarnations RinByouTouShaKaiJinRetsuZenGyou
Land of Life Moku-gyou & Moku-gyou's partnerZoh-gaeru FamilyTabelinai
Land of Desire King-gyouChi-fangPu-ryaoShow-miNai-naiTake-yaccoTwei-tweiLong-ri & Long-yuiRotating Boulder
Land of Time Ka-gyouYing & YangGa-showT.B.C.
Land of Dreaming Sui-gyouAh & UngMong-iMong-aruZuo-mongPang-xie
Central Mountain Tou-gyouTwins from Tong-Nou (Bibo & PipoBabebu & BabeboJido & JizoDadezu & Zazezu)
Phantom Marketplace Mai-chiu
Every Land A-mong Family (Ichi-a-mongNi-a-mongSan-a-mongYo-a-mongGoh-a-mong) • Fang-shing
Eastern Mind Items
Inventory NameplatesMetal MagatamaWater MagatamaWood MagatamaFire MagatamaEarth MagatamaTong-Nou Illustrated BookAmuletHitogataPeachEyeball-StoneAntWind ChimeMorning GloryKomaCompassEye-GlassesGold IngotSmall MalletPanaceaBottle GourdSun WaterSheep IntestineChopsticksGolden FlowerKey of GoldLittle Box of SoundBell of GoldFlute of WaterKoto of WoodDrum of FireWrenchEyeball of DreamingLeaf SackDisc of WoodRegistration CardMirrorKatana GemKatana
Related FuroshikiMoon WaterFood of DesireRotating Boulder