Developer: LION HEART
Publisher: LION HEART
Release: Comiket 71, December 29, 2006
Concept: If you've ever played the old NES title "Joust" and the old arcade game "WonderBoy," combine the thoughts of these two games, and you'll have a general idea what kind of game this is. It's basically a time killer, although it's a very addictive one. It involves killing endless swarms of Alice's Shanghai Dolls.
How It Works: You hit "Start" and pick one of the stages to attempt. Things start off slow at first to put you in the mood; single enemies pop up, and you throw your magic stars at them to kill them (they'll also drop gold bars for you to pick up for extra points). You get five hearts, which means your game is over when you've been hit 5 times. As you survive longer, a greater variety of dolls start spawning faster and in greater numbers, until they start filling the screen. As you'd assume from the title, there is no way to actually win; you simply score as high as you possibly can (the addictive aspect of the game). To keep things interesting, there are several types of dolls with different capabilities, and every once in a while, Alice herself flies across the top of the screen to throw dolls at you; shoot her down for bonus points. For more details on the modernization features, see "Advanced Strategy" under the gameplay screenie.
As this is a 2006 release (by Lion Heart, no less, famous for producing "Mystical Chain;" see above), simply running, jumping, and throwing normal stars forward are not your only options; a few modern amenities have been added to the addictive old-school gameplay:
* Aim Shots: By holding any direction, any stars you fire will go in that general direction. You can aim shots upward, for example, to hit enemies on platforms above where you stand, or jump over an enemy and fire downward at it!
* Charge Shot: If you hold the "Attack" button briefly, you will charge for a more powerful shot; it can be held as long as you like (just release the button to fire it). Charge Shots can be aimed like normal shots, and will go farther to give you more bang for your buck. Charge Shots can form combos.
* Comboing: If you charge a shot, fire, and hit a doll with it, if there are other dolls standing within the blast radius (whether it's horizontal or vertical), those dolls will die also, creating an additional explosion (and if other dolls are standing in that blast, they'll die too, and so on!). You can wipe out entire platforms worth of dolls this way (or clear out the bottom floor). Gold dropped by chained dolls is worth more, depending which number in the chain the doll was.
* Chaining: If you keep your calm, and are accurate with your shots and don't miss, the game will count each consecutive doll you kill in a Chain, which makes kills worth progressively more points until you break your Chain by either taking a hit yourself, or firing a shot and missing. Charge shots also count in Chains (so don't miss with those, either).
* Drop Down Through Platforms: If you're on a platform you can jump up through, you can drop back down through it, too, by double-tapping the Down button.
* Slide: You can slide by holding Down and hitting Jump. Sliding is basically a way to sidestep out of difficult situations; you can pass through enemies without taking damage this way. Once you learn exactly how far a slide will take you, it proves an invaluable way to escape in addition to jumping.
The color of the doll's uniform indicates how it moves around and whether it will try to follow you around:
* Green: Shy doll. These can't jump high or far, and they don't follow you around. They also can't jump off whichever platform they're on (like green koopa troopas in Super Mario Bros).
* Yellow: Normal doll. These jump just a bit higher and farther than a green doll, and can jump off (but not through) their current platform, but they don't follow you around either.
* Red: Intelligent doll. Red dolls are capable of the same speed of movement as normal yellow dolls, but these will follow you around if they spot you, and are capable of vertical jumps through platforms upward and dropping downward to stay on your tail as necessary.
* Blue: Super doll. Blue dolls jump higher and farther than red dolls, and follow you around with great fervor once they see you. Like red dolls, they can jump up and down through platforms as well.
* Black: Miniboss doll. A while after the screen has become infested with dolls, it starts to shake; this is your indication a black miniboss doll is present: as they are heavy (like Metal Mario), their jumping causes the screen to shake. These take a bunch of hits to kill, unlike regular dolls, and are worth a lot of points when you kill them.
As stated before, there's no way to actually "win;" you just keep going until the dolls become too much to handle and all your hearts disappear off your life gauge. Never end~