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RPG Shooter: Starwish
RPG Shooter: Starwish is a Web Game that is Exactly What It Says on the Tin — a Horizontal Scrolling Shooter with RPG Elements. Specifically, the author describes it as "a unique blend of a shooter, rpg, visual novel and dating sim". A lot of the drive of the game is based upon the storyline, the character interaction, and the upgrades and level ups for the main "shooter" game, which is played during missions on various sites of interest on the current planet.

If you haven't played it through at least once, beware of unmarked spoilers.

This game provides examples of:

  • The Ace: Mare is simply miles beyond Deuce's ability, or anyone else's for that matter, with a ship and weapons far more advanced than anything Deuce or Oracle has available. This is all offscreen, as Mare never appears in a shooter segment, but one of her weapons can be developed by Deadeye in the late game.
  • Action Girl: Neferiti and Mare. Also Oracle, since she is the captain of an entire mothership and a pirate lord.
  • A Father to His Men: Oracle and Gen.
  • All There in the Manual: The official site features official art, enemy names, and character bios (which includes pictures beyond just the torsos of characters).
  • An Aesop: Not as blatant as usual. Still, at the end of every ending, Deuce will make a short speech of what he has realized, mostly basic things like "Live life to the fullest" or "Try to make friends with your enemies".
  • All Amazons Want Hercules: Neferiti will only romance you if you prove yourself in battle. note 
  • A Long Time Ago, in a Galaxy Far Far Away...: Humans apparently hail from "Home Planet". Earth does come up in a gag in Ginny's Ending though.
  • Amplifier Artifact: Star Fragments.
  • Animesque
  • Anti-Villain: Neferiti, Type I with shades of Type II. Her goals are very simple and not even typical villain ones (Not Immortality Immorality. She just doesn't want to die (at barely 30 yet!) and she tries to avoid collateral damage where she can (see Star Killer, below). She is willing to just ignore her enemies and let them go if they don't bother her. She is nonetheless very ruthless on her path, but strictly sticks to her word.
  • A Taste of Power: The prologue gives you two weapons you won't get for real until later.
  • Babies Ever After: In Deadeye's, Mare's, and Neferiti's endings.
  • Battle Theme Music: There's only one that plays during every level and one that plays during every Boss Battle that isn't the end of a chapter. You better like them, because you'll be hearing them a lot.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: A lot of trouble in this story would never have happened if the characters had followed this rule.
  • The Bechdel Test: The game passes it, barely.
    • Though the game is hardly lacking female presence. Six of the nine people who are ever part of the mothership's crew are female, two of the three major ships are captained by women, and the apparently best pilot in the galaxy is female.
  • Benevolent Genie: The Wishing Star is an immensely benevolent genie, giving you exactly what you want to the limits of her ability, and giving you a gift if you can get what you want without wishing for it.
  • Big Eater: Neferiti, apparently. What with her stealing Deuce's food all the time and actually liking Deadeye's food.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Johnny and Ginny's endings.
  • Blind Without 'Em: Deadeye. The device she wears allow her to see. She didn't take it too well when it stopped working.
  • Blue and Orange Morality:
    • Neferiti places a very low value on non-Lucernian life, compared to her own. She changes her mind.
    • Lucernians in general place a very low value on non-Lucernian life. Neferiti explains it best as similar to how humans would treat ants.
    • Each Lucernian elemental race also tends to be indifferent at best toward other elementals; for example, the Marid conceal themselves instead of using their superior powers to intervene and end the Djinn-Efreet war and establish order. Neferiti towards the Djinn is also an example, but her attitude changes.
  • Bonus Material: RPG Shooter: Starwish Extras on Kongregate, among other things, contains the much wanted ability to view any cutscene at any time.
  • Boobs of Steel: Mare has the biggest breasts in the game.
  • Broken Aesop: For all the talk of the grief brought by war, no one cares about the casualties inflicted by Deuce destroying the Firebolt.
  • Bullfight Boss: A lot of the bosses:
    • The Wisp is a combination of this and Get Back Here Boss, charging wildly and running offscreen before charging back.
    • The Crystal Dragon, which charges at you and then simply reappears at the other end of the screen.
    • The Rocket Snail, which charges at you, jumps up, then goes back to the other end of the screen.
    • The Submersible is almost a parody of this. Its main attack is slowly lumbering toward you, but the fact that it's always in a water level (which cripples your ship's speed to about a third of how fast it should go) means that maxing out engine mods is almost essential to dodge it.
  • Cast from Lifespan: Ginny does this twice to save Deuce, dooming her to an early death.
  • Character Portrait: Full-body ones, though almost the entire lower half of them are covered up by the dialog box.
  • Chekhov's Gun: Deuce wishing that there would be no more wishes when he was a child. Because the Big Bad is the incarnation of desire and gains power from granting wishes, Deuce's "wish" allows the Big Bad to be defeated.
  • Chivalrous Pervert: Deuce.
  • Climax Boss: The Earthwall and Firebolt.
  • Cloud Cuckoo Lander: Deadeye. So very much, heck her official alignment is Chaotic Insane.
  • Collision Damage: Avoid taking it, or you're in for a world of pain.
    • In the first version, the collision detection was so horrible that you were liable to be often killed by walls you obviously weren't even touching. Much rage ensued. An update fixed this almost entirely.
  • Color-Coded Elements: Ginny the air elemental is white, Neferiti the fire elemental dresses in red, Mare the water elemental dresses in blue, and Johnny the ex-earth elemental dresses in yellow.
  • Computer Voice: The ship's computer not only talks, it seems to have a sense of humor.
  • Cool Old Lady: Oracle.
  • Cool Sword: Neferiti has a gold hilted, ruby studded sword. On both hips.
  • Cosmetic Award: Achievements don't do anything, and say more about your patience than your actual skill. If you know what you're doing, you can get them all on a single run.
  • Critical Existence Failure: Averted. Taking damage makes your ship slower.
  • Curse Cut Short: Often.
  • Cut and Paste Environments: There's 30 levels and only 9 scrolling background images. Color filters are used to give at least some variety.
  • Cutscene Incompetence: Deuce nearly gets himself killed and has to be rescued by Mare. Twice.
  • Cut Song: A few songs on the soundtrack aren't in the game because they would have made the file too big.
  • Cutting Off The Branches: On Kongregate, users can vote for which ending out of the ones they've seen they think should be canon for a sequel.
  • Dead Guy Junior: In Tessa's and Neferiti's endings, Deuce and his Love Interest name their child(ren) after those who didn't make it out of the story alive, therefore averting Forgotten Fallen Friend.
  • Deadly Disc: The Sawmines. They're a totally insane concept, being boomerang circular saws in space, and their attack pattern and stats seem all over the place. They also output more DPS than almost any other weapon at a comparable level, ignore terrain, and go right through enemies to hit multiple targets in a wide swath. With the player skill that upgrades their forward range from "pathetic" to "most of the screen", they trivialize otherwise diabolical enemy placements in some of the later levels and maul bosses, leaving only a few circumstances where you need to use anything else, or even want to.
  • Defeat Means Friendship: Not exactly friendship, but capturing Neferiti at least earns her compliance and gets her to eventually open up.
  • Defrosting Ice Queen: Neferiti. Bonus points because Deuce actually calls her an ice queen.
    • Mare also.
  • Development Hell: Starwish 2, where did you go?
  • Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: The final boss is the incarnation of all desire in the universe. Somewhat subverted in that only its physical body is destroyed, which is ultimately a minor setback to it. It is destroyed only when Deuce wishes its twin, the Wishing Star, out of existence.
  • Did You Just Romance Cthulhu?: The game has shades of this, most pronounced in Mare's ending.
  • Difficulty Levels: Normal, hard, and extreme.
  • Disney Death: Ginny, as revealed in her ending.
  • Doing in the Scientist: The story abruptly changes from Science Fiction into High Fantasy about halfway through. Turns out the crux of the plot is about the wish magic of genies, and the Big Bad is the incarnation of desire and the granter of those wishes. The Big Bad is also released by Nefereti creating a magical portal.
  • Drunken Master: Swig.
  • Dysfunction Junction: Though not as blatant as most examples, almost everyone has at least one major problem they tell to Deuce.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending
  • Easily Forgiven: After she is captured, Deuce makes Neferiti the ship's engineer. Even with her word that she will help them, Deuce is surprisingly unconcerned about possible problems with putting a former enemy in charge of one of the ship's most sensitive compartments.
  • Elemental Powers: Trademark ability for the inhabitants of the planet Lucerna, with a bit of Reality Warper thrown in for good measure: the Djinn have control over air, while their eternal enemies, the Efreet, have control over fire. A rare third group, the Marid, have mastery over water.
  • Eldritch Abomination: Iblis, described as the "incarnation of desire".
  • Emotionless Girl: Neferiti and Mare. Both defrost.
  • Evil Redhead: Neferiti. Subverted due to her Heel-Face Turn, however.
  • Eyes Always Shut: Johnny, who lampshades it ("I'm magical, you know?"), and Oracle. A sign that they're related. Also Johnny, being a Janni, really ''is'' magical.
  • Feminine Women Can Cook: Inverted with Tessa and Deuce.
  • Fiction 500: Johnny. He's rich enough to break the Federation's power by himself, but chooses not to and instead runs a cafe on a pirate ship.
  • Fictional Currency / Global Currency / Practical Currency: "Moolah" is not only a unit of currency, but the only word for money (for instance, there are "moolah schemes"). You can get it from scrap, even when there's no one around to sell it to (later in the game), suggesting that the scrap has a standardized value and acts as moolah. Then again, your only use for moolah is "buying" upgrades for your fighter, and by the final world, both of your remaining suppliers may be perfectly content to talk about the moolah value of scrap insofar as it lets them build those upgrades.
  • Fiery Redhead: Inverted with Neferiti. However, it's played straight in a literal way; she likes Playing with Fire.
  • Flash of Pain
  • Forgotten Friend, New Foe: While not really a childhood friend, Deuce had a crush on Neferiti while living on the station. He doesn't realize they're the same person until after she talks about accidentally destroying the station in her last cafe conversation.
  • Funny Animal: Appear here as alien species. Including Pandas and Kitsune.
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation: Some of the more urgent cutscenes feel like they were just chopped in half, and only resume once you've done another mission. The missions themselves rarely seem to have any impact on the story after the first third of the game, too.
    • There's also a bit of story and subplot segregation of sorts: you can casually chat with the members of the crew even while a Climax Boss is supposed to be bearing down on the ship.
  • Gay Option: Averted. The five endings with the women are all romantic, but the endings with the men are not.
  • Get Back Here Boss: The Wisp. It zooms around in an infinity symbol-shaped path, dealing staggering amounts of damage if it hits you, while firing lasers in a circle.
  • Get Rich Quick Scheme: Johnny often tries these, and seems to always be broke. He is actually very rich.
  • Giant Space Flea from Nowhere: Every boss that's not a level on its own.
    • It is stated early in the game that the Federation have deployed specialized guardians to several locations, but no more details are given.
  • Golden Ending: The best ending where everybody gets their wishes granted is only available if you play on hard and you go play in such a way where all of the optional endings are available, which is a heck of a Guide Dang It.
  • Gratuitous Japanese: "Starwish" is unnecessarily transliterated into katakana on the title screen.
  • Grudging Thank You: Deuce gives one to Mare.
  • Harder Than Hard: Extreme mode, turned on with a hidden button note  on hard mode. Any shot that gets through your shields will kill you.
  • Hard Mode Perks: You can only unlock the Special Ending and Neferiti's cafe conversations on hard mode.
  • Hates Small Talk: Mare initially appears to be The Voiceless, answering all your attempts to strike up a conversation with an ellipsis. Mare does finally start to talk to you, but still doesn't say much, and tells you that before "You never said anything important."
  • Heel-Face Turn: Neferiti.
  • Heel Realization: Ginny unsuccessfully tries to get Neferiti to have one of these.
  • Hidden Depths: A good part of the story is about Deuce coming to realize that the people he lives with are more than what they first appeared.
    • Though it seems strange that Deuce gets to know his crew better in the 30 days the game takes place in than he did in the years he was presumably serving before. Did he just not talk to them?
  • Hidden Elf Village: The Enigma. You don't actually encounter any, but their planet is the second world.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Gen, along with the crew of the Earthwall (though that one was ultimately meaningless) and Ginny, who holds Iblis at bay in order to save the universe.
  • Hopeless Boss Fight: The Firebolt in the beginning appears like this. It can be beaten for an achievement, but good luck with that.
  • Humans Are White: In the future there will be more anthropomorphic pandas than black people.
  • Humble Hero: Deuce.
  • Hurting Hero: Johnny.
  • I Don't Want to Ruin Our Friendship: Tessa to Deuce in her final cafe conversation. Tessa says she loves Deuce, but Deuce is upset that she doesn't mean it romantically. Of course, she changes her mind in her ending.
  • I Have This Friend: Inverted. In a conversation with Deuce, Ginny mentions how Tessa has a certain friend who keeps endangering himself, showing that Deuce isn't the only one that hears Tessa complaining about his recklessness.
  • Internal Reformist: Captain Gen is either a type 1 or type 3, it isn't really clear which. Unfortunately, he is killed before he can make any lasting changes.
  • Ironic Nickname: Johnny calling Oracle "Granny," since he's Really 700 Years Old.
  • It's All My Fault: Johnny accidentally set off the chain reaction that granted Iblis sentience by trying to give mortals the ability to grant wishes, and can never forgive himself for it.
  • Jerkass Genie:According to Neferiti, this was a pretty common prank for Lucernians.
  • Karma Houdini: Neferiti receives no punishment for all the people, Pandakin and Enigma she killed, and that's a long list. Though Deuce claims in her ending that he intends to get her to atone and that taking away her powers over fire should be considered her punishment, that's still pretty damn lucky.
  • King Incognito: Captain Oracle and Swig are both actually pirate lords.
  • The Klutz: Ginny has trouble holding things. It's because of her giving up her life energy to save Deuce.
  • Know When to Fold 'Em: Mare's first lesson to Deuce, taught with extreme firepower.
  • Kuudere: Mare does not easily reach out to people. This is even implemented in the game mechanics. note 
  • Leitmotif: All of the characters who appear in the cafe, except for Mare. Swig and Johnny end up sharing their leitmotif, as well.
  • Lethal Chef: There is exactly one person other than herself we know of that thinks of Deadeye's food as anything other than poison.
  • Limit Break: Overdrive.
  • Luck Stat: Subverted in that the game tells you exactly what it does.
  • MacGuffin: The Star Fragments.
  • Made of Indestructium: Again, the Star Fragments.
  • Mad Scientist: Deadeye.
  • Martial Pacifist: The Pandakin were an entire race of these, having stockpiled weapons purely for defensive wars.
  • Masochist's Meal: Deadeye's cooking is enjoyed by (almost) no one but herself. Johnny apparently knows such recipes but doesn't inflict them on the crew. Deuce has this impression of Tessa's cooking.
  • Meaningful Name / Punny Name: Ginny the Djinni, Johnny the Janni, Neferiti the Efreeti and Mare the Marid. In short, every Lucernian in the story has a name that at least sounds somewhat like their species, to the point where characters start using character name and species name interchangeably (without an article) when referring to them, causing confusion just what their real name is supposed to be.
    • Not to mention Aurica/Oracle and Dedai/Deadeye. Or Swig. Even Deuce arguably counts, having a bit of The Gambler.
    • Deuce could come from Deus, meaning "god"
    • Or the two dead pirate lords you come across, Kitsune and Triton.
    • In fact, of all the named characters, only Gen and Tessa don't seem to be this.
    • Mare's name could also be a hint that she's female.
  • Min-Maxing: Players came to the conclusion that maxing out Defense and Intel, a build the creator calls the Defense Monger, is the way to go. It makes getting the Chosen One achievement a lot easier.
  • Money Spider: Mostly justified in that enemies are said to be used as scrap.
  • Moon Logic Puzzle: A puzzle in the form of the way the cafe conversations in this game work, which is almost a Guide Dang It. Characters need to be talked to a certain number of times in order for you to select their ending, but characters can only be talked to once every few days, and with certain requirements. Johnny gives hints for what the requirements are, but only once per character and in a way that's less than obvious; the creator even has a non-walkthrough guide created to further help players, though it hasn't stopped players from having to figure it out themselves. In particular, Ginny's; if you die even once before she leaves, you cannot see her final conversation.
  • Moral Myopia: Neferiti had one form of this in the past and perhaps another form of it later on.
  • Multiple Endings: Nine of them. Five romantic ones for the five girls, two non-romantic ones for the hero's male best friends, a normal ending and a special ending. Unlike typical examples, the standard ending, requiring the least effort to reach, is actually pretty damn good.
  • New Game+: Subverting the usual tropes, the New Game+ is usually more difficult each time around.
  • No Death Run: Required up to a point to see all of Ginny's cafe conversations. Completing the entire game without dying will net you an achievement.
  • No Fair Cheating: The game has an internal cheat detection system that will lock you out of getting endings if it thinks you modified the data. In the first release it was too sensitive and could be triggered by starting a New Game+ or just by grinding too much. An update toned it down.
  • Non-Action Guy: Johnny.
  • No Romantic Resolution: In the Golden Ending, the gang stays together, but Deuce doesn't explicitly get with any or all of the girls.
  • The Notable Numeral: The seven pirate lords. Each of them is known to excel in a certain field, such as escape, weaponry or infiltration.
  • The Power of Love: Deadeye follows the Black Mage school of thought when it comes to love-based weaponry. The fact that it involves something actually called a "Love Extractor". is rather telling.
  • Not so Above It All: Mare makes exactly one joke, though even then not really reaching the lightheartedness most of the other characters have.
  • The Obi-Wan: Captain Oracle doesn't last very long.
  • Older Than They Look: Johnny claims to be this. He isn't kidding. As well, Ginny appears pretty young for someone in her mid-twenties. She's actually a semi-immortal djinn.
  • Omnicidal Maniac: Iblis. It's sick of having to put up with the desires of every being in the universe, so it thinks the best way to solve the problem is by killing everyone and everything.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: "Deadeye", though talking to her reveals that her actual name is Dedai.
  • Opening Scroll: Apparently in reference to Star Wars.
  • Oral Fixation: Johnny is always chewing on straw.
  • Our Genies Are Different
  • Patchwork Map: What Lucerna looked like before being destroyed, due to Lucernians being able to reshape it at will.
  • Peek-a-Bangs: Deadeye's hair covers one eye.
  • Pirates: The heroes are type 2. See below.
  • The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything: Yeah, for "pirates", the heroes don't do much actual piracy. Well, they do shoot down Federation drones and then salvage them for tech and stuff, but that's about it. Kind of justified given that the pirates have become the only faction in the universe powerful enough to be on the same level as the Federation, so what initially may have been only raiders and looters became a huge mass of rebels, freedom-fighters and simply anyone who opposed the Federation's restrictive laws.
  • Point Build System: When you level up, you get points to spend on your stats however you want.
  • Pointy Ears: Mare has them, and Neferiti seems to have them slightly when her ears are visible during her ending.
  • Punny Name: Played for Drama, to the detriment of its owner; Deadeye's real name is "Dedai", which sounds exactly the same. People would use it to make fun of her blindness.
  • Rag Tag Bunch Of Misfits: The pirates don't seem to be at all picky about who joins up with them. For example, Deadeye joined just because she approached the pirates and asked to work on questionable weapons, and no one ever finds this suspicious.
  • Recurring Boss: Pretty much every boss of the regular stages is fought three times, each time with increasing health and attack power. They have either a new attack or new mechanic on the third time, though (for example, Drone Mothership can send out drones, while the Rocket Snail's eyes are now invincible).
  • Red Baron: Aurica is known as Oracle. Mare's a legendary bounty hunter known as The Nightmare. In the standard ending, Deuce becomes known as "Pirate Overlord Deus".
  • Redemption Earns Life: Sort of. For Neferiti, joining the pirates allows her to meet Johnny who teaches her how to become a Janni, allowing her to live when she would have otherwise died without Lucerna.
  • Regenerating Health: Can be gained as a skill near the end of the game.
  • Samus Is a Girl: Mare, or rather, Marid. And a rather pretty one, too.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: Iblis, who Neferiti accidentally sets loose while trying to open the Book of Gates.
  • Seer: Oracle's signature ability.
  • Shipper on Deck: Johnny, towards Deuce and most of the love interests.
  • Show, Don't Tell: The game violates this rule many times, unfortunately.
  • Simple Score of Sadness: "Broken".
  • Small Role, Big Impact: Gen only appears in two cutscenes but delivers some important exposition.
  • Songs in the Key of Panic: "Firestorm".
  • Spoiled Sweet: Djinni grew up having her wishes granted.
  • Spread Shot: The Spread.
  • Star Killing: What killed Bamboo and almost wipes out another inhabited planet.
    • Neferiti (she was trying to bring in her homeworld, without which she would die in a few years), but at least she felt bad about it and works with Ginny to save the second planet after she turns its star into a gateway.
      • Except this releases the Big Bad, who has attacked her homeworld and attempts to escape from the End of Time She is not happy about this.
  • Stepford Smiler: A male example; Johnny is a type 1.
  • The Stoic: Mare, even after starting to talk, remains very silent and serious. Neferiti is similar.
  • Take Your Time: The Big Bad may be looming over you, but don't let that stop you from grinding to your heart's content. Time only passes when you complete a level you haven't completed before.
  • Title Drop:
    "I am Starwish, more commonly known as the Wishing Star."
  • Too Dumb to Live: Deuce seems to be holding the Idiot Ball in a really bad way at times, like when attacking Neferiti after she leaves the Firebolt even when it's clear he can't do anything and she's perfectly willing to let him leave.
  • Tsundere: Tessa.
  • Unexplained Recovery: When Deuce returns to the mothership after not escaping from defeating Iblis, no one seems to question it much. The only ones who even bring it up are Tessa and Neferiti in their endings, but they seem to forget about it right after. In Deadeye's ending Deuce explains "Somehow I made it back safely."
  • The Voiceless: Mare. For half of the story, anyway.
  • Victorious Childhood Friend: Tessa, in her ending.
    • Strangely enough, Neferiti might also count, though it's not clear for how long Deuce and she knew each other on the station.
  • Warm-Up Boss: The Drone Mothership. You can literally beat it by standing in one spot, without getting hit.
  • Wizards from Outer Space: The Lucernians and Oracle have supernatural powers.
  • Wrench Wench: Ginny. Neferiti is also remarkably skilled with ship engineering, having built the Firebolt herself, but it's not a pronounced character trait of hers. Mare built her own fighter, but it's even less of a trait for her. Considering this trend, engineering may be something that comes somewhat natural to many Lucernians. On the other hand, Johnny's talents lie in cooking, communications, and money schemes instead.
  • You Remind Me of X: Variant 3 with Neferiti towards Deuce. Deuce reminds her of someone she loved, causing her to spare him when it would have been easier for her to kill him and later to open up to him.

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