Video Game: Cannon Dancer
(known as Osman in English
) is an Arcade Platform Game
released by Mitchell Corp. in 1996, and it's often called the Spiritual Successor
's first Strider
game (which is reinforced by the fact they both were designed by the same guy). Controlling a Badass
mercenary known as Kirin, the player goes through very colorful stages, kicking everything into gory death
along the way. Kirin has an asortment of special skills, including a slide, Izuna Drop-esque throw and upgrades that allow him to generate energy copies of himself
, which stand where they are generated and mimic his actions, making for some interesting tactics and strategies with them.
The game's plot is actually a bit Mind Screwy
, albeit a good deal of it was actually Lost in Translation
(including a slew of alternative dialogues for the bosses). Set in a dystopian future ruled by a single government, problems arise with the appearance of a terrorist sect known as "Slaver", which deifies one "God Without Form" by the same name. Director of Judicial Affairs Jack Layzon, tired of these guys, contracts the services of the main character to deal with them, but he's secretly only using Kirin to stir up trouble with them so he gets a legit reason to arrest the cultists
. Once his job's done, Jack betrays Kirin and dumps him into a desert to die. Needless to say, Kirin survives and sets out on a quest to get Revenge
on Layzon, though he'll have to go through all his troops, as well as his former allies who now want him dead. Things start getting really weird from that point onward...
The game's main characters are:
- Kirin: The Hero, setting on a Roaring Rampage of Revenge against his traitorous contractor. Kirin forms part of a mercenary unit known as Teki (Barbarian), whose members are said to hone their bodies to the point of considering themselves "weapons for hire". Kirin is billed as a top class fighter and expert of a secret martial arts style.
- Jack Layzon: Director of Judicial Affairs and the Big Bad who sets the game into motion. Tired of the pesky cultists taking over his city, he uses Kirin to force them into conflict and justify their arrest, and then disposes of Kirin after the job's done. Doesn't do much else afterwards.
- Tianon: One of the 4 members of Teki now against her former ally Kirin. She's a blonde pigtailed Kick Chick that can generate energy with her kicks. She tells Kirin she's been always wanting to fight him to the death, though there are also hints that she also has feelings for him.
- Cannons: Second member of Teki, a tall man dressed in a black longcoat. He calls himself "Kirin's top student" and shows complete repulsion towards him, calling him an unrefined idiot who still fights bare-handed. On the other hand, his method of fighting involves teleporting around while a Transforming Mecha attacks from the background.
- Wilf: The Ax-Crazy third member of Teki, a green-armored white-haired guy who uses a metal hand claw. He's very open about his hatred of Kirin, while also wanting the other members of Teki dead so he can claim the title of the "Strongest Weapon".
- Slaver: The mysterious goddess who appears midway through the game showing an odd interest in Kirin's massacres, as she "wants to see the world die". Things start getting really odd once Kirin's goal is achieved, though...
The game's garnered a sort of cult following over the years, and is slowly crawling into Cult Classic
This game provides examples of:
- Amazing Technicolor Battlefield: Albeit the whole game is one big technicolor world.
- Attack Pattern Alpha: Teki's Da Rudel Taktik.
- Ax-Crazy: Wilf.
- Badass: Kirin.
- Badass Longcoat: Cannons.
- Back from the Dead: Slaver is said to have the ability to ressurect those who died. The three Teki return in the final stage in this way.
- Background Boss: In a sense, Cannons' mecha, although you can't hit it (Cannons is the actual target).
- Big Bad: Jack Layzon.
- Bigger Bad: Slaver, eventually.
- Blood Knight: Tianon. She even wishes she'd be ressurected so that she could fight Kirin again if she's the last Teki defeated.
- It's also implied that Kirin is this as well at the end, after accomplishing his revenge, he has no other motivation to fight other than pure bloodlust.
- Boss Rush
- The Brute: Wilf fits into this nicely.
- Chainsaw Good: The Gamran boss.
- Cult: Named "Slaver" as well, and carrying terrorist ideologies.
- Dark Action Girl: Tianon.
- Dead All Along: The revelation in Stage 5 is that Kirin was once killed before by one of the Teki (since the Teki's boss order can be switched around, whoever Kirin fights third will claim to be the killer..well, atleast in the original Japanese game.)
- Deceptive Disciple: If Cannons' claim is to be believed...
- Difficulty Spike: The last stage ups the difficulty considerably compared to the rest of the game since it removes the "spawn in the point of death" ability, instead respawning Kirin at predetermined checkpoints. And since the stage pits you against very irritating mooks and the Boss Rush...
- Dirty Coward: At a certain point, some of the armed Mooks will start to panic in front of Kirin and fall on their backs while trying to crawl away.
- Domino Mask: Cannons uses one.
- Doppelgänger Attack: Kirin's signature technique and very unique gameplay mechanic.
- Dual Boss: Near the end of the game, Kirin faces the three Teki at the same time.
- Dub Name Change: Slaver to "Abdullah the Slaver", and Kirin to "Osman". Most stage locations are also given new names.
- Energy Being: Herio, the boss made of fire.
- Everything's Better with Spinning: Wilf's modus operandi in his boss fight.
- Extremity Extremist: Kirin and Tianon both use kicks exclusively.
- False Friend: Both Wilf and Cannons openly declare their dislike of Kirin before fighting him on Layzon's behalf.
- Gainax Ending: After the final boss is defeated. Slaver's face cracks and a single tear fall from her eye, landing on the Earth and turning it back into a more healthy color. Slaver then claims she's a god, being prompted by (allegedly) Kirin replying that he's "above god" (or, in English she claims to be king and he retorts with being the king of the world). Cue the credits.
- Gas Mask Mooks: Most of the human Mooks are this.
- Girlish Pigtails: Tianon.
- A God Am I: In the ending. Implied to be said by Kirin, maybe...
- Gratuitous German: During the Dual Boss with the three Teki, they refer to their combined strategy as Da Rudel Taktik, the german name for the "Wolf Pack" tactic.
- Heroic Mime: Kirin. In the ending, it's implied he gets the last line, thought.
- Humongous Mecha: Gamran and Eurogam.
- Mad Love: Tianon hints at having something for Kirin, calling him beautiful and even claiming he makes her body "stir up". But then she comes and claims she's been waiting for this deathmatch to happen...
- Man of Wealth and Taste: Cannons.
- Mirror Boss: Fake, an identical Kirin clone fought during the last stage's Boss Rush.
- Mind Screw: In-universe example: The "Forest of Memory" (stage 5) seems to have a mysterious effect on Kirin's perception and memories. The last surviving Teki then shows up and reveals Kirin has been Dead All Along, killed by his/her own hands, and even allows him to try to remember where he was killed to reenact the moment he died. This is all a ploy trying to manipulate Kirin's perception and thus make him easier to kill. It doesn't work, obviously, and the "scenario" turns on the Teki.
- Pirate: The (very random) pirate group Kirin meets and joins in Stage 4.
- The Plan: Jack Layzon's plan to get the cult arrested.
- Lost in Translation: The translation changes or skews most of the dialogues. Even worse, each Teki has 3 different dialogues depending on the stage they are fought; these are removed and replaced by a generic single text shared by all three.
- Oh, Crap: Jack Layzon just as Kirin appears on his chamber.
- Professional Killer: All members of Teki.
- Quirky Miniboss Squad: The Teki trio.
- Roaring Rampage of Revenge
- Sculpted Physique: Everyone, including the government officer who has no fighting part.
- She's Got Legs: Tianon.
- Shifting Sand Land: Stage 3.
- Ship Level: Stage 4.
- Shirtless Scene: Jack Layzon in the intro cutscene, for no adequately explored reason.
- Smart Bomb
- Spiritual Successor: Of Strider.
- Teleport Spam: Cannons' tactic.
- Treacherous Quest Giver
- Unstable Equilibrium: You lose powerups as you're hit. Manage not to get hit and you'll plow through the game.
- Unwitting Pawn: Kirin in the first half.
- Wolverine Claws: Wilf's Weapon of Choice.
- You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Kirin gets blasted for his efforts.