Video Game: Crescent Pale Mist
Crescent Pale Mist
is a 2½D
hack-and-slash, platforming game by the doujin circle ClassiC Shikoukairu that's noted for its fierce hack-and-slash gameplay, high-quality visuals, and for being really hard
It's story takes place in the country of Gasyukal, a country of where people seek knowledge of magic, but were foolish enough to stumble upon a forbidden form of magic
considered widely taboo. The country's first use of this form of magic was used by ancient sages that ended up destroying an old and distant country, resulting in knowledge of its existence and destructive powers. Later a war broke out, the country of Gasyukal was at a disadvantage, and they were running out of ideas to hold off the enemy forces. Out of desperation, this is where the second time the forbidden magic was used to even the odds... until they couldn't control it and it backfires on them
. This resulted in the country of Gasyukal to be pulled from a rift into an Another Dimension
, thus turning the countryside into a forbidden no-man's land known as the "Taboo State
". Those that try to investigate the Taboo State later ended up dead, without poisoning or trauma, as well as the doctors who examined the corpses and met with the same fate.
Yunou, our heroine of this story, is a magician who is capable of using a deadly and forbidden form of magic known as Pale Mist — the very same Pale Mist that's seeping from Gasyukal — believes there's something more that's causing these deaths. She sets out to seek the source of the Pale Mist and put an end to it, although it's a quest that's easier said than done considering the many dangerous monsters and her former comrades she will confront along the way.
Unlike most doujin action-platformers, the player is not limited to a single 2D plane as Yunou can jump from one plane to another and traverse to other areas (although there are times where you can't go back at all). Yunou can take down foes with her blade
for close-ranged attacks, cast powerful Pale Mist magic like Rowanveld
, and a bottomless supply
of throwing daggers
for good measure. Along the way, Yunou can find items and artifacts scattered throughout Gasyukal to enhance her abilities, provide hints towards her treasure-hunting, and unlock extra difficulties and other features. To make it through the Taboo State, Yunou will have to utilize every trick she's got under her Detached Sleeves
The game was first released on PC in Japan on March 30th, 2006, it was then later localized by Rockin' Android as a downloadable PlayStation 3
game via PlayStation Network on November 9th, 2010 with updated graphics, redrawn character art
, online leaderboards
, and a few gameplay tweaks
. On January 2015, the game has been greenlit
for a Steam release with added features such as Achievements and trading cards.
The doujin circle's website can be viewed here
(Japanese) and Rockin' Android's English for the game can be viewed here
Crescent Pale Mist features examples of:
- 100% Completion: While not a requirement by any means, there's lots of things to uncover from enemy drops and searching through areas.
- 2½D: Yunou can jump between different parallels à la Guardian Heroes to explore different areas. The developer stated in Neocrisis' interview the reason for making Crescent Pale Mist a 2.5D game oppose a 2D one felt that a straight 2D game would restrict the heroine's agility.
- Action Girl: For a magician, Yunou can certainly use her magic to kick some serious ass.
- Aerith and Bob: The main characters have names like Yunou and Vizet while a few of the enemies have plain-sounding names. One set of names that particularly stands out is the the Evil Garnet armor trio in Chapter 2, which they are named Ben, Jon, and Mike.
- After Combat Recovery: After defeating Elshiria, Yunou gets full HP before fighting Narju in Chapter 6.
- Amazing Technicolor Battlefield: Narju's boss battle in Chapter 2 and Chapter 6.
- And Your Reward Is Edible: Some of items and artifacts are food.
- Animated Armor: Living Armors and their variants, walking suits of armors animated by the Pale Mist that attack with a lunging attack and sometimes magic. Some of them don't even have heads.
- Anti-Frustration Feature: In the PlayStation 3 version, there are warp points in certain areas of a level to save you time if you make a wrong move while clearing a gap or jumping off walls, however the opportunity to use them are timed.
- An Ice Person: Narju uses ice-elemental magic.
- The Arch Mage: Kurow, as he's hellbent on unlock the secrets The Forbidden, even it means sacrificing the country's inhabitants to do so.
- Art Shift: The character art was originally given a traditional hand-drawn artstyle in the original PC version. Keiko Sakurai redrawn all the characters with an anime/manga artstyle in Rockin' Android's English version.
- Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: At least three of the game's boss will make Yunou look like a dwarf by comparison.
- Auto-Revive: The Elixir. It Only Works Once per game, though.
- Awesome but Impractical: The Handmade Rosary, it upgrades Yunou's Rowanveld to the powerful Rowanbanish. The probelm is that it uses up 70 CP, making it difficult to use early on in the game and it sacrifices Rowanveld's rapid-fire capability, making it impossible to take advantage of any shortcuts.
- Ax-Crazy: Narju. She harbors great jealousy and hatred against Yunou and her ability to control Pale Mist, and she would go through great lengths to personally see Yunou killed. She even sacrificed Elshiria and leaves Yunou to deal with Sage Gasyukal in an attempt to kill her. Her notions of being a hateful sociopath was expressed even further in Rockin' Android's version of the game thanks to the new character portraits. She◊ even sports a Slasher Smile in Rockin' Android's version of the game.
- Background Boss: Sage Gasyukal, the game's Big Bad and Final Boss. Sage Gasyukal is too powerful for you to start unleashing Rowanveld hell, so you have to destroying the magic orbs surrounding it, its hands, horns, the Philosopher's Stone (optional), and the Power Crystal on its head before attacking Gasyukal itself.
- Badass Beard: Kurow.
- Beam Spam: Elshiria's specializes on this, especially during the late stages of her battle, although it is not limited to her.
- Bedsheet Ghost: Some of the ghost enemies resembles this.
- Beware My Stinger Tail: Teranoias can swing its tail at you and it has a sharp bone at the end of it. Said tail blade can be hacked off for the Obsidian Tail Blade, although the tail blade is tough and immune to your Rowanveld attacks.
- Bishōnen: Soray became one in Rockin' Android's localization.
- Blob Monster: Slimes and their variants.
- Boring but Practical: Farming Pale Mist wisps to gain stat bonuses from non-boss enemies that you haven't already defeated in the area (and hopefully don't put too much of a fight) by using blade attacks, which may increase the odds of survival on the later stages of the game, especially on higher difficulties.
- Boss in Mook Clothing: Oh lordy, does this game manages to hide away insanely-powerful enemies waiting to destroy you when you least expect it or what?
- Boss Rush: An unlockable "Boss-Only" mode can be played after finding the Mysterious Button artifact, which lets you go through the entire game just by fighting the bosses alone. In the PC version, after getting the artifact, press the Pause button at the title screen to access Boss-Only mode; the PlayStation Network version changed this to an unlockable option in the main menu.
- Bullet Hell: Many bosses and some enemies are capable of unleashing a danmaku of bullets at Yunou, even moreso on harder difficulties. Thankfully the skills of a master Touhou player is not required here.
- Chasing Your Tail: Aside from Teranoias and Dagneiv and also Sage Gasyukal, boss battles are generally a chase against your opponent.
- Checkpoint Starvation: The only checkpoints in each Chapter of the game are the ones before a boss battle.
- Cognizant Limbs: Three of the bosses have limbs or body parts that can be destroyed, often resulting in the bosses losing one of its attacks or earn you an item.
- Combat Tentacles: Dagneiv, Chapter 3's boss. Thankfully Yunou can sheer them at a safe distance with her daggers.
- Combos: Comes naturally for a hack-and-slash game.
- Continuing Is Painful: Die at any point of a Chapter and you lose any-and-all chances of enemy drops as well your high-score.
- Creepy Cool Crosses: One of Vizet's attack patterns is a spread shot of crosses.
- Crystal Skull: One can be found as a useless item in the game.
- Cute Witch and Elegant Gothic Lolita: Vizet, especially in Rockin' Android's localization.
- Dem Bones: Teranoias, the game's other Warm-Up Boss. Wights and later variants are skeletal mages that fire a barrage of magic or a pillar of mist.
- Detached Sleeves: Yunou's outfit comes with them.
- Easy-Mode Mockery: If the player plays the game Easy, enemies will not drop any obtainable items at all, Treasures will never appear, and certain areas and shortcuts will be restricted in some Chapters of the game.
- Eldritch Abomination: Dagneiv (Chapter 3's boss). Other enemies such as the Devil Eyes qualify as well.
- Evolving Title Screen: When you first start the game with a fresh save file, the title screen is is blue. Once you slay more and more enemies as you play through the game however, it goes from blue steadily turns red.
- Fake Longevity: Collecting a lot of useless junk like a potato, evil spirits in a jar, and cool-sounding stuff that turns out junk like the Abyss Garb, just for the sake of item hunting.
- Also in the original PC version, you have kill 8,000 or more enemies just to unlock the penultimate difficulty. We're not making this up...
- Fate Worse Than Death: Elshiria gets banished to another dimension devoid of life, thanks to Narju.
- Final Boss, New Dimension: Subverted. In Chapter 6, Narju, being the Amazing Technicolor Battlefield attendant that she is, takes you to another dimension just before game's final boss.
- Flash Step: Yonou can use the Pale Mist in conjunction with her daggers to instantly warp to where ever the dagger hits.
- Fragile Speedster: Yunou, although equipping items can also make her into a Glass Cannon or maybe even a Lightning Bruiser.
- Gameplay Grading: Your overall score at the end of each Chapter is broken up into three categories: Clear bonus, bonus points for the Chapter and how quickly you beaten it; Technical, based on your remaining PM and highest combo count; and Penalty, deduction (or bonus) depend on difficulty and how many times you continued.
- Go for the Eye: Dagneiv, a tentacled monstrosity that has huge eye as its weakpoint.
- Goomba Springboard: Yunou can jump off some non-boss enemies after launching them in the air to access higher areas.
- Guide Dang It: For starters, there's no map system, which immediately makes things frustrating once the player is lost during Chapters 3 and 4 considering they're most maze-like Chapters of the game. Thankfully the developer posted videos on his YouTube for shortcuts for Chapter 3 and Chapter 4 to make what really seems like a long level into a short one.
- There's also the matter of getting 100% Completion for finding all the items and artifacts scattered in the game. It's a good thing the fan translator who once made the English patch for the original PC version still have a chart for finding them, which can be seen here. Although take note that there are mistranslated names for some of the items.
- A guide for Rockin' Android's PlayStation 3 version for finding all the items in the game as well as getting the PSN Trophies for the game, which can also be useful the PC version, can be viewed here.
- Hard Mode Perks: On Hard mode or higher, Yunou can equip items found throughout the game (how much you can use depends on the difficulty), but enemies are even stronger. You also get a higher score bonus on the harder difficulties.
- Homing Projectile: Some enemies and most bosses are capable of firing homing projectiles.
- Idiosyncratic Difficulty Levels: You start out with the standard difficulty levels when you first start playing the game (Pumpkin Knight, Magic Knight, and Sacred Knight respectively as the Easy, Normal, and Hard difficulties), and upon meeting certain criteria, you can unlock the two Harder Than Hard difficulties, Terror Knight (Fear) and Knight of Nightmare (Planeriel).Tip
- In-Series Nickname: Elshiria L. Gasyukal (Chapter 6's boss) is sometimes referred to as "El".
- Instant Awesome, Just Add Dragons: Teranoias, Vizet's skeletal dragon familar.
- Instant Runes: Vizet, Soray, Narju, Kurow, and Elshiria have magic runes appearing behind them as they attack.
- It's Up to You: Yunou is the only one with complete and total control of the Pale Mist magic, and really the only one that stands a chance in the Taboo State.
- King Mook: Almost every non-boss enemy type has one super-powered golden mook worthy of being a Boss in Mook Clothing.
- Knife Nut: Yunou can throw daggers for ranged attacks, throw them in a fan-like spread, or use them to warp to an enemy or certain objects.
- Bottomless Daggers: And where does Yunou's bottomless supply of throwing daggers come from?
- Life Meter: The HP gauge, in both counter and gauge display.
- Mana Meter: The CP (Capacity) gauge, although there are two different values that comes into play: Max CP and CP Limit. The Max CP, the blue portion of the CP gauge used for non-PM spells, is your overall maximum CP; CP Limit, the red portion, is the area of the gauge you should try to avoid building up CP from your attacks (or some enemy attacks that forces your CP to raise), otherwise you'll trigger a Magic Leak Burst that cuts your HP by half.
- Launcher Move: Yunou's Rising Slash move (Down-Forward+Attack) will propel some enemies upwards, allowing you to bounce off of them with a jump.
- Magic Sword Storm: Yunou's Rowanveld PM is essentially this. When Pale Mist are around her, pressing Special (or Down, Down+Special) will unleash a storm of magical swords against her foes.
- Magical Girl Warrior: Yunou, and she also doubles as a Badass Bookworm being a former researcher of Gasyukal Research Alliance.
- Mr. Exposition: Kurow, who fills Yunou in on why the country has been taking advantage of the Pale Mist.
- Multiple Endings: A different dialogue for each difficulty after beating the final boss.
- Named Weapons: Soray's spear is named Brutius. There's also two of Yunou's equipable items, Excalibur and Brunhild.
- Nice Hat: Yunou, Kurow, and Elshiria wear one.
- Nintendo Hard: Let's start with the fact that there's a chance of running into the Boss in Mook Clothing when going blind during your first run of the game. Next add getting sent back to the very beginning of a Chapter once you die if you don't make it to the checkpoint prior to fighting the end boss of the Chapter. Add some boss battles that can be outright brutal and you have this game's difficulty.
- The Magocracy: The Gasyukal Research Alliance.
- The Maze: Chapters 2 through 4, although the Chapters 3 and 4 proves to be a worse case of this.
- Out-of-Character Moment: The game's Tutorial Mode have Yunou and Vizet teaching the players how to play the game while being completely Out of Character from the game's main story.
- Palette Swap: Although some of the enemies Yunou encounters also have some minute appearance changes too.
- Peninsula of Power Leveling: There are some areas in almost every Chapter of the game where you can beat up weaker enemies for Pale Mist wisps. See Boring but Practical above.
- Petal Power: Just look at the pretty cherry blossoms as Elshiria tries to annihilate Yunou.
- Power Crystal: Yunou can find a Ruby, Sapphire, Emerald, Aquamarine, Garnet, Amethyst, Opal, and Diamond as equipable items, although the Philosopher's Stone is needed to unlock their abilities.
- Power Floats: Usually during a boss battle (excluding the boss battle with Kurow), Yunou and a few other humanoid characters do this. In Yunou's case, she can only fly while in an "Area Magic Saturation" location.
- Power Glows: When Yunou uses special moves that builds up her CP gauge like Rowanveld, Yunou will begin to glow in a blue aura once it hits close to her CP Limit, then changes to red when her CP is dangerously close to her CP Limit. While her Yunou's aura is blue, her attack doubles at the expense of 25% of her defense; when red, her attack triples but cuts her defense by 50%.
- She also glows green while guarding with Endurance and glows yellow while recovering from an attack with Emergency Evasion.
- Power-Up: And Colour-Coded for Your Convenience, too. Red power-ups boosts Attack, green boosts Defense, blue raises her Maximum HP, and white contains a treasure. Yunou can only retain her HP bonuses after each Chapter; Attack and Defense bonuses resets after clearing the Chapter.
- Random Drops: When it comes to enemy drops, there's always a chance that you may or may not receive a prized item from defeating an enemy. That Thief's Dagger may come in handy...
- Razor Wind: Yunou uses this to attack enemies at close range albeit not using an actual sword.
- Respawning Enemies: In some areas of each Chapter of the game, there are sections of the map where slain enemies will respawn after leaving and returning to that area. Pale Mist wisps from respawned enemies won't boost your maximum HP but other stat areas can still grow.
- RPG Elements: Collecting the Pale Mist wisps expelled from striking an enemy with Yunou's "blade" attacks instead of using them to attack them can steadily level-up her stats. Killing certain enemies can also lead to stat bonuses for Yunou.
- There's also items and artifacts in the game that enhance and/or penalize Yunou's abilities. Sadly you can only use them Hard mode or higher.
- Scoring Points: Part of the game since you earn points for your performance in each Chapter. Although it wasn't too practical until Rockin' Android added online leaderboards to the game.
- Sequence Breaking: It's encouraged to anybody looking to aim for high scores on each Chapter. See Guide Dang It above for shortcuts for Chapters 3 and 4.
- Shoot 'em Up: Boss battles in the game plays similarly to a shoot 'em up since they can unleash a barrage of bullets, and like a Bullet Hell shooter, each boss have multiple phases and attack patterns that become increasing more difficult to defend against. Yunou can also shift her movement speed by holding down the Jump button to speed up or the Endurance button slow down.
- Smash Mook: The Gargoyles and some of the Pumpkin and Onion enemies will dive bomb into Yunou.
- Sound Test: A "Music Room" option can be unlocked if you beat the game after obtaining the Music Room Key artifact. It's beneath the entrance leading into the Final Boss Corridor in Chapter 6.
- Smart Bomb: There's an item called Ancient Dragon's Whistle that lets you perform a Capacity Burst by entering Down, Up+Special (or vice-versa) that can clear the screen of most projectiles and damage some enemies, which comes in very handy for certain boss battles. It costs 100 points of your CP Limit to use it but it refills to its original amount steadily.
- Spread Shot: Yunou's Midnight Ripper technique lets her spam daggers in a fan-like spread.
- Sprite/Polygon Mix: The characters and enemies are done in 2D sprites while the game's levels and particle effects are rendered in 3D.
- Sword Lines: With Yunou's blade attack.
- Throwing Your Magical Swords Always Works: Yunou's Rowanveld. It arguably deals more damage to enemies than Rowanveld PM (even moreso with Inhuman Blade equipped) and it breaks enemies' guard. It can be powered-up to Rowanbanish, although while it's powerful, it sacrifices its rapid-fire capabilities and eats up more of your CP.
- Turns Red: Guaranteed to happen during a boss fight.
- Upgrade Artifact: Some can enhance Yunou's equipable items. For example, the Hermit's Honey can raise Royal Jelly's stat bonuses from +1,000 Max HP / +100 Max PM / +25 Max CP to +10,000 Max HP / +1,000 Max PM / +100 Max CP. Others can modify Yunou's abilities, such extending Fear's duration or the damage out of Rowanveld.
- Warm-Up Boss: Vizet and her familiar.
- Wall Jump: One of Yunou's key abilities as you'll need to jump off walls to reach higher places.
- Wake-Up Call Boss: Kurow in Chapter 4.
- You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Narju with blue hair although her in-game sprite depicts her with white hair. In the original Japanese version, Narju's hair in her portrait is in a light blue color; in the English version, Keiko Sakurai changed her hair of her portraits to a darker shade of blue.
- You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Happens to Elshiria when Narju offered her to Sage Gasyukal.
- Zettai Ryouiki: Yunou's has grade-A thigh-highs.