Purposed to PerishElemental Gearbolt
is a PlayStation Light Gun Game
that was developed by Alfa System in 1997 and localized by Working Designs
in 1998. It defies a number of light gun genre conventions simply by telling a pretty effective tragic fantasy story. And then caps it off with exceptionally atmospheric music and art.
The game opens with a scene of a ruined city and a person dressed black who's trying to sort out what went wrong. It turns out that the trouble began when two dead girls were suddenly transformed into implacable
magical war machines. In a nutshell, they tear across the countryside, destroying a Well-Intentioned Extremist
prince's advanced technology and spoiling his Assimilation Plot
. Everyone dies; the end.
Let's get a bit more in-depth. The game world is rife with Fantastic Racism
. The Sulunkan, a race of peaceful Magitech
masters, are oppressed by Audo overlords who invaded their world long ago. The Sulunkan do fight back
, but they are no match for the Audo. In a chance meeting, Bel Cain, a young prince (secretly a half-breed,) meets Nell and Seana, half-breed daughters of a Sulunkan resistance leader. They promise to meet again, but they never do (in the strict sense, at least).
Years later, Bel Cain becomes crown prince and resolves to create a new world order with super advanced Magitech, all managed by a computer made from human brains
. Bel Cain doesn't realize that the computer hates its existence so much that it has created weapons capable of finding and destroying it... using the corpses of Nell and Seana (who joined the Sulunkan resistance only to be killed and taken as trophies). The things that used to be Nell and Seana they tear across the countryside, destroying Bel Cain's advanced technology, culminating in a sad, one-sided reunion... and they all die
But wait, there's yet another plot layer to be found in the game's unlockables which casts the events of the game in a different light. A different light of forbidden knowledge, eldritch abominations
and shadowy extra-dimensional organizations
... and the possibility that maybe not everyone died after all.
This game contains examples of:
- Adipose Rex: King Jabugal is one of these, of the hedonistic Villainous Glutton variety.
- Bottomless Magazines: There is no reloading. Magical guns don't run out of ammo, apparently.
- Death Seeker: The Neural Network Computer.
- Difficulty By Region: Working Designs made the easy mode into a training mode that ends after three levels. The normal and hard modes are the only way to experience the full game.
- Downer Ending
- Elves Versus Dwarves: Delicate, magical, peaceful Sulunkan vs. tough, technological, warlike Audo.
- Facial Markings: The Sulunkan race has internalized spirit circuits in their bodies, but they aren't ordinarily visible. However, Audo/Sulunkan half-breeds aren't so lucky. Their circuits show through their skin.
- Fire, Ice, Lightning: The three types of attacks Nell and Seana use are called Blaze Phoenix, Water Snake, and Thunder Tiger.
- Gray and Black Morality: There's only one character with no redeeming traits: King Jabugal.
- Half-Breed Discrimination: It is not really a part of the main narrative, but Bel Cain's claim to the throne is dubious on account of his half-breed status.
- I Cannot Self-Terminate: The Neural Network Computer, again.
- Intro-Only Point of View: The game opens with a scene centering on Tagami, but shifts into the past for the main action of the game.
- Kill 'em All
- Late to the Tragedy: The whole game is a flashback, after all.
- Memento MacGuffin: Nell breaks her necklace in two and gives part of it to Bel Cain as a symbol of their promise to reunite.
- People Jars: Nell, Seana and Bel Cain's mom all wind up in jars. Or at least, their remains do.
- Regional Bonus: The chalices hidden in the English version of the game. They figured into a contest sponsored by Working Designs that offered cash prizes and such collectibles as gold-plated light gun controllers.
- Royally Screwed Up: King Jabugal murdered Bel Cain's mother, but keeps her remains in a jar? And still has Bel Cain as his successor? It's a perfect storm of depravity and short-sightedness.
- Royals Who Actually Do Something: Bel Cain and Ialu.
- RPG Elements: Points scored in a level can be allocated into experience, allowing Nell and Seana to gain levels.
- Tragic Villain: Bel Cain has done (and plans to do) awful things in pursuit of his goals. But if he gets in Nell and Seana's way, (as he must) his chances of survival are dismayingly low.