is a vertical Shoot 'em Up
series developed by Takumi and published by Capcom
It is perhaps best well-known for two features:
- The Reflect Barrier shield, which takes whatever masses of bullets touch it and reflect them back, often inflicting massive damage upon enemies.
- The scoring system. Due to some scoring mechanics in which collecting one of many, many medals increases the value of the next one, and your medal count acting as a score multiplier, it is easily possible to have a score well beyond the scale of most other games' scoring systems.
The series spans three games:
- Giga Wing (Arcade/Dreamcast, 1999)
- Giga Wing 2 (Arcade/Dreamcast, 2000)
- Uses 3D graphics instead of 2D, and adds a new kind of reflect attack, the Reflect Laser. Also introduces the "volcano" mechanic: if enough medals are on the screen, a "volcano" of medals will erupt, producing even more medals. The Dreamcast port adds a 4-player option, a rarity for a shoot-em-up.
- Giga Wing Generations (Arcade/PS2, 2004)
Not to be confused with Zero Wing
The Giga Wing series contains examples of:
- Artifact of Doom: The Medallion not only doomed the Abusive Precursors, but its influence was also responsible for bringing about untold conflict among humankind.
- 1-Up: There is one available in item form near the end of the fourth stage. However, it won't appear unless you've died at least twice by that point (which on default settings means you're on your last life).
- Bullet Hell - But by employing the Reflect Barrier properly, you can turn it into Bullet Heaven.
- Cap - The maximum multiplier in the first game is 49,999,999 which can be reached near the end of the game by very skilled players. In the second game, the maximum multiplier is 999,999,999; this can be reached in the third stage out of 7 with skill. Amazingly, the score caps in any game are nigh unreachable.
- In the second game, there is a cap of 110 medals on screen as well as an unknown total object cap; reaching either will cause an item volcanon, where the background will go black and then each medal will split into 10 or more kite-shaped medals.
- Color-Coded for Your Convenience - In the first two games, the lowest 8 digits of your score are colored blue, the next four yellow digits (the oku places) are yellow, the four digits in the chou supergroup is colored red, and (in the second game, where such scores are possible) the digit(s) afterward (kei) are cyannote . Generations uses a different color scheme (red for kei, yellow for chou, green for oku, gray for anything smaller).
- Crosshair Aware - Confound that gunboat boss's second-phase pattern!
- Cultural Translation - The kanji used as separators for every fourth digit in the player's score were removed in the US releases of the games. The US releases don't even bother to replace the kanji with commas, so reading scores in the US versions is a bit trickier.
- The US version of Giga Wing 2 uses commas when displaying the player's score at the end of a stage, though still has the myriad-based (supergroups of four digits as is common in east Asia; see above) color-coded digit groupings otherwise.
- Defeat Means Playable - Defeating Stranger unlocks it as a ship in the Dreamcast version of the first game.
- Dieselpunk: The games generally take place in a world that's roughly in the mid-20th Century, where technology was accelerated by the Medallion.
- Difficult but Awesome:
- Stuck/Widerstand. His bomb weapon is tricky, but if you get good enough at using him, he's not only powerful but also the best scorer.
- Ruby, to a lesser extent. She has the narrowest coverage, but her concentrated fire makes her excellent at destroying single targets, and her high speed allows her to scoop up medals easily.
- Dynamic Difficulty - The game uses a very simple version of this, with the difficulty increasing until the first time you die (if at all). Also applies to the pity 1-Up (see below).
- Excuse Plot - Averted in Giga Wing Generations, which has no plot at all.
- Fan Nickname - Giga Wang.
- Glass Cannon / Fragile Speedster - The secret ship from the first game. Very fast, and it has a ridiculously powerful weapon and bomb. However, it's as fragile as any other ship, so it's not quite a Lightning Bruiser.
- Gratuitous English - Giga Wing 2: "RIFUREKUTO FO-SU!"
- And when the reflector charges up again, the voice is supposed to say "Okay", but it sounds like "Otay".
- Homing Projectile - Isha from the first game has a straight shot paired with guided missiles. Chery from the second game has a similar weapon.
- Multiple Endings:
- Bittersweet Ending: In Giga Wing Your character sacrifices himself or herself to destroy the Medallion.
- Golden Ending: You must beat the first six stages on one credit to see the true final stage (and boss). This results in an ending where your character destroys the Medallion and comes home alive. Beating the game with two players will also avert the need for Heroic Sacrifice.
- Nintendo Hard
- No Export for You: Giga Wing 2 had no arcade release in the US, but the Dreamcast version was localized. Completely played straight with Giga Wing Generations.
- Pinball Scoring - Quite possibly the king of this trope.
- Return to Shooter - The Reflect mechanic.
- Score Multiplier - The core of this game's scoring system. Each medal will add its own value to the value of every medal you've picked up so far on your current life or stage, and that will be added to your multiplier. For instance, picking up a +5 at the beginning will add 5 to your multiplier. Picking up another +5 will add 5 to your medal count for 10, and 10 will be added to your multiplier. By the end of most stages, each medal will usually be adding thousands to your multiplier at a time. Even in the first game, a good player will have multipliers in the millions.
- Scoring Points - One of the main highlights of the game, in a subversion of score being regarded as a pointless number. How often do you see scores of at least 1 trillion?
- Secret Character - See Defeat Means Playable above. The second game has the five (four standard + one secret) ships from the first game as secret ships.
- Self-Imposed Challenge - Some players try to go for the lowest score possible, or go as far as possible without scoring at all.
- Sequel Escalation - Each game ups the ante with more medals to collect and thus more points to be had. Giga Wing's 15 digits? Nothing compared to Giga Wing 2's 17 digits...which in turn is surpassed by Giga Wing Generations, quite possibly the only commercial game where you can achieve 20-digit scores.
- Ship Tease: The normal ending for a 2-player game as Shinnosuke and Ruby implies that Ruby's developed a crush for Shinnosuke.
- True Final Boss - Two of them, in Giga Wing: the black ship you've been chasing, and the Medallion. Both are fought simultaneously, and only appear if you've completed the first six stages on one credit.