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Video Game: Hagane
Hagane is a 1994 SNES / Super Famicom game by Hudson Soft and Red about a robotic ninja with a pair of ancestral statuettes for a power plant. He fights against a series of evil wizards and their many henchmen from a rival clan who want to destroy the world For the Evulz, apparently.

Set in an alternate mystic-steampunk-ish dystopian Feudal Japan, Hagane was a ninja from one of two warring factions: the Fuuma and the Gohma. The Fuuma were since ancient times entrusted with the protection of a relic known as "Amano-Ikazuchi" (the Holy Grail in the English manual, for some reason), which holds the power to destroy the world. The Gohma wanted to end the world, so they attacked and exterminated the Fuuma, save for one man. Found at the brink of death by the mysterious monk Momochi, Hagane was turned into a cyborg whose only goal in life now is to stop the Gohma.

Hagane is a very acrobatic chracter, able to do crazy spin jumps, backflips, somersaults and wall-jumps with total freedom. He's equipped with four distinct weapons: a katana to attack up-close, bombs and kunai for ranged attacks and a grappling hook to cling into ceilings. He's also capable of unleashing several different "ninpo" or ninja magic attack, which range from screen-clearing explosions to fire-engulfed flying kicks.

The gameplay is frequently compared to Shinobi due to the ammo-using weapons and because one of the stages involves trying out doors while enemies pop out of other doors, and to Strider for the acrobatics.


This game provides examples of:

  • Aborted Arc: The manual's backstory (specially the original Japanese one) gives off this feeling. Most glaring in the fact the enemy group in-game is only one of four Gohma factions, the Black Dragon Clan. Other stuff mentioned in passing such as the corrupt government of ODA and the mysterious Momochi are not even part of the game.
  • Absurdly Spacious Sewer: Stage 1-2.
  • Absurdly Sharp Blade: According to the manual, atleast: Hagane's katana is said to cut through 500 mm composite steel like nothing.
  • All There in the Manual: The manual goes really in-depth with the story, giving a lot of detail over the world, factions and weapons in the game, and even explains such stuff like why giant laser beams aren't in vogue at the game's time. In contrast, the only words shown in-game are the stage and boss names.
  • An Axe to Grind: The red, muscular mooks throw them at you.
  • Attack Its Weak Point: Several bosses.
  • Auto-Scrolling Level: Stage 1-4, where the screen scrolls right to left. It is mostly flat terrain, with the occasional pit that appears suddenly if you hug the left of the screen.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: Your Somersault Special Attacks, done by holding L (if facing left) or R (if facing right). You character will do a short flip, then a flip while flashing blue, and then another flip while flashing yellow. Hitting Attack or Jump will make him do an extremely damaging move at the end (most notably, pressing Jump when flashing yellow makes the player do an upward kick that can one-shot most Minibosses). The main problem is that the setup makes you move forward and doesn't grant any invincibility unless you're glowing yellow, therefore enemies can easily knock you out of it.
  • Battleship Raid: You fight a mook-carrying airborne battleship in the middle and at the end of stage 1-1.
    • Stage 3 deals with Hagane boarding, destroying and escaping a much larger aerial transport warship.
  • Big Bad: Shura-Oh.
  • Bittersweet Ending: The hero accomplished his mission, but as a consequence, loses power and starts rusting.
  • Boss Bonanza: At the start of the final stage.
  • Ceiling Cling: Thanks to the grappling hook.
  • Collision Damage: Regular Mooks don't inflict this, but some enemies do.
  • Cyborg: Plenty, including Hagane, whose only organic part left is his brain.
  • Denial of Diagonal Attack: Only one weapon can be lobbed diagonally, and only one can be fired straight upwards.
  • Depleted Phlebotinum Shells: Hagane's kunai and chain are coated with depleted uranium.
  • Doomsday Device: Amano-Ikazuchi, a demonic ICBM.
  • Double Jump: The second jump actually propels you forward instead of upward. If you contact a wall, it becomes a Wall Jump.
  • Duel Boss: Raksasha, the cyborg warrior.
  • Epic Flail: The Giant Mooks have these.
  • Eternal Engine: Especially the whole of World 2, a weapons' factory.
  • Feuding Families: The Fuuma and Gohma ninja clans.
  • The Four Gods/Theme Naming: The four weapons Hagane uses are named after the four gods.
  • Grappling-Hook Pistol: The hero has one integrated in his body, just in case his ninja acrobatics are not enough.
  • Heroes Prefer Swords: Although he does use bombs, shurikens and a grapple hook.
  • Iaijutsu Practitioner: Raksasha combines this technique with lightning.
  • Katanas Are Just Better: Used by both the hero and Raksasha, as well as many of the Mooks.
  • Ki Attacks: The monks with wide-brimmed hats do this. Hagane's somersault attacks can count as well.
  • Laser Blade: Hagane's katana uses superheated plasma to cut stuff. Sounds familiar?
  • Leitmotif: The theme of Raksasha, the cyborg warrior with the artificial arm.
  • Lost in Translation: A lot of the crazy detailed backstory from the Japanese manual got simplified for its English translation.
  • Magitek: A big part of the game's theme, used by all sides. The Japanese manual claims both magic and science had basically merged into a single "magic science", which is the main discipline in Hagane's world.
  • Meaningful Name: Hagane means "steel". Most bosses, the giant-controlling Musha-Mukuro (Corpse Warrior) and beast-woman Jasei-Jyu (Cursed Beast) being good examples.
  • Mook Maker: There's a blue ninja enemy in stage 4 that can summon those orb dragon mooks you previously fought in stage 3-4 (which have a lot of health). Thankfully, they only appear in that area.
  • Multi-Melee Master: Hagane masters 4 distinct weapons:
  • Ninja
  • Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot: Hagane, minus the "Pirate" and "Zombie" parts.
    • Raksasha can be called a Cyborg Samurai.
  • Nintendo Hard: Very much so. Stage 1-4 already has a auto-scrolling section that will get you a few times. ScrewAttack listed it as number 1 of the top 10 hardest SNES games.
  • Playing with Fire: Most of Hagane's ninpo magic either engulfs him in plasma/fire or summons it.
  • Omnicidal Maniac: The Gohma clan want to destroy everything, for no stated reason.
  • One-Winged Angel: Every final boss (save the first one) transforms into some twisted mecha-slash-beast combination to fight.
  • Recurring Boss: Raksasha is fought twice at stage 4-1 and 5-1.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: It's not entirely clear whether Hagane is out Saving the World or just wants to get even for his clan's demise.
  • Rise to the Challenge: One part of stage 5 is like this, with a spike trap that can be slowed down by destroying the devices. The final boss requires you to constantly jump in order to reach its weakpoints.
  • The Rival: Raksasha.
  • Robo Cam: Shown in the intro as the hero surveys a ruined village.
  • Sequential Boss: Jyuzo-Dama, the 4th boss, goes through 4 different transformations/patterns.
  • Slide Attack
  • The Smurfette Principle: Jasei-Jyu is the only female in the game, period.
  • Spell My Name with an S: The 2nd boss En-Mikoshi should be written "On-Mikoshi".
  • Spin Attack: One of the somersault specials.
  • Steampunk: Those few things in the game that are not somehow run by magic / spirit power.
  • Technicolor Fire: Blue flames, in Hagane's case.
  • Teleport Spam: Raksasha during the 2nd boss fight.
  • Überwald: Stage 4-1, "The Cry of the Spirits".
  • Unexpected Shmup Level: The last area of Stage 3, as well as the boss fight.

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