The year is 1619, and I have just escaped execution at the hands of my own king.
Destiny has brought me here, to the edge of human exploration.
Some call this place the New World.
The Romans called it...
MarsJamestown: Legend of the Lost Colony
— The intro of the game
is a Vertical Bullet Hell Shoot 'em Up
developed and released by Final Form Games. It's the first game by the company, done for the art
and funded through the developers' own savings.
The game tells the story of a man named Walter Raleigh (Sir
Walter Raleigh, to be exact, if we can assume that this is the same famous explorer), an Englishman who has escaped from prison when he was about to be executed for an unknown crime (the actual Sir Walter Raleigh was executed for supposedly being in the Main Plot against King James). In an attempt to clear his name and earn the pardon of the British king, he travels to Jamestown, one of the British colonies in the new world, in hopes of earning glory and fame.
Only, these are not the colonies you know.
You see, this is a Schizo Tech
version of The Colonial Period
, with airships capable of taking off into space, and man has colonized Mars
. The colony of Jamestown in particular is set in contested territory, with the English fighting against a joint effort between the Spanish and the indigenous Martians. After barely surviving a recent attack, Raleigh flies onward searching for the lost colony of Roanoke. From there, the clues in the way slowly bring our protagonist towards the uncovering of an Evil Plan
engineered by the Spanish general that may put all of the colonies in danger.
The game can be purchased on Steam
. An expansion, Gunpowder, Treason & Plot
, was released on November 10, 2011, featuring four new playable ships (including one that can mimic some of the abilities of the other seven
This game features examples of the following tropes:
- Alternate History: When the intro explicitly tells you that man has managed to colonize Mars in the 17th century, you know that you're in for a ride of this.
- Attack Drone: Thomas Percy's conveyance, "Gunpowder", generates up to three barrels that circle the ship. These fire shots forward, and can be launched to deliver heavy damage.
- Anime Hair: The Conquistador has it in his final form.
- The Atoner: Sir Walter Raleigh.
- Beethoven Was an Alien Spy
- Big Bad: The Spanish Conquistador.
- Blood Knight: John Smith.
- Brainwashed and Crazy: It is implied by the game that the once peaceful Martians were turned berserk by ancient technology found by the Spanish in Mars.
- Bullet Hell: You got it. Lampshaded by the name of one achievement, for completing any one level on Divine: "More like bullet heaven!"
- Call a Hit Point a "Smeerp": Ships are "conveyances," power-up mode is "vaunting," etc.
- Charged Attack: Virgina Dare's Charge Ship fires bullets that grow progressively larger the longer you wait to press the secondary fire button. Guy Fawkes's seeker missiles as well, though you must hold the button down.
- Cool Old Guy: Raleigh and John Smith.
- Daddy's Girl: Virginia Dare.
- Dug Too Deep: The final stage.
- Easy-Mode Mockery: The second to last level has no Normal mode and can only be unlocked by beating all levels before it on Difficult. The final level has no Normal nor Difficult modes and can only be accessed by beating all other levels on Legendary.
- Faceless Eye: The Lady of the Lake.
- Fake Difficulty: Remember that invincibility flash you usually get immediately after dying? It's fine against enemies, but not against obstacles!
- Fiery Redhead: John Smith.
- Forgotten Superweapon: The Conquistador plans to use it to conquer all of Mars.
- Fragile Speedster: Technically everyone, but Guy Fawkes' ship is faster then anyone else's.
- Frickin' Laser Beams: Sir Walter's Beam ship, appropriately enough.
- Gag Sub: The 'farce' option, which basically makes the cutscene exposition downright silly.
- Which is doubly amusing, because the original script was already downright silly.
- Historical Hero Upgrade: The historical Walter Raleigh was no devil, but he was no saint, either. In here, he's the last, best line of defense between the Spanish and total domination of Mars.
- Historical Villain Upgrade: The Spanish Conquistadores were at times ruthless in their conquest efforts, but none of them was a Card-Carrying Villain bent on global domination, like the one in this game.
- Hitbox Dissonance: As is the norm on this kind of games. The ship select screen is nice enough to point it out for you.
- Homing Projectile: Guy Fawkes' conveyance can fire seeker missiles. You can fire one at a time or charge up to fire up to four, but doing so slows you down.
- Icon of Rebellion: The DLC adds Guy Fawkes, complete with mask and Dual Wielding blades. He is joined by fellow Gunpowder Plot conspirators Thomas Percy and Robert Catesby.
- Idiosyncratic Difficulty Levels: First we got Normal and Difficult, but then the scale ramps up with 'Legendary', 'Divine' and 'Judgement', the last of which must be unlocked by beating all levels in Divine.
- Informed Attractiveness: Raleigh calls John Smith "handsome." He's not.
- In Which a Trope Is Described / Long Title: The chapter subtitles.
- Interface Spoiler: Averted. If you die fighting the Conquistador in the ruins, the game over screen shows that you finished 90 to 99 percent of the level (so obviously the level will be over if you defeat him, right?) But if you die on the Heart Of Mars form, the completion percentage drops back down to 70 percent.
- Lighter and Softer: Farce mode.
- Lost Technology: The last stage.
- Macross Missile Massacre: The specialty of "Treason," the Guy Fawkes conveyance.
- Manly Tears: Walter in Farce mode.
- More Dakka: All of the ships except the Bomber do this. On higher difficulty settings, all the enemies do this.
- Ominous Latin Chanting: The background music for the final level, as well as the second phase of the final boss.
- Ominous Spanish Chanting: CON-QUIS-TA-DOOOR, CON-QUIS-TA-DOOOR, CON-QUIS-TA-DOOOR, CON-QUIS-TA-DOOOOOOOOOR...
- Averted. The composer confirmed that there are actual lyrics to the last level's song and that they are not in latin.
- Psychopathic Manchild: Within Farce mode, the narrator, Walter and Joachim certainly qualify.
- Shout-Out: One of the earlier challenge stages is basically Space Invaders if it were a bullet hell.
- Schizo Tech
- Spread Shot: Sir Walter's primary attack.
- Gameplay and Story Segregation: Each chapter introduces John Smith, Virginia Dare, and Joachim Dare, in that order. All are playable from the beginning and in multiplayer mode, all can be on the screen at once. And of course, none of the DLC characters actually appear in the story.
- Space Romans: Space English colonists versus Space Spanish invaders, FIGHT!
- Temple of Doom: The final level takes place in an underground Martian temple with Mayincatec elements.
- The End... Or Is It?: Right after you defeat the final boss, see the ending and the credits, the words 'The End...' show up in a black screen, followed by a pair of question marks shortly after, and a pair of ominous red eyes flashing right above the words (similar to the Final Form logo). At first, this and the name of some Steam achievements hinted at a True Final Boss, but it turns out it's only a Sequel Hook if anything.
- Wham Line: The "New World"? It's Mars.