Sin and Punishment (subtitledSuccessor of the Earth) is an action game developed by Treasure and Nintendo R&D1 released in Japan for the Nintendo 64 in 2000.It is best described as a rail shooter, though its game engine requires platforming and evasive maneuvering along the way. The playable characters move independently of their shooting, which is done using a combination of a gun and sword that can be set to lock onto targets or be aimed manually with higher damage output. The sword can be used at close range, and well-timed slices can deflect projectile attacks toward other opponents.The story takes place in Japan in the year 2007. The world is under attack by hordes of rampaging mutant creatures known as "Ruffians". A volunteer army has been formed to fight against them, but are creating even more problems with their disregard for collateral damage and suppression of the civilian population. In response, a second resistance movement is formed by a messianicMysterious Waif called Achi, dedicated to defending the innocent from the Ruffians and the renegade army alike.When the game opens, the resistance movement has been slaughtered by a surprise attack, leaving only three survivors: Achi, androgynousbadass Saki Amamiya, and action girlmechanic Airan Jo. Refusing to give up, they set out to destroy those responsible.No, this game is not a Widget Series. Sin and Punishment was originally supposed to be a North American release. The plan was foiled when the Nintendo 64 stopped production in North America earlier than expected, and it was first seen on Western shores when it was launched on the Wii's Virtual Console in late 2007. It required almost little-to-no localization since all of the spoken dialogue was already in English. Due to its popularity on the Virtual Console, a sequel was released in 2009 in Japan, May 2010 in Europe, and June 2010 in North America. In addition, Saki made a cameo appearance in Super Smash Bros. Brawl as an assist trophy.Not to be confused withPersona 2.Note:The sequel has its own page. Tropes pertaining to it should go there.
This game provides examples of:
Advancing Mini-Boss of Doom: Halfway into Stage 3-2, an invincible giant Ruffian chases Saki and some soldier-like enemies until he runs into the dragonfly Seemers. Later in the same stage, a giant fire-breathing Centipede Seemer chases after him.
Attack Reflector: Your sword can reflect certain projectiles such as missiles back at the opposition. In some boss fights, it becomes a requirement as certain bosses can only be defeated by reflecting their attacks.
Big Creepy-Crawlies: Stage 0-0 have you fighting off swarms of bees and centipedes; the mini-boss of Stage 1-2 is a moth that sprays laser beams from above; Stage 2-3 have flies that appear to be made out of glass; the last stretch of Stage 3-1 have various swarms of spider Ruffians (spiders that either charges into you, shoot fire at you, or explodes on contact), including a big one that can electrocute you with its webs for the stage boss; and Stage 3-2 have huge dragonfly Ruffians that shoots laser beams from their tails and you get chased by a larva Ruffian of some sort that also spit fireballs at you halfway into the level.
Big "Shut Up!": Airan delivers one to Achi before Stage 2-3 starts, but she accidentally ends up yelling at her future son Isa when she finds herself in a subway train on Long Island ten years into the future.
Bloody Murder: Ruffian Kachua during her second phase, she can summon tidal waves with the blood you're standing on.
Climax Boss: The build up to the flooding of Tokyo and Saki's transformation ends in a big boss fight.
Co-Op Multiplayer: In an odd sort of way. Two players use a single controller to play the game; under the default control scheme, one player controls the aiming the shooting while the other controls the character's movement.
Crapsack World: Not only does Earth get overrun by alien bio-weapons, but the army assembled to fight them isn't much better.
Darker and Edgier: A meta example; this game was designed by Nintendo to appeal to older-than-usual audiences, especially in Western markets. Alongside Metroid, it's one of Nintendo's darkest IPs to date.
Deadly Walls: One mini-boss fight involves chasing a Ruffian along a series of narrow bridges separated by walls, and colliding with a wall damages you.
Destination Defenestration: The fight with Brad requires you to parry his attacks and eventually smack him out the window of his cruiser.
Die, Chair! Die!: Throughout some of the stages, there's inanimate objects (barrels, subway seats, bookshelves, etc.) you can destroy for points, some of which are holding point items inside.
Difficulty Levels: Your standard Easy, Normal, and Hard difficulties, each affecting how much continues you start out with and how much your life meter recovers from a life-up. Each difficulty also affects which enemies or bosses you will face and their attack patterns.
The Dragon: Kachua to Brad. Leda fills the position afterward.
Dual Boss: One boss fight has Saki fighting against Radan and Kachua, although Kachua doesn't fight back at all unless you're playing on Hard mode. Nevertheless, she can beaten for extra time and points.
Gameplay Grading: At the end of each stage, you get bonus points for your remaining HP, Time, and total Hit-chain. Stage 2-2 is the one stage where it is possible to miss the end-stage bonus if you don't slash the mothership's core at the end.
The final battle grades you on how much damage the Earth took from Achi and a whooping Perfect bonus if you manage to save the Earth unharmed.
Gentle Giant: Although Ruffian Saki demolished whatever the Armed Volunteers can throw at him, Saki still had his humanity and never raise a hand against Airan or Achi. Too bad he succumbed to Achi's blood by the time the sequel took place.
Levels Take Flight: Stage 2-2. Achi uses her powers to rip apart the floor of Brad's ship to provide Airan some solid ground, then flies it all across the sea where Armed Volunteers mobilizes their attack on Ruffian Saki.
Life Meter: A traditional gauge-type display for the player's Life Meter.
Noob Bridge: Many players will start by exclusively using auto-aim. Then they encounter the Polestar at the end of Stage 2-2 and see the continue screen until they learn that auto-aim reduces their shot power.
One-Hit Kill: Failing to destroy the Polestar before Ruffian Saki does results into this. Justified that Saki, now a towering super-powerful Ruffian, can't see Airan and Achi behind the warhead and he's acting on self-defense.
One-Winged Angel: Achi transforms into an imitation of the Earth for the final fight. Saki is a heroic version, and Kachua is a straight example.
Papa Wolf: The instructor's father from the training level doesn't take kindly to you being around his daughter and shows up at the end for you to demonstrate your projectile-deflecting attack against him.
Playing with Fire: The Man Seemer mini-boss near the end of Stage 3-2, it shoots beams across the ground to attack you with flaming pillars.
Playing Baseball With the Boss: Most fights are made easier by deflecting attacks, and then there's the final boss. The Birth Model in Stage 2-3 is actually impossible to beat if you don't do this, as it regenerates faster than your regular shots can do damage.
Power-Up: Time pick-ups boosts your timer, Life pick-ups recovers your Life Meter (varying by difficulty), and Point items boosts score.
Right-Hand Cat: Brad's small talking cat-like Ruffian Leda, who serves as a mini-boss and all-around annoyance.
Savage Wolves: A portion of Stage 2-3 is littered wolf-like Ruffians that shoots energy balls or pounce Airan. You see them again running from the spider Ruffian infestation.
Say My Name: Whenever the player loses. Notable in that this is Achi's voice, which happens even after her Face-Heel Turn and even during the final battle against her.
Kachua also goes out by screaming Brad's name before going Ruffian.
Scoring Points: This being a Shoot 'em Up, you know what to expect. To elaborate, you score points by damaging enemies and destroying objects in the environment (if possible). There's also point items that you collect that boosts your score. Collecting one will give 1,000pts and will mount up all the way to 50,000pts as you collect more without taking damage; if you get hit, the bonus points from point items resets to 1,000pts. Occasionally there's also targets you can shoot down for an extra 50,000pts. You also get a "CMDR BONUS" for defeating bosses, although some bosses give you a bit of an opportunity to milk the fight for all the points they're worth.
Sequel Hook: During the ending, Achi leaves Earth defeated, but muses over the potential of Saki having a child that also inherits her blood, which she could use for her plan to defeat her enemies. Meanwhile, Saki and Airan discuss the fact that Saki could potentially turn into his Ruffian form and destroy the rest of the world, as well as mentioning their future child. Both of these actually do turn up in the sequel; the main character is Saki and Airan's son, Isa, and Saki, as it turns out, did indeed succumb to the powers of Achi's blood.
The technical name of the heroes' weapon is "G&R-M64-JPC DOLPHIN POLICE STANDARD".
Some Dexterity Required: The controls are extremely weird and unconventional (you move left and right with the C-buttons, jump with the shoulder buttons, aim with the control stick, fire with the Z-trigger, and switch between auto-lock and manual aiming with the A button). Fortunately, the sequel switches over to a much more intuitive Wii control scheme. The Virtual Console re-release also supports the Classic Controller and GameCube controller, so players can use the D-Pad for movement and the stick to aim.
Spiritual Successor To Contra III: The Alien Wars. The games share programmers, as Treasure was founded from former Konami employees. The base setting and stories of both games are also quite similar, if a lot more developed in Sin and Punishment. Well, at least till Saki transforms into a giant Ruffian, and Achi reveals more about her intentions.... Also, Stage 3-2, most of it being a side-scrolling level, is a outright Shout-Out to the 2D Contra games, further cementing a connection between the two series.
Storyboarding the Apocalypse: One stage is a vision of ten years in the future, showing what will happen if Airan doesn't save Saki. It happened anyway in the sequel.
Subtitles Are Superfluous: They are all in Japanese, even in the international releases, save one internal monologue at the end of the game and the game's tutorials that had to be translated overseas.
Surprisingly Good English: Less surprisingly good, given the American voice actors, and more surprising that it's in English at all.
Swiss-Army Weapon: The "Dolphin" weapon that Saki and Airan uses, which is a gun that doubles as a sword for close-quarters combat and also a shout out to the prototype name for the GameCube.
Theme Naming: The original is subtitled "Successor of the Earth". The sequel is subtitled "Successor of the Sky".
They Would Cut You Up: Saki's initial reason against going to America, at least before the conversation is interrupted.
Timed Game: The game has a timer ticking down as you wreck Ruffians and the Armed Volunteers that must be replenished by collecting time power-ups or by destroying certain enemies or bosses. When the timer reaches zero, your life meter gradually diminishes until you refill the timer.
The Tokyo Fireball: Instead of burning in flames though, the city is literally drowned in blood, and at the end of the game, all of Japan is ruined.
Threatening Shark: The shark-like Ruffians that pop up around beach area of Stage 3-1.
Touched by Vorlons: Most of the super-powered characters in the story, on both sides, received blood from Achi. It is implied Airan wasn't though and she is just as capable as Saki until he transforms.
In Star Successor's Iwata Asks, when the original game was being discussed, Iwata even brings this up.
Maegawa: "It went on sale in 2000, so... The setting for the original game was 2007 viewed as the near future and the story was supposed to occur ten years in the future, so we probably submitted the proposal around 1997." Iwata: "The near future? 2007 has already past!" (laughs)
Unexpected Gameplay Change: Stage 3-2, the second to last level, becomes a free-roaming side-scroller that unfortunately suffers from controls not meant for such a genre.