Video Game: Stellavanity
A Bullet Hell game that is simultaneously the successor to Crimzon Clover and Hellsinker, by the absurdly detail-oriented developer Tris_Gram. The game is notorious for its development cycle and various trial releases, during which the game has changed from a simple Espgaluda clone to an absurdly complex shmup with RPG Elements.The game was released at Comiket 81 in December 2011 / January 2012. It was supposed to eventually have an English translation by the developer himself, but he nixed those plans, as well as English-language versions of his future games, after catching wind of the game being leaked to Western Imageboards, prompting complete cutoff with his English-speaking fans, leaving the game to be available only through the Japanese version of DLsite. However, things have changed since and the game was released on the English version of DLsite on November 13, 2013.
This game contains examples of:
- Beam Spam: In Ethereal Shift mode, your homing lasers constantly fire at a rate of about 10/second.
- Bullet Time: With the added advantage of being able to delete enemy bullets by killing the enemy a la Espgaluda.
- Cast from Hit Points: One of the items that can be bought allows you to exchange lives for bombs without actually getting hit.
- Copy Protection: The DLsite version previously required a DLsite account that has purchased the game in order to play it. Certain antivirus software could cause the DRM to fail and prevent the game from starting up. As of November 2013, the game is available DRM-free.
- Development Hell: Development halted (to the surprise of nearly everybody following it) back in August 2010, only to resume in November (with the creator also learning enough english to explain enough of the game mechanics to the English-speaking community), only to be paused AGAIN (albeit briefly) in Early February 2011. Development resumed (with a complete overhaul of the gameplay mechanics) in late February 2011. If Tris_Gram stays on track (which, given how much attention to detail is being given to EVERYTHING, is kind of a long shot), there's a chance the game will be released for Comiket 81 (Winter 2011).
- It struck again, but Tris_Gram is already considering doing the final touches on the previous version of Stella Vanity (from before the complete overhaul of the game mechanics) and releasing the "OLD" version at C81 (with potential plans to turn that version freeware after a period of time), with the NEW version aimed for C82 (August 2012).
- Guide Dang It: Figuring out exactly how the two item value counters are affected by everything else is very important to scoring and making the most out of Delayed Shift. Tris_gram has been mostly silent on this one, only saying that a balance of both gems and coins is needed for maximizing scoring.
- And then the current lack of English translations (due to TRIS-GRAM terminating contact with English-speaking players after the /jp/ leak) makes figuring out some mechanics mostly trial-and-error, with an extra helping of error. While there are buttons specifically for Blade and Ethereal Shift, nothing (in English, at least) hints that Overdrive is done by holding the bomb button down. And then there's the accessories...
- Harder Than Hard: The difficulty levels are as follows: Easy, Normal, Arcade, Hard, Nightmare, Pandemonium. Hard more is already difficult enough that the creator of the game got hit on Stage 1, but Pandemonium... well... looks a lot like this◊.
- Improbably Female Cast: Averted. At least one of the characters is male, unusually for a Doujin shmup.
- Loads and Loads of Characters: As if it wasn't hard enough to master one character, Tris_Gram has stated that he intends to have at least 5 in the full version, all of whom will control differently.
- Money for Nothing: Overkill an enemy, and some of their bullets will turn into shiny gold coins.
- No Range Like Point-Blank Range: In the older versions, it was really hard to score without this.
- One-Hit Polykill: Killing more than one enemy with a single use of your Assault weapon results in the Multikill bonus.
- Roboteching: Homing lasers, yay!
- Smart Bomb: Can also be burned to activate a Super Mode and a barrier.
- Some Dexterity Required: Bombing right before pulling off a Raid is difficult but can skyrocket your score.
- Also, the controls. Default configuration for them gives you 6 buttons (the minimum, mind you), with both shifts on one button and your shot type determined by whether or not you hold the slow button down. You can up this to 8 buttons in the config, splitting your laser and auto shots to two different buttons WHILE ALSO having Ethereal Shift on its own button.
- Spin Attack: With a sword.
- Super Mode: At least 3 of them (which can stack, too), and possibly more in the final game. Just from the trial:
- Delayed Shift, which gets stronger based on how much you increase your gem counter during it at the cost of preventing overkill on normal enemies, preventing any and all coins from dropping (most of them change into gems), and increasing the amount of bullets fired by all enemies and bosses ([[Up^toEleven this still applies to Pandemonium difficulty, by the way.]])
- Ethereal Shift, which gives you a rapid-fire variant of the Assault Lock-on Shots fired for the duration, prevents the coin value multiplier from decreasing, Allows you to perform considerable overkill on a boss while also preventing overkills on normal mooks.
- Overdrive, which consumes a bomb but boosts your shot power for a short while.
- There Is No Kill Like Overkill: The basis of the entire scoring system revolves around overkilling enemies. Including bosses.