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PMC, or Private Military Company, is a Shoot 'em Up that is decidedly not Bullet Hell and makes up for it with cheap shots that never let up, a blatantly unfair rank system, and an aversion of any generosity modern games in the genre offer to players.

The plot deals with the four contractors of Lightfall Securities' F Company squadron, Player 1 (ship name: Excalibur), Player 2 (ship name: Wraith), Player A (ship name: Dust Reaver), and Player B (ship name: Gargoyle), as they take up a series of aerial missions with deliberately impossible odds. Mission Control aptly named Mission Control oversees and advises their missions.


This game, of course, does not exist.

This series will never provide examples of:

  • Alternate Universe: Of another non-existant work, Dreamless Drifter. PMC is Lighter and Softer in comparison to that.
  • Anti-Grinding: Well gee I guess I am going to chip that boss's wing for more points—oh hell, chipping it enough revealed a set of turrets! I guess I'm just going to let the boss fire at me for more grazing points, the patterns are just getting tighter and tighter — there's no longer any holes in these patterns? FUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU-
  • Bifauxnen: Player 1.
  • Black Comedy
  • Bullet Hell: Averted. Instead the few bullets that are there provide challenge by being so fast you can't even track them. The hitboxes on the player ships are also quite large for modern Shoot 'em Up standards.
  • Charged Attack: Both the main shot (and for some characters, the bomb) can be charged; the charged shot is designed to destroy larger enemies more effectively while the charged bomb sacrifices the ability to deflect bullets but provides a longer invincibility timer and more attack power. Those that don't have a charged bomb have a different use for it; Player 2's bomb is an Expy of the Raiden Fighters signature "launched" bomb, while holding bomb with Player A will delay the explosion for up to five seconds, allowing two to be near-simultaneously detonated by "holding" one, then releasing and instantly deploying and detonating another.
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  • The Comically Serious: Player 2.
  • Continuing Is Painful: Continuing in any stage other than the first will have you restart the stage you died on.
  • Crapsack World: Sea level 2 feet higher? Half the planet desertifying? Mental illness widespread and noone willing to treat it? Society filled with hedonistic jerkasses? World effectively controlled by dozens of bickering megacorporations? Yep. This is largely Played for Laughs.
  • Driven to Madness: Player 2's true ending. He takes the endless replaying of the years of mental torment inflicted upon him quite well.
  • Dynamic Difficulty: Picking anything up is a danger that rivals Battle Garegga. The bullet speed increases immediately upon certain pickups, and you don't even get any extra lives to stave it off.
    • There is one super-secret way to drop the rank: Open the cabinet and hit the service button. But this can only done if this machine is registered with an arcade, so you can't buy the PCB and do this trick.
  • Expy: Why am I hearing the voices of Miku, Kaito, Leon, Big Al, Len, and Rin put through a garble filter in Player 1, Player 2, Player A, Player B, Player 1's little brother, and the child in the crystal respectively?
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  • Fake Difficulty: That tree maywill have a Happy Tank.
  • Five-Man Band:
  • Goddamned Bats / Demonic Spiders: Sniper tanks, much like the Raiden series.
    • Pretty much everything in ????? mode qualifies, due to the revenge bullets.
  • Goldfish Poop Gang: Recurring Boss, ace pilot of GPI. His ship, fought in stages 1, 2, and 4, has lots of easy patterns and is easy to take down.
  • Gone Horribly Right: The demilitarization of the planet leaves millions of soldiers with nothing to rally behind, or for the more demented cases, shoot at. Unemployment and crime rates increase, but then PMCs start hiring and war becomes even more widespread as it no longer has national borders. Gone horribly right because this is the kind of thing those pushing demilitarization were aiming for.
  • Guide Dang It!: Forget Battle Garegga and Raiden Fighters, this game has even more obscure secrets and hidden mechanics to the point that the average player will never even see any of them!
    • Such as: excess counter at max rank which judges the amount of points you get at the end of the game, getting down to your last hit doubling the rate of excess counter gain, PT boat bonus, the many scarabs and bomb targets.
  • Half-Identical Twins: Player 1's adopted little brother, and the girl in the Crystal.
  • Harder Than Hard: The "?????" difficulty. The conditions to unlock it remain completely unknown, and the game can't be simply hacked to unlock it.
    • There's nothing here. Really! If you really wanted to know, type in "vocaloidtwincestfuckingsucks" at the title screen and "?????" appears in place of Arcade Mode. In this mode, you play as the Vocaloid characters Miku, Kaito, Leon, and Big Al. The ships are cosmetically changed, and everything shoots out revenge bullets like mad, and the plot is changed to rabid twincest fans abducting the Kagamine twins and you have to be a bad enough dude to save them. Due to the plot, you cannot play as the tiny ship. Also, you have two crystals to fight at the end of the game. Have fun! The ending is worth it should you decide to slog through all this.
      • There isn't. Stop selecting text, you won't find anything of value. Did I forget to tell you that there are also no continues?
  • Have a Nice Death: Depending on what you had or did during your death, the game will give you insulting advice. If not, it'll give you some complete nonsense.
    • "The bomb button won't bite, come on, use it!" - have 4 or more bombs in reserve upon death
    • "You don't get any bonus for not getting hit in the game. This is not a Cave game." - die in rapid succession after your first hit (intentionally)
    • "Milking sure is lucrative and risk-free!" - Die by any boss's timeout pattern.
    • "Apparently you're too retarded to stay out of void zones." - Die by an overhead guided missile or death blast at the 4th boss or True Final Boss, respectively.
  • Hero Antagonist: The Mega-Corp GPI. Their forces are composed of the remnants of the United States military, and while their track record isn't exactly perfect, they're largely the good guys in the setting, and who you fight against for half the game.
  • Homage: To Shoot 'em Up developers Raizing and Seibu's back catalog.
  • Kill It with Fire: Everything at the end of Stage 5. Some things are also pre-burning for your convenience!
  • Meaningful Name: When the company tells them that F does not stand for Foxtrot.
  • Mercy Mode: Get a Game Over by running out of continues, and the next session in Arcade Mode will give you one more credit, up to a maximum of 9.
  • Mission Control: Mission Control.
  • Multiple Endings: Seven, depending on your mission rank and character:
  • Nintendo Atlus Raizing Cave What The I Don't Even Hard
  • Nonstandard Game Over: Die to a lowly small plane in the 6th stage and you get an amusing sequence of that pilot being congratulated and hailed as a hero, or timeout the 5th boss in which case you get swarmed by pink flamingoes and get taken down.
  • Opaque Lenses: Mission Control
  • Powered by a Forsaken Child: The Crystal. Luckily, you don't end up killing her in the True Ending.
  • Private Military Contractors
  • Schmuck Bait: Grazing and the Bonus Menu.
  • Shoot the Shaggy Dog: Player A pays off his debt during the game and then racks a new one for breaking the company-owned ship. Then he loses his left nut in a scuffle with an angry farmer.
  • Shout-Out: Many, but here are some notable ones:
    • Stage 1, the forest stage, has a collection of trees which clears out to make way for a clandestine test site with ships laid out similarly to the first stage of Viper Phase 1.
    • Stage 2, the highway, is very reminiscent of Armed Police Batrider's fifth stage.
    • "I fucked you!"
    • Stage 5, Sky, is a mishmash of Raiden Fighters' stage 6 and Battle Garegga's stage 5 airships.
    • The Boss Rush in stage 6 has expies of the first five bosses in Raiden II.
    • The characters speaking gibberish in the style of Flower, Sun and Rain is not only a reference to that game, but also serves the purpose of the designers not actually having to use the Vocaloid software to generate their voice files properly.
  • Shows Damage: Used on the player ship as an aversion of the One-Hit Point Wonder. The player ship takes three hits in place of Video-Game Lives and a Life Meter. Each hit will visibly damage your ship and temporarily leave it smoking (during which time your ship is invincible, which ends as the smoking stops) but the third and last hit will finally destroy it. And no, there's no way to repair or replace it without a continue.
  • Silliness Switch: 1969 Mode. Changes the color scheme and enemy fire to a rainbow-colored drug-inspired haze. Score Attack will also randomly enable this.
  • Some Dexterity Required
  • Sorting Algorithm Of Enemy: Averted; all of the boss fights, except for the last, happen during the level, not at the end.
  • Springtime for Hitler: Lightfall Securities never expected F Company to actually succeed, let alone survive, and have to actually deliver the exorbitant payment they offered. To Player 1.
  • Stupid Jetpack Hitler: The penultimate mission has you going up against a militant force comprised entirely of social regressives. In the mission slides, the leader gives very familiar salutes and a rousing speech.
  • Take That!: The Bonus Menu is actually a questionnaire of what the player likes or dislikes, and will tailor the game accordingly. These "bonuses" along with their corresponding questions are inspired by various idiotic forums posters at Shmups. All handicaps except for the third can be disabled by answering "No" to "Do you wish to keep this mode?" after losing the game.
    • If the player responds "No" to the question "Do you like rank?" the game's difficulty is locked at a level beyond maximum and all medal values are set to 1 point.
    • If the player responds "Yes" to the question "Do you think autofire is cheating?" the charged attacks are disabled, and the player will only fire one shot per press of the Shot button, and multiplies the enemy health by a magnitude of ten. Curiously, the autofire button is not disabled.
    • If the player responds "Yes" to the question "Do you need an incentive to play for score?" the game will end after at least one point is scored. This mode is disabled by "winning" the game 42 times in this way.
    • If the player responds "No" to the question "Does this game have enough animu girls for you?" all sound effects are replaced with various annoying Key/Visual Arts sounds.
    • If the player responds "Yes" to the questions "Do you buy shmups on principle instead of buying them by how much you actually like the game?" or "Are you dave4shmups?" inertia will be enabled and the health of enemies is multiplied by a magnitude of 20.
    • If the player responds "Yes" to the question "Are you playing the North American version of this game?" the scoring system is disabled, rendering obtaining anything over a seven digit score impossible.
    • If the player responds "Yes" to the question "Do you think all games should be 30-hour epics or longer?", each stage will be changed to be three hours long...but the number of enemies will remain the same, so you will spend upwards of ten minutes waiting for the next wave of enemies to appear, and the game will not be pausable.
  • That One Boss: Stage 5. Black Heart and the red plane from Raiden II combine to become one lethal weapon!
  • The Chew Toy: Player A. Manages to have to pay a seven-figure settlement to the company of the store he accidentally shoplifted from. Shot at by Player 1 and 2 because they didn't even realize he was there. Disowned by his parents. Dumped by his girlfriend. His cat died. He's five cents short for the vending machine.
  • The Unfought: Two instances where this happens:
    • The final form of the Humongous Mecha in stage 3 which the battleship turns into gets destroyed by one of GPI's railgun ships.
    • Another Humongous Mecha, GENOCIDE in stage 6. Instead, it explodes due to the girl bound to the Crystal awakening which is the True Final Boss.
  • Tomato in the Mirror: Player 1 is a cyborg. Subverted in that she enjoys the thought of being one, and asks for many, many, MANY enhancements.
  • True Final Boss: The Crystal.
  • Universal Driver's License: Justified in that in this universe, flying a plane is as easy as driving a car.
  • Villain Protagonist: The Mega-Corp Lightfall, sort of. You fight against a Mega-Corp even worse in the final stage.
  • We Cannot Go On Without You: One player dying in two-player mode is a losing condition.
  • Yaoi Fangirl: Player 1. Supplemental material has her draw slash art of Player 2 and Player A. Player 2 does not care so much, but Player A freaks out quite spectacularly.

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