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Video Game / Apidya

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Apidya is a 1992 Horizontal Scrolling Shooter developed by German studio Kaiko and released by Play Byte (as well as Team 17) for the Commodore Amiga. It features music created by renowned video game composer Chris Huelsbeck, who was responsible for other video game soundtracks such as the Turrican series and The Great Giana Sisters.

In the game, the player controls a warrior-turned-honey bee named Ikuro who is on a quest to defeat the dark wizard Hexaae, who has poisoned his beloved wife Yuri and cast a spell upon the creatures of the land to obey his evil bidding. Ikuro must magically blast his way through five levels, defeating countless foes and bosses along the way. In the first couple of levels, you start off battling real insects and creatures in a semi-realistic natural setting, but as the game progresses, the locales traveled through become more artificial and nightmarish, with foes such as animated sewer trash and biotechnological monstrosities.

In spite of its unusual setting, the game plays quite similarly to more conventional space-themed shooters like Gradius, and features a weapon bar that allows the player to select powers depending on how many flowers they collect from destroyed enemies.

This game contains examples of:

  • All There in the Manual: While the game itself does have an intro cinematic that explains the plot, the story found in the original Play Byte release's manual includes a lot of information left out of the intro, namely how Ikuro became a bee in the first place and why Hexaae poisoned Yuri (outside of being a jerk, of course).
  • Animate Inanimate Object: The sewer level has many of these, suggesting that Hexaae's evil magic works on non-living things just as well as it does on insects. The second boss of the sewer level is a can of Pepsi-Cola.
  • Animesque: An early example of a non-Japanese developer mimicking the aesthetics of Japanese games.
  • Asteroids Monster: The first boss of level 5 is a puffer fish that, after absorbing enough energy, eventually splits into 3 smaller versions of itself.
  • Bee-Bee Gun:
    • This is literally the final boss's attack; just releasing an endless stream of insects at you while battering you with the draft of its wings.
    • This is also how Hexxae attacks Ikuro's wife Yuri with bees, poisoning her.
  • Big Bad: The evil sorcerer Hexxae, who kicks off the events of the game by poisoning Ikuro's wife (and is presumably responsible for everything trying to kill him).
  • Bonus Level of Heaven: It doesn't make a whole lot of sense for this game, but there is one (in fact, it's the very first one).
  • Bonus Stage: The game has several:
    • Catching the tiny angel that appears after defeating the first boss will take you to a bonus stage that seems to take place in a Fluffy Cloud Heaven, in which you have to catch angels while avoiding trident-wielding demons.
    • After destroying the second boss, a mole, you can fly into the vacant molehill to reach an underground bonus stage. The same bonus stage can also be entered by flying a particular above-ground route on the Pond level that's seemingly an inescapable dead end.
    • Flying into the Pike boss's mouth takes you to a bonus stage inside his stomach, filled with tiny collectible soda cans.
    • Similarly, in the sewer level, you can enter the rotten corpse of a dead rat and be treated to a nauseating experience of flying through its innards. It's as unpleasant as it sounds.
    • On the techno level, there is a bonus level that went undiscovered for fifteen years, due to its entrance being in a place that nobody would reasonably fly into unless they were trying to die.
  • Boss Rush: The final level consists of five bosses fought in rapid succession, with only a token wave of easily-dispatched enemies preceding them.
  • Charged Attack: By holding down the fire button, the player can build up energy and release it as an enormous bio-rocket that can tear through waves of small enemies or hit larger ones to deal heavy damage.
  • Chest Burster: The Dead Rat boss has insects bursting out of the rat's corpse and attacking the player.
  • Credits Gag: The game has an absurdly overlong end credits sequence, running at over 6 minutes and crediting dozens of people and things that have barely anything to do with the game at all. The actual dev team consists of only four people.
  • Cutscene Boss: The actual confrontation between Ikuro and Hexxae takes place in the ending cutscene.
  • Down the Drain: Level 3 takes place entirely inside a sewer.
  • Easy-Mode Mockery: Playing on the easiest difficulty setting will end the game before the final Boss Rush level, skipping the ending sequence as well.
  • Everything Trying to Kill You: And we do mean everything, starting with beetles and butterflies and progressing to more unlikely foes like sewer trash and discarded toys.
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation: Everything about Ikuro, Yuri and Hexxae has absolutely nothing to do with the gameplay whatsoever. The only implication they're linked at all is Ikuro transforming into a bee and the reference to Hexxae using magically enchanted insects, and the plot is resolved in a cutscene!
  • Fireballs: One of the heavy weapons used by insects.
  • Flying Seafood Special: The first boss of the final boss rush is a puffer fish, which must somehow be flying since the level doesn't take place underwater.
  • Hammerspace: The bee can fire off a bio-rocket that is, somehow, larger than itself.
  • Interface Screw: In the sewer level, flying in the poison fumes flips the screen upside down for a few moments and reverses your controls.
  • Interface Spoiler: You can listen to most of the game's music on the menu screen, and there's one tune, "Speed of Light", that could never be heard in game, but the position and style of it suggested that it had to be for a bonus level in the techno world. It was fifteen years later before someone hacked the game to find out where this bonus level was, so people could access it normally.
  • Murder Water: The sewer level has mutated water that looks a lot like a claw. It jumps out in an attempt to attack you.
  • Mook Maker: The final boss's only attack is to release an endless swarm of insects at you.
  • Never Trust a Title: The game's title screen suggests that this game is called "Apidya II", which has led many people to wonder what the first Apidya game was. The developers later admitted that the "II" was supposed to be a joke in attempt to stir excitement.
  • Off with His Head!: How Ikuro ultimately disposes of the Big Bad.
  • One-Hit-Point Wonder: If you don't have a shield, Ikuro dies if anything hits him, be it enemies, projectiles, or scenery.
  • Post-Defeat Explosion Chain: All large enemies die in a flurry of fiery explosions, especially bosses.
  • Rouge Angles of Satin: The katakana on the title screen read "Abidja". Whoops.
  • Segmented Serpent: The eel boss is the most fitting example, since it moves around like a snake, but there are other segmented enemies: some odd pond animal with an extending jaw, and swinging electrical cables in the sewer level.
  • Shout-Out: The biotech-themed fourth level is a shout-out to R-Type.
  • Shown Their Work: The depictions of European insects and other animals are all accurate, and if you know your biology, you can identify them.
  • Spider Tank: The first boss of the techno world, a giant, indestructible mecha-crab.
  • Swallowed Whole: The pike boss can do this to you. Bizarrely, it's actually not a bad thing; it takes you to a Bonus Stage.
  • Vengeful Abandoned Toy: The Forgotten Doll boss, which is a patched doll with its stuffing falling out. It attacks with Eye Beams, puke and launching its spring-loaded hand at you.
  • Weaponized Offspring: This is the attack of the final boss, a giant hornet that keeps releasing bees at you.
  • Womb Level: The giant pike's stomach, and later, the dead rat's innards.
  • Year X: According to the intro, the game's events take place in the year "19XX".
  • Your Head A-Splode: happens to some of the larger enemies, such as the snail pictured above.