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Video Game / Astebreed

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— Caption for the debut poster

Astebreed is Edelweiss' Spiritual Successor to Ether Vapor and Shoot 'Em Up doujin game that, like its spiritual predecessor, uses angle-changing gameplay. Now you fight beyond vertical, side, or frontal shooters and more angle changes than before. The style has considerably changed, more akin to Zone of the Enders.

Humans are at war with a mechanical Horde of Alien Locusts known as the Filune, which wreak havoc on entire worlds. On one distant world, Grato Nono engages with the alien forces, losing his squadmates and eventually his own mecha. One of Grato's daughters, Fiona Nono, comes to save him in a mysterious legless mecha and quickly performs a Hyperspeed Escape, where they are picked up by a Federation-like fleet. A long period later, Fiona is partnered with young pilot Roy Beckett to launch an offensive against the Filune, using the mecha Fiona saved her father in, now with a new pair of human-built legs. But allying with the hostiles is Estina Nono, Fiona's psychotic sister with a rivaling mecha.

A demo version was released in 2012; the final version was released at Comiket 85 on December 31, 2013, and was later re-released digitally via PLAYISM up until the store's closure in 2021. An overseas version was released on May 30, 2014 and can be purchased through Steam,, or the Humble Store. A trailer of the game can be viewed here, and gameplay of the first stage can also be viewed here. A PlayStation 4 version was released in Japan on March 19, 2015, and overseas on June 25 for $19.99. A Definitive Edition was later released on November 6, 2017, which backports all of the improvements and new content from the PlayStation 4 version back into the PC version; those with the original version received the Definitive Edition free of charge. On November 8 2018, the enhanced version was brought to the Nintendo Switch.

The game boasts an extreme example of High Definition: The game has native support for 4K (3840 × 2160) and even 8K (7680 × 4320)! Quite high for a 2013 doujin game.

A website for the game and its demo can be found here.

Astebreed features examples of:

  • 2½D: Taken even further than its predecessor. Not only can you target enemies in the background during side-scrolling segments, but also enemies in front and behind you during the rail-shooting segments.
  • Achievement System: There's 40 to unlock, some of which are split from each difficulty level. These Achievements ranges from playing through the prologue, going through the tutorials, clearing the game on X difficulty, No Damage Running X difficulty, and more.
  • Advancing Wall of Doom: The larger Asymptote Void chases after you in the first half of Chapter 5.
  • Always Identical Twins: The Nono sisters, they both look identical to each other than their conveniently-colored outfit and hair-styles. By the end, one of them has shorter hair than the other.
  • Almighty Janitor: Roy is literally this trope. He's just a cleanup man for a military company, but once he's in battle as the pilot of a powerful Humongous Mecha, goes to show why he's The Hero of the story.
  • And I Must Scream: Fiona and Estina are more like sentient AI programs onboard their respective machines. The only way to stop them, especially after Fiona is taken over by Estina, is found to be their real bodies - a pair of CPU cubes they were essentially turned into by the Filune. Thankfully Roy prevents himself just in time from smashing them and they find a solution in the long-term about this.
    • In a sense, this happens to the final boss after you defeat it, as the Queen System's AI are given individual personalities, and the wide swath of individual viewpoints this generates within the Queen System all but ensures the Filune are locked in an endless conflict with themselves, unable to even spare any attention to "outside".
  • Anti-Frustration Features: Your multiplier stops going down during cinematic parts of levels, where there's nothing to shoot to keep it up.
  • Art Shift: Besides the differences between cutscene art and the character artwork, the Original ending almost goes borderline Super-Deformed for the first half due to Estina barging into Roy's room to play video games and Fio coming along for the trouble.
  • Ascended Extra / Spared by the Adaptation: Daniel comes back from the spiritual predecessor.
  • Attack Drone: The Nono sisters' mecha have TONS of them!
  • Ax-Crazy: Estina is more... unstable than her sister counterpart.
  • Battleship Raid: In Chapter 3, you take on a fleet of them and finally a humongous mothership near the end.
  • Being Tortured Makes You Evil: The Filune's experiments on Estina really affected her BIG time.
  • Break the Cutie / Break the Haughty: Estina breaks down tears in her sister's arms after a Heel–Face Turn.
  • Bullet Hell: Much moreso than Ether Vapor.
  • Can't Stop the Signal: Even after the Filune's defeat, the Terran Coalition tried Daniel and other officers as war criminals to avoid responsibility. Unfortunately a few months later, the whole conspiracy was exposed to the public, forcing the Coalition to release the prisoners and eventually dissolve.
  • Cain and Abel: With Estina siding with the enemy, Fiona goes through fighting her sister throughout the game. They finally make up by Chapter 5, though, with Estina switching sides.
  • Cat Girl: Both of the Nono sisters have mechanical cat ears. They're short, but visible and have the shape.
  • Charged Attack: The "collect" type. Your EX Attack meter charges slowly over time, but by cutting bullets with your sword, you can built up energy quickly.
  • Concept Art Gallery: One can be unlocked after meeting certain conditions.
  • Continuity Nod: Daniel is set off by the same "Baldy" Berserk Button as in Ether Vapor. Only this time, it's the villain who calls him that.
  • Cute and Psycho: Fits with Estina very much.
  • Cybernetics Eat Your Soul: Both of the Nono sisters are cybernetically enhanced, but the trope is for Estina's case.
  • Decoy Protagonist: Grato dies at the end of the prologue.
  • Difficulty Levels: Present in this game. You have Easy and Normal to start out with, then an unlockable Hard difficulty.
  • Downer Beginning: The prologue starts with Grato and his team in a hopeless fight against the alien forces. Both of Grato's teammates bite the dust while he narrowly escapes the onslaught. Unfortunately, he dies before making it back to Earth.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: Most of Roy's family is gone, but he has two new sisters adapting well to society and keeps the Astebreed mech. The Filune are defeated, the Terran Coalition's conspiracy is revealed, Daniel and his officers are released, and humanity peacefully expands once again.
  • Evil Counterpart: Estina to Fiona.
  • Expy: Fiona is like C.C. in many different ways, notably her Sugar-and-Ice Personality and the experiments done to her.
  • Fanservice: Besides the fact that the Nono sisters have Sensual Spandex, Hartman Hips and notable legs, and at least one Male Gaze in what few cutscenes there are, one piece of extra development galley artwork in the Updated Re-release notably bumps this up compared to the entire rest of the game without even having to change their clothes. Some of the concept designs also accentuated this even more.
  • Gameplay Grading: At the end of each stage, you're graded by tension in battle, the percentage of enemies slain, and how well you performed in boss battles similar to Ether Vapor.
  • Gameplay Roulette: Even more than Ether Vapor. Expect the gameplay perspective to change several times during the same stage.
  • Girl with Psycho Weapon: The Nono sisters pilot mecha, but Estina is much more crazy than Fiona.
  • Government Conspiracy: It turns out that war with the Filune was already over. In exchange for a ceasefire, the Terran Coalition Forces handed over a large fleet and an entire city for the Filune to experiment on for the Lucis system.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Estina before the last battle.
  • Hive Queen: The Filune have a Queen System to control the Fliune, along with massive A.I. clusters such as Diagra.
  • Horde of Alien Locusts: Several Filune resembles insects.
  • Humongous Mecha: You and Estina pilot one. You also fight off some enemies in mechas too.
  • Idiot Hair: Estina has one.
  • "I Know You Are in There Somewhere" Fight: It becomes this during the fights against Estina.
  • Jerkass: It look like Estina took this trait from Luca. She mocks Roy as an "ugly brute", who's very sensitive to such comments, looks down on her younger sister, and once again calling Daniel "baldy". Subverted as this is her being programmed by the Filune. Once she snaps out of it, she is much, much nicer.
  • Keet: Roy.
  • Life Meter:
    • Unlike Ether Vapor, you have standard life meter instead of (technically) being a One-Hit-Point Wonder.
    • Charge Meter: One above your life meter for EX Attacks.
  • Limit Break: You have three kinds of EX Attacks that you can pull off. One can be done without locking onto enemies where you can perform a Smart Bomb-like Spin Attack that clears your surroundings of enemy fire and provides temporary invincibility. Another can be done by locking onto multiple enemies and perform a series of lightning-fast slices on locked enemies. The third, however, requires locking all of your shots to a single enemy, but doing so will allow you to perform a flurry of slashes that deals heavy damage.
  • Macross Missile Massacre: The first boss is like this.
  • Meta Multiplayer: Online leaderboards, just like the updated re-release of its spiritual predecessor.
  • Multiple Endings: In a strange fashion. The Updated Re-release has separate endings between the Original game's and the Arranged showing a new one, though they're not incompatible; one could even say the Arranged ending happens first (especially as its recommended for first-time players), followed by the Original.
  • Mystical White Hair: The Nono sisters both have white hair.
  • Nice Guy: Roy plays with this. A little deconstructed since he gets bossed around by the rude side of Fiona. Fortunately, it's rebuilt when he becomes The Heart and is willing to use force, even to snap the Nono sisters out of it and reunite them as allies.
  • Nightmare Face: Estina before you fight her in a Boss Battle at the end of Chapter 3. This is also present during the boss battles with her.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: Fiona and Estina are only referred to by their nicknames "Fio" and "Esto" respectively.
  • One-Word Title: It's named after the mech.
  • Parrying Bullets: Your mecha's sword can cut through purple and yellow bullets and missiles.
  • Power Makes Your Hair Grow: Inverted. Estina's hair was at knee length like her sister, but after the Heel–Face Turn moment and when Xbreed became Astebreed, she loses enough hair so it's shoulder length.
  • Private Military Contractors: Roy is affiliated to such group, which is how he has access to Humongous Mecha.
  • Reality Warper:
    • The basis of the Lucis system.
    • The Filune's main goal is this on a much larger scale, all to preserve its own civilization.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Fiona is blue, Estina is red.
  • Revised Ending: By beating the Arrange Mode, an alternate ending depicts Roy, Fiona, and Estina visiting Grato's grave.
  • Roboteching: Let's see: Homing missiles? Check. Homing Lasers? Check. Homing attack drones. Check.
  • Scenery Porn: One thing is clear that when compared to Ether Vapor, this game is gorgeous, and the updated re-release of the game makes them even more beautiful.
  • Scoring Points: You get points for shooting down enemies, but you also build up a combo meter by shooting enemies with your main shot or lock-on attacks (up to a max of x16). Slashing enemies with your sword gives a multiplier boost but will also drain your combo meter; taking damage also depletes your combo meter harshly. Alternatively, you turn off the scoring system and play Astebreed as an action game with bullet-hell elements.
  • Sequel Escalation: This game looks at Ether Vapor and goes "Oh, you change perspective at the end of every stage? How about at least half a dozen perspective changes per stage?"
  • Sexy Packaging: When purchasing the game's OST from Steam, the first image customers are greeted with are Fiona and Estina splashing each other with water while wearing a wet shirt and revealing one-piece swimsuit underneath as they help Roy clean up their mech.
  • Shout-Out:
    • The debut poster for the game has ROLL OUT for its caption. As in the Autobots?
    • Fairy Bloom Freesia is played on Roy's computer in the ending.
    • The story itself also plays along the Kamen Rider plot. A large chunk of the Filune aliens are actually humans converted and programmed into machines. Fiona can be considered the Kamen Rider as she's the one to escape before she is fully programmed.
    • The Astebreed's final form looks remarkably similar to the title mech from Xeno Gears.
  • Sibling Yin-Yang: The Nono sisters. One's level-headed and fighting for the good guys, while the other is psychotic and siding with the enemies.
  • Spiritual Successor: To Ether Vapor.
  • Spread Shot: Xbreed's Wide Shot.
  • Sugar-and-Ice Personality: Fiona may have the stubborn personality as Luca from the spiritual predecessor, but she's very sensitive when it comes to her older sister. Once Estina starts talking down and attacking ruthlessly against her, she becomes very fragile.
  • Theme Naming: Each of the Filune ships is named after Mathematics terms. Triforium, Cissoid, Conchoid, Evolute, Asymptote, etc.
  • Title Drop: The name of Chapter 5 and Xbreed's Super Mode.
  • Tragic Monster: Estina is probably one due to experimentation.
    • Oliga and Hugo from the prologue are also this, whose brain tissues were used for the Agnesi and Evolute bosses respectively.
  • Updated Re-release: The PlayStation 4 version features updated graphics, adds an Arrange Mode, re-balances the difficulty, and updated the controls to incorporate the right stick to lock-on to enemies. These improvements and features were then backported to the PC version as the Definitive Edition.
  • Video Game Cruelty Potential: There's an achievement for defeating Estina as a sub-boss on Chapter 2 as quickly as possible. If you succeed, she gets pissed off at you.
  • Wave-Motion Gun: Some of these fired by certain ships.
  • We Hardly Knew Ye: Oliga and Hugo, the two squad-mates who are lost during the battle on the Mobile Planet.
    • Subverted. After completing the game, documents show more detail about them and are seen as a family to Roy. They are also Tragic Monsters, playing as the first and second bosses.
  • Zerg Rush: The Filune are like this.