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Video Game / Battle Hunter

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Battle Hunter (known as The Hunter: A.R. 0062 in Europe) is a PlayStation game by Success in the vein of a Roguelike or Tabletop Game. The players are assigned to create their own Hunter from an albeit limited character creator. During gameplay, four Hunters (with AI taking empty slots) are sent to find a Key Relic in a randomly-generated dungeon by searching through crates and fighting off the occasional Random Encounter. Whoever gets the best score wins, although there isn't much of a point to winning unless you're playing with friends.

There's a simple card system that affects speed (blue), attack (red), defense or evasion (yellow), and traps (green). Everyone can see each Hunter's hand, and there are 100 cards in the initial deck. When that deck reaches zero, the GON appears. Usually, this is a Hopeless Boss Fight but with an Exit card the person holding the Key Relic can teleport out and end the game.

Battle Hunter provided examples of:

  • After the End: Although without reading the manual, you'd likely never guess the game took place after a third "Great War" that nearly wiped out the human race.
  • All or Nothing: Essentially what happens if GON shows up while someone has the Key Relic. If he kills that person, everyone loses all of their cash and items, which means that aside from your hunter level, you basically start back at square one. Especially sucks if you got knocked around a bit in the process and lost a good chunk of your Max HP; with no way to recover it, you're better off just loading your last save file.
  • Anti-Frustration Feature: In rescue missions where your target is a person, and reaching them ends the mission immediately, CPU opponents won't attempt to reach the target until a certain number of turns has passed. This is to prevent an instant, unavoidable failure in the event that one of your opponents starts within arm's reach of the target.
  • Artificial Brilliance: The AI's, while not generally being difficult to play against, actually tend to follow some sort of pattern of priority in terms of what their goals are as the game progresses. AI's with higher attack tend to be much more aggressive, choosing to pick fights with other players when the opportunity presents itself, while AI's with higher speed will prioritize locating the key item first and making a beeline for the exit.
  • Artificial Stupidity:
    • AI opponents tend to play cards blindly and with little regard for strategy. Thus, you'll witness such idiotic situations as trap cards being placed in chokepoints leading to dead ends (which usually results in the same player getting caught by their own trap) or playing movement-boosting cards when they're standing right next to their target. This gets especially frustrating when the deck's running low and they would otherwise have a full hand (thus preventing them from drawing a card the next turn), since it means that GON shows up that much faster.
    • Certain AI also have questionable decision-making depending on the scenario. A.I.s with more passive stat distributions will continue to search out for item chests even if you're next to them and carrying the Key Relic, for example.
  • Big Bad: Jacobson, who is the head of B PHS.
  • Big Damn Heroes: After one of the later Story Mode missions, Vikeif and Shuichi show up out of nowhere with the HAV Cannon to save you when Jacobson tries to take one of the data discs from you by force.
  • Canon Name: The various avatars the players can be given any name and in dungeons the computer players have a random set of names for each avatar, however, within the game's data files, each of the character avatars as well as enemies have their own unique names.
  • Continuing is Painful: Lose all your HP and the cap is cut in half and you get teleported... somewhere. Also, you lose a turn to recuperate.
  • The Computer Is a Cheating Bastard: Items that give you additional bonus stats must be identified outside of battle in order for the effect to apply. The enemies in dungeons however automatically benefit from the bonus if they find such a item, giving them extra stats in the middle of a battle.
  • Defeat Means Friendship: Vikeif and Shuichi are quick to befriend you after your second run-in with them. Vikeif explains that they have nothing against you—just against your broker, who also hired them but refuses to pay them because they failed to bring back the item.
  • Diabolus ex Machina: Finding the Key Relic makes every monster and most types of AI hunters go after you to snatch it and claim victory.
  • Easter Egg: Entering your character's name as Vikeif or Shuichi will allow you to play as the corresponding character. However, this prevents you from playing any story missions and removes character customization completely (the game determines your stats for you).
  • Fanservice: Two secret "Service Cut" wallpapers, one featuring Sharona, Cristina, and Jane in swimsuits at a beach, and another of them as Pit Girls. These where removed from the overseas releases, however, a third one was kept in featuring the mission broker and 5 Messiahs half-naked and showing off their muscles.
  • Fragile Speedster: Shuichi, more so than any other AI hunter. He has high speed and decent attack power, but he's also got a big fat zero in defense (almost all other AI hunters have at least 1 defense) and only mediocre HP.
  • Final Solution: What B PHS is planning for their enemies. Jacobson claims that they're ridding the world of "mutants" affected by some virus, but the actual effects of said virus are never seen or explained.
  • Glass Cannon: Vikeif is probably the most prominent example, with the second-highest attack power of all the AI hunters counterbalanced by low defense and HP.
  • Golden Snitch: The Key Relic is worth five times as much as other items (which are usually the best source of points). It is still possible to make up the difference with a combination of lesser items, flag bonuses, and a lot of fighting to earn bonus points for dealing damage, but it's very difficult. (And in Story Mode, points don't matter at all; if the round doesn't end with you exiting with the target item, you get a Game Over no matter how well you did in other ways.)
  • Hello, [Insert Name Here]: The player can name themselves however they like when creating a character.
  • Hero of Another Story: Vikeif and Shuichi apparently do other work for Mr. Sakimru while you're off on your missions, even destroying B PHS headquarters at the end of the game, but it's only mentioned after the fact, and never in much detail.
  • Hopeless Boss Fight: To an extent, GON. There's an awful lot to explain about him, though:
    • First and foremost, GON only appears on the map when there's no cards left in the deck. This is only fair because it means the players will soon have no cards in hand, ridding the game of much strategy. As this Hopeless Boss Fight does result in a loss, they made it avoidable. End the level quickly, and you'll never see GON.
    • GON will always chase after the player holding the item required to win the game, only attacking other players if they happen to cross his path along the way.
    • GON's power is enhanced by risk. Namely, by the penalty for dying to him. If the player holding the victory item dies to GON, the mission is over, and every player in the game will lose every item they're holding, some of which can be quite powerful and rare. This typically will cause non-computer players to cooperate to end the level as quickly as possible when GON appears, even if they will not be the ones to win, just so they can keep their posessions.
    • GON is, indeed, of absurd strength, sporting insanely high offensive and defensive power that can tear through most anyone with relative ease. If you have the brilliant idea to protect the player holding the victory item by barricading a walkway from GON using the other three players, you'd better have three bodybags ready. His movement speed, which is also nothing to scoff at, means that fourth player should not take those three turns to run for granted.
    • Despite all this, it is possible to kill GON, and even without cheating or unfair amounts of character building. A small group with high strength and defense can work together to kill him. However, there is no reward for doing so, and this trope shows its stuff when he dies. Without skipping a beat, the warning sign will flash again and GON will reappear at a random point in the dungeon, just as ready to go as ever. Effectively, this means the only decent reason one should try to kill GON is if he has the player holding the victory item cornered.
  • Instant-Win Condition: If anyone has an Exit card and the Key Relic at the same time, they've essentially already won unless someone can defeat them before they teleport out.
  • I Surrender, Suckers: If you’re attacked by a fellow hunter, you can opt to surrender, giving them one of the items in your possession in exchange for being teleported away. This can be useful if you have the key relic and a junk item or other cheap treasure to spare, as the teleport could put you in a better position to get to the exit.
  • Luck-Based Mission: The whole game, to some extent. Players "roll dice" to move, attack, defend and make speed checks. The dungeon is randomly made, placing the treasure boxes, Hunters, flags and exit just anywhere. The fastest game can last two turns if a player is within one move of both the key relic's treasure box and the exit. Also, there's a haggling system for selling the relics that's basically a coin flip between 10% and -50%.
  • Maximum HP Reduction: Dying will cut your maximum HP in half (stacking geometrically, so dying again will reduce it to 1/4). You can pay credits to restore your maximum HP to that of your maximum HP stat a point at a time. It's not cheap; you're probably better off Save Scumming.
  • MegaCorp: B PHS is a classic Type 2.
  • 100% Completion: Getting all 100 relics in the game, though doing so only earns you an extra background you can choose to display on the main menu.
  • Palette Swap: There are eight character models to choose from in character creation, each with eight color combinations. In battle, each model/color also has its own fixed name and stat distribution if not controlled by the player, though stat distributions are shared among groups of hunters. The B PHS hunters and the dungeon monsters also come in various colors; only Vikeif, Shuichi, and GON have unique palettes.
  • Punny Name: GON, who appears when all of the cards in the deck are... well, gone.
  • Songs in the Key of Panic: GON's theme music lets you know that it's time to wrap things up fast, especially with how it clashes with the normally laid-back dungeon music.
  • Stalked by the Bell: Let the deck run out and the GON will eat everyone alive, starting with the person with the Key Relic or whoever gets in the way first.