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Video Game / Blue Revolver

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"Ever feel like the world doesn't understand your talents?"

BLUE REVOLVER is a Vertical Scrolling Shooter developed and published by the group Stellar Circle, released internationally for Windows, macOS X, and Linux on October 11, 2016.

The game takes place in a world where magic can be analyzed and used to create various things, albeit at the cost of excess "junk data" materializing and posing a hazard to the environment, requiring safety laws to be put in place to regulate it. Specialists called "technicians" are often sent out to locate and negate potential data anomalies and are in high demand, with the most notable group being the titular Blue Revolver, famous for their Devices, remote control-like objects that allow them to channel complex AI scripts into machines. The story follows Mae, an Insufferable Genius rabbit-eared girl whose home-made Device (which was obviously not made under laws and regulations) creates a particularly large anomaly that catches the attention of Blue Revolver, who respond by sending out an army to take her in and resolve the incident. Mae however doesn't take it too well and responds by launching a counter-attack of her own, kicking off the plot.

The game's basic format follows that of your typical Bullet Hell shooter: you can choose between two characters and their respective ships, each of which has three shot types and four special attack types, and there are three difficulty levels for players of varying skill levels in which the goal is to clear the game's five stages, ideally on one credit. The core scoring gimmick is the "Flourish" system, in which the player builds up hit chains and then cashes the resulting multipliers in with their special attack. In addition to the usual arcade and stage select modes, there is also a mission mode where you are assigned a specific ship/stage/difficulty configuration and must complete objectives like scoring x points and reaching the end of the stage without dying.

The game can be purchased on here and on Steam here.note A demo can be downloaded in here.

A re-worked Updated Re-release, Blue Revolver: Double Action, is currently in development. It will be free of charge to players who already own the original "White Label" version. It was initially scheduled for a January 2018 release, but has been delayed and remains in development with no updated release date confirmed, although in the meantime the developers released the soundtrack to Double Action and put out an update to the existing vanilla edition of the game that adds said soundtrack in July 2020.

BLUE REVOLVER provides examples of the following tropes:

  • 1-Up: One can be obtained from the big battleship midboss in Stage 3. The rest are earned through scoring.
  • Achievement Mockery:
    • If you restart Stage 1 three times in a row, you get the "The Perfectionist" achievement. Just to rub it in further, the icon is of the pause menu with the "Restart" command highlighted.
    • If you put in a swear word as your initials, the game will forcibly change your initials to "B★R" and give you the "How Dare You" hidden achievement.
    • Crashing into an item ship gets you the "Supplies Delivered" hidden achievement:
      "Collide with a resupply ship. How?"
  • All Just a Dream: Playing as Val reveals that the events of the entire game are this in her ending.
  • Animesque: It's a Western-developed shoot-em-up with an anime art-style.
  • Anti-Frustration Features: A couple of options allow you to change the bullet colors and darken the background a little, for those who are colorblind.
  • Anti-Rage Quitting: If you quit out of a run instead of letting it go to the Game Over screen or the ending, you won't get any stars.
  • Arrange Mode: The Experimental Weapon mode locks difficulty to the highest rank gives you one of three experimental weapons tied to ammo that replenishes slowly and is also regenerated by collecting score items, which fall faster and are attracted at a closer distance to your ship. In addition, extends are unlimited and awarded every 10 million points.
  • Attack Reflector: Val's Stasis Field Device captures bullets and fires them back at enemies.
  • Boss Remix: The Final Boss's theme is an arrangement of the name entry theme.
  • Boss Rush: Two of them in Mission mode. One pits you against Mid Bosses while the other has you fighting against end-of-stage bosses.
  • Bullet Hell: Like many other modern vertical shooters, many enemy attacks consist of swathes of bullets that you must carefully navigate through.
  • Colorblind Mode: The game has a few options to assist colorblind players, including reducing the background brightness and changing enemy bullet colors from pink and yellow to red and green.
  • Death Is a Slap on the Wrist: Dying, aside from the obvious deduction from life stock, has surprisingly few detrimental effects. It doesn't break your chain or end flourish mode, your special attack meter gets recharged, and instead of your bomb stock getting reset (thus wasting unused bombs), you get bombs added to it (unless you're already at the bomb Cap). In fact, intentionally dying can give you the necessary bombs and special meter to set up a big scoring opportunity if you're low on resources. Parallel Mode and Experimental Weapon mode notably keep handing out extra lives as long as you rack up the points for them (every 15 million for Parallel, every 10 million for Experimental), while the easier modes only give you four point-based lives.
  • Drought Level of Doom: Stages 3 and 5 have no ground targets, and thus the only ways to refill special weapon energy are to bust open "E" pods, fire bombs, or die.
  • Dual Boss: The True Final Boss battle has you fighting Dee and whichever of the two protagonists you didn't pick at the same time.
  • Dueling Player Characters:
    • If playing as Mae, you fight Val, the other player character, at the end of Stage 3.
    • The True Final Boss fight is a Dual Boss fight with Dee and whichever player character you didn't pick.
  • Dynamic Difficulty:
    • Played straight on Normal and Hyper; Normal caps the rank at level 2, while Hyper allows the full range of five rank levels.
    • Subverted on Parallel, where the game still officially uses the rank system, but it's locked at level 5 for the duration of the game.
  • Every 10,000 Points: On Normal and Hyper, you can earn up to four extra lives through Scoring Points. On Parallel, you get an extra life every 15 million points, and can keep earning them as long as the points rack up. Experimental Weapon also gives you an indefinite number of extra lives, handing one out every 10 million points.
  • Gimmick Level: Some of the missions involve completing a stage with unique conditions. A few examples include, but are not limited two: clearing Stage 2 while a large projectile stalks you around the screen, clearing Stage 3 with only a flak barrage weapon not available in any other mode, and clearing a stage with bullets turning invisible as they travel across the screen.
  • Golden Ending: Downplayed. Clearing the game on Parallel mode — including the True Final Boss — with no continues gives you the same ending specific to your character, but adds a final thank-you message from the developers.
  • Green Aesop: Mae's ending can be paraphrased as "look, we're not against you building cool things, but your things happen to be environmentally unsafe and could kill people!"
  • Hard Mode Perks: On Parallel, instead of having four extends, the game will keep handing out extra lives so long as you can reach multiples of 15 million points. Clearing the game on this mode on one credit will grant you a special thank-you message from the developers.
  • Harder Than Hard: Parallel difficulty, after Normal and Hyper. The rank is locked to level 5 (the highest level) and a True Final Boss awaits you at the end if you defeat the standard Final Boss on one credit.
  • Hero Antagonist: The only reason Blue Revolver is going after Mae is because Mae's Devices are causing massive environmental damage.
  • Idiosyncratic Difficulty Levels: Normal, Hyper, Parallel.
  • Intentionally Awkward Title: The boss theme is called "Mothertrucker". As in motherfucker.
  • Interface Screw: All of the bosses partition one lifebar into multiple parts, with each section representing one attack pattern. Except for the True Final Bosses, which uses the entire meter for each of its attacks, to keep you from knowing how much further until you've defeated them. Five attacks, by the way.
  • Loot-Making Attack: Firing your special weapon will cause gold gems to drop from enemies that it destroys. For best effect, this should be done in conjunction with the game's Flourish system; using your special weapon with an 8-hit chain active will result in the gems each being worth 64 times as many points as if you fired your special weapon without a chain running.
  • Mind Screw: Val's campaign makes far less sense than Mae's, which is pretty clear-cut (five members of Blue Revolver are after her for building illegal and dangerous Devices). There's no Boss Banter for the first two bosses (instead you just see a silhouette of Val and Visible Silence), the stage 3 boss is an unknown woman who is "glad to see you're doing okay after all" with no further context, the stage 4 boss is being piloted by Mae of all people and she says she can't find her ship, Dee in stage 5 alludes to Val being in a dream, and if the True Final Boss is reached Dee ends up teaming up with Mae despite that partnership making no sense. Granted, most of it can be chalked up to it being All Just a Dream, but still...
  • Nintendo Hard: Downplayed, as even Parallel Mode is still designed to be lenient by arcade game standards, but you won't reach the games' endings on one credit without putting in your share of practice and effort. This is an arcade-style game, after all.
  • No Fair Cheating: All of the "beat X boss" and "clear Y difficulty" achievements require that Free Play be turned off. The score achievements don't, but you already take a score reset anyway when you use a continue.
  • No-Damage Run: The Survival missions each require you to complete the stage without dying once.
  • No-Sell: On Hyper and Parallel, the Final Boss (and True Final Boss, if you've unlocked it) will block your shots with her own bomb if you fire a bomb of your own.
  • Obliviously Evil: Mae may not be trying to be a bad person, but her idea of a fun hobby is destructive and very life-threatening and it takes her ship blowing up and Dee and Val verbally slapping some sense into her to get her to stop.
  • Palette Swap: Mae's and Val's ships have alternate palettes that can be purchased with stars in the unlocks shop.
  • The Perfectionist: The game will accuse the player of being one if they restart in Stage 1 three times in a row, "awarding" them the "The Perfectionist" achivement.
  • Playing Sick: In Val's ending, after waking up to find out the entire game's events were all a dream, she decides to not go to work for the day and call in sick.
  • Skilled, but Naive: Mae can create some amazing Devices, but she is blissfully ignorant of the laws and regulations surrounding them which are there for a reason.
  • Smart Bomb:
    • In addition to the usual "clear the screen of bullets" and "massive damage to enemies in its effective area" properties, firing a bomb also generates special weapon energy. On Normal difficulty, the game will automatically fire a bomb for you if you get hit with bombs left, but as a penalty all of your bombs will be used up. On Hyper and Parallel, any bombs not used up upon death will be carried over to the next life's bomb stock (rather than the genre-traditional "reset the player's bomb count entirely"), so long as those unused bombs don't push the player's bomb stock over 5.
    • If fighting the Final Boss on Parallel and the True Final Boss, the boss(es) will counterattack with a bomb of their own, nullifying your bullets too until your bomb wears off.
  • Spread Shot: An available shot type for both protagonists.
  • Thanking the Viewer: Clearing the game on one credit on Parallel Mode, including the True Final Boss, results in a special thank-you message from the developers after the credits finish.
  • Title Drop:
    • "Blue Revolver" is the name of the organization hunting Mae down.
    • The True Final Bosses' final attack: TLB-999 "Blue Revolver".
  • Trippy Finale Syndrome: Stage 5 is called "Dream" and if you unlock the True Final Boss fight, the backgrounds shuffle back through the five stages' backgrounds in reverse order. If you're playing as Val, you get the icing on the cake in the form of her waking up to discover that she dreamed the entire thing.
  • True Final Boss: Only available to players who defeat the Final Boss of Parallel mode on the first credit, it consists of Dee and the protagonist you didn't pick teaming up against you. The code number of its final attack, "TLB-999", references this trope with a variation: "TLB" stands for "True Last Boss".
  • Violation of Common Sense: Sometimes the most optimal scoring strategy involves dying on purpose to replenish your bombs and/or special weapon energy. Especially in stages 3 and 5, where the lack of ground enemies makes it hard to amass weapon energy. Parallel Mode and Experimental Weapon Mode allow you to keep earning extra lives through points indefinitely partly for this purpose, unlike other modes where you can only get up to four extra lives this way.
  • Wave-Motion Gun: Both protagonists have access to a Hyper Laser Device that fires straight forward and does massive damage to whatever it touches, but with an Efficiency rating of 2/5, it will use up special energy very quickly.
  • Wham Shot: If playing as Val, then completing the game leads to a cutscene of Val waking up in bed with a shocked look on her face, revealing that the events of the game were All Just a Dream.
  • What the Hell, Player?: On the ranking screen, if you attempt to put in a cuss word as your initials, the game will replace it with "B★R" and, if this is your first time doing it on the Steam version, give you the "How Dare You" achievement.
  • White-and-Grey Morality: The Blue Revolver organization is dedicated to enforcing Device regulations so that nobody tries to build anything that could harm others or the environment. Mae, while certainly not complying with those regulations and building dangerous Devices, builds them not out of malice but more out of pride and naivete for why those regulations exist and for the hazards she creates. In her ending, she's apprehended and promised a career in proper Device production in exchange for her compliance.
  • A Winner Is You: Mae's ending is more fleshed out, showing a cutscene in which Dee lectures her on making dangerous unauthorized Devices that don't even work well anyway and offers to teach her how to become a properly-licensed Device designer, but in contrast, Val's ending is an All Just a Dream ending with only one line of dialogue.


Video Example(s):


Blue Revolver (True Last Boss)

There's a very good reason why the "Nothing I Could Do" achievement, unlocked by doing this boss with no deaths or bombs, is unlocked by only 0.1% of all players.

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