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Video Game / Bullet Witch

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Bullet Witch is a 2007 Third-Person Shooter developed by Cavia and published by AQ Interactive (Japan), Atari (North America/Europe), Codemasters (Australia) for the Xbox 360 and by XSEED Games for PC.

Taking place in 2013, the story revolves around a supernatural event that occurred six years earlier and resulted in a large horde of demons (calling themselves the Geist) emerging and driving humanity to near-extinction.

In a coastal city in the U.S., a witch named Alicia arrives, driven by a disembodied voice called "The Darkness" that speaks to her. In her investigation of the city, she comes upon one of the last human military outposts and is asked by their commander to help save mankind. Using a magical broomstick that can change its shape and allow her to cast spells, Alicia sets out to rescue the surviving military forces in the city and confront the Tri-Serpent, a dangerous and magic-resistant demon.

The game was notable for allowing the player to summon various powerful spells, including lightning strikes, powerful tornado storms and meteor showers. The player's weapon could also transform into four different types of guns. Between each stage, players can spend Skill Points earned based on their performance to upgrade Alica's abilities and learn new spells. A PC port developed by Marvelous was released on April 25, 2018 through Steam and Humble Store featuring support for higher resolutions, improved frame-rate, rebalanced gameplay, and includes all of the game's DLCs for free (the extra missions however must be unlocked first).

Not to be confused with Bayonetta or Marisa Kirisame.

This video game features the following tropes:

  • 13 Is Unlucky: The game takes place during the year 2013, just as mankind was on the verge of extinction, and the game's first level starts on October 13th, where some geist soldiers were killing off some civilians in the eastern coast of the United States.
  • 20 Minutes into the Future: The game takes place in the year 2013, yet the game was first released in 2006/2007 on the Xbox 360.
  • All There in the Manual: The game's official English website discloses the name of the man who jumped into the pit in the opening cutscene. He was Johnathan Claus, Alicia's father.
  • Alphabet News Network: The news network at featured in the first stage's opening cutscene is C.TV, with the "C" and logo design resembling Cavia's.
  • American Kirby Is Hardcore: The Japanese cover art (and page image) features Alicia with her broom standing behind a moonlit city. The overseas release changes the background with a city in an inferno with some of the game's enemies. However, the overseas cover is also reversible for those who prefer the Japanese cover art.
  • Arrange Mode: The Concept Missions, a set of remixed levels that were available for free in the game's original Japanese Xbox 360 release, became paid DLC for the Western Xbox 360 release, and a built-in unlockable for the PC re-release, features changes to the game's level objectives, enemy placements, or give players access to the Ultimate Spells from the start.
  • Attack Its Weakpoint: To damage the Gigas, players must shoot their exposed pulsating heart as shooting them elsewhere won't do anything to them. During the boss battle with the Drago-Bat, players must shoot its mouth before it destroys the airplane. In the final battle with the Tri-Serpent, players must shoot the three snake heads on its arm as well as its heart.
  • Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: The Gigas enemies, the Drago-Bat, and the Tri-Serpent are gigantic demons.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: Nearly all of the spells besides Lightning. Tornado has a massive attack animation and renders lighter enemies helpless caught in the storm, but does little damage to enemies. The player is also more likely to kill themselves with the Meteor spell than other enemies if they don't quickly leave the area it was casted from.
  • Auto-Save: The game has an option to enable auto-saves in between checkpoints the player crosses. Disabling this however means that players must save manually between stages or quit the mission to save their progress at the nearest checkpoint.
  • Back from the Dead: Alicia's father Johnathan sacrifices himself in the opening scene of the game, which brought forth a demonic apocalypse unintended, but also resurrected Alicia after she died from an airplane accident that killed her.
  • Bad Powers, Good People: Alicia is a witch who can call forth powerful black magic such as calling lighting strikes, roses that can impale and burn living things, and carries a broom that can transform into forms of firearms, yet she uses her powers in the fight against the Geists and she can even use her own blood to heal injured people.
  • BFG: Alicia's gun, which is supposed to look like a broomstick. It can also transform into several other weapons.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Heavy of the sweet. In spite of Alicia's efforts, she's only liberated one (bombed-out) city and killed one major demon by the end of the game while demons still inhabit most of the rest of the world spreading pure misery and destruction. However, her presence has given hope to the remnants of humanity that the demons can be defeated and Alicia has sworn under a deal not to stop until all the demons are destroyed. The credits show Alicia's exploits around the world in various countries, amassing victories for the human resistance, helping mankind gain the upper hand by diminishing the demon population, and being instrumental in defeating the demon threat. A virus antibody had been discovered to make a vaccine for the plague afflicting humanity, its food supply was recovering, and a provisional government had been made to establish law and order.
  • Bleak Level: Stage 5. This stage has Alicia and Maxwell's resistance group heading into dreary ravine that looks as dead as the world's human population, which then leads players into a empty village followed by a graveyard and a church. Exiting the backdoor of the church takes the player into a bleak forest swarming with monsters and Geists, and eventually the pit where Alicia's dying father can be found.
  • Black Magician Girl: Alicia. She's a witch who's capable of casting powerful and destructive spells such as crashing down lightning against her enemies to summoning a meteor shower to annihilate an area full of enemies. She can also give her guns to use elemental ammo.
  • Blow You Away: Alicia's Tornado spell, where she summons a powerful tornado to whisk away her enemies. Her Shotgun's Element Shot gives each shell wind properties, causing nearby objects and enemies to be pushed by powerful wind blasts.
  • Body Horror: The Geist are chalk full of this as they have emaciated flesh and wear skin of their victims who appear to be living. There are also the Worm Men, horrifically mutated humans with swollen heads and exposed ribs that can attack the player by slashing them with their razor-sharp ribs or breathe fire from the gaping hole in their heads.
  • Boring, but Practical:
    • Although it's possible to annihilate tanks and helicopters with the Lighting and Tornado spells respectively, the Cannon can be used to deal damage to heavily-armored vehicles. It will take long to destroy them this way, but ultimately save you a lot of MP if you don't have other near-by enemies to take down to build your MP back up.
    • The Machine Gun form. It's Alicia's starting weapon, but can deal a decent amount of damage thanks to the high firing-rate, holds a good amount of ammo, can stagger some enemies fairly easily, useful in long-range combat with good accuracy, and doesn't consume as much MP to reload. It's shortcomings however is its inability to deal with heavily-armored enemies and it's ineffective when dealing with enemies from very far distances such as snipers.
  • Boom Stick: Well, more of a Broom Stick. It's a gun that looks like a broom, and it can morph into several other weapons.
  • Bottomless Magazines: Played With. The ammunition for Alicia's broom/gun is created through the use of magic, but she cannot fire it unless she has mana to use.
  • Brooding Boy, Gentle Girl: Inverted. Alicia is a witch with a brooding personality who has been fighting for her survival since the demons ravaged the world, while Maxwell is a kind and friendly military leader leading a resistance against the Geists and together they lend support for each other throughout the game.
  • Cast from Hit Points: The Sacrifice spell, used to heal people. Presumably due to Equivalent Exchange.
  • Color-Coded Elements: Each of Alicia's elementally-enchanted weapons are given glowing effects around her broomstick that matches with their element.
  • Colour-Coded for Your Convenience: The crosshair changes between white if you're far away or not pointing your weapon at enemies, blue if you're within the weapon's effective range, and red if its shots hit the enemy.
  • Continuing is Painful: If you end up dying and continue from a Game Over, you'll not only have to go back to last checkpoint you reached, but you're also denied of getting a SS rank for clearing the stage afterwards, even if you earned a S rank in all three stage criteria. You also a lose a No Continue end-stage bonus for dying.
  • Crapsack World: The world was hit by earthquakes, wars, famine, a plague that induces murderous violence... and now demons. When the plot starts, the world's population has been reduced to just under a billion, nations have crumbled into disarray and mass death, and humanity is on its last legs gearing for the end.
  • Cruel and Unusual Death: Geist Soldiers will continue to shoot Alicia after a game over, causing her body to jerk repeatedly.
  • Daddy's Girl: Before being brought back from the dead by Johnathan's sacrifice that kickstarted the demonic invasion, she had a close family bound with her father (and mother) when they were among the living.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: Despite being a witch, Alicia is a good girl.
  • Deal with the Devil: How the demon invasion started and how Alicia got her powers.
  • Death from Above: Alicia's ultimate spell, Meteor.
  • Difficulty Levels: The game has five difficulty levels that affect the overall strength of the enemies. Players have access to Easy, Normal, and Hard modes from the beginning, but after beating the game on Hard mode, Chaos mode is unlocked, and after beating Chaos mode, Hell mode is unlocked.
  • Difficulty by Region: The English Xbox 360 version of the game has Alicia's gun do less damage, as Atari's localization team wanted American players to use magic more. The PC re-release however rebalances the difficulty around the Japanese version instead of the English version by Atari.
  • Do Not Run with a Gun: The Gatling gun form is one of Alicia's strongest weapons, but because of its bulky size, her movement is slowed to a crawl when wielding it, making her an easy target for most enemies.
  • Downer Beginning: The game opens with a dying man going through a forest where he eventually finds a pit of spikes where he takes his own plunge into it, then the player is treated to a brief series of events that lead up to mankind's downfall and being overran by monsters. The game cuts to another sequence where the Geist are seen mercilessly gunning down innocent civilians in a suburban neighborhood before Alicia arrived to clean them up.
  • Downloadable Content: All of the extra costumes are absolutely free, however, in the Xbox 360 version, everyone outside of Japan has to pay for the extra Conception Missions (they cost about $0.25, roughly $4.25 in total). The PC re-release thankfully bundles all of the game's DLCs for free, but the Concept Missions must be unlocked by clearing the game once. Alicia's alternate costumes include:
    • Catholic School Girls Rule: The Schoolgirl costume, featuring a white dress shirt, a plaid skirt, knee-high boots, and high-heels. Her hair also changes to blue.
    • Fairy Sexy: The Pixie costume, featuring a skin-tight blue/white bodysuit with gold accents, fake fairy wings on her lower back, and a plunging cleavage. It also gives her pink hair tied in a short ponytail and a tan.
    • Hell-Bent for Leather: The White Witch costume, consisting of a white leather top with detached sleeves and a large collar, mini-skirt, and knee-high boots. Changes her hair to dark brown.
    • Mummy: The Mummy costume, which wraps Alicia's body and parts of her face in gauss, features a mini bomber jacket, torn denim short-shorts, and high-heeled leather boots. Changes her hair to black.
    • Sexy Secretary: The Secretary costume, consisting of a small open shirt, a mini-skirt, lacy lingerie, thigh-highs, and high heels. Also sports a pair of glasses, green hair and a ponytail.
  • Eagleland: The game's setting takes place in the U.S.A. during 2013 after the country has been overrun by demons and monsters, while featuring a protagonist who is loosely inspired by Western and Japanese depictions of witches.
  • Elemental Powers: Alicia can imbue her ammunition with elemental properties, and learn spells which control the elements.
  • Endless Game: The aptly-named "Endless" Concept Mission, where the player must fight an endless horde of Geists and must kill a particular Walnut Head to end the level to evaluate their score. Dying at point will end the run and their score will go with it.
  • Equivalent Exchange: Implied, with how healing someone with the Sacrifice spell, which is Cast from Hit Points in addition to some Mana to heal someone.
  • Fake Difficulty: The game has a tendency to kill players instantly in underhanded ways, be it an object being simply pulled by the Walnut Heads or taking a cheap shot by a sniper that you probably didn't have time to react against.
  • Forced Tutorial: When players start a new game on a fresh save file, they are greeted with tutorial blips that pop-up during gameplay to let you know things such as your HP/MP meters, how to fire your gun, how dodge, cast your spells, etc., but thankfully don't pop-up anymore once they've been seen in subsequent playthroughs.
  • Fate Worse than Death: Jumping into that pit didn't kill the guy from the introduction. He's been kept alive in the pit for years unable to die, and likely aware that he brought about the end of the world.
  • Gag Penis: The Screamers, monsters that are created from the souls of women with deep hatred in their hearts, are rather phallic-looking monstrosities with malformed limbs, gaping holes on its body, and a long-hair women's head on a bulbous top. It also spews out Grudge Sprits that home in on the player or civilians in an attempt to kill the player or turn the civilians into Worm Men.
  • Gameplay Grading: After clearing a stage, players are graded based on how many enemies they've cleared out, how many civilians survived, and how long it took them to finished the stage, each with their own letter grade that decides the player's overall grade for the stage. Playing on the higher difficulties can reward higher bonuses compared to the lower difficulties.
  • Gatling Good: One of Alicia's most powerful guns.
  • Goth: Alicia is one due to her brooding personality and by default wears a Gothic witch outfit.
    • Goth Girls Know Magic: She is a witch who can use various magical spells, ranging from using her own blood to heal injured civilians, to enchanting her guns with elemental powers, to summoning meteor showers to destroy her enemies.
    • Goths Have It Hard: Alicia has had a hard life as a witch after having been brought back from the dead by her father and fought against the demons that he unwittingly let loose into the world for many years.
  • Hard Mode Perks: Playing on the harder difficulties rewards higher Skill Point bonuses at the end of the stage.
  • Healing Hands: The Sacrifice spell, which heals people by spending your health along with mana.
  • Hot Witch: Alicia, is an attractive young woman who is also capable of using powerful black magic.
  • I Cannot Self-Terminate: The human sacrifice from the introduction scene, who didn't die after he jumped in and has been trapped alone in a pit for many years.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: Alicia's Rose Spear spell summons a dozen spears that burst out of the ground, impaling everything in the area of effect. This results in High-Pressure Blood and then subsequently a blaze of death.
  • La RĂ©sistance: Maxwell Cougar is the leader of the human resistance, whom Alicia meets with (and later fights beside) at the beginning of the game.
  • Lady of War: Alicia's personality has elements of this. In the credits, she was questioned as being the reincarnation of Joan of Arc when she liberated France from demonic occupation.
  • Life Meter: At the top right of the screen, in a blue bar that decreases from left to right. It's maximum capacity diminishes as Alicia takes damage, but slow recharges if she avoids taking damage for a while and let her HP meter regenerate.
  • Loading Screen: Due to the Loads and Loads of Loading nature of the game, Bullet Witch features loading screens that give you various gameplay tips and briefings on the story and characters while you wait between loading screens.
  • Luke, I Am Your Father: The guy who threw himself into the pit from the opening cutscene and summoned the demons is Alicia's father.
  • Made of Explodium: Shoot any vehicle enough and it will explode. Doesn't matter where you shoot it, either. Shot the windshield? BOOM!
  • Mage Marksman: Alicia fits this troupe to a T as she has a magical gun that looks like a broomstick, which can morph into either a machine gun, anti-tank cannon, shotgun, or Gatling gun, and their ammo is reloaded with magic. She also has a set of deadly mass-destruction spells when things get really hairy.
  • Mana Meter: At the top right of the screen, in a purple-ish bar that decreases from left to right. The maximum amount decreases as Alicia cast spells and reloads her weapons, but never to a point where she can't reload her machine gun. To build up the maximum MP meter, she needs to kill enemies with her guns.
  • Mercy Kill: After finding her dying father at the pit at the end of Stage 5, Alicia gives a sorrowful and heartfelt speech to her father, then finally opens fire and kills her father, putting him out of his misery.
  • Meta Multiplayer: The Xbox 360 and Steam version of the game features online leaderboards where players can compete against others with high-scores on each mission. The DRM-free version on Humble Bundle, however, lacks access to the leaderboards despite having it leftover in the Options menu and isn't tied to a client.
  • Minimalist Cast: Bullet Witch has a very small cast of characters outside of the Geists, civilians, and the Resistance: Alicia Claus, Darkness, Maxwell Cougar, and The Sacrifice (a.k.a. Johnathan Claus).
  • New Game Plus: Upon clearing the game, players can start a new round with their unlocked spells, upgrades, new toys they've unlocked along the way. Greater Magic spells (Lightning, Tornado, and Meteor) however are still locked until they're needed in the story unless you play the Greater Magic Unlocked bonus missions.
  • New Powers as the Plot Demands: Alicia slowly gets her ultimate spells from Darkness.
  • Nice Guy:
    • Maxwell Cougar, despite leading mankind's fleeting resistance against the Geists on his shoulders, is a very kind and friendly man who looks after his men, helps innocent civilians, even accepts support from Alicia despite her being a witch with dark powers.
    • Alicia is also a nice young woman; despite her brooding exterior and dark magic after coming back as a witch and fighting for survival for years, she uses her powers for good and helps out fighting against the Geists. She can also use her own blood to heal injured people as well.
  • Night of the Living Mooks: And during day-time, too.
  • One-Hit Kill: The result of flinging any physics-affected object into yourself. This is often caused by casting Meteor or Tornado, as it tends to fling things everywhere. The Walnut Heads are also fond of using their telekinetic powers to hurl heavy objects at you to kill you instantly. Getting shot by a Geist sniper, even if the bullet hits your body, is also instant death to Alicia. For some of the enemies, they can be killed off instantly by Alicia shoving heavy inanimate objects into them with a powered-up Willpower, a successful Rose Spear toss, or a well-placed headshot with the Cannon's light ammo. There's also a Concept Mission where Alicia's a One-Hit-Point Wonder.
  • Only One Save File: Only one save file is used throughout the game, with progress being saved as players clear the game's stages. Mid-stage progress is also saved between checkpoints.
  • Palette Swap: The Geist soldiers in later levels have alternate colors of their uniform, starting from green military camo with the lower tier grunts to red for the high-ranking soldiers with high-powered weapons.
  • Rank Inflation: Each stage can be cleared with a grade, ranging from D (lowest) to SS (highest), however, SS rank can only be obtained if players can score very high in time, enemy kills, civilian survival. Earning higher grades will in turn reward the player with more Skill Points to spend on upgrades.
  • Red Is Violent: The strongest variants of Geists Soldiers wear red-colored uniforms and are armed with heavy assault rifles and grenade launchers can that deal high amounts of damage to Alicia.
  • RPG Elements: Players can use the Skill Points they earn from clearing stages to upgrade Alicia's HP/MP regeneration rate, buy/upgrade her guns, and unlock/power-up her spells.
  • Sensual Spandex: Alicia's downloadable Pixie outfit.
  • Short-Range Shotgun: The Shotgun gunrod doesn't deal much damage at mid-long distances, but can pack a punch in close-range situations and can inflict knock back to humanoid enemies. Unfortunately, in the English Xbox 360 release of the game, the shotgun could barely harm anything even at point-blank range thanks to Atari's meddling of the game's difficulty and weapon balance.
  • Something about a Rose: Alicia's Rose Spear spell summons a line of razor-sharp blades shaped like rose petals to impale enemies.
  • Standard FPS Guns / Swiss-Army Weapon: Your broom can take form of a machine gun, a shotgun, an anti-tank cannon, and a Gatling gun.
  • Superhero Packing Heat: Alicia with her witch powers and broomstick that can morph into a set of guns.
  • That Man Is Dead: Alicia, after giving her beloved father a sorrowful speech of her struggles after being brought back to life from his sacrifice, lets her father know that she isn't the sweet and innocent girl he once knew and she has since became a demon-slaying witch.
  • Title Drop: A post-credits newspaper article screen mentions Alicia and her battles against the demons using sorcery and modern weaponry, in which she was dubbed as "the BULLET WITCH".
  • Updated Re-release: The Japan-only Platinum Collection reprints contained all of the game's DLCs on the disc. Unfortunately, it's also region-locked. The 2018 PC re-release however comes with all the DLCs bundled and is available internationally, along with support for higher resolutions, improved frame-rate and lighting, and rebalanced gameplay. This version also restores the dash function removed from the original Xbox 360 release.
  • Video Game Dashing: The developers gave Alicia a dashing ability that can be used by bringing up the magic circle and pressing Crouch while the circle is up, which allows her to boost her way at high speeds and clear great distances. This was originally meant to be a debugging feature of the game, however, and was not implemented into the final version of the Xbox 360 release as it could lead to some unintended side-effects when dashing, but this was ability was re-implemented into the PC re-release.
  • Walking Techbane: Alicia, specifically for aircraft — any aircraft she's on will crash for one reason or another. It's so universal that Darkness orders her not to board a helicopter with Maxwell during the ending.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: If Alicia engages in Destructive Savior tendencies, the newspapers at the end of a stage will call her out on it. Especially when she destroyed the Tower of Pisa in Italy or burned down the Amazon Rainforest with a Meteor Strike while fighting a demons.