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Video Game / Dusk Diver

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Left-to-Right:Yusha, Leo, Yumo, Le Viada, and Bahut
It's a normal day for Ordinary High-School Student Yumo and her friend Yusha, going out to eat at the restaurants in Ximending, Taiwan. After the two get lost, however, they find themselves plunged into a Dark World version of the city, fighting off Chaos Beasts, and trying to keep the boundaries between them from fraying and plunging both into total anarchy...

Dusk Diver (酉閃町) is a 3D, third-person Beat 'em Up developed and published by JFI Games and Jera, and released on PC through Steam Early Access on 26th March, 2019, with a Nintendo Switch version following a few months later. Gameplay is fast, frenetic, and combo-heavy, with a focus on NPC partners and combination attacks especially.

A sequel, Dusk Diver 2, was released on February 24, 2022, this time developed by the rebranded WANIN International and published by Justdan International for PC, Playstation 4, and Nintendo Switch. It takes place a year after the original game, with Yumo and Yusha now in college, dealing with both another reality tearing threat and Yumo's body suffering painful, almost debilitating episodes of pain and weakness a side-effect of trying to separate the Guardian's supernatural powers from her.

This series provides examples of:

    In General 
  • Adorable Evil Minions: The Small Chaos Beasts are this. They have big heads, small bodies and stubby arms making them look chibified. There's also the Spherical and Summoning Chaos Beasts. Nemea summons these to help during battle. Though they aren't in the second game.
    • While the Small Chaos Beasts aren't enemies in the second game they do show up as a summon in one of Yumo's attacks and as statues in some levels.
  • Animal Motifs: The three main Guardians each have a "core" form that resembles a small animal. In their human forms, they also have various accessories that match their respective species.
  • Animesque: The art style of the game is heavily inspired by anime. To add the cherry on the top, the developers hired well-known anime voice actors for the Japanese dub to help accentuate the aesthetic.
  • Assist Character:
    • In the first game, Summon Attacks allow Yumo to summon Guardians to unleash a series of attacks alongside her in combat. Their attacks will vary depending on what attack combos Yumo executes.
    • In the second game, you can call in any members of your party to perform an SP skill, assignable through the menu.
  • Backtracking:
    • In the first game, some levels explicitly have obstacles that you cannot overcome, until you progress later in the game and acquire the necessary guardian/skills.
    • In the second game, some areas of levels completely inaccessible until you progress through the story and return to them, or as part of a sidequest.
  • Background Music Override: In both games an alternate theme plays when going into a Super Mode.
    • In Dusk Diver 1, a rock tune plays over the stage music everytime Yumo transforms.
    • In Dusk Diver 2, a different theme plays only when a character activates the second Super Mode called Decisive Burst.
  • Beat the Curse Out of Him: Defeating corrupted Kulunians proves to be an effective cure for restoring their sanity.
  • BFG: The anti-tank rifle, which its length looks to be nearly as long as Yumo's height, is the biggest weapon in Viada's arsenal thus far. In the first game, Yumo can use it via Viada's summon. In the second game, Viada uses it herself.
  • Break Meter: The tougher Chaos Beasts are coated with super armor that reduces damage and makes themselves Immune to Flinching, which the armor's durability is displayed as a yellow meter beneath the health bar. Once the meter is depleted, it shatters and leaves them vulnerable to Yumo's attack. As for bosses and mini-bosses, except for Nemea in human form, they fall limp the moment their shields are broken, leaving them incapacitated for a short time. The second game adds "Break Strikes", where your character does a special attack on downed or stuck-on-the-wall opponent, causing incredible damage and creating several BP orbs.
  • Brand X:
    • The equivalent of the famous video sharing website, YouTube, in the game is called TheyTube.
    • White Dog Express is a reference to a well-known package delivery service, T-Cat, in Taiwan, as its Chinese name is called "Black Cat Express".
  • Character Customization: In both games, the player can change the characters appearance with various items. The first game only allowed alternate costumes. The second game gave more options such as head and face accessories etc.
  • Chromatic Arrangement: RGB, for Leo, Le Viada, and Bahut respectively.
  • Combination Attack: Yumo and the three Guardians have three variations, where the Guardian unleashes a series of attacks alongside Yumo's regular combos, Yumo temporarily borrows their weapon, or both attack together as part of their Limit Break.
  • Combo: An important factor of the game is keeping up a high streak, as it rewards you with better drops, more powerful attacks, and more opportunities to make use of special abilities, both eliminating your enemies faster and just being fun to play and watch.
  • Creator Provincialism: The developers are Taiwanese, and the game takes place in Ximending of Taipei City, so Traditional Chinese characters can be found everywhere in the streets and Tumaz Mart.
  • Dark World: Majority of the game's combat takes place in Youshanding, a twisted copy of Ximending.
  • Evolving Title Screen: The first game starts off with an empty shot of the convenience store's tables, then gradually fills up with the characters relaxing and hanging out as you meet them in-game. The second game has Yumo and the Guardians standing around MRT Station 6, with Better, Vandak, and Raven joining them in New Game+.
  • Flaming Hair: Whenever Yumo is in-combat or otherwise using the Guardian's power, her hair blows out and bursts into ethereal flames.
  • Gameplay Grading:
    • In the first game, player performance is graded at the end of a quest, usually involving how quickly you accomplished the mission.
    • In the second game, there are XP and Dragon Wafer bonuses for performing well, such as Just Countering enemies, performing Just Dodges, and defeating enemies using your character's Limit Break.
  • Gotta Catch Them All: Dragon Vein Shards, pieces of the Dragon Vein Stones that maintain the barrier between the spirit and mortal plane. You need them to progress the story, so be prepared to scour every last nook and cranny of Ximending and Youshanding both, tackle the bonus missions at the Tumaz Mart, and patronize the local food establishments till you're a valued return-customer.
  • Gotta Kill Them All: In the first game, most of the time when Yumo engages in combat, pink walls will appear and confine her in a space, which she will have to exterminate all the Chaos Beasts in the area in order to proceed. In the second game, the walls are red but function the same, except for Pre-existing Encounters in the overworld which you can escape from.
  • Hub World: The convenience store acts as this, serving as a place to get missions, save your game, change costumes, and hang out with your friends and Guardians outside of combat.
  • Kick Chick: Kicking is the only melee-based attack in Viada's moveset. In the first game, after she is done delivering multiple kicks, she will send out three geyser mines as a farewell gift. In the second game, this trend continues with her basic moveset, using her hands solely to fire her guns or throw out mines.
  • Literal-Minded: When Yumo and Bahet go out to dine together in a Japanese restaurant, Bahet was quite disturbed when he sees "kappamaki"note  in the menu because he made friends with kappas in the past. While Yumo tries to calm him down, the last straw that caused him to freak out is when he caught sight of "Oyakodon", which literally means "parent-and-child rice bowl" in both kanji and hanzi, leading him to mistake that humans practice cannibalism.
  • Making a Splash: The theme of Le Viada's attacks, alongside her sniper rifle. An example of this is throwing out mines that explode into high-pressure geysers.
  • Money for Nothing: In both games, with how cheap everything is, and how much Shop Fodder any given stage will give you, you will never find yourself short on cash to buy items.
  • Musical Assassin: Bahet uses an electric guitar and blasts Chaos Beasts through the sheer volume of his music. On the other hand, the only time Yumo uses her own copy is when she is doing a Combination Special Attack with Bahet.
  • Older Hero vs. Younger Villain: The main villains in both games are children while the main heroes are teenagers and adults.
  • Ordinary High-School Student: Yumo and Yusha, before they accidentally step into Youshanding and the weirdness just escalates from there. They graduate into college students by the second game.
  • RPG Elements: Skill Points are used to buy new combos, upgrades to your stats, and special moves. You will need them in later levels.
  • Save Point: In the first game, the player can only save progress at the shop. In the second game, save points are spread through out the various levels.
  • Shop Fodder: Chaos Beast Shards, remnants of the monsters you fight, which can be sold to the Boss for money. Apparently they have numerous valuable uses to Kunlunian merchants much like herself.
  • Super Mode: D. Armament mode, which will make Yumo turn golden, greatly boost her stats, allow her to summon her guardians and their attacks more often, and also use an extremely powerful single attack that will instantly destroy any boss's super armour and deal significant damage, at the cost of ending the mode early. The second game grants this to the rest of the party, as well. Also in the second game, there's a second super mode that only activates at the end of character boss fights. These can be unlocked later on by completing the character's side quests.
  • Super Move Portrait Attack: The camera will zoom in on the characters when they're using a super move.
  • The Goomba: Spherical and Small Chaos beasts are this. In the Gallery, the sphere shaped one's are even called the most basic. In the second game, the Medium Chaos Beasts serve this role.
  • Video Game Dashing: Yumo can evade attacks with her dash move, and she will start running right after the dash. If timed well enough to start up the Just Dodge mechanic, Yumo not only replenishes three bars of SP, but she also makes time around her slow down to a crawl.
  • Visual Effects of Awesome: When using D. Armament mode in the first game. Yumo's hair glows bright and she gets afterimages with every movement. Every one of her basic attacks has multiple bright colors in them as well. In the second game everyone gets this... minus the bright colors in basic attacks. Many of the Burst Ultimates in the second game are nice to see as well. Especially the "EX" versions.
  • Yakuza: Played With. Due to the gruff appearance of Leo's human form, Yumo and the Boss make fun of him by calling him a gangster at the beginning of the game, much to his annoyance.

    Dusk Diver 
  • Anti-Frustration Features: Talking to the Tao Master in Ximending will allow him to reveal the locations of all currently-available Dragon Vein Stone Shards in the area for $200 a piece. Since money isn't a problem in the game, it's very worth it.
  • All Myths Are True: Yumo was surprised to learn the existence of the Japanese youkai, kappa during a conversation with Bahet in a Japanese restaurant, despite the fact that she is friends with an animate stone lion and talking animal gods.
  • Dark Reprise: The final boss theme for the game is a darker ominous sounding version of Namea's boss theme.
  • Defusing the Tyke-Bomb: Yumo attempts this on Nemea, after she learns of her true nature and her plans to merge the dimensions, to catastrophic effect. Thankfully for everyone, it works.
  • Difficulty Levels: You have the option of replaying missions on "Hard" mode.
  • Expy: An optinal outfit that's gained from a sidequest can make Yumo, Leo, Bahet and Viada look like Super Sentai characters. Complete with helmet and non-helmet variants.
  • I Know Mortal Kombat: All of Yumo's fighting skills are from having watched them from action shows on television, she has never gotten into any sort of combat before the events of the game. Lampshaded when Leo, an actually trained and competent fighter, and Yumo both comment on how that should not have worked as well as it did in a real fight. Of course, there's far more going on beneath the surface...
  • In Medias Res: The game starts out with Yumo and Leo fighting to get to an elevator, and chase down an "annoying kid." As soon as the lift arrives, it cuts back a few months earlier, when Yumo was stepping out of Exit 6, then unintentionally into Youshanding. This is the second to last level of the game.
  • The Insomniac: Before Bahet has completely succumbed to corruption, the residents of Ximending were suffering from mass insomnia under his presence.
  • Product Placement: Some real-life businesses in Ximending have their real-life stores in-game.
  • Relationship Values: The game implements the relationship mechanic in two types of ways. The first one is Yumo's camaraderie with her Guardian companions, and the other is the familiarity Yumo establishes with stores in Ximending.
    • Yumo can build up a relationship with fellow Guardians through combat or buying their favorite foods. When the relationship level is maxed out, an event will appear somewhere in Ximending with a small cutscene of how Yumo hangs out with her friends when they go out to eat together. After the cutscene for the event ends, a special sidequest will be available in the mission booth in Tumaz Mart. Said special sidequest restricts Yumo to one specific guardian, and the reward for completing it is an additional moveset for that particular guardian.
    • Frequenting food stalls and restaurants found all over the streets of Ximending will raise their shop familiarity ratings. Once the familiarity rating reaches five stars after each visit, they will accept telephone orders from Tumaz Mart, and the next time Yumo visits the stores she will receive Dragon Vein Stones after the people working there express their gratitude to her.
  • Replay Value: Completed levels may be conveniently replayed from the convenience store, in order to try for better score ranks and get their associated rewards, find the hidden Dragon Stones or break barriers you couldn't before, or do them at higher difficulties to reflect Yumo's growing power.

    Dusk Diver 2 
  • Anti-Frustration Features: Unlike the first game, all collectibles in a level are automatically displayed on the map.
  • Bag of Spilling: Yumo and the Guardians have lost most of the upgrades and SP skills they learned in the first game. This is Justified in-universe by it having been a year since the chaos in Youshanding with vastly lowered Chaos Beast activity, plus Kunlun actively trying to separate the Guardians' power from Yumo and not without serious consequences to her health. At the start of the game, Yumo and Leo complain that the inactivity is making them rusty.
  • Collection Sidequest: Even more so than the first game. You now have several different categories of collectibles, such as the Gourmet Card that has you consume specific food items for a reward and dealing with the "Possessed", civilians being infected by the Chaos Beasts.
  • Cooldown Manipulation: The player has to wait a few seconds after team related actions such as switching characters mid battle or doing support attacks. There's even a cooldown for using items! There's food and items that players can buy to lower cooldown time.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • The Little Lady clothing store is part of a series of sidequests in the first game, where Yumo and the others try to help Yawen, its proprietor and head designer, open the store with the ill-advised tactic of giving her Chaos Beast materials. In this game, the Little Lady is extremely successful and has opened a branch store in Dadaocheng, but is still being plagued by supernatural problems.
    • When Boss freezes the Otherworld version of the Tamsui river using her Laser Sattelite, Viada disdainfully recalls how in the first game the system fired indiscriminately and was as much a danger to Chaos Beasts as it was to Yumo and the Guardians.
  • Counter-Attack: When an enemy flashes red, pushing the signature skill button as soon as the enemy's attack hits will cause a counter attack. Leo has the easiest time with this since his signature skill makes him guard for a few seconds which makes counter attacking much easier.
  • Clothing Damage: This will happen when the characters health gets low enough. Strangely, only the regular outfits get clothing damage.
  • Charged Attack: Multiple characters have charged attacks that either do extra damage or extra hits. Mainly Leo & DD.
  • Crossover: Lola from Luminous Avenger iX 2 appears as a DLC boss battle. Her outfit and costume parts are also available for the heroes to acquire.
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation: In New Game Plus, the boss characters are playable right off the bat even though the main characters don't meet them until much later.
    • Vandak who turns out to be a villain much later in the game is still a selectable ally even after he betrays everyone.
    • Bette is said to be still healing after her fight with Leo, Yumo & La Viada in the beginning of the game and is told to stay at the store to keep from being hurt but she'll still be playable regardless.
  • Hit Stop: For a few seconds, the action speed slows down for dramatic effect after beating the last enemy in an area. Very satisfying when the last hit is a heavy hitting attack. Break Strikes also do this.
  • Language Barrier: Just like how Copen wound up fighting Yumo in his own game due to communication issues, Lola finds herself unable to communicate with the heroes, who immediately challenge her to battle.
  • Limit Break: When powering-up and getting Burst Level high enough, everyone can do a Burst Ultimate to really pile on the pain. Then there's the EX versions, Burst Ultimate EX that just adds onto it.
  • Instant Costume Change: While Yumo had this since the first game, everyone's outfits change when activating Decisive Burst and Burst Mode EX.
  • Pre-existing Encounters: "Possessed" civilians are victims of Chaos Beast possession, and Yumo and co. can simply run into them to initiate a repeatable fight for EXP, money, and a Collection Sidequest.
  • Promoted to Playable: From being mere summons and ultimate attacks in the 1st game, Leo, Viada, and Bahet are now completely playable characters with their own unique skillsets to boot, along with being able to fight separately from Yumo all at once.
  • Serial Escalation: The sequel greatly expands on the playable areas, adds new areas to the city to explore, vastly improved level design from the generic city streets into actual locales with various set pieces, numerous new moves to swap in and out with the skill system, the "Just Counter" system for dealing with the enemy's new devastating moves, and adds up to four different playable characters, possibly all on the field at once if you so choose.
  • Speed Echoes: Everyone gets this. Though only during Decisive Burst (a version of Burst Mode Ex that only activates near the end of character boss fights) do they get it. Same thing even applies to Yumo who naturally had it in the first game.
  • New Game Plus: After beating the game, the "New Game +" option becomes available. The enemies are much stronger and higher leveled. All of the data from the last save point is carried over and the boss characters Raven, Vandak & Bette become playable.
  • Turns Red: Enemies that are using their most powerful attacks have their whole bodies flash red, once to indicate that they're winding up, then glow red as they're attacking to warn you that they're coming.
  • Wake Up, Go to School, Save the World: As Yumo continued working for Tumaz Mart in the year since the first game, she has been balancing college with being the Diver for Ximending, making sure the Chaos Beasts are at acceptable numbers and not causing chaos in the streets.