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Video Game / eXceed

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Long ago, in ancient times, there was a rebellion. An angel turned against God and rallied an army to wage war against heaven as they so often seem to do once they decide they no longer want to be part of the cool crowd. In any event, the angel and his demonic armies were sealed away with the help of humans who fought and died in a desperate war until finally an angel descended from heaven and granted power to a saint whose sacrifice made such a thing possible. Nevertheless, history was doomed to repeat itself and the fallen army eventually broke free over modern day Tokyo, bringing with them vampires, humans who bore the blood of the fallen angel. Opposing them was humanity's first and last line of defence, girls trained by the Inquisition who wielded powerful magic that could match the demonic commanders at the cost of most of their lifespan. They were likened to the bullets of a gun. Thus the stage was set for the first game by doujin circle FLAT, eXceed: Gun Bullet Children, and it was good. But not that good.

A sequel was released the following year called eXceed 2nd: VAMPIRE, which added a dual-polarity system similar to the one used in Ikaruga. Instead of the Gun Bullet Children, the protagonist was a vampire fighting for survival as power struggles within the Church left a faction that rejected any form of human hybrid in control of the Inquisition. After seizing control they initiated a worldwide purge and employed the Gun Bullet Children to hunt all vampires down.

Then FLAT stopped working on the eXceed series and eventually shut down in early 2009. In the meantime, ownership of the series was transferred to another doujin circle called Tennen-Sozai who threw out all the established story material and rebooted the franchise with eXceed 3rd: JADE PENETRATE. The third game tells the story of a young girl named Rayne Lindwurm (Rain Lindwurm in the Japanese version) who seeks to become the Demon King of her world. Standing in her way are many obstacles, including her own older sister and heiress to the power of dragons Celestia.


Iwakura Productions and Nyu Media have released Gun Bullet Children, Vampire REX and Jade Penetrate Black Package overseas on 29th March, 2012, for download at their website, Gamersgate, the Capcom Store, the Gamestop Digital Download Service (formerly Impulse) and Steam, with pending releases on Gametap and Gamefly. While the two latter games have English localization, Gun Bullet Children couldn't be localized since its code has been lost, so it has instead been released in its original Japanese with a translated script available from the distributors (and a fan made mod that uses said script to translate the game linked on the game's pcgamingwiki page here). They are also available from Manga Gamer here, as well as on the Humble Store.

Full Disclosure: The majority of this article was written without knowledge of Japanese and from guesswork using machine translation. As such, it may be is almost certainly missing important details or has gotten things wrong. If any helpful tropers come along and wish to assist with revising this article, data and resources can be found:

  • For Gun Bullet Children, here.
  • For VAMPIRE, here.
  • For JADE PENETRATE, here and here.

Tropes associated with this series include:

  • Ambiguously Human: Miyabi of the Gun Bullet Children hints that she’s not from the human world, and it’s not known if she’s even human herself.
  • The Ace: Meet Celestia Lindwurm, the Academy's number one. When she first came to school, she challenged all the other strong fighters and put them in the hospital.
  • A-Cup Angst: Miyabi doesn’t react well to seeing Seele having larger breasts. In the next stage, she goes out to determine Sense’s cup size before their fight.
  • All There in the Manual: While 3rd may be a separate universe from Gun Bullet Children and 2nd, elements do show up connecting the two universes — Gilles de Rai is a Cardinal Lord and principal of Belphegor Academy while one of Remedy's monikers, the Undead Lord, is similar to the title used by the leader of the Vampires.
  • All Your Powers Combined: Giee is more powerful than all her familiars combined, thanks to...
  • Aloof Big Sister: Celestia.
  • Artificial Human: When the Church couldn’t control the normal Eldritch Abomination creatures, they created the Anhel seen in the second game.
  • As Long As There Is Despair: Implied to be the source of power for Remedy's final spell.
  • Autobots, Rock Out!: A bit in VAMPIRE REX but in full force for the third game. BEHOLD!
    • Especially noticable in the Black Package.
  • Ax-Crazy: Brynhild and Siegrune.
  • Batman Gambit: The Church intentionally pulled out their forces to lure the vampires into the Holy Land in order to blow them all up with Anhel.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Especially Miyabi Housen. Her fire powers can turn ANYTHING into ash.
  • Bonus Boss: Remedy in Black Package.
  • Boss Banter: The protagonists and bosses tend to have short conversations before they fight, and often afterwards too.
  • Black Knight / Magic Knight: Gilles de Rais fits for both of these tropes, due to being an expert in ancient magic herself.
  • Brutal Bonus Level: Hyperboreios, the Extra Stage of Black Package.
  • Bullet Hell: Naturally...
  • But for Me, It Was Tuesday: Sowel assumes that Seele doesn’t remember those she killed.
  • Calling Your Attacks: Rayne calls out her Dragoon Detonation and Burn Air Raid attacks while Irias calls out Gloster Meteor.
  • Church Militant: The Church in the first two games.
  • Darker and Edgier: VAMPIRE.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: Chinatsu, who uses dark powers and swords to fight enemies, and Ria File, who can switch to both light and dark attributes.
  • Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: Several times in the series. The Angel in Gun Bullet Children and both a humanoid Angel and Fenrir in VAMPIRE.
  • Eldritch Abomination: Anhel in Gun Bullet Children and Fenrir in VAMPIRE.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Brynhildr and Siegrune have a mutual familial love for one another. When one of them dies, the other completely breaks down. It does not help that the opera with the Valkyries they named after has a similar tragedy.
  • False Friend: Lugh Ciel seems to be a friendly, obedient little girl at first, but she's actually a Turn Coat that associates with powerful people one day because it benefits her, and betrays them when they're no longer useful.
  • Familiar: Sowel fights with one in Gun Bullet Children and VAMPIRE.
    • Rayne uses little dragon familiars called Mini-Tiamats and Giee, being a summoner, uses familiars that take the form of Mini Bosses throughout the game.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus: The arcane text that accompanies the splash screen at the beginning of 3rd's stages is actually the text of Jabberwocky, in English.
  • Genki Girl: Miyabi Housen with her happy-go-lucky nature.
  • Gratuitous German: All over the place.
  • Guide Dang It!: The requirements to unlock the secret Extra Stage in Jade Penetrate Black Package are hilariously absurd and are never mentioned at any point in the game.
    • You must first beat the game at least once before the Extra Stage will appear on any subsequent playthroughs. You must then beat the entire game in a single credit, with Auto-Bomb turned off and the difficulty set to Normal or higher.
    • You must beat the minibosses in Stages 2 and 3 without dying or using your Bombs.
    • If you do all of the above correctly, you will meet Remedy in Stage 4 as a miniboss. You must defeat her without getting hit or using your bomb.
    • If you do all of this correctly, you will move onto the Extra Stage instead of rolling the credits after Stage 5.
  • Half-Human Hybrid: The vampires are half-human, half-fallen angel. Rayne and Celestia have both dragon and demon blood and yet look like angels.
  • He Who Must Not Be Seen: The Cardinal, the CO of the Gun Bullet Children team. Also the Undead Lord, until it turns out to be Remedy in JADE PENETRATE.
  • Heel Realization: There's really no other way to describe Sowel's reaction to seeing Anhel's true nature.
  • Hero Antagonist: The Gun Bullet Children in VAMPIRE.
  • I Just Want to Be Loved: What the twins wanted all along.
  • I Just Want to Be Normal: Invoked by Ria for Anhel's enslavement.
  • Knight Templar: The antagonists in 2nd, who are xenophobic to vampires.
  • Kill 'Em All: Depending on how you look at the games, many of the characters suspect to have died in the end.
  • Lampshade Hanging: During Miyabi’s story of Gun Bullet Children, the heroine wonders why the three girls can’t be together all at once (as in playing all three characters instead of one). Sowel answers that should it actually happen, they’ll just run into each other and cause friendly fire.
  • Let's Fight Like Ladies: In a surprise to Rayne (given the other fighters she's faced so far), Irias treats Rayne with respect, and she returns the favor, though of course both vow to go all out on each other. On the other hand, Lugh is a traitorous sycophant, Sriabelle is gratuitously violent, Giee teases Rayne (prompting Rayne to ask "Why is everyone I meet today trying to tick me off?"), and Celestia has a history of being a jerk of an older sister to Rayne. (NOTE: the above is based on the English version. The previous explanation in this trope citation was as follows: While Rayne is friendly towards Giee, Irias, and Celestia she treats the two weaker bosses with contempt (although Lugh was a favored underclassman until she decided to bet against Rayne). Someone please confirm whether the Japanese and English versions have scripts that were noticeably different in these regards, or whether this original explanation is inaccurate and that current explanation also applies to the Japanese version.)
  • Lighter and Softer: The third game is more humorous and lax in tone.
  • Light Is Not Good: Some bosses in VAMPIRE use a "Holy" white attribute. Ria File can switch to both light and dark attributes.
  • Little Miss Badass: The GBC in 1st, Ria File in 2nd, Rayne Lindwurm in 3rd.
  • Make Me Wanna Shout: Sense’s Informed Ability, also mentioned in her attacks, is using sound waves and songs to confront her enemies.
  • Meaningful Name:
    • Gilles de Rai was Joan of Arc's right-hand man who was claimed to be a mass murderer of children.
  • Mercy Kill: What Ria does to the twins in the end, as there was no place for such out of control monsters like them.
  • Mooks: The Killing Dolls, the commons enemies found in Gun Bullet Children and VAMPIRE.
  • My Nayme Is: Although spelled without a few vowels, Sriabell's name is actually prounounced "Sariabell Orphanight"
  • Names to Run Away from Really Fast: "The Undead Lord", "The Immortal King" and "The Demon King" to Remedy.
  • Nice Job Guiding Us, Hero: In Level 5 of VAMPIRE (REX), Ria actually leads Gilles to Angel's altar.
  • Non-Dubbed Grunts: The portion of the Boss Banter that has no on-screen text, such as the lines spoken in the third game after beating a boss, are not translated.
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: Miyabi looks like your typical Genki Girl with loose cannon tendencies to the point Sowel reminds her that they’re always spread out to prevent friendly fire. Her conversations with the bosses of the first game are also comedic in some fashion. However, in the last stage, Sense catches that there’s more to her. Not only does she know exactly where the barrier containing Anhel was in the first place, but she also knew the Church’s plan from the very beginning. Justified as it’s shown that she’s Ambiguously Human and probably not from the human world.
  • One-Winged Angel: The twins are only showed in human forms. When coupled together, they are really one entity known as Fenrir.
  • Our Angels Are Different:
    • In Gun Bullet Children, the Angel is an Eldritch Abomination
    • In VAMPIRE, Gilles de Rai states that angels only obeyed God. Yet, artificial ones like the second Anhel can freely choose not to.
  • Our Demons Are Different: Exceed 3rd takes place in the demon world of Pandemonium.
  • Our Elves Are Different: Irias, an elf, is second only to Celestia, a member of the Dragon clan, in terms of power at the school.
  • Our Vampires Are Different: Vampires are half-human, half-fallen angel and can possess a variety of magical powers.
  • Passing the Torch: As it turns out, a Cardinal Lord tournament is only held when one of the seven is ready to step down. Remedy's body is failing, so she tests Rayne to find out if she is ready to succeed her. By the end of the Extra stage, Rayne is the favorite to win the tournament.
  • Person of Mass Destruction: A large variety of characters, but the twins are the biggest.
  • Power Gives You Wings: Chinatsu sprouts wings only when she starts fighting Ria but seems capable of flying normally without them.
    • Members of the Dragon clan in 3rd only gain wings after realizing their true potential. Also, after powering up, Celestia gains even more wings.
  • Power Limiter: The twins and Anhel have these.
  • Really 700 Years Old: Remedy from the 3rd game stands out being 5000 years old while looking like a 10 year old.'
  • Reverse Polarity: Like Tresure's Ikaruga, polarity reversing is a major gameplay feature in 2nd.
  • Rogue Protagonist: Chinatsu, Sowel, and Miyabi, the playable characters of Gun Bullet Children, return in VAMPIRE REX as the Stage 2, 3 and 4 bosses.
  • The Runaway: Ria File from 2nd, who left her oppressive human society and was rescued by the Undead Lord.
  • Sequel Hook: Celestia points out that beating her won't make Rayne the next Cardinal Lord, only a contender for the throne against all the other schools in Pandemonium. BLACK PACKAGE resolves this immediately; the True Final Boss is the Undead Lord, Remedy, who Rayne fights to directly prove her worth as a potential Cardinal Lord.
  • Sibling Yin-Yang: Brynhild and Siegrune in VAMPIRE.
  • Singing Simlish: Increasingly prominent as the series went on.
  • Shout-Out:
    • In VAMPIRE, The Catholic Church is launching a worldwide purge and a major rebellion fails to stop them. The rebels eventually try again with a polarity-switching weapon. This story and the gameplay are very similar to that of Ikaruga.
    • The twins, Brynhild and Siegrune, strongly resemble the Scarlet sisters from Touhou. Fittingly, Siegrune, the younger of the two, becomes the dominant personality of the two, with an added dash of Ax-Crazy, when they reform into Fenrir.
    • It's very like that Angels (based on the Anhel in both GBC and VAMPIRE), with their destructive power and being very hard to kill, has to be a direct Shout-Out to Neon Genesis Evangelion.
      • Actually, the stories for the first two games have serious resemblance to it. Monsters known as Angels? Check. Artificially making such monsters? Check. Ancient Conspiracy? Check. Children made to defeat enemies only they could fight who are more of anti-villains? Check.
  • Stripperiffic: Celestia's incredibly revealing outfit.
  • Theme Naming:
    • Arms and Armor Theme Naming: Irias' attacks are named for various weapons and weapon-related things — Strayer Voigtnote , Derringernote , Limpet Minenote , Gloster Meteornote , and Fliegerfaustnote .
    • Musical Theme Naming: ...while Sriabell's attacks are named after metal bands and albums. In JADE PENETRATE you have Butchered at Birth, Angels Fall First, Enslaved, Dimmu Borgir, and Arch-Enemy. In Black Package, these get switched out for Chaos Blasternote , Dischargenote , Napalm Deathnote , Dimmu Borgir (again), and Deathrash Boundnote 
      • Sense Abel’s attacks are named after liturgy and mass songs: Kyrie Eleison, Sanctus, and Agnus Drei
    • Stellar Name: Lugh is an Irish deity who is thought to be a sun god while Ciel is french for "sky". Lugh also has several star-themed attacks: Stardust Layer, Zodiac Star, and Genostar.
    • Gilles De Rais’s attacks are Germanic with two related to the wolf Fenrir: Gleipnr (its shackle), Laevatein, and Vanargand (another name for the wolf).
    • Floral Theme Naming: Seele Clan’s attacks are named Peristrophe, Dandelion, and Doryopteris.
    • Religious and Mythological Theme Naming: The first Anhel’s attacks are named after important events in the Bible: the snake within the Garden of Eden, the stable of Nazareth, the great flood, the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, the Tower of Babel, and finally Armageddon.
    • Theme Twin Naming: Brynhild and Siegrune are both valkyries from Wagner's famous opera.
  • Token Human: Gilles De Rai is the only pure blood human who fights alongside the vampires. She’s also the only human among the Cardinal Lords. The manual explains that she obtained such power by wielding magic thought lost to history, which rivals much of the cast.
    • Sowel also this among the Gun Bullet Children. While Chinatsu is obviously a vampire raised to think she’s human, Miyabi hints that she is not from the human world, leaving her Ambiguously Human.
  • Tournament Arc: The plot of 3rd.
  • True Final Boss: Fenrir in VAMPIRE, Celestia at full power in JADE PENETRATE, and Undead Lord Remedy in BLACK PACKAGE.
  • Tsundere: Anhel is totally a Type A.
    "It's your own fault, really."
    "Don't go looking at me!"
    "D-don't blame me if you die, okay?!"
    "Look, nobody wants to hurt anyone like this...!"
    "It's not like you're not even worth considering! Really!"
  • Updated Re-release: Tennen-Sozai released one for eXceed 2nd called VAMPIRE REX and one for eXceed 3rd called BLACK PACKAGE.
  • Villain Protagonist: Ria File.
  • Voice of the Legion: Fenrir in 2nd.
  • Walking the Earth: After being rescued from the Church's clutches and the twins' wrath, Anhel goes out on a long journey.
  • We Will Meet Again: Ria promises to Miyabi that the two would meet again.
  • Worthy Opponent: Rayne and Irias. The two speak to each other respectfully and politely, and each wishes the other a good fight before they go at it.
  • You Killed My Father: Sowel has a hatred against the vampires because her parents were killed by them. When confronting Seele, she assumes it was her since since mass murderers often don’t remember those they killed. It’s left ambiguous if Seele did kill Sowel’s parents considering how she’s spared at the end of their battle.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: As Gilles de Rai says to Ria after arriving in Anhel's lair.

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