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Video Game / Hades Vanquish

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Escape from the Watery Hell!

Infinity UW Dungeon: Hades Vanquish is a Roguelike Platform doujin game by Fox Eye. It stars a girl named Mana, who has just recently died from cardiac arrest and has her soul sent to the Underworld of Hades.

However, the consciousness of her soul is restored just before passing through Hades' Gate of Abyss in its first village. With no recollection of her past memories, but armed with only a Flash Gun and a lantern, Mana refuses to accept her afterlife in Hades. So she must use these tools to brave through 30 randomized dungeon floors of catacombs and hostile monsters to escape from this hell, return back to life, and figure out the mystery of how she died to begin with.

The hell in question is not one of fire and brimstone typically seen for it in other stories, but of water. So Mana will spend a lot of time swimming underwater through the dungeons at the high risk of drowning if she's not careful. Since Hades is also a very dark place, Mana must use her lantern to light her way through. Her Flash Gun can also be used as a stationary light source. Both of these require Red-Crysta to use to recharge, which can be found by kicking through ore blocks. Killing monsters with the Flash Gun yields Blue-Crysta, which can be used to purchase items and upgrades from shops scattered all across Hades.

If Mana is killed by monsters, or if she drowns underwater, she is sent back to the very beginning of the game at the first village regardless of how far she's traveled, and she loses all of the Crysta she gathered once she leaves that village. However, she keeps any items and upgrades she had when she died, and the player can use this to their advantage to improve her skills earlier on in the game than usual in order to make better progress to the end.

The game's website can be found here. Both Japanese and English versions of the game can be purchased at DLsite.

Not to be confused with the Roguelike game by indie developer Supergiant Games simply titled Hades, though that game's basic premise is very similar to this one's.

Hades Vanquish contains examples of:

  • 100% Completion: Collecting all 4 special items in each village after the first one and then reaching the end of the game with them unlocks the Golden Ending. In order to get them, however, you'll have to keep upgrading Mana's ability to run and jump in order to reach the platforms that bear them. However, that also means they will take up valuable slots in your limited Bag of Holding that you likely wanted for useful items and upgrades. The fourth and final item specifically requires you to max out your run and jump skills for the first jump, and then throw away all of your jump skills in order to properly reach the item with your second jump without hitting the top of the screen.
  • Action Girl: Mana, herself, succeeding Yuna from Sufferer as one of the most proactive Fox Eye protagonists of this trope. She must use her gun and kicks to literally fight her way out of Hell in order to return back to the world of the living. The next Fox Eye game sees her own successor and confirmed Expy in the titular BLUE GUARDIAN: Margaret.
  • Anti-Frustration Features:
    • You only have to defeat each of the four bosses once. If you die, start over, then return to their rooms, they won't be there. Their rooms then become free areas where you can smash a lot of blocks to get more Red-Crysta.
    • The game's randomly-generated layouts are grid-based and comprised of blocks. Some blocks are hard to jump to because they could be right above Mana, and trying to jump to them may just have the player hit her head under it, instead. As the game's Tutorial Level shows, the player can just hold the "Jump" key/button in order to make Mana do an auto-jump the moment she walks off the edge of a block, ensuring that she can reach the block right above her without seemingly jumping from the previous block too soon.
    • Purchasable powerup items, such as the Concentration Skill and the Highly Precise Bullet Skill, make it easier to collect Crysta by suppressing how explosively it all scatters about after respectively kicking or shooting an ore block open.
  • Author Appeal: As always from Fox Eye's games, Fox's fondness for underwater exploration and drowning perils also thrive in this game. He even called the vocalizations Mana's voice actress used for her drowning noises and gasping for air "wonderful".
  • Auto-Revive: Green Elixirs bring Mana back to full health a few seconds after she dies. If she died from drowning, the Elixir will also fully recover her Oxygen Meter.
  • Badass Adorable: Mana. Able to fight her way through the legions of a watery hell with only her kicks and a flare gun. All while wearing a cute lime-green one-piece dress.
  • Bag of Holding: Or "Box of Holding". The Item Box stores all of Mana's items and upgrades. Each purchasable upgrade to her box adds another row of empty space her for to put more of them in. The box can be expanded to have up to 7 rows, but even then, Mana will never have enough open spaces for every item and upgrade in the game, which is important when collecting the 4 special Golden Ending items.
  • Came Back Strong: Even if Mana dies, she keeps all of the items and upgrades she had when she died. So while this will send you back to the beginning, you'll be stronger and more prepared earlier on than when you were when you first started the game. Careful purchases and management of Mana's items and upgrades will eventually turn her into a Lightning Bruiser that will make even the later, harder dungeons a cakewalk to get through.
  • Cute Clumsy Girl:
  • Cycle of Hurting: A resident of Hades describes an "Infinite Hell" as a mortal constantly trying and failing to escape from Hades without getting killed and sent back to the Gate of Abyss' entrance. He leaves it to Mana to keep trying her hardest to make it out of Hades until she decides to give in and accept her fate.
  • Darker and Edgier: The next Fox Eye game of this trope after the cutesy and silly Sufferer: The Final Escape, which itself succeeded the even darker Sacrifice Girl. The setting of this game is literally Hell, and it starts right after the protagonist dies. If she decides to give up on her escape from there, she'll be stuck there for eternity.
  • The Determinator: Mana's refusal to rest in piece and her subsequent plan to escape from Hades is what sets the game's plot in motion. She even lets a Hades resident know this in the fourth village.
    Mana: "No matter what happens, I will not give up."
  • Dull Eyes of Unhappiness: Mana's first portrait has her sport these kind of eyes at the very beginning of the game, as if she lost her soul from her body after she died. However, her eyes turn back to normal in mere seconds later after she regains full consciousness of her body before passing through the Gate of Abyss, which would've completely ended her life AND afterlife for good.
  • Escaped from Hell: The main point of the game is to literally invoke this trope to Mana. Her death causes her to fall down to the underworld of Hades, and she must use different tools, upgrades, and her own strength to climb out of Hades and figure out how she died to begin with.They run the shops that the player can find in villages and at random during dungeon crawls.
  • Failure Is the Only Option: What can happen if you must swim underwater for a while in order to progress, but you're low on health, and therefore low on oxygen, with no items to recover your health.
  • Fanservice: Beat the game to receive a suggestive image of a naked Mana in the game's folder. Achieve the Golden Ending to get a second pic of her and Yurina posing together in bikinis while Thanking the Viewer.
  • Final Boss: A large, completely black succubus with 5 hit points, 4 layers of shields, and homing blasts that she unleashes every time Mana breaks one of her shields. This is also a subversion, because while she is the last of the four guardians, beating her does not complete the game, as there's still only two more dungeon floors left to traverse through.
  • Foreshadowing: Everything on Mana's person, alongside the 4 special items that need to be found to unlock the Golden Ending, represent fragments of her last few memories before she passed out and died.
    • Mana entered Hades with a green, one-piece dress, no panties to go with the dress, and a Flash Gun. Two of the special items are a wet pair of panties and a video game controller. She wears the dress because she was hiding her lack of panties from Yurina for their sleepover, as they were washed and she didn't have time to get them dried off and packed. The pistol-shaped Flash Gun and the video game controller represent how Mana was playing a video game at Yurina's house that required her to use a Famicom Zapper-like gun controller.
    • Another special item is a headband. This headband belonged to her best friend Yurina, the last person she was with before her death.
    • The last of these items is a bottle of wine or liquor, which is was the last thing Mana had by accident before she passed out from her subsequent drunkenness.
    • The sole fact that Mana's dress was also wet from a wash at first, with her relying on going outside while wearing it to get it dried quickly for Yurina's sleepover, may be an explanation to why her version of Hell was a flooded one that threatened her with drowning.
  • Four Is Death: The four bosses of the game are the four guardians of Hades that are tasked with preventing Mana from escaping from Hades.
  • Genki Girl: Mana is said to be a spry girl who's really good on her legs. This is likely the reason why one of her two attacks is to kick demons in the face and send them flying.
  • The Ghost: Subverted. While Yurina is seen and described on the game's website as Mana's best friend, and as such seemingly plays a strong role in the game, she never makes an appearance in the game itself, which is also brought up by the game's website.
    • This gets Double Subverted with the normal ending, where she finally appears to help Mana wake up from her supposed death at the hospital. The Golden Ending also shows that Yurina, indeed, did play a strong role in the game: She was accidentally responsible for Mana's eventual death and subsequent trip through Hades to begin with.
  • Going Commando:
    • Unintentionally, that is. With Mana not wearing panties throughout the whole game, her green dress is literally the only article of clothing she's wearing when she's sent to the Underworld for the first time. She doesn't find out about this until a Hades' resident points it out to her, with him believing that it's a hobby or custom Mana followed, much to Mana's dismay and disgust. She can eventually find her lost panties to hold on to as one of the four special items needed to unlock the Golden Ending, but she can't actually wear them because they're soaking wet for some reason.
    • Then the Golden Ending reveals that when Mana was still alive, she had her panties washed, but it was too late to get them dried soon enough to wear them for her sleepover with Yurina, so she used her long green dress to cover her naked underside. This carried over into her afterlife in Hades after she suffered from hypothermia following a bad night of accidentally getting drunk by her friend.
  • Hair Color Dissonance: Mana is a natural blonde in her artwork, but her in-game model makes her more of a light-brunette.
  • Hair of Gold, Heart of Gold: Mana and Yurina are close friends, and both of them are cute natural blondes that contribute into Fox's secondary Author Appeal of having more girls of this hair color than of others.
  • Have a Nice Death: Mana can be killed in this game by either the Hades monsters, or by drowning. Both forms of death greet the player with an image of her death in greater detail, though her face is offscreen in both cases. The images also state her death in a rather-casual way like it was taunting you for failing, since she can technically die as many times as the player can induce it, intentionally or not.
    *If Mana died from a monster* - "She died again..."
    *If Mana died from drowning* - "She drowned again..."
  • Healing Potion: These take the form of red ointments. The little ones restore Mana's health by 50%, while the bigger ones give her a 100% recovery.
  • Jump Physics: You can buy upgrades that make Mana jump higher. Since her speed in the air is the same as on the ground, purchasing upgrades that make her run faster also allow her to jump farther.
  • Kiai: Mana indulges in this when she uses her kick attack.
  • Kick Chick: Mana's only other method of attack besides her Flash Gun is to perform a leaping roundhouse. This can't kill monsters, but it can knock them away, and it's required to hit bosses into electrical walls in order to kill them.
  • King Mook: The boss of each section of Hades' dungeons is typically a bigger, more gruesome version of an enemy that can be found in the floors before it. Even the Final Boss is just a bigger, black-colored succubus.
  • Laser-Guided Amnesia: Mana's good with using her Flash Gun, but she doesn't know or remember why she has one on her after her original death. She overall doesn't remember much of anything that led to the cardiac arrest that killed her, but she can recognize a penguin when she sees one. She also can't remember her best friend Yurina after she wakes up at the hospital, nor does she remember her suffering from the hypothermia that lead to her cardiac arrest. Getting all 4 special items allows her to recall more of her initial final moments with Yurina before her coma.
  • Money Spider: Every enemy in the game that is killed with the Flash Gun drops Blue-Crysta that can be used in shops to purchase items. You can even buy blue charms that make them drop even more.
  • Naked People Are Funny: The reason why Mana has a long green dress in Hades, but no underwear to go with it, is because before her death, she had recently washed some panties, but didn't have time to dry them off and wear them for Yurina's sleepover. So Mana decided to hide this fact from Yurina with the long length of her dress. After Yurina accidentally got Mana drunk and sent her to bed to relax and get sober, her drunkenness kept her from sleeping peacefully, eventually leading to Yurina accidentally stumbling upon an upside-down Mana who unknowingly flashed her entire drunk and naked body at her.
  • Oxygen Meter:
    • It wouldn't be a Fox Eye game without one. In this game, it caps itself with Mana's health, so how long she can hold her breath underwater depends on how much health she has left. Consequently, this means that having to go for a deep swim at really low health is an unavoidable loss if she doesn't have any Potions to restore her health or any Elixirs to revive her to full health/oxygen after she drowns. Mana can buy upgrades to decrease the rate her breath drops, and upgrades that allow her to swim faster are at the cost of making her burn through her oxygen faster with each upgrade level. Eating Oxygen Candy replenishes Mana's oxygen underwater by 50% for the small ones and 100% for the bigger ones, but they each can only be used once. This can change into a Last Chance Hit Point, where Mana will struggle for air when her Oxygen Meter is half-empty, and again when it's one-third empty. When it's completely empty, she'll resist drawing breath one more time, making the meter flash and turning it into this trope. By that point, you need to surface for air or use an Oxygen Candy quickly before the meter completely fades to black, to which Mana drowns right then and there.
  • Pixellation: Mana's ass is shown this way in the game's Golden Ending when Yurina tells her about how she saw her drunk and out of bed, discovering from there that she wasn't wearing any underwear at all.
  • Ridiculously Cute Critter: For some reason, there are small, blue, plush-like penguins that live in Hades, but then these turn out to actually be souls whose containers just so happen to resemble penguins. They help Mana out by selling her items and upgrades.
  • Ring Menu: This is used to refuel Mana's lantern, reload her Flash Gun, and gain access to the items in her Item Box.
  • Roguelike: The game's header title refers to itself as an "Infinity UW (Underwater) Dungeon", as it is of this genre combined with Platform Game and Under the Sea elements. All of the dungeon floors are randomized, from enemy placements, to ammo and health pickups, to penguin shops, and to water depth. There are villages that the player can auto-save, rest, talk, and shop in after each boss, including the one at the very start of the game, but as soon as you leave them, you're back to more dungeon crawling. Dying takes you back to the game's very first village, but making it to a different one allows you to start from that village if you decide to quit the game and come back to it later on. All of the Red and Blue-Crysta Mana gathered will be confiscated from her the moment she leaves the first village to the first dungeon floor after dying and respawning at that village. This means that you can use whatever Blue-Crysta you had when you died to shop in that village before heading out.
  • Shielded Core Boss: Before Mana can hurt each boss, she must shoot at their shields until they break, then kick them into an electric wall to damage them.
  • Taking You with Me: After the fourth and Final Boss, all enemies that are killed by Mana's Flash Gun from that point on will counter by shooting red, homing energy blasts back at her, imitating what the Final Boss did every time Mana destroyed a layer of her shield.
  • Thanking the Viewer: Mana and Yurina do this to the player while wearing cute bikinis in the Golden Ending's unlockable artwork.
  • Trial-and-Error Gameplay: The game can impose this on you due to its randomized dungeons, but as explained in Came Back Strong above, you're able to make up for it if you have the time and patience.
  • Tutorial Level: One of Hades' residential penguins can bring the player to this at the very beginning. It can easily be skipped, though.
  • Under the Sea: The entire game's setting is a Hell-based version of one, increasing in water depth as you get further into it.
  • Underwater Boss Battle: The third boss is a large undead fish skeleton that is fought underwater. Beating it will instead involve kicking it downward into an electrical floor instead of against an electrical wall. Because this is an underwater boss, you have to manage between damaging it and not letting Mana drown by surfacing for air during the fight.
  • The Underworld: The main setting of the game. True to Fox Eye's Signature Style, it's a heavily flooded take on the world of Hades where drowning is constantly a threat to Mana's escape.
  • The Very Definitely Final Dungeon: The Road of a Judgement, which is represented by the floors of 29F & 30F. Note that the dungeon these two floors take place in are after the Final Boss is defeated.
  • Wake-Up Call Boss: The Final Boss can be seen this way. Think you could get in a good, firm position to destroy the previous bosses' shields in place over and over again? This boss will fire homing blasts at you to prevent that strategy.
  • Wingding Eyes: As the Golden Ending shows, Mana suffered from this after Yurina accidentally got her drunk.
  • Your Princess Is in Another Castle!: The Final Boss isn't the final part of the game. You visit the last village after beating it, and then go through two more extremely hard dungeon floors in the Road of a Judgement before Mana can finally escape from Hell.