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Video Game / In the Hunt

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In the Hunt (Japanese: Kaitei Daisensou, "Big Sea Battle") is a 1993 Horizontal Scrolling Shooter arcade game by Irem. It was later ported to the Sega Saturn, the PlayStation, and Windows 95 for the PC.

In the Hunt is particularly unique as the player takes the role of a submarine in underwater environments. There are a total of six levels in the game. Power-ups can be obtained by shooting down supply helicopters and submarines. Unlike most shooters, the screen did not automatically scroll, to which the player had to move in a certain direction to scroll the screen themself.

The game's development team would later create Gunforce II for Irem. After leaving Irem, they had formed their own company, Nazca Corporation. With their new company, the team would go on to create Metal Slug for the Neo Geo. The similarities in both games are clearly seen in the artistic style used.

And for some reason, there is a comic for this game. Yes, really.


An organization known as the D.A.S. (Dark Anarchy Society, or Destroy And Satsujin—"Satsujin" meaning "Massacre" in JP) used magnetic doomsday machines on the polar ice caps, causing them to melt. The entire world was quickly flooded, but a few societies survived to build over the highest land masses they could find and continue living. In this post apocalyptic scenario, the D.A.S., who were prepared for this catastrophe, reigns supreme over the survivors with martial law and military weapons of extraordinary power. After learning of D.A.S.'s efforts to create an even more powerful superweapon, "Yugusukyuure", the remaining survivors who are terrorized by D.A.S. secretly organize a rebellion force using a newly developed submarine known as the Granvia. The Granvia's mission is to dive into D.A.S. enforced waters, territories and eventually the D.A.S. headquarters itself to destroy every single D.A.S. weapon in sight.

Though no continuation has surfaced to date, the PlayStation 2 title Sub-Rebellion (which was published by Irem in Japan) shares many similarities. The Granvia appears as a DLC unit for R-Type Tactics II: Operation Bitter Chocolate, while the game itself has been retconned outright as part of the same universe with R-Type Final 2.

This game provides examples of:

  • Advancing Boss of Doom: The boss of the Seabed Ruins stage, the gigantic living statue Sougon, chases your character up to the surface, where you can finally damage it.
  • After the End: The game takes place after a Doomsday Device submerges most of the world.
  • Airborne Mook: Several, the first of which you will face are the irritating missile-dropping helicopters. You'll face a much more dangerous threat in the form of bombers shortly.
  • Animal Motifs: The first three bosses, all of them Humongous Mecha, are actually based off animals.
    • The boss of the South Pole, Argock, is based off a giant mechanical fish
    • The bosses of the Sunken Town are based off cowrie snails, although they're called the Trumpet Lilies.
    • The boss of the Channel, Manriki, seems to be some weird stationary robot hanging on the ceiling...until it extends its laser tendrils into the water, giving it the impression of a jellyfish.
  • Attack Its Weak Point: Many of the Giant Mooks can be defeated quickly by attacking their underside.
  • Auto-Scrolling Level: Averted in non-boss sections. Unusually for a Shoot 'Em Up, levels don't scroll automatically. The only thing keeping you moving other than enemy fire is the time limit.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: The blue power-up gives your submarine a missile that generates a horizontal ultrasonic vortex that sucks nearby enemies in, as well as damaging them. Unfortunately, it has a slow rate of fire, the missile itself isn't too strong, and for it to be effective it must not be blocked by enemies.
  • Bittersweet Ending: The no-continues ending has you successfully stop the rocket and destroy the D.A.S. base. Unfortunately, you also get caught in the rocket's explosion and die alongside enemy subs.
  • Bolivian Army Ending: The special ending you get if you beat the game with one credit may be an aftermath of this. It shows a whole load of enemy subs/ships wrecked up on the floor of the still-collapsing D.A.S HQ, followed by your submarine wreck in the middle of them.
  • Boring, but Practical: The red power-up just makes your ship shoot larger, more damaging versions of the standard weapon. Fortunately, it has the best rate of fire out of the three primary weapons.
  • Boss-Arena Idiocy: Sougon would be undefeatable if not for the floating blocks of stone at the top of the arena, as it was immune to all your attacks until its head was partially destroyed.
  • Bottomless Magazines: All your attacks have infinite ammunition, so you can just keep spamming without having to worry.
  • Canon Welding: The release of R-Type Final 2 declares this game to be part of the R-Type universe, with the Granvia being a playable craft and the DAS referenced as an enemy the Space Corps has fought against.
  • Collision Damage: Only happens when you collide with enemies. Colliding with the terrain will not destroy your character, thankfully.
  • Combat Tentacles: The first boss uses grappling hooks to try to kill the player's submarine.
  • Cruel Twist Ending: At the end of a 2-player game, both players must fight each other, without any explanation for why they've suddenly turned against one another, until either is exhausted of lives, with the winner becoming the new leader of D.A.S. If time runs out before either is wiped out, whether due to the fight dragging on that long or both players refusing to kill each other, both of them are destroyed.
  • Death Course: Two points in the game, in the sunken town as well as the enemy HQ. Your character has to pass over a series of rocket hatches that fire out large, long, indestructible missiles with rocket boosters near the top and bottom. Attacking the top rocket booster slows the rocket down, and attacking the bottom speeds it up. The problem lies in the fact that there is not enough space to squeeze in the area between two rocket hatches. You will have to use depth charges to slow down any rockets coming from below you, and regular torpedoes to speed up those in front of you, navigating across about 8-15 hatches or so of these at one go.
  • Difficulty by Region: The Japanese version (which is what the console ports are based on in all regions) takes you through all the levels in a slightly different order as compared to the western release, leaving the Deep Dark Sea as the fifth stage (instead of fourth), the Sunken Town as the fourth (instead of second), and the Ruins as the third (instead of fifth).
  • Downer Ending: Two of them. When you beat the game with another player, you are forced to fight your friend. If you succeed in destroying in the other player, you become the new leader of the D.A.S. If the time runs out before any of the players are destroyed, both characters sink to the bottom of the ocean. The two player endings are exaggerated examples of It's a Wonderful Failure as well.
  • Dual Boss: The boss fight of the Ruined City stage has you fighting two... robots. They're the control units for the missiles you had to weave your way through.
  • Dub Name Change: The English manual for the console version renamed the Granvia "Crimson Fire" and its unnamed blue counterpart "Azure Scourge".
  • Earn Your Bad Ending: Beating the game on a one-credit run without continues will give you a Bittersweet Ending.
  • Eye Scream: When low on health, Sougon's face explodes, revealing an organic interior with eyes dangling out of their sockets. It then gains an attack when it releases eyeballs inside Sougon's mouth which home in on the player.
  • Face–Heel Turn: You pull this off if you destroy your friend after beating Yugusukyuure with two players.
  • Flooded Future World: In the past, the powerful D.A.S. terrorist organization unleashed a doomsday device that caused the polar ice caps to melt and flood most major cities in the world. Players assume control of a powerful prototype submarine as they battle through legions and legions of D.A.S. enemies in six underwater-themed levels.
  • Four Is Death: The fourth stage in the arcade version was the Deep Dark Sea. Which had a lava vent Death Course, waves of silver submarines, and the three headed dragon-whelk J3.
  • Freeze Ray: Stage 1 has these attached to the sides of icebergs. While they cannot kill you, they immobilize your character in a block of ice for a short period of time, allowing other enemies to finish the job.
  • Funny Background Event: The Golden Ending's credits has the survivors cheering in the city. Some of them chase after the subs and fall into the ocean.
  • Giant Mook: Not to mention that they can also spawn smaller mooks...
  • Gimmick Level: The Channel, a river running through a city overrun with the D.A.S.'s death machines. The water is dreadfully shallow, severely limiting your movement. Almost all of the enemies here will attack you from above the water, including the Humongous Mecha boss. You will have to use your Superior Firepower: Surface To Air Missiles extensively here.
  • Glass Cannon: Your submarine has a TON of firepower and can make short work of almost everything by itself. However, it goes down in one hit...
  • Golden Ending: After destroying the final boss, the player character's submarine manages to escape the base in time and, as they cruise around the city, they are celebrated by the townspeople (with some humorously falling on to the water) and hailed as a savior. The scene ends with two D.A.S. attack helicopters briefly patrolling before leaving the scene. In a twist though, getting this ending requires playing solo and losing all of their lives and continuing, otherwise, they'll get a Bittersweet Ending or Downer Ending instead.
  • Harmless Freezing: The Freeze Rays in the first stage couldn't destroy your submarine, but would immobilize it for a short while.
  • Hitbox Dissonance: Sorta. While the length of your sub's hitbox is the same as the sprite's, the height is a lot smaller. You're going to utilize it well during the Final Boss' "lots of red mines attack", by the way.
  • Hot Sub-on-Sub Action: You play a submarine, and a few of the enemy types you shoot down are submarines. Yep.
  • Humongous Mecha:
  • Improbable Weapon User: The anti-aircraft weapon, when used in the water, allows you to fire out balloons that float up to the surface and explode on contact. More useful than you'd think, as they can be rapid-fired into an enemy (as long as not many balloons are on screen), and the floating balloons will protect you from Death from Above.
  • Load-Bearing Boss: The enemy HQ gets destroyed when Yugusukyuure blows up. If you're playing in the one-player mode, you either get destroyed along with the base or escape in time.
  • Living Statue: Subverted. Sougon, the boss of the Seabed Ruins level at first glance is initially this... until its head takes enough damage to reveal that it is, in-fact, an organic creature with a stony hide. Even before the reveal, there are subtle hints to his organic nature seeing as his cheeks visibly expand when holding his breath.
  • Macross Missile Massacre: Some of the enemies just love to spam missiles, like the boss of stage 1 pictured at the top of the page.
  • Made of Explodium: Justified, as all the enemies (bar three of them) are crew controlled vehicles.
  • Mercy Invincibility: Like many other arcade Shoot Em Ups, this game has it.
  • Mini-Boss:
    • The Channel: A gigantic bulldozer tank that fires napalm missiles that rain from above. No kidding.
    • Deep Dark Sea: A rather long, segmented fish that has an appetite for submarines. Aim for the head.
    • D.A.S. Headquarters: Some hi-tech looking submarine that LOVES to spam missiles.
  • Mirror Match: You have to fight against the other player in a one-on-one duel if you beat the Final Boss with both players.
  • Mook Maker: One of the Giant Mooks does this. Also, the Final Boss does this in a few of its phases.
  • Multi-Armed and Dangerous: Once Sougon's health has been lowered to a certain extent, it reveals its hideous organic central face, as well as an extra organic arm that will try to Megaton Punch the player.
  • Multiple Head Case: The three-headed dragon-snail.
  • Multiple Endings: Two of which are Downer Endings, one is a Bittersweet Ending, and another one is a Golden Ending.
  • Mutually Exclusive Power-Ups: Your regular attack had three powerups to choose from while your Secondary Fire had two.
  • Names to Run Away from Really Fast: While the English version calls D.A.S. "Dark Anarchy Society" (bad enough by itself), the original Japanese (which admittedly wouldn't seem like a viable organization name in English) is "Destroy and Satsujin". Fully translated: "Destroy and Massacre". Then there's the Deep Dark Sea boss J3. That's as in J-cubed, and the J seems to stand for "ja"—Japanese for "wicked".
  • Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot: The boss of the Deep Dark Sea, J3, is a three-headed, fire-breathing dragon-whelk.
  • Nintendo Hard: Your submarine, besides being a One-Hit-Point Wonder, has quite a large hitbox and is really slow. This makes dodging attacks a pain in the rear. Thankfully, most enemy projectiles can be destroyed, but the ones that cannot...well. In a way, this is an act of mercy, because the game "rewards" a no-continue clear by having your sub be destroyed at the conclusion of the Final Boss fight.
  • One-Hit-Point Wonder: Played completely straight. The fact that your sub's collision box is large doesn't help at all...
  • One-Man Army: Your Submarine in one-player mode. A Two Man Army if player 2 is playing along.
  • Our Dragons Are Different: The boss of the Deep Dark Sea stage is a three-headed, fire-breathing cross between a dragon and a shellfish.
  • Painfully Slow Projectile: Played straight with the non-destructible ones.
  • Puzzle Boss: One of the bosses, Sougon, is a gigantic ancient statue that's chasing you throughout the entire level. In order to damage it, you must attack the stone blocks floating on the top of the water so that they will drop on the statue's head to damage it.
  • Ramming Always Works:
    • The first boss tries to ram into your character as one of its attacks.
    • The boss of the Channel also tries to do the same, hope you stayed low in the water!
  • Rewarding Vandalism: In the Channel stage, you are able to destroy the houses as well as skyscrapers. This not only nets you points, but the fallen wreckage also prevents the yellow robots from spawning underwater via tunnels.
  • Rise to the Challenge: The living statue in the seabed ruins stage.
  • Rocks Fall, Everyone Dies: In a two-player game, both players at the end are forced to fight each other. If both players refuse to fight and instead just let the time run out, the game will punish them with an ending where both players die.
  • Secondary Fire: You sub's secondary fire was to both drop depth charges, AND use anti-surface/anti-air (depending on whether it was at the surface) attacks.
  • Segmented Serpent: The Mini-Boss of the Deep Dark Sea is a long, serpent-like fish that tries to eat the player. Aim for the head.
  • Sequential Boss: The Final Boss has you destroying the rocket piece by piece with each section having their own attacks.
  • Shared Universe: With GunForce II and Undercover Cops, both being set in an era where D.A.S. ruled the world.
  • Shoot the Bullet: Most of the enemy projectiles can be destroyed using your shots.
  • Shoot Out the Lock: In the Channel Stage, you will come across a bridge pillar blocking your way into the factory where the boss resides. You will have to destroy the bridge while a never-ending train carrying bombs (that drop on you) comes out of the factory.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Shows Damage:
  • Slippy-Slidey Ice World: The first stage takes place in Antarctica. Thankfully, you don't have to slip on the ice, and crashing into icebergs doesn't destroy you via Collision Damage. You do, however, have to fend off loads of submarines, turrets, helicopters, mines, and annoying Freeze Rays.
  • Spiritual Sequel: In The Hunt is probably a spiritual sequel to the submarine Shoot 'Em Up Sqoon. Both are made by Irem and involve submarines, as well as taking place after the world gets flooded by the sea.
  • Spread Shot: The green powerup, of the exploding shot variety. You submarine shoots out a torpedo that explodes into armor-piercing shrapnel after a short distance. Unsurprisingly, it's the best weapon of the three.
  • Stationary Boss: The boss of The Channel Stage is a large robotic control unit for the factory, hanging from the ceiling. In its first phase, it cannot move; however, it has cannons on it that fire lasers which cause a laser-like spark to appear on the surface of the water.
  • Stuff Blowing Up: Almost all your enemies are mechanical (in fact, only three of them are organic) and explode when destroyed. Furthermore, as all your attacks and most enemy attacks are explosives of some sort, you'd definitely be sure to see a lot of explosions in this game.
  • Surprisingly Realistic Outcome: In the two player ending where one player comes out on top, the ending shows their Granvia decimating surface cities with massively destructive ease. Given the sheer amount of firepower the subs have to tear their way through D.A.S. in the first place, it makes sense they would be just as capable of potentially wiping out civilization.
  • Timed Mission: Like Metal Slug, there is a timer at the bottom of the screen that resets if you lose a life. If it runs out, you lose a life.
  • Turns Red:
    • The Dual Boss of the sunken town stage also exhibits this: once one of the two Trumpet Lilies is destroyed, the other will spam its missiles constantly instead of just trying to suck the player towards it.
    • The Stationary Boss of the Channel drops down into the water and floats about once it has taken enough damage. Manriki then tries to destroy the player via Collision Damage as well as periodically throwing out bombs.
    • Happens literally for the three-headed dragon snail — it gets redder when it is near death. Its attacks don't get any faster or deadlier, though.
    • Sougon's central face gets partially destroyed once you damage it enough, revealing its organic face. It then gains access to an attack where it emits eyeballs as homing projectiles.
  • Under the Sea: Naturally bound to happen as the player character was a submarine.
  • Underwater Boss Battle: Naturally, all of them, as your character is a submarine. The only one that isn't a Type 1 is the boss in "The Channel" stage (it's a Type 4, where the boss hangs above the water).
  • Underwater Ruins: Complete with a giant living statue trying to chase your character to the surface.
  • Unexpected Gameplay Change: Defeat the Final Boss in a 2-player game and the game turns into Player Versus Player. Whoever depletes the other player's lives first becomes the new ruler of D.A.S. If both players are still around when the timer hits 0, both players are destroyed in a Downer Ending.
  • Villain-Based Franchise: The Dark Anarchy Society/Destroy And Satsujin are also the bad guys in the otherwise unrelated shooters Gunforce 2, Air Duel, Fire Barrel, and the beat-'em-up Undercover Cops. Presumably having a Shared Universe as some of them are also set in a post-apocalyptic timeline.
  • Violation of Common Sense: You'd expect that beating the game on one credit will get you a Golden Ending that's even better than the Good Ending, but no. Doing a perfect run will net you a Bittersweet Ending instead. If you want to get the good ending, you must use up more than one credit (read: see the Continue? screen at least once) before you tackle the Final Boss' final form.
  • Violence is the Only Option: At the end of a 2-player game, both players must fight each other. No matter what happens, at least one player will die. If the fight is conducted as normal, one player will destroy the other; if neither player runs out of lives before time runs out, both players will die.
  • Warm-Up Boss: The first boss, Argock, a giant mechanical fish. Its torpedo spam, while not easy to destroy, is very easy to avoid. Its next attack, where it tries to kill you with Combat Tentacles, is slightly harder to avoid — use your depth charges to push them away and avoid getting killed.
  • Wreaking Havok: The Channel has tons of destructible environment, due to it taking place in a city.
  • Your Head A-Splode: This is what happens to Sougon when you defeat it.

Alternative Title(s): Kaitei Daisensou


In The Hunt (Trumpet Lillies)

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