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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- the player had to move in a certain direction to scroll the screen.

The game's development team would go on to later create Gunforce 2 for Irem. After leaving Irem, they formed their own company Nazca Corporation. With their new company the team created Metal Slug on the Neo Geo. The similarities in both games are clearly seen in the artistic style used.

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

Story:

An organization known as the D.A.S. (Destroy And Satsujin--"Satsujin" meaning "Massacre") 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.

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Though no continuation has surfaced to date, the Playstation 2 title Sub-Rebellion (which was published by Irem in Japan) shares many similarities and the Granvia appears as a DLC unit for R-Type Tactics II: Operation Bitter Chocolate.


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.
  • 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 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.
  • Deadly Walls: Averted, thankfully.
  • 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).
  • Do Well, But Not Perfect: If you manage to reach the final form of the Final Boss in one credit, you'll get the special ending where your destroyed sub is stranded inside the collapsing enemy base. Apparently, the boss has a "furious explosion" that destroys your sub. Beating the game on more than one credit gives you the happier ending.
  • 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.
  • 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.

 
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Alternative Title(s): Kaitei Daisensou

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In The Hunt (Trumpet Lillies)

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