The Twin-tined Instrument of Mankind's Destruction, KAMUI
A Shoot 'Em Up made by SITER SKAIN in 1999 and part of The Tale of ALLTYNEX trilogy, Kamui has been often described as "a more intense RayStorm clone". The gameplay is slightly different from the "standard" shoot 'em up: the ship — the eponymous Kamui fighter — is not a One-Hit-Point Wonder, and it has two special weapons beyond its main Spread Shot: a powerful Wave-Motion Gun that can cancel bullets and a "lightning storm" weapon that targets enemies below the fighter where its main weapons cannot reach. Both run off the same energy gauge, which must recharge after each use. It is short, but very fast-paced and relentless in difficulty.
Although one of the earliest games released by SITER SKAIN, its story actually takes place after several of their other titles; both ALLTYNEX Second and RefleX are prequels to it. During the Time Skip in RefleX, a scientist named Xaffiquel de Alice drafts a theory regarding "Brain Fusion" technology, which would allow a psychic human's mind to be permanently uploaded into a computer. The military sees the potential to create super-weapons using this theory. In desperation due to the ZODIAC's battling it out over Earth, eight "Kamui" fighters and a massive automatic defense army, commanded from the "Mechanized Temple", are created using this technology. Among the humans uploaded into those fighters was Xaffiquel's own daughter, Panafill de Alice. Enraged at the loss of his daughter, Xaffiquel decides that humanity has grown too corrupt and must be punished. Uploading his mind into the orbital fortress as "the Adjudicator", he waits for civilization to rebuild itself before unleashing the destructive might of the Mechanized Temple and Neural Network based on the ancient genocidal supercomputer, ALLTYNEX.
Now Panafill, who managed to escape the rebuilt ALLTYNEX's control due to having been conscious during her upload, must destroy both ALLTYNEX and the Adjudicator to prevent mankind's destruction.
An English translation patch is available here (requires v1.10), making it the first game in the series to be fully translated. This doesn't really matter anymore, as Nyu Media localized and published Kamui along with the rest of the ALLTYNEX trilogy in June 2013, and is available for purchase through various digital distribution sites.
This game features examples of:
- 2½D: In ways similar to RayForce.
- A.I. Is a Crapshoot: Panafill, she's fighting for humanity rather than against it.
- Such had been the final deranged act of the man that became the Adjudicator...
- And I Must Scream: The probable fate of those who were uploaded into the other Kamui fighters, after ALLTYNEX took control of them.
- Attack Reflector: Though not necessarily to the point of Reflection and RefleX. Hitting an enemy laser with your Lightning Blade will turn it into a lightning blast that attacks enemies. The unlockable "Mass-Produced" version of the Kamui fighter has a spread of lightning beams that are designed around reflecting back lasers.
- Barbie Doll Anatomy: Panafill during the cutscenes.
- Book Ends: The game starts and ends at the Mechanized Temple.
- Brain Uploading: Xaffiquel's big project. The Kamui fighters actually require it to work.
- Climax Boss: Area 4's boss, or rather bosses. You fight a series of mass-produced Kamui units, culminating in Kamui Unit #0, which is powered by the core of Ophiuchus.
- Cognizant Limbs: Bosses often have parts that you can shoot off for extra points.
- Crosshair Aware: Do not stay in cross-hairs. It ends badly.
- Despair Event Horizon: What lead to Xaffiquel's FaceHeel Turn.
- Death from Above:
- The Kamui's lightning storm weapon is pretty much certain doom for anything below it.
- One of the Adjudicator's attacks rains downs death beams after turning red.
- Death Is a Slap on the Wrist: Unlike later games, you have unlimited continues. The developers stated in The Tale of ALLTYNEX Official Guide Book that this was done with the intention of allowing players of all skill levels to complete the game.
- Deflector Shields: Alice's Kamui has a shield that can take up to four hits. The mass-produced version has a shield too, but it can only take two hits.
- Difficulty Levels: Easy, Normal, Menace.
- Disproportionate Retribution:
- The whole of humanity needs to die to atone for uploading a single girl's mind into a military fighter?
- Possibly the whole thing starts because Doc didn't like the (fairly typical) misuse of his rather benevolent (if inhumane) research made by the government. And all of that just so they can have more power. Adding his daughter's mind being uploaded into a fighter just added more fuel.
- High-Altitude Battle: The final fight is in orbit.
- Kaizo Trap: The second boss fires one last blast from its Wave-Motion Tuning Fork during its death animation, after the music has already stopped. This blast can kill you.
- Life Meter: You get four bars of shield per life, or two if you're playing as the mass-produced ship. Justified, in that the game lacks a Smart Bomb-type attack.
- Lightning Can Do Anything: In ways that would make the R-GRAY 2 and Wave Rider 02 proud.
- Lightning Gun: The Kamui fighter's signature armament.
- Little Miss Badass: Panafill may look pretty mature in the intro and ending, but the guidebook strongly implies that she's mentally twelve, providing no other age and suggesting she had been put into a sleep mode shortly after her Brain Fusion. She ultimately manages to destroy the doomsday weapon containing her father's brain and lay waste to the attacking Earth forces who see her as an omen of the end.
- Lotus-Eater Machine: ALLTYNEX pulls a digital version of this on Alice making her fight against two bosses before breaking loose.
- Made of Explodium: Many of the bosses make disproportionately large explosions when defeated.
- Meaningful Name: The name of final boss theme, "The Judge", seems to represent Xaffiquel's delusions as a punisher of humanity's sins. In addition, his name is clearly derived from Tzaphqiel, an angel who was assigned to record all history, and, in quite a bit of rabbinical lore, a dark angel. In fact, the idea of a angel over your right shoulder and a demon over your left shoulder, trying to sway you towards good and evil respectively, came from an idea of this being done with Raziel swaying towards good, and Tzaphqiel swaying towards evil.
- Mirror Boss: One boss is preceded by a fight with the remaining five Kamui fighters.
- Names to Run Away from Really Fast: WARNING!!
The Orbital Mechanized Temple
The Ultimate Application of Brain Fusion Theory
The Instrument of Planetary Destruction
The actual content aside, the sheer length of this boss title is ought to scare you off a little.
- Necessarily Evil: The Kamui fighters, not to mention the rebuilt ALLTYNEX, were seen as this due to the rampaging ZODIAC's that were laying waste to Earth at the time.
- Oddball in the Series: Kamui is the only game in the series not to be a remake of a previous game.
- Post Human Nudism: Panafill, as shown in the intro and ending following her brain uploading..
- Power Gives You Wings: Kamui Unit 00 sprouts these during its boss battle. It's a hint that it's powered by the remains of ZODIAC Ophiuchus.
- Roboteching: Your lightning bolts and enemy lasers love doing this.
- Sequential Boss: ALLTYNEX summons bosses from earlier (in-universe chronology) games before fighting you itself.
- Shock and Awe: The Kamui fighters.
- Video Game Remake: Averted. Unlike the other two games, Kamui is an original game and not a remake of an existing one.
- Wave-Motion Gun: Made of lightning!
- Xtreme Kool Letterz: The only explanation for the spelling of Xaffiquel's name.
- Younger than They Look: See Little Miss Badass.
You must have been so lonely.
You must have been so sad.
Let's die together...