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Video Game / Layla

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Layla and Iris are about to shoot you.

Layla is a platform game by dB-Soft released in 1986 exclusively for the Nintendo Famicom. It was marketed as a "maze action game", since levels are mostly non-linear and it's easy to get lost. The eponymous trigger-happy and cake-fueled heroine has to traverse eight asteroids full of various perils in order to rescue her partner Iris and apprehend an evil scientist who's behind all the havoc. The game's character design and Excuse Plot are strongly reminiscent of Dirty Pair franchise. Layla is known to non-Japanese players mostly thanks to one Game Center CX episode.

In 2017 a Fan Sequel hack The Iris Missions was released, which also tweaks game's mechanics and features a completely new soundtrack.

Surprisingly there's even an extensive fan-website in Japanese Layla no Asteria containing a walkthrough, trivia, tips and tricks.


Completely unrelated to the female wrestler of the same name.

The game contains examples of:

  • Action Girl
  • Anti-Frustration Features: The Iris Missions features many improvements to the original game. You no longer go back to title screen upon dying and you don't have to collect password disks in order to obtain password for current level.
  • Backtracking: You can do this if you missed something in previous levels (e.g. forgot to rescue Iris), and The Iris Missions requires you to do so on few occasions.
  • Bonus Stage: An utterly pointless one. Removed in The Iris Missions hack.
  • Bottomless Pits: A non-lethal variant which not only damages you, but also halves your current inventory.
  • Bottomless Magazines: Unlike other contemporary action platformers, you had limited ammo supply (up to 255 shots) for nearly every weapon, but still no individual magazines.
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  • But Thou Must!: Played with. You don't actually need to collect all the password disks and rescue Iris, but without them you won't be able to even scratch the final boss.
  • Collision Damage: Anything that's not a pickup or plain ground damages you very quickly, almost as fast as in Turrican games.
  • Cool Bike: Layla rides a space bike between each asteroid.
  • Cute Bruiser
  • Covers Always Lie: Iris' hair is blue on the cartridge label, but green in-game and in the manual.
  • Cyberspace: The secret level of The Iris Missions takes place in a VR simulation.
  • Damsel in Distress: Iris.
  • Equipment Upgrade: The handgun can be upgraded by collecting handgun pickups and character's speed can be increased by collecting roller skates.
  • Excuse Plot
  • Everything Trying to Kill You
  • Expy: Layla and Iris are obviously inspired by main characters from the Dirty Pair anime series, along with the space setting.
  • Guide Dang It!: Don't even try this game without a walkthrough or you'll get lost very quickly.
  • Gimmick Level: Featured in The Iris Missions. One level involves going through elevators marked with letters in order to make words FAST and EXIT.
  • Hyperactive Metabolism
  • Kill It with Fire: The flamethrower will dispatch any living thing in one or two shots. Other enemies won't budge though.
  • Impossible Item Drop: Defeated enemies, regardless if they are mutants, aliens or robots, turn into ice cream cones and cakes.
  • Interface Screw: Near the end of bonus stage in The Iris Missions, everything, music included, becomes glitchy. Justified because it happens in a VR simulator, while Layla's pulling the plug to switch it off.
  • Invincibility Power-Up: Layla can use shields to protect herself from enemies, which prevents her from using weapons until shield is switched off or depleted.
  • Mission-Pack Sequel: The fan-made The Iris Missions hack, which also adds all-new soundtrack, fixes most scrappy mechanics of the original game and adds a secret level.
  • More Dakka: Machine gun. In general the rate of fire can be doubled when Iris follows Layla, but so will be ammo use.
  • Nintendo Hard: With only one life and your life bar going down very fast, it is really hard to beat this game without continuing via passwords.
  • Rock Beats Laser: Apparently an axe can cut through robots with ease. Some bosses are invulnerable to it though.
  • Secret Level: Available after the credits roll in The Iris Missions.
  • Sequel Hook: Mantiokha escapes after defeating the final boss. He does so again in The Iris Missions.
  • Shout-Out: The Iris Missions' secret level sub-stages are modelled after stages from Super Mario Bros., Contra and Mega Man 2. Justified because all of these take place in Cyberspace.
  • Stalked by the Bell: Rather than having a traditional time counter, the game spawns a nigh-invulnerable, lethal homing tornado offscreen should you not scroll the screen for about 30 seconds.
  • Standard FPS Guns: Among Layla's arsenal are: upgradeable handgun, machine gun, flamethrower, hand grenades, throwing sabers and a rocket launcher. The only exception is a throwing axe... IN SPACE!
  • Sweet Tooth: All of the health pickups are sweets.
  • Unexpected Shmup Level: Bonus stages. The Iris Missions doesn't feature them.
  • Video-Game Lives: Completely averted. Once your life bar is depleted you go back to the title screen.
  • Winged Soul Flies Off at Death: This is what happens to Layla and Iris when their life bar is depleted.