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Video Game / Maximo: Ghosts to Glory

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A Capcom Action-Adventure game with platforming and Hack and Slash elements, inspired by the infamous Ghosts 'n Goblins series.

The game begins with Maximo, a handsome and valiant knight returning home from war. He soon discovers that his beloved kingdom is in utter shambles, as his advisor, Achille, took over the kingdom while Maximo was away and forced Maximo's betrothed (Sophia) to marry him. Achille also got his hands on some very dangerous black magic and is now having a Giant Drill bore its way into the earth, causing some ill effects on the underworld—the souls of the dead are rising from the grave as either skeleton warriors or being absorbed by Collector Statues to be transferred to Achille.

Maximo, rightfully angry at Achille, tries to attack him, only to be killed by a devastating magical bolt, sending him falling through Limbo. However, the local Grim Reaper appears before him with a deal—Grim will not claim Maximo's soul if he agrees to go back to the living world and stop Achille's wicked goals. And so, with his trusty sword, armor and shield, Maximo will fight through a horde of undead to take back his kingdom...and Sophia.

The sequel, Maximo vs. Army of Zin, focuses on Maximo coming into conflict with a robot horde that were sealed away in the past.

This game provides examples of:

  • 1-Up: Hearts. They can found hidden on the levels, perched on dangerous paths and, in the case of Frozen Wastes, for purchase.
  • 100% Completion: There is a secret level named "Mastery" that requires you to get 100% completion to enter.
  • Achilles' Heel: Each bosses can only be damaged if hit in a particular weakspot. Which spot varies from boss to boss.
  • Agony of the Feet: Ghastly Gus, the first boss, can only be hurt by first stabbing his foot, then (once he starts jumping) the other foot. Once he falls over, you hit him in the head.
  • An Ice Suit: Aurora Lee, the ice sorceress, wears a blue coat trimmed with white fur.
  • Animesque: Programmed by western developers, character design drawn by veteran Japanese airbrush artist Susumu Matsushita.
  • Artificial Brilliance: Captain Cadaver seems to be just another circular-arena projectile-flinger, but unlike most bosses, he actually calculates where you will be by the time the shot reaches you by measuring how fast you're running. Instead of running in circles like most games, you now must run away in strategic patterns.
  • Back from the Dead: Maximo is brought back to life by Grim at the start of the game, and is likely to be revived by Grim many more times. The last sorceress Sephonie is killed by Achille before Maximo can rescue her, forcing him to go to the Realm of Spirits to bring her back.
  • Barrier Change Boss: During his boss fight, Achille can summon circular barriers which can only be destroyed by hitting them with one move of your arsenal.
  • Big Bad: Evil King Achille. Though he turns out to be a pawn to the true big bad, the Demon Queen.
  • Big Boo's Haunt: The first world, a Creepy Cemetery.
  • Black Knight: Few Black Knights (of Animated Armor variety) are featured as enemies in the final few levels. They come complete with a resonant intonation of "No man shall pass." To add to the Shout-Out, they even fall to pieces when they're defeated.
  • Blessed with Suck: Achille does this in a You Have Failed Me to an anonymous general, restoring him to life, and then ordering his men to torture him to death.
  • Blue Means Cold: The Frozen Wastes mostly uses a blue palette color, the ice sword power up is blue and Aurora Lee's dress is pale blue.
  • Boss Arena Urgency: The penultimate boss, Lord Gutterscum, fights on a multi-layered arena composed of four circular rings of decreasing size, which he can destroy after a while: Maximo must finish him off before the last floor is destroyed.
  • Chest Monster: Wizards and Mimics. Wizards invoke a Forced Transformation on you, Mimics just try to eat you.
  • Clothing Damage: Well, armor damage as Maximo loses health, to the point where he's running around in his undies.
  • Collision Damage: The Mask of Sorrow upgrades affects Maximo's golden armor upgrade, turning him into a skeletal knight wreathed in green flames and able to insta-kill all enemies he runs into.
  • Cool Helmet: Maximo gets one on his third extra health bar. It looks even better when he powers up.
  • Continuing is Painful: You lose all the temporary powerups upon dying, and relying on Death Coin continues has Grim demand more on every third time.
  • Deal with the Devil: Grim's choice of words implies that the Demon Queen and Achille had some sort of deal going on, apparently the former supplied the latter with magic power and his death allowed her to take it back.
  • Dem Bones: Most of the undead enemies you fight.
  • Don't Fear the Reaper: Grim may enjoy the reaping part a bit too much, but it becomes rather clear that he does care about the souls he's been put in charge of.
  • Dual Wielding: Pirate Skeletons wield two scimitars at once and can be deadly in both attack and defense.
  • Elemental Powers: Found in the form of enchantment applied to Maximo's sword, each empowers his attacks, changes the aesthetics of the blade and allows him to launch an elemental-themed Sword Beam from the tip. The elements in question are fire, light, ice and darkness. He can also obtain shield power ups based on either wind or lightning.
  • Eternal Engine: Most portions of the Realm of the Spirits have massive rotating gears, giant pendulum blades and plenty of traps of all types.
  • Everybody Hates Hades: Averted. Maximo is cautious and suspicious of Death at first, but Death is a cheerful and pleasant - if morbid - fellow, who just wants to restore the balance of life and death.
  • Evil Is Hammy: Achille, oh so much.
  • Evil Laugh: Being a tyrannical evil overlord, Achille often indulges in this, especially when he sends Sophonie into the Realm of Spirits. "Sophia" endulges in one as well upon learning that Achille's dead and she can revert to her real form.
  • Evil Overlord: As a King, Achille is one, summoning hordes of living dead and drilling into the netherworld for power and souls. He's even referred to as "Demon King Achille" in the original Japanese.
  • Exposed to the Elements: In the ice stage, Maximo can still fight when reduced to his boxers. However, his idle animation in those stages show that he is freezing. Played straight with Mamba Marie and Sephonie in the cutscene at the snow stage, as both are in Stripperific bikinis and are barefoot.
  • Fat Bastard: Achille, as well as some of the bosses such as Ghastly Gus and Lord Gutterscum.
  • Flaming Sword: The Flametongue enchantment.
  • Forced Transformation: Sometimes a wizard enemy will pop out of a chest and shoot magic bolts as Maximo. If Maximo is hit he'll either be transformed into a baby or an old man, unable to do anything until it wears off.
  • Fur Bikini: One of the sorceresses wears a tiger striped bikini. Fittingly, she also wears the skull of a giant tiger which she killed herself as a hat.
  • Game-Over Man: If you run out of continues, you still see the Grim Reaper. Unfortunately, instead of bringing you back to life like he does when you've got a Coin, he slashes you with his scythe while cackling maniacally... Cue Fade to White.
  • Ghost Pirate: Captain Cadaver, the third boss, is a towering ghost pirate armed with an anchor. His pegleg is solid, however, and acts as his weakness.
  • Go for the Eye: In order to defeat the Demon Queen, you must strike her in her third eye before she can attack you.
  • Goofy Print Underwear: By default, Maximo has heart-printed boxers (which you will see when his armor is destroyed), but he can buy other kinds of boxers, like cow-print or monogram.
  • The Grim Reaper: Grim, who sends Maximo on his quest because, well, Grim is out of job if there's no more dead for him to handle.
  • Ground Pound: One of Maximo's attacks, which is also required to activate checkpoints. He can obtain upgrades which enlarge the shockwave and add phantom blades to the pound. A few enemies such as the Zombie Yetis and Hammer Devils can perform such attacks.
  • Guide Dang It!: While other bosses have blatants hints on how to damage them, there are no such hints for Captain Cadaver.
  • Hailfire Peaks: The Frozen Wastes is a combination of Slippy-Slidey Ice World (ice and snow everywhere) and Gangplank Galleon (wooden pirate ships stuck in ice and their undead occupants). The following Realm of Spirits is a mix of Planet Heck, Lethal Lava Land and Eternal Engine.
  • Hub Level: Each world has one level which works as a hub world surrounding a massive structure which is the domain of that world's boss (like Lord Gutterscum's Iron Tower or Achille's Soul Drill), and from said Hub Level you can access the other levels and complete them to open the boss arena. Uniquely, all these levels must be reached by completing a starting level first and they do feature enemies and hidden treasures just like the other areas.
  • Incredible Shrinking Man: The boss fight against Bokor Labas, a witch doctor who carries a voodoo doll of Maximo, has him casting spells to shrink Maximo and then try to stomp him.
  • Idle Animation: Maximo has several wait animations—and some are world-specific (he'll shiver in ice levels and wipe his brow in lava levels).
  • In the Hood: The first sorceress and guardian of the graveyard world wears a black tunic and a cape with a large hood, befitting her status.
  • Inexplicable Treasure Chests: There are chests hidden everywhere, sometimes they're buried into the ground.
  • Interchangeable Antimatter Keys: There are identical keys for both gates and chests.
  • I Owe You My Life: Inverted. Maximo takes Grim's "I owe you one" speech to its logical conclusion and immediately enlists him as his partner to find the missing Sophia.
  • Jungle Japes: The Great Dank, which is also sort of a swamp.
  • Justified Extra Lives: Continues, in this case. Grim will return Maximo to life as long as he continues to work towards resolving the imbalance in the afterlife. This deal is bound by a physical coin Grim gives him, and if he runs out of these coins, Grim can no longer restore him to life and must reap his soul properly.
  • Lethal Lava Land: The parts of The Realm of Spirits that isn't empty void has lava instead.
  • Lightning Bruiser: The Demon Queen is very big, and also runs much faster than Maximo.
  • Lighthouse Point: The Hub Level for the Frozen Wastes has a lighthouse in the middle of it, called the Dark House ('cause it's unlit, you see).
  • Lightning Reveal: The room where the final boss is fought is pitch-black, and is only occasionally illuminated by the lightning strikes outside.
  • Literal Ass-Kicking: How you deal with Lord Gutterscum.
  • Magic Knight: Maximo when his sword is enchanted with an element (Fire/Ice/Holy/Arcane) and he can pick up abilities to allow him to shoot Magick Bolts or area attacks (like a meteor storm).
  • Magic Staff: Achille carries an enchanted staff with an eerie green crystal on the top he uses to perform magic. During the boss fight it will eventually break, forcing him to turn the wrecked staff in a trident-like spear.
  • Man-Eating Plant: They can be found in the Great Dank as enemies, while others can appear in the final level's garden areas.
  • Market-Based Title: The game lost its subtitle when it was released in Europe.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Sophia and all the Sorceress are beautiful women with large breasts and revealing outfits.
  • Never Smile at a Crocodile: Undead crocodiles hide under the surface of green waters of the Great Dank, and snap at Maximo when he gets close.
  • Night of the Living Mooks: Pretty much all the enemies you get to fight are undead of some kind, ranging from zombies, to skeletons, to undead beasts to ghosts.
  • Nintendo Hard: Considering its predecessor games, it only makes sense.
  • Not Completely Useless: Captain Cadaver is immune to all your attacks except for swinging your sword while crouching so you can hit his peg leg. This is one of the three times where crouching is useful. The others time occurs against bomb-throwing skeletons and Hammer Devils.
  • One-Winged Angel: Subversion. The Demon Queen is her true form, she masqueraded as Sophia.
    • Achille will use the souls to turn into a giant, during which you can't hurt him and his health recovers. The antennae sending him power need to be destroyed to revert him back to normal.
  • Our Demons Are Different: They're encountered in the Realm of Spirits and come in two variety: goat-like devils with goat horns and the ability to charge at Maximo and diminutive, fat devils carrying oversized hammers.
  • Pet the Dog: When Maximo finally defeats Achille and stops the Drill, Grim genuinely compliments him for his victory. He even asks him what's wrong upon seeing him sullen and honestly informs him that the Demon Queen was just a demon, which means Sophia's alive somewhere.
  • Power-Up Magnet: The Midas Shield powerup attracts treasure from a distance.
  • Precision-Guided Boomerang: Maximo's shield always returns to him (regardless of what it hits) and with the right upgrades can bounce between enemies and/or hover in mid-air.
  • Rewarding Vandalism: Some coffins and caskets can be destroyed for coins.
  • Save-Game Limits: Saving available at save points, 100 coins a pop.
  • Save the Princess: Queen Sophia is the lady to be rescued.
  • Scarf of Asskicking: Maximo wears a red scarf throughout his journey against undead menace.
  • Self-Duplication: Bokor Labas, at a certain point during the boss battle, will create an handful of clones to keep Maximo distracted and run around the hut. Hitting the real one deals damage to the life bar.
  • Sequel Hook: After killing the Demon Queen, Grim reveals that she was just a demon disguised as Sophia, not the real thing. Maximo then leaves with Grim to find her.
  • Shamu Fu: The Great Dank has a variation of zombies which are covered in piranhas biting their flesh. They attack the player by shaking them off.
  • Shovel Strike: Ghastly Gus, the first boss, is the keeper of the graveyard and uses a giant shovel to strike at Maximo.
  • Smooch of Victory: Each time you rescue a sorceress, you can choose a "kiss" as your reward. It occupies a valuable slot in your powerup menu, but if you carry all four kisses to the end of the game, you unlock a concept art gallery.
  • Spin Attack: One temporary upgrade lets you do this.
  • Stripperific: Mamba Marie and Sephonie wear naught but what could be seen as bikinis. The other two sorceresses are more sensibly dressed.
  • Throwing Your Shield Always Works: Maximo learns a shield-tossing skill that allows him to hit distant enemies. A successful hit chips away at the shield's durability, and if used too often, it will break.
  • Trailers Always Spoil: Played with. The game goes out of its way to spoil the plot twist that Sophia's Achille's Decoy Damsel, even mentioning it in her manual bio... and naturally she's none of the above.
  • The Undead: Most of your enemies are zombies and skeletons animated by Achille.
  • Wham Shot: When Sophia let's off an evil laugh and transforms into her true form of the Demon Queen.
  • Who Needs Their Whole Body?: There's a stronger variant of common zombie which becomes a crawling torso when hit enough times.
  • World of Buxom: There are five main female characters, them being Sophia and the four Sorceresses: all of them are uniformly buxom and attractive.
  • Would Hit a Girl: Achille backhands Sophia across the face in the opening cutscene, and rather hard enough to knock her to the floor at that.
  • You Have Failed Me: Achille punishes a skeleton general of his for failing to kill Maximo by returning him into flesh and blood, and orders him to be tortured back to death.

Alternative Title(s): Maximo