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Video Game / Moon Diver

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Moon Diver, formerly known as Necromachina, is a 2011 action game developed by feelplus and published by Square Enix for Play Station Network and Xbox Live Arcade. It is the second Spiritual Successor to Strider (Arcade), directed by the first game's planner, Kouichi Yotsui.

The year is 2081. Out of nowhere appeared a child known as Faust, the Demon King. Possessing the power to give life to innanimate objects, he commanded an army of mechanical beings and completely destroyed Earth, driving humanity to almost extinction. Humans form a resistance army to fight back, but all their efforts are in vain. When everything seems lost, five warriors from all around the globe emerge with mysterious powers. Descended from an ancient race who made a pact of mutual protection with the human race, they set out to fulfil their oath and stop Faust while understanding why their powers were given to them.

This game provides examples of:

  • After the End: By the time the game begins, most of Earth has been razed, all military efforts have been trounced and humanity stands on the verge of exctinction as Faust's armies continue marching across the land.
  • Allergic to Routine: Seyfert lived in a small isolated town in the Arctic where his life was perfect: he had good grades, was good at sports and literature, had plenty of friends, and girls loved him. But he found this all extremely boring, so when he saw a report of Faust attacking cities he immediately Jumped at the Call, thinking it was his destiny to stop him.
  • All There in the Manual: The game has very minimal story, and what's there is very disjointed and hard to follow, but Yotsui did publish through Facebook a number of backstory notes that delve in the world, characters and enemies of the game in great detail. This information not figuring in-game was a conscious decision, however, as him and the producer thought too much exposition wouldn't benefit an action game.
  • Ax-Crazy: Hitori. She believes that "Fairy Blood" in her veins makes her that way. She's also the only one who openly speaks about her descendance, something the others don't like bringing attention to at all. See also her reasoning for wearing an eyepatch.
  • Bishōnen: Seyfert, Tolby and Faust.
  • The Casanova: Ourion is described as one, so much he names his weapon after the girls he's going after. This trait of him is attributed to his "purer" human side.
  • Ceiling Cling: As the successors to Strider Hiryu, that all characters can effortlessly climb through any terrain should come as no surprise. Also, much like their other senpai Kirin, they do it bare-handed.
  • Color-Coded for Your Convenience: The main enemy force in the game, the Zooids, are colored according to their special skills:
    • Green Zooids - The general mooks with no particular skill of note.
    • Yellow Zooids - The Action Bombs. When about to die they self-destruct in a cross explosion trying to take down the player.
    • Red Zooids - The aggressive fighters. Red Zooids move forward and stand in a pose ready to Counter-Attack the moment they are attacked.
    • Gray Zooids - The Airborne Mooks, fly around and shoot projectiles.
    • Black Zooids - The Heavily Armored Mooks, much more resistant than the other types.
    • Purple Zooids - The odd ones, they teleport around to attack the player.
    • The five Moon Divers are also color-coded (Seyfert - red, Hitori - blue/purple, Tolby - yellow, Ourion - green, Silence - black) but this is merely aesthetic and has no bear on gameplay.
  • Combination Attack: There's an ability called "MoonSault Combination", which allows co-op players to combine magic with each other. This comes with benefits such as spells not consuming MP.
  • Comes Great Responsibility: All Moon Divers take up the oath of their ancestors to protect humanity from being wiped out by Faust, although not all for the same reason: Seyfert is just bored of his peaceful lifestyle and feels his destiny is to stop Faust, Hitori is genuinely into saving humanity, Ourion is forced into the role by his aged father and Tolby is interested in knowing more about their powers and the reason they have them.
  • Continuity Nod: Small subtle references can be seen in the backstory to its predecessors:
    • Hitori's name is established to be made-up of two Japanese words ("Hi"=fire, "Tori"=bird) in the same way Hiryu's name is formed ("Hi"=flying, "Ryu"=dragon). Hitori's backstory also implies she descends from the same tribe Hiryu was born in.
    • Silence's weapon Shusui is called a "Plasma Light Sword" and stated to work by creating a focused discharge of plasma able to cut through anything. Fans of Hiryu will quickly recognize the parallels to his weapon, the "Light Sword Cypher", which uses plasma to create its all-cutting blade. Shusui also happens to be the name of Hiryu's mother in the original script.
    • The backstory speaks in great detail of the company behind some of the machines in the game, Siberian Arsenal. The company has many nods to the research staffs working under Grandmaster Meio in the backstory of Strider, which were banished to Siberia after creating the Anti-Gravity Device.
    • One cutscene has Faust mention that the Earth has "no master, nor a creator to worship". In Japanese "creator" is actually "slave driver", making this phrase a reference to the two previous Big Bads, the Grandmaster and Slaver.
    • The first area of the final stage (where the Boss Rush starts) is called "Da Rudel Taktik", the same name used by the Teki's three-man formation in the final stage of Cannon Dancer.
  • The Corruption: There are one kind of enemy in-game which is a human half-mutated into one of Faust's creatures. This is explained to happen to humans who are attacked but their brains are not destroyed, instead becoming a monstrous hybrid whose only instinct left is to wander and kill.
  • Crapsack World: A world that has been almost entirely wiped out by the whims of a child with god-like powers, leaving countries bare and humans almost extinct. The Human Resistance Army was created to defend itself from Faust, but their attempts have all failed and they are in shambles, with their soldiers on the battlefield incommunicated and left to survive on their own, paranoid of anyone approaching them (which accounts for their appearance as in-game enemies). The army's last-ditch effort of using a large Kill Sat to kill Faust led to the sacrifice of the entire North American continent, and it didn't even phased him. If not for the Moon Divers, what's left of humanity would have no hope of surviving.
  • Cute Mute: Faust is an evil version.
  • Drop the Hammer: Ourion's weapon is a large combined hammer/axe weapon.
  • 11th-Hour Superpower: The heroes' ninja abilities emerged as a response to Faust's attack on humanity and their desire to uphold their ancestor's ancient oath to protect them.
  • The End of the World as We Know It: The final attempt of the human army to get rid of Faust was to use a giant Kill Sat installed on the moon, the "Moon Driver". Said laser went through Earth itself, left a huge crater where America once stood and...did nothing to Faust at all.
  • Expy:
    • Faust is one to Grandmaster Meio, sharing a similar view of humanity and a desire to exterminate them in order to repopulate the planet with their own creations. Word of God even implied the two use the very same power over the creation of life.
    • The game's Airborne Aircraft Carrier Independence, a massive airship capable of flying in both the sky and space, is clearly based on the Flying Battleship Balrog from Strider.
  • Eyepatch of Power: Hitori wears an eyepatch, although it is noted her eye is fully functional. Her reasoning for using it is that she doesn't want to see herself when she makes the extreme change from reserved and shy to a fighting warrior badass.
  • Face–Heel Turn: Silence started out assisting the Moon Divers, but left them after his long-standing doubts over protecting humanity and stopping Faust's plans for Earth were the right choice. In seeking answers to his dilemma and over Faust's origins, he brands himself "Black Silence" and becomes an obstacle to his friends.
  • A God Am I: Faust possesses mysterious powers that let him grant life to inanimate objects and even create it on the spot. After wandering the Earth and observing humanity, he comes to the conclusion that the Creator has left Earth and humanity has no purpose or divine plan in their future other than reproduction. He finally reaches one conclusion: humans have no inherent right over Earth, so he's free to exterminate them and "create his own future" with his self-made lifeforms, who are better fit to rule the planet than the conceited humans.
  • Half-Human Hybrid: The five Moon Divers are descendants of an ancient race simply called "Spirits" or "Fairies", which consigned themselves to a slow disappearance by mixing their blood with human's. As such they have limited access to their ancestor's powers, and only under the moonlight.
  • Highly-Visible Ninja: The Moon Divers wear brightly colored suits and glow with energy when using magic.
  • Hive Mind: According to the backstory, all enemies created by Faust have no individuality or will of their own, gathering in colonies and instinctively doing anything that helps fulfill their creator's desires.
  • Lunacy: The final cutscene reveals moonlight empowers the Moon Divers.
  • Meaningful Name: Faust as in the myth. According to the backstory, this is in reference of Goethe's play: while the Faust of the story is tempted and corrupted by the power of the devil, this Faust has no such excuse. All the horrible things he does are entirely of his own free will and he feels no empathy nor remorse for what he's doing. Literally the devil "has been rendered mute" by the utter despair Faust has caused entirely by himself.
  • Misanthrope Supreme:
    • Faust believes humanity is nothing special and has no particular right to rule Earth, and feels disgusted by their corruption and arrogance, so he decides he's in his right to wipe them out and give the planet to his self-created race, much better adapted to rule the planet.
    • Seyfert has shades of this, noting in-game how humans are now important to them only because they are in serious danger.
  • Mithril: Once fictional in-universe, modern science and alchemy made it real. It forms Seyfert's weapon.
  • Mosquito Miscreants: The "Mosquito" enemy is a large, mechanical version of the insect. Its evolved form, on the other hand, is a GIANT HORNET!
  • Multinational Team: Of all the ninjas, only one is Japanese (Hitori). Seyfert is Swedish, Tolby is Nepalese, Ourion is from a Mozambique archipelago, and Silence is from California.
  • Ninja: All playable characters are billed as such, although the final cutscene indicates this is only the form they use to present themselves to the world. Out of the five however, Silence is an actual ninja as he works secret ops for the American government when not pretending to be a tech student.
  • Omnicidal Maniac: Faust carries out the genocide of the Earth's entire population over his belief he's in his right to create a future for his own, better-adapted species to rule Earth.
  • Playing with Fire: Seyfert's powers manifest as wings made of fire.
  • Power Gives You Wings: When using the powers granted by their spirit ancestors, some Moon Divers sport magical wings of some sort: Seyfert gets wings made of flames, Hitori sports large butterfly wings, and Tolby reveals a single, demonic-looking black wing.
  • Prodigal Hero: Ourion, in a sense. He left his home and decided to travel the world in his cruiser only because he can't stand his family or his "wacky" traditions about being descendants of fairies. He's then forced back by his aging father in order to gather up the other Moon Divers and honor their ancestors' pact in saving humanity.
  • Psychopathic Manchild: Faust.
  • Red Baron: Faust is called "The Demon King."
  • La Résistance: The Human Resistance Army was created to protect what's left of humanity from Faust. They fail miserably at that, and the Moon Divers had to step in. Once Faust dies they decide to take all the credit for his defeat, however, and proclaim humanity invincible.
  • RPG Elements: Moon Diver has the same fast-paced pure action gameplay of its predecessors, but it throws some RPG elements into the mix such as Experience Points gained by number of defeated enemies and Character Levels that help raise each character's three stats.
  • Senseless Sacrifice: An entire continent was sacrificed in an attempt to kill Faust. It didn't work.
  • Shock and Awe: Ourion's powers manifest as a big current of green lightning surging from his body.
  • Sixth Ranger: Silence worked with the Moon Divers initially, mainly by gathering information, but it wasn't long before he left them over doubts about defending humanity.
  • Slide Attack: All Moon Divers can perform a slide attack both on the ground and in mid-air.
  • The Speechless: Faust is mute from witnessing the destruction and sorrow he's caused. Not that he's going to stop...
  • Spider Tank: The "Spider" enemy is a four-legged bulky type.
  • Spiritual Successor: To Strider and Cannon Dancer. Yotsui (who directed all three games) has stated Moon Diver can be seen as "a sequel to the action games [he has] made in the past".
  • Spy Catsuit: Hitori sports one under her armor.
  • Suddenly Speaking: In the final boss battle, Faust laughs in your face before fighting you.
  • Total Eclipse of the Plot: One hovers over Barcelona the moment the Moon Divers strike back at Faust's armies in the first four stages. The final boss cutscene reveals the light of the moon empowers them.
  • Vigilante Man: Hitori is stated to have moved across Tokyo's skyscrapers at night even before Faust's war began.
  • Wall Crawl: Much like their predecessor games, the Moon Divers can crawl and climb any wall or vertical terrain they encounter in the game effortlessly.
  • A Winner Is You: The finale is a "Thank you for saving the world" text.