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Video Game / P.N.03

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P.N.03 (short for Product Number 03) is a relatively little-known Nintendo GameCube game developed by Capcom as part of Shinji Mikami's Capcom 5. P.N.03 was the only one of two games of the Capcom 5 not later ported to the PlayStation 2, the other being Dead Phoenix, which was cancelled.

The game features cybernetic Action Girl and Third-Person Seductress Vanessa Z. Schneider, who uses palm shots and energy drives combined with acrobatic moves or while standing still gyrating or wiggling her bottom to destroy robots in a range of Apple-chic futuro-minimalist facilities. Impressively, all of her animations were handcrafted.

The game wasn't altogether well-received when it was released on September 9th, 2003 in North America, with most critics and players considering it to be mediocre. Sales were remarkably poor, with less than 30,000 sold worldwide. The below-average reception for a Capcom 5 title was due in no small part due to a difficult development process in which project lead Mikami reportedly had a difficult time caring about it and the team couldn't agree on the "true" title (its development title was Jaguar, reflected by a trailer where she makes catlike movements). The features ended up being as minimalist as the architecture, as due to the extended development cycle many features were dropped. The game engine, some music, and some of the mechanics were later used in Resident Evil 4.


Much of the team later split from Capcom to form PlatinumGames, who developed Vanquish and Bayonetta, games that, respectively, take one of the conflicting directions of this game (Robot fighting third person shooter and kinetic hypersexuality) and made, overall, more satisfying wholes.

This game contains examples of:

  • Amen Break: Several tracks are this.
  • All There in the Manual: Little of the background is mentioned in game, but you play a mercenary hired by the military to investigate an AI defense system gone haywire.
  • Artificial Stupidity: The enemies spawn as predetermined types in predetermined locations. You know immediately on entering a room through prior experience what you are facing. The enemies also attack in predetermined patterns. Which makes sense, since they are robots.
  • Awesome, but Impractical:
    • Many of the overdrives are super flashy and over the top but do pitiful damage and in some cases can miss the target entirely!
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    • The Papillon Suit can access all the overdrives, but turns you into a One-Hit-Point Wonder.
  • Beam Spam: A lot of the bosses and enemies tend towards this. The Final Boss uses a beam spam of Wave Motion Guns when it Turns Red.
  • Boring, but Practical: Tengu and the upgraded version, Tengu Pro. Doubles your shot power, but most importantly gives temporary invincibility. The ability to ignore an enemy's attacks and just fire away can come close to a Game-Breaker if used correctly. Two Tengu Pro stringed back to back is enough to kill the final boss on Normal with a fully upgraded Palm Shot.
    • The Black Aegis Suit is the first suit that allows for maximum upgrades in all categories and has access to Tengu Pro, Pegasus Pro and Swan Pro, three of the best overdrives in the game.
    • Ducking. Quite a few enemies are incapable of aiming up or down so a simple duck will avoid all incoming fire. Additionally, rooms can have trenches which when jumped into allow you to avoid incoming beam attacks with a duck.
  • Boss in Mook Clothing: The Seerose and Gardenie robots.
  • Bullet Hell: The bosses tend towards this, though unlike pure bullet hell games there is architecture to hide behind. The last boss is a pure example, and beating him involves learning the patterns to his attacks.
  • Button Mashing: The early Aegis Suits require lots, though later ones can be upgraded to fully automatic fire. Through New Game+ all the suits can be upgraded this way.
  • Critical Existence Failure: You're perfectly fine until that last hit that pierces your remaining shields and kills you.
  • Cut-and-Paste Environments: The trial missions are a bunch of random rooms strung together. Late in the game the randomizer loves to string multiple T-shaped intersections together, making it very easy to get lost.
  • Cyber Punk Is Techno: The soundtrack fittingly consists mainly of techno, breakbeat, industrial, and jungle/drum & bass tunes.
  • Dance Battler: Even though it's a shooter, Vanessa use lots of dance-like moves like cartwheels, twirls, and poses when dodging and firing. It gets a little gratuitous when she fires automatic blasts while shaking her butt. Even her idle animation has her bobbing her head and tapping her foot to a steady beat.
  • Death Is a Slap on the Wrist: Dying simply dumps you out of the storyline or trial mission you were in - you get to keep the points you accumulated before death.
  • Do Not Run with a Gun: Vanessa has to be standing still to fire. The game's Scrappy Mechanic to some, and the big reason why people have a hard time playing it - ironically, the exact same mechanism so lauded in Resident Evil 4. The strict segregation of movement and attacking define the way the game plays.
    • This only applies to the control stick, not the dodge buttons.
  • Difficulty Levels: You really should play the game on Easy to get the hang of the enemies and controls.
  • Exposition Break: Major advances in the plot come through this way.
  • Expy: One of the commonly encountered Goddamned Bats resembles the Sentinels from Halo: Combat Evolved. Vanessa herself is somewhat of a futuristic expy of Jill from the Resident Evil series.
  • Hit-and-Run Tactics: You cannot shoot and move at the same time. Gameplay is basically dodging out of the way of enemy fire until they're vulnerable, then attacking.
  • Hopeless Boss Fight: Sonnenblume in the first level, or so your employer insists.
  • Invulnerable Attack: Much like the super bombs of Shoot Em Ups, Vanessa is completely invulnerable during an Overdrive.
  • Jiggle Physics: Plenty of Vanessa's animations cause her butt to jiggle. Whether you're walking around, attacking, or even just standing still (which makes her tap her foot), it almost never stops moving.
  • Level Grinding: Doing the trial missions over and over for points to upgrade the Aegis Suits makes the game much easier.
  • Male Gaze: The only explanation for Vanessa's near-constant butt-shaking.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Vanessa, who wears a skintight outfit throughout with a strong dose of Male Gaze applied.
  • Multiple Endings: Beating the game on Easy gives the standard ending. Beating the game on Normal or Hard adds an additional cutscene after the ending. Beating the game with the Papillon Suit treats the player to a Shower Scene.
  • Multi-Mook Melee: Used for the end-of-level battle in Mission 4, and some of the Reactor Boss battles.
  • New Game+: The Aegis Suits you've bought and upgraded carry over between games.
  • One-Winged Angel: Orchidee II transforms from a mecha-centipede to a Spider Tank form. Loewenzahn II changes from a "lion scorpion car" to a phoenix. Alraune starts as an easy robotic skull, then turns into a much tougher humongous mecha scorpion.
  • One-Hit Kill: The energy cannon turrets. You do not want to be out in the open when they fire.
  • One-Hit-Point Wonder: The Papillon Suit reduces your health down to the point that a single hit from a basic mook will kill you.
  • Palette Swap: The basic enemy type, the Pilz, all look the same outside of the color. Their attacks vary depending on what color they are. The Aegis Suits themselves are all different colored versions of the same model, with one exception.
  • Point Build System: The Aegis Suits are both buyable and upgradable through the points scored in both the storyline and the side missions.
  • Reactor Boss
  • Recurring Boss: All of the normal bosses are fought twice, and two of them have One-Winged Angel forms in their rematch.
  • Scoring Points: You need the best possible scores in all the side missions to unlock both the Blackbird and Papillon Suits.
  • Smart Bomb: All of the Overdrives are variations on this theme.
  • Shower Scene: Wearing the Papillon Suit through the whole game rewards you with one.
  • Signature Sound Effect: The enemies all have unique sounds indicating they're about to attack. Listening for this is key when trying to dodge while out in the open.
  • Single-Stroke Battle: With the game's Suspicious Video-Game Generosity, and using the right Pro Overdrive, you can end most boss battles with a single strike.
  • Sorry, I Left the BGM On: The level music is apparently what she's listening to, thus the toe tapping and gyrations. It turns off when she snaps her fingers.
  • Spider Tank: Sonnenblume, Alraune, Orchidee's second form, and several of the mooks.
  • Spiritual Successor: Vanquish, as mentioned above.
  • Suspicious Video-Game Generosity: There are many rooms that have full health and energy pick ups, particularly before a boss fight.
  • Take Cover!: One of the ways to avoid enemy fire. Really skilled players don't need to rely on this so much, though there are certain enemies whose attacks cannot be dodged.
  • Theme Naming: The "Blackbird" Aegis Suit is black, like the name implies. "Papillon" is a French word that means "butterfly", signified by the butterfly tattoo on Vanessa's stomach, and "Vanessa" is a genus of butterfly.
  • Third-Person Seductress: Vanessa is a particularly blatant example with all of her butt-wiggling.
  • Third-Person Shooter: Despite the over the shoulder cam as later used in Resident Evil 4, this is what the game is at heart.
  • Turns Red: The final boss uses its Wave-Motion Gun Beam Spam when down to a quarter of its HP.
  • Unexpected Shmup Level: Reviewers tended to treat the entire game like this.
  • Wave-Motion Gun: Used by several enemies and bosses, especially the death laser turrets sometimes guarding the reactor bosses.