in a time where demons and spirits provided the night...
A time when mankind still feared and loathed the dark...
The story takes place centuries ago after Marquis de Monte-Carlo, a vampire lord who once ruled over a remote European region, was sealed away by the efforts of a lone hero. However, after 300 years since Monte-Carlo was vanquished, this seal has weakened and monsters have returned, attacking villages once more. Many beautiful women also began disappearing from various villages throughout the frontier and were not seen or heard from again. As chaos breaks out from the monster outbreak, rumors has been spreading that Monte-Carlo has returned. As one village finishes burying and mourning the deceased, a woman named Rustea "Rusty" Sprincul, a beautiful monster hunter who is feared among others, arrives at the scene. After hearing the plea of the village Mayor to find the kidnapped women and the missing elder sister of a young boy and girl, Rusty sets out to rescue them in hopes they may be alive and put an end to the monster attacks.
Rusty is a game heavily inspired by the classic 2D side-scrolling entries of the Castlevania series, namely Vampire Killer for the MSX, as the player explores the stages and find keys to open locked doors to advance through the area or uncover hidden secrets that may aid them along the way. The game also has some striking similarities Castlevania: Rondo of Blood; both titles being released around the same year only months apart from each other, they're both set in a Gothic Horror setting, featuring a whip-cracking monster hunter out to stop an evil vampire terrorizing a countryside while rescuing many damsels in distress along the way.
The game is often regarded as a cult classic among Castlevania fans, often praised for its surprisingly high production values and complex level design. Unfortunately, since the game was released only in Japan and C-Lab has long since went defunct, the game became a rarity among other Japanese computer titles with people attempting to keep a copy available. However, an English fan-translation patch was released on May 9, 2017 by 46 OkuMen, a small translation team whom also worked on the fan-translation of E.V.O.: The Theory of Evolution for the PC-98. You can find the English patch for Rusty here, and a trailer for the fan-translation can also be found viewed here.
Rusty features examples of:
- 1-Up: 1-Ups can be found hidden in some stages, appearing as blue emblems with a "1-UP" on it.
- And the Adventure Continues: The ending says Rusty moves on to continue hunting monsters.
- Attack Animal: The Owl item allows Rusty to summon Chappy, an owl that homes in and attacks enemies in the direction she swings her whip. Each attack from Chappy uses MP.
- Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: A few of the bosses in the game tower over your character.
- Big Bad: Marquis de Monte-Carlo, who ruled and terrorized a part of Europe until a hero defeated him. He came back, however, and began his reign of terror again.
- Bullet Time: Using the Hourglass sub-weapon will slow down time of some enemies.
- Calling Your Attacks: In the PC-98 version, Rusty will call out the name of the Bomber's attack upon use.
- Continuing Is Painful: Dying in the game means losing your sub-weapon and having your MP reset back to 10.
- Damsel in Distress: Ryoko, the elder sister of the young boy and girl, along with the other women that were kidnapped by monsters.
- Dem Bones: Rusty faces off against many skeletal enemies in Stage 2, from flying skulls with wings not unlike Medusa Heads, skeletal soldiers, and animated piles of bones running along the ground. In the following stage, she also faces with skeletal pike-mans and hooded skeletons that attack by extending their arm at Rusty.
- Depending on the Artist: A quirk of the game is the design of the lead character, Rusty, as she has two different designs used between gameplay and cutscenes. During cutscenes, she has short wavy hair and clad in red leather leotard, shoulder pads, elbow gloves, and knee-high boots, but during gameplay she has long straight hair with a blue and slightly more revealing version of her attire, similarly to how she's depicted on the front cover.
- Every 10,000 Points: Rusty gains an extra life for every 100,000pts she earns.
- Eye Catch: After a dialogue that takes place from clearing a stage, players are greeted with an eye catch before proceeding to the next stage. Some of these eye catches features the village women you just rescued, a few of which are wearing a revealing outfit, and a few others lets the player know when to switch discs if they're playing the game from the floppy discs.
- Game-Breaking Bug: Attempting to play the MS-DOS version of the game on a non-Japanese system can crash the game due to the cutscenes' text being in Japanese.
- Gory Discretion Shot: In the opening cinematic, an innocent young woman can be seen in the clutches of Brian Gateau, one of Monte-Carlo's henchmen, then afterwards a shot of his castle is seen on top of a mountain, followed by the woman's scream, implying she was killed during a ritual.
- Guide Dang It!: If you didn't have manual or looked up the Internet on how to play the game, you may have a hard time figuring out how to use your sub-weapons, which is done by pressing both Attack and Jump buttons together.
- Jump Physics: Similarly to the Belmonts from the classic Castlevania games, Rusty cannot control the direction of her once she's airborne. She can also perform a short hop by holding Down while pressing Jump, or a long jump by pressing Jump while sprinting.
- Knock Back: Averted. Unlike the Belmont clan during their early 2D outings, Rusty can hold her ground after taking a hit.
- Left Hanging: Gateau and Rusty had unfinished business. Gateau needed a hunter like Rusty but never elaborated why, Rusty is looking for a hunter who betrayed and killed her family and the mention of the Crystal Bloods whose identities aren't quite detailed. It's unknown if C-Lab even planned for a sequel.
- Mercy Invincibility: When a player takes a hit, Rusty's sprite flashes white and she's invulnerable to damage for a short time.
- Ms. Fanservice: Rusty is one, as she wears a revealing leather leotard that shows some cleavage and her impressive bust, along with elbow gloves and knee-high boots. There's also Mary, a female vampire who serves Monte-Carlo and also clad in a (more revealing) leotard and thigh-high boots. A few of the village women you rescue also sports some eye-catching outfit.
- Scoring Points: Akin to the classic 2D Castlevania games, you gain points for defeating enemies and picking up bags of money. You can also find a hidden baby Chick item that rewards 50,000pts in some stages, as well as bonus points based on how quickly you cleared the stage and any remaining MP.
- Smart Bomb: Using the Bomber sub-weapon allows Rusty to perform a Mind Slasher, which can damage all enemies on screen.
- Sound Test: In the Options Menu, you can listen to the game's background music at your leisure.
- Spell My Name with an "S": Some sources have romanized Rusty's full name as "Rustia Sprinkle", however 46 OkuMen went with their own romanization as "Rustea Sprincul" as they were not sure of the legitimacy of the former's origins and did fit with the Japanese pronunciation of her name.
- Spikes of Doom: Throughout some stages are spikes that can kill a player if they fall victim to them.
- Spiritual Successor: C-Lab made a game called "Totsugeki! Mix" which uses the same exact engine as Rusty but has nothing to do with vampires and is a lot more light hearted.
- Timed Mission: You only have 500 seconds to clear a stage, and if the timer reaches 0, you lose a life. Time can be replenished by either picking a Clock which adds 100 seconds back or the Gold Fish which gives back 500 seconds.
- The Undead: Many of the enemies players contend with in Rusty, such as Wraith (zombies), Skeletons (self-explanatory), and Spirits (ditto).
- Whip It Good: Rusty's trusty weapon of choice. She can also attack upwards (but not diagonally) and use her whip to swing from hoops with it.
- Video-Game Lives: You start out with 3 lives, and can gain more lives by scoring points or finding a 1-Up.