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Video Game / sora

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The last war on the worn-out planet.
Whether it is won or lost, there will be nothing left.
Sora does not know the meaning of her fight.
sora's opening sequence

sora is a horizontally-scrolling bullet hell shoot 'em up by Orange_Juice, which was released in 2010 for Windows PC during Comiket 78. It is the prequel to SUGURI, which was initially teased at the end of Acceleration of SUGURI's Arcade Mode if players managed to encounter Sora as a secret boss. The game's story takes place many years prior to the events of its predecessor where Sora, a girl gifted with the combat capabilities beyond anything the world has ever seen, was born in the middle of an ongoing war between two unknown armies that has brought death and destruction throughout the world. Against her own will, Sora drafted to fight for one side of the war, when all she wants is the Earth and once-beautiful skies to return their former glory. Like Suguri before her, Sora can amass a large arsenal of weapons at her disposal, ranging from beam rifles, a bazooka, a beam sword, and even a pile bunker thrown in for good measure. The game maintains its trademark dashing and lock-on shooting gameplay from its predecessor with some fundamental changes, such Sora being able use to three weapons instead of two (generally an energy-based weapon, a ballistics weapon, and a melee weapon), revises the combo-based scoring system, and incentivises dashing through or "catching" enemy fire by dashing as Sora can recover some lost vitality while building energy for her Hyper Attacks.


The game unfortunately received a terribly-made English localization on June 1st, 2012 by ΩTH who turned out to be an Internet troll by the name of FalcomGameFan. It involves use of such terms as "reploids" when the characters are actually referred to as "altered humans", a few name changes that threw its Theme Naming off, poorly-implemented SecuROM DRM that botched the game from being playable after purchase, swapped music that didn't belong in the game, bugs and glitches that were never present in the original version of the game, and above all else, a terrible translation of the game filled with out-of-place pop-culture references. Not only that, but the company even copyright flagging videos of the game on YouTube showcasing the dubious quality of the localization. Fans of the previous SUGURI series localized by Rockin' Android weren't happy about this, thus leading to an online petition being formed to get the game professionally localized by someone else. Although the petition didn't get the signatures it needed, near the end of 2015, Fruitbat Factory obtained publishing rights to sora and eventually released it through Steam and directly from their website in 2016 with a proper localization and higher resolution visuals. The game's soundtracks, Sora no Kakera and Celeste -SORA EXTRA SOUNDTRACK-, were also released digitally from Fruitbat Factory.


As with SUGURI before it, sora was followed up with a shoot 'em up-fighting game hybrid with Acceleration of SUGURI 2 released during Comiket 80 in 2011. The game features both the heroines and boss characters of their respective games as playable characters, a Story Mode, an Arcade Mode, a local and online Versus Mode. During it's initial release however, lacked certain key features originally planned for the game and suffered from character balance issues, but thankfully these were through patches. Acceleration of SUGURI 2 was also localized by Fruitbat Factory in 2018, with similar quality-of-life improvements that sora received, an online lobby system through Steamworks, and rebalanced gameplay. Sora and some of the boss characters from her game also make an appearance in 100% Orange Juice! along with characters from SUGURI, QP Shooting, Flying Red Barrel, and other games by Orange_Juice. She also makes an unofficial cameo appearance in Daisessen's Lethal Crisis: ProtoSphere.

sora's official Japanese website can be viewed here while its English version's website is found here, and Acceleration of SUGURI 2's Japanese website can be viewed here.

These games provide examples of:

  • 2½D: Just like its predecessor, however, the dev team took advantage of what they learned from their previous works to feature Sora going through more visual angles of the stages of this game.
  • Achievement System: One is implemented in the Steam re-release of sora and Acceleration of SUGURI 2. Such achievements include "Clearing a stage with an A-rank or higher" (sora), "Defeat X boss on Special difficulty on Match Mode" (sora), and "Play through the Story mode with X character on Normal or higher" (aoS2).
  • Action Girl: Sora, whether she likes it or not, she is capable of sending mechanized goons to the scrap heap like no other.
  • Advancing Wall of Doom: Stage 4's boss, Sham, uses this as part of her attack patterns.
  • all lowercase letters: It's title, contrast to it's predecessor which was stylized in upper-cased letters.
  • Anachronic Order: The SUGURI series are released in an order that different from the series of events that happen within them. Chronologically, the story goes in this order: sora (Tutorial-Stage 7) → SUGURIAcceleration of SUGURI X-Edition (the Story Mode scenarios and Extra Stories) → sora (Stage EX)Acceleration of SUGURI 2.
  • And I Must Scream: Nath is fully aware of what is going on and supports Sora's cause, but has little to no control over her own body.
  • Anti-Frustration Feature: Similarly to SUGURI, while it's possible to get newer weapons by clearing stages with an A Rank or higher, you can also get them through multiple play sessions, regardless of difficulty and whether or not you were able to clear the stages.
  • Apocalypse How: The war raging on Earth has took many lives and eating away at its natural resources, making the once-green Earth barren and lifeless, with the skies being tainted to reflect upon its depressing condition.
  • Art Evolution: A huge improvement from the artists in terms of the art-style and overall visual quality in sora compared to SUGURI. The same goes for Acceleration of SUGURI 2 compared to its predecessor.
  • Attack Drone:
    • Sora can use the Pod weapon similarly to Suguri. She can also obtain a new weapon called Sprites.
    • Alte and Sham can use their own attack drones during battle, with the latter being capable of sending a mob of drones or robots against her opponents.
  • Attack Reflector: Nath can use mirror-like barriers that can reflect energy-based projectiles back at her opponents
  • Ax-Crazy: Star Breaker became extremely mentally unstable after the experiments that were done to her, and wishes only to burn and destroy everything.
  • Back from the Dead: All of the bosses who were killed in sora are brought back in Acceleration of SUGURI 2 by Sumika.
  • Background Boss:
    • The mid-stage of Stage 5 in sora. There's also the first two phases of the final battle with Star Breaker in Stage 7 in said game.
    • The final battle in Acceleration of SUGURI 2's Story Mode when Sumika Turns Red.
  • Barrier Warrior: Nath specializes on defensive tactics to reflect energy-based attacks.
  • Battle in the Rain: A rainstorm occurs during Sora's fight with Sham.
  • Beam Spam: Oh boy does sora deliver on this. Sora can also do this herself with the Artillery weapon or shot-canceling her energy-based weapons.
  • Beauty Is Never Tarnished: Despite nearly dying from Alte's last-ditch efforts to defeat Sora in the first stage, Sora survives with hardly any scuffs or damages shown on her body. This also happens after stopping Star Breaker's attempt of blowing up the planet during the game's original ending.
  • BFS: Sora can unlock one called the Zapper, a huge broadsword that is difficult to swing due to its size, but can deal high amounts of damage. This weapon however prevents you from getting Achievements from fighting bosses in Match Mode's Special difficulty.
  • Blemished Beauty: Sham is noted for having burn scars on the left side of her body, though how severe it is depends on the artist (some artwork depicts it going all the way down her body, while others merely restrict it to her left cheek). Even then, she still looks quite cute and, as mentioned in the Image Song "Ultimate Weapon Girl", is determined not to let that get in her way.
  • "Blind Idiot" Translation: sora's English localization by ΩTH, which received widespread backlash from the fans of the previous SUGURI games localized by Rockin' Android. Thankfully, Fruitbat Factory averted this with their localization of sora.
  • Blow You Away: Mira can create cyclones as one of their special attacks.
  • Book Ends: The first boss fight in sora ends with Alte grabbing onto Sora. The final (true) boss fight with Suguri ends with her grabbing onto Sora. The Song "Accelerator" in Acceleration of SUGURI 2 is also this, combining a remix of Suguri's theme Icarus with a remix of the very first stage in SUGURI, Green Bird.
  • Boring, but Practical: Similarly to SUGURI, you start out with a basic beam rifle and bazooka along with a beam sword to fill out your new third weapon slot as your starting set of weapons, and while you can unlock more exotic weapons as you play the game, these weapons can get you through the game most of the time.
  • Boss Game: SUGURI's Match Mode returns in sora.
  • Broken Tears:
    • Star Breaker broke down into tears after being defeated by Sora, and so did her sanity.
    • Sora also broke down into tears after waking up from her coma to find the sky was still dark and assumed that the planet was dead and the war was still going, even though it was only snowing and the war was already over, which then turned to tears of rage upon finding Hime and Suguri around the area and attacked them, then finally Tears of Joy after seeing the Earth and sky are beautiful again.
  • Bullet Hell: Very much like it's predecessor.
  • Charged Attack: Some of the weapons in sora can be charged up and use alternate properties, such as locking onto multiple enemies with Rifle-M, firing a charged shot that pierces through enemies and some projects with Rifle-C, or the Bullet shooting ricocheting shots.
  • Combos: The damage you deal to enemies are used as part of the scoring system, though unlike SUGURI, the combo meter pauses during moments where player transitions from empty areas until the next wave of enemies and it doesn't drop instantly if you take damage.
  • Contain the Kaboom: Before Star Breaker detonates the bomb she's bound to, Sora uses her shield to contain the explosion to prevent her from taking the Earth with her.
  • Continuity Nod: In SUGURI, its titular heroine was called a "monster" by Shifu for taking down his subordinates and many mecha mooks. Here however, when Alte called Sora a "monster" for destroying many robots and unmanned aircrafts, Sora was hurt by that since she never wanted to use her powers to hurt anyone.
  • Covered with Scars: Alte and Sham have some nasty burn scars, Alte's scars covering half of her face and Sham's scars covering a good portion of her body and parts of her face.
  • Crapsack World: The war that takes place during sora has taken many lives, innocent or otherwise, slowly killing life on the planet and draining its natural resources, and tainted the sky above it to be as gloomy and depressing as the war itself. It gets better however thanks to Sora's efforts and Suguri helping with the planet's recovery.
  • Cursed with Awesome: Sora was born with incredible combat capabilities, however she gets used to fight in the war when she wants no part of it and wants to avoid senseless violence.
  • Cute and Psycho: Star Breaker, who appears to be a cute young girl, yet she wields incredible fire-based powers and dangerous explosive weapons, and is a very mentally unstable Ominicidal Manic driven to madness by the experiments done to her by the army.
  • The Cutie: Sham believes she's one in Acceleration of SUGURI 2 during Saki's story, in which they fight over who's cuter. This feud of cuteness continues with Saki's encounter with Sumika.
  • Cute Little Fangs: Tsih has them in Acceleration of SUGURI 2.
  • A Day in the Limelight: Star Breaker, this game's final boss, has gotten audio drama centered around her with Love Love Star Breaker, staring hono and Reina Toda (Star Breaker's voice actress).
  • Darker and Edgier: While far from the latter, sora is much more serious and darker in tone compared to the lighter tone SUGURI and Orange_Juice's other works; the game takes place during a depressing war that is slowly killing the planet, a reluctant Sora is drafted into one side of the war and nearly dies on her first mission, tried to defect from the war to help Yukito and achieve their dream of a world without war and beautiful skies only to witness and/or cause some causalities herself. Many of the environments Sora travels to are often barren and lifeless, the game's soundtrack is moodier versus the energetic score of its predecessor, and some of the characters Sora encounters play a much more serious role in this game.
  • Defeat Means Friendship: Averted throughout most of main game up until the EX Stage; Sora and Suguri quickly made up after their scuffle during the events of the True Final Boss battles.
  • Difficulty Levels: The game has three: Easy, Normal, and Hard for the Story and Arcade Modes. There is a Special difficulty exclusive to the Match Mode where bosses are not only more stronger than the difficulties preceding it, but they also have a powerful Desperation Attack when they are close to defeat.
  • Downer Ending: The game initially ends with Sora slowly plummeting down to Earth, with faint hopes that the skies above will clear up as she loses consciousness after stopping Star Breaker from unleashing an Earth-Shattering Kaboom as a last-ditch effort to destroy Sora along with the planet. After the v1.1 update, the game received a True Final Boss battle and a happier ending.
  • Dub Name Change: In ΩTH's English localization of sora, Tsih's name was changed to Telos, Sham was changed to Siri, and Nath was changed to Nadius. This broke the character's star-based Theme Naming, but thankfully the 2016 re-release by Fruitbat Factory kept the original names intact.
  • Evolving Title Screen: Upon clearing the EX Stage, the sky in the background goes from dark and clouded to a beautiful, vibrant, clear skies. The title screen's logo also changes to the one seen in the true ending, as well as new background music to accompany the new background.
  • Expy: The cast of sora shares some similarities with its predecessor.
    • Sora is one to Suguri as The Heroines of their respective shoot 'em up games.
    • Alte is one to Iru, both of whom possess a large array of weapons and possessing an electrical attack, Iru with her electrical mines and Alte with a huge shock rod.
    • Tsih is one to Saki as they share use of unusual weapons, Saki with her instruments and Tsih with rocks.
    • Mira is one to Kae, both of which are good at close encounters and can use reflecting projectile attacks.
    • Nath is one to Kyoko as they both focus on defensive tactics during battle.
    • Star Breaker is one to Shifu, both of which are the Big Bad of their respective shoot 'em up games with a desire to destroy the world and all of it's inhabitants.
  • Forced Tutorial: Averted; although a tutorial is available when players start from a new game, they have the option to skip it and go back to it anytime from the Stage Select screen. The game's tutorial level does show however where Sora's and Sham's friendship started.
  • Fighting Your Friend: Sham was a friend to Sora when she was in the army, but after they reunite in Stage 4 they come into conflict as Sham wants her to return to the army but Sora refuses. After being defeated by Sora, Sham decides to devote herself to helping Sora's cause.
  • Frickin' Laser Beams: Like its predecessor, sora features enemies that will rain down all manner of laser projectiles, to simple laser beams, to homing lasers, and even arching lasers that fills a big part of the screen.
  • Gameplay Grading: The game grades your performance based on your score, remaining Shield Meter, the total damage dealt, and how quickly you can beat the stage.
    • Rank Inflation: sora and Acceleration of SUGURI 2 does this just as their predecessors did. The lowest to highest ranks are E, D, C, B, A, and S.
  • Genre Shift:
    • The true final battle with Suguri in sora's Stage EX is turned into a fight straight out of Acceleration of SUGURI.
    • The final battle with Sumika in Acceleration of SUGURI 2's Story Mode is also reminiscent to the final battle with Star Breaker in sora.
  • Golden Ending: During the EX Stage, after waking up 10,000 years later, Sora notices the sky is still dark and hazy, and believes her efforts to save the Earth were for naught — in reality it is simply snowing, something she's never seen and can't recognize. She then finds Hime and Suguri on Earth and, blaming them for the fighting that ruined the world, proceeds to attack them. Once the fighting is over, Suguri shows Sora that above the snowy clouds, the sky has returned to the beautiful clear blue color she once remembered from her childhood and the planet is thriving with life once more.
  • Graphics-Induced Super-Deformed: The game uses super-deformed versions of the characters during gameplay.
  • Gratuitous English:
    • sora features the songs "Le Train", "Grand blue", and sora's version of "Rendezvous" (Hime's boss theme from the first game), all of which incorporate English vocals instead of Japanese, although some of them have mistranslated lyrics.
    • Acceleration of SUGURI 2 has "Swordfish" and "Remember me", both of which are also sung in English. The latter does suffer from mistranslated lyrics; the former on the other hand, not as much.
  • Gratuitous Greek: Each stage boss is represented by a Greek letter, from the Bayer designation of the star they're named after (so for example, Alte's health bar has a lambda, from Lambda Leonis).
  • Heal Thyself: New to this installment is the ability to recover a red portion of the life meter from the damage you've taken, which is done by catching or dashing through enemy projectiles, but the next hit you take can also deplete that red portion of your life meter.
  • Heroic BSoD: Sora had one after waking up from her coma 10,000 years later, only to find herself on an empty snowfield during a snowstorm. However, she assumed that the war was still going from how dark the snow clouds were as she never seen a snowstorm in her life until that point, despite that the war was long since over. She gets better though after her fight with Hime and Suguri, where the latter showed her the blue skies above the clouds and the green Earth below.
  • Heroic Sacrifice:
    • Sora, in the nick of time, used her own shield system to encase Star Breaker and her bomb in a barrier. She barely survived the resulting explosion but was left in a coma for over 10,000 years.
    • Yukito, a scientist who defected from the war along with many other researchers, spent his life trying to find a way to heal the planet and bring back the skies beautiful blue skies the war has corrupted. He would go on to have a daughter, Suguri, who also shared in his ideals as well as Sora's, in which she chose become an altered human to look over Earth's recovery. Although Yukito passed away sometime after Suguri started overseeing Earth's recovery, his dream as well as Sora's came true as the planet is brimming with life and the skies above are clear and beautiful again.
  • High-Altitude Battle: The final stages of sora.
  • Highly-Visible Ninja: Mira, who fights with ninja-esque weapons out in the open.
  • Humongous Mecha: Nath pilots one. It's even capable of transforming to more powerful forms as the battle progresses.
  • Improbably Female Cast: To a similar extent of SUGURI.
  • Just Before the End: sora describes itself as this, as shown by the quote at the top of the page. Eventually Averted, as Sora’s efforts led to Suguri being able to save and revive the planet.
  • Kick the Dog While They Are Down: This happens to Nath in sora by Star Breaker's hands after Sora defeats her.
  • Lag Cancel: Just like its predecessor, it's possible to shorten your attack animations by canceling them either from dashing or firing another weapon, but this also builds Heat.
  • Laser Blade: Sora can use one, and she knows how to use it.
  • Lightning Gun: The Shock weapon will create balls of electricity when fired, and it's Hyper Attack will create a trail of plasma.
  • Limit Break: Hyper Attacks also return in sora and Acceleration of SUGURI 2, but players can now chose either Standard and Advanced modes to invoke the Hyper Attacks.
  • Macross Missile Massacre: Like Suguri, via the Launcher weapon. Stage 1 also opens with this, although this trope is invoked in many places of the game.
  • Mad Bomber: Star Breaker likes to deploy bombs, in either a cross-shaped formation, or camouflage themselves to blend into the background until the detonate.
  • Playing with Fire: Star Breaker uses some fire-based attacks that can either damage Sora or drain her Hyper Meter and does damage over time if she's burned. She can also cloak herself in flames to discourage close-ranged attacks.
  • Martial Pacifist: Sora wants to avoid fighting, yet she's capable of wrecking machines with the weapons she's packing.
  • Mercy Invincibility: Happens similarly to SUGURI whenever you take damage, but your invincibility frames slightly longer.
  • Mecha-Mooks: Most of the enemies you fight in sora are battle robots and drones.
  • Meaningful Name:
    • Sora's parents named her after the Japanese word for "sky", referring to how beautiful they are, although it doesn't seem like the sky is beautiful at all in the game. That was until Sora's efforts to help Yukito with their dream of saving the planet from the war and bringing skies back to its former glory were a success.
    • The boss characters are named after stars. Then we have Star Breaker...
  • Mook Maker: Sham can summon robots as her reinforcement to make up for a lack of personal combat capabilities. Because of this, she also doubles as Flunky Boss.
  • More Dakka: The Machine Gun, but then again, this game is a Bullet Hell shooter after all.
  • Obvious Beta: The initial version of Acceleration of SUGURI 2 had character balance issues and lacked some features originally intended upon release like the Story Mode. Thankfully these problems were remedied by v1.3 and further improved with the overseas version by Fruitbat Factory.
  • Old Save Bonus: Owning the Steam version of sora and Acceleration of SUGURI 2 unlocks Sora (Military) and Suguri (Ver.2) respectively for the Steam version of 100% Orange Juice!.
  • Older Than They Look:
    • Tsih appears to be a little girl but is actually an adult woman.
    • Sora doesn't visibly age during her 10,000-year-long coma, making her this once she wakes up.
  • Omnicidal Maniac: Star Breaker. She is out to destroy everything, including the entire planet.
  • One-Word Title: all lowercase letters Protagonist Title style.
  • Overheating: The Heat mechanic of the previous games returns, but Heat builds quicker than before and takes a bit longer to cool down.
  • Peek-a-Bangs: Alte's hair obscures one of her eyes and hides her burn scars.
  • Protagonist Title: One-Word Title, all lowercase letters. Similarly to its predecessor, sora was named after Sora.
  • Prequel: This game takes before the events of SUGURI, although it was released much later than its predecessor.
  • Ray Gun: The Rifle series of beam-rifles.
  • Reflecting Laser: Nath's mecha can fire reflecting laser beams around the area.
  • Roboteching: Orange_Juice loves their arching lasers and missiles in this game.
  • Scarf of Asskicking: Mira wears a red muffler around their neck.
  • Scoring Points: The scoring system of sora is similar to its predecessor, in which you shoot down enemies for points while building up a combo meter extra points. However, in this game the combo meter has been updated where entering different sequences and dialogue between characters doesn't break the combo meter. You are also given bonus points based on your performance.
  • Shifting Sand Land: Stage 3 in sora takes place in a desert.
  • Shell-Shocked Veteran: Sora developed post-traumatic stress disorder as a result of the war, witnessing the unimaginable damage it caused, and nearly dying twice over the course of the game. She went into a blind rage upon seeing Hime and Suguri flying around the snowfield, assuming they contributed to the death of the planet when it was already healed along with the sky.
  • Shock and Awe: Alte and Sham use electrical attacks.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Slept Through the Apocalypse: Inverted. Sora slept through Earth's healing process.
  • Slippy-Slidey Ice World: Stage 2 in sora, which takes place in an icy ravine.
  • Spiritual Antithesis: To SUGURI. See Darker and Edgier above.
  • Spread Shot: Rifle-S's charged and dash attack will spray many shots at once, however charging the weapon creates more shots to be fired than dashing.
  • Suddenly Voiced: For most the game, the dialogue is entirely text-based, but during the game's climax between Stages 6-7, Sora and Star Breaker have voiced dialogue.
  • Super Soldier: The altered humans of sora are one, however, Sora herself became one in order to fight one side of the war due to her own natural fighting talents, despite that she wanted nothing to do with the war.
  • Taking You with Me: Alte attempted this on Sora at the end of Stage 1 by calling a self-destructing craft in a last-ditch effort to defeat her, and Star Breaker also did this by detonating the massive bomb she's bound to in an attempt destroy Sora and Earth.
  • Tears of Joy: Sora was in tears of joy with a smile after Suguri shown her the beautiful skies above the snowy clouds and the renewed Earth thriving with life during the true ending's final moments, knowing that the surviving inhabitants of Earth have expressed their gratitude for Sora's efforts to help save the planet a reality.
  • Theme Naming: All of the bosses save the last are named after stars. The Dub Name Changes in the original localization threw this off, but Fruitbat Factory's rerelease preserved it.
  • Third-Person Person: Sumika from Acceleration of SUGURI 2 always refers herself in third-person.
  • Title Drop: After the credits from sora's EX Stage, it was revealed that the is game is titled as sora: suguri II.
  • Token Mini-Moe: Tsih, at least in appearance.
  • Trailers Always Spoil: The trailer for the 2012 English version by ΩTH revealed one too many story and gameplay-related aspects of the game, such as showing many of the weapons players can discover (and poorly demonstrating them at that) and a few of the unlockables. A grievous story spoiler out of nowhere in the trailer includes showing Sora fighting Hime, one of the game's two true final bosses, and a poorly edited clip of Sora falling from the sky after her battle with Star Breaker.
  • True Final Boss: Two in this game, Hime and Suguri in the EX Stage of v1.1EX in sora.
  • Turns Red: When a boss' HP at the 1/3 mark, they'll break out the more powerful attacks and difficult to dodge patterns.
  • Updated Re-release: Fruitbat Factory's overseas version of sora features support for higher resolutions, widescreen support, native keyboard and controller remapping, and support for Xbox 360 (or similar) controllers. Acceleration of SUGURI 2 received a similar treatment for its overseas re-release with a lobby and match making system à la 100% Orange Juice! along with various gameplay tweaks and rebalancing.
  • Video Game Dashing: This gameplay element from its predecessors return, but now it's possible recover some lost health by grazing through or "catching" certain projectiles which will heal the red portion of your life meter. To balance this out, however, your character builds up Heat more quickly and cools down more slowly than its predecessor, and any major hits you take empties the previous red portion of the meter.
  • Villainous BSoD: Star Breaker has one after Sora beats her in Stage 7 of sora. Let's just say that she doesn't take defeat very well.
  • War Is Hell: Sora gets first-hand experience of how terrible the war was after being drafted to fight in it, and then some.
  • Wave-Motion Gun: The Rifle-M, the Artillery, and the Buster's Limit Break. Some enemies and bosses uses this as well.
  • World of Action Girls: Just like its predecessor series, with half of a guy (Mira, who's made from a woman's brains and a dead man's body) being among them.
  • Zerg Rush: Sham has a Hyper Attack in Acceleration of SUGURI 2 where she summons a swarm of robots to rush in and bombard opponents.