Sacrifice Girl: The Curse of Demon Snake is a 2D freeware Survival Horror doujin game made by Fox Eye in 2013, the same people who made Holdover, Sufferer, Hades Vanquish, and BLUE GUARDIAN: Margaret.
A Guardian Dragon once protected a fishery village with its blessings and a magic pearl, but one night under a special new moon and a violent storm, the mystical beast was killed at last. Then, hordes of demon snakes appeared from a cursed underwater cave and started attacking and eating the villagers. If the snakes remain unappeased, they will eventually destroy all life in the village.
You play as Miyo, a young blue-haired girl who has been offered up by her village as a sacrifice to the demon snakes in a last-ditch effort to save her people. Miyo's goal is to survive in the cursed cave, figure out another way she can help her people, and make it back to the surface, preferably without drowning or getting eaten by the demon snakes.
The game can be downloaded as Freeware from its website (in Japanese and English). Buying the game from DLsite will also offer you Feelies, namely wallpapers that show off different points of Miyo's journey.
Sacrifice Girl contains examples of:
- 11th-Hour Superpower: Using the Dragon Pearl after finding it to awaken the guardian dragon, itself, after being chased by a session of demon snakes. The dragon then proceeds to grant Miyo a powerful offense, not only letting you smash through any of the blocks and finally obliterate those demon snakes, but also allows you to finally exit the underwater cave by backtracking to the very first area of the game, all to a Near Victory Fanfare.
- Adjustable Censorship: Miyo bleeds whenever she gets hit, and she bleeds so hard from being eaten by a demon snake that it obscures the player's sight of her. The game can be toggled to remove and replace these blood effects.
- Author Appeal: It should come as no surprise that this is a Fox Eye game. Not only does pretty much the entire game take place underwater, but the risk of drowning is very present.
- Automatic New Game: As the page image explains, you can control Miyo the very moment her coffin appears and sinks in the game's title screen. The game will automatically reset itself if you take too long to let her out, since her Oxygen Meter will be too low to manage finding an air pocket before drowning, anyway. And if you wait until her coffin reaches the bottom of this start to let her out, she gets trapped in by an unbreakable wall and inescapably gets eaten by a demon snake, forcing the game to reset, anyway, but also setting the tone for the game, itself.
- Beat Still, My Heart: The evil heart responsible for the damaging red seaweed. A quick toss with a harpoon is enough to destroy it.
- Big Damn Heroes: The path to where you need to place the Dragon Pearl is deliberately designed to almost exhaust Miyo's oxygen, being chased by Demon Snakes all the while. When she places the Dragon Pearl, the Guardian Dragon blasts into existence and utterly destroys the Demon Snake after her, while refilling her oxygen in the process.
- BGM Override: The theme that plays after you awaken the guardian dragon overrides that of the demon snakes, mainly to show that they're not a threat anymore.
- Blackout Basement: Some areas are completely pitch black that you can only see Miyo herself when you enter into them. You need to first find a flashlight that can light your way through these areas.
- Bloody Horror: This game has the most use of blood of any Fox Eye game, including Holdover. Miyo sheds blood in the water every time she takes damage, and being killed and eaten by a demon snake releases so much blood that it obscures the player's sight of Miyo as she screams out in pain. Swimming deeper into the evil heart's lair also causes the water to turn from blue to red, showing that Miyo is forced to swim through the heart's own blood.
- Burial at Sea/Buried Alive: How the game starts. Miyo's first order of business is to escape from her stone coffin.
- Darker and Edgier: This game is by far Fox Eye's darkest and bloodiest game, even more so than Holdover, on top of being their first and only Survival Horror, so far. The blood can be switched off, however, but the terrifying monsters that threaten the seemingly-helpless Miyo, including the unpredictability of a sudden demon snake chase, combined with the game's more melancholic music direction, still all make it quite a chilling experience to play through compared to most of the rest of Fox Eye's catalog.
- Death from Above: Falling rocks are another of the many dangers Miyo faces. The flat ones force you downward and waste valuable air. The spiked ones do damage to you. You have to swim slowly past the unstable ceilings that contain these rocks in order to not make them fall.
- Dem Bones: Aside from the snakes, you will also encounter skeletal fish that like to nibble on you.
- Difficulty Levels: The difficulty can be toggled through an options file in the game's data:
- Normal is an easier option that was added in after the game's release. It has more air pockets functioning as Save Points, and has slightly tweaked certain spots where a demon snake would appear.
- Original is much tougher. Less air pockets function as Save Points, and monsters are slightly more frequent. Beating this mode without changing the difficulty to Normal during a playthrough will yield a bonus picture.
- Eaten Alive: What will happen to you if any of the Demon Snakes catch you.
- Faceless Eye: Some surfaces sport giant eyes that shoot you with lasers if they see you. The red seaweed also sometimes has eyes.
- Fanservice: Miyo wears very skimpy sacrificial attire, and her sprite in-game is practically naked (though of the Barbie Doll Anatomy type). Some of the wallpapers even show the attire slipping or tearing off.
- Human Sacrifice: What did you expect from the title of this game? Miyo is scarified to an ocean abyss by her village to appease demon snakes.
- 100% Completion: Collecting the 20 blue crystals and discovering the secret room that houses them all gets you an extra picture at the end of the game. It's concept art for the game, showing all of the different elements of it such as the monsters, the harpoon, and Miyo's design. It even has a doodle cameo of Marie.
- Leitmotif: If you hear the flute and violin start up with their long Scare Chord, that means one of the dreaded Demon Snakes has found you, and you need to get away.
- Luck-Based Mission: When swimming at full speed, the game randomly determines how the rocks fall. It's not unusual to die just because the rocks fall in a manner that's difficult to maneuver around. Swimming at a slower pace prevents the rocks from falling at all, but occasionally you have no choice but to swim quickly while also being chased by one of those demon snakes, which are completely immune to the rocks. In that situation you have no choice but to hope that the rocks fall in the right manner.
- Metroidvania: Fox Eye's second one after Holdover. While pretty much all of the action consists of swimming, you need to collect items in order to progress through the game, and there are certain areas that cannot be accessed or survived without the oxygen item, which doubles your Oxygen Meter and allows you to stay underwater longer. After awakening the dragon as your Eleventh Hour Super Power, you can then go on to beat the game by backtracking to the very first area of the game and smashing through the blocks that sealed off the top of that area, using the remainder of Miyo's air supply to reach the surface while using the dragon to fend off any further demon snakes.
- Minimalism There's absolutely no dialogue in the game compared to other Fox Eye titles, and Miyo never speaks beyond grunts and yells. The opening and ending of the game are both just as well Show, Don't Tell animations. This made for a very quick release for both Japanese and English-speaking players.DLsite Description: With no dialog, there's no need to check how to play beforehand. Enjoyable regardless of the player's native language!
- Near Victory Fanfare: The Guardian Dragon's theme plays continually after you resurrect it, neatly summing up how close you are to finally escaping.
- Nintendo Hard: The placement of air pockets are just far enough that you'll almost always make it to the next one when you're almost out of oxygen. Some items are also placed such that if you make a small detour or mistake while getting to them, you'd die just short of being able to refill your air.
- One-Woman Wail: The music that plays during the segment with the red seaweed and the evil heart.
- Our Dragons Are Different: Miyo was offered to the demon snakes due to the death of her home’s guardian dragon. Late in the game, after getting the Dragon Pearl, Miyo eventually uses it to revive the dragon, itself. In return, the dragon helps her fight off the demon snakes and helps her swim out of the cave and back to the surface, surprising the townsfolk with her survival and the dragon’s grand return.
- Oxygen Meter: A Fox Eye trademark. In this game, your Oxygen Meter doubles as your Life Meter, and depletes if you get hit by lasers, nibbled on by fish, have spiked rocks fall on you, or take damage from the red seaweed powered by the evil heart.
- Perpetual Frowner: It's been noted on the game's website that Miyo never smiles. Though given her situation, it's pretty hard to. This is only averted in some of the wallpapers she's in, which likely took place either before or after the events of the game.
- Point of No Return: After reawakening the Guardian Dragon with the Dragon Pearl, you're barred off from exploring most of the cave except for taking the path that it can open up that leads to the surface. This is because all of the other paths become sealed off by dark blocks that not even the Dragon can smash through.
- Press Start to Game Over: The title screen only gives you a hint of the controls to escape the coffin once it's already hit the bottom. If that's happened, you're already trapped in a chamber with a demon snake, so to begin the game proper you need to begin breaking out while the coffin's still sinking.
- Run or Die: When a Demon Snake shows up, running (or more accurately, swimming) is your only option, as harpoons will avail you nothing against them. When you resurrect the Dragon with the Dragon Pearl, you get to turn the tables on the bastards in grand fashion.
- Save Point: The many (but not all) air pockets you find throughout the game serve as these. Fewer of them count as savepoints in Original mode.
- Snakes Are Sinister: And in Miyo's case, they are a constant cause for Oh, Crap!
- Super-Persistent Predator: The sub-titular demon snakes. Sometimes you can trick them into going through stone barriers you need to pass through, and sometimes some simple evasion towards a blind spot is sufficient. The later ones, however, are quite persistent in chasing you down. They become a lot more frequent after using the Dragon Pearl to awaken the dragon, itself, but by that point, they’re no longer a threat anymore.
- Survival Horror: The main reason the game is Darker and Edgier than the rest of Fox Eye’s catalogue. Much of the tension of the game comes from not knowing when and where a demon snake will appear to give chase to Miyo. Combine that with the skeletal fish, and the evil heart’s Womb Level of a lair, and this game makes for a terrifying experience where you could bloodily die (or drown) at anytime.
- Taken for Granite: Once you awaken the Guardian Dragon, some of the demon snakes, instead of simply being blown to bits, turn into rocks when it kills them. They have a frustrating tendency to do this when they're above you.
- Under the Sea: Miyo's struggle for survival takes place in an underwater cave. She never reaches land until the very end of the game, so the game only has controls for swimming unlike most other Fox Eye games that let you move on land and in water.
- Weapons of Their Trade: You can occasionally pick up harpoons to defend against the skeletal fish and disable eye monsters. Sadly, they have no effect on the demon snakes, and Miyo automatically drops the harpoon when her Oxygen Meter gets low enough to make her hold her breath desperately with her hands. This weapon is needed in order to kill the evil heart that controls all of the deadly red seaweed.
- Womb Level: The evil heart's liar full of blood and damaging walls of organs and body tissue is this. Killing the heart with a harpoon wipes out everything it controls, including the red seaweed.
- Zero-Effort Boss: Subverted. The evil heart is the only boss in this game, and it is defeated by simply throwing a harpoon at it. Reaching the heart, however, is where the real effort comes in, as Miyo must swim through a visceral Womb Level where all of its living, narrow walls can hurt her.