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Video Game / Seihou

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This tale is set on Earth, far in the future...

Seihou Project (西方, where "Seihou" means West or Western) is a series of Doujinshi Bullet Hell Shoot 'Em Up games, developed by Amusement Makers. Known primarily as the sister series to the massively popular Touhou Project, the Seihou Project puts an emphasis on memorization and reflexes by focusing on less numerous but faster bullets compared to its sibling series. Notably, ZUN, the creator of Touhou Project, was involved in the creation of the first two Seihou games as a member of Amusement Makers, as its BGM composer.

In a distant future, Earth has fallen into near ruin after its natural resources are depleted, leading to the destruction of the environment and the extinction of nearly all vegetation on the planet. Driven to the brink of destruction, humanity finds its sole hope in the only surviving genus of plants left on Earth: the cactus. Erich, the chairman and founder of Cactus Company, heads the research to extract energy from cacti, discovering a miracle energy thus named Saboten Energy. However, while possessing power beyond even atomic energy, Saboten also proves to be extremely difficult and dangerous to control, causing large-scale accidents and nearly pushing Cactus Company to the verge of annihilation. Decades later, the Cactus Company manages to perfect the use of Saboten Energy, using it to slowly restore the environment, allowing humanity to bounce back.

The Seihou games chronicle the adventures of VIVIT, a maid-type combat android powered by Saboten energy, as she goes on errands given to her by her master Erich. She is later joined by Hirano Sakurasaki, a Miko who serves as the secondary playable heroine in Banshiryuu.

There are currently three games in the Seihou series as well as some extras released to celebrate the series:

  • SH 01 Shuusou Gyoku (2000)
  • SH 02 Kioh Gyoku (2001)
  • SH 03 Banshiryuu (2004; A radically-different Updated Re-release came in 2008)
  • VIVIT-99 (2019), a Browser Game spinoff influenced by battle-royale style games (specifically Tetris 99). Was taken down after a day to be released with extra features in the future, though it can be played if one buys the thin book commemorating Banshiryuu's 10th anniversary..
  • Ragnus X Docking (2020), another April Fools Browser Game, featuring Lagunas and Yuuta.

Although not officially connected, Samidare is regarded as a Spiritual Successor to the Seihou series.

This game series contains examples of:

  • After the End: And humanity managed to rebuild itself.
  • Amazing Technicolor Battlefield: The final stage of Shuusou Gyoku, which apparently takes place in a dimension of non-physical concepts.
  • April Fools' Day: The date in which VIVIT-99 and Ragnus X Docking were released.
  • Artificial Stupidity: The A.I. of Kioh Gyoku is not intelligent in the slightest. It takes a while for the opponents to even move away from the bullets, and some attacks (such as Morgan and Erich's EX attacks) can kill them easily and quickly. Muse is only a difficult boss because her defense was hugely increased for the fight.
  • Balance, Power, Skill, Gimmick: In the C74 version of Banshiryuu, VIVIT-r-A is a balanced spread and homing type, VIVIT-r-B is a powerful laser shot with the most powerful bomb, and Hirano-A has a strong unfocused shot, weak focused, and the weakest bomb in the game. Hirano-B has the interesting gimmick of moving faster when focused. Her unfocused shot tilts when you move, and her focused shot is homing, but you need to go closer to the target.
  • Batman Can Breathe in Space: Stage 5 of Banshiryuu takes place in outer space, despite the player characters not being in a spacesuit or vehicle of any kind. It's justified for VIVIT, who is an android, but Hirano...
  • Beam Spam: Erich is infamous for his infuriating use of homing lasers. It goes double for your opponent if you play as him.
  • Boss Rush: The extra stage of Banshiryuu has you fighting all the characters from Kioh Gyoku, one after another, culminating in a battle against Icarus.
  • Brutal Bonus Level
  • Bullet Hell
  • The Cameo: Marisa and Reimu appear as Optional Bosses in the extra stage of Shuusou Gyoku. Yuuka Kazami appears as an unlockable player character in Kioh Gyoku. VIVIT herself (along with Gates) appears as the boss of Samidare's Extra Stage (which also features Mai and Yuki as mini-bosses.)
  • Child Soldiers: Mei and Mai, but also Marie, who is heralded as a military legend despite being a retired soldier at the age of 19.
  • Colonel Kilgore: Gates.
  • Composite Character: Muse is essentially Sakuya, Alice, Remilia, and Patchouli rolled up into one character, except she predates all of them (except Alice.)
  • Crapsack World: Although the world is slowly recovering from its environmental crisis, nearly all of the cast are involved with the military, either being Private Military Contractors or soldiers, which makes it clear that even The End of the World as We Know It hasn't eradicated wars. And then there are Mei and Mai, who are Child Soldiers at the age of five.
  • Darker and Edgier: If you compare it to Touhou.
  • David Versus Goliath: VIVIT/Hirano goes up against stealth jets, Humongous Mecha, or dreadnought space battleships. The only time when there isn't a huge size difference is when you're fighting either Muse, Yuitia, Icarus, or the Touhou cameo characters, and they're all far stronger than any other opponents.
  • Deflector Shields: Serves as health in Kioh Gyoku. Getting hit by projectiles or enemies will lower the shield percentage; if it reaches 0, the shield will break, leaving your character vulnerable. If your character is hit while shields are down, they lose. Shields will slowly recharge as long as the character isn't hit, even if they're down. Also featured prominently on the player craft in Samidare.
  • Dirty Old Man: The omake all but outright states that VIVIT's design is relevant to Erich's interests.
  • Early-Bird Cameo/Older Than They Think: In the extra stage of the first game, Reimu and Marisa use their Windows designs. The game predates Embodiment of Scarlet Devil.
  • Expy: Hirano, with Touhou Project's Reimu Hakurei.
  • Fighting Your Friend: In stage 4 of Banshiryuu, you will fight against the character you didn't pick.
  • Fragile Speedster: Mei and Mai in Kioh Gyoku are very fast, but they have the lowest defense in the game.
  • The Future
  • Genre Shift: Kioh Gyoku is a two-player versus shooter, much like the Touhou Project Phantasmagoria games.
  • Green Rocks: Saboten energy.
  • Have I Mentioned I Am Heterosexual Today?: One of Morgan's win quotes against Marie in Kioh Gyoku mentions that she's straight.
  • Hitbox Dissonance: Intentional, and highly encouraged, in the case of Kioh Gyoku.
  • Humongous Mecha / Powered Armor: Erich is fond of piloting these. They're known as the Hi-Beion line.
  • Improbable Age: Mei and Mai are 6 year old soldiers, Yuuta Kirishima can't be older than 15, and Marie is a retired legendary soldier at 18.
  • Improbably Female Cast: Averted, unlike its sibling series. Although the cast is still mostly female, male characters are featured in the games (and even playable, in the case of Kioh Gyoku.)
  • Lipstick Lesbian: Marie's a prime example of this, due to her feminine looks and personality.
  • Macross Missile Massacre: One of VIVIT's shot-types in Shuusou Gyoku. Also a favorite tactic of Marie's.
  • Mighty Glacier: Marie has very high attack and defense in Kioh Gyoku and is the slowest character as well.
  • Miko: Hirano Sakurasaki works as a shrine maiden.
  • Mission Control: Erich, for VIVIT. Gyoku, for Hirano.
  • Nintendo Hard: All three games to an extent, but ESPECIALLY Banshiryuu.
  • Nonstandard Game Over: Banshiryuu's Stage 2 boss, Yuuta Kirishima brings in an "Earth Destruction Bomb" during his last pattern. Shooting it enough will cause it to explode, resulting in an instant Game Over, regardless of how many lives or continues the player had remaining.
  • Power Gives You Wings : Marisa sports a pair of wings for her cameo appearance - She is more powerful here than pretty much any other appearance. The Final Boss of Shuusou Gyoku also has angel wings.
    • Yuuka also gets wings for her cameo appearance.
  • Recurring Boss: Gates and VIVIT (if you include all versions of her) are the only characters who are featured as an opponent in every Seihou game, including Samidare.
  • Science Fantasy: In a World… of Science Fiction, there's Muse, a vampire alchemist who wants to combine magic and technology, and Yuitia, a ghost with tremendous power. Saboten energy also appears to have almost fantastical properties, if what happened to Erich's daughter Vivit is any indication. The protagonists are a shrine maiden and a robot girl, and the cameos feature a shrine maiden, a witch and a flower youkai.
  • Screw Yourself: Marie makes hints at this trope in one of her Kioh Gyoku victory lines.
"So, my fake self... Let's do something... wonderful."
Marie, Kioh Gyoku (when winning against herself)
  • Shout-Out: Stage 4 of Banshiryuu is an extended Touhou Project Shout-Out based primarily on stage 4 of Lotus Land Story. It changes depending on who you're playing as like stage 4 of Lotus Land Story (and later Imperishable Night). If you're playing as VIVIT, you'll face the doofy ghosts that were common in the PC-98 games before facing off against a miko that throws aroung yin-yang orbs, like Reimu. Hirano goes through a stage quite similar to the original stage 4 of Lotus Land Story, before fighting VIVIT, who's already existing association with stars and lasers is ramped up, and she starts riding a broom just in case you missed that she's being Marisa.
  • Spiritual Successor: Samidare is regarded as one, though Shunsatsu Sare Do's next game, SUPER MATE MATE LASER, is an official one, using many of the same resources as Banshiryuu.
  • Stalker with a Crush: Marie, towards VIVIT.
"Yes, yes, Marie. She's such a sadistic person indeed. Since then, she asked me out on a date 4 times..."
VIVIT,Shuusou Gyoku Ending