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Video Game / Stellavanity

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A Bullet Hell Shoot 'em Up that is simultaneously the successor to Crimzon Clover and Hellsinker, by the absurdly detail-oriented developer Tris-Gram. The game is notorious for its development cycle and various trial releases, during which the game has changed from a simple Espgaluda clone to an absurdly complex shmup with RPG Elements.

A complete game based on trial versions 0.30 onward, known as StellaVanity : Prelude to the Destined Calamity, was released at Comiket 81 in December 2011 / January 2012. It was supposed to eventually have an English translation by the developer himself, but he nixed those plans, as well as English-language versions of his future games, after catching wind of the game being leaked to Western Image Boards, prompting complete cutoff with his English-speaking fans, leaving the game to be available only through the Japanese version of DLsite. However, things have changed since and the game was released on the English version of DLsite on November 13, 2013. The most recent version, 1.23, was released on March 1st, 2022.

A sequel game based on trial versions leading up to version 0.22, known as StellaVanity D: Passage to the Isolated Moon (originally titled Stellavanity II), was in development since 2014. However the game was canceled in 2020/2021 and has since been replaced with an upcoming remake of the original game...don't ask when it'll come out.


This game contains examples of:

  • Beam Spam: In Ethereal Shift mode, your homing lasers constantly fire at a rate of about 8 shots per second.
    • Accelerator Drive drastically increases the charge speed of the Discharge, more easily enabling spamming during stages.
  • Bullet Time: With the added advantage of being able to cancel enemy bullets by killing the enemy a la Espgaluda.
  • Cast from Hit Points: Holding down the bomb button without having any bombs in stock allows you to exchange lives for bombs (at a rate of 4 bombs per life) without actually getting hit. If the life that's sacrificed is your only extra life in stock, you get a 5th bomb as well, allowing for a potential Death-or-Glory Attack.
  • Copy Protection: The DLsite version previously required a DLsite account that has purchased the game in order to play it. Certain antivirus software could cause the DRM to fail and prevent the game from starting up. As of November 2013, the game is available DRM-free, though only if you buy it from the English version of DLsite.
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  • Development Hell: Not only has the game's past been plagued with multiple hiatuses and cancellations, but 2022 saw a potentially permanent suspension of the project.
  • Dynamic Difficulty: Clearing the current stage with fewer than a target number of hits in Type-C or more than a target score in Type-S will give you a "QUALIFIED" notice and allow you to go to the stage immediately after instead of skipping it (if you just finished stage 1, 2, or 3). Doing so will increase the Rank, causing enemies to fire revenge bullets at you upon death. Having a sufficiently high Rank is needed to reach the ultimate True Final Boss.
  • Easy-Mode Mockery: Turning on Auto-Guard will allow you to automatically use bombs for a defensive shield if you get hit and have bombs left, but will also stricten the "hits taken" thresholds for the True Final Bosses.
  • Energy Weapon: Azerlete loves lasers, as her Discharge, Assault and bomb all shoot lasers of varying size and quantities.
  • Guide Dang It!: Figuring out exactly how the two item value counters are affected by everything else is very important to scoring and making the most out of Delayed Shift. Tris_gram has been mostly silent on this one, only saying that a balance of both gems and coins is needed for maximizing scoring. And then the current lack of English translations (due to TRIS-GRAM terminating contact with English-speaking players after the /jp/ leak) makes figuring out some mechanics mostly trial-and-error, with an extra helping of error. While there are buttons specifically for Blade and Ethereal Shift, nothing (in English, at least) hints that Overdrive is done by holding the bomb button down. And then there's the accessories...
  • Hard Mode Perks: Higher difficulty levels give you a higher starting level if you play in Rule Mode, allow you more hits when trying to challenge the True Final Bosses, and the higher bullet count means there's more chances to cancel bullets into items.
  • Harder Than Hard: The difficulty levels are as follows: Easy, Normal, Arcade, Hard, Nightmare, Pandemonium. Hard mode is already difficult enough that the creator of the game got hit on Stage 1, but Pandemonium... well... looks a lot like this. And that's the first stage.
  • Improbably Female Cast: Averted. At least one of the characters is male, unusually for a doujin shmup.
  • Macro Game: After each play, the character you played as gains Experience Points and can level up, which increases their starting stats in Story Mode. You can also purchase accessories to use, up to two of which can be equipped in a particular playthrough. Rule Mode downplays this by locking your starting level at a difficulty-dependent point (10 for Easy and Normal, 15 for Arcade, 20 for Hard, 30 for Nightmare, and 40 for Pandemonium), but lets you use accessories. Strict Rule Mode does the same but disables accessories, averting this trope in the process.
  • Money for Nothing: Overkill an enemy, and some of their bullets will turn into shiny gold coins.
  • Nintendo Hard: The game is fairly managable on the lower difficulty levels, but on Nightmare and Pandemonium, there is no god. And that's without getting into playing in Type-S mode; unless you straight up look up guides and replays on the intricacies of its specific mechanics, your score over a 1-credit clear of Type-S will be about as high as the qualifying score on stage 1.
  • No Range Like Point-Blank Range: In the older versions, it was really hard to score without this.
  • One-Hit Polykill: Killing more than one enemy with a single use of Assault and/or Blade results in a Multikill bonus. Type-C's Discharge also pierces through most enemies.
  • 1-Up: Along with the two standard point-based extra lives, you can also get a 1-up item on stage 5 by destroying all of the towers throughout the stage.
  • Regional Bonus: If you buy the game on the Japanese version of DLsite, you will be required to run the "startup.exe" file in the game folder and log into your DLsite account; failure to do so and attempting to run the game executable itself will result in the game refusing to start. However, if you buy the game off of the English version of DLsite, you can just run the game executable itself with no further requirement; the game is still in Japanese, but at least you don't have to fiddle around with DRM.
  • Roboteching: Homing lasers, yay!
  • Smart Bomb: Can also be burned to activate a Super Mode and a barrier.
  • Spread Shot: Lemulene has a wide-reaching spread shot as her main weapon.
  • Some Dexterity Required: Bombing right before pulling off a Raid is difficult but can skyrocket your score.
    • Also, the controls. Default configuration for them gives you 6 buttons (the minimum, mind you), with both shifts on one button and your shot type determined by whether or not you hold the slow button down. You can up this to 8 buttons in the config menu, turning the fire button into a "tap for shot, hold for laser" button like in many CAVE games (or into a button that exclusively shoots the laser) and adding a button for autofire while keeping the regular slow button and having Ethereal Shift on its own button.
  • Spin Attack: Lemulene's Blade hits everything around her.
  • Super Mode: 5 of them to be specific: Accel Drive for Type-C; Ethereal, Delayed, and Counter Shifts for Type-S; Overdrive for both.
    • The Type-S exclusive Delayed Shift, which increases shot power, slows down enemy bullets, makes the destruction of enemies turn any bullets they've fired into jewels and enables a screen-clearing Counter Burst that gets stronger based on how much you increase your jewel counter during it at the cost of preventing overkill on normal enemies, preventing any and all coins from dropping (most of them become jewels instead), and increasing the amount of bullets fired by all enemies and bosses (this still applies to Pandemonium difficulty, by the way).
    • The also Type-S exclusive Ethereal Shift, which gives you a rapid-fire variant of the Assault Lock-on Shots that automatically fire on locked-on enemies, prevents the coin value multiplier from decreasing, prevents bosses from dying or switching phases (enabling massive overkill bonuses, but increasing the intensity of the patterns during the overkill phase), enables infinite usage of Blade and activates a shield that sacrifices a bomb and the mode to prevent death (except during a boss overkill phase, which just sacrifices the mode) at the cost of denying overkill on normal enemies, disabling Raids and increasing the amount of enemies that appear during stages.
    • Overdrive is a universal super mode that consumes a bomb but boosts your shot power for a short while. Activation also causes a brief burst of invincibility and cancels bullets around the user, but it's not as good for defensive purposes as using a bomb normally.
    • Type-C has Accelerator Drive as of 1.20, which increases shot power similarly to Overdrive, boosts the charge speed of the Discharge (except during boss fights), increases the amount of coins that appear when enemies are destroyed and turns bullets canceled by the Discharge into jewels instead of coins. It's even possible to extend the duration of the Accel Drive by using Overdrive during it, though the item-boosting benefits are lost when this is done.
  • There Is No Kill Like Overkill: The basis of the entire Type-S scoring system revolves around overkilling most enemies. Including bosses.
  • True Final Boss: In terms of position, three; but only one of them is properly labeled as suchnote . Getting to fight any of them requires you to take fewer than a set number of hits based on your difficulty and Rank. The third and most difficult of these requires fulfilling a particular Rank-related condition at a set point in the final stage. Notably, all of these bosses can be unlocked on any difficulty, even on Easy.