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Video Game / Zero Ranger

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This is the story of a fighter who wanted to become...

Released on September 28, 2018, ZeroRanger is a vertical Shoot 'em Up by System Erasure, a two-man Finnish team: Eboshidori (a Fraxy boss creator), and Eebrozgi.

It is the year 2XXX. The world is under threat by a giant alien fleet, codenamed GREEN ORANGE. Most of the planet's defense forces have been subverted, including your intended craft, the experimental prototype fighter Type-A Grapefruit. All that's left is two secondary fighters, the Type-C Decker-type piloted by Dori and the Type-B Rybb-type piloted by Mido. Either one or both fighters are sent out to combat the invasion.


So far, it's all pretty standard fare. But as you fight, die, and restart, the more you learn about about GREEN ORANGE and the world, the stranger the story becomes...

This page is under construction; feel free to contribute!

ZeroRanger contains examples of the following tropes:

  • Abusive Precursors: The first manusya (read: humans) stole the power of the Lotus Jewel, the source of all life, and used it to create an artificial goddess to help them destroy their enemies. Fearful of retaliation for their sin, they sent the god out to space to destroy everything it could see. The goddess gradually went insane over the long years, and eventually returned to Earth as the leader of GREEN ORANGE to destroy Daikon and its inhabitants as well.
  • A.I. Is a Crapshoot: "Erasure," the supercomputer coordinating the allied forces, has been hijacked by GREEN ORANGE and turns all its fighters against the player. In truth it's acting of its own free will - it's GREEN ORANGE's "sister," who was separated from it when manusya stole the power of the Lotus Jewel.
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  • Alternate Universe: A number are featured in 2-4 as the Lotus-Eater Machine trapping the players glitches out, including pinball, classic JRPG, and dating sim versions of the protagonists. Also featured in the Steam trading cards, which feature alternate versions of the protagonists with different names, though always beginning with "Mi-" and "Do-".
  • Arc Words: "May you attain enlightenment."
  • Attack Drones: Grapefruit employs numerous drones for both offense and defense and will constantly replenish them as they are destroyed. Despair uses them too: orbs in the first phase, and magic circles in the second. Her True Final Boss form uses larger versions of Grapefruit's drones in the first phase.
  • Badass Arm-Fold: Grapefruit's standard pose has it crossing its arms. It is especially noticeable in its cut-in when it ditches the cape and reveals itself fully.
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  • Berserk Button: The old monk really does not like being disturbed in his sleep.
  • Body Motifs: Eyes and skulls are a recurring visual motif in enemy design.
  • Caped Mecha: Initially, Grapefruit is wrapped is a cape hiding most of the mecha.
  • Collision Damage: Downplayed. Colliding with enemies will only knock the players craft around without any damage being dealt. Being hit several times in quick succession however will eventually damage them.
  • Cross-Popping Veins: In a little Easter Egg the player can find on the second loop, they can find a box with a heart on it. Destroying it before the enemy above lands on it will cause said enemy to be visibly pissed, complete with pulsing veins.
  • Deletion as Punishment: Should you die fighting the True Final Boss you will lose all your progress and will have to start over from the beginning. You are given ample warning of the consequences of failure beforehand though.
  • Deliberately Monochrome: ZeroRanger's color palette is limited to various shades of green and orange. It is also possible to change it to other hues in the main menu after defeating the True Final Boss.
  • Duel Boss: Grapefruit in stages 1-3 and 2-3 especially when using Zero Ranger mode on Grapefruit on 2-3, making her take the player seriously.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: The game's initial run ends on a Pyrrhic Victory, as GREEN ORANGE successfully exterminates life on Earth even after its leader is defeated. The AI Erasure gives the player the chance to go back in time to GREEN ORANGE's creation and neutralize it at that point instead. If the player succeeds and then beats the game again on an altered timeline, the Earth is saved and the pilot is able to return home.
  • Fallen Hero: Grapefruit was an Ace Pilot who betrayed the Earth to join GREEN ORANGE. Subverted; she turns out to be Brainwashed and Crazy thanks to GREEN ORANGE.
  • Foreshadowing: Grapefruit's pilot is the sister of both Mido and Dori, and uses laser drones. The same is true of the True Final Boss form (in the first phase at least) of Despair, who is the "sister" of the AI Erasure.
  • Generic Doomsday Villain: GREEN ORANGE initially comes off as this, but lategame events shows there's more to it than meets the eye. Played straight with the Great Oppressor, which replaces both GREEN ORANGE and Despair in the new timeline.
  • Golden Ending: Reaching the True Final Boss after sparing the old monk in 1-4's boss rush by shooting to the side of (but not at) him, thereby popping his Snot Bubble grants the player additional text about the history of the universe and Despair herself.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: In 1-3 Grapefruit notices an incoming attack shortly after unlocking the player's ZeroRanger mode and in turn, uses its Attack Drones to shield the player from the enemy's Wave Motion Gun, dying in the process.
  • Humongous Mecha: ZeroRanger mode.
  • In Spite of a Nail: A downplayed example, after beating the True Final Boss, the whole game changes to reveal a new timelime where mankind is under attack by a Great Oppressor, and things play out very similarly as the original timeline. The downplayed part is that you're actually able to save Earth and go back home.
  • Last Ditch Move: Once defeated, the final boss will repeatedly use her 'explosion' attack to try and take the player down one final time.
  • Let's Get Dangerous!: On the second loop, using Zero Ranger mode against Grapefruit has her finally take you seriously. She starts by cutting the starship that was meant to destroy her clean in half.
  • Lotus-Eater Machine: Should you accept the powerup given to you by Erasure, it will trap you in a dream strangely reminiscent of DonPachi. Destroying the powerup at the end of the stage will allow Grapefruit to interrupt and help the protagonists break out of the dream.
  • Keystone Army: Subverted. By the time the player finally defeats Despair, their forces have gone ahead and wiped out the remainder of Daikon's defenders and all life on the planet. The only way to avoid this is to defeat Despair in the past.
  • Minimalist Cast: There are only five properly named characters out of six total, one of whom is only ever referred to by her codename, and Despair herself never speaks. With four of the characters only speaking in an optional Dream Sequence, it's entirely possible to complete the entire game with only the AI Erasure ever being named or speaking.
  • Mission Control Is Off Its Meds: Starting in the game's second chapter, the text scroll preceding each boss becomes slowly more corrupt and jumbled, and the formerly-encouraging messages and hints displayed after losing the game mostly become trivia about the color orange.
  • Multiple Endings: Three total.
  • False Ending: Fail to challenge Grapefruit with Zero Ranger mode on 2-3, leading to some text about how the fighters will keep trying but with no credits roll.
  • Bad Ending: Defeat Despair but get defeated by the True Final Boss in the past, which loops into the intro cinematic and completely wipes all progress.
  • True Ending: Defeat the Lotus Jewel in the past, setting up an entirely new timeline. If the player reaches the Lotus Jewel with the old monk still living, there will be some additional text explanations about Erasure, Despair, and the Lotus Jewel in between each stage of the True Final Boss.
  • Point of No Continues The True Final Boss has all accumulated continues turned into the player's lives. Losing them all results in a Non-Standard Game Over.
  • Reference Overdosed: The game is loaded with numerous references to both games, anime and more.
  • Robot Hair: The Zero Ranger Mode of the Type-B is rocking a huge ponytail.
  • Self-Imposed Challenge: It is possible to destroy the powerups as they are dropped by the bosses, thus allowing for playthroughs with only the bare minimum of weaponry. Don't try this with the Zero Ranger powerup, or else you're stuck with the false ending.
  • Skippable Boss: Some bosses can be skipped entirely depending on circumstances. These include the likes of the old monk, Zero Ranger Mode Grapefruit and King Onion.
  • Stance System: Zero Ranger mode can deal a lot of damage and block projectiles, but comes at the cost of only having a single attack with incredibly short range. This means the ship/normal mode maintains some use and through skilled use of both score high.
  • Taking You with Me: Despair will spend her last life bar frantically unleashing area-of-effect attacks as her health depletes of its own accord.
  • Tennis Boss: If the player is using a sword in Zero Ranger mode, then the boss of 2-3 will start flinging a spherical projectile during its later stages that the player can reflect back. The boss however will attempt to do the same.
  • This Is a Drill: One of the possible weapons the ZeroRanger mode can use is a huge drill that grows larger the more it deals damage.
  • Transformation Sequence: Both fighters get one in 1-3 when Zero Ranger mode is used for the first time. The Type-B gets a more magical girl-inspired sequence while the Type-C has a more typical mecha sequence. Grapefruit also gets one when she pulls a Let's Get Dangerous! in 2-3.
  • True Final Boss: Despair's original form as the goddess born of the Lotus Jewel, and the Jewel itself. You can only face this by accepting Erasure's offer to take you back in time to fight it at the risk of losing your existence (i.e. your save data).
  • Unexpected Gameplay Change: At one point, you will be expected to play some pinball, of all things.
  • With This Herring: The player ships start out without their secondary weapons, have no bombs, and can't access Zero Ranger mode before a certain plot event occurs. They are expected to take on both the alien and subverted planetary defense forces by themselves.


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