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Video Game / ZeroRanger

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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...

On June 26, 2020, the game received a free update, adding a new score attack mode: WHITE VANILLA.


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. Played straight with Regret, the AI that replaces Erasure in the new timeline.
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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 "M" and "D".
  • Arc Words: "May you attain enlightenment."
  • Arrange Mode: The "White Vanilla" mode, also called "Light Mode", is a 1-loop mode with remixed stages and a different scoring system based on speedkilling enemies as opposed to chaining. In addition, the True Final Boss is changed from Despair to Erasure, and the mode ends up being a simulation.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Every 10,000 Points:
    • You get extra lives every few thousand points.
    • After losing all your lives, you get a continue every several thousand points. However, you can only have up to 8 continues at once!
  • 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. After beating the True Final Boss, the game then creates a new timeline that features the Great Oppressor and Regret in place of Despair and Erasure. Beating this version of the game allows you to save Earth for good and return home.
  • Go Mad from the Isolation: GREEN ORANGE/Despair's motive. She was ordered by the manyusa (first humans) to destroy everything out of fear that alien lifeforms will attack them for stealing the Lotus Jewel. Eventually, GREEN ORANGE eventually returned to Earth, having since gone insane and now just destroying everything. Her sister, the AI Erasure, betrayed humanity in an attempt to try and reach out to her, but to no avail.
  • 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.
  • Karmic Death: The shadowy people were confident that Erasure was a perfect AI and would replace the ZeroRangers. Erasure betrays them and their base is the first thing lost when GREEN ORANGE invades, as shown in the both Demo and White Vanilla Mode.
  • 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 in Green Orange Mode.
  • 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 where humanity is instead attacked by a Generic Doomsday Villain, but you succeed in saving the Earth this time. 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:
    • Dying in Stage EX of White Vanilla mode immediately ends the game, regardless of how many continues the player has left. The run will still count as a clear though, so it's possible to complete the Moving Up and Lightning Battle challenges this way.
    • The True Final Boss has all accumulated continues turned into the player's lives; losing them all will cause the game to be over instantly and delete all your progress!
  • 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.
  • This Cannot Be!:
    • In the second timeline, the AI Regret can't understand how you managed to make it back despite flinging you to the beginning. It comes to the conclusion that nothing is real and self-destructs, praising the name of the Great Oppressor.
    • In White Vanilla Mode/Light Mode if you hadn't defeated the True Final Boss, the people who oversee your trial are left dumbstruck on how "a klutz like you" could get a perfect Z score, and think you broke before dismissing you.
  • 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:
    • Green Orange Mode: 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).
    • White Vanilla Mode/Light Mode: Play well enough and break the congratulation text after beating the boss of stage 1-4, you get to fight Erasure personally in an Extra stage.
  • 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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