Ramblings: Bullet Hell Onslaught of the Mean Spirited Ancient-Deities

freesource-jam-2016 4_9_2017 12_39_18 PM

This long-ass title is brought to you by Alex Haung/LydianChord. It was part of A Good Bundle, but you can get it for free over here. Normally non-browser games are held off for Fridays, but this game’s pretty short.

As the first part of the title indicates, it’s a bullet hell type game. The number of enemies and thus bullets escalate the longer you play, the game finally ending when you die. A mocking statement waits at every death – I suppose it’s from the Mean-Spirited Ancient Deities?

The score system of the game collects points in valor. Killing an enemy gives you some valor, bravely overcoming an enemy. However, if one of the enemies gets off-screen, you lose valor, having lost out on the opportunity to show how tough you are by blowing an enemy to smithereens, I presume.

However, the game page offers an interesting challenge – a different message will appear if you don’t kill any enemies. The page claims that it’s “pretty much impossible,” but I’d like to think that I’m okay at bullet hell games. I can get to the halfway point of Mushihimesama on one continue and I think that’s an accomplishment, so I decided to take on this challenge. It was actually pretty easy.

Valor begins to dip into the negatives as enemies come and go, as if you’re branded a coward for not fighting them. Blue ships steadily arrive, shooting those homing shots as you try to navigate a field of bullets by the other enemies, making up most of the challenge. Keep going however…

Then it all stops. The bullets stop, the enemies are gone. And so, these supposedly mean-spirited gods decree:

“YOU ARE NOT OUR ENEMY.”

And the valor score gets maxed out.freesource-jam-2016 4_9_2017 12_39_29 PM

This is a bullet hell game for sure, but it’s also a lesson on valor. Sure, you can go about fighting a futile battle, but true bravery here comes from being the bigger person and not fighting back. Some people may definitely disagree with that message, but that’s the lesson that could be taken from this. Maybe in the context of the game, gods saw humanity as violent yet weak and it’s through facing the bullets that they see strength in humanity – but a different kind of strength.

Anyway there’s my pretentious analysis, go try playing it yourself. See how much valor you can rack up normally and if you can get the pacifistic ending.

 

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