Ether Vapor

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.

Ether Vapor is a cinematic Shoot'Em Up created by Japanese indie game company Edelweiss and released in 2007. It is known for its rapidly changing gameplay, shifting from a vertical shooter to the side shooter and even a rail shooter. In 2011, it got an Updated Rerelease known as Ether Vapor- Remaster, with updated visual effects. Nyu Media is working on localizing this version of the game for overseas PCs with a planned release date of early 2012.

Caldea, a small fictional nation, was able to successfully discover Artificial Intelligence. This was found during a project when several of the nation's researchers created the Adviser, an AI computer used to solve Caldea's problems. Instead of being controlled manually, the Adviser was given an artificial personality through endless enormous databases. Although the computer went insane, it was used greatly for the Caldean military, where it successfully waged war on other nations with new weapons and technology. In reponse, several other nations and rebel forces coupled together to create the nation of Lydia. Despite their union against Caleda however, they were already fighting a losing war.

A young Caldean boy named Luca Earlgrey, whose father lead the work on the Adviser (now commonly known as the Decider), then began a personal fight against his nation. Given a super prototype called the Ex-tio by his father, Luca is determined to crush the Caldean forces and destroy Decider to end the war and free the nation's dependence on the sadistic supercomputer. He encounters both allies and enemies, including a young pilot of the Lydian navy named Sana, a cyborg mech-using scientist named Daniel, and new heavily-armed version of Decider known as the APITEX.

Translation and information of the story is found here.

Tropes used in Ether Vapor include:
  • A.I. Is a Crapshoot: DECIDER developed emotions. What kind? Fear and paranoia and those emotions eventually drove it insane.
  • Battleship Raid: The attack on the battleship in Scene 4- Valley.
  • Berserk Button: Daniel doesn't take kindly to being called "baldy".
  • Brick Joke: In the end of Stage 1, Sana tells Luca to "state his affiliation". In the end, Sana says it again after Luca crashes back to Earth.
  • Child Prodigy: Teatree.
  • Defeat Means Friendship: Daniel guides you to the Decider after beating him twice. Keime also seems to respect Luca after his defeat.
  • Dual Boss: Selva and Keime in the Archaeo and Petryx.
  • Evil Empire: Caldea after its dependence on DECIDER.
  • Fighting the Lancer: You fight Sana when she reveals she had orders to capture Decider instead of destroying it.
  • Five-Bad Band - The Caldean bosses
  • Gameplay Roulette: You will always be playing a shoot 'em up, that's for sure. The fun lies in that it shifts between horizontal, vertical and rail shooter quite often, even in the middle of a stage or boss battle.
  • Heel Face Turn: Daniel decides to help after losing twice and when Luca explains his goals.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Daniel finishes off DECIDER after Luca damages it enough. He is then caught in the blast since his mech was damaged by Sana, preventing his escape (he was aware of it though).
  • Humongous Mecha: A few are found as bosses such as Teatree's Megarachene, Daniel's Archelon and Dunkleosteus, and the Apitex-evo in the end.
  • The Lancer: Sana and her ship, the Whittard.
  • La Résistance: The remaining unconquered countries currently formed as Lydia.
  • Spider Tank: Teatree's Megarachene.
  • Shout-Out: Some of the enemies includes mechs similar to those in Mobile Suit Gundam.
  • Super Prototype: Luca's Ex-tio and also likely Sana's Whittard.
  • This Is a Drill: Daniel seems to enjoy using drills on his mechs. His Archelon mech even has a drill for its head.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: We do not exactly know the fate of some of the boss characters. Selva was killed when his ship was destroyed by Sana, but Keime's was just disabled by Luca. Teatree's fate is also not revealed whether she died in her mech or ejected safely.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: When the trio reach DECIDER, Sana attacks Daniel and reveals her orders. Fortunately, she turn back to Luca's side in the end.