Ketsui

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Ketsui DEATH Label Cover 4502.jpg

Ketsui: Kizuna Jigoku Tachi is a vertically scrolling Shoot'Em Up arcade game released by CAVE in 2003, and then later ported to the Nintendo DS and Xbox 360 in Japan. Its title roughly translates to "Decisive Determination: Cutting the Bonds of Hell."

In the year 2054, chaos grips the world as global climate shift has melted the ice caps, raised sea levels, and intensified natural disasters. With many nations consumed by the destruction, the sudden end of means to acquire all resources force the countries that remained intact, into World War III . Any attempt to cease hostilities by the United Nations is thwarted by an endless supply of technologically advanced weapons sold to both sides of every possible conflict. Investigations by UN are all traced to EVAC Industries, a weapon manufacturer and arms dealer that has been reaping tremendously high profits from the constant warfare. EVAC has even been known to directly intervene to prevent any progress towards peace. The company's profits are so massive, it has built its own cities, shipyards, defensive emplacements and even a private airport, in addition to assemble its own private army of well-equipped mercenaries. All attempts to negotiate with the board of directors have failed.

Unable to perform any official actions, UN sets up a strike team of four pilots, each pair given one of two advanced helicopters which were built according to stolen prototype blueprints and bear EVAC insignias and callsigns. Their mission is to stimulate a rebellion within EVAC's forces and destroy the company's headquarters where their most powerful weapons are being made. The mission cannot be traced back to UN, regardless of the outcome. Even if the mission is a success, both the helicopters and the pilots must be destroyed. To compensate for their sacrifice however, UN will fulfill their dying wishes.


Tropes used in Ketsui include:
  • 1-Up: Destroying the main part of Stage 3's midboss without bombing nets you a 1-up. You can get a second one on Stage 5 by destroying the production model versions of the player ships, again without bombing.
  • Attack Drone
  • Boss Game: Ketsui: DEATH Label for the Nintendo DS.
  • Brutal Bonus Level: "Extra Course" in Ketsui: DEATH LABEL is a modified version of Stage 5 from the original game. "Just" a lot, lot, LOT HARDER! And if by any chance you manage to reach the end of the stage, the game pits you against a modified version of Evaccania DOOM. It's basically the already hard True Final Boss Fight from the original game with its difficulty cranked Up to Eleven.
  • Bullet Hell:
    • Taken to its logical extreme with "DOOM Mode" in Ketsui DEATH LABEL. The mode consists of you fighting against Evaccania DOOM. FIVE times in a row, and the bullet density increases ten-fold with each consecutive fight.
  • Butterfly of Death and Rebirth: DOOM definitely represents the death part.
  • Combos: See Short-Range Long-Range Weapon below.
  • Crossover: Do Don Pachi DaiFukkatsu BLACK Label Arrange is the closest thing there is to a sequel to this game, complete with DOOM as the final boss.
  • The Determinator: "Ketsui" roughly translates to "determination". This is further emphasized by the fact that, unlike most games in the genre, the entire game is a single continuous attack on the enemy base with no breaks between the backgrounds, meaning that the pilots and gunners never rest until the end.
  • Direct Continuous Levels: Once the Score Screen ends, the background transitions into the next level.
  • Doomy Dooms of Doom: Evaccania DOOM.
The closest thing there is to a sequel
  • Dummied Out: The announcer has a few clips that are never spoken in-game, such as as "Just a couple more shots!", "Please continue!" and "Game Over".
  • Expy: DOOM is essentially Hibachi except less bee-themed and more butterfly-themed. Even the beginning of its theme sounds similar; compare Hibachi's theme with DOOM's.
  • Gender Blender Name: Alice Blackburn (pictured in the DEATH Label cover above) is male.
  • Hard Mode Filler:
    • Complete all five stages with less than 6 bombs used and lives lost to unlock the Tsuujou/Omote loop, in which enemies have more firepower and release suicide bullets and the scoring system dramatically changes (for instance, no more chips larger than 1).
    • Complete all five stages with no bombs used or lives lost and a score of at least 120 million points to unlock the Ura loop, which has even more suicide bullets. Should you make it through this, you get to fight the True Final Boss, Evaccania DOOM.
  • Kaizo Trap: The midboss in Stage 2-4 fires exactly one suicide bullet after you destroyed it.
  • Meaningful Name:The sub-boss of Level 2 is a pair of tanks connected together are named "Gem & Ini".
  • Mega Corp: The very being of EVAC Industries.
  • Nintendo Hard: It's a Bullet Hell shooter by Cave! What do you expect?
    • It is known for its notorious difficulty since experts played it back in 2002.
    • And what's even funnier? CAVE wanted to make this game more approachable for newcomers after DaiOuJou couldn't possibly be realized.
  • Sdrawkcab Name: EVAC is CAVE spelled backwards.
  • Short-Range Long-Range Weapon: How you score points (specifically, build up your multiplier). You start by killing an enemy at close range with your standard shot, which sets what multiplier chips you'll be getting from enemies with your lock-on shot. Closer range yields larger chips (up to size 5). You then use your lock-on shot to rack up tons of those chips before your chip timer runs out, at which chips that you release drop back to size 1.
  • Smart Bomb: Your bombs are either shot forward or at a targeted enemy. It will only damage an enemy if it is caught in the explosion and will not clear the screen of bullets. Your ship, however, gets a shield of invincibility that lasts for a little over 4 seconds.
    • Ketsui DEATH LABEL provides the "Auto-Bomb" option. In the unlikely case you were hit, you won't die but your whole bomb stock will be depleted.
  • Suicide Attack: Before the start of the game, we're led to know that UN gave the 4 pilots a mission to tear EVAC Industries apart, with the eventual cost of their lives. But in the true ending after destroying DOOM, all the pilots resume their lives, carrying out different missions while still posing as EVAC mercenaries.
  • Super Prototype: The "AH-Y72 Tiger Schwert" and "FH-X4 Panzer Jäger". The player encounters inferior production models of their helicopters on Level 5.
  • True Final Boss: DOOM.
  • Twenty Minutes Into the Future
  • War for Fun and Profit: EVAC's business model.

Approach your index and attack! Your mission starts now! Are you ready?