Shikigami no Shiro

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Shikigami no Shiro (roughly translated as Castle of Spirits; known as Castle of Shikigami in the West) is a series of Bullet Hell Shoot Em Ups developed by Alfa System. The overarching plot involves a mysterious castle in the country of Alcaland, which has been the subject of many "missing persons" cases. A handful of psychic soldiers have converged on the location to conduct their own investigations of the incident, each for his/her own reasons.

As of 2008, all three games have been released in the U.S. for the PlayStation 2 (first two games) and Nintendo Wii (third).

Tropes used in Shikigami no Shiro include:
  • Badass Baritone: Munchausen. Holy crap, Munchausen!!.
  • Barrier Warrior: Nigi and Nagino.
  • Battle Butler: Munchausen.
  • Berserk Button: Do NOT call Fumiko an "old maid".
  • Blade on a Stick: Batu's cross-shaped spear.
  • Blind Idiot Translation: The second game is filled with very odd examples of Engrish.
  • Bullet Hell: Enemies in these games are capable of filling the screen with lots and lots of bullets, even moreso in the harder difficulties.
  • Canon Foreigner: Reika (Shikigami no Shiro 3) originally comes from an old Laserdisc game known as Time Gal.
    • Nigi Gorgeous Blue was originally from Gunparade March.
  • Charged Attack: Batu's Shikigami attacks.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: Reika is certainly... "out there".
  • Comforting the Widow: Kohtaro had a woman with whom he made a Childhood Marriage Promise, but who is now hospitalized. Sayo falls in love with Kohtaro. In the third game, that ex becomes the Big Bad. Or seemingly so, until you realize that all the bosses in the third game are illusions and not the real people.
  • Covers Always Lie: The Mobile Light Force 2 US cover of the first game features a trio of gunslinging Charlie's Angels lookalikes that appear absolutely nowhere in the game. It's also the exact same cover as the first Mobile Light Force game (which is actually Gunbird; it's all rather confusing).
  • Cute Ghost Girl: Sayo.
  • Eldritch Abomination: What "Tsukiko" (actually an illusion) turns out to be in Shikigami no Shiro III.
  • Fedora of Asskicking: Gennojo wears one.
  • Flanderization: In-Universe. Kohtaro's story mode in Shikigami no Shiro III involves the uneasy grounds of Kohtaro's and Sayo's partnership, with the underlying tension of undisclosed feelings; Sayo being a Tsundere (while also feeling guilty about this) with Kohtaro constaly apologizing. Come Dramatic Change Mode, many story modes where Kohtaro is one of the two selected characters involve this dynamic in a rather one-dimensional way that varies from scenario to scenario (i.e. Sayo is turned into a Clingy Jealous Girl in some, in others, Kohtaro is almost completely Oblivious to Love, etc).
  • Gameplay Grading: You're graded twice through out stage in for the first two games, one for the first half of the stage and the other in the second half. In the first game, you're graded by how fast you beaten the level, the point items collected, and your overall Tension average. The second game changes the Tension average with how many x8 multipliers you where able to get. The third game changes things up where you are graded at the end of the stage instead of its two halves, adding a bonus for beating the bosses with x8 bonus as well as penalties for losing lives and using continues.
  • Head Pet: Nagino's bunny.
  • The Hero: Officially, Kohtaro Kuga, though Reika and Nagino are more prominent on the third game's cover art.
  • Hot Witch: Fumiko, complete with Robe and Wizard Hat.
  • Kill Sat: Fumiko and Munchausen have Shikigami attacks that rain down lasers from above that leave behind Spheres of Destruction.
  • Let's Get Dangerous: Munchausen. When you can see his eyes, RUN.
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Munchausen: "I shall educate you. Prepare yourself."

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Yukari: Yukari Horiguchi! Yu-ka-ri!

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  • Rank Inflation: In the third game, you're graded by your performance, with F- being the lowest and SS being the highest. At the end of the game (or where you decide to give up), you're given a rank on your overall performance and a title to go with it.
  • Shout-Out: Both Fumiko and Sayo resemble Marisa and Reimu of Touhou.
  • Smart Bomb: Nearly every character has this in some form. Reika's allows her to momentarily freeze time.
  • Smoking Is Cool: Gennojo.
  • Space Is an Ocean: Of space.
  • The Stoic: Emilio.
  • Stun Guns: Shikou, the second boss of Shikigami III, uses arrows that prevent your character from firing if they connect.
  • Time Police: Reika. Again, a callback to her Time Gal roots.
  • Turns Red: Mini-bosses and stage bosses alike have at least three attack patterns, depending on how much HP they have remaining.
  • Tyke Bomb: Nagino.
  • The Vamp: Fumiko. According to the manual, she's said to be as evil, if not more so, than the game's Big Bad.
  1. Although Shikigami attacks can still be used.