Sin and Punishment
Sin and Punishment (subtitled "Successor of the Earth") is an action game developed by Treasure and Nintendo R&D 1 released in Japan for the Nintendo 64 in 2000. It is best described as a rail shooter, though its game engine requires platforming and evasive maneuvering along the way. The playable characters move independently of their shooting, which is done using a combination gun and sword that can be set to lock onto targets or be aimed manually with higher damage output. The sword can be used at close range, and well-timed slices can deflect projectile attacks toward other opponents.
The story takes place in Japan in the year 2007. A horde of rampaging mutant creatures known as Ruffians is attacking humanity. In response, a volunteer army is formed to defend against them, led by a man named Brad. But even his group is causing problems for everyone, so a Mysterious Waif named Achi forms another group devoted to defending against Ruffians and army members alike.
As the story begins, all but three of the group's members are slaughtered: Achi and the two protagonists, Saki Amamiya and Airan Jo. Refusing to give up, they head out to destroy those responsible. Yes, this is an incredibly short summary, but that's because it's such a short game that it can be beaten in an hour. Despite the short length, it's still something of a Mind Screw.
No, this game is not a Widget Series. Sin and Punishment was originally supposed to be an American release. The plan was foiled when the Nintendo 64 stopped production in the US earlier than expected, and it was first seen on Western shores when it was launched on the Wii's Virtual Console in late 2007. It required almost no localization, since all of the spoken dialog was already in English. Due to its popularity on the Virtual Console, a sequel was released in 2009 in Japan, May 2010 in Europe, and June 2010 in the US. In addition, Saki made a cameo appearance in Super Smash Bros.. Brawl as an assist trophy.
Note: the sequel has its own page. Tropes pertaining to it should go there.
- Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: Saki's Ruffian form and at least two bosses.
- Babies Ever After: After five years, anyway.
- Badass: Each protagonist can (and do) wage one-person wars against both the Ruffians and the army (and kick major ass).
- Battleship Raid: Stage 2-1 takes place in one battleship, and Stage 2-2 has you fighting a whole fleet of them, including going straight for the Death Star-like battleship.
- Better to Die Than Be Killed: Brad.
- Big Bad: Achi.
- Bowdlerise: Proof that Tropes Are Not Bad, the Virtual Console release accidentally made the ending more clear and the plot's transition into the sequel's go smoother.
- Crapsack World: Not only does Earth get overrun by alien bioweapons, but the army assembled to fight them isn't much better.
- Deadly Walls: One miniboss fight involves chasing a Ruffian along a series of narrow bridges separated by walls, and colliding with a wall damages you.
- The Dragon: Kachua to Brad. Leda fills the position afterward.
- Dual Boss: One boss fight has Airan battling both Brad and Leda.
- Earthshattering Kaboom: The final boss is a copy of the Earth, so...
- Elevator Action Sequence: Stage 1-2.
- Excuse Plot: Almost. The above description reads like this game does, but its main factor are the extremely open ends to the storyline.
- Fake-Out Opening: The game opens with a Dream Sequence of killing giant centipedes in a field.
- Flash Step: Saki in monster form, replacing the roll dodge.
- The Foreign Subtitle: Inverted with Sin and Punishment, where the "Successor of the Earth" subtitle was omitted in the English release.
- Gainax Ending: You could call this Studio Gainax: The Game, and it wouldn't be out-of-place.
- Giant Enemy Crab: Crab Seemer.
- Glowing Eyes of Doom: All of Brad's appearances in the first act.
- Good Morning, Crono:
- Or rather, "Good MORNING, Saki" just before you start Level 1-1. Granted, this isn't at the very start of the game, but since 0-0 was a dream level...
- Later, at the start of level 3-1, Saki says "Good morning, Airan!".
- Hopeless War: The game is in the future during a losing battle between humanity and the Ruffian invasion.
- Humanoid Abomination: Achi, and, to a lesser extent, any human with some of her blood.
- Laser Blade: The main weapon our heroes use. It can function as such, at least, and will if you want a good score.
- Meaningful Name:
- 'Seemer' is a real word meaning 'One who seems; one who carries or assumes an appearance or semblance.'
- The title of the series refers to the sin of the protagonist, rebellion (Saki's against the armed volunteers), and the punishment of being constantly hunted down for it.
- The game's title may also broadly refer to humanity's "sin" (attempting to play God to create a species specifically as a food source) and the ensuing "punishment" (the Ruffian and Armed Volunteer uprising, as well as Achi's gambit to find a cosmic weapon).
- Mind Over Matter: Kachua is apparently capable of doing this. She flings the bodies of screaming soldiers at you during her boss fight, as well as an an airplane and a portion of a building.
- Mind Rape: Achi attempts to convince Airan by placing her inside EVA-like Saki and showing a Bad Future, and is extremely convincing to boot. This takes up a whole level, but it only Makes Just as Much Sense in Context. Completing the level results in the Mind Rape not working out, and Achi bumped up to Big Bad.
- Mind Screw: The story starts off normal until Saki turns into some EVA-looking thing.
- Mundane Utility: After escaping from Ruffians, Saki uses his newly-made flamethrower to make barbeque Ruffian. It's awesome to watch, but this is a break from all of the stuff that had just happened.
- Mysterious Waif: Achi.
- Nintendo Hard: And how! You will barely even find a double-frame/Turbo mode (which doubles the speed of the game) available on any website. This Turbo mode run is the closest you can get to the final boss, compared to this original frame mode on the same level.
- One-Winged Angel: Achi transforms into a planet for the final fight. Saki is a heroic version, and Kachua is a straight example.
- Phlebotinum Rebel: With Airan's help.
- Playing Baseball With the Boss: Most fights are made easier by deflecting attacks, and then there's the final boss. The Birth Model in 2-3 is actually impossible to beat if you don't do this, as it regenerates faster than your regular shots can do damage.
- Revenge by Proxy: Brad tries to kill Saki to punish Achi for Kachua's death.
- Right-Hand-Cat: Brad's small talking catlike Ruffian Leda, who serves as a miniboss and all-around annoyance.
- Say My Name: Whenever the player loses.
- Sequel Hook: In the first one, Achi leaves Earth, defeated, but muses over the potential of Saki having a child that also inherits his blood, which she could use for her plan to defeat her enemies. Meanwhile, Saki and Airan discuss the fact that Saki could potentially turn into his monster form and destroy the rest of the Earth, as well as mentioning their future child. Both of these actually do turn up in the sequel; the main character is Saki and Airan's son, Isa, and Saki, it turns out, did indeed succumb to the powers of Achi's blood.
- Spoiler Opening: You will only think it's Faux Symbolism, but Achi does the still that shows her compensating for something is done at the end of the game when thinking about Roaring Rampage of Revenge.
- Star-Crossed Lovers
- Story-Boarding the Apocalypse: One stage is a vision of ten years in the future, showing what will happen if Airan doesn't save Saki.
- Surprisingly Good English: Less surprisingly good, given the American voice actors, and more surprising that it's in English at all.
- Theme Naming: The original is subtitled "Successor of the Earth". The sequel is subtitled "Successor of the Sky".
- They Would Cut You Up: Saki's initial reason against going to America, at least before the conversation is interrupted.
- The Tokyo Fireball: Instead of burning in flames though, the city is literally drowned in blood, and at the end of the game, all of Japan is ruined.
- Touched by Vorlons:
- Most of the superpowered characters in the story, including the heroes, received blood from Achi.
- There Is Another: Their son.
- Traintop Battle: Actually inside a subway.
- Twenty Minutes Into the Future: Set in the year 2007, which was, at the time of its release, Next Sunday A.D..
- Unexpected Gameplay Change: Level 3-2 - The second to last level - becomes a free-roaming side scroller, but unfortunately suffers from controls not meant for such a genre.
- "Wake-Up Call" Boss: Heart Seeker teaches many players not to rely on auto-aim mode to coast through the game.
- What Measure Is a Mook?: Made uncomfortably clear when the entire volunteer army dies:
Achi: "Hahaha! Look at them! They can't even escape! They're crying! They're crying Brad's name! Hahaha!"
- What the Hell, Hero?: Achi calls off the protagonists for not following her orders multiple times.
- Whole-Plot Reference: Minus Child Soldier (maybe), this is what happens when you ask Studio Gainax to make a video game based off of End of Evangelion. As much as you want to doubt it, it really is, Gainax Ending, Mind Rape, and all.