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Mushihimesama (CAVE / AMI 2004)

(CAVE / AMI 2004)
After the success of Espgaluda, CAVE returned in 2004 with another fantasy-themed shooter called Mushihimesama (Insect Princess).

Inspired by Hayao Miyazaki's animated feature film "Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind", Mushihimesama is set in a world of lush forests and deserts, volcanic areas,
waterways and floating forests. The player controls Reco, a young girl who has the power to communicate with insects & who sets out to fight a battle against giant insects in an effort to save her world from pollution. Where Nausicaä fights the poison of the Miasma, Reco fights the effects of the Levi-Sense.

The game features stunning graphics and animation and is the first CAVE title to make use of a new powerful SH-3 based board. This PCB is even smaller than the one used for Espgaluda. It is also the first of CAVE's PCBs which can store high scores.

There are three different game modes: Original, Maniac and Ultra. Ultra Mode is not accessible at first, please see the secret section for details. In addition Reco can choose between three shot types: M (Medium), W (Wide) and S (Narrow).

Original Mode is reminiscent of Toaplan style with fast aimed bullets, whilst Maniac is more regular CAVE fare, with large slow bullet spreads. Ultra plays similarly to Maniac but the spreads are larger and tighter.

Mushihimesama features one of the most complex scoring systems devised, please see the system section for details.

The music is once again done by Manabu Namiki, but gone are the fast electronic beats and dance music of his previous work -- instead we see a return of more haunting tunes with a more Japanese traditional sound. It fits the game perfectly and I recommend picking up the OST if you can find it.

Mushihimesama was, and is still, immensly popular in Japanese arcades and elsewhere so expect to pay around 50000 JPY for only the PCB. (2007-06)

[icycalm] & rtw in 2007