5/10/2012

Lethal Application

Lethal Application is a doujin-shooter, featuring a female protagonist, and a science-fiction setting. No, no, don't leave just yet. Lethal Application is actually very innovative in it's design, straying far away from standard SHMUP conventions. In it, your primary method of combat is also your chief form of mobility; they are one in the same, and offer different results depending on how you apply them, hence the game's clever title.

It's like Shakespeare. Nothing short of poetry in motion.
Lethal Application (PC)
Developed & Published by: 大雪戦 (that's Daisessen to you, baka-gaijin)
Released on: December 2004

LA begins simply enough, with a woman armed with a futuristic rifle landing in what appears to be a space station. The game at first appears to be a platformer/shooter, in the vein of Metroid, but you'll almost immediately realize how incredibly wrong your initial assumption was; upon firing your gun, you will be knocked-back quite a distance, and you'll soon realize that this is the game's core mechanic. By firing downwards, you can propel yourself upwards.

Rocket Jumping, just like in Quake, only not at all like that.

This is good and all, but the game becomes tricky when dealing with enemies, due to the gun's huge recoil; firing at enemies will often blow you straight down, or at least over to a less convenient vantage point. And this is where the game's challenge lies, in trying to multi-task shooting at enemies with preventing yourself from plummeting to your death. Oh, did I neglect to mention the Rising Floor of death?

There is a horizontal laser at the bottom of the screen that slowly, but surely scrolls upwards, spelling the end for you if you get too close... but not really. It actually only inflicts minor damage, and acts more as encouragement to keep a brisk pace, than a strict punishment for dangling around.

The game's enemies are nothing to write home about, however. Typical cannon-fodder. There's mounted guns, little men dressed like Orko from He-Man, and a variety of airborne attackers, including drones, and even other flying women. But you won't spend much time looking at them, as they'll be too busy getting blown apart by your psychotic gunmanship.

Pictured: The Rising Floor of Negligible Discipline

The most challenging aspect the game offers, is everyone's favorite: METER MANAGEMENT! Yes, your ammunition is limited, which means your mobility is too. The only way too acquire more ammo/fuel is to kill enemies (by firing your ammo at them) and reaping the rewards, creating a taxing egg/omlete scenario. Moving around too much, and firing recklessly are the keys to failure, so make every shot count, and rely more on coasting along using the game's low-gravity (because of outer space) rather than manually rocketing yourself forward.

Or just blow everything to shit. It really doesn't matter.

Of course, any self-respecting shmup will contain a bevy of power-ups, and Lethal Application is no slouch in that category. In addition to your basic fire, there are also B weapons, which I'm assuming stands for 'bomb'. These are dumb-fire missiles that rocket forward, and cause a great amount of damage to everything in the vicinity. These are fairly unsafe to use, though, as they must be manually aimed, and require you to face a direction other than "down", resulting in you losing your ground. Better than the missiles, are S, which is a sword-like weapon that attacks all around you. This is perfect when used while "flying" upwards; it allows you to attack enemies from all sides, and is also capable of destroying blocks of terrain quickly. There also exists T, which I'm guess probably stands for "trap". I don't know. Anyway, it's this blue force-field-like thing that hovers around a bit, and attacks anything that wanders near it.

B, S & T, respectively. Take note of the many explosions.
Oh, whats this? A gameplay video? No, don't struggle, you have no choice but to watch it!

You are strapped to a chair, and the game is set to Beethoven.



Daisessen rereleased Lethal Application as freeware in December 2009. 
The link brings up a 404, so here it is on Mediafire.

Daisessen has alot of other, similar games, and even a follow-up to LA on their site, so drop by.

If I play a few more doujins, I will look like this.

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