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Mushihime-sama (虫姫さま, lit. Insect Princess) is a manic shooter developed by Cave and released by Taito in 2004. It was ported to the PlayStation 2 in 2005. The game has an insect theme as all of the enemies resemble various insects such as beetles and butterflies. The game is set in various forest environments. It received a sequel in 2006, known as Mushihime-sama Futari.
A limited PlayStation 2 version also includes young Reco and Kiniro figures.
The world of Mushihimesama is a wild, untainted one where large desertic areas abruptly change into lush forests, all inhabited by arthropods called Koujuu: such beasts (basically oversized insects) are capable of surviving due to their hardened shells and, upon their deaths, leave them behind for vegetation to grow around them, in a natural cycle of life and death. However, their life force, called Levi-Sense, proved to be poisonous to the humans to the point of being named the Miasma; only sparse human settlements were allowed to survive, one of them being the Hoshifuri village, in exchange for the sacrifice of a 15 years old girl every 200 years. However, the daughter of the royal family, Reco, is apparently the next in line after being given an ornate bracelet by a mysterious boy in Shinju Forest, where she lost herself at young age: by the day she turns 15, the Miasma contaminates the village.
In order to save her people, she enters Shinju Forest once more, riding the golden Koujuu beetle Kiniro (with which the golden bracelet grants a telepathic link) on a quest to meet the Koujuu god himself.
The PlayStation 2 port of Mushihime-sama features all three game modes from the arcade version, as well as a new 'arrange' mode, exclusive to the port.
- Original - The easiest mode with fewer (but usually faster) bullets than the other difficulty settings. Enemies will drop amber gems after you defeat them. Pick up as many as you can to get a higher score. Scoring enough points will earn you extra lives.
- Maniac - Features more bullets and a chaining system to drastically change scores. Shot counters are added for Maniac Mode. Hitting enemies with Shot will increase this counter and it will drop when you are not hitting an enemy. Your shot counter is added to your score when you defeat an enemy.
- Ultra - The most difficult mode, has an even higher bullet count than Maniac and retains the chaining system.
- Arrange - It is a version added to PlayStation 2 game. Seemingly a version of Maniac mode, only the player starts out with much more firepower but no continues. Also, if the player makes contact with a bullet or an enemy while holding at least one bomb, the player does not die and instead releases a bomb. The player can also cycle through all three weapon types by pressing a button.
- S-Power: Concentrated attack, increased mobility.
- W-Power: Wider attack range, decreased mobility.
- M-Power: Between S and W power types.
- Trace: Chases player.
- Formation: Surrounds player in fixed configuration.
This is a version debuted in Cave Festival 2006. It includes the following features:
- Original and Ultra modes can be selected from the beginning.
- Faster bullets.
- Initial equipment change.
- Option formation change.
iPhone Version - Bug Princess
- Maniac and Ultra modes are only unlocked when previous mode has been completed.
- Due to the touch controls, there is no difference in speed between the various power-ups.
- Each mode has four difficulty levels: Novice, Normal, Hard and Hell. The Hell difficulty contains the original bullet patterns.
- A soft button is used to change the option configuration between wide and narrow.
- Auto-fire is enabled by default but can be toggled by a soft button.
- Both Game Center and Open Feint are supported.
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