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Sengoku Blade: Sengoku Ace Episode II, also known as Tengai (戦国ブレード in Japanese), is a horizontally scrolling shoot 'em up video game released for arcade machines in 1996 by Psikyo as a sequel to the 1993 shooter Sengoku Ace.
Sengoku Blade marked a complete breakout of the Sengoku Ace series from the classic Sonic Wings-style system (the first Sengoku Ace was still scrolled vertically), but this time with a much more complex gameplay system in which the player characters fly around on the screen by themselves instead of piloting various aircraft, in a way similar to the 1997 Psikyo game Sol Divide. Episode II was noticeably harder than its predecessor, and featured much better and for its time stunning 2-D graphics, including impressive parallax scrolling effects and detailed and well-animated characters and backgrounds. On the other hand, its music soundtrack appeared to be a step back from the previous game. Just like the previous game, the sequel features multiple endings, different for various characters, as well as branching paths for the different sets of levels.
- Tengai (天外) - a Buddhist warrior-monk from the previous game, who becomes the main character in the sequel.
- Miko / Koyori (こより) - a voluptuous Shinto shrine girl (the series' recurring character and a popular fan favourite thanks to her increased sex appeal in the sequel).
- Junis (ユーニス) - a spunky 12-year old ninja girl with a pet lemur named Socrates; she is the younger sister of Jane from Sengoku Ace (Jane had disappeared at the end of the previous game, but Junis believes that she is alive and imprisoned at the Evil Castle).
- Sho / Shoma (翔丸) - a young ninja who is in love with the kidnapped princess Futsu and wants revenge for the death of his family. During the game, it is revealed that his father is the lord of evil, Kiyatsu (the final boss of the game).
- Katana / Hagane (ハガネ) - a samurai robot attempting recover its human body. Katana is really a swordswoman called Hagane and during his ending with Junis, she reveals her first name: Kirie.
- Ayin / Kain (アイン) - a one-eyed archer samurai from the previous game, now as a secret character, who is looking for his sister Asuka again.
The characters were designed by the now-famous Tsukasa Jun (Tsukasa Kiyoshi, at that time still an "underground" artist), based on the works of Hirofumi Nakamura in the original game. Tsukasa also returned to design the characters for the second sequel, Sengoku Cannon: Sengoku Ace Episode III, released in 2005 for the PSP. The Sengoku series characters, along with the ones from Psikyo's Gunbird series, later joined up with several Capcom characters in the crossover game Taisen Net Gimmick: Capcom vs. Psikyo All Stars', released for Dreamcast in 2001.
The original soundtrack for the game has been released by Pony Canyon and Scitron on May 17, 1996. One of the new enemy boss characters was a sexy ninja villainess Kaen (火燕), who has became one of the symbols of the game and PVC figure models of Kaen and several different of Koyori's were made.
Sengoku Blade was first ported to the Sega Saturn in November 1996. This version was released as a two-disc double set, including a bonus omake disc which featured hundreds of Sengoku Ace series artworks (including the official, guest and fan art from a contest by Psikyo), and now is rare and expensive to obtain. Exclusive for the Saturn conversion was the implementation of voices during the brief cutscenes, and the addition of Marion from Gunbird series as a bonus hidden character.
In December 2004 the game was also ported to PlayStation 2 as part of the Psikyo Shooting Collection Vol. 2: Sengoku Ace & Sengoku Blade by Taito; it also was re-released one year later as a budget-range title. The Japanese release contains both Sengoku Ace and Sengoku Blade, but in Europe the two games were sold separately.
- Hardcore Gaming 101: Sengoku Ace
- Official website (characters)
- The corresponding article in the Japanese Wikipedia