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File:Espgaluda2 Tateha Dual 9404.jpg

The Espgaluda series is a series of Bullet Hell ShootEmUps by CAVE.

The series spans two main games:

  • Espgaluda (2003): Once upon a time, there was a peaceful kingdom named Shinra, ruled by a line of queens with supernatural powers. The current king, Jakou, decides to conduct a number of experiments to induce this power in his children as well as harness it for military purposes. Two of his children, Ageha and Tateha, are rescued from his grasp and taken into hiding by a man named Hiodoshi. Eventually, Jakou's forces track them down...
    • Espgaluda DX (2005)
  • Espgaluda II (2005): It has been three years since the first game, the events of which are known as the "Great Shinra War." The ruling family of another country named Soma decide to salvage Jakou's research and create an organization called the Spirit Society, dedicated to producing more children with psychic powers. One of the products of these experiments, Asagi, flees and joins Ageha and Tateha.
    • Espgaluda II Black Label (2010)
    • Espgaluda II iPhone (and Android) (2010)
      • Espgaluda II HD for iPad 2 (2011)

The Espgaluda series contains examples of:

  • Abusive Parents -- Ageha and Tateha's father is decidedly not a nice guy.
  • Art Shift -- The art for the first game was done by Tsukasa Kado, while the art for the second game was done by Masaki Hirooka.
  • Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence -- Asagi's ending has this for herself, Tsubame & Janome, and all of the children who were being experimented on by the Spirit Society.
  • Attractive Bent Gender -- Depending on your preferences, any of the characters' alternate forms could be this. In Espgaluda II this is made more intentional.
  • Bare Your Midriff -- Ageha's female form in Espgaluda II. Tateha's male form in both games, with much tougher abs in the second game.
  • BFG -- Madara, the midboss of Espgaluda II stage 2, carries one.
  • Bullet Time -- The effect of being in Awakening mode and having spare gems.
  • Creepy Child -- The Alice Clones from ESP Ra.De return for the final stage of both games in this series.
  • Crowning Music of Awesome -- Fort City aka Stage 4
  • Cyborg -- Seseri, after the first stage of the first game.
  • Dude Looks Like a Lady -- If not for the first game and the other two characters as references, you might not realize that Asagi's alternate form is supposed to be a boy, especially thanks to the artwork showing that this male form's shoes have higher heels, and the book is changed to a stuffed bunny head.
  • Duel Boss -- In Espgaluda II Black Label, there is a special theme song for Seseri vs. Seseri.
  • Ensemble Darkhorse -- Seseri keeps getting brought back, and is playable in Espgaluda II Black Label, because of her popularity.
  • Evil Counterpart -- Kujaku, the final boss of the first game, is able to do gender-changing Awakening just like the player characters.
  • Evil Laugh -- Madara, the boss with the multi-part tank in Espgaluda II.
  • Fan Service Pack -- In Espgaluda II, Tateha and Ageha have aged a bit, and their clothes for their female forms are noticeably more revealing. Almost literally for Seseri, who was rebuilt to look like she had aged as much as the main characters. (not counting her playable version in Espgaluda II Black Label)
  • Fusion Dance -- The final boss of Espgaluda II
  • Gender Bender -- The core gameplay mechanic for high scoring. The final boss of Espgaluda can do it too. In Espgaluda II, this game mechanic is required for unlocking the fight against True Seseri, and the final boss is a fusion of a boy and a girl.
  • Guest Fighter -- The Play Station 2 port's arrange mode has a character who plays just like J-B 5th, and one who plays just like Irori Mimasaka.
  • Guide Dang It -- The scoring system, especially the Awakening Overdrive mode for Espgaluda II. Then there's the whole gameplay for Espgaluda II Black Label.
  • Incest Subtext -- In the second game, Tsubame and Janome unify into a single being named Kujaku as the final boss. There is a lot of additional subtext between them shown in Asagi's ending. Also present in Ageha's ending, between him and Tateha.
  • Innocent Flower Girl -- Janome, the boss of Espgaluda II stage 3, is strongly linked with flowers. She turns not-so-innocent when she becomes a boss of a CAVE game.
  • Mad Scientist -- In the first game, Ageha & Tateha's father is an evil king who experimented on his own children in order to induce Psychic Powers. In the second game, the Spirit Society is doing this on a larger scale on many children.
  • Magic Pants -- An interesting example, in that the characters' clothes magically transform to be appropriate for their current gender, for certain definitions of "appropriate."
  • Meganekko -- Asagi from Espgaluda II
  • Polished Port -- Espgaluda II's iPhone port is well-received, and is said by some to show that the iPhone is very capable of handling "hardcore" games. Although Your Mileage May Vary depending on whether you like playing precision-demanding games on a touchscreen.
  • Psychic Powers -- The player characters were engineered specifically to have these.
  • Robot Girl -- Seseri appears to be fully machine in Espgaluda II
  • ROM Hack -- Espketsuda, the result of mashing Espgaluda's program ROM with the graphical and sound assets of Ketsui. It was popular enough that it got an original soundtrack of sorts. YOUR MISSIONS!
  • Sequel Displacement -- Espgaluda II, particularly in North America, thanks to the region-free Xbox 360 port and the iPhone port, the lattter of which was officially released in in the US.
  • Shapeshifter Baggage -- It is difficult to calculate how much of a mass difference there is, or whether or not any of it is involved in keeping Kakusei ("Awakening") mode going besides the gems.
  • Spiritual Successor -- To ESP Ra.De due to the guard barrier mechanic, bosses with huge psychic wings, and the Alice Clones.
  • Super Gender Bender -- The heroes are already powerful psychics, but gender-changing makes them into even more powerful psychics.
  • Tank Goodness -- A three-part tank that can combine, no less, in Espgaluda II stage 4. Lampshaded by the achievement for the iOS version, "One Less Tank in a Cave Game" upon defeating this boss.
  • There Is No Kill Like Overkill -- At the beginning of the first game, Hiodoshi gets shot up a lot of times.
  • True Final Boss -- Subverted in Espgaluda II, in which it's the boss of stage 5 who has a true version.
  • Voice of the Legion -- Jakou's final form, a fusion of both his male and female forms, has this.
  • Wasted Song -- Unless you're listening to the soundtrack, you won't get to hear the entire stage song in some levels.
  • We Can Rebuild Him -- Seseri, twice.
  • "Well Done, Son" Guy -- Seseri's motivation for wanting to kill Ageha and Tateha, since she was not born from a psychic queen like they were. When she is defeated in the second game, she even says, "Father, I'm sorry..." as she dies.
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