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Trouble Witches is a series of Doujin Bullet Hell games of the Cute'Em Up sub-genre by Studio SiestA. The series consist of two games, one of which has been re-released three times already with an "English" version of the PC game canceled sometime during its production, with a sequel currently under development.

Trouble Witches Episode 1 ~Daughters of Amalgam~ (2007) is the first game of the series and was released for Windows PC as doujin game. The story is set in the magical country of Eihemland where a great witch named Amalgam has stolen a ring sealing away a powerful devil known as the Draupnhir, and divided the pieces of said ring to her children where they wreak havoc as they see fit. The king of Eihemland spread flyers all across the country with a award to anyone who can stop Amalgam and her children with any wish they desire. And of course, It's Up to You stop Amalgam's and her kids, and reclaim the ring of the Draupnhir.

The original PC game featured three magical girls, Pril Patowle, Aqua Seep Seal, and Yuki Longate, with Sies Fabric Tinydream as an unlockable forth character (Sies becomes immediately playable after the "Ver.2" update), each with their own shot type, strengths, and their own take on the storyline in a fully-voiced Story Mode. One of the unique aspects of the game is the risk-and-reward mechanics of the game, of which the Magic Barrier system where each witch can summon a barrier to slow down enemy fire and convert them into gold by destroying the enemy that originally fired the shots. However could work against the player if the enemies flees from the screen with their shots trapped in the barrier, which the bullets will zero-in on the player. The gold not only go towards earning points, but it can be used at the Pumpkin Sister's shop (which usually appears twice during each stage) to spend your gold on Magic Cards and other goods such as 1-Ups and MP-boosting potions. The Magic Cards would give the user a different shot-type for brief periods of time, but destroying enemies under this effect would earn score-boosting Star Coins, although taking a hit will knock the card out of you (though saves you from losing a life), and taking a hit without any protection will result in losing a fraction of Star Coins as well.

Trouble Witches AC (2009) was an "enhanced" version of Trouble Witches Episode 1 Studio SiestA was in the works of around 2008, however the updated game was scrapped once it got picked for an arcade release in Japan in 2009. The game was played on the Taito Type X arcade hardware and it did feature some of the What Could Have Been aspects that was originally planned for the PC game, like introducing Louis Leondyke, Cynfi Porat, Conon Mildiazzhe Krakow, and Raya Arcturus into Episode 1's storyline, and some changes made to the original gameplay. Of course, this also lacks much of the features the original PC game had, such as the fully-voiced Story Mode. Trouble Witches AC later made it's way into the NESiCAxLive arcade service in Japan in 2012, which also brought back Sies Fabric Tinydream into the game's roster of magical girls.

The Tomboyish Witches ~With Amalgam's Cutie Girls~ (Canceled) was also in the works alongside Trouble Witches AC for PC, but unlike it's arcade counterpart, never saw the light of day. It was Studio SiestA's attempt into making a self-made "English" version of Trouble Witches Episode 1 ~Daughters of Amalgam~, but it was also scrapped for a release once it become an arcade game.

Trouble Witches NEO! (2011) is the game's first-time venture into the mainstream platform. Published by SNK Playmore and released world-wide for Xbox 360 via Xbox Live Arcade on April 27, 2011. It is essentially an enhanced port of Trouble Witches AC while featuring the return of the PC game's Story Mode, a new Challenge Mode featuring a Boss Rush and Score Attack mode, two new characters and their familiars (one of which is Downloadable Content), co-op (both locally and online), enhanced visuals for widescreen presentation, new character artwork, online leaderboards, sharable replays, Achievements, and Trouble Witches AC as an added bonus. The two new witches introduced are Sakurako Kujo, an astrologist anime otaku who wants to become a witch like in her favorite Magical Girl animes; and Luca, a downloadable devil princess with Lightning Bruiser-like qualities, MP almost double compared to every other witch in the game, and whose also madly in-love with the Draupnir.

Along with the return of the Story Mode, it also featured an option for English voice-overs as the developers puts it, "offers a full voice dubbing in English and in Japanese to enjoy twice the game!", although it has Gone Horribly Wrong as it features terrible English voice-acting and translations this side of Castle of Shikigami and Chaos Wars. Your Mileage May Vary, but some fans actually like the horrendous English voice-overs. Adding to the abysmal localization quality, the Story Mode is also abridged compared to it's original PC counterpart, lots of name changes for the characters (for better or worse), and the included Trouble Witches AC is more-or-less the same game save for the most of the terrible voice-acting. It also lacks the personal score rankings, the ability to revisit past stages, and the ability to switch Magic Cards on the fly of the original game. Despite its faults, the gameplay still holds up fairly well.

Trouble Witches Episode 2 ~With Decendents of Ancient Dragon the Souless~ (TBA) is an upcoming follow-up to Episode 1 that's currently in the works. From what is shown on circle's website, the game will be set in a different country with (currently) four new magical girls.

Studio SiestA's official website can be view here. Each website for Episode 1 can be viewed here (original PC game), here (Trouble Witches AC for PC), here (The Tomboyish Witches for PC manual), here (Trouble Witches AC for arcades), here (Studio SiestA's Trouble Witches NEO! for Xbox 360 website), and here (Bouken's Trouble Witches NEO! for Xbox 360 website).

This series now has a Character Sheet, so all characterized tropes should go there.


In the Magical Land of Eihemland, Trouble Witches Episode 1 features examples of:

Notes

  1. From top to bottom: Luca, Conon, Lyla, Louis, Symphony, Aqua, Yuki, Sakurako, and Pril
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