Ryu Umemoto (Cave Matsuri)
|Series||Mushihimesama (Bug Princess)|
|Genre(s)||Vertical scrolling shooter,
|Mode(s)||Single player, 2 player Co-op|
|Arcade system||CAVE CV1000|
|CPU||Hitachi SH-3 (133MHz)|
|Sound||Yamaha YMZ770C-F (APU)|
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 and iOS in 2011. An Xbox 360 port was released in May 2012 (with ver1.5 as first print DLC). A significantly changed "version 1.5" was released to arcades in 2011. 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, and a spin-off iOS game entitled "Mushihime-sama Bug Panic".
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-year-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.
- Original - The easiest mode with fewer (but usually faster) bullets than the other difficulty settings.
- Maniac - Features more bullets and a chaining system to drastically change scores.
- Ultra - The most difficult mode, has an even higher bullet count than Maniac and retains the chaining system.
- 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 following features:
- Original and Ultra modes can be selected from the beginning.
- Faster bullets.
- Initial equipment change.
- Option formation change.
This version was released for arcade in Cave Festival 2011 on May 27, 2011 at the price of ¥180000. It was only available for purchase from Cave's online store, from 12pm to 8pm on May 27/28, 2011. It is considered a proper arcade release. In this version of the game, all difficulty levels (Original, Maniac, and Ultra) are initially selectable, all the music has been remixed, the colour palette is brighter, and there is a new mode called MAX Select (with Original, Maniac, and Ultra difficulties). In standard (non-MAX Select modes), there are changes in enemy number and bullet patterns, and ground gems can be sucked by releasing A as per Futari. An incomplete summary of MAX Select gameplay differences follows:
- Reco starts out with full attack power (W-, M- or S-Power) and 4 subweapon options in the Formation configuration. Main shot powerups still spawn, but only grant score, and Trace/Formation powerups still spawn, but will only grant score and/or a subweapon configuration change.
- Original difficulty features an amber counter, which is increased both by collecting amber chips and passively by remaining in the bottom half of the screen. If this counter increases past 10000, enemy bullets gain a green shadow and increase moderately in speed, but being near enemies while shooting will generate large amber chips instead of small ones. If the counter increases past 50000, a yellow shadow appears and bullets increase dramatically in speed. These changes do not occur if the player uses the 2P side. Dying, bombing, and boss fights decrease the counter, and the counter is halved when transitioning to a new stage. The counter maxes out at 99999.
- Enemies fire more bullets in Original mode, and additional enemies may appear.
- Reco spawns with only one bomb instead of three, though more may be collected as normal.
- If Reco has bombs in stock when hit, a bomb will automatically be released to save Reco, but her entire bomb stock will be depleted.
PlayStation 2 port
Taito released a PlayStation 2 port in Japan in 2005. A limited PlayStation 2 version also includes young Reco and Kiniro figures. Exclusive to this port is Arrange mode. 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.
Cave ported Mushihime-sama to iOS platforms under the title Bug Princess which was released on December 15, 2011. "Hell" difficulty features equivalent bullet patterns to the arcade release.
Xbox 360 port
Cave releases Mushihime-sama HD on the Xbox 360 on May 24, 2012 in Japan. The game features Novice, Arrange and Xbox 360 modes. Arrange is a modified version of the PS2 Arrange mode. No Arcade mode is included, only the Xbox 360 mode which is identical to the arcade release bar HD visuals. First print copies will include Version 1.5 as free DLC. The game will be released in both regular and limited editions, with different cover art. The limited edition will include an arrange soundtrack CD.
This game has some similarities with the Studio Ghibli film: Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind