Espgaluda II, the sequel to Espgaluda, is a vertical bullet hell shoot 'em up developed by Cave and release in arcades 2005. An Xbox 360 port with a number of new features, Espgaluda II Black Label, was released in Japan on February 25, 2010. An iPhone port was released on April 10, 2010, and an HD version of this was released exclusively for iPad 2 on October 13, 2011. An Android version is set to be released in October, 2011.
Three years after the Great Shinra War, Ageha, Tateha and their mother have fled to the country Soma, where they hope to live peacefully. Unbeknownst to them, the nation's researchers have been tirelessly searching the ruins of Shinra for the technology behind their powerful spirit engine. They have now succeeded, and in hopes of military conquest, Soma's government builds a spirit engine-driven army and re-starts the Espgaluda project, producing a single successful super-powered specimen: Asagi. Disgusted and horrified by the project that gave her powers, Asagi kills Soma's king and flees. Her powers lead her to Ageha and Tateha's place of hiding, and the three must now join forces to destroy the army that pursues them.
Each character has a shot attack, used by tapping the shot button, and a laser attack, used by holding the shot button. The shot attacks are weaker but allow the characters to move relatively fast, whereas the laser attacks are more powerful, but limit the characters' movement speed. All characters also have a guard barrier attack governed by a meter at the bottom of the screen, that makes them temporarily invincible and deals massive damage. Each guard barrier attack costs 25% of the meter.
The player character can switch between four different modes, which affect a variety of things:
In this mode, enemies drop emerald gems when destroyed. When the player has 250 gems, no more can be added to the counter.
Kakusei Shikai (Awakened Perception)
In this mode the properties of the player character's shot and laser are altered, and the enemies and their bullets slow down. When an enemy is destroyed, its bullets turn into gold. Each piece of gold adds to a score multiplier, which maxes out at 100. If the player character is hit by a bullet or enemy, a guard barrier attack automatically activates provided the meter isn't empty, saving the character's life. These automatically activated guard barrier attacks cost 50% of the meter rather than the usual 25%. In Kakusei Shikai emerald gems deplete over time, and if the player hasn't exited the mode by the time the counter hits zero, he will enter Kakusei Shikai Over.
Like in Kakusei Shikai, the properties of the player character's shot and laser are altered, and the enemies and their bullets slow down. However, the bullet patterns also become far more dense than usual. When an enemy is destroyed, its bullets cancel for a moment, before being replaced by even more bullets that home in on the player. Each cancelled bullet adds to a score multiplier, which maxes out at 500. If the player character is hit by a bullet or enemy, a guard barrier attack automatically activates provided the meter isn't empty, saving the character from death. These automatically activated guard barrier attacks cost 100% of the meter rather than the usual 25%, and change the mode to Kakusei Shikai. In Kakusei Zetsushikai both gems and gold deplete over time, and if the player hasn't exited the mode by the time the counter hits zero, he will enter Kakusei Shikai Over.
Kakusei Shikai Over
Like in the other Kakusei modes, the properties of the player character's shot and laser are altered, but enemy bullets speed up instead of slowing down. When an enemy is destroyed, 1 gold is gained. If the player character is hit by a bullet or enemy, a guard barrier attack automatically activates provided the meter isn't empty, saving the character from death. These automatically activated guard barrier attacks cost 100% of the meter rather than the usual 25%.
There are three playable characters in Espgaluda II:
A 21-year-old male who becomes female in Kakusei Shikai. The fastest of the characters. His shot is narrow but strong, and angles slightly if he moves horizontally while firing. In Kakusei Shikai, his laser becomes more powerful.
A 19-year-old female who becomes male in Kakusei Shikai. The slowest of the characters. Her shot is wide. In Kakusei Shikai mode her shot becomes more powerful, and homes slightly.
A 12-year-old female who becomes male in Kakusei Shikai. Her shot is narrow, and her laser homes. When she uses her shot in Kakusei Shikai, her options trail her movement while continuously shooting. When she uses her laser in Kakusei Shikai, her options lock on to and surround a single enemy, focusing all their firepower on it.
The following are non-playable characters:
A 10-year-old and prince of Soma. He wears mechanical wings and appears as the boss of the first stage.
An 11-year-old and princess of Soma. She wears mechanical wings and appears as the boss of the third stage, attempting to avenge her brother.
Officer of the Soma Mechanized Unit. He first appears as the mid-boss of the second stage, wearing mechanical wings and wielding a large cannon. He later returns as the boss of the fourth stage, controlling a powerful tank.
The jealous, 15-year-old half-sister of Ageha and Tateha, defeated in the Great Shinra War but reconstructed by Soma's engineers. She appears as the boss of the fifth stage.
A powerful being, and the result of a fusion of Tsubame and Janome. Appears as the boss of the sixth and final stage.
Espgaluda II Black Label
Espgaluda II Black Label for the Xbox 360 features, in addition to a direct port of the original arcade game:
- A number of new modes: Arcade Novice, Xbox 360, Xbox 360 Novice, Black Label, Arrange and Omake!.
- Updated hi-res sprites in all modes except Arcade and Arcade Novice.
- A remixed version of the soundtrack.
- Online leaderboards.
- The ability to record and upload replays.
Espgaluda II for iOS features two modes and OpenFeint Leaderboards:
- Arcade Mode: The standard arcade version.
- iPhone Mode: Introduces the Awakening Pulse system, where tapping the screen sends out a pulse that transforms enemy bullets into spirit stones.
Espgaluda II HD, a version of the iOS port playable only on iPad 2, adds hi-res graphics. In the iOS versions of the game, the player controls the character with a track pad-like system implemented at the bottom of the screen so as to not obscure any of the gameplay. Espgaluda II is only supported on iPhone 3GS, iPad, and 3rd gen iPod touch (Late 2009 32GB and 64GB).