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Summary: A legendary SHMUP influential to the best makers in the genre, Hellsinker is now available on steam in its most advanced form! Gameplay, story, graphics, and even music all united into one cohesive and highly dimensional Shoot-em-up. Quick note in case anyone's interested: I decided to try updating to Windows 8.1, and it does indeed appear to fix whatever was preventing the translated release of Hellsinker from running on 'regular' Windows 8. Now to attempt to figure out what in heaven's name is going on with this game. Characters from Hellsinker. Unmarked spoilers below. DeadliarOne of the three oldest Executors currently employed by the Graveyard. Although his abilities are about average, his experience and skill makes one of the most likely to be called in.
AN AWESOME PRAYER IS CONFLICT WITH US
Trainer and cheats for PC. Get more out of Hellsinker. And enhance your gaming experience. ALL NEW TRAINER MANAGER 2.0 HAS BEEN RELEASED AND IS NOW AVAILABLE FOR DOWNLOAD! TRAINERS CoSMOS REQUESTS QUEUE BOARDS REWARDS SUPPORT. We have 26,994 trainers for 6,691 Games. Hellsinker is an esoteric shooting game developed by Hiranyon, also known as Tonnor and released under his Ruminant’s Whimper brand on July 27, 2007. Unlike most other shooters, Hellsinker has a pretty deep narrative but on the other side it features some strange terms.
Hellsinker is a doujinshooter developed by the circle Ruminant's Whimper. A cursory look at a video or image of the game will show you that it is rather complex. Eschewing the shmup tradition of simple mechanics, Hellsinker has at least 10 bars on the heads-up display, each with at least one type of item that fills or empties them. To be sure, it is not a game for the casual player.
Due to the lack of a localization patch, little is known about the game's story. From what has been gathered, the game is set in a human colony after a central device (known as 'The Device') breaks down for mysterious reasons. Most people die, but a small group manage to use small fragments of the Device to survive. The group of survivors gradually rebuilds, and begin to track down more parts of the Device to understand the technology of the Precursors. A group known as the Graveyard, comprising the player characters, tries to go to a part of the Device known as the Cardinal Shaft to do research. However, they are met by hostile robots called Prayers and where repelled on two previous ocations. Hellsinker focuses on the third attempt.
There's also something about a lost cat waiting for its owner, but how that's connected to the overall story is unknown. Lots of parts of this game remain mysterious, even after 4 years of release. If you want a game that really gives you a genuine sense of discovery, go for Hellsinker... just expect to sink some time into it.
Now has a Character Page.
- Absurdly Spacious Sewer: Segment 4 is called 'Secret Passage ~ Garden Sewage System' and is big enouth to house the monstrously big Rusted Dragon.
- Amazing Technicolor Battlefield: All of the final bosses as well as 'The Great Majority' and 'The Way of All Flesh'.
- Anime Anatomy: All of the Misteltoes.
- Anti-Frustration Features: If you are on your last heart, you will enter the auto regen state where you now start gaining heart pieces over time until you get an extend.
- Attack Drone: Deadliar and Fossilmaiden both make use of these, as does one of Kagura's four types.
- Ave Machina: The organization that created Minogame.
- Awesome Yet Practical: Deadliar's secret attack, the 60-second charged sword. While it will take very long to charge, you can still use your subweapon to kill enemies you must kill in the process, and when the charge process is finished, it will be powerful enough to one-shot even most of the bosses. It's not abusable, but it's very useful in certain situations.
- Badass Abnormal: Most executors are this. Deadliar isn't even that abnormal.
- Bare-Fisted Monk: Minogame does not use any magical equipment... his/her profile lists his/her form of attack as 'STAND BY ONESELF'.
- Battle Aura: All of the main characters sports one as does the Apostles of the Seed.
- Battle in the Rain: All the stages up until Segment 4 that happens outside takes place in heavy rains.
- Battleship Raid: Both version of Segment 3.
- BFS: During the boss fight in Segment 6, there is a giant blade floating around, and in the end of the segment, you can see your character almost landing on it, and then you see how absolutely huge the blade is. It is apparently the key to the next level.
- Blade Below the Shoulder: Deadliar is often depicted with these.
- Blue and Orange Morality: Discussed regarding the Prayers that they either got a really wierd sence of morality or none at all.
- Bonus Boss: Perpetual Calendar's secret form, Scarlet Queen's Spirit Kernel and the various last bosses.
- Bonus Level: There are two extra stages in the game: one focuses on score, and the other on survival.
- Boss Rush: The various forms of Perpetual Calendar, as well as the Shrine of Farewell.
- Boss Subtitles:
- Temperament Nil: 'Broken One'.
- Al4th: 'The Great Impure'.
- Million Lives, Nine Lives, Old Rose, Saint Mouve, Scarlet Queen and Rex Cavalier: 'Heroic Dead'.
- Bottomless Magazines: Played straight most of the time except for Kagura's 'Xanthez'. You have to wait for it to reload or risk running out in the worst possible moment.
- Brutal Bonus Level: Subverted: there are two bonus stages, but neither of them are harder than the main game.
- Bullet Hell: Mostly uses fast and/or large bullets rather than small ones.
- Call a Hit Point a Smeerp: Taken to an extreme. Here's a quick guide for beginners: Discharge means bomb. Sol and Luna mean firepower. Stella means rank. Spirit means points. Segment means stage number. Bootleg Ghost means autobomb. Executor means your character. Prayer means bosses. And that's not even all of them...
- Catgirl: Nine Lives, Million Lives.
- Collision Damage: Averted: crashing into enemies won't kill you directly, with a few exceptions, such as missiles. Also see Deadly Walls below.
- Continuity Nod: The Stage 6 BOSS theme is a remix of a theme from an earlier Ruminant's Whimper game Radio Zonde.
- Kagura's equipments are named after some of Radio Zonde bosses.
- One of the potential opponents in the Segment 5 Boss Rush is Old Rose, the final boss of Radio Zonde.
- Cool Key: The giant sword in Segment 6 is called 'The Key' and is necesarry in order to open up the passageway to the 'Irreversible Lane' where Segment 7 takes place.
- Cores and Turrets Boss: Perpetual Calendar.
- Deadly Walls: Averted: if a player runs into a wall they harmlessly bounce off, like in Death Smiles, Guwange and Vasara.
- Death From Above: Sunken Bishop will attempt to snipe you from above in Segment 3L.
- Deflector Shields: All ships are surrounded by a blue circle when performing a ship-specific action (like using the sword, in Fossilmaiden's case). The circle does heavy damage, slows bullets, and turns some bullet types into pickup items.
- Depending on the Artist: Kagura and Minogame in paricular among the fan artist's.
- Didn't Need Those Anyway: Averted: Hellsinker is one of the few shmups where destroying body parts of a boss actually hinders it. Most times.
- Difficult but Awesome: Kagura with its fourth equipment 'Xanthez - Anti-bacillus saber' is arguably the most awesome character in this game, and definitely the most difficult one!
- Disc One Final Boss: Perpetual Calendar.
- Dual Boss: Apostles of the Seed.
- Dynamic Difficulty: This game has a rank system similar to, but not as extreme as, Battle Garegga. Unlike in Battle Garegga, players can actually see the rank by means of a visible meter.
- Easy Mode Mockery: Short Mission gives you only a subset of the game's 9 segments. On the other hand, it still counts towards unlocks.
- Enemies with Death: If you get to the continue screen, it says 'The death is waiting for you, do not bore him.' Then you can choose either to surrender (game over) or to decive him (continue).
- Enemy Summoner: The secret form of Rusted Dragon and Perpetual Calendar does this as well as any enemy that uses Misteltoes as waepons.
- Everything's Louder with Bagpipes: One of the menu themes.
- Good BadTranslation Train Wreck: Many hilarious examples, including:
- Wherever did you put? 
- ALL RERICS WERE SUNK 
- A TOTAL KARMA COMPRESSOR SYSTEM NAMED 'GARLAND' 
- The death is waiting for you, do not bore him. 
- On your decision, it's Absolutely. 
- Guide Dang It: Even configuring the game is very confusing, to say nothing of getting a hold of the mechanics.
- Heartbeat Soundtrack: The Segment 8 Intermission Monologue.
- Interface Screw: During the battle against Lost Property 771.
- It's Up to You: Averted: it's made quite clearly that you are not fighting alone.
- Large and In Charge: Rex Cavalier.
- Laser Blade: Fossilmaiden uses this as her main attack.
- Lonely Piano Piece: The Spirit Overload ending theme.
- Marathon Boss: Some bosses (namely Glorious Symbol and Rex Cavalier) can become this if you don't know how do deal with them. But even if you do know how to fight them, most boss fights will still last slightly longer than most shmup bosses do.
- Mickey Mousing: Quite prominent throughout the game.
- Mind Screw: It's visually and musically very surreal, but the plot is even stranger than any of the gameplay would lead a player to believe. The full version of the game contains hidden poems, loads of cryptic Japanese text, Morse Code messages in the title screen, flashing screens in between levels and during bosses, distorted voices and all sorts of fun things to spend time decrypting. It's pretty much House of Leaves: The Game.
- Strangely enough, Version 0.95 of the game was almost perfectly normal. After it was released, the creator disappeared from the Internet for a while before creating a rather cryptic new website and releasing the full game at Comiket 72.
- This gem from a translation of the configuration screen:
1. Main shot
- Nonstandard Game Over: The spirit overload ending in Segment 7.
- One-Hit-Point Wonder: All characters take one hit before losing a life, as per Bullet Hell standards, but on lower difficulties, you have a chance of auto-bombing when hit instead of losing a life.
- One-Woman Wail: The Segment 6 boss theme features this.
- Segment 7 is more of a One Man Wail.
- Our Fairies Are Different: Misteltoes generally resemble a naked fairy on the top half, with a semicircular crystal for a lower body. They are also cold and metalic to the toutch.
- Pinball Scoring: Averted, in that the world high score is only 130,000 Spirits.
- Powered Armor: Kagura is a Misteltoe wearing a powered suit. This suit pretty much acts like a Do-Anything Robot though.
- Powered by a Forsaken Child: Garland's power comes from four children buried beneath it. You end up fighting all four during one of the final boss events.
- Prepare to Die: An omnious voice can be heard just before fighting Scarlet Queen Spirit Kernel saying 'You will die here'.
- Previous Player Character Cameo: Some attacks of the Apostles of the Seed resembles the attacks used by the two protagonists (i.e. Mahilo and Yoxola) from Radio Zonde. Some fansnoticed.
- Pronoun Trouble: Defied with Minogame who is refered to as male for convinience.
- Really Seven Hundred Years Old: Nobody knows exactly how old Deadliar is... But he is certainly much Older Than He Looks.
- Recurring Boss: Rex Cavalier, who is fought as a Segment 1 Lead boss and then reappears as a Segment 7 Boss.
- Resurrective Immortality: The Prayers thanks to Perpetual Calendar. Perpetual Calendar in turn also have this immortality, and even if destroyed, it will be back up and running within 2 to 3 days.
- Respawn Point: The old archives where Perpetual Calendar resides.
- Roboteching: Minogame's laser subweapon jumps from enemy to enemy. Oddly, it stays on one enemy in the form of a black circle until the target's HP is depleted.
- Rule 34: Yes, not even this game is immune.
- Secret Level: The Shrine of Farewell, which is mandatory but hard to access when you want to.
- Sensory Abuse: The final battle as well as the extra stages full stop.
- Shout-Out: Kagura's second equipment type, Elliptical Chariot, is a reference to the obscure Psikyo game Dragon Blaze.
- Smart Bomb: All characters have one (Kagura even has four) that can be launched if you have 3 or higher SOL power. If you have 5 SOL, then they will launch a more powerful version of the bomb.
- There is also the Solidstate mode where if you have 3 or more SOL, then it will clear the screen right away for a while if you are hit. However, you can only have 3 solidstates per stage, and in the Shrine of Farewell, they are dissabled all togheter.
- Spell My Name with a 'The': The unnamed 771.
- Spiritual Successor: To Radio Zonde.
- Radio Zonde might have happened in the same world as Hellsinker, considering the in-game references.
- Spirit World: The Shrine of Farewell is an unusual take on this trope. The best way to describe is as an spiritual dump where heroes considered unworthy of preservation and generally stuff no one what anything to do with end up.
- Star Scraper: The Cardinal Shaft is so tall it reaches the clouds.
- Super Prototype: Kagura is one of the earlier made Misteltoes. It's also the only Misteltoe that is capable of performing missions on its own.
- Theme and Variations Soundtrack/Recurring Riff
- Time Limit Boss:
- All the bosses are this. When the timer runs out, however, they move on, and the game telling you that they lost interest.
- However, it should be noted that doing this on Rex Cavalier results in an Nonstandard Game Over.
- Title Drop: NOW REACHES THE FATAL ATTRACTION BE DESCRIBED AS 'HELLSINKER'
- Trippy Finale Syndrome: Boy howdy.
- The Turret Master: Giving Kagura the Epileptic Chariot will transform her playstyle into this.
- Unreadably Fast Text: Lots of it appears during the Shrine of Farewell, and it may or may not mean something.
- 'Wake-Up Call' Boss: Rusted Dragon, which is automatically skipped if you're doing terribly so far.
- Was Once Human: The prayers.
- Wave Motion Gun: Used throughout Stage 6 against the player.
- What Measure Is a Non-Human?: Executors in general are seen as inhuman by the general society. This is also one of the more troubling questions regarding the Prayers wheater or not they still can be considered humans.
- A Winner Is You: Played with. This trope is played straight if the Satisfaction Level is at 0 after the first Segment 8 boss was defeated... although that's more of a Nonstandard Game Over. Satisfaction Level 1 and 2 actually gives you a rather long ending, but if you managed to get Satisfaction Level 3 and defeat the True Final Boss, all you get is a screen says 'The End', and then you are sent back to the title screen. You get to unlock the extra stages this way though, and after beating both of them, you will finally see the true ending.
- Woman in White: The human form of Lost Property 771.
- ↑Flashes on the screen during Extra Stage 2.
- ↑End of Shrine of Farewell.
- ↑The third type of title screen.
- ↑The continue screen.
- ↑Choosing not to continue.
Hellsinker. is a doujinbullet-hellshoot-em-up developed by Ruminant's Whimper for PC in 2006 and re-released on Steam in 2019. It's defining gameplay features are its multiple gauges that affect your attack strength, its enemies with multiple parts to strategically dismember, and its three different tracked scores (Spirit, Kills, and Tokens). The game is also often noted for its unique, sometimes inscrutable, lore and aesthetic. The story follows 4 members of the mysterious organization GRAVEYARD as they attempt to reach and infiltrate the Cardinal Shaft, a giant tower responsible for the end of the world.
CONFLICT WITH US
KEEP YOUR DIGNITY
- 1Gameplay Overview
Hellsinker. is a four-button with 4 playable characters (one of which has 4 different load-outs, for an overall total of 7) and 9 levels (referred to in-game as 'Segments') in the main game. There are also unlockable, harder versions of the first 3 Segments (unlocked by 1CC-ing Segment 4) and 2 Extra Segments, unlocked by 1CC-ing the game and defeating the TLB, Lost Property 771. The scoring system involves destroying enemies (including destructible parts) to gain Spirit, keeping your Stella (Rank) high to spawn extra enemy waves, and collecting extra lives past the life cap for Immortality bonuses.
- C (Press): Fire your main shot. Tapping rhythmically enables rapid fire. Some characters have an extra attack used by mashing the C button faster than rhythmically tapping.
- C (Hold): Charge up a strong attack based on your main shot. Release to fire this attack. Holding this button in conjunction with pressing the subweapon button can also perform different special attacks.
- X: Fire your subweapon. The mechanics of this attack vary with the character chosen and whether your subweapon gauge is filled.
- Z: Fire your discharge attack (bomb). Discharge attacks do high damage, clear the screen of bullets, and makes the player character invincible for some time.
- V: Activate slowdown. The exact behavior of this button is dependent on a setting chosen at the start of each run.
The lefthand side of the HUD focuses on gameplay features and contains vital information for any player. Additional information is below:
- Rank and Speed settings. These are determined before a run starts and cannot be changed during the run. Rank settings do not work outside Practice mode.
- Lives. Lives are indicated by the heart containers. Max denotes the maximum number you can stock at once, set before the run. The Necessary counter counts down as you collect Life Chips and Ingots; When it hits 0 you earn an Extend.
- Sol gauge. Sol determines the strength of your main shot and bombs. Default levels are from 1 to 5. The number will flash red when a bomb is available.
- Luna gauge. Luna determines your main shot's rate of fire. Default has 3 levels, LO/MI/HI. Text will flash blue when HI, indicating maximum fire rate.
- Subweapon gauge. Indicates the status of your subweapon. The bar indicates subweapon charge, while the rectangles indicate the level of attack available. For option type subweapons, MOUNT indicates the weapon is mounted to your character while INDEPEND indicates that it has been launched.
- Rank gauge. Also called Stella. Levels go from 1 to 9 to A. The number will flash red when the gauge is filling and blue when it is emptying.
- Target name. Indicates the name of the last target hit. Can be ignored.
- Terra gauge. Terra is a special gauge that indicates when you will visit a bonus segment called Shrine of Farewell. The full details of this gauge are described below.
The righthand side of the HUD is mostly reserved for scoring info. Players playing for survival may ignore most of this.
- Autbomb status. If an autobomb is available, it will say so here and state how many you have remaining for the current segment. Otherwise it will tell you why an autobomb is not available.
- Spirit counter and gauges. The counter tracks your Spirit gains over the course of the run. The top counter represents Spirit earned from all previous segments and the bottom shows the amount earned on the current segment. These numbers are added at the end of the segment. The gauges represent decimal values of Spirit gains. A full gauge from top to bottom represents 1, 10, and 100 Spirit. This allows players to easily track Spirit changes of any size, no matter how large their score becomes. If a Spirit BREAKTHROUGH is achieved, the word BREAK will appear next to the word Spirit.
- Kill Counter. This tracks the total number of kills made in a run. Like the Spirit counter, the top number tracks previous segments and the bottom number tracks the current segment. BREAK will also appear next to Kills for a Kill BREAKTHROUGH.
- Luna Crystal multiplier. This tracks the value of Luna crystals. The value inside the crystal tracks the current size of crystals (and ergo their worth) while the number outside tracks how many more crystals need to be collected to increase gem size. Letting a gem fall off screen will instead increase the number of gems needed to increase size and also eventually lower size.
- Token counter. This tracks the number of Tokens collected over the run. It works similarly to the other two scores aside from lacking a BREAKTHROUGH.
- Timer. Counts the time (in seconds) since the start of the current segment.
- FPS counter. Tracks your FPS, to 2 decimal places (ie 6000 is 60.00). At one time it was possible to configure this to also show VRAM usage and Object Count. It is unknown if this is still possible.
The Bootleg Ghost setting, chosen at the start of each run, determines autobomb behavior. All characters can autobomb up to 3 times per segment. The settings work as follows:
- Aspirant: Autobombs will only activate if the Sol gauge is 5 and the player has less than 4 lives.
- Solidstate: Autobombs will activate anytime discharge is available.
- Adept: Disables autobombs entirely. Additionally, changes the activation requirements of the suppression radius, which now only activates when the main shot button is held.
All characters have a suppression radius which can be activated by not firing the main shot for several seconds. (Fossil Maiden works differently, and her suppression radius is only active while her subweapon button is held down.) The suppression radius takes the form of a light blue circle around the character. It slows down many types of bullets and, for a smaller number of them, will destroy them entirely. Destroying bullets with your suppression radius creates small Luna Tokens. You can create slightly bigger ones by point-blanking enemies whose bullets you have also suppressed.
In a departure from the genre, colliding into walls or enemies in Hellsinker. does not kill you. Instead, you will be knocked back a certain distance away from the object collided with. If you are in a position to get knocked back several times (for example, wedged between two objects) your movement can become quite erratic. This encourages aggressive gameplay, as making a mistake and getting too close won't kill you (unless you get knocked back into a bullet). Additionally, any time the player character is invulnerable, they are also immune to knockbacks.
When you approach certain enemies pointblank, a blue box and the word SEAL will appear on them. Enemies sealed in this manner cannot fire as long as you remain close to them as well as for a few moments after you move away. This also encourages aggressive play rather than waiting for enemies to fly down to you. The size or type of enemy gives no indication as to whether they can be sealed or not. Only by attempting to seal an enemy will you know.
Hellsinker. features four playable characters, each with vastly different load-outs and playstyles. Three of the characters are available by default, while the last is unlocked by beating Segment 4 with a 1CC. The characters and their loadouts are as follows:
- Dead Liar: The oldest member of GRAVEYARD. He focuses on strong but narrow main shot attacks while his subweapon, the Misteltoe Tobari-Maru, can be freely placed to attack enemies with a small AOE. His load-out option allows him to change the behavior of this subweapon.
- Fossil Maiden: A particularly sickly member of GRAVEYARD who uses her Misteltoe, Saraba-Maru, to see as well as fight. Her combat focus is on covering extremely large areas of the screen with Saraba-Maru, who fires on all enemies who enter her radius.
- Minogame: An androgynous non-binary robot deity, powerful enough to fight without a Misteltoe. They focus on strong AOE attacks and discharges, allowing them to survive especially dangerous situations.
- Kagura/Kagura-Maru: An Elder Misteltoe used as a living weapons platform. This gives Kagura 4 distinct load-outs to use in combat. Kagura is unlocked by achieving a 1CC in Segment 4.
- Moon Cradle (Multi-Trajectory Shell): Features an aimable burst shot subweapon, and discharges that only cost 2 Sol rather than emptying the gauge.
- Ecliptic Chariot (External Gunner): An external, three-pronged turret that can be launched and retrieved freely.
- Infernal Sabbath (Variable Gun): Load-out with no distinct subweapon; Instead, the subweapon button controls the spread of the main shot.
- Xanthez (Anti-Bacillus Saber): Uses two highly destructive but short range swords to swipe at nearby enemies.
Hellsinker. uses lives to measure player health, and starts the player at four lives. At the start of each run, players use the Way of Life setting to set their life cap at 5-7. Setting a lower life cap offers less safety but greater score, as it allows the player to rack up Immortality bonuses faster. Extends are earned from Life Chips (the amount of which that are needed for an extra life going up as you earn more lives) and Revive Tokens that are dropped in rare circumstances.
Discharges are governed by the Sol gauge. Using your discharge attack depletes the Sol gauge, which also affects your main shot's strength. The Sol gauge refills over time, or by gathering Sol pieces which refill it quickly. Discharges cost a minimum of 3 Sol (unless you are Moon Cradle Kagura, which costs 2) and always empty the Sol gauge (again, unless Moon Cradle). Having 5 Sol gauge unlocks a more powerful bomb that lasts a longer time.
The Luna gauge affects the rate of fire of your main shot. It goes down as you fire your main shot, and goes up while not firing it. Collecting Luna Crystal tokens also fills it slightly, while also increasing your Token count. The fact that this gauge empties as you fire your main shot encourages the player to use their subweapons and discharges to keep this gauge up.
Your subweapon gauge determines the power (and in some cases, the type of attack) of your subweapon. It empties whenever you fire your subweapon, and fills when you are not firing your subweapon. Firing your main shot locks your subweapon gauge at level 1 if below it, or somewhat quickly empties it down to level 1 if above it.
Hellsinker. features 11 items (called relics) that govern score and gameplay.
Sol pieces are dropped by many enemies and slightly refill the Sol Gauge, by about one pip.
Luna crystals mostly function to increase the Token score while also slightly refilling the Luna gauge. They are dropped by specific enemies, and increase in size (and value) as you collect more.
Luna droplets increase the Token count and Luna Crystal multiplier at smaller rates than crystals, but have the upside of not penalizing your multiplier if they fall off the screen. They are created by erasing bullets very close to you by destroying the enemy that shot them.
Luna chaff increases the Luna gauge by a very small amount and does not increase the Token counter at all. It is created when bullets are destroyed by your Suppression Radius.
Stella relics allow you to control your rank, changing the Stella gauge by 1 whole number when picked up, and filling or emptying it for several seconds after, depending on the relic. Young Stella relics are green and increase your rank, while old Stella relics are pink and reduce your rank. Stella relics are dropped from scripted events, either certain moments in the stage or certain actions taken against bosses.
Life chips are somewhat more rare and reduce the counter for your next extend by 1. Other relics will have a fractional impact on this extend count. These are created only when specific enemies are destroyed.
Ingots are made when a boss's bullets are canceled when the boss is destroyed and give you some Spirit, as well as around 1/50th of an extend count. This amount is larger than other relics.
Terra tokens are rarely made by exploding subparts of some enemies. They increase your Token count, rank, and Terra gauge slightly.
Finally, the rarest relics are Comet relics and Revive tokens. Comet relics are dropped when the player character dies, and allow them to recover some of their lost rank. You will drop 1 Comet relic for each full rank you lost on death, and they each give .75 rank back.
Revive tokens are dropped in very specific circumstances and immediately offer an extra life. However, they have no effect on the extend counter and do not offer Immortality bonuses.
Hellsinker. has only one continue and this cannot be changed. Furthermore, entering a special segment will disable your continue for the rest of the run. If you do manage to use your continue, several segments are also skipped in your playthrough (Segments 3L and 6 are known) and you are locked out of fighting the Segment 8 boss, precluding a good end. Additionally, segments played after a continue do NOT unlock in Segment Location (practice mode). Thus, you are highly encouraged to 1CC the game, or at least as far as you can manage.
Of all the gauges in Hellsinker., Terra is perhaps the most mysterious. The Terra gauge starts any run at the full 240 points. Terra is reduced when you make mistakes, let life chips fall off the screen, or finish segments. However, increasing Terra is much harder. This means Terra is constantly falling during normal gameplay. When Terra does finally hit 0, a special segment called Shrine of Farewell is set as the next segment. Once you visit Shrine of Farewell, the Terra gauge is disabled as it no longer has any effect on gameplay. Shrine of Farewell is mandatory in a Full Sequence Order playthrough but its position in the playthrough can be changed with Terra management. With optimal Terra management in Full Sequence Order, Shrine of Farewell will take place after Segment 7.
The following events decrease Terra:
- Dying or autobombing
- Finishing stages with the amount varying based on the stage. Notably, Segment 7 essentially has -240 Terra if played in Full Sequence Order.
- Letting Life Chips fall off the screen costs 1 Terra per chip.
And the following actions increase Terra:
- Terra tokens which are rarely dropped from very specific enemies
- Extending gives you a small amount of Terra
- Fate control: Putting the Segment 5 boss in a special state at the end of the fight will allow you to constantly raise your Terra every time the boss dies and revives itself.
Avoiding hits and using fate control are the main ways to manipulate Terra to enter Shrine of Farewell at a chosen moment.
Shrine of Farewell Mechanics
When you eventually visit Shrine of Farewell, you will notice several mechanics behave differently from the rest of the game. Shrine starts as a room with no enemies but several doors showing the same 4 symbols in different orders. Shrine is a boss rush with a strict time limit and these doors set the order you fight those bosses in. Touching a door will set that door as your order, and pressing Main Shot will open the door and start the rush. it may be worth it to time out this first room for score. Your Spirit very slowly rises while inside this room, so waiting 30 seconds can net you a handful. This is a very tiny amount in the grand scheme of things but all it costs is some patience.
Once you have selected your boss order and entered Shrine proper, the full force of the gameplay changes come into effect:
- Your Spirit drops to 0, however doing well in Shrine will reward your lost Spirit back, with even better gameplay actually increasing your Spirit greatly.
- You have infinite lives. The place where your lives sit in the HUD will instead say UNCHAINED for the duration of Shrine.
- Bootleg Ghost does not function inside Shrine.
- You cannot earn credit to your next extend until the score screen of Shrine. This means ingots are worth only Spirit and Life Chips do not drop inside Shrine.
- Your Stella constantly rises while inside Shrine.
- Your continue is disabled upon entering Shrine. Notably, Shrine is still mandatory even if you have already used your continue.
Each of the 4 bosses in Shrine of Farewell has 3 different attacks, and these attacks form the basis of scoring inside Shrine. Defeat an attack without dying, and you will earn Crystals (a Shrine only item) that are each worth 1/200th of your pre-Shrine Spirit total meaning 200 Crystals will get you your score back. The max amount of Crystals awarded in shrine is 424, meaning perfect gameplay will more than double your score. Additionally, once you reach the end of Shrine, Crystals will rain from the top of the screen. These crystals act as Life Chips meaning a player can earn several extends to get back in the run, or several Immortality bonuses to drive the score even higher. The following actions affect Crystal gain in Shrine:
- Dying to a boss attack will reduce Crystal earned for that attack. The amount is dependent on the attack in question, and several deaths will set this score to 0.
- Bombing the Kaname Stones that hold the bosses inside them instantly sets their Crystal score from 18 to 0.
- Timing out a boss will cause them to instantly leave, voiding any Crystals from attacks you had not yet defeated.
- Seeing a secret 5th boss in Shrine will add a large amount of Crystal. This secret boss is unlocked by defeating all 4 previous bosses under a par time (indicated by the Kaname Stones wailing) and you are not penalized for dying or bombing once it appears on screen. This secret unnamed boss cannot be damaged, has a health bar that constantly drains until Shrine ends, and summons many Scary Stupa enemies to shoot down for a ton of Kills.
Shrine represents a unique opportunity for players of all skill levels. Players playing for survival mostly do not care where it ends up in the rotation but it will naturally happen after several deaths, potentially saving players from a Game Over. Experienced players will appreciate the potential to double your score inside Shrine and therefore choose to delay it as long as possible. Doing this maximizes the score gained and is an integral part of scoring.
Rank in Hellsinker. is governed by the Stella gauge. High Stella will spawn extra waves of enemies and adjusts the Spirit value of all enemies upward, making it vital for score. Conversely, Stella has little to no effect on bosses, with a few notable exceptions. The beginning of a run always sets the Stella gauge to 1 (adjustable for practice mode only in the options) and a proportion of your ending Stella is carried forward to the next stage.
Outside of this system, the following actions ***increase*** the Stella gauge:
- Destroying enemies and subparts.
- Picking up green Stella items, Terra tokens, and Comet relics.
- Fine play, which includes staying alive for a long time and grazing many bullets and lasers.
- Surviving for at least 30 seconds after a death.
- Playing aggressively by staying at the top of the screen and point-blanking enemies.
- Shooting indestructible parts of enemies.
And the following actions ***decrease*** the Stella gauge:
- Dying, compounded greatly by dying twice within 30 seconds.
- Using discharge attacks, by an amount based on the number of bullets erased.
- Picking up pink Stella items
- Grazing a certain numbers of bullets over time will always drop 2 pink Stella items from the top of the screen. The number needed is indicated under the character and labelled 'Appeasement'. This is only visible while currently grazing.
- Spending long periods of time at the bottom of the screen.
Hellsinker. features 3 different scores: Spirit, Kills, and Tokens and as a result 3 different ways to score. Spirit is the closest to a general score. Aside from destroying enemies, spirit can be raised by destroying subparts, destroying many destructible bullets at once, grazing many needle bullets at once, and unchaining special Master enemies which are tethered to slave enemies. Kills are simply a track of enemies killed. However, undestroyed subparts that die along with the main enemy, and slave enemies that self destruct during an Unchain do not count. Tokens measures how many Luna Crystals you have picked up during play.
At certain Spirit and Kill amounts, the character will earn a Breakthrough. Breakthrough not only adds a life but resets the number of life chips needed for an extend, which makes future immortal bonuses easier to obtain. Breakthrough can only be triggered once each for Spirit and Kills, and the number needed is dependent on which one is triggered first. Spirit Breakthrough happens at 5200 Spirit if the Kill Breakthrough is untriggered, or 6200 otherwise. Likewise, Kill Breakthrough occurs at 2500 or 5000 kills.
If a player earns a life while already at the life cap, they instead earn an Immortality bonus, increasing their Spirit. Immortality bonus starts at 80 Spirit and increases by 40 for each subsequent bonus. Immortality bonuses earned through a Breakthrough are instead worth 200 spirit.
Please see Hellsinker/Strategy for more info.
Hellsinker Free Download
Hellsinker. contains many hidden features that must be unlocked by making progress in the game such as extra game modes, new title screens, and goodies like a cutscene viewer and music room.
Unlocked by clearing Segment 4 1CC:
- Title Screen 2. Title Screen 2.
- Kagura, a fourth playable character.
- Segment Location, a practice mode. In order for a segment to be unlocked in practice mode, you must reach (but not necessarily defeat) a segment's boss 1CC.
- Segments 1 through 3 Lead. These Lead segments are harder than the default versions (now called Behind) but offer greater scoring opportunities as a result. They can be freely picked in Full Sequence Order.
Unlocked by clearing Segment 7 (1CC not necessary):
- Title Screen 3. Title Screen 3.
- Short Mission, an abbreviated run of the game. Short Mission is truncated to 5 segments instead of 8 and allows players to pick them from a series of groupings. Progress made in Short Mission counts for the purposes of unlocks such as Segment Location or beating the game.
Unlocked by defeating the True Last Boss, Lost Property 771:
- Extra Segment 1, The Great Majority. Extra segments are selected from the title screen and take place after the events of Full Sequence Order in order to expand on the story. The Great Majority is a score attack based segment.
Unlocked by clearing The Great Majority:
- Extra Segment 2, The Way of All Flesh. The Way of All Flesh is a survival based segment and features the return of Lost Property 771 in a new form.
Unlocked by clearing The Way of All Flesh:
- Title Screen 4. Additionally, title screens can now be freely changed in options. Title screen 4.
- Strategy Recorder, a cutscene viewer. Strategy Recorder features extra cutscenes not seen during gameplay.
Unlocked by viewing all cutscenes in Strategy Recorder, then closing the game:
- Sound Memoir, a music room. A final cutscene will play when you close the game, thanking you for your efforts. Congratulations!
References & Contributors
- Primary info contributed by Yukkuritime
- Additional page formatting by CHA-STG
- 'English strategy guide for HellSinker.', by Zaarock https://shmups.system11.org/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=53078
- Spirit Scoring Strategies added by Twilightex and Legless