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Hellsinker is a doujin shooter 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.

An english patch is available here.

And welcome from the English Hellsinker wiki!

Tropes used in Hellsinker include:

  • Absurdly Spacious Sewer: Segment 4 is called "Secret Passage ~ Garden Sewage System" and is big enouth to house the monstrously big Rusted Dragon.
  • After the End
  • 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: Rex Cavalier dual-wields them.
    • Seems to be more of two BF Lance's
    • Also 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 absolutly huge the blade is.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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: Averted - difficulty/Bootleg Ghost setting only affects use of bombs, and does not make the game any easier. The world record was done using Solidstate, the easiest difficulty.
    • However, use of continues locks you into a bad ending.
  • 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 Bad Translation Train Wreck: Many hilarious examples, including:
    • Wherever did you put? [1]
    • The death is waiting for you, do not bore him [4]
      • On your decision, it's Absolutely. [5]
  • 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

2. Sub weapon


6. I have no idea

  • Minimalistic Cover Art
  • Multiple Endings
  • Nintendo Hard
  • 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.
  • 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 2nd 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. I 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 noone 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.
  • Trippy Finale Syndrome: Boy howdy.
  • 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.


  1. Flashes on the screen during Extra Stage 2
  2. End of Shrine of Farewell
  3. The third type of title screen
  4. The continue screen
  5. Choosing not to continue