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 "Now that it's done · · · · ·

I've begun to see the reason why we are here."


Radiant Silvergun is a vertical scrolling shooter by Treasure, released in arcades (on the Sega Titan-Video hardware) and on the Sega Saturn in 1998. It was ported to Xbox Live Arcade on September 14, 2011.

The gameplay is rather unique, allowing you to use any of seven weapons at any time, as well as a charged attack. Weapons gain in strength as you score points with them, and destroying a chain of enemies that have the same color gives higher and higher bonuses as the chain continues. Thus, you'll need to use a variety of attack methods to level up evenly, as well as NOT destroying enemies of other colors so as to not break the chain. (Inter-color chains would not appear until Ikaruga, but is available as an option in the XBLA remake if you got any achievements in the former's XBLA remake.) Failure to do results in a near Unwinnable scenario against the Final Boss, as underleveled weapons are ineffective and rendered useless. Like previous Treasure games, Radiant Silvergun concentrates heavily on boss battles. The infamous boss warning screen appears about two dozen times and bosses take numerous different forms to try to annihilate the player.

The story is rather bleak and depressing: a strange crystalline structure called the Stone-Like is found in an ancient ruined city, and then proceeds to kill everyone on Earth. The player takes control of a pilot in a small crew that escaped the Stone-Like's blast, helming the eponymous Silvergun and returns to the planet to discover the secrets behind the artifact. Things are just getting worse from this point on.

See also Ikaruga, the Spiritual Successor to Radiant Silvergun.

Tropes used in Radiant Silvergun:

  • Action Bomb: Kamikaze ships that hurl towards the player in stage 5A, not to mention the Silverguns on the Penta after exhausting all their other attacks on the player.
  • Airborne Aircraft Carrier: Tetra and its doppelgänger Penta.
  • Anachronic Order: Stage progression is as follows: Stage 3 (Return) -> Stage 2 (Reminiscence) and/or Stage 4 (Evasion) (depending on version) -> Stage 5 (Victim) -> Stage 6 (Stone-Like) -> Stage 1 (Link). The numbers indicate their chronological order.
  • Apocalyptic Log: All of the ship's logs are this after the ending.
  • Attack Drone: A few bosses have them.
  • Boss Game: Generally speaking, half the entire time spent in a typical playthrough is made up of boss fights, but Stage 6 is particularly loaded with bosses.
  • Boss Subtitles: Complete with Gratuitous English to give nonsensical advice in place of the nonsensical move lists of Gunstar Heroes!
  • Bullet Hell: Radiant Silvergun has its moments, but the pace is somewhat slower than your typical shooter of this level.
  • But What About the Astronauts?: The Tetra's barely able to escape to an orbit around the Earth at the end of Stage 2. Stage 3 starts with them returning to Earth after a year because they had exhausted their food and energy supplies.
  • Chain-Reaction Destruction: When the core part of the boss goes down, they make sure that they will go down with more than one explosion.
  • Charged Attack: The collect type.
  • Climax Boss: Most notably the second boss in Stage 5.
  • Combining Mecha: LUNAR-C boss is composed of 3 different parts which join after some time.
  • Cool Ship: Silverguns are equipped with a total of seven weapons. At all times. You're gonna need them.
  • Depopulation Bomb: Seen in the end of Stage 2.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: The Stage 1 and ending dialogue and monologue is intentional symbolism for Executive Meddling between game retailers, developers, and publishers, with hardcore gamers caught in the middle.
  • Downer Ending / Gainax Ending / Adam and Eve Plot / Eternal Recurrence
  • Dual Boss: Golets brothers; when flying through tunnels at high speed, the second one will periodically join in.
  • Enemy Summoner: Walker mid-boss in Stage 4E.
  • Energy Ball: You and the enemies can fire out these.
  • Engrish: "BE ATTITUDE FOR GAINS" is but the most widely known example.
  • Evil Elevator: You'll be fighting one called UE2A-GAL which tends to replace its broken components at the end of Stage 2.
  • Every Ten Thousand Points: Lives can be gained by getting a lot of points.
  • Everything's Better with Spinning: The dodecagon DAIKAI10, the centipede DAN-564, the walking fortress CA2-EKZO, and Xiga the avatar of divine wrath.
  • Everything's Even Worse with Sharks: Varas, a mechanoid shark.
  • Excuse Plot: Unusually averted for a Treasure game. It's still mostly in the background, but the plot is far more fleshed out than those in their other games. How else could it be so downright depressing?
  • Fighter Launching Sequence
  • Fireballs: Some of the enemies and bosses can fire these. For an example, the first boss.
  • Flash of Pain: Enemies, many objects and bosses flash white when hit.
  • Flunky Boss: A lot of the bosses have normal enemies or enemies specific to them accompanying them. The first boss in stage 5 has the most of them.
  • Frickin' Laser Beams: Many bosses fire these.
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation: If (or "when", if you're playing Saturn mode) you go to Stage 2, you flash back to 1 year before the events of Stage 3 (the previous played stage). Somehow, your weapon levels and lives remaining go back with you in time.
  • Gaia's Vengeance
  • Ghost Planet: Stages 3-6. EVERYONE except the group on the Tetra dies when the Stone-Like goes berserk.
  • The Goomba: Drones: they're small, they're weak, they don't attack much (unless on very hard difficulty) and they're everywhere. They're mainly used to get the chain meter high and to collect pink bullets.
  • Gratuitous English: Used deliberately in the Boss Subtitles, to contrast the impeccable English of the Stone-Like.
  • Homing Projectile: You can fire these, enemies can fire these.
  • Hot-Blooded: Guy to the point where he kamikaze-attacks the Stone-Like.
  • Hundred-Percent Completion: When destroying bosses bit by bit instead of hitting their weak spot first, you'll get an extra destruction bonus.
  • It Got Way Fucking Worse
  • Kill'Em All: The game starts with a cutscene of this happening to Earth.
  • Laser Blade: The Radiant Sword.
  • Meaningful Name: Creator's name is both a reference to what he does at the end of the game and that he's an Author Avatar of the game's designer, Hiroshi Iuchi.
    • Most of the boss names also mean something, slyly disguised as random letters and numbers:
      • UE2A-GAL - Ue ni Agaru ("Going Up")
      • NASU - Aubergine (Eggplant)
      • DAIKAI10 - Daikaiten ("Giant Spin")
      • DAN-564 - Dango Mushi ("Pillbug")
      • CA2-EKZO - Kani Ekzo ("Crab Ekzo")
      • SBS-133 and SBS-33KI - Space Battle Ship
  • Marathon Boss: When you fail to get combos and upgrade your weapons, you'll be fighting some of the later bosses and especially the Final Boss for a long time.
  • Mirror Boss: Penta and its Silverguns, which use modified versions of your own attacks.
  • New Game+: Over the course of the game, the Silvergun's weapons level up as more points are earned. Saturn Mode in the Saturn version of the game saves these levels and lets you start the game over again with them. Eventually, you'll be able to start the game from the beginning with maxed-out weapons.
  • Nintendo Hard: If you're not a hardcore gamer, setting the difficulty to easiest is a must. In most shmups, players tend to use their first continue by the time they reach the second stage. In this game? By the time most players come out of Stage 3, the digit in the score that tracks the number of continues used is already maxed out!
  • Out of Order: In the scene during which the Stone-Like's explosion destroys the world occurs at exactly 9:38 PM according to one scene in the game. However, in Stage 2 (which took place on that same day,) the player does not reach the beginning of Stage 2E until 9:58 PM, exactly 20 minutes AFTER THE EXPLOSION SUPPOSEDLY TOOK PLACE. The player still has a little ways to go by this point until the end of the stage, too.
  • The Phoenix: Ohtrigen, only in the Saturn version.
  • Plotline Death: Extra lives won't help in this case.
  • Poor Communication Kills: The Boss Subtitles actually do provide useful information about the boss you're about to encounter, but it's intentionally made so cryptic the average gamer won't figure it out before the fight...or even far after the fact. That is, until you hit the Final Boss, where you get three easy-to-follow hints:
    • As an example, take the boss DAN-564, which is a giant pillbug. One of the items listed is a move name, "6464-q". The Japanese often use numbers (and letters, here) to represent certain words or sounds: "64" is shorthand for "mushi" or "bug"; "q" in this case means "kyuu" or "ball". You know it's coming, but do not taunt Bug Bug Ball.
  • Recurring Riff: Almost every song in the soundtrack uses the same recognizable motifs; those of "Feel Invisible Matter" and "The Stone-like".
  • Roar Before Beating: NASU the robotic snake roars before battle.
  • Senseless Sacrifice / Stupid Sacrifice: Guy's attempt to destroy the Stone-Like at the end of Stage 5.
  • Sentry Gun: A few types of enemies are wall turrets.
  • Sequential Boss: Many! There's also different variations of sequential bosses, too. For example, all the components of UE2A-GAL except the core are sequential.
  • Shoot the Shaggy Dog
  • Shout-Out: Most bosses in Radiant Silvergun are a reference to something else. It goes hand in hand with the Eternal Recurrence and Subtext commentary on the state of the gaming industry; some of these bosses are implied to both be man-made creations from previous cycles as well as other gaming titles.
  • Sinister Geometry: The Stone-Like.
  • Skippable Boss: W(--)W in the Saturn version. Yes, that boss' official name is W(--)W. However, beating it can reward the player with bonus points.
  • Spread Shot: A large part of your arsenal.
  • Sprite Polygon Mix: Ships, smaller projectiles, smaller enemies and lots of background is rendered in 2D while the rest of the background, larger enemies, larger projectiles and bosses are rendered in 3D.
  • Stable Time Loop
  • Stationary Boss: Many bosses.
  • Super Prototype: The Silvergun fighters.
  • Tank Goodness: Large tank miniboss in Stage 2.
  • Ted Baxter: Guy. This explains it all:

 Igarashi: On other matters, I recall that today is the last day of your tests! Our superiors have placed a lot of expectations on these new models, so please, do your best!

Guy: *tsk tsk tsk* C'mon, pops, you don't need tests if you've got the guts!

Igarashi: So, Tengai, just how is my son doing on the tests?


Guy: *screams in anguish*

  • The Scourge of God: The Stone-Like, but it's also pretty close to a Gaia's Avenger because after everyone else dies, Creator tells the player that not only is the Stone-Like the guardian of Earth, it is the Earth.
    • For those who thought the Stone-Like's actions hypocritical, keep in mind that it's said to be the guardian of Earth, not the guardian of humanity.
  • This Is Gonna Suck: Every boss in Radiant Silvergun (well, maybe except for the first boss) is preceded by a warning screen with three pieces of cryptic advice. For one of the Stage 6 bosses in the Saturn version, the three tips are "Be careless" "Go go heart" and "YYTM strategy".
    • Better yet, the advice for the Final Boss: 1. BE PRAYING; 2. BE PRAYING; 3. BE PRAYING.
  • Timed Mission: Bosses will self-destruct if the player spends too much time fighting them, resulting in less points.
  • Transforming Mecha: Second Golets can be seen transforming from a high-speed vehicle into a wider one. DAIKAI10 seems to change itself between being a cross or being a dodecagon. There are also other bosses which change their shape.
  • Turtle Power: Bechew. It will bea-chew up.
  • Unwinnable: If you don't power up quickly enough in the early stages, don't expect to be able to win without exhausting all of your continues. If your weapons are low-leveled at the end, you'll just have to survive as long as possible against the bosses until they self-destruct, especially the Final Boss.
  • Updated Rerelease: One of Microsoft's Tokyo Game Show 2010 announcements was an XBLA remake. There was much rejoicing...except from those hoping to invest in legit Sega Saturn copies.
    • Among other obvious additions, there was an extra option thrown in for those that had Ikaruga's XBLA rerelease and got any achievement in it: The ability to use Ikaruga's multi-color chain system instead of being forced to always hit the same color to sustain a chain, although to compensate, the maximum chain only gives you 25600 points per enemy, as opposed to 100k you can get with the normal chains.
    • Unfortunately, the Options+ menu (which let you make hitboxes visible or alter the Silvergun's speed) was lost in the mix - even after ninety hours of play, people haven't been able to make it appear. Another issue is that the game is presented in a 16:9 pillarboxed screen, even on non-16:9 displays, resulting in a significantly reduced game window--a problem for players who don't have HDTVs or want to play on a CRT.
  • Warmup Boss: The first boss, AKA-O. Well...except when playing on the hardest difficulty, in which case it's a Wake Up Call Boss and can easily kill any unsuspecting player.
  • Wave Motion Gun: Many bosses have that.
  • Weaponized Exhaust: Penta briefly uses these.
  • Where It All Began: Two instances:
    • The return to the Earth Defense Army Headquarters during Stage 5, where the Stone-Like unleashed its Depopulation Bomb in Stage 2.
    • A broader one happens in Stage 1, where you are sent back in time 100,000 years by the Stone-Like. Not so coincidentally, this is roughly when modern humans, genetically speaking, first appeared.