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Shikigami no Shiro, (式神の城) released in America as Mobile Light Force 2, is the first game in the Shikigami no Shiro series developed by Alfa System. It is a scrolling shooter released first for arcades in Japan of 2001. Ports of the game were released for the Playstation 2, Xbox, and Windows one year later, followed by a re-release for the Playstation 2 in 2004.
In July of the year 2005, a series of serial murders took place in Tokyo, Japan, were every victim was female and killed by external injury. The killings took place within twenty hours.
On July 31st, the 31st victim was found. The police force classified the case as special crime #568, and began to seek investigators from occult sources.
The story begins on July 23rd, after the 32nd victim's death, where Kohtaro Kuga and several others set out to investigate.
The player, as one of six characters, must get through five worlds, each consisting of two to three levels each. A boss is fought at the end of each stage, who must be defeated to progress further through the story.
Unlike later games, the first title requires the character to power up his/her the starting weapon through four levels. This is easily done at the beginning due to lack of severe dangers. But should the player get killed in later stages, obtaining these power-ups may become more difficult.
The scoring gimmick of the Shikigami no Shiro series is the "Tension Bonus System". As the player moves closer to danger, the score multiplier increases, to a maximum of 8x. This multiplier affects both score and the number of coins released by defeated enemies.
Killing an enemy with the player's Shikigami weapon causes all coins released by that enemy to by auto-collected immediately.
The arcade release of Shikigami No Shiro uses Taito's G-Net system, which stores games on interchangeable ROM cards. The hardware is based on Sony's Playstation.
When Shikigami No Shiro was ported to different systems, several (and sometimes exclusive) gameplay modes were added. The Microsoft Xbox version added the Practice mode, the Gallery, and the Replay mode. The Playstation 2 port dropped Replay Mode in favor of a different mode known as "Side Story".
Mobile Light Force 2Edit
The American Playstation 2 port was infamous for undergoing a dramatic change compared to its original Japanese version. It had an Charlie's Angels-style cover picture, completely unrelated to the original characters or the game's theme, the removal of screen rotation mode, the removal of all in game plot, and substandard dubbing. The European release instead featured robots on the cover, and was abbreviated as "MLF 2".
Shikigami no Shiro EvolutionEdit
The Evolution port was an updated director's cut version of Shikigami No Shiro released exclusively for the Microsoft Xbox. It contained improved enemy AI, two new characters, and an entirely new mode entitled "Evo.Mode". Also included were several bonus content exclusive to Evolution.
Due to the popularity of Shikigami No Shiro, two sequels were released in the following years. Shikigami no Shiro II and III were the two major sequels, as well as an spinoff title released titled Shikigami no Shiro Nanayozuki Gensoukyoku.