Original Title
Ruminant’s Whimper
Official Website
Hellsinker is the second of two games by TONNOR, the sole member of doujin circle Ruminant’s Whimper (the other game being Radio Zonde).
While the game is essentially a vertical shmup it is deliberately obtuse, obfuscating standard genre terms behind words such as “Spirit” (score), “Archivement of Executors” (high score table) and “Stella” (rank). This style permeates the entire game, from the plot to various gameplay triggers – even after much research the English wiki is still unsure on the conditions for certain events.
There are three characters at the start, with a fourth unlockable once the fourth segment (level) has been cleared. Each character has vastly different weapon sets and they all play very differently to one another, utilising the Sol and Luna gauges in their own unique ways.
There are eight regular stages in the game, the first three have alternative versions that are unlocked once segment four has been cleared and are chosen (if desired) from a menu that pops up before the start of the segment. Two additional bonus stages are also hidden away – “The Great Majority” is made available once the full game (referred to as “Full Sequence Order” in the main menu) has been completed without continuing, and “The Way of All Flesh” is unlocked once “The Great Majority” is cleared.
During gameplay performance can effect how the game progresses, these changes can be subtle or significant. Some of the smaller changes include the boss of the fourth segment – “Rusty Dragon” won’t appear if the player has performed particularly poorly during that level. A more obvious change is when the player runs out of Terra and enters The Shrine of Farewell instead of the expected next stage. This level is a boss rush against the clock, and the player can die as many times as they like as just for this level they have unlimited lives. The game also has multiple endings, one if segment seven’s Rex Cavalier memory transfer completes before it’s destroyed, and three more that are effected by the player’s performance during the last boss.