Progear (プロギアの嵐 Purogia no Arashi , lit. Storm of Progear) is an arcade shoot 'em up game developed by Cave and published by Capcom on the CPS-2 arcade system board in 2001. This was Cave's first horizontal scrolling shooter, followed by Deathsmiles in 2007. Progear is known for its steampunk-like style and art design and it is also the second of two CAVE shoot 'em up games to be released in America with the third CAVE NTSC-U/C release being Princess Debut, and in limited print; and as a result, the US version is somewhat rare.
At the start of the game, the player is given a choice between two pilots/planes and three gunners, which determines the effectiveness of their respective modes. Each character's costume can be changed by holding the start button at the selection screen.
- TYPE-A Fighter Gambler: Wide shot type, slower speed.
- TYPE-B Fighter Militant: Focused shot type, faster speed.
- Type Alpha: Focused missile strikes, medium damage.
- Type Beta: Spread cannonballs, high damage.
- Type Gamma: Homing missile strikes, low damage.
When selecting the gunner pilot, the formation of the gunners can be changed to the following:
- 2 gunners below (Type-A) or behind (Type-B) fighter: Press A or B.
- 1 gunner above and 1 gunner below fighter: Press A and B.
- 2 gunners in front of fighter: Press Start button of the other player's controller, A and B button of own player's controller.
- Pilot Mode: This is the default shot mode when no button is pressed. When tapping A or pressing the C button, the pilot fires stronger attacks, while the gunner fires without locking on a target.
- Gunner Mode: By holding down the A button, the characters assume Gunner Mode. The pilot's attacks become weaker and the plane moves slower, while the gunner automatically locks on and fires at enemies with increased firepower.
- Bomb: Pressing B activates a bomb. The bomb will move forward towards the right side of the screen, slowing down when it hits something and inflicting minor damage. Once a certain amount of time has passed or the bomb reaches the right side of the screen, it will explode into a much larger blast that heavily damages any enemy caught in it.
- P: Increase shot power by 1. If the player collects it when shot power is full, 500 jewel points are awarded.
- B: Increase bomb stock by 1. The player can carry up to 3 bombs. If player gets a bomb where there are already 3 bombs, following things happen for the duration of current life:
- Jewel counter is increased by 10,000 in first loop of stages (20,000 in 2nd loop of stages).
- Base jewel class is increased for every overstocked bomb, up to Large Emerald
- Score for inflicting enemy damage and clear bonus are doubled.
- MAX: Increase shot power to maximum. Appears when a player loses all lives.
- 1UP: Increases life stock by 1 (max 9).
When (a portion of) an enemy is destroyed, the resulting explosions turn nearby bullets into rings or gems, depending on the player's weapon mode when destruction occurs. In pilot mode, bullets become rings. In gunner mode, bullets become gems. The bullets being converted also depend on weapon mode. In pilot mode, only bullets nearby the enemy unit are converted; in gunner mode, enemy bullets that are close to the enemy bullets being converted into jewels are also affected. In boss battles, all enemy bullets are always converted into rings when the life points of the critical portion of the boss's body is below a predefined value. A bullet is converted to a jewel of at least base jewel class. Jewels can be collected automatically by switching firing modes.
The current jewel class can be seen at the lower left of the screen. Jewels are ranked in the order of amethyst, ruby, emerald, diamond. Except diamond, all jewel types come in 3 intermediate classes, in the following fashion:
|Jewel class||Ring score||Gem score||Jewel counter increment|
Jewel class can be increased by collecting rings with a higher class than the current jewel class. Higher class rings can be found by destroying a large number of bullets at once. However, when the player's weapon is in gunner mode, bullets only become gems of current jewel class regardless of the number of bullets converted at once.
Jewel class is decreased to the basic level when:
- Switching back from gunner mode to pilot mode when there is a gem on screen
- Switching back from gunner mode to pilot mode after collecting at least 1 gem
- Player uses a bomb
- Player loses a life
Furthermore, if the player dies, the jewel class is reduced to Small Amethyst, and the current jewel counter is reduced by 25%; when the player uses a bomb, the jewel counter is decreased. Base jewel class can be increased by repeatedly collecting bombs after having 3 in stock, up to Large Emerald. For every 10000 jewel counter points, the player gains 10 extra score points for inflicting enemy damage.
Gunner relationship At the end of each stage, the gunner's relationship with the pilot is evaluated based on the player's performance. The relationship is defined by:
- Active: Increases when gunner mode is used more often.
- Safe: Increases when no life is lost, and decreases when the player dies more often.
- Lovely: The average of Active and Safe. The final value is ranked in 6 levels, with 1 the lowest and 6 the highest.
The ratings are accumulated between stages. Higher Lovely levels increases bombs' penetration level, which can increase score. Furthermore, Lovely level affects the attacks of enemy units in the upcoming stage, and the game's ending between the Pilot and the Gunner.
The difficulty of a given stage depends on the score of previous stage, with increased difficulty for higher score. The game has 5 stages. After completing all stages, a different ending occurs after the generic pilot escape ending, depending on Lovely level. However, the player can enter a second loop if at the end of stage 5, only 1 life is lost or at most 2 bombs have been used. When that occurs, the ending shows the Stage 5 boss is alive before the game enters the second loop.
The second loop has the following changes:
- Jewel counter bonus is doubled.
- Jewels fall at a faster speed.
- Enemy patterns are changed, usually firing more bullets, in denser patterns, and travel at faster speeds.
- Enemies fire circular bullets when destroyed, unless the player is close to the enemy.
- When a player loses a life, they resume at a predefined checkpoint of a given stage, except during boss battles.
- The player cannot earn extra lives based on score.
- Each boss's dying speech is different. In the case of stage 5, a different picture is shown.
- In Stage 1 and 5 boss battles, each boss has an extra attack phase after the loop 1 counterpart's final attack phase was ended by life point depletion.
- Ending includes staff credit section.
After completing all stages, the player receives a clear bonus, which is equal to 10 score points for every jewel counterpoint.
Sometime in the past, the people of the country of Parts had found a way to become immortal, but only with elderly nobles. Five of these elders—Ballossum Pench, Gabriel Hammer, Jimchuck Spanner, Olsorro Slasher, and Leonard Drill—obtained immortality, and became known as the Motoruin sages. Eventually, they attempted to take over the Parts kingdom and start a new world order, collapsing the government and destroying parts of the country in the process. As their plans unfold, five children of one of these villages decide to battle the Motoruin using another new invention: the semi-automatic propelling engine, known as "Progear".
- Ring pilots the Gambler, which is the slower of the two ships and features a wide shot type.
- Bolt pilots the Militant, which is the faster ship and features a focused shot type.
- Chain pilots the Alpha, which has focused missiles and deals average damage.
- Nail pilots the Beta, which has a spread shot and deals heavy damage.
- Rivet pilots the Gamma, which shoots homing missiles but deals low damage.
An English version was released in the U.S. and other parts of Asia. There are following changes: Voice samples are removed and The line at the intro was removed.
i-mode and EzWeb versions are split into two separate games.
A Progear DX was released for 256K Yahoo mobile models.
- Alternative costumes for the characters can be chosen by holding down the start button on the selection screen.
- Pressing A+B to select the gunner instead of just A splits them into a secret 'one on top and one below' formation.
- Screenshots of gameplay were used in the video for the song Ikaruga, by the band Discordance Axis.
- Official site (Japanese)