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 Post subject: Zenohell 29/06/15 - The end is in sight.
PostPosted: Tue Dec 30, 2014 10:05 am 


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Welcome to the Zenohell announcement and development thread!

Since September 2014 I have been developing this shmup and along the way, I have assembled this nifty little team:
Image

Team Grybanser Fox, which consists of members:
- Kaiser (Main Programmer/Graphics Designer)
- BPzeBanshee (Technical Programmer)
- Gryzor (Team/Game logos/Extra optimization)
- Samurai Fox (Cleans up the BAD sprites, known on forums as Rushing Beat)
- emphatic (Music Composer)

Team Twitter: https://twitter.com/TeamGBSRFox

Our primary and foremost goal as a team is to deliver a fun and exciting shmup experience, that WE consider fun but would like for others to also have fun playing it, doesn't matter if in beta testing OR when it's out. Everything else, is a bonus.

Now... onto the main point of this topic...

Image

Zenohell, this is the sequel to Zenodyne that many on the forums or IRC have been aware of, some of them tested it extensively like Emuser, Jaimers, Erppo, Frenetic and some others, helped me make the game better and fix bugs (and still are helping when they have a chance).

To sum it up, Zenohell is a late 80s/90s arcade inspired shmup that is intent on keeping the mechanics as simple as possible, yet make them difficult to master. It's a longer, harder and more replayable game versus Zenodyne. The trailer reveals the basic features but I might as well bring up here again:

- 6 Stages filled to brim with "Boss-blasting Action"
- 3 (?) Selectable Ships
- TATE, Scanlines, Graphical Effect Options.
- Soundtrack by emphatic
- Music mod capability
- Quite a bit of unlockables. The more dedicated players will be able to unlock everything, however it won't be a fast process, however it's nothing impossible with practice.
- Multiple difficulty settings
- Simple scoring system (Dodge, Kill, Collect, Survive) or in short Hyper Medal Collecting Action (tm)

Screenshots cannot do it proper justice for this reveal so refer to the trailer below.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EZcpc3Js5Pc
Official Reveal Trailer

http://youtu.be/mKs4B6hzI4I
28/02/15 gameplay!

https://youtu.be/msCvD50FdQg
ST3 Gameplay

Gameplay Demo: https://www.dropbox.com/s/rbwcv9rnjjjc6 ... o.zip?dl=0

Zenohell's planned to come out in Late 2015, it will be a commercial shmup and we'll let you know where you will be able to purchase it, there's still quite a bit of work to do, however it's nothing beyond my team's reach, we can do it.
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Last edited by Kaiser on Mon Jun 29, 2015 6:48 pm, edited 9 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Zenohell (aka Zenodyne II) Reveal/Dev Thread.
PostPosted: Tue Dec 30, 2014 12:39 pm 


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 Post subject: Re: Zenohell (aka Zenodyne II) Reveal/Dev Thread.
PostPosted: Tue Dec 30, 2014 3:11 pm 


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:)
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 Post subject: Re: Zenohell (aka Zenodyne II) Reveal/Dev Thread.
PostPosted: Tue Dec 30, 2014 4:51 pm 


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 Post subject: Re: Zenohell (aka Zenodyne II) Reveal/Dev Thread.
PostPosted: Tue Dec 30, 2014 5:30 pm 


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This looks hard. There's gonna be a lifebar and unlockable ship upgrades, right?

Nah, for real, this looks great! The bullets look very smooth and chunky. I can't wait to dodge them.


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 Post subject: Re: Zenohell (aka Zenodyne II) Reveal/Dev Thread.
PostPosted: Wed Dec 31, 2014 11:28 pm 


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That just looks nice :mrgreen: Can't wait to take on them bosses accompanied to emph's tunes. I sure hope the soundtrack will get an official release too ;)


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 Post subject: Re: Zenohell (aka Zenodyne II) Reveal/Dev Thread.
PostPosted: Mon Jan 26, 2015 7:37 am 


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Might as well finally post what's going on. The game's been in constant development although at a slower pace because I have to deal with exams currently but that will change in a month. NOW what I didn't mention is how far the game is actually in development, so here's a list of things that are done and are meant to come:

- All 6 Stages are done, however half of the game requires polishing to get everything on an equal level set by the last two stages, but luckily that isn't too bad. There's more coming than just the stage polish but you'll see it as time goes on.
- 3 Ships are in including a secret ship, with few more secret ships coming later.
- Emphatic's soundtrack is under the way, until it's done and stuff, we are using my personalised Heaven variant/stardust vanguards soundtrack mod.
- Certain bosses will be getting upgrades as I have realised my biggest mistake all along was that more bullets = more fun. It doesn't work like that most of times. It's all about making the action itself more exciting and more trigger happy!
- Extra modes are planned and the currently inserted in Boss Rush mode needs a COMPLETE overhaul in it's structure, design and gameplay.

Last but not least, I challenged our fellow shmuppers Emuser (ResumeDPosition) and nasty_wolverine to stream the game, nasty lasted until stage 4, Emuser did something out of the world so much that I kindly asked him to post the stream replay to youtube, I had to quite finetune the extend mechanics after what he did hahahaha.

EMUSER'S ALPHA 1CC VIDEO!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z7gTNQ4pCek

This should be a good video indication of what the game might be like later on.

PS. On a random note, stage 2 boss will get a second form! IN form of this pretty (yet atm unpolished) thing.
Image
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Last edited by Kaiser on Mon Jan 26, 2015 9:29 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Zenohell (aka Zenodyne II) now w/ early gameplay!
PostPosted: Mon Jan 26, 2015 9:28 am 


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This game will blow you away :D
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 Post subject: Re: Zenohell (aka Zenodyne II) now w/ early gameplay!
PostPosted: Mon Jan 26, 2015 10:18 am 


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Last edited by railslave on Mon Feb 09, 2015 9:39 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Zenohell (aka Zenodyne II) now w/ early gameplay!
PostPosted: Mon Jan 26, 2015 10:33 am 


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Nice homage to Scarlet Queen at the TLB. :D
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 Post subject: Re: Zenohell (aka Zenodyne II) now w/ early gameplay!
PostPosted: Mon Feb 09, 2015 5:27 am 


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game looks awesome, better graphics would be amazing though!
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 Post subject: Re: Zenohell (aka Zenodyne II) now w/ early gameplay!
PostPosted: Mon Feb 09, 2015 9:19 am 


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kyle d. wrote:
game looks awesome, better graphics would be amazing though!
Thank you, well, might as well post an update of what's been going on. Prepare for lots of dev talk!

I've been quite busy with exams and stuff past few weeks but I have more time, however this doesn't mean that stuff wasn't happening. Oh there's been lots happening!

First and most importantly, the sound engine swap, it finally happened and it went smoothly, the game used GMFMODSimple or simply FMOD since it was started, however due development over past some months and decisions that I have discussed and made with my team, we had to swap it for something else for reasons I will not disclose at this point of time.

We had two choices, go back to Caster aka OpenAL (what Zenodyne used but caused some issues, the newer version has a share of it's issues) or try out XeAudiere which is a wrapper for the Audiere engine. BPzeBanshee decided that XeAudiere as the way to go because it was most easy to implement and at least the engine tests of it proved no problems with recording software like OBS.

It went very smoothly, more than I expected to be honest. The most positive thing is that the loading times decreased SIGNIFICANTLY, stages that used to load more than 5 seconds, load in 1 second and so on.

From now on, all internal builds will use XeAudiere (and that will be provided) and those who have old builds with FMOD should remove FMOD.dll and GMFMODSIMPLE.dll once they get the new update.

----------------------

Second, emphatic's soundtrack is progressing really well and he helped me overhaul the game's sound effects, I won't say anything about their quality, it's a matter of wait and see, as there's a certain gameplay video coming in a month or two featuring stuff which brings me to the third point....

---------------------

Three, while it is important to design the remaining planned content (which there's quite a lot of), it's AS important to work on the stuff that is already existing and that's before the "bells and whistles" phase we have planned once all content is done where all the polishing will happen.

What I have in mind that I discussed with others in the team:
- Lots of sprites (which I have already extracted to TO BE POLISHED folder) need polishing so at least it's all consistent on a minimum desired level.
- Certain bosses need to be expanded in fun and exciting ways.
- First 3 stages certainly need some rework, at least on the gameplay level, graphicaly it might be hard to improve them, hard as in I don't possess currently skills to make them better (talking backgrounds) and Fox doesn't do backgrounds, he helps me polish sprites.
- Find interesting ways to create minor bonuses to spice up the game's scoring.

Okay enough talk and more proof, so the sprite overhaul began essentially, here's few comparisons. Keep in mind that the visuals will overall go under an overhaul later on, we are just bringing it up so it's easier for later overhauls.

1UP:
Image => Image

Popcorn:
Image => Image

Stage 2 Midboss 2:
Image => Image

Stage 3 Train head:
Image => Image

Last but not least, a little teaser that might make some people happy:
Image
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 Post subject: Re: Zenohell (aka Zenodyne II) 09/02/15 Update Post.
PostPosted: Mon Feb 09, 2015 12:28 pm 


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:)
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 Post subject: Re: Zenohell (aka Zenodyne II) 09/02/15 Update Post.
PostPosted: Thu Feb 19, 2015 10:00 pm 


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The art improvements look nice .. looking forward to it.


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 Post subject: Re: Zenohell (aka Zenodyne II) 28/02/15 Update Post.
PostPosted: Sat Feb 28, 2015 5:29 pm 


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Right, there's been stuff going on in the game itself. To sum up what's been happening:

- Emphatic's progressing with the soundtrack like a tornado, he's planning to give the entire soundtrack final mixing once everything is done track-wise. Also he's helped me replace most of the sound effects.
- Fox's been improving the lesser sprites, you will notice some differences on the video
- I've been adding movement/AI routines to certain movements, adding more "life" to the game.
- Some rebalancing is going on.

However I got you a new gameplay video, it's short but it demonstrates quite a couple of changes: http://youtu.be/mKs4B6hzI4I
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 Post subject: Re: Zenohell (aka Zenodyne II) 28/02/15 Gameplay
PostPosted: Sat Feb 28, 2015 6:50 pm 


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*thumbs up*
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 Post subject: Re: Zenohell (aka Zenodyne II) 28/02/15 Gameplay
PostPosted: Wed Mar 25, 2015 2:26 pm 


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Might as well post what's been going on (Sorry guys no screenshots in this post because they would be a massive spoiler), right so the worst time of the year's over (the exams I had to put up with including repeats) for me, that means I can sit down and work on Zenohell properly for a while, here's a short summary of what has happened or is happening.

- I am busy working on the last major chunk of the game
- The game has been rebalanced again, let me tell you, balance is one thing that always is discussed EVEN post release. However certain things STILL need rebalancing/reworking so that alone is quite a bit of work.
- I finished working on the Boss Rush mode including the reward unlock mechanism for beating it, the said unlock i'm still working on.
- Emphatic keeps going forward with the soundtrack and at the same time, setting the bar higher for himself with each new track, the results are... pleasing to say at least.

There is more going on but those things will be announced at a later date. Thanks for reading ;)
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 Post subject: Re: Zenohell (aka Zenodyne II) 28/02/15 Gameplay
PostPosted: Wed Mar 25, 2015 3:17 pm 


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 Post subject: Re: Zenohell (aka Zenodyne II) 28/02/15 Gameplay
PostPosted: Wed Mar 25, 2015 3:25 pm 


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Man I've been waiting for this game for like, eight minutes. The anticipation's killing me. And my cat.

j/k I've been silently watching this for over a month. Looking forward to it.
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 Post subject: Re: Zenohell (aka Zenodyne II) 28/02/15 Gameplay
PostPosted: Wed Mar 25, 2015 3:37 pm 


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[quote="Giest118"]Man I've been waiting for this game for like, eight minutes. The anticipation's killing me. And my cat./quote]

:lol:
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 Post subject: Re: Zenohell (aka Zenodyne II) 01/04/15 - Gameplay Demo!
PostPosted: Wed Apr 01, 2015 8:25 pm 


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This is not an april's fools post, I am actually posting a legimitate 3-stage demo of Zenohell :)

https://www.dropbox.com/s/rbwcv9rnjjjc6 ... o.zip?dl=0

The demo features a third stage not shown on the recent gameplay, find out for yourself what's in it, obviously the demo cut down many things from the full game because spoilers. Enjoy! Also features emphatic's music.
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 Post subject: Re: Zenohell (aka Zenodyne II) 01/04/15 - Gameplay Demo!
PostPosted: Wed Apr 01, 2015 8:30 pm 


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:D

pixel art + solid shooting + acid tracks
AWESOME!!!
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 Post subject: Re: Zenohell (aka Zenodyne II) 01/04/15 - Gameplay Demo!
PostPosted: Thu Apr 02, 2015 2:42 am 


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Played the demo. Cleared it. My cat did not survive the experience.

Image

Liked it a lot! The art is a huge improvement over the first game, the music's good, and the flow of gameplay is generally great. There's a couple times where I felt caught off-guard by a pattern that came insanely quickly, but I imagine that's all part of the experience you're going for.

A couple of technical notes:
* On startup, the game informed me that there were some config and unlock files that it was making. I figure these text boxes are there for debugging purposes, but you should probably remember to remove them from the final product; players will figure automatically that the settings the game comes with are the default ones. :V
* I think I got a no-miss bonus from the stage 1 boss despite dying to its last pattern? It was odd; I saw a "better luck next time" message, followed by the no-miss message, in rapid succession.
* Stage 3, the train leading up to the boss. I got game maker errors about an unknown variable (bulletdirection I believe) at the moment when I killed certain enemies. I was able to hit Ignore twice to proceed past it, but this happened more than once, on the same enemy type. It's a turret that appears... I believe it was near the end of each train segment?
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 Post subject: Re: Zenohell (aka Zenodyne II) 01/04/15 - Gameplay Demo!
PostPosted: Thu Apr 02, 2015 3:02 am 


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Giest118 wrote:
* On startup, the game informed me that there were some config and unlock files that it was making. I figure these text boxes are there for debugging purposes, but you should probably remember to remove them from the final product; players will figure automatically that the settings the game comes with are the default ones. :V

I had them there (they exist in GMOSSE also) to notify if for whatever reason it has to be remade. This should occur if the file doesn't exist and also if it couldn't reliably be opened ie corruption. With that being said I haven't tested how it behaves in a read-only directory like C:\Program Files so I'll have to look into this later.

Giest118 wrote:
* I think I got a no-miss bonus from the stage 1 boss despite dying to its last pattern? It was odd; I saw a "better luck next time" message, followed by the no-miss message, in rapid succession.
* Stage 3, the train leading up to the boss. I got game maker errors about an unknown variable (bulletdirection I believe) at the moment when I killed certain enemies. I was able to hit Ignore twice to proceed past it, but this happened more than once, on the same enemy type. It's a turret that appears... I believe it was near the end of each train segment?

The enemy in question is the "rested" airplanes on the train after the turrets I believe. I'll see about fixing the immediate bugs and also killing the filesize and make a patch release which Kaiser will update links to when he's awake next.

EDIT: Actually it was the pairs of flying planes. Fixed that and I think I fixed the message notification. Don't worry about your score being affected as the score only gets distributed once, it was just the variable for counting player deaths getting reset before the message was gone. Simple stuff. When Kaiser and I are both online at the same time next we'll update the build and include default score/config files so as to not freak people out.
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 Post subject: Re: Zenohell (aka Zenodyne II) 01/04/15 - Gameplay Demo!
PostPosted: Thu Apr 02, 2015 6:35 am 


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The demo's been fixed up and updated (same link, config and other files provided), this is one things that I hate about game design (not really hate :P) is that whenever I test, I don't get these issues as if I wasn't testing. We'll look into the filesize issue down the road, bizarrely the EXE is more or less the same size with half the content as the main build's exe, weird.
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 Post subject: Re: Zenohell (aka Zenodyne II) 01/04/15 - Gameplay Demo!
PostPosted: Thu Apr 02, 2015 5:20 pm 


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Kaiser wrote:
this is one things that I hate about game design (not really hate :P) is that whenever I test, I don't get these issues as if I wasn't testing.


My god, I know the feeling all too well.
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 Post subject: Re: Zenohell (aka Zenodyne II) 01/04/15 - Gameplay Demo!
PostPosted: Fri Apr 03, 2015 12:03 pm 


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This is OK fun, but I think the enemy patterns should be tweaked. There are quite a few places that are really boring where you get the same group of enemies a whole bunch of times in a row. Neither challenging nor fun, not warranted to loosen up the pace in the cases where it happens.

The flashing when you hit bosses is a bit garish but overall not a big problem until you get to the train boss. That one takes up almost the entire screen and it becomes quite seizure-tastic imo. I have no problem myself with flashing in decent doses, but this strained my eyes a bit.

Not sure about the scoring mechanic. It seems to be a bit too all or nothing. If you go for score dying is not an option at all, so for a scoring run, if you die once you might as well restart the game. (I know that is something that applies to a lot of shmups, and I don't think it is overall great there either)


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 Post subject: Re: Zenohell (aka Zenodyne II) 01/04/15 - Gameplay Demo!
PostPosted: Fri Apr 03, 2015 7:43 pm 


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ptoing wrote:
This is OK fun, but I think the enemy patterns should be tweaked. There are quite a few places that are really boring where you get the same group of enemies a whole bunch of times in a row. Neither challenging nor fun, not warranted to loosen up the pace in the cases where it happens.


I felt the stages weren't long enough for them to start feeling monotonous, but the threshold for that is going to be different for different people.

If you guys want a recommendation to reduce potential monotony, the inclusion of one more enemy type might make the difference. The number of formations you can throw into a stage increases exponentially with more enemy types, so even adding one more might do the job, provided that its attacks feel different enough from all the others.

Although I wasn't exactly keeping a running tally of how many different enemy types there were, so I might be suggesting the wrong thing.
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 Post subject: Re: Zenohell (aka Zenodyne II) 01/04/15 - Gameplay Demo!
PostPosted: Fri Apr 03, 2015 7:52 pm 


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Well, not necessarily monotonous, just boring. I can not think of any arcade (or console) shmup that just throws the exact same formation at you 4 or 5 times in a row. It is neither challenging, nor interesting and just artificially extends the length of the level. I also think the levels could be a lot tighter designed and shorter as a result. Look at Dodonpachi for example. The levels there are around 2:30 minutes long (not counting bosses)

Fully agree on more enemy types, but not just that, but also how the enemies enter the screen. In the case of a popcorn rush which there are a few I would not just have rows of 5 enemies that come straight down the screen. Stagger them up a bit, give them some AI so that they approach the player in an interesting way and make sure that they can get some shots out as well. It is super boring just holding down the fire button for 10 seconds and shit explodes with no danger to the player at all. As far as I am concerned that is a waste of level space.

Popcorn rushes will never be hard, and they can be used to give the player a bit of a breather, but they should not be super trivial either. You should be able to die if you fuck up.


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 Post subject: Re: Zenohell (aka Zenodyne II) 01/04/15 - Gameplay Demo!
PostPosted: Sat Apr 04, 2015 3:26 am 


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ptoing wrote:
Well, not necessarily monotonous, just boring. I can not think of any arcade (or console) shmup that just throws the exact same formation at you 4 or 5 times in a row.

actually tatsujin ou does just that

thing is, tatsujin ou has a CRAZY amount of variety
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