|Silhouette Mirage (シルエットミラージュ) is a side-scrolling video game that was developed by Treasure. Initially published by ESP for the Sega Saturn on September 10, 1997 in Japan , the game was later ported to the PlayStation on July 23, 1998 in Japan. In 1999 Working Designs translated and published the game in America. In 2010 the game was released for the PlayStation Network.|
The setting is Earth, during a post-apocalyptic year 2000. Prior to the events in the game, a group of scientists conducted genetic experiments in a great facility called Edo. From their activities emerged the two attributes: Silhouette and Mirage. These aspects manifested in a child named Armageddon (Clod).
The two aspects were based on the dualistic nature of Yin and Yang: One’s existence is crucial to the other’s. Despite the complementary nature of the attributes, they repelled each other. As a result, Armageddon’s attributes split to form two pure figures: Megido and Har, respectively the self-proclaimed Silhouette and Mirage leaders.
Eventually, the genetic experiments resulted in a biological explosion which contaminated the genetic structure of all entities on Earth. Many perished, and those that survived displayed either of the two attributes (a special group, called Proteans, can display both attributes).
In preparation for this disaster, the computer system Gehena created a being known as ‘The Messenger of Justice’ (hostile figures dubbed her ‘Messenger of Destruction’), designed to repair Edo’s computer’s system and neutralize all the instances of the two attributes.
The game is an action side-scroller similar to Gunstar Heroes. What makes the game unique is that it works the concept of the two attributes into the game: A figure inflicted by an attack whose attribute differs from it suffers Power damage, and has its spirit (similar to MP) absorbed when inflicted by same-type attacks (it is never absorbed in the Japanese version).
The game is quite difficult to finish completely, especially in the English version. Most of the initial options are locked and can only be modified if you complete the following five tasks below.
- #1 – Defeat The Reaper and complete one of the following tasks below.
- #2 – Defeat Megido after defeating Zohar as Cypher Za-Zohar or Cypher Ha-Zohar. (Save afterwards).
- #3 – Defeat Megido after defeating Serah. (Save afterwards).
- #4 – Defeat Armageddon (Clod). (Save afterwards).
note – You can only fight Armageddon (Clod) after you defeat Zohar as Cypher Za-Zohar or Cypher Ha-Zohar.
- #5 – Defeat Geluve. (save afterwards).
note – You can only fight Geluve after defeating Serah.
Silhouette Mirage is filled with biblical allusions. In the original Japanese version almost all the characters and places are named after places and figures from the Bible. In order for it to be accepted in the American market, some of the names were changed.
Characters (and their Japanese Names)
Shyna Nera Shyna (Sinna Neutlarva Sinner)
The protagonist, a tiny girl possessing Silhouette attribute on one side and Mirage on the other, and equipped with a winged hat and an arsenal of ‘parasite’ weapons to aid her in battle. Shyna more than makes up for her lack of size with resourcefulness and cunning, allowing her to defeat enemies many times larger or more powerful than she is. Shyna feels that it is her singular duty to repair Edo, but doesn’t seem to have any future plans after that for she seems to wander without purpose regardless of which two ending animations you chose from.
Shyna’s appearance is a nod to the god Hermes, and the fact that she has been charged with the task of being a messenger for the restoration of Edo. She claims to be the Messenger of Justice, but everyone she encounters has been convinced that she is a Messenger of Destruction; the restoration of Edo will in effect revert Earth back to the way it was before Armageddon, removing the attributes and erasing all of the events that have transpired since from history suggests that she could also be considered the latter, despite the annoyance she expresses at the ‘misnomer’. According to Hal, her true title is the “Messiah”.
Shyna is voiced by Jackie Powers (US)/Yajima Akiko (JA)
A computer system which communicates to Shyna telepathically via an unemotional female voice. Gehena announces bulletins to keep Shyna updated on the things she encounters during her journey.
It is named after the ancient Hebrew underworld/hell.
Gehenna is voiced by Kathryn Kirk (US)/Naoko Matsui (JA)
Silhouettes wield massive physical strength and shadow energy, and most are not all that intelligent. There are exceptions…
- Specters (Devil) – Pumpkin-headed peons of Megido. They exhale blasts, throw off their explosive heads and pound you with mallets.
- Grigg (Grigori Shemhazai) – A rebel who wishes to kill Shyna for his self-gratification and humiliate both Hal and Megido for not being able to locate and destroy her. His Japanese name comes from the Grigori, a group of fallen angels. He is voiced by Tanaka Kazunari (JA)
- Nardo (Paracelsus) – A member of the Samurai Security group, Nardo is unaware of Shyna’s mission and attempts to eliminate her because of a report that she is disturbing the peace in Raqia. He is voiced by Kouno Yoshiyuki (JA)
- Goliath – A grotesquely buff wrestler. Known to ‘load’ his biceps into his fists to increase the intensity of his attacks. After Shyna defeats him, he is knocked head-first into is truck, which falls off the bridge, but it is unclear if he survives. He is named after the gigantic Gathian, which was beaten by the biblical David. Goliath is voiced by Blake Dorsey (US)/Daisuke Gouri (JA)
- Pablo (Paulo) – A seemingly timid boy who owns castle Shehaqim. He is actually a lycanthrope who turns into a werewolf in the presence of a full moon. His name is derived from the demon in Dante Alighieri’s Divine Comedy.
- Samson (Samson Hairpower) – Delia’s large servant, a monosyllabic grunter who drives his employer’s beloved limousine, at the hazard of both employer and the limousine itself! He thinks with his fists, and is named after the Nazarite prophet.
- Faust (Georg Faust) – A Media City star performer who specialises in shadow puppetry. He attacks by forming the shapes of different weapons from his shadow, and seemingly dies after forming the shadow of a bomb in an act of defeat. His name may be a nod to Christopher Marlowe’s Dr. Faustus.
- The Reaper (Zachary) – Not much is known about The Reaper. He claims to be a being that lived for many centuries, training in a nexus of his own creation. Despite his attribute, The Reaper is not affiliated with Megido and is considered a rogue Silhouette. Like Shyna, you must not underestimate his size, for all his attacks (including his scythe slash) can deal critical damage.
Leader of the Silhouettes and also the most powerful, Megido is a masculine, snappishly-dressed foil to his counterpart Hal, simultaneously cultured and unpredictable in nature. Megido supports Shyna out of his desire to return things to “the old way”, or possibly in the hopes that she will be able to defeat Hal and his ever-encroaching Mirage forces.
Like his brethren, Megido likes to be physical, though most of his claw attacks come in the form of waves and shuriken.
His name is a reference to the proposed final battlefield of Armageddon in the Book of Revelation.
Megido is voiced by Dean Williams (US)/Yasunori Masutani (JA)
Mirages are more intelligent and technically-inclined than the Silhouettes, but lack endurance. They use machines to attack Shyna.
- Polly Peeper (Cupid) – Female-shaped Mirages with blonde curls and cute masks that hide their frightening visages. They shoot blasts, lift their skirts to throw explosives and punch Shyna with their toy fists. In some levels they may be observed using machine guns or flying around with angel wings.
- Bug (Moses) – He is a special Mirage who has a nexus which grants him easy and quick access to any part of the world. Originally a servant of Hal, Bug joins Shyna after being almost killed by Zohar. He serves as Shyna’s personal livesaver, and rescues her from near death experiences in the last minute. He even appeared one last time in Edo to give Shyna upgrades and recovery items. His Japanese name comes from the famous Levite who led the Israelites to the promised land. He is voiced by Blake Dorsey (US)
- Sara (Sarah) – She is the host of a popular but deadly game show called “You Die, You Lose”. Due to her anti-social nature and short stature, she hides behind a Playboy-bunny-esque sign and uses the sign’s ‘head’ to hit those who’d come close to her. The booklet says that she once was a gambler until she went broke. It is possible that she managed to have Hal air in the show, “You Die, You Lose”, with the help of Delia. She is named after Abraham’s wife.
- Delia (Delilah) – One of Hal’s cronies, he is the main influence in the city of Machonom due to his wealth and authority at the Media City headquarters. He has nostrils as big as his television prowess and gladly uses them to exhale hot flames when he sniffs gourmet soup masterpieces. His name is based after Samson’s wife and betrayer. He is voiced by Dean Williams (US)
Har (Hal) Birthclod
Leader of the Mirages. He prides himself to be able to hack into any computer system and create artificial lifeforms known as ‘Guardian Angels’ which are like Proteans. Unlike his brother, Hal doesn’t come to realize the benevolence of Shyna’s success and wants the world to stay the way it is so that he can rule all (including the Silhouettes).
A looming being with an elegant, painted face, Hal appears to have no body beneath the decorative mantle that he wears. Instead, he uses wire-like tentacles to perform his activities, communicating with his minions through a series of holographic screens that surround him.
His name may be a tribute to the dominating computer HAL 9000 from Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey. However, his name is also a reference to the proposed final battlefield of Armageddon (Har Megiddo in Hebrew) in the Book of Revelation, hence the confusion in his underlings between Hal and Har.
Hal is voiced by Blake Dorsey (US)/Ryōtarō Okiayu (JA)
A Protean which acts as Hal’s right-hand man/woman. Zohar possesses both attributes, but changes in gender according to the attribute. Later, it is revealed that Zohar is a Guardian Angel, and is reverted to his/her true state as Cypher Ha-Zohar (Silhouette) and Cypher Za-Zohar (Mirage).
Zohar Metatron (Silhouette, Male) like most Silhouettes, is physical and hotheaded. He wields a sabre. He is voiced by Keith Lack (US)/Naniwa Keiichi (JA)
Zohar Sandalphon (Mirage, Female) on the other hand isn’t as impulsive but likes to crack harsh but witty remarks on Shyna. She wields a pistol. She is voiced by Kathryn Kirk (US)/Yūko Mizutani (JA)
Zohar’s true gender is an issue of speculation among fans. While Zohar’s gender is seemingly confirmed as male by other characters in the game (whom refer to Zohar solely as “he”), there is a single point at which Har refers to Zohar as either “son” or “daughter” depending on which attribute Zohar is expressing at the time. It is theoretically possible that Zohar possesses no true gender at all, effectively making it an androgyne.
Zohar’s two forms are named after Metatron and Sandalphon, the acclaimed “twin angels” in biblical mythology.
- Dynamis (Dyunamis06) – The first GA Shyna encounters is the biggest as well as the dumbest (A major flaw on Hal’s design). She speaks like a five-year old and repeatedly tries to sell Shyna flowers in an overly creepy voice. She makes up for her mental flaw with long reaching claws jutting out of her body as well as brute strength and size. After Shyna defeats her, she crashes into a building. She is voiced by Jennifer Stigile (US)/Koorogi Satomi (JA)
- Malak (Malakim04) – (Shyna calls it the ‘Smiley Face from Hell’). Due to a translation error, Malak claims to be working for Megido rather than Hal in the English-language release. Unlike Dynamis, this GA is not so stupid, but is just as childish. This in turn becomes his weakness as he does not take his job seriously. His true form is that of a mechanical chameleon. He is voiced by Tammy Jones (US)
- Prinsdam (Princedom07) – The largest of the GA’s, a worm-shaped titan with two distinct personalities represented by the faces of a goat and a ram at both ends. Prinsdam swallowed Shyna, but was slain at the hands of Megido.
- Gargantuan (Galgalim03) – An unintelligent GA bearing the faces of the four Apostles and drawing energy for its massive attacks by consuming right-attribute enemies. It was its appetite that led it to its downfall.
- Serah (Seraphim01) – The first of the GAs to be created, (and supposedly Delia’s “beloved”) an enormous butterfly-shaped monster with a woman’s face. When you battle her, a chorus swells as she hits you with a barrage of projectiles and Serah Larva (which she consumes to recover her hit points). She explodes after Shyna defeats her. Her name is derived from the highest order of Angels.
- Geluve (Cherub) – Possibly because of a great misunderstanding (and partly because she is Har’s daughter), Gehena indicates that she is Mirage. However, Geluve displays both attribues and you can’t grab or hit her directly, instead you must focus your attacks on the rows of combined Polly Peepers and Specters that somewhat act as her arms as her real ones are cuffed and bounded behind her back. When Har calls her prior to him hacking into Edo, she fires a small but fatal mirage laser that destroys Megido. As an act of defiance (and because she wanted revenge against Edo), she also destroys Har as well and plots to do away with Shyna. After her defeat at the hands of Shyna herself, Geluve deletes herself (in what she says: to restore her pride). Part of the reason she hates Shyna, is because she and the other Angels were created to be the “Messenger”, but were deemed as failures and cast aside (making the GAs Shyna’s brothers and sisters). The battle with Geluve only appears on one specific “path” in the game, if the player loses to Zohar in the core but chooses to restore Edo. She is voiced by Brandy Teske (US).
As mentioned above, Armageddon was the result of genetic experiments in Edo. Appearing as a small child with long hair and features similar to Shyna. After Hal (whose true name is “Har”) and Megido split from Armageddon’s combined attributes (ArMageddon/Har-Megido), Armageddon went in a stasis state within Edo.
Not much is known about Armageddon, though it is likely he/she was the first specimen to successfully display perfect balance of both attributes before the disaster. It is speculated that Armageddon may be Shyna’s sibling, though it is unclear whether this was an allusion to their biological siblinghood or merely a reference to their equal status as pawns of the Edo scientists.
Armageddon’s English name is derived from the apocalyptic event in the Book of Revelation.
Clod is voiced by Omi Minami (JA)
These beings help Shyna shoot various projectile styles and are obtained from various Hare Warez shops in the game. In keeping with the game’s biblical theme, each were named after the Seven Deadly Sins in the Japanese version to compliment their natures.
- Surosa (Sloth)- Produces standard bullet-like shots. Higher levels of Surosa enables Shyna to shoot them rapidly.
- Rasti (Lusty) – He enables Shyna to shoot up to four clouds of smothering gas, great for cornered enemies (but prone to being reflected). Higher levels enables Shyna to shoot larger clouds.
- Angara (Angry) – Angara is similar to Surosa, but he makes Shyna shoot large Angara bullets at an angle. Though the explosives deal massive damage and can knock enemies off, they’re moderately difficult to shoot.
- Grattoni (Gluttony) – This parasite quickly consumes Shyna’s energy and enables her to blast a damaging ray in return.
- Envia (Envy) – Envia grants Shyna a wall of controllable ‘wings’ which act as scissors to damage obstacles. Unlike other parasite attacks, Envia’s wings cannot be reflected back. Higher levels increase the size of the wings.
- Cavitas (Covetous) Enables Shyna to lock-on and accurately hit enemies with sniper shots.
- Priday (Pride) – Fires up to two boomerangs that are powerful, but somewhat slow and leave Shyna vulnerable while waiting for them to rebound.