Silhouette Mirage is a 2D action side-scrolling run-and-gun video game developed by Treasure and released in 1997 and is also Treasure’s ninth game to be released. The game's primary mechanic is the two opposing attributes, "Silhouette" and "Mirage" and the way they are able to cause damage to each other. Shyna features as the female protagonist who is able to switch between these attributes at will by facing either left or right on-screen. Secondary mechanics in the form of various melee moves are used to get enemies onto the correct side of the screen so that when Shyna is facing them, she is able to use the correct, opposing attribute to damage them.
It was first published by ESP for the Sega Saturn in 1997 in Japan. It was ported to the PlayStation in 1998. In 2000, Working Designs translated, made significant alterations to, and published the game for the PlayStation in North America. The game was well received by critics upon release. Critical reception to the changes in the North American version of the game was divided, with some praising the changes and others critical of them.
The game is set on Earth in the year "2XXX" after a system known as Edo has catastrophically failed and caused the world's inhabitants to be genetically mutated into beings known as either "Silhouette" or "Mirage". The protagonist is named Shyna Nera Shyna, who is a creation that is activated by the computer system Gehena. Shyna's purpose is to track down and repair Edo to undo the damage that has been done and unite the two opposed types of beings that were created. Shyna learns that Edo experimented on and created a being called Armageddon who was both Silhouette and Mirage. Due to the polar nature of these attributes, Armageddon was split into two individual entities known as Medigo and Hal, respectively the Silhouette and Mirage leaders. Those that display both of the attributes are known as Proteans, and in addition to Armageddon, Shyna and Zohar are also such beings. Shyna battles through Silhouette and Mirage creatures, including Medigo, Hal and Zohar. She is eventually able to repair and reboot Edo. Gehena then notifies Shyna that all Silhouette and Mirage lifeforms will be located, identified, processed and returned to their original selves. Gehena estimates that this process will take 932,000 hours to complete.
Why It Rocks
- There are many different gameplay mechanics that make the game stand out.
- Very nice and colorful cartoony graphics for its time.
- Great music.
- The protagonist, Shyna, has two sides, Silhouette (blue) and Mirage (red), which have varying abilities, Silhouette can only shoot backwards and Mirage can only shoot forwards. This duo-mechanic would return for Ikaruga.
- Shyna is essentially the opposite of Marina Liteyears from Mischief Makers, whilest Marina and her game were bright and cheerful, Shyna and her game are dark and more edgy.
- Many of the characters' names are even references to the Bible.
- Like Gunstar Heroes, Dynamite Headdy and Mischief Makers, Shyna has a variety of melee attacks.
- Loads of intense and memorable boss battles, as you would normally expect for a Treasure game.
- An epic final stage.
- Shyna's voice acting, while decent, may get annoying for some.
- The Sega Saturn port was never localized, but the PlayStation version was, and unfortunately, it was censored, and most religious references were removed, when it was released in North America three years after its original Japanese release and nine months before the PlayStation 2 was released in North America, and because it was so late in the original PlayStation's lifecycle, it failed to get a release in Europe.
- This is Treasure's first multi-platform game.