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Crimson Sea (紅の海 Kurenai no Umi?) is a 2002 video game released exclusively for the Microsoft Xbox. The game was developed by Koei. The game is a third-person shooter with some RPG elements incorporated and is part of the Crimson Sea series. The game was followed by its sequel, Crimson Sea 2 (紅の海２ Beni no Umi 2?), which was released exclusively for PlayStation 2 in 2004.
Players play as Sho. The game features elements from role playing games and the action genre. When Sho isn't on a mission, he can wander around the IAG ship and talk to his comrades. He can chat with his coworkers, purchase training sessions, and buy new equipment at shops.
During battle sequences, Sho can fight with a short-ranged laser weapon, a gun, or a Neo-Psionic, an attack that has different effects. Weapons contain three different parts. Each part is customizable at any point in the game once you purchase them and will affect weapon stats along with special functions. Neo Psionics act as magic and can either be similar to a musou attack, implement additional buffs on Sho's stats, or temporarily add a field effect such as stopping time. Combos mainly utilize the blade and gun attacks, which can be customized to the player's liking. Other battle controls are similar to the Warriors games except Sho can also lock-on to targets and dash in short spurts to avoid attacks.
Completing missions with a high rank unlocks more items for Sho to buy. Earning an S Rank is the only way to unlock the best version of some items or weapons.
The game is set in the fictional star system of Theophilus. It features many planets including the metropolis planet of Grarve, the mountain/desert-like planet of Agitato, the jungle/forest planet of Semplice, the difficult to classify planet Gen and the mysterious Crimson Planet. The population consists of mostly humans but there are a few non-humans as well, though when humans first colonized the system they effectively took over.
The story revolves around a young man named Sho who works as a private detective. Initially, he is hired to merely retrieve an item that was lost beneath Grarve, but is promptly drafted into the organization known as IAG (Intelligence Agency of the Galaxy). Sho becomes tasked with leading the unit known as G-Squad and must help do what he can to stop a terrifying threat against humanity known as the Mutons, as well as meeting Archeomusiologists (scholars that have studied sound) and discovers that IAG may be using him only as a weapon.
Sho - The story's protagonist. He originally worked as a private detective with his good friend Yangqin, but was drafted rather forcefully by Live-D to become G-Squad's leader. While courageous and kind-hearted, Sho can be a bit too noble at times and before he met Shami, he was also had romantic issues with women in the past including one of them deliberately punched him and took his money away. During his private detective days Yangqin would constantly berate him for refusing to accept payment because he didn't want to deprive families of their food money and having romantic issues with women, before Shami came. He would eventually learn that he was a Vipa, a one-of-a-kind superhuman with enhanced natural abilities and capable of tapping into the power known as Neo-Psionics. During his youth he became a Vipa during an experiment at a lab on the Crimson Planet, but the lab was destroyed in a disaster that would eventually be connected two years later and having his memories taken away by IAG itself. Like many within Theophilus, he greatly respected General Ekdahl, especially when he learned that he was his childhood friend Cello, but eventually grew to despise him for his ruthless ways. He also became quite fond of Shami and eventually became her boyfriend later in the sequel, and if not for her still might have been tempted to join Ekdahl.
Yangqin - Sho's best friend. A short, street-wise young man, Yangqin complimented Sho's personality with some cool realistic views as opposed to his friend's idealism. He acted as Sho's partner during his detective days and would continue to do so when drafted by IAG. A valuable ally, Yangqin would constantly impress many people with his ability to solve mysteries and fix machines. In return, however, he wasn't afraid to speak his mind, which would often get him into trouble. He almost instantly fell in love with Diez when she joined the squad.
Shami - Shami is a very caring woman and a member of IAG. Originally a part of A-Squad, she transferred to G-Squad due to their next assignment which required her own unique usage of Neo-Psionics. In addition to her soft heart towards all living beings, she believes in working hard and never giving up. She quickly found herself eager to help Sho learn more of his mysterious past and eventually fell in love with him. If not for her Sho might have joined Ekdahl in his mad scheme, though she would nearly be killed because of this. Sho began to call her the 'Princess of his Heart,' which was ironic as it was later learned she was the princess of Semplice.
Bow Rahn - Bow Rahn may appear big and tough, but has no real courage to speak of. He also occasionally sounds a bit childish when speaking, making him seem like a baby trapped inside a giant's body. A member of G-Squad, Bow Rahn welcomed Sho as he commander and began to develop more courage with his help. He also relies on Kecak a lot, who is pretty much an older sister to him. He acts as G-Squad's heavy firepower. He also initially had a crush on Shami.
Kecak - G-Squad's resident egomaniac and daughter of the Mercenary King in Agitato, Kecak is a big-talking, cool-headed incompetent sort of woman. She carries a history of quitting from her selected employment whenever the going gets remotely tough. While she welcomed Sho as her squad's commander, she would still occasionally act as she was the real key player to the squad, though it was rarely ever the case. She treats Bow Rahn like a little brother. She seems to constantly get jealous when the men are admiring a woman other than her and usually comments that it's all about appearance.
Diez - A very intimidating woman who originally served under General Ekdahl. Following her transfer to G-Squad as a sort of exchange program, she was initially considered to be an untrustworthy she-devil. Her cold, aggressive demeanor had many people write her off as a warrior tomboy. However, as G-Squad soon discovered, underneath it all she actually had a fairly kind heart, holding sentimental value to a stuffed animal and a willingness to do whatever she could to help her teammates. She would even go as far as to give Shami some of her life energy so that she wouldn't die, though she found the woman's romance with Sho to be disgusting. These actions made the rest of G-Squad eventually welcome her as a trusted friend.
Live-D (Mei) - The rather enchanting-looking female commander of IAG. Cool, secretive and straight to business, she would often only tell her subordinates what she felt they needed to know, making their trust for her low. Still, she was a capable leader and did yield results, so she was well respected. It was later learned that she was a childhood friend of Sho's, having been at the same lab where he was raised a Vipa, though she wasn't part of the project. During the destruction of the lab she even helped him escape the flames. While bound by military law, she was willing to occasionally bend the rules should she have no other choice.
Shahanai - The rigid leader of IAG's A-Squad and an excellent soldier. Not a fan of emotion, he would constantly berate any who showed any sort of sensitivity. Before the arrival of Sho, he would constantly poke fun at Kecak and Bow Rahn for their constant cowardice and failures, his teammates even joining in. Following this he'd merely resort to calling Sho an unspecial person with an ugly mug, though he secretly harbored a certain level of respect for him.
Tabla Sicu - One of the Archeomusiologists that Sho first encountered. He was also one of the people that were involved in the Vipa Project back when Sho was still in his youth in the Crimson Planet, until disaster struck. Appearance-wise, he looks inhuman
Ud - One of the Archeomusiologists that Sho encounters in Grarve. Although appeared to be human, she has light blue skin.
Zither - One of the Archeomusiologists that Sho encounters in Semplice. He warned Sho about his powers and for the fact that Sho will become a monster, due to the exposure of the Vipa wave that he received back then.
|Crimson Sea 2|
Crimson Sea was followed by its sequel, Crimson Sea 2, which was released exclusively for the PlayStation 2 in North America on March 30, 2004, in Japan on April 15, and in Europe on September 3. The sequel also got positive reception upon release, though slightly less than the original Crimson Sea; GameRankings gave the former a score of 75.02%, while Metacritic gave it 75 out of 100. Famitsu also gave the sequel 32 out of 40.
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