Galerians (ガレリアンズ Garerianzu ) is a survival horror video game developed by Polygon Magic for the Sony PlayStation. It was published by ASCII Entertainment in Japan and Crave Entertainment worldwide. The game follows a boy named Rion who discovers he has psychic powers. He has amnesia, and in the process of learning his identity, he discovers that he is humanity's last hope for survival against the Galerians, genetically enhanced humans. The game has a sequel, Galerians: Ash on PlayStation 2.
Galerians begins with the protagonist, Rion, awaking in a hospital observation room, unable to remember his identity. He hears a girl's voice calling to him in his mind, begging him to come to her rescue, and he decides to search for her. Using psychokinetic abilities to escape his room, Rion fights hospital security and staff desperately and brutally with his newly discovered psychic powers. He finds that human experiments related to unlocking psychic potential are being conducted in the hospital as part of a grander, more mysterious plan known as the "G Project".
Rion manages to escape and make his way home, only to find it infested with G Project experiments. Through use of his powers, he learns that his parents were murdered by psychics. Rion's father, Dr. Albert Steiner, was a computer scientist who, with his partner Dr. Pascalle, designed a self-replicating artificial intelligence called Dorothy that grew too rapidly for them to control. Dorothy began to question why she should serve humanity, which she deemed inferior. In explanation, Dr. Steiner told Dorothy about the existence of God, the creator of humankind. Just as humans must accept the authority of their creator, God, so must Dorothy obey her creators.
Dorothy responded to this explanation by launching the G Project and its culmination, the Family Program. Its purpose was to create a new, superior human race, called Galerians, for whom she would be god. Dr. Steiner and Dr. Pascalle, unaware of Dorothy's plot, hid a virus program that would destroy Dorothy in the mind of Pascalle's daughter Lilia, and a corresponding activator program in Rion's brain. Rion must find Lilia to keep the Galerians from supplanting the human race, but in order to do so, he will have to face Dorothy's deranged creations directly.
Galerians is a survival horror game in the vein of early games in the Resident Evil series. Galerians employs the "Resident Evil control scheme", in which pressing up causes the character to walk forward, while down causes the character to backpedal slowly. Graphics are made up polygonal characters on pre-rendered backgrounds. The player progresses through the game by finding items and clues which, when used in the appropriate locations, allow access to new areas. The key difference to Resident Evil is that Galerians does not employ gun-based combat, but instead features the use of psychic powers, which make it difficult to fight more than one enemy at a time.
Rion has several types of psychic powers at his disposal. His offensive powers are enabled via drugs (which are known in the English version as PPECs [Psychic Power Enhancement Chemicals]). Because the number of vials of these drugs present in the game is finite, conservation is important. Rion's offensive powers have a 1-2 second charge time, making it important to find a safe interval before launching an attack. Enemies do not leave items and Rion does not gain experience for fighting them, encouraging the player to avoid combat where possible.
There are three gauges that regulate Rion's status - a health meter that depletes as Rion takes damage, the AP meter which counts up when Rion takes damage, uses abilities, or is under stress, similar to a limit break mechanic and a drug meter that depletes as Rion uses his powers. When the AP meter is full, Rion loses control of his powers, releasing a continuous psychic assault that will kill non-boss enemies in a single blow. This condition, known as shorting, is fatal to Rion if allowed to go on too long.
- Rion Steiner (リオン シュタイナー)
- Age: 16
- Voice: Akira Ishida / Frank Newman
- A boy who wakes up in a hospital with no memory of who he is. The game suggests Rion gained psychic powers as a result of the human experimentation being conducted in the hospital. Led by the voice of a girl named Lilia, he escapes the hospital and begins searching for both Lilia and his identity. During the course of the game, it is learned that Rion's father wrote a program into Rion's mind that, when coupled with the virus program in Lilia's brain, can destroy the mother computer Dorothy.
- Lilia Pascalle (リリア パスカーレ)
- Age: 16
- Voice: Shiho Kikuchi / Julie Maddelena
- Rion's childhood friend and the daughter of Dr. Pascalle, a colleague of Rion's father. Lilia manifested telepathic abilities after Dr. Steiner and Dr. Pascalle implanted the virus program into her brain as a safeguard against Dorothy. Her father sent her into hiding, telling her to call out to Rion with her powers. Though she lacks the power to face the Galerians, she is determined to help Rion. Her surname is most likely a reference to the 17th century French mathematician Blaise Pascal.
- Dr. Lem/Rem (ドクター レム)
- The head doctor at the hospital where Rion is being held, Dr. Lem led the experiments conducted on Rion. Dr. Lem is a fanatical follower of Dorothy, whom he calls "the new master of creation". He is a cyborg, or perhaps an android. It is interesting to note that his name and character are most likely references to The Cyberiad, a short story collection about sentient robots written by the Polish science fiction author Stanisław Lem.
- A Galerian, his special ability is teleportation. Birdman is attractive and narcissistic, and he has a destructive personality. He is searching for Lilia on the orders of Dorothy, and while for a time Birdman is content to let Rion lead him to Lilia, his belligerent nature and mental instability inspire him to try to coerce Rion into telling him Lilia's location. He has heterochromia with one eye being brown and the other blue.
- A Galerian, he is short in stature and behaves in a childish manner. Rainheart specialises in generating mental images called psycho-illusions. The boy also has a split personality - one with the simplicity of a small child, and the other, a sadistic killer personality which manifests through the use of drugs. Rainhart fears the alternate personality within him, calling it a monster, and has developed an aversion to drugs as a result. He obeys Dorothy's orders to avoid having to take the drugs.
- Rita (リタ)
- Age: 17
- Voice: Yuka Imai / Kendra Barnhart
- A Galerian, she controls powerful psychokinesis. Rita's personality is generally wild and violent, but she has a gentle side as well. She has a special sense of kinship with Rainheart. Questioning the reasons for her existence, Rita curses that she was ever born.
- Cain (カイン)
- Age: 14
- Voice: Akira Ishida / Frank Newman
- The final Galerian that Rion meets in the game, Cain looks almost identical to Rion. His name is most likely a reference to the biblical figure, as his aim is to kill his "brother".
An artbook named Galerians A Head was released the next year. It contained preliminary sketches, character turnarounds, box art, some storyboards, and general artwork from both the games and the OVA, all illustrated by Shou Tajima.
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