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North American PlayStation cover art
|Release date(s)||Sega Saturn
Silhouette Mirage, also known as Silhouette Mirage: Reprogrammed Hope (シルエットミラージュ ～リプログラムド ホープ～?), 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 North America. In 2010 the game was released for the PlayStation Network, albeit only for the Japanese store.
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.
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.
In the PlayStation release, the soundtrack has a slight trim with the training music and a few minor backgrounds element have been simplified or removed. However, the Reaper and Geluve are bosses exclusive to the PlayStation version. The game's story was also adjusted to accommodate these new characters, resulting in some more dialogue, a new battleground, and another ending. Reportedly, they were among the characters considered for the Saturn version, but did not make the cut the first time around. For the English-language (PlayStation) release of the game, there is an increase in gameplay difficulty. In addition, there is also vibration support and memory card selection, as well as better encoded videos. Zohar is also playable during the credits and made interactive. There are also secrets such as a debug mode, more options, and "Super Core Fighter 2" (a two player mini-game battle between Shyna and Zohar). Also, the Hare Wares sprites were censored/edited. His cigarette was replaced with a gloved hand, and the burning cross was replaced with a dragon.
- IGN staff (January 5, 2000). "Silhouette Mirage Ships". IGN. Retrieved December 23, 2013.
- Sony staff. "シルエットミラージュ ～リプログラムド ホープ～" [Silhouette Mirage: Reprogrammed Hope] (in Japanese). Sony Computer Entertainment. Retrieved December 23, 2013.
- IGN: Silhouette Mirage Review
- Treasure Official Website (Japanese)
- All About Silhouette Mirage (an unofficial, but extensive fansite)
- An article detailing the differences between the original Saturn, original PlayStation, and American PlayStation versions of the game.