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Espgaluda Arcade Flyer.jpg
Arcade flyer
Developer(s) Cave (arcade)
Arika (PS2)
  • JP: AMI (arcade)
Series Espgaluda
Platform(s) Arcade, PlayStation 2, i-mode
Release date(s) Arcade
  • JP: October 15, 2003
PlayStation 2
  • JP: June 17, 2004
Mobile Phone
  • JP: 2005
Genre(s) Manic shooter
Mode(s) Single-player, two-player (co-op)
Cabinet Upright
Arcade system PolyGame Master
Display Raster (Vertical)

Espgaluda (エスプガルーダ Esupugarūda?) is a manic shooter by Cave, released in 2003. It is the spiritual prequel to the company's renowned ESP Ra.De. (also known as Esprade) and is followed by Espgaluda II.


  • Tapping button A will fire shots, while holding button A will fire a stronger laser (this will also slow the players movement).
  • The B button toggles between normal mode and Kakusei mode.
  • Tapping the C button will engage the guard barrier and consume one segment of the guard barrier gauge. Holding down button C will consume more of the gauge, but will fire a wider beam for a longer period of time depending on how long the button is held.

The arcade pcb has an option to make button D auto-fire, where holding down the button is equivalent to tapping button A.

Kakusei (or Awakening) mode

When the player enters Kakusei mode, the gem counter begins to drain, and all enemy bullets become purple. While the gem counter is above zero, enemies and their projectiles will slow down. When an enemy is destroyed, its bullets are turned into gold, and the player's gem counter is decreased by 10. Each bullet converted into gold carries a multiplier which increases until it reaches "x100". When the gem counter reaches zero, the player goes into "over-mode". In over-mode, bullets become red and begin to travel faster than their normal speed. Red bullets will not be converted to gold.

If the player collides with a bullet, instead of losing a life, the guard barrier automatically activates. The automatic guard barrier will consume two segments from the gauge, but will only last as long as one segment would. If the gauge contains less than two segments, the guard barrier will still activate, and whatever remains in the gauge will be consumed. If the gauge is empty at the time of the collision, the player will lose a life. The player will not collect any green gems when enemies are destroyed, regardless of the current gem count. It should be noted that although the bullet speed changes in Kakusei mode, the rate at which they are fired remains that same.

Guard barrier

When the guard barrier is engaged, the player fires a powerful laser, and is momentarily invincible. The guard barrier runs on a limited quantity which is indicated by a gauge at the bottom of the screen. The gauge is divided into 4 segments, but is not visually indicated. Tapping the C button will use up an entire segment (one quarter of the gauge), but holding the C button can use up more than one segment depending on how long it is held. The C button may be released mid-segment, which may result in there being less than one segment remaining in the gauge. In this case, tapping the C button will use what is left in the gauge, but the guard barrier will last as long as an entire segment would have. The guard barrier forms a large green aura around the player, and any bullets that come into contact with this aura will disappear.

  • Seireiseki (green stone): Recovers kakusei counter. When kakusei counter is empty, destroying enemies causes this item to appear.
  • P: Increases shot and beam power by 1.
  • MP: Increases shot and rapier power to maximum. It appears when player loses all lives.
  • E: Increases guard barrier gauge by 50%.
  • L: Restores one of the player's life.
  • Gold ingot: Increases player's score.

The player earns extra lives at 4 million and 14 million points, or by obtaining the "L" extend item in the third stage.

Miscellaneous commands

Holding A and B buttons for over 0.5 seconds when pressing START reverses the full-auto button setting. Holding C and D buttons for over 0.5 seconds when pressing START swaps the functions of C and D buttons. Both commands affect Players 1 and 2, and only affect the current game credit. If both players try to use a command, both commands are accepted.

  • Ageha: Concentrated forward shots. In kakusei mode, the fighter moves faster with reduced horizontal sway when firing shot, slower when firing the beam.
  • Tateha: Wide angle forward shots. In kakusei mode, the fighter moves faster when firing shots, slower when firing the beam.
  • Chihiro: Arrange mode fighter, PlayStation 2 only. It is basically Irori Mimasaka from ESP Ra.De.
  • Black: Arrange mode fighter, PlayStation 2 only. It is basically JB-5th from ESP Ra.De.

In kakusei mode, the fighter's gender is altered. Chihiro and Black retain their shot modes and cannot enter kakusei.


PlayStation 2[edit]

This version included different modes such as arcade, simulation, gallery, and a walkthrough DVD video featuring replays by Clover-TAC and KTL-NAL. In arcade mode, the player can configure screen orientation, wallpaper, stage map display, controller vibration, among other settings. Simulation mode simulates an arcade mode stage. The player can configure death, rank, guard barrier gauge, kakusei over start/level, power level, seireiseki counts, and gold ingot counts. In addition, the player can also save or load a replay.

Arrange mode was a feature exclusive to the PlayStation 2 version of the game. Following changes were made: redesigned stages; the fighters available to player are Black and Chihiro; player gains an extra life at 80 and 280 million points; arranged BGM remixed by Super Sweep; game difficulty is same as 2nd loop; continue and mid-game joining are disabled; reversed button layout for shot and guard barrier button.


An i-mode version was designed for the FOMA 900 and 901 series. A Yahoo version was designed for the 256K models (SH53, V601SH, V602SH, V603SH). Espgaluda DX was a version for other mobile platforms. The two-part mobile game released for the i-mode was merged into a single game, with enhanced graphics and a special mode.


Famitsu awarded the PlayStation 2 version of Espgaluda a score of 29/40.[1]


  1. ^ "Notes et avis de la presse spécialisée sur Espgaluda". (in French). Retrieved April 11, 2015. 

External links[edit]