TWilight refrAIN Cover
|Release Date||2008 JP|
TWilight refrAIN is a vertical shooter from Eikyu Loop and the sequel to TWilight INSanity. The game challenges players to weave through intense bullet patterns and defeat waves of enemies and bosses.
 Gameplay Overview
Players take control of a pair of characters, with one visible at any given time, and must fight through vertical scrolling stages. Numerous enemies and bosses appear and will unleash various bullet attacks that players must find gaps to squeeze through to survive. Most enemies will tend to simply sweep in to fire and won't take much to be destroyed. Bosses will usually have several phases in their fights though and possess spell attacks as last resort moves.
Players can choose between three styles when choosing a pair of characters. Balance provides equal values in attack power and spirit usage. Attack increases basic firepower but also increases the amount of spirit needed for magic. Defence reduces the amount needed to unleash magic but also drops basic firepower as well.
Players will have access to the basic bullet style attack as well as a magic attack (similar to bombs of other games) to help them through each stage. Players can switch between the paired characters, and thus alter the style of the main attack and magic spell, with a button press.
The game comes with decision points that can affect the route taken through the game, which can also be influenced by the player performance.
 Game Screen
Shows the stage the player is currently on.
Shows the style option chosen by the player as either attack, defense or balance.
Displays the player's starting rank and current rank. A low rank will affect ring bonuses.
4) Boss name
When fighting a boss their name is displayed here.
Displays the current frames per second running of the game.
6) Boss Health Reserves
Shows how many health bars a boss has in reserve. When this hits zero the boss activates their magic attack phase.
Shows the time the current boss phase will last.
8) Boss Current Health
Shows the remaining health of a boss for the current phase. When this hits zero the boss switches to the next health bar and changes the attack phase, unless no health bars are in reserve, in which case the boss is defeated.
9) High Score
Displays the current high score saved.
Displays the player's current score.
Displays the amount a player has grazed bullets.
Displays the amount of spirit the player has to use for magic. The amounts needed for normal and auto magic are also shown here.
Shows the current P-Rate. High P-Rate can lead to ring penalties.
14) Twins Gauge
Shows the balance of usage between the two current characters. The gauge will rise on one side and fall on the other depending on which character is being used. Unbalanced gauges will lead to ring penalties.
Shows the number of current rings, which affects what stages a player will reach.
16) Boss Bar
An indicator that shows where on the horizontal a boss is.
17) Boss Area
Defeating a boss while inside this area can provide notable score bonuses.
Note that these are the default keyboard commands. A gamepad can also be used.
Arrow Key Up - Move up.
Arrow Key Down - Move down.
Arrow Key Left - Move left.
Arrow Key Right - Move right.
Z - Main attack.
X - Magic.
C - Switch character.
Esc - Pause.
 Detailed Mechanics
The player's "bullet" style of attack, where a stream of rapid fire projectiles are fired towards the top side of the playing area. There is no limit to the amount this can be used and generally will be the primary means of eliminating enemies. The style of the attack depends on which character is currently being controlled. All characters move more slowly when firing though.
This game's versions of bombs. The ability to use magic is dictated by the amount of available spirit. The precise result differs depending on which character is being controlled but all magic provide the following benefits: removal of all enemy projectiles currently onscreen, a special attack activated by the paired character currently not onscreen, an increase to the size and damage of the onscreen character's main attack for a brief period and a few moments of immunity to damage.
As well as being able to be activated at the command of the player, Auto Magic will activate if the player is hit and has enough spirit for this. The effect is the same as above but this comes with several consequences, such as a much bigger loss of spirit and being dropped a rank. If a player does not have enough spirit for auto magic then they will die if hit and must use a continue to carry on, although this tends to result in bad ends.
Players have to choose a pair of characters to take through the game. Only one is active onscreen at any given time, and this determines the style of attacks offered. Switching between characters mid-battle can be the key to finding openings in enemy defences.
The exact route a player will take through the game is dictated by the number of rings they have. These rings can be obtained at storyline decision points, where good choices will lead to ring bonuses. Rings can also be lost, such as if the player is performing poorly. The ending reached is also determined by these rings.
While the ring bonus for decision points is initially unknown, the game will remember which decisions have been chosen before and show the ring bonus the next time you come across them.
This value is affected by things such as enemies onscreen and getting hit. The lower the P-Rate the better, as a high P-Rate will result in ring penalties and can end up forcing players along the easy routes.
This value determines the balance between the chosen duo. When one character is used this gauge increases on their side and decreases on their partner's side. A roughly balanced value is the target, as an unbalanced twins rate will result in ring penalties.
Simply tracks the amount the player has "grazed" enemy bullets (where the player character comes extremely close to getting hit by an attack without actually getting hit). Buzz helps with building up magic.