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Shadowtagmanga1

The Shadow Tag Bullets in action.

Shadow Tag Bullets (影踏み弾) is a special type of firearm introduced in the Strider Hiryu manga, appearing prominently in Chapter 5. The weapon also makes a cameo appearance as a weapon wielded by a minor enemy in the original coin-op, named the "Shadowtag Bullets Soldier"[1][2].

DescriptionEdit

Shadowtag manga

The muzzle of three Shadow Tag Bullets

Dubbed a "personal automatic tracker"[3], the Shadow Tag Bullets is a highly advanced type of automatic gun issued by Enterprise to be used by their Special Forces. A long twin-barreled black machine gun, the weapon is described as a mix of a portable large-caliber firearm with a radar[3]. Employing said advanced radar system, located in special monocle-like visors worn by the user, it is capable of tracing the target's movements perfectly, allowing for a stark increase of the weapon's accuracy with little effort from the wielder[3]. The weapon's fire power is likened to anti-aircraft fire, and it's said to have an ample range of effectiveness[3], albeit it was never actually defined.

Soldiers within Enterprise's Los Angeles headquarters wield this weapon, using them on anyone attempting to break into the building, usually food riots caused by the group's control over the distribution of supplies. Hiryu and Kain witness the Shadow Tag Bullets' suppression power when they are used to mow down an angry mob attempting to break in demanding better supplies. After their cover is blown and they infiltrate further into the building, secretary Yuri led himself a group of soldiers armed with these weapons. They are able to corner Hiryu into a wall trap, where Yuri gloats about Hiryu being cornered. Hiryu, however, demonstrates his inhuman speed and agility by avoiding the various blasts aimed at him with devilish movements, and then proceeded to behead all his attackers.

During the final showdown between Hiryu and Matic, Kain appears to support his friend handling one Shadow Tag Bullets himself to shoot down Matic's men[4].

Arcade versionEdit

Shadowtag soldier

A Shadow Tag Bullets Soldier

The Shadow Tag Bullets appears as a weapon wielded by special soldiers from the Kazakh Federation. The weapon varies greatly in design: while roughly the same length, it is colored metallic silver instead of black and features a single barreled end with a gatling gun-styled front. The simple eye visor is replaced with a full head-concealing helmet with a red visor in front. The weapon works similarly as described, locking onto Hiryu and shooting constantly at whenever position he moves until its wielder is eliminated.

Hiryu only finds two soldiers wielding the Shadow Tag Bullets, one stationed in St. Petersburg and the second standing outside the Third Moon's Imperial Capital.

Design NotesEdit

The "Kagefumi" part of the name translates literally as "'shadow stepping" and refers to a Japanese children's game where one participant tries to tag the other by stepping on their shadows, basically similar to the English game of "Shadow Tag", hence its name. The name was chosen most likely in reference to the weapon's ability to track down its targets with perfect accuracy even while they move, effectively "tagging" them and soon enough taking them down.

Similar weaponsEdit

There are a number of weapons which has been likely inspired by the Shadow Tag Bullets either in design or gameplay function.

Plasma CannonEdit

Str2 plasmacannon

The Plasma Cannon

The Plasma Cannon from Strider 2 is visually very similar to the manga rendition of the weapon, a black long firearm with a two-ended electrode on its front. Gameplay-wise, however, the Plasma Cannon is the complete opposite of the Shadow Tag Bullets: it shoots a single plasma projectile that moves very slowly in a straight line, with no tracking ability whatsoever.

Mikiel's gunEdit

NewStrider Mikiel weapon

Mikiel's weapon

General Mikiel's personal firearm from the 2014 Strider appears to be based on the Shadow Tag Bullets. Its design is loosely similar to the Arcade version, being a long firearm with a metallic, machine gun-like barrel and sporting a two-handed grip. Instead of automatically locking onto Hiryu, this weapon shoots many fireball-like projectiles which bounce off the walls and ceilings constantly, making it a similarly difficult to evade weapon.

It's possible Mikiel's encounter with Hiryu, in which he lures him around the different hangar bays toward his mech tank, was intended to resemble a game of tag, referencing the weapon's name.

T-TankEdit

The T-Tank is a stage enemy featured in Isuke's Osman. The weapon is a large stationary gun emplacement with two gatling guns, one installed on top and the other on the bottom. Painted yellow and green, it features a belt of bullets joining both guns together. The T-Tank works identical to the Shadow Tag Bullets, tracking down Kirin's location constantly as it shoots a stream of bullets in a straight line at him.

Unlike the original enemy, however, the T-Tank has two lines of tracking fire instead of one, making it much more difficult to evade and destroy.

Shivursky 2063Edit

Moondiver shivursky 2063

Two Shivursky 2063

The Shivursky 2063 (シヴルフスキー2063) is a stage enemy in Isuke's third action game, Moon Diver. The weapon is a stationary red turret capable of automatically aiming itself. It behaves exactly the same as the Shadow Tag Bullets Soldier, tracking down the player character's position constantly while shooting a continous stream of bullets at them. Unlike the original, the Shivursky has no need for a human to wield or use it. Its backstory heavily implies a connection between the two weapons.

The Shivursky 2063, also known as the Shadow Tag (影を踏む, lit. Step on Shadows), is an updated design of a portable heavy-fire gun for use by artillery soldiers. Also dubbed a "personal automatic tracker", the weapon has the same ability to automatically track down targets and shoot at them with perfect accuracy. It became a very efficient weapon on the battlefield, but this led opposing forces to make killing their wielders as soon and fast as possible a priority during battles. As a result, soldiers started resenting using it, the military took notice and sales started to decline. The manufacturer, Siberian Arsenal, solved this issue by redesigning the weapon so it wouldn't need a soldier carrying it to function. With the creation of the Shivursky 2063 sales recovered once again.[5]

ReferencesEdit

  1. Sega (September 1990, Mega Drive). Strider Hiryû (Japanese). Instruction manual, Pg. 20
  2. Capcom (October 2006, PlayStation). Gamebook: Strider Hiryu (Japanese). Pg. 13. ISBN 4-86233-076-2.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 Wada, Tatsumi (November 10, 1989). Strider Hiryû. Chapter 5, Pg. 158. Kadokawa Shoten. ISBN 4-04-713009-5.
  4. Wada, Tatsumi (November 10, 1989). Strider Hiryû. Chapter 6, Pg. 207. Kadokawa Shoten. ISBN 4-04-713009-5.
  5. Yotsui, Kouichi (May 5, 2011). Moon Diver Notes - Shivursky 2063 (Japanese). Translated at the Strider Citadel. Accessed June 18, 2017.

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