In the Hunt (海底大戦争, Kaitei Daisensou) is a horizontal scrolling shooter arcade game by Irem. It was released in 1993 for arcades and later ported to the Sega Saturn, PlayStation, and Windows 95. A direct port through the Arcade Archives is available for PlayStation 4 and Nintendo Switch.
In the Hunt is particularly unusual as the player takes the role of a submarine in underwater environments, although Irem has previously developed a similar game called Sqoon for the Nintendo Entertainment System. There are a total of six levels in the game.
In the Hunt is the third game in Irem's D.A.S. Universe.
An organization known as D.A.S., the Dark Anarchy Society (Destroy and Satsujin, in Japan), used magnetic doomsday machines to melt the polar ice caps and thus desolate the world. Although the entire world was quickly flooded, a few societies survived to build over the highest structures they could find and continue living. In this post apocalyptic scenario, the D.A.S., who were prepared for this catastrophe, reigns supreme over the survivors with martial law and military weapons of extraordinary power.
Upon learning of a new D.A.S. superweapon being developed, called "Yugusukyuure", the United Ocean Garrison, an organization run by the remaining survivors, have been secretly developing a submarine named the Hydro Fober Grampus, also known as the Gramvia, in Antarctica. The Gramvia's mission is to dive into D.A.S.' enforced waters, territories and eventually the D.A.S. headquarters itself to destroy every single D.A.S. weapon in sight.----
The game has four endings depending on the number of players:
- One player (No continues used): The Gramvia succeeds in destroying D.A.S. but fails to escape the collapsing headquarters. It appears in the ending credits destroyed alongside the wreckage.
- One player (At least one continue used): The Gramvia succeeds in destroying D.A.S. and escapes the collapsing headquarters. The credits has the surviving societies cheering the player. Humorously, some survivors are seen falling into the waters depths.
- Two player: Upon destroying the Yugusukyuure, both players are pitted against each other in a death match. The winner then becomes the new leader of D.A.S.
- Two player (Time Out): Should neither win within the time limit, both submarines are severely damaged by the blast wave and sink into the deep ruins.
Players control a submarine called the Hydro Fober Grampus (or Gramvia for short) which fires torpedoes forward by pressing the frontal attack button. Whenever the vertical attack button is pressed, missiles fire upwards and depth charges will also be released, slowly sinking to the bottom and exploding on contact with enemies. Attacking enemies above water requires the Gramvia to submerge and press the vertical attacks button.
Different from other Shoot 'em Ups, the player controls the scrolling of the screen, which allows the player to go at one's own pace and time.
There are a variety of different primary and secondary weapons that cycle at a fixed rate but can be freely picked. Collecting one will replace the currently equipped weapon but increases the Gramvia's power overall per subsequent pickup regardless of different weapon swaps.
- Torpedoes (Red): The Gramvia's main weapon. It fires forward at a straight line. Powering up increases its speed and power.
- Supersonic Torpedoes (Blue): Fires a wide supersonic helix wave that persists over time. Powering up increases its area of attack.
- Cracker (Green): Fires a torpedo that explodes at a short distance and releases a scatter of smaller bombs. Powering up increases attack power and the number of small bombs scattered.
- Missiles and Homing Missiles (M): When underwater, the missiles quickly travel upwards. When submerged, the missiles home onto enemy units. Powering up increases the number of missiles shot.
- Mines and Machine Gun (A): When underwater, balloon mines slowly float to the water's surface. When submerged, a machine gun can be aimed at enemy units. Powering up increases the number of ammo shot.
Treasure Balls, red spheres with a gold star, can be found inside blue boxes and scenery. Small Treasure Balls are each worth 1 while large Treasure Balls are worth 5. Collecting 100 Treasure Balls earns the player one life.
With the exception of the first and last stage, the stage order differs from the Japanese and International versions. The home conversions all use the Japanese stage order. The numbered day (XX) is randomized between playthroughs.
|No.||Date||Japanese ver.||International ver.|
|1||XX Apr 0093||The South Pole||The South Pole|
|2||XX May 0093||The Channel||Sunken Town|
|3||XX Jul 0093||Seabed Ruins||The Channel|
|4||XX Aug 0093||Sunken Town||Deep Dark Sea|
|5||XX Oct 0093||Deep Dark Sea||Seabed Ruins|
|6||XX Nov 0093||The Enemy Base||The Enemy Base|
Relation to Metal Slug
- The game was developed by team members who also mostly worked on Air Duel, Undercover Cops, and Gunforce II for Irem and later the Metal Slug series for SNK. The similarities are clearly seen in the artistic style used.
- This game's use of different endings based on the number of players is reused in Metal Slug: Super Vehicle-001.
- The Slug Sub from Metal Slug: 2nd Mission plays very similar to the Gramvia.
- Player 1's color scheme is used for the Slug Mariner.
- The Rebel Walker greatly resemble this game's yellow walker enemies.
- The Kraken, the final boss from Metal Slug 7/XX bears a strong resemblance to the Sunken Town boss.
- The title and protagonist's vehicle suggest that the game may have been inspired by the Sean Connery movie "The Hunt for Red October".
- In the Sega Saturn Manual, the Gramvias are renamed the U.S. Crimson Fire (P1) and U.S. Azure Scourge (P2). The acronym U.S. stands for "Underwater Ship".
- In Brazil, Argentina and parts of Mexico, the PlayStation release was pirated and sold as if it was part of the Metal Slug series, commonly titled "Metal Slug 3" in Mexico and "Metal Slug Submarine" in the other countries.
- In the Hunt, Arcade Archives manual, pg. 3-4
- In the Hunt, Sega Saturn manual pg.7. https://www.gamesdatabase.org/Media/SYSTEM/Sega_Saturn//Manual/formated/In_The_Hunt_-_1995_-_Kokopeli_Digital_Studios.pdf
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