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Elemental Gearbolt

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Title Screen

Elemental Gearbolt

Also known as: Gense Kyokou Seirei Kidoudan: Elemental Gearbolt (JP)
Developer: Alfa System
Publishers: SCEI (JP), Working Designs (US)
Platform: PlayStation
Released in JP: December 11, 1997
Released in US: June 30, 1998

RegionIcon.png This game has regional differences.

Elemental Gearbolt is a light-gun game that's different from the others at the time due to its emphasis on story, no hostages to worry shooting and getting penalized for it, no reloading, and a trade-off system that trades points into experience points used to level you up and make you tougher to kill.

Due to these advantages, it's a relatively easy game that's mostly focused on its unique aesthetic and atmosphere ... unless you live in the US.

Regional Differences

Yep, it's Working Designs time again.


To do:
This is just the stuff I noticed at a glance; there's definitely more.

The Japanese version of the game is quite easy; a player of average skill can probably beat it on the highest difficulty with a few hours of practice. Unsurprisingly to anyone remotely familiar with them, this didn't sit well with Working Designs.

The US version of the game is much, much harder, to the extent that its lowest difficulty is probably harder than the Japanese version's highest one. Enemies do more damage, fewer experience points are awarded, etc.

On top of that, the US version renames the lowest difficulty level from "Easy" to "Training", and ends the game after the third stage when playing on this setting.

Other Changes

  • The Japanese version contains an audio drama "Side Story" in the Options menu, unlocked after beating the game on any difficulty, which provides some much-needed expansion on the game's backstory. Working Designs ditched this in favor of their omnipresent dubbing outtakes, relegating the plot to a summary in the manual. The undubbed audio for the radio drama is still present on the US disc.
  • The US version gives a title to the player based on points earned, displayed between levels and on the high score screen.
  • The US version adds a "Secrets" ranking system; the number of "secrets" discovered is displayed on the game results screen and the high score screen.
  • The Japanese game refers to the levels as "Scenes". For whatever reason, the US version renames them to "Acts".
  • In the US version, some of the sound effects are different.