|title (EN)||Shikigami no Shiro II|
In the beginning of the story, a giant castle appeared from above the city of Tokyo. At 40 km, the ship-shaped castle was known as Nejireta castle. The battle of mankind and gods is about to begin.
The game mechanisms are generally carried over from the original Shikigami No Shiro, with the addition of more playable characters.
The game consists of five stages, each with two parts, with a boss at the end of each part. At the end of each stage, dialogue between the player character(s) and the bosses are shown in cut scenes; a unique sequence of dialogue is shown for every different character or combination of two characters.
Each character has a primary weapon, used by tapping or holding one firing button; holding the button for more than a few seconds, however, will switch to the character's secondary "Shikigami" weapon. This tends to be more powerful, but limited in range or utility, and also slows character movement. Each character's weapons are different, sometimes dramatically, in terms of pattern and power; in addition, each Shikigami weapon is available in one of two modes, chosen at the start of each new game. Bombs are also available, and each character's bombs function differently as well.
The leveling up of weapons from the original game is the only mechanic eliminated in the sequel.
Tension Bonus System
As with many shooters, the game places emphasis on obtaining high scores, which is facilitated by the Tension Bonus System (TBS). The TBS causes a player's score received to multiply, by factors of up to eight times, based on the player character's proximity to enemy bullets or enemies themselves; this is characteristic of the "grazing" mechanics found in games of the bullet hell genre. By staying close to hazardous objects, multipliers can be maintained for extended periods of time. In addition, destroyed enemies release coins that give extra points, which are also affected by the multiplier.
The player's weapons also play a part in the TBS; when the multiplier is at maximum, the primary weapon increases in power and range for as long as this is maintained. In addition, coins released by enemies destroyed with the Shikigami weapon are automatically collected.
Five difficulty levels are available, for both the regular game and the "extreme mode", in which enemies release additional fire when destroyed.
An alternate soundtrack, "S2MIX", is also available. The original soundtrack has been completely replaced in the European PS2 release.