The Thread In Which We (Attempt To?) Give A Name To The "One Of Those" Genres

I was talking with a friend of mine earlier, and we both share a love of a very specific type of game that doesn‘t really exist anymore, and we realized that we don’t actually have a name for that type of game, even though there are enough of them that it's definitely at least like, a sub-genre.

This isn't the first time I've had a conversation like this, so I thought it might be fun to come up with shorthand names for types of games that get grouped into relative "one of those" corrals in conversation. I don't care about discerning between genres or sub-genres or whatever, but I feel like this is fertile ground for some insert credit-ass puns.

In this case, the type of game we were talking about are those mid-90s first-person mech-shooter dungeon-crawler hallway-labyrinth-'em-ups that were so prevalent on the 3DO and the early days of the Saturn and PlayStation, before more or less blinking out of existence. They're kind of like much more rigid and simplified versions of King's Field in a weird way. Genki (famous for the Shutokou battle series) made a bunch of 'em and they all more or less follow the same formula with a few twists between entries. Also almost all of them have comically long names that are different in every territory. Games like:

  • - Tetsujin/Iron Angel of the Apocalypse
  • - Tetsujin Returns/Iron Angel of the Apocalypse Returns
  • - Kileak: The Blood/Kileak: The DNA Imperative
  • - Kileak: The Blood 2: Reason In Madness/Epidemic
  • - Beltlogger 9/Brahma Force: Assault on Beltlogger 9
  • - Deadalus/Robotica/Cybernation Revolt
  • - Space Hulk: Vengeance of the Blood Angels
  • - Ghen War
  • etc. etc.

    Cause if you just say "first-person mech game" that brings to mind, for me anyway, Iron Soldier, a bunch of budget 32 bit Gundam games, Gungriffon, Starsiege, Extreme Power, Metal Jacket, etc.

    We both drew a blank. Any ideas?

    @“andrewelmore”#p47937 I would probably refer to those as dungeon-crawlers with a fairly broad brush but in the interests of having a more fun, on-topic answer I'd suggest Dungeon-Mecha.

    That might conjure up some religious connotations when said out loud but it sounds better than Mech-Dungeoner.

    ooh, Dungeon-Mecha feels pretty good. then we can shorten it to dung-mech. wait. no yeah that works.

    Having played Kileak quite a bit, I think dung-mech is a fitting designation.

    I haven't played these games but this dev is on the same wavelength it seems

    I've been trying to think of something better but the goofy Robo Retimobbers has lodged itself in my brain.

    **Robo**t **Re**al **Tim**e Bl**obbers**

    Does Rengoku: The Tower of Purgatory count as a dungmech?

    [upl-image-preview url=//]


    I’ve never actually played any of these, though I _do_ own a sealed copy of _Robotica_ for a reason I can neither recall nor deduce.

    The underground labyrinth levels of _Jumping Flash_ actually remind me of a more light-hearted take on the Plmup genre.

    @“yeso”#p47957 that‘s actually the friend i was talking to lol. he’s made a few of these and they‘re kind of the only modern versions of that genre I’m aware of. the games themselves are very good but the soundtracks in particular are ascendant imo.

    @“JoJoestar”#p47959 wow this looks sick! the only thing separating it from the other games i mentioned is that it's third person and actually looks pretty fast paced and kinetic haha.

    Coded Arms almost fits the bill, excepting the mech part.





    @“KennyL”#p48032 Robolunker

    Ooh I like where you are going with this…makes me think of clunky mechs spelunking through dungeons…how about “speclunkers”

    I was inspired by this little thread to make a video about these games!

    @“sdate”#p115112 This was extremely encouraging to read, thank you!! I‘m so glad to find other folks that are into these weird little games and their fascinating history. I hadn’t even considered the Amigar!

    "Station Crawlers" is excellent, btw. That's canon now imo.

    In my mind I used the (admittedly boring) name of “industrial shooters” given the mostly inorganic environments. Perhaps Baroque can be considered an offshoot of this ‘genre’? Plus I always wondered if Descent was somehow inspired by those too…

    @“bnn”#p116555 I think of Baroque as something of a blend between normal 3D first person dungeon crawlers like King's Field, and the floor-by-floor tower climbers like Rengoku.