The original "indie" title of PC. Made in 2004, it was released as freeware and was only in Japanese. It got translated by fans of the game and became one of the cult-classics for PC Indie gaming. All of this was during a time when Steam was barely a thing, and most indie games were free.
This game has aged, and with its age has become more amazing. I have only been dragged back into this game more and more over the years, and about a year ago I was craving the gameplay and story from this game. I downloaded the freeware title; however, I soon came to realize the updated, upgraded version was out, so I bought it. I don't regret a thing.
The game sports a classic 2D style of shooter. You can get more health by collecting capsules, some are hidden, others aren't. Each weapon you obtain can gain levels, each level unlocking increased attack or fighting styles for the weapon. You get experience from killing enemies, and enemies will take the experience back if they hit you. Speaking of enemies: this game has a lot. I think there are close to 100 different fightable enemies over the course of the entire game.
On to the story. The story is very well designed and I cannot remember a game before this one that was able to keep me engaged long enough to care to remember the names of characters or their personalities. This game made me want to look after the lives of the characters, and will often torture you with suspense. It's a very linear sort of story, but the world is like that of Metroid. You can go around and complete smaller side-quests or just continue the main story. Some side-quests or small actions have more influence on the story than one would originally think.
On a scale of one to ten, I'd have to rate this a 9/10. It's a very well polished adventure through the denizens that live in the world of Cave Story.