Ether Vapor Remaster is a cinematic 3D arcade shooter and visual treat from developer Edelweiss.
User reviews: Very Positive (183 reviews)
Release Date: Sep 27, 2012

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Recommended By Curators

"High action shmup with cinematic flair, Ether feels like it belongs with the best shmups of the Dreamcast era in style and graphics. "

About This Game

All hope seems to be lost for the country of Lydia in their war against Caldea, which has a huge advantage in numbers and technology. Into the midst of this war flies an unknown pilot in a prototype fighter... His agenda and the secret to the his awesome firepower will be revealed as he takes on overwhelming numbers of enemy fighters and massive bosses to reach his final objective.

Ether Vapor Remaster is a cinematic 3D arcade shooter and visual treat from developer Edelweiss. Explosions, lasers, ships and backgrounds are breathtakingly rendered. The dynamic camera uses vertical, horizontal and cinematic chase cam views to switch up the action and highlight the drama. Use multi-lock-on to shoot tens of missiles at a time and even blow up an entire battleship in the challenging Bonus Zones.

Key Features:

  • Gorgeous 3D graphics, supporting up to 1600 x 1200 resolution and anaglyph 3D mode
  • Dynamic camera provides vertical, horizontal and cinematic chase gameplay
  • Destroy the enemies with Gatling, Winder and Lock-On weapons, each with a unique & powerful Charged Shot
  • Cinematic Bonus Zones with Multi-Lock-On mode
  • Online leaderboards

System Requirements

    • OS:Windows XP / Vista / 7
    • Processor:Pentium4 3.0GHz
    • Memory:512 MB RAM
    • Graphics:VGA with DirectX9 or later 3D functionality
    • DirectX®:9.0
    • Hard Drive:100 MB HD space
    • Sound:DirectSound compatible
    • OS:Windows XP / Vista / 7
    • Processor:Pentium4 3.0GHz or better
    • Memory:512 MB RAM
    • Graphics:VGA with DirectX9 or later 3D functionality
    • DirectX®:9.0
    • Hard Drive:100 MB HD space
    • Sound:DirectSound compatible
Helpful customer reviews
51 of 56 people (91%) found this review helpful
4 people found this review funny
1.4 hrs on record
Posted: March 5
For me it is one of the best shooter games I have ever played. Unlike many other shooters, Ether Vapor switches between several different perspectives. There are no power ups. Your ship is equipped with three primary weapons at start, each of them is good for different occasion. While there are only perhaps a dozen different enemy models, some effort has been put into unique enemy designs. Lets talk about Explosions, they look very nice and the curving homing lasers that many ships in the game fire are worth see. There has been a lot of attention to detail. Enemies produce vapor trails and bullets release a shower of particles when hitting target. There is lot of going on and many boss fights included too. Quick view on the controls in the menu, yes it's terrible but you get used to it. The game was originally released only through Japanese doujin channels in 2007 and it was released again in 2011 as remaster version. Ether Vapor is a solid shooter with a lot going for it. Its production values are really high compared to a lot of doujin products. Perspective-changing levels provide a welcome change to the normal shooter genre.
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
2.1 hrs on record
Posted: January 25
Japanese shmup in the classic arcade style that would have felt totally at home on the Dreamcast.

3D graphics, 2D movement mostly, mixing horizontal & vertical depending on the level. There's a lot to like in this one. No weapon progression that I can tell, with a choice of three weapons & a shield at any time & it's key to switch between them for the situation you're in. Throw in some nice straightforward modeling & presentation, with the game shifting perspective for different fights & bonus sequences.

Collision detection's fair so far, movement is crisp, but the one gotcha is enemy missiles unfortunately. Most are nice easy to see pink balls of doom. Missiles are grey streaks on a busy background & can often be hard to spot.

Other than that, thumbs up.
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
0.6 hrs on record
Posted: January 27
You know what this SHMUP did right that MANY MANY others fail to do? Allow an option to show hitboxes for incoming traffic, your own bullets and the ships. God damn! This game gets so much right!

A worthy addition to any SHMUP players library.
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7 of 12 people (58%) found this review helpful
3.3 hrs on record
Posted: February 10
It looks flashy enough and has pretty good graphics and music, but that's about everything good that can be said about the game. The hitbox is hateful, the lock-on weapon doesn't really work outside of boss encounters, and the concentrated shot isn't really better than the spread shot. Many enemy shots are only barely visible on the bright, fast-moving background. The stage flow is often broken up by bonus sections that drag on forever, like the missile dodge section on the first stage. The boss encounters are all over the place.

And worst of all, the (thankfully skippable) story cutscenes are absolutely atrocious in every aspect.
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1 of 2 people (50%) found this review helpful
6.7 hrs on record
Posted: January 23
This game combines vertical, horizontal and perspective shooter. However, it is neither of them. At the end it can't achieve the precision of 2d shooters, nor the inmersion of the 3d ones.

When the game gives the idea of highlighting hitboxes you know there is something wrong.

The main problem is the bullets. its color. the enemy bullets mix with the backgroundand the effects. you have to force your sight to see them. This is especially anoying on the 5th and final stage when the bosses start shooting voleys of small purple-grayish bullets which are the same color as the background.

Then comes the perspective. On the same stage, the game changes the perspective like 10 times, leaving you confused and dizzy and at the verge of a seizure. And it gets even worse when you combine this with the bullets problem. You don't know what's on the same plane as you and can kill you and what is over or under you.

Come on, I am trying to play! If I'd want to see spaceships shooting at each other in some weird angles I'd watch some mecha anime.
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23 of 26 people (88%) found this review helpful
0.5 hrs on record
Posted: October 30, 2013
If you enjoy sega saturn era gaming you will really dig this game!
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23 of 26 people (88%) found this review helpful
5.5 hrs on record
Posted: January 18, 2014
Its a fun shooter that awards gamers who play it with extra max shields and continues.

The story isn't bad and you unlock other ships upon beating the game, so you'll want to play it more than 1 time.

If you like challenging shooters, wishlist it, and buy it on a sale.

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23 of 27 people (85%) found this review helpful
12.2 hrs on record
Posted: August 3, 2013
Now that I've actually beaten the game, I feel the need to write a new, more detailed recommendation. To go along with this game of many bullets, bullet points!

- 3 different ways of firing, each with an alternate function when charged, creating VASTLY more strategy and allowing for way more technique than your average "just keep the fire button held down" shmup
- Beautiful, crisp and refined polygons; 3D graphics for a 2D shmup is pretty uncommon
- Well-drawn character portraits and nice character design
- Cool looking ships
- Surprisingly good dialogue
- Good music and atmosphere
- Actually has a story worth your attention, but also allows for skipping and turning off outright
- You can turn on hitboxes being visible for the enemies and your shots
- Good progression
- There are parts that are on-rails with a lock-on cursor and parts where the angles change
- Boss rush mode and extras
- As to be expected of a bullet hell shmup, it is challenging
- 60 FPS, no load times and responsive menus

This is a shmup that actually tries to innovate and set the bar higher for its genre. This is probably my new favorite shoot-em-up. Seriously, more people should play this game. There is a demo on Steam. I strongly urge you to play it.
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10 of 11 people (91%) found this review helpful
6.6 hrs on record
Posted: October 23, 2014
Very good Arcade Shooter. It is not easy, but also not insanely hardcore difficult. Important thing is to understand that at the start of the game you will have 2 continues and 1 shield... and my bet is your reaction will be like mines (WTF are they insane? o_O) but as it turns out you will earn more continues and shield for your scores. It means you will be repeating many levels over and over but as it may sound boring, it isn't. After every time you will repeat a level you will learn how to make it through it with minimum harm and you will feel wild satisfaction when you will finish a level without getting hit even once.

The graphics are simple but they look great still, the blasts and projectiles look very nice and you screen is filled with explosions and other stuff it can look amazing sometimes. Like I said it is difficult, but not impossible to beat, game and if you are a gamer who can turn his frustration into motivation, then this game will give you a good couple of hours of pure joy and mayhem along with delightful pride as you will notice how better and better you get every time you repear a level and finish it with a better score.

I am not a hardcore fan of this type of games, and the fact that it got me hooked proves how hell of a good game this is.

Rating 7+/10
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12 of 15 people (80%) found this review helpful
3.9 hrs on record
Posted: January 25, 2014
As far as semi-classic japanese STG-flavor goes, Ether Vapor Remaster is a must-have on Steam particularly if you already own Satazius or Jamestown and cannot wait for the upcoming Ikaruga or Kamui any longer. Somewhat reminiscent of mid to late 90ies 3D shmups (particularly the Taito-stuff like the Layer/Ray-games and maybe a bit of the Donpachi thrown in for good measure). Ether Vapor is a hybrid of classic shmup-styles with more modern score-focused elements added in. Meaning that bulletpatterns aren't exactly "danmaku" or bullet-hell and your ships hitbox is pretty big. Nevertheless stuff gets pretty intense and particularly the final bosses flood the screen with projectiles leaving little space to dodge away and get out of the line of fire.

As far as score-focused elements go, you will only be rewarded with a high-score if you 1CC a stage all the way through to the end. Dying in a bossbattle means all your victory-points are lost to the void, same goes for your timebonus for beating a boss really fast. Compared to more modern / recent STG-titles, score and "normal" gameplay aren't all that interlocking - so you can play this just for the sake of completing it and never give a damn about score.

In order to do so, you keep playing again and again, unlocking extrashields and credits - making the game progressively easier as you go on. But 1CCing is pretty much the way to go, and here start the problems. While the game is really nice to look at - with very fun, classic designs and textures that remind me of the way one would color and shade Gunpla/Robot-Modelkits (which is a nice touch) as well as fantastic looking explosions - it is unfortunately way too easy to loose track of enemy projectiles and/or your ship as soon as the game really starts throwing stuff at you. To make matters worse, at times the perspective shifts into a weird third person view/dynamic angle in which I still haven't figured out where the hell in space I am actually am - as a result I constantly take "this is bull"-hits in these sequences. It can be frustrating to say the least, and is definitely a real problem that could break the experience for you especially if you go for that perfect run.

However, the rest is so fast and fun, particularly blowing up whole squadrons of popcorn-enemies feels so damn good thanks to excellent feedback and massive explosions that I can look past some of the design flaws. Overall, the quality of the game is pretty fantastic - especially if you consider that this is a japanese doujin-game and not a big company retail title developed for the arcades or something. I wished other indie-titles were this solid at the core.

Ether Vapor Remaster simply nails that arcade-feeling I am looking for, and while flawed in parts, is pretty much without competetion on Steam right now (thanks to Greenlight that will change soon) at what it does. So, grab it if you have that arcade-itch.
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12 of 16 people (75%) found this review helpful
3.5 hrs on record
Posted: April 28, 2014
This is one of the most fantastic bullet hell games ever made. To some the constant changing point of view from horizontal, vertical, behind the craft, and even at an angle will take a while to get used to. Story is muddled and translated poorly in fact there is one section where the game tries to tell you background information while you are dodging bullets. (Who the hell thought this was a good idea is beyond me) The first two weapons cover front and side directions while the last is an auto locking missile launcher which is something more bullet hell games need since now you can focus on dodging. The overall gameplay is cinematic in a genre that only focuses on doing one thing in one direction. So far there is no other game that pulls in off available making this a must buy for bullet hell fans.
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10 of 13 people (77%) found this review helpful
6.2 hrs on record
Posted: August 7, 2014
6/10, Ether Vapor is a pretty good little SHMUP that I still consider to be very enjoyable despite its problems.


The weapons are all basic, yet very useful. Each weapon also has a charge part to it. Making the weapon system a bit like a combination of R-type and Radiant Silvergun. The unlockable ships all have variations on the same weapon types but still manage to be useful. Movement feels great and bullets are abundant enough that you feel there's enough going on without being too overwelmed. In this regard the game isn't really considered a Bullet hell.


Unfortunately there are quite a few problems with the game as a whole. The scoring system is something that I think could have used some more work to make it more interesting for Super plays. And another problem is the graphics... No. The quality isn't bad. The issue stems from identifying bullets admist the chaos and knowing what can and can't hurt you. In most SHMUPs enemy bullets are on the highest layer and are typically a bright colour that you can identify easier. Some bullets that aren't of the pink ball variety tends to blend in with the explosions and your own bullets. Leading to moments where you question what just hit you. The story is there but nothing too special. I watched the cutscenes once then turned them off personally.
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7 of 8 people (88%) found this review helpful
1.6 hrs on record
Posted: August 28, 2013
Buy? Likely. A neat 2.5D doujin shmup that mostly plays in a vertical fashion, but will occassionally switch perspective to horizontal, and even through gameplay moments simlar to Starfox 64 and Rez, using it's 3D capabilities to it's advantage. You can get a better feel of bullet mechanics thanks to the hitbox option. It's great to let you know where you can be hit and where to hit enemies, but it's a bit wonky because the red, circular hitbox overlays are on the upper most layer, so it will be above damn near everything, including cutscene tech. It's worse when there are so many hitboxes on bots - anything with collison has hitboxes, including you and your own damn bullets, so you will see red circles all over the damn screen. Whats worse, a blue hitbox typically means it's a defeated enemy that is exploding into the background, but the hitboxes for actual enemies in the background are still red, so you can't quite tell if something is in the foreground or background until you shoot it. I think it's a better job than Sine Mora IMO, but all you have to go by is depth. Which brings me to the biggest issue of the game, and that is being able to tell what is in the background. You might find yourself dying a bit to enemies shifting to the foreground, and dodging bullets in the background that aren't actually going to hit you yet. Otherwise, the difficulty is is fair and mostly "your fault if you die". It's a pure shmup in a sense, so it isn't a bullet hell, but it can almost get there. You don't have powerups, but you rely on a forward gatling gun that can charge a penetrative blast , a laser missle lock on a la Zone of the Enders, and a wide shot that can be charged to release a bullet cancelling bomb, which is great for personal defense and doesn't damage you, but doesn't protect you from collision damage. Soundtrack is good, but nothing award winning. If you're big into shmups, I can recommend it, thought you may want to watch some videos to see if the 3d aspect will bother you.
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7 of 8 people (88%) found this review helpful
1.2 hrs on record
Posted: October 29, 2014
I enjoy this game. Its a fun game to play on your tv with a game pad. The music is very nice and I enjoyed listeaning to it while I played. I would not recommend with keyboard, however it has very good controller support and works well with xbox and 3rd party gamepads.
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11 of 16 people (69%) found this review helpful
8.7 hrs on record
Posted: April 25, 2014
For what it is, a doujin shooter made by a tiny team of people, Ether Vapor Remaster has an amazingly broad scope. The small production cost and team show through in some rough edges but what it gets right it gets REALLY right.

The bad first. It has a hitbox that can’t decide what size it wants to be, some bullets have larger areas of effect than it shows, the 3D view means that shots can come from a different plane than you’re on and they can be very difficult to judge (particularly homing shots), and the game has an uneven difficulty shifting between painfully simple and blazingly difficult at times.

But its high points drown those low ones out quite handily. A very pretty aesthetic, an interesting (if underdeveloped) story which is exceedingly rare in this genre, good music, and extensive replayability via a host of unlockables.

It’s also easily accessible for players of all skill levels; I definitely think this will be my first recommendation to those new to the genre from now on. While other games might have tighter gameplay the fact that you can customize your game via additional credits and shields (unlocked through reaching certain scores, or beating the game) that mean anyone can beat the game through virtually unlimited continues making it perfect for introductory level players. Even for those of us who know the genre this is still a nice addition because it makes learning the later levels much easier since you aren’t immediately booted after making one slip-up as you are in other games. Allowing you to play through the hard parts to see and memorize all the patterns before coming back and beating it the “right” way.

In short it’s a great game despite a few missteps, and might well be the perfect game for those just coming to the genre that find some of the hardcore Shmups on Steam just a little too hardcore.
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14 of 23 people (61%) found this review helpful
6.7 hrs on record
Posted: December 24, 2013
A great credit-feed that barely rewards skills, or even memorization. Not good, merely passionate, and therefore strongly recommended.
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4 of 4 people (100%) found this review helpful
5.5 hrs on record
Posted: September 23, 2014
Ether Vapor is an entertaining Shoot'em Up that plays a lot with perspective, which can be confusing at times. The presentation is fantastic, as is the soundtrack, but the story is rather lackluster and could as well be skipped. It might have good ideas, but they can never develop in the half hour that a full playthrough takes.

But before you get to the end you'll have to amass more credits and shields, which means you have to replay the same levels over and over again. I personally dislike stretching a short game like that, but I'm not exactly a fan of SHMUPs.
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5 of 7 people (71%) found this review helpful
1.2 hrs on record
Posted: June 30, 2014
An unexpectedly fun SHMUP. Has everything you want in the genre. Cool weapons, cool music, responsive controls, and explosions.
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6 of 9 people (67%) found this review helpful
4.5 hrs on record
Posted: December 1, 2013
In one word - Awesome.
Graphic is nice, music very, very good, I'm not yet completely sure about story but I think that's still better Love Story than twilight...

Konri_one - I done here~
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
2.3 hrs on record
Posted: June 20, 2013
A classic shooter done right. It goes through different types of shooter, from side-scroller to top-down to angled shooter, sometimes on the same level. Mind you, it is one tough frigging game, but awesome and worth its value nonetheless. If you like "R-Type" or "Ace Combat", or even "Einhander", then this one's for you.
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