Ether Vapor Remaster is a cinematic 3D arcade shooter and visual treat from developer Edelweiss.
User reviews:
Mostly Positive (198 reviews) - 78% of the 198 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Sep 27, 2012

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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
Customer reviews
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Mostly Positive (198 reviews)
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111 reviews match the filters above ( Very Positive)
Most Helpful Reviews  Overall
62 of 80 people (78%) found this review helpful
5 people found this review funny
1.4 hrs on record
Posted: March 5, 2015
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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33 of 39 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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24 of 29 people (83%) 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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25 of 32 people (78%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
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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15 of 18 people (83%) 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 16 people (75%) found this review helpful
4.0 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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8 of 9 people (89%) 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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8 of 9 people (89%) 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 15 people (73%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
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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12 of 18 people (67%) 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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Recently Posted
0.3 hrs
Posted: September 4
i remember this game back in around 2005 or something, as a only a student. i was stuned by the awsome sound track and the camera angel changes in game. this was not suppose to happen in a shoot 'em up game with simler style to the lengendary 1945 games.

things about this game that i liked:
1. sound track, i still have the orginial ogg files from 10years ago, they were just that good.
2. the missile shoot down stage, this was brilliant, never seen anything like this in 2005. just amazing
3. the future of arcade shooting games were seen in this game, as of 2016, arcade games did not evolve.

i understand this was something that alot of people find empty, but as a neogeo player at that time. this was the awsome future that the game maker showed us.

Helpful? Yes No Funny
1.7 hrs
Posted: May 15
░░░░▄ Ether Vapor ▄░░░░░░░░░
Helpful? Yes No Funny
0.1 hrs
Posted: March 10
This game feels like it's trying too hard to do too many things. The jarring changes in gameplay threw me for a loop and made me stop playing, the big lifebars on enemies only made it worse.
Not my cup of tea, I can't recommend it. Someone else may enjoy it though.
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1.4 hrs
Posted: February 17

Blast through waves of enemies in this old school style shoot-em-up. The ship you control comes with three different weapon styles none of which are particularly interesting.

No powerups appear during play so it's purely skill based to determine your survival. Hampering this is the fact that many of the projectiles blend into the background or are obscured by explosions or player projectiles.

The game plays with perspective a lot changing the direction of play and presenting enemies in the foreground/background of the play space. Without a good sense of the default size and scale of the enemies this effect is confusing with the game's orthogonal camera.

Combine all that with the flat story mode and you have an uninspired game with nothing to make it stand up and get noticed.
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11.7 hrs
Posted: December 21, 2015
A challenging and fun arcade shmup. Difficult at the outset due to limited shields and continues, but progress and repeated play rewards the player with more of these that can be used in subsequent tries, as well as bonus ships upon completing the game. Has a fairly decent difficulty curve and a couple of flaws that can make it difficult to keep track of the player ship and enemy shots.
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2.9 hrs
Posted: December 2, 2015
Did you like Life Force on the NES? Do you like StarFox? if so then this game is just for you! Like Life Force, Ether Vapor is a fast-paced shmup that changes perspectives throughout. Blast enemies in stages that change from horizontal to vertical between each stage; the stages will even do a 3D over-the-shoulder view that either sends you in a lock-on assault minigame or starfox-like railshooting segments seemlessly. The game does the transitions smoothly, and gives the game a cinematic feel (particularly during stage 4's airship raid.)

Instead of powerups, you have three weapons with two of them having alternate functions. In order to master this game, you will have to learn to know which weapons to use when. Of course we have the standard forward shot, but make sure to use the wide shot to attack enemies from the side, and get ready to put up the forcefield when things get too hot. are enemies attacking from behind, or are they assaulting you in the background? lock on to them and attack with powerful homing lasers!

If you worry about the game being to hard, it's actually one of the more forgiving shmups, and even when you get a game over the game will unlock the option to use more lives and credits, so you can keep going on until you're able to beat it, and even then after you beat the game you can customise the options to give yourself a challenge or make thing easier. There's also plenty of unlockables such as extra playable ships as well

Also, keep in mind that Remaster mode lacks cutscenes and text for those who would perfer a more arcade-like experience free of abundant text, while Original mode contains all the story and character dialog for those who would like more exposition in their shooters.

Overall, I can say I reccomend this game.
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Dangerous Beans
1.1 hrs
Posted: November 6, 2015
My weapons feel pitiful and there are no powerups.
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Lost Garland 517
0.3 hrs
Posted: November 3, 2015
This is just like Touhou.
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3.0 hrs
Posted: September 4, 2015
An absolutely gorgeous game to look at. That said, the art gets in the way more than it doesn't, making the game almost unplayable in places due to very gimmicky effects. I like the basic idea of the game, switching up the shooter perspective and gameplay to keep things from becoming too predictable, but I just wasn't impressed with the gameplay itself. It's just not as engaging as other shooters out there. The story is fine for what it is, but it's not even close to being compelling enough to make up for the game's biggest sin of being just plain dull. Add a tepid soundtrack to the mix, and you've got a game that really isn't worth $8.
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0.1 hrs
Posted: August 31, 2015
Killer game! Nice and easy on the hard drive too. This game can run anyway you want it all the way up to HD. This is a straight shooter game. The ship has three forms of fire. Power shot, spread and Seeker shot. All three modes have and alternate more powerful mode that you charge which plays very well in the gameplay. Favorite is spread which powered-up turns into an area explosion which protects you from enemy firepower shortly. Enemies can fairly be handled if you know which shot it needed at the time making this game relaxing until near the end where it turns into a bullet hell game. Don't let the limited program size fool you, this game goes over the top with the visuals. There's nothing I didn't like in this baby. It didn't get to complex and the more you play it, the program allows you to start adding shields to your ship and continues to your game. The game maybe over before you know it because it's that enjoyable and I hope they make an Ether Vapor 2. Recommend? Yes definitely and I wish they would make even more well balanced shooters like this one.
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