Gal*Gun features a “panic button” whereby the player can quickly switch between the main gameplay and what is called the “Mama kita gamen” (Mum has arrived screen). The screen’s existence suggests an anticipated audience comprised at least partly of minors for the “bishōjo” game – a genre focused on interactions with attractive girl characters, but lacking the pornographic content of “eroge” and the focused relationship building of dating sims. Gal*Gun is a rail shooter in which the player operates Tenzou, a high school student who has been subjected to Patako’s mistake, an apprentice to Cupid who has shot Tenzuo with too many arrows. As a result, Tenzou is transformed into an irresistible love object, however he must find his true love before the end of the day or succumb to a life of loneliness. Patako gives Tenzuo a pheromone gun, which he uses as he moves through the school to ward off infatuated school girls. As girl characters approach Tenzuo with love letters or for a kiss, the player must shoot them in special target zones, at which point they are incapacitated in physical ecstasy, moaning erotically, and filling Tenzuo’s Heart meter. When this meter is full, the player can enter “doki doki” (onomatopoeic for heart pounding) mode, in which the player can zoom in on a particular character and shoot her erogenous zones to fill her pleasure meter. In the unlockable “delusion mode”, the player can view the girls from various low angles. The panic button brings up a screen with 8-bit visuals and sound in the style of Mega Man Zero, another title by Gal*Gun’s developer.
Gal*Gun was developed by Inti Creates and published by Alchemist, released in Japan on Xbox 360 and Playstation Move in 2011 and 2012 respectively. In consultation with Microsoft, Alchemist released a patch for games sold after 18 March 2011 called the “Protect panties patch”, which limited the manoeuvrability of the in-game camera. This meant that players could no longer assume a low angle view to look up the skirts of girl characters who had been hit by the pheromone gun. This was not the case in the Playstation 3 version. A range of additional downloadable content is available for the game, including new costumes for the school girls and additional underwear designs. A sequel to Gal*Gun was released in Japan in 2015, titled Gal*Gun: Double Peace, which is visually and ludically similar. Additional purchasable content associated with this sequel includes a “Mr Happiness Screen Cleaner” in the shape of girls underwear to “gently wipe down your dirty screens for maximum visibility!” and an add-on called “Pheromone Z”, which allows players to see through characters’ clothing, priced at $US90. On PS4 and PlayStation Vita, touch controls allow players to interact with characters in various scenarios, such as pushing a character from behind when she is stuck in a window.
Gal*Gun was rated D (ages 17 and up) by the Computer Entertainment Rating Organization (CERO) in Japan, but didn’t receive an international release. The sequel, released internationally, was rated M (mature 17+) by the Entertainment Software Rating Board in the U.S. and 16 by the Pan European Game Information (PEGI) system for “sexual images/or sexual innuendo and mild bad language”. The Australian Classification Board rated the game R18+ for “sexual activity related to incentives and rewards”, scoring it high impact in “sex” and strong impact in “themes”. In July 2016, the Australian retailer EB Games removed Gal*Gun: Double Peace from its website’s titles for sale following an article in Kotaku which describes its capacity for “orgasm bombs”. – Liam Grealy