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Guide to ElePaper Action

What is ElePaper Action?
EPA Title Screen ElePaper Action is a R.O.D the TV inspired PC Game published in 2005, designed with EasyGameStation, gaming software from Japan. It's a doujin game, or fan made, though extraordinarily well designed and could pass as an "official" piece of R.O.D merchandise if perhaps not for a slightly different artistic style. It's a side-scrolling arcade style beat'em up game. The goal is for the paper master heroes to make their way through each level to get a book from the clutches of the British Library.

The game's title is a reference to an oldskool arcade game Elevator Action (Taito, 2003). ElePaper Action contains a minigame based on Elevator Action which you can play during the end credits.

Elepaper Action is in Japanese. To my knowledge, there is no English translation (if I find differently, I will update this page). However, you can play the game with little difficulty without knowing any Japanese (although you won't be able to enjoy the little story pieces between the different levels).

Gameplay
You begin the game playing "Trio the Paper"--the Paper Sisters as a single heroic unit. You go through different levels, defeating enemies and bosses with different paper master tricks, from Anita's basic blade attack to Maggie's paper familiars. Different attacks use up different amounts of paper, and you gain more paper by defeating enemies. Most of the levels are side scrolling levels where you beat up enemies, but the fourth level is an arial combat level, and the fifth adds the challenge of a time limit. The game times how fast you beat each level--presumably you want to try to beat previous times on subsequent playthroughs.

Once you beat the game once, you unlock Yomiko Readman/Agent Paper, and can then play through the game as her instead. She has a different set of abilities.

After beating the game as Yomiko, I unlocked Anita as a separate character. You can also unlock Maggie and Michelle as separate heroes, but I haven't figured out what triggers their unlocking without cheating (see below). I assumed one of them unlocked after you won the game with Anita, but this is not the case.

Controls
EasyGameStation controls use the right and left arrow keys to move along, up arrow to jump, and down arrow to crouch. The action keys are z, x, and c. Controls vary slightly for each hero, which I will describe in depth below, but the basics are

z: Short range melee attack
x: Ranged or Special Attack
c: Defensive shield (Yomiko is the exception)

On level 4, the arial combat works the same for all characters: arrow keys move the bird/airplane up, down, left, and right across the screen, z is the basic attack which costs no paper (and can be used to constantly fire if the key is held down), and x is a "bomb" attack which uses 100 paper (so use sparingly).

On the menu screen, the arrow keys move to different menu options, with right and left key cycling through characters on the character screen. The z key selects.

On the game over screen, the first option is to continue playing from the start of the last level you were playing. The middle option saves the game and returns you to the main menu--hitting continue from the main menu returns you to that game. The final option quits to the main menu.

Characters
Trio the Paper
This is the default "hero" for the game, and is all three Paper Sisters acting as one unit. The Trio is all around decent, with no major strengths or weaknesses. They have a moderately high jump, but sometimes need to use Maggie's shield as a jumping platform.

Basic attack: Simply move into an enemy for a basic attack. Anita will automatically attack the enemy she is touching. This uses up no paper. Only the Trio auto-attacks like this.

Anita Attack: "z" activates the Anita attack. What this does is make Anita separate from the group, delivering stronger melee attacks to nearby enemies. You can't direct Anita during this time. While Anita is attacking, a wheel surrounds her, showing how long this attack mode is going to last. As long as the wheel has not run out, you can make Michelle and Maggie perform special attacks during this time.

Michelle Attack: The "x" key causes Michelle to fire an arrow at a target, costing 10 units of paper. This does a little more damage than the basic attack and of course can hit distant enemies. If Anita Attack mode is active, Michelle fires multiple arrows dealing lots more damage--but using lots more paper as well.

Maggie Attack: The "c" key normally causes Maggie to summon a defensive shield, which uses a moderate amount of paper. The sisters can also jump on top of the shield to reach high areas more easily. Anita can also make a cutting attack if she dives off the paper (but I've rarely been able to pull this off successfully as the wall doesn't last very long and the movement controls are oversensitive). If Anita Attack mode is active, the "c" key instead summons a paper creature which attacks multiple enemies. Hitting the c key rapidly in succession creates a larger monster. Hitting the key once summons a bat which divebombs the nearest target before moving on to the next one; it deals the same damage as Michelle's arrows. Hitting the key twice summons a wolf which charges all enemies on the screen. Hitting it three times summons a giant which slowly plows through enemies. Each familiar uses up paper, the larger, the more paper is used. The giant should be used very sparingly in particular because of this (but in honesty, it is rarely needed).

Arial Combat: The basic attack from the Trio (inside Maggie's bird) fires a wide cone of paper, which makes it easy to clear the screen of enemies. Because of this I find the arial level easiest to beat using the Trio.

Yomiko "The Paper" Readman
Yomiko in level 4 Yomiko is slightly weaker offensively than the Paper Sisters when it comes to basic attacks, but she has a lot more versatility and powerful special moves. She has a weak jump and must use her paper shield to help her get over high obstacles or up to high places.

Basic attack: You must press "z" to make her do a basic melee attack; this does about the same amount of damage as the Trio's attack. This uses no paper.

Special Attacks: The "x" key is not an attack key when playing as Yomiko; instead, it cycles you through different special attacks. The "c" key activates the current special ability selected. The different special attacks are:

Arial Combat: Yomiko's plane is a little faster than Maggie's bird, but her attack is a narrower stream of paper, which makes it harder to target enemies.

I find Yomiko a little frustrating to play because it's hard to keep track of her special attacks, and I don't like having to use the shield to use to get to high places all the time. It's fun to see all her different attacks, however.

Anita
Anita is very powerful offensively, moves quickly, and has a special double jump move--press the up arrow twice to make her jump really high. She is weak defensively and, I can't be certain, but I think she takes more damage from attacks.

Basic Melee Attack: "z" causes her to attack a target with a paper card. This does about the same damage, maybe just slightly more, as the basic attack in the Trio.

Sliding Kick Attack: Down-arrow+z causes Anita to slide-kick into enemies. It does much less damage than the basic attack, but you can do it almost indefinitely and it keeps Anita out of many of the enemies' ranged attacks (but not all of them!).

Ranged Attack: "x" causes Anita to fire a short volley of paper into enemies. This has less range than both Michelle or Yomiko's attacks, but uses only 5 instead of 10 paper.

Shield: Activated with "c". Anita's shield, unlike the others', moves with Anita, but is weak and disintegrates quickly. You can make shields on both sides of Anita's body if you move her quickly enough. Obviously since it moves, you can't use the shield as a jumping platform, but Anita has the double jump which more than makes up for that.

Arial Combat: This combines effectively Maggie's more maneuverable bird with Yomiko's more narrow range of fire. The attack is a little weak so Arial mode with Anita is tough (but she's otherwise so powerful it makes sense). I actually wish they had Anita flying with Yomiko though, like that scene in the TV series.

I find Anita is by far the easiest hero to play, and her speed and special jump make her ideal for speed runs. You can actually skip through whole hordes of monsters because she can jump right over them, and she doesn't need a lot of paper.

Maggie
Maggie is weak offensively, but has her cool paper familiars and one of the strongest shields in the game. Her jump is better than Yomiko's but not as good as the Michelle's or Anita's, so she'll need to use her shield as a jumping platform in some situations. I'm not sure, but I think Maggie takes less damage per hit than the other characters--which you need because it takes her longer to kill enemies. All in all, for better or worse, it's an accurate representation of Maggie's abilities--damn good with her familiars and defense, but she's not an offensive fighter. Now, if only there had been a "Sonny Wong" level...

Basic Melee Attack: "z" makes Maggie attack enemies with writhing tentacles coming from her sleeve. It kind of looks like she's tickling them to death, which is possible given how little damage the attack does--but to make up for it, the tentacles have a little more reach than most other melee attacks, and they reach through Maggie's shield so she can hit closeby targets and be protected.

Paper Familiars: ""x" works just like the "c" key when playing the Trio and Anita mode is activated--in other words, press it once, get the dive bombing bat, twice gets you the wolf, and three times gets you the giant. These can use up a lot of paper so it is very important not to accidentally press the button a lot of times. The basic bat can be really useful though, especially because it takes out the shield-mooks in one hit, and Maggie doesn't otherwise have a ranged attack. Maggie can summon familiars while crouching.

Shield: "c" brings up Maggie's shield, which works exactly the way it does in the Trio.

Arial Combat: Maggie gets three mini familiars which all fire paper in addition to the giant bird. If you stay fairly still, all of the familiars fire in one spot, for a stronger attack; if you move around, the little familiars move about giving you a wider but weaker spray of fire.

Maggie is fun but very challenging because she deals so little damage. You have to get really creative with her to do well, and watch your paper supply carefully because you need to rely less on your basic attack than other characters. Particularly with her, remember to jump or crouch to avoid attacks to save paper. Maggie's the worst choice to do speed runs, but best if you want to be completionist and kill every enemy--she needs as much paper as she can get, so you may as well go through and kill everybody.

Michelle
Michelle's interesting because she's all about ranged attacks and hitting multiple creatures. Like Anita, she has a moving shield (but quite different!), so she's got a high jump to get to high places (but she doesn't have the double jump like Anita).

Whip Attack: The z key brings out Michelle's melee attack, which is a paper whip. This is a slow moving attack that doesn't deal a lot of damage, but it hits multiple enemies at once (it kind of works like Yomiko's paper fan, but is a little slower). It flies over her head so it can even hit the eyebots that go through the game when they fly low. Arrow Attack: The "x" works just like it does in normal Trio mode--Michelle fires an arrow that uses about 10 paper and deals 10 damage. It's got the farthest range in the game. Shield Ball: The "c" key makes Michelle surround herself in a ball of paper, which then rolls hamster-ball-like toward enemies, dealing a small amount of damage. It doesn't last long, so it doesn't make for great long term defense (you'll need to rely on ducking and jumping to avoid attacks more often) but it's great for moving quickly through mobs of enemies. Arial combat: Michelle's missile attack is similar to Maggie's, in that concentrated fire is stronger, but she can also get a wide range of striking when moving around. Levels
The Trio on Level 5 On all levels except 4, healing items appear in the form of milk (partial health healed) and parfaits (most health healed).

Level 1: You have to get a book! You fight robots through the streets of Jinbo-Cho, until you are attacked by a very large robot that tries to crush you.

Level 2: The old man who runs Toto Books sends you to the sewers. You have to take elevators to lower levels of the sewers (who knew sewers had elevators? I sure didn't). Again, you are fighting different kinds of robots. Your final enemy is a giant fire-and-missile-breathing good luck kitty statue.

Level 3: Back to the city streets! Now also blockaded by human enemies with guns, including really annoying shield guys. You nearly get the book when it is snatched from your hands by the I-Jin Jean Henri Fabre and his giant grasshopper.

Level 4: You take to the skies, pursuing the I-Jin in your bird/plane (but not superman). You fight random floating air mines, a giant dragon fly, Otto Lilienthal in his glider, and finally Otto Lilienthall in a more different glider which more often than not will kill you many, many, embarrasing times before you figure out how to deal with him. Also, Hisami chases you in an eyebot, and everytime you shoot her, you get healed. I like any game that lets you shoot that annoying squeaky voiced brat and get rewarded for it. (In reality, you shoot an eyebot, and Hisami appears to heal you, but I prefer my interpretation.)

Level 5: Joker and Wendy have the book and are getting away on a train! They are doing this because they want you to act out that scene with Michelle in the opening credits to the TV series. This level is different--while it looks like the other normal levels, the goal is to get through it before the timer runs out. You have to run across the top of the train and get to the entrance inside. If you fall between train cars, you take damage and start over at the end of the train. Once you get inside, you have to fight your way through to get to Joker and Wendy. Once you get there, you get hit with a firehose, and this leads you to...

Level 6: A construction site! Back to basic sidescrolling action, but the construction site is maze-like and takes awhile to find your way to the top. In addition to dealing with various mooks armed with guns, flamethrowers, and super soakers, Joker and Wendy have gone back in time and summoned 6-years-from-the-past-Wendy, who appears of of nowhere, runs toward you to helpfully offer you a cup of tea, only to trip and spill it on you instead (this works like a supersoaker attack, but she's hard to dodge). Once you reach the top, you fight present-day Wendy's legion of bulldozers.

Level 7: Wendy, despondent at her defeat and/or seeing the sight of her younger self gleefully tripping everywhere she goes, tells you where Joker has taken the book: the most dangerous site in Tokyo: Yomiko's apartment building! Fight past all the mooks AND make your way through the maze of bookshelves to get to the top of the apartment building--where you must face Joker and his deadly giant mecha-Yomiko!

This game has deadly giant mecha-Yomiko. It is the best game ever.

Unlocking Characters
You unlock Yomiko, as far as I can tell, by simply beating the game once. And likewise, as far as I can tell, you unlock Anita after you beat the game with Yomiko.

From there, I'm stumped.

But what I did learn was how to cheat. Go into the folder where you keep the game and open the .ini file (MAKING AN UNCHANGED COPY OF IT FIRST). The ini file looks like a text file with a little gear on it. Opening it in a text editor, change the value "kakusi" from whatever number it is to "15." This not only unlocks Maggie and Michelle but also unlocks other stuff like allowing you to play the Elevator Action-like game in the credits. (Source: User Ikyuu at Sylvaralla).

What "kakusi" means, I have no idea. Before I edited it, the value was "2" (I had unlocked Yomiko and Anita).

My guess is that it has something to do with the screen you get at the end of the credits. After the credits, a picture of Natsumi Nishizono appears, and a counter scores something up. I have tried to look up the kanji next to the numeric value, but I can't make sense of it (the font is so cartoony, it's hard to count strokes). I do know sometimes when I play the score is higher or lower. I think the highest I've gotten is 90.

I don't know what it is scoring. My guesses:

  1. It has an internal score that judges gameplay based on how many enemies you kill, how fast you beat a level, etc. Since the game checks how fast you complete a level and ranks you on how fast you play, this could definitely be a factor.
  2. It has nothing to do with the main game at all and instead relies on the Elevator Action game in the credits--maybe it counts how many enemies you kill while the credits run.
  3. Any combination of the above--maybe just beating the game unlocks Yomiko while other things cause different characters to unlock. If you are reading this and you know the answer, please tell me and I will update this and credit you with the discovery!

Links
ElePaper Action's Official Site on EasyGameStation: Note this site is in Japanese, and if you don't have Japanese language encoding it will be in gobbledygook.

Intro Video: Here's the OP for the video game, at the CrunchyRoll Website

But DQ where do I GET it?
It is hard to tell what are legal downloads or not for this game, so I am not willing to provide a direct link. However, a Google search for "ElePaper Action" should be fruitful.


Death Quaker's Realm All original creative materials © 2005 R. Pickard. Read or Die, R.O.D. the TV and all related concepts were created by Hideyuki Kurata and are ©2003 Aniplex/Studio Orphee.
Contact: mistress@deathquaker.org