Gunster: Rain of Bullets was a 2D multiplayer action sidescroller, categorized as run and gun, created by Korean based company NHN who in turn hosted the game using the North American portal named ijji. Ijji stopped supporting Gunster for various undisclosed reasons on February 14, 2007. One other version of Gunster exists, named Gunstriker: Reloaded Bullets and hosted on Hangame.co.jp.
The game is a port from a Korean game of the same name, hosted directly by Hangame, which was also shut down. Minor differences exist between the current versions, but the biggest difference is that they are managed independently of one another.
Gunster has vast similarities to the older game Soldat; in which gameplay and the environment look and act similarly. For example, players can use various weapons (holding two at a time) and jet packs in Soldat, the same as in Gunster.
Characters do two things for players, change them aesthetically, like an avatar, and modify their statistics slightly. Each character has a value for their statistics, one for health, booster and speed. Health changes the maximum amount of health, booster changes the amount of booster, and speed changes the horizontal movement speed of the character. There were nine available characters.
Chrome is the currency of Gunster. No physical representation of it exists in the game and is thus more like credit. Chrome is gained through the completion of missions and rewarded for doing well in matches. Chrome can also be acquired through battling other non-NPC players in Battle Mode. The more kills you have, the more Chrome you get. The more deaths you have, the less Chrome you get. Survival mode gives chrome based on how long the player stayed alive in the game. Chrome can only be used in the store for the purchase of characters, weapons, equipment and items.
Levels and Experience Points
Every time a player finishes a mission or game they are rewarded with experience points. Players level traditionally but are only rewarded with meeting the level requirements for purchasing things from the store. The character being played does not affect the level or experience gain of a player. Experience points gained through missions are given by a specific amount for the mission, plus an additional amount based on the number of points gained through kills.
Battle mode however is different;
Experience gained is proportional only to what rank you were, if your team won/lost and how long the mission was.
Ladder points are proportional to what rank you were, if your team won/lost, how long the mission lasted, AND your level.
For example: If you are in a 1v1 mission and you're level 50 against a level 5, and the mission runs 20 minutes, if you get one kill off your opponent and you are never killed, thus winning the match, you will get 100XP, and maybe about 5 ladder points.
If you are in a 4v4 mission and you get 2nd place and your team wins, and it was a 5 minute mission, and the other team was a higher level than you, you will get about 10 ladder points, and about 25XP.
Losing to the other team halves your experience points, but barely affects your ladder points, it seems.
are a game aspect used to set the militaristic tone for the game; requiring players to achieve these to grant them access to other areas of the game. Players begin in the "Challenge License Area" that acts as a training area. Completion of all levels grants access to the second license, "Mission". In the "Mission License Area" players are able to group with others to face one of six unlockable missions; each with its own end boss. When players have finished enough easy level missions, getting iron medals, they are allowed to access the final mode of gameplay, "Battle License Area," where players can fight each other in various modes of gameplay including an elimination mode, one in which teams compete for the top score, and traditional capture the flag that had not been implemented yet.
Players must progress through the modes in Gunster sequentially. Medals are gained by completing levels or doing well in battles. Once earned, users can insert medals into medal cards; when completed, the cards can be transformed into various rewards based on the card used. There are only two types of medals currently rewarded: iron and bronze which are somewhat representative of the quality of a victory - where bronze may be rewarded in place of iron, although no description is given of why. Currently the medal and card system is not entirely implemented and can only be used to achieve licenses required for gameplay modes.
In game power-ups allow players to get a distinct advantage over challenges and players. They appear in two different ways, depending on the game mode. In challenge mode (survival levels) and battle mode, power-ups appear in either random locations or specific ones. Sometimes the power-up produced at a location is completely random, but at others it is specified by type (modifier, health, weapon). In mission mode, power-ups are gained by defeating an enemy, whereby the power-up appears at the final resting place of the enemy. Also in mission mode, enemies drop special weapon power-ups not available in other game modes, providing players the use of a normal weapon, often to their advantage in the current situation. Power-ups include:
- Double Damage Offense Modifier - When active on a player, a red circle with the letter P circles the player.
- Extra Life - A stick-figure like icon graphic, it adds one life to the top right of a player's screen.
- Flame Thrower - Equips the player with a flame thrower, disables the ability to change weapons and when depleted it causes the primary and secondary weapons to have to cool down before firing.
- Grenade Refills - Gives a player three regular grenades.
- Half Damage Defense Modifier - When active on a player, a blue circle with the letter D circles the player.
- Health - Restores some depleted health.
- Invisibility - Mainly used during missions, when active, the computer characters will not fire at you.
- Rocket Launcher - Equips the player with a rocket launcher, disables the ability to change weapons and when depleted it causes the primary and secondary weapons to have to cool down before firing.
- Speed - Increases your jetpack amount, as well as your jumping/walking speed, and air maneuverability.
The store enables players to purchase new characters, weapons, miscellaneus items, and equipment. Most of these have a level requirement, disabling low level users from saving up for powerful guns and better characters. Weapons have level requirements and can be purchased for 7 days or permanently. Equipment involves passively active equipment that modifies a players statistics and capabilities; for instance giving a laser sight to sniper rifles when the laser scope is equipped. Other types of equipment include bullet proof vests (which reduce damage by a percentage) and booster effects (which change the color of the booster).
Weapons come in two forms - guns and grenades - but can be used in various ways. For example, two guns can be carried by a player in certain modes (one held and the other holstered); each can be dropped and then replaced by a different gun found on the ground. Guns are categorized by type: Rifles, Submachine guns, Sniper Rifles, Shotguns, Grenade Launchers, and Machine Guns. The most basic of each type (available at all levels) are AK-47's, Ingram Mac 10's, Scouts, Benelli M3 Super 90s, M79s, and MG42s. Examples of non-default weapons are the M4A1 Colt under the Rifle categorization and the Laser Gun which is under the Sniper Rifle categorization. Notice that these categorizations are proven by the fact that when players disable weapons in game, they are affected. There are also two special power up weapons that are temporary, lasting until the end of the match, level or when their ammo runs out. These weapons, the flamethrower and rocket launcher, are more powerful than other weapons and usually give players the upper hand.
Grenades, on the other hand, can be replaced by specialized grenades if a player has them. The Gunster website says that specialized grenades give players five available grenades but when tested this is not true, leaving players with the normal amount of three grenades (the non-implementation of this is supported by the X's placed on the grenade slots as seen in the screen shots, marking them as unusable).
Since Gunster lacks an active anti-hacking program like GunBound
, one can easily cheat. Most commonly players who cheat or hack use memory editing to enable unlimited ammo and reduce the firing rate of weapons to close to nil. Several more complicated tweaks exist in which players have enabled Capture the Flag mode, used their own skins for characters, and even enabled enemy weaponry from NPC's from the Mission and Challenge license areas. Ijji permanently bans users' accounts who cheat to reduce the overall amount of cheating.
The End of Gunster on ijji
As of February 14
, ijji discontinued its Gunster service for many undeclared reasons. Members on the ijji Gunster forums blamed hacking and lack of anti-hack protection other games like Gunz and Gunbound have.
Another reason may be that the game had been losing players (from about 2000 to below 200 players) since the release of GunZ: The Duel
Many of the fans have tried many ways to bring the game back, including a petition. There are doubts though that Gunster will ever be seen again on ijji. As of Thanksgiving, a large effort is being made to re-introduce Gunster to ijji, after the removal of KwonHo
, another ijji game that has been cancelled by Ijji. No response from ijji as of yet. Many fans hope the sudden need for a new game will help slingshot this effort to success... UPDATE: With the new game Luminary: Rise of the Goonzu pulling in 600+ players on average it seems like there will never be an effort to bring back Gunster, thus marking the end of the game.