A shooter for the Sega Saturn, considered by many to be the best shooter ever made. As the Saturn didin't do anywhere near as well as the Playstation (just one of those things), it is not well known. It is, however, one of the most collectable video games out there, and usually sells for around $130 on ebay. This is obscene, but there's nothing to be done about it really. Other games that are considered highly collectable (this is not a comment on game quality; just what sells) are:

The prices vary according the condition of the game, and any included manuals, maps and boxes. Mint copies of any of these games will fetch you a pretty penny on ebay.
A vertically scrolling shooter, playable in arcades on Sega's ST-V hardware (released 5/28/1998) and at home on the Sega Saturn. It was developed by Treasure, published by ESP and available only in Japan. The Saturn version (released 6/30/1998) features new bosses, animated cut scenes, and voiceovers to explain the plot. The game stands out amongst shooters for its interesting weapon and scoring system.
The entire game showcases the fact that the guys at Treasure were sick bastards and anyone who plays it is a masochist. The game is difficult and will constantly remind you of this.

The story takes place primarily in the year 2521. A year ago, a very large octahedral stone was discovered buried in the Earth's crust accompanied by a small robot. During a scientific examination of the stone, it comes to life in a blinding flash of life began the destruction of mankind. We follow the crew of the attack carrier Tetra whose duty it is to save the world. Their only hope lies in the Silverguns, highly advanced attack craft, and their array of weaponry.

Ah, the good stuff...
Your weapon system is fairly unique in that you have seven weapons and only three fire buttons. You access the additional weapons through logical button combinations. Weapon bonuses of 10,000 points are given for using each weapon "properly".

A - Vulcan laser: Standard forward shooting weapon. Strong and easy to control, this will be your most used weapon. Weapon bonus: 200 hits with none of the center shots missing.

B - Homing shot: Weak but tracks the nearest enemy with complete accuracy and decent speed. Weapon bonus: 300 hits with none flying off screen.

C - Spread shot: Two lasers fly out from the front of your ship about 120 degrees from each other and explode into persistent plasma bursts when they impact a target or you release the button. Second strongest weapon in the game, this will probably be your second most used weapon. Weapon bonus: 16 consecutive hits. Note: releasing the button and having the explosion damage the enemy does NOT count as a hit.

Weapon strength of the primary weapons is determined by how many points have been gained using that weapon (see below) with end level bonuses being divided amongst the three.

B+C - Lock-on spread: Targets a number of enemies (based on B strength) within a certain radius (based on C strength) then fires unerring beams, which leave small persistent explosionsupon impact. Weapon bonus: 15 Lock-ons on one target.

A+C - Back-wide shot: fires one Vulcan shot forward and a number in a rear arc (based on C strength.) Damage depends on A strength. Weapon bonus: At least 300 shots hitting with no spread missing entirely.

A+B - Homing plasma: Two targeting beams sweep in front of your ship looking for targets and each will fire a lightning-like beam when it finds one. A strength determines damage and B determines sweep arc. Weapon bonus: 10 seconds of at least one beam damaging a target.

A+B+C - Radiant Sword: The most powerful weapon in the game. It will sweep away some projectiles nearby and can be held out to damage enemies. You can sweep away 10 bullets to charge up the Hyper Sword which can easily cover the entire screen. Strength is based on the sum of your weapon levels


Each enemy has a standard point value and a color, red, blue, or yellow. Red are most common, yellow are least common. You gain about 10 points for a projectile damaging a target with explosions counting as multiple projectiles. You gain the point value for an enemy when it is destroyed. Note: since the points are based on number of projectiles, you get more points for killing things with the weakest weapon, the homing shot. This is all pretty standard so far.

If you kill three enemies in a row of the same color, you get a chain bonus based on the value of the enemies destroyed and any previous chain bonus. As long as you continue to kill enemies of the same color, the chain bonus continues to rise. You must resist your shmup urges to kill everything that moves!

If you kill a red then a blue then a yellow, you get a 10,000 point Secret chain. You can then continue to destroy yellows for another 10k chain bonus, which will increase by 10k each time (10k then 20k then 30k, etc.) The maximum for any chain bonus is 100,000 points.

At the end of a level, you receive a destruction bonus if you destroy the boss before it self-destructs and a destruction rate bonus based on how much of the boss you kill.

Merry Bonuses are given for finding Merry the Debug Dog throughout each level. S/he can only be hit with the lock-on spread and is worth anywhere from 1065 to 106,500 points.

Last, least with respect to scoring and certainly not least in re-affirming that the guys at Treasure are sick bastards, you get points for close calls. Scraping your ship against walls, enemies and enemy projectiles (especially beam weapons) nets you extra points. You might get 50 or so points from an enemy or single bullet fly-by but you can get a few thousand from a good beam scraping.

Interesting Bits:
  • The levels are numbered chronologically but are not played in order. For example, You start on level 3 and play level 2 as a flashback.
  • The game's plot involves a time paradox known as a causal loop.
  • Part of the manual is printed in glossy black on matte black so you can not accidentally read it and learn all the neat secrets which I blatantly gave away in the above text.
  • If you don't learn the proper chains to maximize your score, your weapons will be pathetically weak in later levels.
  • The soundtrack is on EMI records, item number TYCY-5613.

Be attitude for gains.

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