A COMPILE-created, Irem-produced, Broderbund-distributed (at least in the states) fit of sheer shoot-em-up/adventure/rpg genius. Essentially a bastard son of Aleste and Legend of Zelda, it first hit Japan in 1988 and came out in the United States in June of 1989.

The plot is a basic shooter-style plot, you being a female-robot-spacejet-Macrossy-transformer-thing, you have to go into the heart of this renegade alien planet called Naju and blow it up before it collides with earth. The execution in gameplay, though, that's where it's at. It starts off as an Aleste-style shooter, but what's this, you have a life bar. Now some people think that having a lifebar in a shooter is a copout, but this sort of game, not only with the all-around gameplay, but in the sheer volume of stuff the game throws at you in the shooter levels (or "corridors" as the game calls them) is just insane, so such insanity calls for a lifebar.

Once you get through this first corridor, the game really starts up, you run around Zelda-style collecting chips (your money in the game), buying/finding/winning new weapons (11 different types) and upgrades (3 for each weapon), getting trapped in rooms with enemies, and finding secrets to unlock more corridors. When you beat some corridors(1 through 9) you'll get a key to unlock another part (or "zone") of the world map. There's 9 more corridors (11 through 19) to go through for bonus experience and to help get your weapons maxed out.

For all sorts of fan-type information, you can check out The Guardian Legend Shrine at http://www.classicgaming.com/shmups/guardianlegend/.