R-Type is one of the most popular side scrolling shoot 'em up games developed by Irem for the arcades in 1987. It became popular for its creative world-view and game system and was converted on various video game consoles and home computers!
STORY / GAMEPLAY The story takes place somewhere in the 22nd century! You fly a futuristic fighter craft called the R-9a "Arrowhead". The craft's name is based on its shape and because it is the ninth model in the 'R' series of fighter aircrafts. The main mission is to blast and destroy the evil Bydo Empire (and its fleets). Basically, you have to shoot everything that moves -with most aliens shooting back at you while others just get on your way to instantly kill you upon contact. The backgrounds look like tunnels (or caverns) that have a "ceiling" and a "floor" outcropping in places! These can also be dangerous since you can easily crash your R-9a. Some of the sprites are pretty large, like the giant spinning wheel monster that awaits near the end of the first level where you actually have to get your ship inside it and shoot it in the eye to close its account. And be sure that there are a lot of even bigger (and far more difficult) alien monsters to confront! The rapid presses on the fire button produce standard laser bursts, but should you require a bit more firepower you must hold the button for 3 seconds to charge and blast a bigger shot which will pierce and kill everything into its range. It is absolutely necessary to also collect an extra bonus shield (a sort of a second aircraft) that shoots and can be unleashed to kill everything on sight. Overall, R-Type is extremely difficult (frustratingly difficult actually) since you can easily lose lives and -the worst of all- if you are shot down, you re-spawn at the beginning of the level (very unfair in my opinion)! Actually the whole game is unfairly tough!
GRAPHICS / SOUND Ok, the X68000 conversion is great and almost identical to the original (as expected). This conversion is by far superior to the Amiga and ST counterparts and uses way more colors on screen. Actually, The only 16bit home computers conversion that's pretty close to the X68000 is the PC (MS-DOS)! As in the original version, the sprites move beautifully, with not a single slowdown and some of them are really big, especially the end-level bosses! Soundwise, the sound quality of the X68000 follows the visuals' high standards and each level offers its own music, along with a variety of sampled sound effects during gameplay (all taken directly from the original).
CPU: X68000 (1987) to SUPER (1991) models - Hitachi HD68HC000 (16/32-bit) @ 10 MHz OR XVI (1991) to Compact (1992) models - Motorola 68000 (16/32-bit) @ 16 MHz OR X68030 (1993) models - Motorola MC68EC030 (32-bit) @ 25 MHz Also there is a Sub-CPU available (Oki MSM80C51 MCU) MEMORY: 1-4MB RAM (expandable up to 12 MB), 1MB ROM (128 KB BIOS, 768 KB Character Generator), 1056KB VRAM (512KB graphics, 512KB text, 32KB sprites) GRAPHICS: GPU (graphics processing unit) chipset: Sharp-Hudson Custom Chipset
Color palette of 65,536 (16-bit RGB high color depth) and maximum up to 65,536 colors on screen (from 256x240 to 512x512 resolution), up to 64 colors (from 640x480 to 1024x1024 resolution)
Graphics hardware: Hardware scrolling, priority control, super-impose, dual tilemap background layers, sprite flipping.
Graphical planes: 1-4 bitmap planes, 1-2 tilemap planes, 1 sprite plan
It supports 128 sprites on screen (16×16 sprite size), 32 sprites per scanline, 256 sprite patterns in VRAM. SOUND: Yamaha YM2151: Eight FM synthesis channels
Yamaha YM3012: Floating point DAC with 2-channel stereo output
Oki MSM6258: One 4-bit ADPCM mono channel @ 22 kHz sampling rate