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North American flyer
|Developer(s)||Hamachi, Papa and team, Images Design|
|Publisher(s)||SNK, U.S. Gold, Activision|
|Designer(s)||Mitsuzo.I, Ken, Muromoto, Sakai, Mioshi, Maeda, Fujiwara|
|Release date(s)||1989 (Arcade)
1990 (Commodore Amiga)
1990 (Atari ST)
|Mode(s)||Single player, Up to 3 players simultaneously|
|Sound||Sound CPU : Z80
Sound chips : YM2610
|Display||Raster, 256 x 224 pixels, 2048 colors|
Beast Busters is a rail shooter arcade game released by SNK in 1989 and ported to the Commodore Amiga and the Atari ST in 1990. According to Paul Theroux, Michael Jackson owned a Beast Buster arcade machine and frequently took it with him on tour via cargo plane. This was the final arcade game released by SNK prior to the Neo Geo.
In the game, players control one of three militiamen named Johnny Justice, Paul Patriot and Sammy Stately, who must shoot their way out of a city that has been invaded by the undead. The original arcade machine allows for up to three players to play the game at the same time. Guns are mounted to the machine and look like machine guns. Players can earn a number of power ups through the course of each stage to aid them in battle such as rockets, grenades, armor, health packs, and ammo.
The game has seven sections for players to shoot their way through. In between stages players are shown cutscenes explaining the events of the zombie infestation that has overtaken the city. Each stage has a sub boss as well as an end boss to defeat, all of which have 2 forms to defeat. The game was known for having unusual bosses, such as a zombie punk who mutates into a dog, or a jeep which starts coming to life. One stage ends with the militiamen having to rescue a female CIA agent from that stage's boss.
The game drew comparisons to Operation Thunderbolt, Line of Fire and SNK's own Mechanized Attack. Advanced Computer Entertainment reacted positively to the game's horror theme and story, calling it Operation Wolf meets Splatterhouse.
- Theroux, Paul (5 January 2010). "American writer Paul Theroux about Michael Jackson, Elizabeth Taylor and the biblical Judas".
- Beast Busters. Crash. May 1990.
- Beast Busters. Advanced Computer Entertainment. April 1990. p. 102.
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