Compile was a Japanese videogame developer, most notable for having developed the Puyo Puyo series, based on their Madou Monogatari franchise, until its bankruptcy in 2002. Since then, key staff, including former director Masamitsu "Moo" Niitani, have moved to Compile-Heart, the company's spiritual successor, whereas shoot-'em-up staff moved to Milestone Inc.
Compile debuted their most successful title, Puyo Puyo, on the MSX computer in 1991. Puyo Puyo is a falling-block puzzle game similar to Tetris (1984). The object of the game is to create groups of four or more "Puyos" of the same color as they fall from the top of the screen. This simple yet addictive concept was expanded on in a series of sequels over the course of two decades.
Puyo Puyo reached Europe and North America in the form of Dr. Robotnik's Mean Bean Machine for the Sega Mega Drive/Genesis and Kirby's Avalanche for the NTSC Super Nintendo (Kirby's Ghost Trap in PAL region). However, the series unaltered appearance was Puyo Pop, a name for games that were released on the PC Engine, Neo Geo Pocket Color and for the Game Boy Advance.
As part of Compile's restructuring in 1998, the rights to Puyo Puyo was sold to Sega, but Compile's franchise right would remain until their bankruptcy in 2002, thus allowing Sega to publish Puyo Puyo~n and Puyo Puyo BOX. Later Puyo Puyo games were developed by Sonic Team, who created Puyo Pop Fever.
Shoot 'em ups
Until 1993, Compile focused much of their development efforts on the shoot 'em up genre. In the 1990s, a few Compile personnel left the company to work for another video game development company, 8ing/Raizing (est. 1993). There they contributed to such games as Mahou Daisakusen (1993) and Battle Garegga (1996).
Some employees who stayed with Compile until its end reincorporated as MileStone in April 2003, and continued to develop new shooters.
Some of Compile's most famous shoot-'em-up games include:
- First released on the MSX computer in 1986, Zanac combined fast action with an innovative AI system, which changes based on your style of play. Zanac received a true sequel, Zanac EX and an NES port. There was also a parody of Zanac called Gun*Nac, released by Nexoft for the NES in 1991. Similar to Konami's own Parodius games, Gun Nac brought humor to the gameplay of the original by replacing the enemies with carrot-throwing rabbits and letting the player purchase weapons in a fast food store at the end of each stage. In 2001, Compile released an updated version for the PlayStation titled Zanac X Zanac, which included an original sequel entitled Zanac Neo.
- Aleste was first released on the MSX2 and then ported to the Master System. A sequel, Aleste 2, was also released for the MSX2. Musha Aleste (titled M.U.S.H.A. in the US) was released on the Mega Drive in 1990. The game takes place in a unique Japanese futuristic setting. Super Aleste came out in 1992 for the Super Famicom and was retitled Space Megaforce in North America. Aleste is now available on cellular phones, courtesy of Aiky.
- Gunhed (retitled Blazing Lazers for North America) was released in 1989 and soon became a showpiece for NEC's PC Engine console.
- Developed jointly by Compile and Naxat Soft under the common label Nazac, Seirei Senshi Spriggan and Spriggan Mark 2 were respectively released in 1991 and 1992 for the PC Engine CD-ROM system. Spriggan Mark 2 has the distinctive honour of being the only horizontal shooter from Compile.
Video games developed by Compile
|This table is incomplete. (October 2012)|
|Championship Lode Runner|
|Lode Runner||1984||Platform / Puzzle||MSX|
|R-Type||1988||Horizontal shooter||Sega Mark III||Irem|
|Zanac Ex||1986||Vertical shooter||MSX2||Compile|
|Zanac X Zanac||2001||Vertical shooter||PlayStation||Compile|