Halley's Comet (video game)
Halley's Comet is an arcade video game created by Pacific Manufacturing Ltd and licensed to Taito for manufacture. Receiving a world wide release in 1986, Halley's Comet is a vertical scrolling shoot 'em up where the player defends various planets around the solar system from a direct collision with Halley's Comet and the various alien swarms which accompany it.
Each planet is visited individually. You start above the planet you are rescuing and the first two levels consist of the approach towards the comet split in the middle by a mini boss enemy. Once you have reached the comet you must split the comet open and proceed inside the comet where an alien race have hollowed out the comet and are currently residing inside. Proceed through the waves of enemies will result in meeting the end of level big boss. On defeating this you can proceed to the next planet which essentially is more of the same with some new enemy ships dropped in.
To assist you in your fight, many power ups are available. These are obtained by shooting smaller rocks which float past you. Power ups are triple front cannon, mini ships, wide spread cannon, increased speed, increased maneuverability, forward shield, and at the end of each sequence of power ups a wild card special in the form of a smart bomb, a complete power up of cannons or a full complement of mini ships.
The power ups are also multi-staged in that the first triple front cannon you pick up will give you standard size triple shots. Picking up additional triple cannons will increase the shot size.
Picking up mini-ships increases the player's firepower such that when they are picked up they fall in on the player's left and right wings and fire single shots as the player fires. By pressing the Hyperspace button, a mini-ship can be used as a screen clearing smartbomb.
The Halley's Comet arcade board is a custom board i.e. non jamma compliant and had single speaker mono sound. The monitor is orientated vertically giving a tall thin screen of play. The control panel has a single joystick and two fire buttons on each side for left-handed and right-handed players. Halley's Comet also has an alternating two player mode.
Halley Wars Japanese Game Gear cover art
Shoot 'em up
It is set in the middle of the 21st century. The armies of Lord Halley are launching attacks on planet Earth using Halley's Comet as the spearhead of the attack. You represent the last chance for Earth piloting a craft specially developed to engage the enemy hordes. The game has six long stages set in locations in space such as, above planets, inside enemy vessels or in asteroid fields. There is always a big boss at the end of each stage each with its own weakness. There are power-ups, which can be picked up along the way when you shoot particular asteroids or satellites. These upgrade your weapon strength, speed, shields and add small drone wingmen ships which assist in firing. The enemies mostly attack in waves with similar types of vessel attacking together in formation.
The game is unusual in the way any enemies or comet debris not destroyed on the journey makes it to earth and does some damage there. Comets do more damage than the enemy ships do. If Earth's damage level reaches 100% the game ends. For every 2000 points you score, 1% of Earth's damage is repaired, continuing also resets the damage to 0 but you lose your score and weapon powerups. There are three difficulty settings: Easy, Medium and Hard with each progressively having more, new and tougher enemies.
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