Musha Aleste cover art
Sega (Virtual Console)
|Release date(s)||Mega Drive
|Distribution||ROM cartridge, digital distribution|
M.U.S.H.A., released in Japan as Musha Aleste: Fullmetal Fighter Ellinor (武者アレスタ?), is a 1990 vertically scrolling shooter developed by Compile and released by Toaplan in Japan and Seismic in the United States. It is part of the Aleste series.
The game instantly became popular among scrolling shooter fans. It remains popular among Mega Drive collectors today, and is one of the most expensive games for the system. This game is also available on the Wii Virtual Console, where it was released in North America on January 19, 2009. The PAL regions received this game on July 17, 2009, as an import.
The gameplay involves obtaining power-ups called P-chips. The power-ups cause the main mecha to change color and grant sub-weapons. The sub-weapon also acts as a shield; if the mecha has a sub-weapon and is hit by an enemy attack, the sub weapon is destroyed in place of the mecha. The sub-weapons can be upgraded up to four times if the player obtains the same powerup more than once. The sub-weapons include an energy shield, a beam cannon, and missiles. The player can also obtain and stockpile helper drones, which have customisable attack modes. Up to two drones can assist the player in combat; when one is destroyed, a new one appears if the player has any in reserve.
In an alternate Tenryaku Era in the year 91 (2290 AD in the American version), technological advancements in Japan suddenly explode making robotics, computers and space travel possible. A space colony project is planned, but the environmental control system to a space colony known as "Little Japan" goes out of control and the supercomputer controlling the colony, Dire51, goes rogue, sending its attack units against mankind. Leading the attacks is a black transforming attack robot called Big Asia (大亜) responsible for most of the attacks. A defense squad of mech pilots is called in for a counter-attack, but only one pilot, Ellinor (Terri in the American release), survived and continues the fight.
The game was critically acclaimed and holds an averaged review score of 86.25% at GameRankings. Reviewing the Virtual Console release, IGN's Lucas M. Thomas gave it a score of 8.5/10, stating "is still so highly regarded after almost two decades, as its visuals, gameplay and overall style must have felt well ahead of their time for players who got the chance to experience it first in 1990." It was also named as one of the Top 10 Classic Shooters of All Time by IGN's Levi Buchanan, who called it "Compile's greatest shooter" and "one of the best shooters on the Genesis." According to Nintendo Life, "it remains one of the best shoot ‘em ups on the Mega Drive and is arguably one of the best of its era."
- "MUSHA: Metallic Uniframe Super Hybrid Armor Release Information for Genesis". GameFAQs. Retrieved 2013-12-22.
- Acronym for "Metallic Uniframe Super Hybrid Armor".
- "MUSHA: Metallic Uniframe Super Hybrid Armor for Genesis". GameRankings. Retrieved 2013-12-22.
- "M.U.S.H.A. Review – IGN". uk.ign.com. Retrieved 2013-12-22.
- "Top 10 Classic Shoot 'Em Ups – IGN". uk.ign.com. 2008-04-08. Retrieved 2013-12-22.
- "MUSHA (Wii Virtual Console / Mega Drive) Review". Nintendo Life. Retrieved 2013-12-22.