|Developer(s)||MOSS, Seibu Kaihatsu (licensing)|
Taito (Japan, PS2)
|Genre(s)||Vertical scrolling shooter|
|Mode(s)||Single player, 2 player Co-op|
|Arcade system||Taito Type X, Taito NESiCAxLive|
Raiden III (雷電III Raiden Surī?) is a revival of the classic Raiden series of scrolling shooter games. It was developed by the Japanese company MOSS with some assistance and license by Seibu Kaihatsu which produced Raiden and Raiden II, and published in Japan by Taito in 2005. It has also been published in the US by UFO Interactive Games, in Europe by 505 Games, and in China by Soft-World International Corporation. The Windows version was re-released internationally on download services in 2014.
After a franchise hiatus of over 11 years following the release of Raiden DX, set in a universe different from all previous games and updated with a new look and feel. Raiden III is the first to use a new Taito Type X arcade system developed by Taito, instead of conventional arcade systems. New concepts are introduced, which includes a "new 3D scrolling system" that involves the camera pointing down normal to the player while the scenery moves in three dimensions: climbing, descending, and sometimes moving vertically. The blue Laser concept is more like a beam, instead of the ones seen in prior instalments.
- 1 Plot
- 2 Gameplay
- 3 Windows, PlayStation 2 versions
- 4 Mobile phone versions
- 5 The Flash Desire Raiden III Game Capture DVD
- 6 References
- 7 External links
Little is known about the game's storyline, other than the fact that Earth has been overrun by aliens. It is suggested through similar ship design and flight patterns that the aliens are the Cranassians of the previous games.
Players once again take control of the famous Raiden Supersonic Attack Fighter, red for player 1 and blue for player 2 as usual; there are no selectable ships. Two player mode is enhanced by an exclusive new attack: a beam that is usable whenever one player lines up in front of the other.
In Double play mode, both players share the live and bomb stocks, and without continue. In PlayStation 2, both players can be played from the same controller.
Scoring is straightforward, with inconsequential special bonuses: a multiplier up to 2 (displayed on screen) to the normal value of enemies if they are destroyed quickly after they appear, collecting medals and fairies (see below), destroying "secret" targets, collecting excess powerups.
Flashshot multiplier bonus is obtained by quickly destroying an enemy that appears on screen (up to 2.0). The speed of multiplier decreasing depends on enemy type.
In and 2-player mode, a win bonus score is added to the player with the most kills at the end of stage.
There are in total 7 levels, the first three set on Earth and the last four in space. Level design is related to prior Raiden games: the first three levels are particularly close to previous games, with the first based on the original Raiden; the bosses are also similar to those in the corresponding levels of Raiden II and Raiden DX.
The only choice is the "Fighting Thunder ME-02"(Raiden mk-II and Raiden mk-IIb) fighters, which are colored red and blue to represent players 1 and 2, or both in dual or double play mode.
Player's ships have smaller hitbox as found in Raiden Fighters series.
The ship fires simultaneously with two weapons: the main weapon and the sub-weapon. Weapons have a power level, which increases by collecting individual powerups. In addition there are bombs that fill more or less the whole screen, harming enemies and dissolving all enemy shots. At the beginning of the game or after the player dies, the default weapons are a three-way Vulcan (see below), a marked increase of firepower over the one-way Vulcan of the previous Raiden games, no secondary weapon and three bombs (the number of bombs can be altered as a game option).
- Vulcan shot: A traditional spread weapon that shoots streams of 2 or 4 small yellow bullets in 3, 5, or 7 directions (including straight ahead). Powerups increase the spread of the number of bullets. Corresponds to the red powerup.
- Laser: A traditional narrow weapon, appearing as a single continuous forward-facing blue laser; lateral ship movement makes it swerve very slightly. Powerups increase the width of the beam and presumably the damage rate. Corresponds to the blue powerup.
- Proton Laser: A replacement for the characteristic "toothpaste" plasma laser featured in the Raiden series, appearing as a very narrow green beam that swings markedly (moving at an angle of about 45 degrees) with lateral ship movement. Powerups increase the width and brightness of the beam and presumably the damage rate. Corresponds to the green powerup.
For all three variants, powerups simply increase the number of shots and there are three power levels.
- Nuclear missile:Shoots dumb-fire missiles that spread out laterally then accelerate forward. In addition to direct hits, the nuclear missiles' explosions cause damage as well. Corresponds to the "M" powerup.
- Homing missile: Shoots homing missiles that turn freely and target the closest enemy around the player. The damage is weak, but it is ideal for attacking enemies around the player. Corresponds to the "H" powerup.
- Radar missile: A partially guided variant of the nuclear missile in which the missiles drift laterally until they align with enemies and charge forward. The radar missiles' explosions cause damage as well, just like the nuclear missiles. Corresponds to the "R" powerup.
Unlike in previous Raiden games, the bomb's action in Raiden III is immediate: a ball of flame spreads out rapidly from the position the player. The bomb stock can be increased with bomb powerups, appearing as a "B" on a spinning triangle. The craft can carry up to 7 bombs; if another bomb powerup is collected, bonus points are accumulated. Any bombs left over at the end of a stage are worth 5,000 bonus points each.
Miscellaneous pickup items
In addition to the main weapon, secondary weapon and bomb powerups, there are miscellaneous pickup items.
Extra Life (1UP)
When picked up, the player receives another life. Appears near the end of levels 3 and 6 only. Any lives left over at the end of a stage are worth 10,000 bonus points each.
This appears under certain conditions such as the player dying many times; it raises the primary and secondary weapons to maximum power. Worth bonus points if collected when the player already has maximum power. It is similar to secondary weapon powerups, with a "P".
A fairy appears after shooting certain objects. When the fairy is collected, it helps the player when the craft is damaged, giving some powerup. Unlike in previous games where the player could be penalized for shooting it, this fairy cannot be hit by the player's shots.
Worth 500 points when collected and 10,000 bonus points at the end of a level. For the purpose of end of level bonuses, medals are lost when a player loses a life.
Windows, PlayStation 2 versions
Windows and PlayStation 2 version added following features:
- Boss rush mode
- Score attack mode
- Stage select
- Adjustable difficulty levits are gained by how long the game is played, and free play is unlocked by completing all stages.
- Single controller Double play mode (PlayStation 2)
- Adjustable display modes. In PlayStation 2 version, it includes 2 portrait and 2 landscape modes. In Windows version, it includes window mode, full screen mode, adjustable zoom ratios (x0.5, x1.0, x1.5, x2.0).
The Windows port of Raiden III published by Soft-World International corporation includes an English translation of the text originally written in Japanese. Because of the high degree of similarity between the arcade machine and a contemporary home PC, the Windows version can provide a nearly identical experience to that of the arcade version given a sufficiently powerful home PC.
Originally, there was to be a US version released by XS Games for the PlayStation 2 with release of Q3 2006. When the date came and went, fans attempted to contact XS Games, without success. UFO interactive later obtained the publishing rights. It was scheduled for a March 2007 release, but was finally released on 2007-04-17. It should be noted that the original packaging of Raiden III for the US PS2 Version says the disc enclosed is DVD-ROM. However, the game was published in a CD-ROM format with the blue disc bottom.
Mobile phone versions
Yahoo Mobile, i-mode, EZ-Web versions only include 3 difficulty levels.
The Flash Desire Raiden III Game Capture DVD
The game capture DVD of Raiden III was released on November 2, 2006. It costs about 6,090 yen each, and has approximately running time of 120 minutes for a DVD and approximately 70 minutes for a CD. Its features include:
- Contents 01 - Raiden III Normal Mode Capture Image (Kinomoto will not be in charge of playing; it plays back one-coin capture images of the same work from start to the ending.)
- Contents 02 - Raiden III Double Play Mode Capture Image (Hattori will be in charge of playing; it plays back 1 coin capture images of the same work from start to the ending.)
- Contents 03 - OUT TAKE (Other than the score image which is higher than normal mode main part, wonderful phenomenon and income technique, you record the opening movie.)
- Soundtrack CD (see below)
- Shoot like lightning (Opening demo)
- Takeoff with the suffer (Start demo)
- Lightning strikes (Level 1)
- Passing pleasures (Boss)
- Mission accomplishment (Level clear)
- Electric Resistance (Level 2)
- Dawn of sorrow (Level 3)
- A labyrinth of steel (Level 4)
- Intruder (Level 5)
- Invisible menace (Level 6)
- Last fear (Level 7)
- Fairy (Ending)
- Game Over for Raiden I (Game over)
- Carve your name (Name entry)
- Preparations (PS2 Main menu)
- Raiden III at the official Japanese website of Moss
- Taito Raiden III pages: PS2, NESiCAxLive
- Raiden III at Cyber Front's website
- The Flash Desire Raiden III on the INH Group's website
- Raiden III at MobyGames