Silpheed

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Silpheed
Silpheed
Cover art
Developer(s) Game Arts
Publisher(s) Game Arts, Sierra, Sega
Designer(s) Takeshi Miyaji
Platform(s) PC-8801, FM-7, MS-DOS, TRS-80 CoCo, Apple IIGS, Sega Mega-CD
Release date(s) PC-8801
  • JP December 5, 1986
FM-7
  • JP March 3, 1988
Mega-CD
  • JP July 7, 1993
Genre(s) Shoot 'em up
Third-person rail shooter
Mode(s) Single player

Silpheed (シルフィード?) is a video game series developed by Game Arts and designed by the late Takeshi Miyaji.[1] It made its debut on the Japanese PC-8801 in 1986, and was ported to the Fujitsu FM-7 and MS-DOS formats soon after. It was later remade for the Sega Mega-CD and has a sequel called Silpheed: The Lost Planet for the PlayStation 2.

Silpheed is the name of the spacecraft that the player controls. Like many shooter games, the story involves using the Silpheed as Earth's last effort to save itself from destruction by a powerful enemy invasion. The game was notable for its use of pre-rendered 3D polygonal graphics played as a full motion video background to simulate real-time computer graphics and a tilted third-person perspective.[2]

Computer versions[edit]

The original Silpheed game was created for the PC-8801, and released on December 5, 1986. Another version for the FM-7 was released on March 3, 1988. In the same year, the game was brought to the United States for the first time by Sierra On-Line who ported the game to PCs and other platforms.

The storyline is that in the future (no date is specified, though 3032 is referred to as the date when an alien ship was discovered that lead to rapid technological advancement and allowed humans to colonise outer space) a terrorist named Xacalite has stolen "planetary buster" missiles and a battleship named Gloire and the fleet is not close enough to Earth to get there before Xacalite destroys it, so the supercomputer Yggdrassil orders the experimental SA-08 Silpheed fighter to be used to destroy Gloire.

Mega-CD version[edit]

The Mega-CD port of Silpheed features polygon ships over a pre-rendered video background; this method is also seen in other video game titles, such as Namco's StarBlade in 1991, Sony Imagesoft's Bram Stoker's Dracula in 1992, and Micronet's A/X-101 in 1994 for the Mega-CD. Because of its polygon graphics and advertising based on it, the game is often compared to Nintendo's Star Fox for the Super Famicom/Super NES, which came about the same time, and both games were perceived as competitors.

The game's story concerns a space war campaign when terrorists - led by a man named Xacalite - hack into the mother computer of Earth, granting them control over all the space weaponry of the solar system. The Earth's only hope is a small fleet outside the computer's reach, provided with a squadron of SA-77 Silpheed dogfighters (referred to as "prototypes" in the manual for the PC version). In the ending credits sequence of this version there are cinematic animations of scenes depicting the fighters flying through stages in the game.

Reception[edit]

Reception
Review scores
Publication Score
Dragon (magazine) 5/5 stars[3]
ACE 905 / 1000[4]
MegaTech 94%[5]
Mega 89%[6]
Awards
Publication Award
MegaTech Hyper Game

The PC/MS-DOS version of the game was reviewed in 1989 in Dragon #151 by Hartley, Patricia, and Kirk Lesser in "The Role of Computers" column. The reviewers gave the game 5 out of 5 stars, concluding that "Silpheed is highly addictive, extremely colorful, and requires hours of enjoyable practice to master."[3] Computer Gaming World gave the same version a positive review, praising the original music for the game.[7] The British gaming magazine ACE gave the game a score of 905 out of 1000.[4] Compute! called Silpheed "classic arcade fun with a little more depth than you'll find in many action-oriented games", but criticized the simple sound effects.[8]Mega placed the game at #5 in their Top Mega-CD Games of All Time,[9] MegaTech magazine said the game was "undoubtedly one of the best games yet for the Mega-CD". The game was a bestseller in Japan.[10]

Legacy[edit]

A sequel was released, Silpheed: The Lost Planet, for the PlayStation 2 in 2000. It was developed by Game Arts alongside Treasure.

A space combat simulator game was released by Square Enix in 2006 for the Xbox 360 titled Project Sylpheed. It is not directly tied into the Silpheed storyline, but was instead billed as a spiritual successor.

In 2012 an app for android, called "Silpheed Alternative: Menace from beyond the stars" was made, also considered as a spiritual successor. At an unspecified date a civilian spaceship is attacked by an unknown enemy. Like Project Sylpheed it is a fully three-dimensional game.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Silpheed designer dies aged 45". Edge. Next-Gen.biz. August 1 2011. Retrieved 3 August 2011. 
  2. ^ "Silpheed - Sega CD (1993)". Hardcore Gaming 101. September 16, 2012. Retrieved 16 September 2012. 
  3. ^ a b Lesser, Hartley, Patricia, and Kirk (November 1989). "The Role of Computers". Dragon (151): 52–56. 
  4. ^ a b Minson, John (September 1989). "Silpheed". ACE (24): 59. Retrieved 22 February 2012. 
  5. ^ MegaTech rating, EMAP, issue 21
  6. ^ Mega review, issue 13, page 29, October 1993
  7. ^ Carter, Shiela (August 1989). "Samurai Space Pilot". Computer Gaming World. p. 22. 
  8. ^ Aycock, Heidi E. H. (September 1989). "Silpheed". Compute!. p. 60. Retrieved 11 November 2013. 
  9. ^ Mega magazine issue 26, page 74, Maverick Magazines, November 1994
  10. ^ Official Japanese Mega Drive sales chart, November 1993, published in Mega (magazine) issue 14

External links[edit]

Preceded by
3x3 Eyes
Japanese number-one Mega Drive game
November 1993
Succeeded by
Street Fighter II Special Champion Edition