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Japanese Dreamcast cover art
Rising Star Games
JP October 30, 2005
|Genre(s)||Vertical scrolling shooter|
|Mode(s)||Single player, multiplayer|
|Distribution||GD-ROM (arcade, DC)|
|Arcade system||Sega NAOMI|
Under Defeat is a shoot 'em up arcade game by G.rev. It was released for the Sega Dreamcast in March 2006. The game takes place in an alternate reality based on World War II, and, in a controversial twist, players control German-speaking characters (under the banner of "the Empire") with uniforms that resemble those of the Nazi SS, fighting against enemies ("the Union") that speak English and possess weapons patterned after those of both real-life Allied and Axis powers (for example, naval units in Level 2 bear heavy resemblance toward the Imperial Japanese warships). The game was released very late in the life of the Dreamcast, but sold much better than expected, probably because there were no other home ports planned in the foreseeable future.
Players assume control of a helicopter, which can be rotated like a more limited version of the mechanism in Zero Gunner 2. Gameplay is largely very traditional, and bears a strong resemblance to some older Toaplan games, especially Twin Cobra. It uses 3D graphics, and a slightly angled perspective to give the game more depth than most other titles in the genre.
On October 27, 2011, G.rev announced a remake titled Under Defeat HD to be released for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. The game is released by Rising Star Games on February 23, 2012 in Japan, November 9, 2012 in the UK and set to be released on November 28, 2012 in North America for PlayStation 3 only and January 25, 2013 in Europe. There was no North American release for the Xbox 360 version of this game.
An upgraded version of Under Defeat HD (PS3, Xbox 360) was made on Sega Ring Edge 2 arcade System, named Under Defeat HD+. Now that version is coming to arcades with some improvements via Sega’s ALL.NET. Among the enhancements this will have is a horizontal orientation mode, more detail in the battlefield and a “New Order” mode where apparently you can choose from different types of aircraft.
The engine is simplistic in design and execution (machine gun and bomb buttons), but there are a multitude of strategies that you can employ. You have 3 basic forms of attack:
- Machine Gun
- By holding down the X button, you fire a continuous stream of bullets. This is your primary weapon throughout the game.
- Beginning each life with 3, you can accumulate up to 6. Pressing A button unleashes a screen-devastating blast, destroying most enemies instantly. This also protects you from all enemy fire, but not collisions.
- Your helicopter has one of three possible weapon assists during the course of the game. These provide extra firepower, and using the right one at any given time determines how tough certain battles and stages will be.
Your helicopter can move in 8 directions, though your move speed is fixed in relation to the stage's scroll speed. Also, the option to have your left/right directions reversed (pilot style) or not is presented before actual play begins.
The best feature, though not really affecting gameplay itself, is the multiple resolution modes. Clicking the R button provides you with 4 resolution modes, one which rotates the whole screen 90 degrees to the right so the entire viewable space is the stage itself (removing the two characters' profiles on either side of the screen, taking up 50% of the space). This means, though, that you have to turn your television on its side. If you are able to do it, then it's a definite perk.
These options, dropped by certain enemies or when you are killed, provide you with 3 possible additional attacks. Any that appear on screen stay on screen until you touch it. Each option icon is color-coded, and change every 5 seconds or so, allowing you to switch between them. Also note that these options won't necessarily target what you're currently firing at, but are smart enough most of the time.
- Vulcan Machine Gun (yellow) - The same as your helicopter's machine gun. It is the weakest in terms of power, but the fastest to recharge.
- Cannon (green) - Eight moderately-powerful salvos are fired one every second, taking out most small and medium tanks and helicopters within a shot or two. Recharge is longer than the vulcan but shorter than the rocket grendade.
- Rocket Grenade (blue) - A single, powerful shot takes out nearly all enemies in the game, as well as doing blast radius damage. This one is especially good for bosses, but its recharge time can be a serious liability.
Each one attacks a certain amount of times, then has to recharge. While the bar is green the option attacks, until it turns entirely red (as the option is attacking). Then, you have to wait for the bar to fade to black. Then, so long as you're not firing your primary weapon, the option bar will turn green again, but if you fire before it fully becomes green again, it resets to black. You can use your selected option as many times as you want, but must allow for the reload time if you want to use it again.
The weapon options secondary benefit is multiplying your score. Any destructible item that the option destroys doubles the points earned. This can be as little as 100 (represented as x100) and as large as 100,000 (reserved for bosses).
There are three different releases of Under Defeat for the Dreamcast:
The game only.
Limited edition version
The game (with alternative cover art) and a soundtrack CD featuring arranged tracks from the home port and original remixes.
Sega Direct version
The game, a Dreamcast version soundtrack CD, a wallposter, and a sticker.
At the time of its release, Under Defeat was billed as the final Dreamcast game, both on the website and on the back of the packaging. There was some debate as to whether this interpretation was correct (it literally said that the game "decorates the end of the Dreamcast."). However, it was confirmed in an interview not long after the release of Under Defeat that this was the true intent . However, Milestone, developers of Radirgy and Chaos Field, have stated that they intended to continue developing for the Dreamcast and they contacted Sega to ensure that future Dreamcast games would be possible.  In November 2006, Warashi announced that they would be releasing another arcade shooter; Triggerheart Exelica on the console in February 2007.
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- (Japanese) am.sega.jp - Sega's webpage for Under Defeat containing videos from the game.
- (Japanese) G.rev - Grev's webpage for Under Defeat.
- Interview by Pink Bullets for pinkbullets.co.uk
- Under Defeat page at Dreamcast-Scene.com
- Under Defeat Review for Sega Dreamcast at Bordersdown