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|Platform(s)||Mega Drive/Genesis, Microsoft Windows|
Bio-Hazard Battle, released in Japan as Crying: Aseimei Sensou (クライング 亜生命戦争), is a 1992 side-scrolling shoot 'em up released for the Sega Mega Drive/Genesis and for the Sega Mega Play arcade platform. On February 26, 2007, it was also made available on the Wii's Virtual Console. As of October 26, 2010, the game is available on Steam as well.
During G-Biowar I (the first global biowar), a powerful new form of retrovirus was released as a deadly reprisal from the enemy. The viruses unleashed biological forces which couldn't be stopped, leaving the planet filled with new and deadly forms of life.
Only a few survivors remain in suspended animation in O.P. Odysseus, an orbiting platform circling Avaron. The space station's purpose is to keep the surviving humans alive until Avaron is habitable again. The crew of the Odysseus, along with four organic ships known as the "Biowarriors", have been frozen in cryogenic tanks for hundreds of years, and now the onboard computer has awakened them.
Computer probes show that conditions on Avaron are hostile, but livable. The question is; where can the crew of Odysseus set up a colony? The Biowarriors are sent to Avaron to scout areas which the probes have designated least hostile, ascertaining planetary conditions and, ultimately finding a new home for the remaining survivors. The game ends showing all four characters flying back into the mothership. A short paragraph explains that the planet Avaron has, for "A peaceful moment", been saved. The Biowarriors are returned to their cryogenic storage, for "who is to say a similar crisis will never occur again?"
The game features a 2D side-scrolling shoot 'em up style of gameplay and the character chosen by the player can be moved in 8 directions by the D-Pad. The player can move, shoot, dodge, and block. To block an enemy projectile, the player must place the Power Star in the path of the projectile. There is also an array of different weapons at the ships' disposal.
The player begins with a pre-set number of lives, from 1 to 5, 3 being the default. When a player is hit by a hostile creature or environment, their ship is destroyed and will reappear with one less life. Extra lives are attainable by absorbing 1-UP icons in the various stages, or reaching milestones for accumulating points without getting Game Over. 20,000, 50,000 and 100,000 points are the first three.
The game also features strong usage of deep, bass-heavy music tracks, creative and colorful artwork and foreground and background elements. Despite the many obstacles in the scenery and landscape, the player cannot be harmed or die by bumping into anything other than an enemy or enemy fire. Players can, however, die by being crushed between the screen's edge and a wall. Scrolling and enemy movement is extremely fast in comparison to other games of its time. The player travels through eight levels, each one increasing in difficulty, with the last three only being available on the higher difficulties.
Players have a choice between four types of ships: They include the birdlike blue-and-red ship Orestes (Fredy), the reptilian red-and-green ship Electra (Muses), the buglike green ship Hecuba (Aflan), and the fishlike yellow-and-purple ship Polyxena (Fulci). These ships all have organic shells, making them look like actual creatures.
|Orestes (Fredy)||Fast||Fire Petal||Plasma Ring||Nova||Pods|
|Electra (Muses)||Slow||Fire Petal||Seeker Laser||Bond||Pods|
|Hecuba (Aflan)||Fast||Spin Laser||Plasma Ring||Bond||Pods|
|Polyxena (Fulci)||Slow||Spin Laser||Seeker Laser||Nova||Pods|
There are five different types of weapons in the game- one primary and four secondary.
The front of the Bioship is equipped with a weapon which can be used in two ways. The Bioship normally fires a plasma beam at the same time as the Power Star, but by holding down the fire button for a few moments, the Bioship pulls plasma energy into its power core and releases it in one massive burst, called the Plasma Wall. This wall of energy is powerful enough to destroy almost anything with one burst.
The Power Star
The Power Star is the player's secondary weapon. The Power Star, both a shield and a weapon, floats near the Bioship. As a shield, it stops most creatures from hitting their Bioship. More importantly, it uses power from the Energy Seeds to generate weapons. The player's Bioship ingests Seeds by passing over them and the energy is transferred to their ship's Power Star.
The Energy Seeds
There are four types of Energy Seeds: Yellow, Orange, Blue and Green. Each Seed changes the Bioship's genetic structure, enabling the ship to generate a different type of weapon. The Energy Seeds are incremental in effect, that is, as the ship ingests the Seeds, the weapon's power increases. This power increase only happens when players pick up Seeds of the same color. Maximum power capability is reached when the Bioship ingests three Seeds of the same color. If the player loses a life, the Power Star, if upgraded, will downgrade to one level. Energy Seeds are scattered by the space station along the flight path the player's Bioship will take. Near the beginning of each stage, there are usually four seeds available, one for each color.
As stated before, there are four different types of Energy Seeds.
- The green seed is the same for all ships. This weapon shoots Implosion Pods which create a vacuum upon impact causing damage. When upgraded, it shoots more pods at a time, and has a wider field of range. It is a good all-around weapon, although it is somewhat weaker than most other weapons.
- The blue seed has two different types. The first type, known as Bond is a strong, concentrated sphere of energy which will home in on enemies at a close range, attach to the creature, and explode. It is one of the strongest weapons, and can also destroy enemy bullets. It can be used by Electra and Hecuba. The other type, called Nova, is an 8-point range weapon, meaning that it shoots 8 units in 8 directions three times at once. When upgraded, the projectiles become larger and more powerful. This can be used by Orestes and Polyxena. The blue-colored spheres are good against large, armored enemies, but since the bubble has a slow fire rate and the 8-point range has holes in its field, they are not good against swarms of small enemies.
- The orange seed has two types. One type is the Plasma Ring, available to Orestes and Hecuba. Plasma Rings are spinning rings of energy which bounce off of inert matter and detonate upon contact with living matter (and create a single, subtle, and tiny sparkle after making contact with inert matter). The other type is a Seeker laser, which will head straight for any enemies in its vicinity. Compared to the blue spheres, they are weak, meaning they are not as effective against large enemies, but given their nearly universal field of range, the orange spheres are very effective against hordes of small enemies. When upgraded, units of fire will increase in size.
- The yellow seed also has two types. The first is the Fire Petal, which is a stream of bright yellow, white-hot fireballs that can deal a decent amount of damage. The second is a spinning twin laser beam that always shoots forward, even though the port will still rotate around the ship. The laser beams can destroy enemy bullets. The yellow weapons are suitable for dealing rapid, decent damage, although they are more difficult to control. At times, it may be impossible for the player to maneuver the port towards an enemy without running into a hostile creature.
- MegaTech review, EMAP, issue 11
- Mega review, Future Publishing, issue 3, page 40, December 1992