North American NES box art
|Genre(s)||Side-scroller, shoot 'em up|
Burai Fighter (無頼戦士, ブライ・ファイター Burai Faitā) is a 1990 side-scrolling shoot 'em up video game developed by Taxan and published by Taito Corporation for the Nintendo Entertainment System. The game was released in North America in March 1990, in Europe and Australia in 1990 and in Japan on July 20, 1990. The game was also ported to the Game Boy and retitled as Burai Fighter Deluxe, and was released in Japan on June 27, 1990, in North America in January 1991 and in Europe in 1991; this port eventually wound up on the Game Boy Color as Space Marauder, originally released in Japan as Burai Fighter Color.
The setting for Burai Fighter, according to the manual, is to fend off seven bases of Burai, super-intelligent cyborgs. The player starts out with a relatively weak cannon but can upgrade to ring, laser, and missile weapons, which are much more powerful. The player can also choose from three difficulty settings: Eagle, Albatross, and Ace; but the fourth difficulty setting, Ultimate, must be unlocked. One proceeds by controlling the character in 8 directions and can shoot in a different direction from the direction he is looking.
Burai Fighter is a single player two dimensional automatic sidescroller. It has three difficulty levels to choose from. At the start, the screen moves from left to right, but it can move in all four directions and even change directions in the same level. The player is expected to keep up, because getting stuck on the edge means you die. You start out with a basic gun that you can fire in all eight directions. You can hold the fire button to lock your firing position. You float through space blowing up robots that sort of look like animals most of the time. At the end of a level you must defeat a boss to continue to the next level. At times, you may find a gap at the side of the screen. If you time it right and push in that direction, the orientation of the screen will change and take you into a secret room with some power ups. However, the higher difficulty levels have fewer secret rooms and your timing also needs to be perfect. This means you can quite simply walk into a death trap. The game is fairly linear otherwise, but there are a few forks in the road where you can either travel on the left side or the right side of the screen for a little while. If you pick the wrong side, you need to be an exceptionally skilled player to make it out of there.
Weapons and power ups
While playing it's possible to collect power ups. The three guns that have unlimited ammo are the laser, the ring and the missile. Picking up a symbol will switch weapons and it will increase your counter of that weapon by one. If the counter hits five, that weapon reaches level two. Get another five to max the weapon out. If you lose a life you lose the upgrade for the weapon you were using. The maxed out laser fires diagonally in four directions, the ring has a front spread and the missile fires vertically and horizontally. The ring can also pass through enemies, which makes it a handy weapon against hard to reach spots. Every boss is weaker against a particular kind of weapon, so it pays off to bring the right one into battle. If you gather enough resources you will also be allowed to fire off cobalt bombs that do damage to all enemies on the screen. They do not damage bosses, however. If you save up long enough and fill up your entire cobalt meter you gain an extra life at the cost of your whole supply. You can upgrade your speed with the S symbols and pick up the rotating shield by finding the grey circle symbols. The shield will start to rotate faster if you find more upgrades. It's possible to pick up too many speed upgrades, which means you'll most likely fly into a wall and die unless you have exceptional reflexes.
Giganticrab is the level one boss. He has three eyes on top of his head you need to blow up before he corners you with his body or his moving antennas. At level two you will find Jawispede, a big worm that falls apart into three pieces you also need to destroy. Level three is an overview perspective level where you will look for a base with lots of firing eyes. It has no automatic scrolling. The start of the level gives you the vague direction you need to go. Fangskull is at the end of level four. Basically it's a big skull you can only hit at the bottom. At the end of level five a fire demon with the name Torchwing is waiting. He's surrounded with fire balls he can unleash. Level six is another overview perspective level with a slightly larger base you need to destroy. Slimedragon is the end boss of the game. He's so big you're only fighting his head. He fires off massive projectiles that chase you and you can only hit him in the eye. This means you fire lasers into his mouth if you're a good shot, or you can just take it slow if you use the rings. It is impossible to hit the eye with missiles. Cobalt bombs don't damage the dragon, but you can use them to stop his projectiles at least a few times if you get cornered.
You start with several lives and there is a password system, so you can try a level as much as you need. There is no life bar, which means you die with one hit. There are a lot of enemies on the screen that may also fire projectiles. It's a later NES game and the graphics and sound are decent for the time. The manual explicitly states the game is difficult and that you need to play through all the difficulty levels to even have a shot at beating the game.
This is a basic action game with only a minor story line. The Burai are an intelligent race bent on complete domination of the entire universe. They have seven facilities across the galaxy that produce their troops that are half robot, half animal. Only the unnamed protagonist can save the universe with his proton suit and laser gun.
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- Burai Fighter Release Information for NES, GameFAQs, archived from the original on 2012-10-13, retrieved 2013-09-04
- Burai Fighter Deluxe Release Information for Game Boy, GameFAQs, archived from the original on 2012-10-14, retrieved 2013-09-04
- Mode d'emploi/Handleiding NES-UF-FAH-1 (1991 French/Dutch game guide)