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Compile (company)

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Compile Co., Ltd
Privately held limited company
Industry Video game industry
Fate Dissolved after bankruptcy
Predecessor Programmers-3, Inc.
Successor Compile Heart, Compile Maru
Founded 7 April 1982 (1982-04-07)
Founder Masamitsu Niitani
Defunct 2003
Headquarters Japan
Products Video games
Services Video game development

Compile Co., Ltd. (株式会社コンパイル, Kabushikigaisha Konpairu) was a Japanese video game developer, most notable for having developed the Puyo Puyo series, based on their Madou Monogatari franchise, until its bankruptcy in 2002. Since then, key staff, including former director Masamitsu "Moo" Niitani, have moved to Compile Heart, the company's spiritual successor, whereas shoot-'em-up staff moved to MileStone Inc.[1]

Puyo Puyo

Compile debuted their most successful title, Puyo Puyo, on the MSX computer in 1991. Puyo Puyo is a falling-block puzzle game similar to Tetris (1984). The object of the game is to create groups of four or more "Puyos" of the same color as they fall from the top of the screen. This simple yet addictive concept was expanded on in a series of sequels over the course of two decades.

Puyo Puyo reached North America and the PAL region in graphically altered form under the title of Dr. Robotnik's Mean Bean Machine for the Mega Drive/Genesis, as well as on the Super Nintendo (as Kirby's Avalanche in North America and Kirby's Ghost Trap in the PAL region). However, the series' unaltered appearance was Puyo Pop, a title used for games that were released on the PC Engine, Neo Geo Pocket Color and Game Boy Advance.

As part of Compile's restructuring in 1998, the rights to Puyo Puyo were sold to Sega, but Compile's franchise right would remain until their bankruptcy in 2002, thus allowing Sega to publish Puyo Puyo~n and Puyo Puyo BOX. Later Puyo Puyo games were developed by Sonic Team, who created Puyo Pop Fever.

Shoot 'em ups

Until 1993, Compile focused much of their development efforts on the shoot 'em up genre. In the 1990s, a few Compile personnel left the company to work for another video game development company, 8ing/Raizing (est. 1993). There they contributed to such games as Mahou Daisakusen (1993) and Battle Garegga (1996).

Some employees who stayed with Compile until its end reincorporated as MileStone Inc. in April 2003, and continued to develop new shooters.

Some of Compile's most famous shoot-'em-up games include:

First released on the MSX computer in 1986, Zanac combined fast action with an innovative AI system, which changes based on your style of play. Zanac received a true sequel, Zanac EX and an NES port. There was also a parody of Zanac called Gun*Nac, released by Nexoft for the NES in 1991. Similar to Konami's own Parodius games, Gun Nac brought humor to the gameplay of the original by replacing the enemies with carrot-throwing rabbits and letting the player purchase weapons in a fast food store at the end of each stage. In 2001, Compile released an updated version for the PlayStation titled Zanac X Zanac, which included an original sequel entitled Zanac Neo.
Aleste was first released on the MSX2 and then ported to the Master System. A sequel, Aleste 2, was also released for the MSX2. Musha Aleste (titled M.U.S.H.A. in the US) was released on the Mega Drive in 1990. The game takes place in a unique Japanese futuristic setting. Super Aleste came out in 1992 for the Super Famicom and was retitled Space Megaforce in North America. Aleste is now available on cellular phones, courtesy of Aiky.
Gunhed (retitled Blazing Lazers for North America) was released in 1989 and soon became a showpiece for NEC's PC Engine console.
Developed jointly by Compile and Naxat Soft under the common label Nazac, Seirei Senshi Spriggan and Spriggan Mark 2 were respectively released in 1991 and 1992 for the PC Engine CD-ROM system. Spriggan Mark 2 has the distinctive honour of being the only horizontal shooter from Compile.

Video games developed by Compile

Title Year Genre Original platform(s)
Aleste 1988 Vertical shooter MSX
Aleste 2 1989 Vertical shooter MSX2
Aleste Gaiden 1989 Vertical shooter MSX2
Arle no Bouken: Mahou no Jyueru 2000 JRPG Game Boy Color
Blazing Lazers (GunHed) 1989 Vertical shooter PC Engine
Blitz Runner
E.I. - Exa Innova
Final Justice
Godzilla: Gojira-Kun
Golvellius 1987 MSX
Gorby no Pipeline Daisakusen 1991 Famicom, MSX2, FM Towns
Gun-Nac 1990 Vertical shooter Famicom
Guru Logi Champ
The Guardian Legend
Hustle Chumy
Jagur 5
Lunar Ball
Madou Monogatari 1-2-3
Madou Monogatari A.R.S
Madō Monogatari: Hanamaru Daiyōchienji
Madou Monogatari 1998 JRPG Saturn
M.U.S.H.A. 1990 Mega Drive
Mystic Arts
Nazo Puyo
Nazo Puyo 2
Parlour Games
Power Strike Master System
Power Strike II Master System, Game Gear
Puyo Puyo Tsu
Puyo Puyo SUN
Puyo Puyo~n
Puyo Wars
Randar no Bouken 1989
Randar II: Revenge of Death 1989
Randar no Bouken III: Yami ni Miserareta Majuts...
Robo Aleste 1992 Vertical shooter Mega-CD
Rogue Hearts Dungeon
RuneMaster II
RuneMaster: War among Three Empires
Rude Breaker
Seirei Senshi Spriggan
Sonic Classics 1997 Mega Drive
Spriggan Mark 2
Super Aleste 1992 Vertical shooter
Super Nazo Puyo 2: Ruruu no Tetsuwan Hanjyouki
Super Nazo Puyo: Ruruu no Ruu
Tales of the Float Land
Wander Wonder
Warau Salesman 1993 Mega-CD
Zanac 1986 Vertical shooter MSX
Title Year Genre Platform(s) Original developer
Alien Crush
Borderline SG-1000
Championship Lode Runner
Devil's Crush
Ghostbusters Mega Drive
Jaki Crush
Legacy of the Wizard 1987 Action RPG NES Falcom
Lode Runner 1984 Platform / Puzzle MSX
R-Type 1988 Horizontal shooter Sega Mark III Irem
Shadowrun Mega-CD
Zanac Ex 1986 Vertical shooter MSX2 Compile
Zanac X Zanac 2001 Vertical shooter PlayStation Compile


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