Dead Moon (video game)

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Dead Moon
Dead Moon Coverart.png
Developer(s) Natsume, Zap
Publisher(s) Natsume
Designer(s) Studio Ducks
Platform(s) TurboGrafx-16
  • JP: February 22, 1991
  • NA: 1991
Genre(s) Action, Shooter
Mode(s) Single-player
Title screen of the game Dead Moon. It was taken with the emulator Hu-Go!

Dead Moon (デッドムーン 月世界の悪夢, Tsuki Sekai no Akumu, lit. "Nightmare of the Moon World") is a video game released for the TurboGrafx-16. It was developed by T.S.S. and published by Natsume, released on February 22, 1991 in Japan and later in 1991 in North America. It is a horizontally scrolling shooter with the player piloting a space ship in order to stop an alien infestation of the Moon. The game was released on the Nintendo Wii's Virtual Console to all regions in 2007.


200 years after man began exploration of the solar system, an event occurred. A comet was detected near Pluto that was entering our system and approaching Earth. It was calculated to miss the planet by 1.2 billion kilometers. As probes were sent to monitor the comet, the comet sought them out and destroyed them, after which it set its course directly for Earth. The UN scrambled to avert certain disaster by sending out orbit shifting (ATFI) missiles to stop the comet. Upon their impact, the comet's course changed and it crashed into the Moon. When probes were sent to inspect the damage, they found a host of alien military space craft.


The game starts off with two ships in reserve and three cluster bombs. The spaceship moves left-to-right, with the screen being at rest only at certain areas, such as boss battles. During enemy barrages, supply ships will periodically enter the screen near the top or bottom and, if shot, will release upgrades. Multiple pickups of the same color/upgrade will increase the potency of the weapon to a maximum of three levels, and allow the ship to take one more extra hit per pickup to a maximum of three hits; with each hit, the ship will lose one level of weapon increase and will be destroyed if the ship is hit at a base weapon level. If the ship gains a certain color/upgrade once it has reached its three upgrade limit, the ship will gain one cluster bomb per pickup. There are six levels (called scenes), each with a mid-level boss and scene boss.

Weapon upgrades[edit]

The first boss battle. Notice the homing missile upgrade being used.
  • Circular spreader - red - This upgrade enables the ship to shoot out circular energy clusters in a wide area. As multiple red canisters are picked up, this area increases.
  • Laser beam - blue - Three laser beams fire from the craft and rotate around in the air towards the other end of the screen. As multiple blue canisters are picked up, the number of beams increases as well as the area the beams cover.
  • Waves - green - An upgrade that provides laser beams that looks like waves. As multiple green canisters are picked up, the wave increases in width.
  • Standard spreader - yellow - This is a modification of the standard weapon, increasing the weapon range diagonally in a spread-like area. As multiple yellow canisters are picked up, the spreader area increases and also shoots out the rear of the ship.

Ship upgrades[edit]

  • Homing missile - This upgrade allows your ship to fire homing missiles, deployed every time the regular gun is fired. They appear from the top and bottom of the craft. With each pickup, the number of missiles and their frequency increases.
  • Defensive orbs - This upgrade provides the ship with orb-like objects that can take hits unharmed. With each pickup, the number of orbs increases and they will start to rotate instead of being stationary.


The final boss battle. Notice the wave and defensive orb upgrades.
  • City - first level - The game starts with the ship over a city skyline, where the aliens have begun to invade. The mid-level bosses here are two typical looking flying saucers. At the end of the level is a giant skeleton bird whose weak spot is its heart. Once this creature is defeated, the ship blasts off to the Moon in the background.
  • Space - second level - This level takes you from just outside the atmosphere of Earth to the Moon. Along the way, the ship has to contend with asteroids and space debris as well as the alien ships. The mid-level bosses are F-15-looking ships. At the end of the level is a giant turtle that recedes in its shell in order to bounce around the screen at the ship. It also breathes fire.
  • Moon - third level - The next scene takes place on the surface of the Moon. As the ship skims the surface, alien enemies both on the ground and above it attack. The mid-level boss here is a large battle space ship. The boss at the end of the level is a skeleton of a Tyrannosaurus. Similar to the first level boss, its weak spot is also its heart.
  • Cave - fourth level - Upon beating the boss on the Moon surface, the ship descends into a crater. Inside is a cave with a river, which the ship parallels. The mid-level boss, which shows up twice in the level, is a ship that is similar in style to a shellfish. It opens and closes to shoot at the ship. The boss at the end of the level is a bi-pedal bird similar to an ostrich. After defeating it, the ship lowers into the river.
  • Lake - fifth level - Inside the lake, aquatic looking alien ships attack the ship. The mid-level boss is a robotic woman jutting out of a snail shell. The level boss is a giant skeletal fish that swims back and forth from either side of the screen. From this battle, the ship approaches the surface of the water.
  • Core - sixth level - Now in the core of the Moon, the ship must face the true alien enemies. There is no mid-level boss, just a three-part final boss battle. It starts with two skeletal hands that try to grab at the ship. Once these are defeated, they retreat and join with the rest of the skeletal human-like body, which spews flames. Once this part is defeated, the final part is the head of the creature, which can call forth four other duplicate heads to rotate around it.

Once the sixth scene boss is defeated, the game credits roll and the player starts the game over on a higher difficulty level, where enemies need to take twice as much damage in order to be destroyed.

External links[edit]