Front Mission Series: Gun Hazard

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Front Mission Series: Gun Hazard
GunhazardSFC boxart.jpg
Developer(s)Omiya Soft
Publisher(s)Squaresoft
Director(s)Hideo Suzuki
Producer(s)
  • Yasuyuki Maeda
  • Kiyotaka Sousui
Designer(s)
Programmer(s)
  • Hideo Suzuki
  • Yukihiro Higuchi
Artist(s)Yoshitaka Amano
Composer(s)
SeriesFront Mission
Platform(s)Super Famicom
Release
  • JP: February 23, 1996
Genre(s)Side-scrolling shooter, role-playing shooter
Mode(s)Single-player

Front Mission Series: Gun Hazard[a] is a 1996 video game developed by Omiya Soft and published by Squaresoft, and was released in Japan on February 23, 1996 for the Super Famicom game console. The game is the second entry in the Front Mission series, and is a side-scrolling role-playing shooter.

Gameplay[edit]

Gun Hazard is the first action RPG of the Front Mission series, and it is similar to Metal Warriors and Assault Suit Valken.[1][2] As a side-scrolling shooter spin-off, the gameplay of Gun Hazard differs from the tactical role-playing game entries of the numbered Front Mission titles.[3] Rather than being played out on a grid-based map and using a turn-based structure, battles takes place in real-time on scrolling 2D maps akin to Assault Suits Valken (titled Cybernator outside of Japan), a game which shared several key development staff with Gun Hazard.[4] The player controls one character who pilots a bipedal mech known as a wanzer.[2]

A player fighting an enemy

Game progression in Gun Hazard is done in linear manner: watch cut-scene events, complete missions, set up wanzers and vehicles during intermissions, and sortie for the next mission. The player travels to locations on a point-and-click world map.

In Gun Hazard, the player can leave the mech and explore.[2]

A unique feature of Gun Hazard is its usage-based progression system. The usefulness of parts and weapons increases with prolonged usage; the more they are used in missions, the more effective they become.[2]

Missions aside, Gun Hazard boasts other new features seen in future Front Mission entries: a job system and remodeling. The job system creates clearly defined roles for the characters that the player can use in missions, particularly the ones that can be taken in missions as a second ally unit.

Story[edit]

Set in 2064, the story of Gun Hazard takes place all over the world in an alternate Front Mission universe. In the early 21st century, nations around the world fought over the control of natural resources. With natural resources dwindling in supply, the nations of the world eventually banded together to seek a solution to the growing crisis. Realizing the potential in space-based energy, they began development of an orbital elevator known as "Atlas" in 2024.[5] As the orbital elevator's completion drew near, a breakthrough was achieved in miniature fusion reactors. The countries responsible for Atlas began to halt development of the orbital elevator and pursued miniature fusion reactor technology. Left unfinished, Atlas became a symbol of failed dreams and hopes as the world regressed back into a world of conflicts.[6] One such conflict is the Bergen coup d'état in 2064.

Plot[edit]

The plot of Gun Hazard revolves around a soldier based in Bergen, Norway named Albert Grabner (whose parents reside Eningen, Germany). In January 2064, Ark Hellbrand of the Bergen Army stages a coup d'état in an attempt to overthrow the government led by President Moss Orwen. As the coup d'état forces begin to take over the country, President Orwen radios for assistance from NORAD and a faction of the Bergen Army loyal to him. Albert Grabner is sent to act as the president's bodyguard and helps him escape the country. However, the two are eventually captured by Hellbrand. Albert escapes from prison with the help of Brenda Lockheart, a mercenary employed by the Kernelight Association. Upon escaping Bergen and reaching New York City, they visit the Kernelight Association headquarters. Hoping to return to Bergen and rescue Orwen, Albert agrees to working for the Kernelight Association to find allies that can help him overthrow Ark. As the two work for the mercenary guild and travel to war-torn countries around the world, Albert begins to see a link between the civil conflicts, the Bergen coup d'état, and an organization only known as "The Society".

Development and release[edit]

The game was developed by Omiya Soft, which had some members from Masaya, developer of Assault Suits Valken.[7][8] Gun Hazard is the first spin-off entry and the second entry overall in the Front Mission series. The game takes place in a completely separate universe from the other Front Mission games.[9]

Gun Hazard was unveiled at a Square of Japan press conference in early September 1995.[4] It was released in Japan and published by Squaresoft, on February 23, 1996 for the Super Famicom game console.[10][2] Front Mission Series: Gun Hazard sold over 184,000 copies in Japan by the end of 1996,[11] and 300,000 copies in Japan in total.[12]

It was also released on the Japanese Wii's Virtual Console service on May 20, 2008.[13][14] The game later received an unofficial fan translation into English by the group Aeon Genesis.[15]

Music[edit]

The game's soundtrack was composed by Nobuo Uematsu and Yasunori Mitsuda,[4] with additional tracks provided by Junya Nakano and Masashi Hamauzu. The soundtrack was the second collaboration between Nobuo Uematsu and Yasunori Mitsuda, after Chrono Trigger the previous year.[16] According to Uematsu, Mitsuda worked so much on the soundtrack that he eventually had to be hospitalized.[17]

The soundtrack has a "mechanical" theme to its music, and incorporates both electronic and traditional instruments. The music from the game was released on an album titled Front Mission Series: Gun Hazard Original Sound Track. It was released by NTT Publishing on February 25, 1996. Kero Hazel of Square Enix Music Online called the soundtrack album "a thumping example of fine industrial music" and complimented its use of other musical styles to influence that core style.[18] Patrick Gann of RPGFan also praised the album as "downright awesome" and highly recommended it.[16]

After the end credits, a voice sample quietly appears. This voice sample is from the uncensored version of the 1994 song "Dog Tribe" by UK hip hop group Fun-Da-Mental.[19]

Reception[edit]

Famitsu gave it a score of 28 out of 40.[2]

UK magazine Super Play gave it a score of 45 out of 100.[7]

Super GamePower gave it a 4.2 out of 5.[22]

Fun Generation gave it a 7 out of 10.[21]

In 2016, Nintendo Life gave it a score of 8/10.[25]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Japanese: フロントミッションシリーズ ガンハザード

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Pre-esteia: Gun Hazard". Super GamePower (in Portuguese). No. 20. Brazil: Nova Cultural. November 1995.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g "スクウェア・エニックス ダウンロードコンテンツ|ファミ通.com". www.famitsu.com. Archived from the original on 2018-07-27. Retrieved 2018-07-26.
  3. ^ Famitsu Books Editorial, ed. (1996-04-08). Front Mission Series: Gun Hazard Official Fanbook (in Japanese). ASCII.
  4. ^ a b c "Future Fantasies". GamePro. No. 87. IDG. December 1995. p. 136.
  5. ^ Yamaguchi, Hiroshi (1996-06-07). Gun Hazard - A Mercenary's Iron Legs (in Japanese). Aspect Novels. ISBN 978-4-89366-513-3.
  6. ^ Matsuda, Taishu (1996-11-22). Front Mission Series: Gun Hazard (in Japanese). ASCII Comix. ISBN 978-4-7561-1257-6.
  7. ^ a b c "Import Review: Front Mission Gun Hazard". Superplay. No. 43. Future Publishing. May 1996. pp. 44–49.
  8. ^ "【2月23日】今日は『フロントミッションシリーズ ガンハザード』の発売23周年!【レトロゲーム】". ゲームドライブ(ゲードラ) - スマホ・アナログ・レトロ・新作ゲーム情報を毎日掲載中!. Archived from the original on 2019-05-11. Retrieved 2019-05-11.
  9. ^ Dengeki, ed. (February 2004). "100 Year History of Front Mission". Dengeki GAMES (in Japanese). No. February 2004 Special Edition. MediaWorks.
  10. ^ "フロントミッションシリーズ ガンハザード" ガンハザード (in Japanese). Square Enix. Archived from the original on 2009-05-28. Retrieved 2010-12-08.
  11. ^ "1996年ゲームソフト年間売上TOP100" [1996 Game Software Annual Sales Top 100]. Famitsū Gēmu Hakusho 2005 ファミ通ゲーム白書2005 [Famitsu Game Whitebook 2005] (in Japanese). Tokyo: Enterbrain. 2005-05-13. p. 426. ISBN 4-7577-2307-5. Archived from the original on 2015-06-27.
  12. ^ Dengeki PlayStation Editorial, LogicGate, ed. (March 2007). Front Mission World Historica - Report of Conflicts 1970-2121 (in Japanese). MediaWorks. ISBN 4-8402-3663-1.
  13. ^ "VC フロントミッションシリーズ ガンハザード" (in Japanese). Nintendo. Archived from the original on 2011-07-26. Retrieved 2010-12-08.
  14. ^ "ガンハザード [スーパーファミコン] / ファミ通.com". www.famitsu.com. Archived from the original on 2013-06-30. Retrieved 2018-07-26.
  15. ^ "Found in Translation". Play (USA). United States of America: Fusion Publishing. October 2008. pp. 62–64.
  16. ^ a b Gann, Patrick (2000-08-06). "Front Mission Series Gun Hazard OST". RPGFan. Archived from the original on 2009-12-30. Retrieved 2010-09-02.
  17. ^ Mitsuda, Yasunori; Uematsu, Nobuo (1995-12-12). Gun Hazard Original Sound Track -Front Mission Series- Liner Notes. NTT Publishing. PSCN-5044~5.
  18. ^ Hazel, Kero. "Gun Hazard Original Sound Version :: Review by Kero Hazel". Square Enix Music Online. Archived from the original on 2010-01-14. Retrieved 2010-10-06.
  19. ^ "Front Mission: Gun Hazard". The Cutting Room Floor. Retrieved 1 April 2019.
  20. ^ "Review: Front Mission Series: Gun Hazard (SNES)". Nintendo Life. 2016-07-28. Retrieved 2019-06-05.
  21. ^ a b "Super NES: Front Mission Gun Hazard". Fun Generation (in German). Germany. May 1996. p. 41.
  22. ^ a b Kamikaze, Marcelo (July 1996). "SNES: Front Mission Gun Hazard". Super GamePower (in Portuguese). No. 28. Brazil: Nova Cultural. p. 40.
  23. ^ B, R (July 1996). "Nintendo Nation: Gun Hazard". MAN!AC. Cybermedia. p. 56.
  24. ^ "SNES: Front Mission Gunhazard". Gamers (in Portuguese). No. 11. Brazil: Editora Escala. 1996. pp. 22–24.
  25. ^ "Review: Front Mission Series: Gun Hazard (SNES)". Nintendo Life. 2016-07-28. Archived from the original on 2018-08-09. Retrieved 2019-05-10.

External links[edit]