R-Type Leo

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R-Type Leo
R-Type Leo arcade flyer.jpg
Japanese Arcade flyer
Composer(s)Hiroshi Kimura
Genre(s)Scrolling shooter
Arcade systemIrem M-92[2]
CPUV33 (@ 9 MHz),[1]
V30 (@ 7 MHz)[2]
SoundYM2151 (@ 3 MHz),[1]
GA20 (@ 3 MHz)[2]
DisplayRaster, 320 x 240 pixels (Horizontal), 2048 colors

R-Type Leo[a] is a 1992 scrolling shooter arcade game by Irem. It is a spinoff of the R-Type series, and the last R-Type product to be released as an arcade game.[3] It was developed by the arcade division of Nanao, the parent company of Irem.


Gameplay screenshot.

While somewhat canon due to R-Type Final, the plot as presented deviates from the original storyline: mankind find themselves at a financially and technologically peaceful state between the constant conflict against the Bydo Empire. A space project called Project Paradise that had been held back for a long time was finally seeing light. The project involved the construction of an artificial terrestrial planet called Eden as a possible human retreat. However, after the construction and functioning of the planet, Major—the bio-computer system responsible for maintaining Eden—malfunctions, takes control of the planet's defenses, and attacks mankind. It is now up to the recently developed R-9 fighter, the Leo, to fly in and stop Major's assault on its creators.

Leo was originally a parallel universe story, though its events are referred to in later games as the "Eden Paradox", and state that this occurs before all other games in the series. This could explain why the game lacks a Force, as this is a relatively new invention in R-Type lore. R-Type Final features the ship of Leo, which can use the Psy Bits and has a "Leo Force" (to fit with being in a main R-Type game) which has the same weapons as in Leo.


Released in arcades and in 2010 as part of Dotemu's Irem Arcade Hits compilation,[4][5] R-Type Leo deviates from the normal R-Type style by removing the use of both the Force and the Wave Cannon. The new weapons are "Psy Bits" which carry similar firepower to the main ship. As in other R-Type titles, the ship weapons are changed by one of three colored crystal items:[6]

Unlike most Bit Devices (the other exception being Image Fight), the Psy Bits are capable of firing forward or backwards; the direction is controlled by movement of the ship itself. Instead of the series-standard Wave Cannon, there is the "Bit Cypher", where the Psy Bits detach from the ship and collide with the nearest enemy at high velocity. The Bits can only do this for so long before running out of energy, and must be recalled to the ship to recharge.

Additionally, R-Type Leo is the only game in the series to allow 2 players to play simultaneously.

The export release of R-Type Leo is easier than the Japanese version in two key ways.[7] In the export version, when the player loses a life, the ship will immediately return to that spot instead of starting at the beginning of the level or checkpoint; the Japanese version uses checkpoints like other games in the series. Second, in the export version, the Bit Cypher is used with a second button, independent of the ship's regular weapons. In the Japanese version, only one button is used: tap to fire the ship's regular weapons, hold to fire the Bit Cypher, much like the Wave Cannon in the main R-Type games. Because of this, the ship's other weapons are disabled during the Bit Cypher.


  1. ^ Japanese: アールタイプ・レオ Hepburn: Āru Taipu Reo


  1. ^ a b c "R*Type Leo". arcade-history.com. Retrieved 2018-10-01.
  2. ^ a b c "Irem M92 Hardware (Irem)". system16.com. Retrieved 2019-06-02.
  3. ^ "R-Type Leo - Videogame by Irem". The International Arcade Museum. Retrieved 12 May 2018.
  4. ^ https://apps.apple.com/gb/app/irem-arcade-hits/id448636438?mt=12
  5. ^ https://uk.ign.com/articles/2010/12/09/dotemu-releases-irem-arcade-hits
  6. ^ "The Arcade Flyer Archive - Video Game Flyers: R-Type Leo, Irem". The Arcade Flyer Archive. Retrieved 12 May 2018.
  7. ^ "Leading Edge - R-Type Leo". Electronic Gaming Monthly. No. 42. Sendai Publishing. January 1993. p. 66.

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