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Japanese arcade flyer
|Genre(s)||Horizontal scrolling shooter|
R-Type Leo (アールタイプ・レオ Āru Taipu Reo) is a 1992 horizontally scrolling shooter arcade game developed by Nanao and published by Irem. It is a spinoff of the R-Type series, and the last R-Type product to be released as an arcade game.
While somewhat canon due to R-Type Final, the plot as presented deviates from the original story line: 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 has 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.
Currently released only in arcades, 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:
- Red - Air-to-Air Laser (Claw Laser in Final) - a powerful horizontal laser beam and horizontal traverse wave
- Blue - Reflective Laser (Mirror Laser in Final) - fires multiple ricocheting lasers, similar to the standard R-Type series blue weapon.
- Green - Homing Laser (Search Laser LRG in Final) - fires semi-homing lasers that can bend at 90° angles.
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. 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.
- "R-Type Leo - Videogame by Irem". The International Arcade Museum. Retrieved 12 May 2018.
- "The Arcade Flyer Archive - Video Game Flyers: R-Type Leo, Irem". The Arcade Flyer Archive. Retrieved 12 May 2018.