Raiden (video game)

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Raiden arcadeflyer.png
Japanese Arcade flyer
Producer(s)Hitoshi Hamada
Designer(s)Tetsuya Kawaguchi
Composer(s)Akira Sato
Genre(s)Vertically scrolling shooter
CPU(2x) V30 (@ 10 MHz)
SoundYM3812 (@ 3.579545 MHz), OKI6295 (@ 1 MHz)
DisplayRaster, 256 x 224 pixels (Vertical), 2048 colors

Raiden[a] is a vertically scrolling shooter video game originally developed by Seibu Kaihatsu and distributed by Tecmo in Japan on September 1990. It was the first game in the Raiden series of vertical scrolling shooter arcade games. The arcade version was also distributed in North America by Fabtek, Taiwan by Liang HWA Electronics, South Korea by IBL Corporation, Hong Kong by Wah Yan Electronics and in a few other countries such as Malaysia, though the publishers in those countries are unknown.

Raiden takes place in the year 2090 where the Earth has suddenly become the target of a deranged alien empire race known as the Cranassians and after the invasion, the World Alliance Military builds a new cutting-edge weapon based on a captured alien craft, the Raiden Supersonic Attack Fighter, as the only hope for humanity to survive. The game is inspired by other games in the genre such as Capcom's 1942 and Toaplan's Twin Cobra.[1][2]

In addition to the original arcade version, several ports were released to multiple consoles and computers such as Sega Genesis, TurboGrafx-16, Super NES, FM Towns, PC Engine Super CD-ROM², Atari Jaguar, MS-DOS, PlayStation, Atari Lynx, among others. Ports for both the Amiga and the Atari Falcon were in development by Imagitec Design but ultimately never released.[3][4]

Raiden was successful in the arcades, despite doubts by the staff at Seibu Kaihatsu, managing to sell 17,000 units worldwide and it was well received by players and critics alike.[2] Console and computer ports of the game received generally positive reviews as well and due to the success of the original, multiple sequels and related games were developed.


Gameplay screenshot from the arcade version.

Raiden is a vertical scrolling shoot 'em up game consisting of eight stages where the player maneuvers the Raiden fighter craft dodging enemy bullets and destroying enemy robots, buildings, ground targets, and enemy aircraft. There are bombs and missile power-ups as well as collectable medals that players can collect, which increases the score at the end of each stage. When the player dies, the fighter's fragments become projectiles that damage enemies.

On occasion an enemy carrier aircraft comes down and destroying it reveals two types of weapon power-ups: The Vulcan and the Laser, which they can be powered-up multiple times, while other times it reveals bombs and missile power-ups, which can be increased multiple times as well and on rare instances an P icon appears, which instantly power-ups the ship to the max. There's also two types of missile: Napalm and Homing missiles.

Shooting on the right spot of the playfield will reveal either of the two hidden bonus items: Miclus, who was a boss in Seibu Kaihatsu’s 1985 title Wiz, which grants 10,000 points and a fairy that grants 10,000 points if either two bonuses are picked up. After defeating the Stage 8 boss, the mission is completed, and player receives 1 million points for each completed loop. Afterwards, it will start back to Stage 1. This time around, enemies shoot faster and at a more rapid rate. Each stage increases in difficulty the more players progress into the game.

In multiplayer, players can also generate a stream of shots by shooting in front of another Raiden ship to deal damage to enemies as well. If all lives are lost during a gameplay session, the player will start at the last checkpoint reached.


In the year 2090, Earth has suddenly become the target of deranged aliens known as the Cranassians. Following the invasion, the World Alliance Military builds a new cutting-edge weapon, the Raiden Supersonic Attack Fighter. Based on a captured alien craft, it is humanity's only hope for survival.

Ports and related releases[edit]

Raiden was ported to the FM Towns, PC Engine, Atari Jaguar, Atari Lynx, Super NES, Sega Genesis, Amiga (unreleased), MS-DOS, and the mobile phone. The MS-DOS port was coded by Nigel 'Freddy' Conroy, Steve Cullen and Martin Randall, and was spearheaded by Martin Hooley. There also exists a port of game for the Atari Falcon, made by Imagitec Design.

The SNES, Genesis, and FM Towns ports were given the name Raiden Trad, or Raiden Densetsu (雷電伝説) in Japan. The reason for this is unclear; like all other ports of this game, they were not made or published by any of the same groups, and are wildly different from each other.

The Lynx port was released by Telegames in 1997, long after the Lynx's commercial lifespan had ended, and was only available through direct order and a few select retailers.[5][6]


See main article: The Raiden Project

The Project version of the first Raiden is available as a download from the Japanese PlayStation Network store, which can be played on either a PlayStation 3 or a PlayStation Portable.


A Raiden/Raiden II soundtrack was published by INH CO.,LTD. It includes soundtracks from Raiden (arcade, PlayStation), Raiden II (arcade, PlayStation), Raiden DX (arcade) and Raiden Densetsu (FM Towns), as well as a booklet; Go Sato liner note; gallery.


Aggregate scores
Aggregator Scores
Arcade Genesis TG-16 SNES PCE CD Jaguar DOS PS1 Lynx
GameRankings N/A 50%[7] N/A 57%[8] N/A 60%[9] N/A 65%[10] N/A
Review scores
Publication Scores
Arcade Genesis TG-16 SNES PCE CD Jaguar DOS PS1 Lynx
AllGame 3.5/5 stars[11] 3/5 stars[12] 3.5/5 stars[13] 2.5/5 stars[14] N/A 2.5/5 stars[15] 2.5/5 stars[16] 4.5/5 stars[17] 3.5/5 stars[18]
ASM 4 / 12[19] 8 / 12[20]
Atari ST User N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A 40%[21] N/A N/A N/A
Consoles + 67%[22]
Edge 5 / 10[23]
EGM 29 / 40[24] 30 / 40[25] 24 / 40[26]
Famitsu 27 / 40[27] 28 / 40[28] 29 / 40[29] 27 / 40[30]
GameFan 329 / 400[31]
Genération 4 62%[32]
MAN!AC 61%[33]
Mean Machines 81%[34]
Mega Fun 63%[35]
TurboPlay N/A N/A 8 / 10[36] N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Video Games 60%[37] 83%[38]

Electronic Gaming Monthly gave the Atari Jaguar version an average of 6 out of 10. The four reviewers agreed that it was virtually identical to the arcade version, but were divided about the quality of the game itself. Two of them described Raiden as "above average", and two described it as mediocre, saying that the ship moves too slow, enemy fire often blends in with the background, and the graphics are subpar given the Jaguar's capabilities.[26] GamePro similarly criticized that the gameplay is outdated, the ship moves too slow, and that the graphics do not live up to the Jaguar's potential. They concluded that "A snoozer like Raiden just seems out of place on a powerful system like the Jaguar."[39]


Due to the success of Raiden, several sequels and related games were made.


  1. ^ Japanese: 雷電 Hepburn: Raiden?, the title in Japanese translates to "Thunder And Lightning". Rai means thunder, and den means lightning. The closest English approximation of the pronunciation is /ˈrdɛn/ RY-den.


  1. ^ Sotenga (February 12, 2011). "Raiden". Hardcore Gaming 101. Retrieved 2018-06-07.
  2. ^ a b "2006 Seibu Kaihatsu / MOSS Developer Interview". Retrieved 2018-06-07.
  3. ^ DeLa Fuente, Derek (October 1993). "Imagitec US Gold". Joystick. No. 42. Anuman Interactive. pp. 76–77.
  4. ^ "Raiden [Falcon030]". Retrieved 2018-03-07.
  5. ^ "News Bits". GamePro. No. 105. IDG. June 1997. p. 20.
  6. ^ "Recent Sightings of an Endangered Species". GameFan. No. Volume 5, Issue 10. Shinno Media. October 1997. p. 36.
  7. ^ "Raiden Trad (Genesis)". GameRankings. Retrieved 2018-06-10.
  8. ^ "Raiden Trad (SNES)". GameRankings. Retrieved 2018-06-10.
  9. ^ "Raiden (Jaguar)". GameRankings. Retrieved 2018-06-10.
  10. ^ "The Raiden Project". GameRankings. Retrieved 2018-06-10.
  11. ^ "Raiden (Arcade) - Overview". AllGame. Archived from the original on November 14, 2014. Retrieved 2018-06-10.
  12. ^ "Raiden Trad (Genesis) - Overview". AllGame. Archived from the original on November 14, 2014. Retrieved 2018-06-10.
  13. ^ Sackenheim, Shawn. "Raiden (TurboGrafx-16) - Review". AllGame. Archived from the original on November 15, 2014. Retrieved 2018-06-10.
  14. ^ "Raiden Trad (SNES) - Overview". AllGame. Archived from the original on November 14, 2014. Retrieved 2018-06-10.
  15. ^ Scoleri III, Joseph. "Raiden (Jaguar) - Overview". AllGame. Archived from the original on November 14, 2014. Retrieved 2018-06-10.
  16. ^ Alan Weiss, Brett. "Raiden (MS-DOS) - Overview". AllGame. Archived from the original on November 14, 2014. Retrieved 2018-06-10.
  17. ^ Alan Weiss, Brett. "The Raiden Project - Overview". AllGame. Archived from the original on November 14, 2014. Retrieved 2018-06-10.
  18. ^ Knight, Kyle. "Raiden (Lynx) - Review". AllGame. Archived from the original on November 14, 2014. Retrieved 2018-06-10.
  19. ^ Mühl, Ulrich (April 1992). "Raiden Densetsu (Super Famicom)". Aktueller Software Markt. No. 62. Tronic Verlag. p. 128.
  20. ^ Quermann, Bernd; Lethaus, Martin (May 1994). "Raiden - Those Were The Days". Aktueller Software Markt. No. 87. Tronic Verlag. p. 35.
  21. ^ Maddock, Jonathan (September 1994). "Action Feature - Raiden". Atari ST User. No. 104. Europress. p. 56.
  22. ^ San, Banana (September 1991). "Mega Drive Review - Raiden Trad". Consoles +. No. 1. M.E.R.7. p. 73.
  23. ^ "Test Screen - Raiden". Edge. No. 6. Future plc. March 1994. p. 57.
  24. ^ "Review Crew - Raiden Trad". Electronic Gaming Monthly. No. 27. EGM Media, LLC. October 1991. p. 20.
  25. ^ "Review Crew - Raiden Trad". Electronic Gaming Monthly. No. 29. EGM Media, LLC. December 1991. p. 24.
  26. ^ a b "Review Crew - Raiden". Electronic Gaming Monthly. No. 56. EGM Media, LLC. March 1994. p. 38.
  27. ^ 雷電伝説 まとめ [メガドライブ]/ ファミ通.com (in Japanese). Kadokawa Corporation. Retrieved 2018-06-10.
  28. ^ 雷電 まとめ [PCエンジン]/ ファミ通.com (in Japanese). Kadokawa Corporation. Retrieved 2018-06-10.
  29. ^ スーパー雷電 まとめ [PCエンジン]/ ファミ通.com (in Japanese). Kadokawa Corporation. Retrieved 2018-06-10.
  30. ^ PLAYSTATION CROSS REVIEW: 雷電プロジェクト. Famitsu (in Japanese). No. 333. Enterbrain, Tokuma Shoten. May 1995. pp. 24–25.
  31. ^ "Viewpoint - Raiden". GameFan. Vol. 2 no. 2. Shinno Media. January 1994. p. 19.
  32. ^ Canou, Olivier (March 1994). "Test Jaguar - Raiden - Jaguar dans l'espace". Génération 4. No. 64. Computec Media France. p. 104.
  33. ^ "Spiele-Tests - Raiden". MAN!AC. No. 7. Cybermedia Verlagsgesellschaft mbH. May 1994. p. 47.
  34. ^ Damo (December 1991). "Mega Drive Review - Raiden Trad" (PDF). Mean Machines. No. 15. Ascential. pp. 132–133.
  35. ^ Weidner, Martin (March 1994). "Test Jaguar - Raiden". Mega Fun. No. 18. CT Computec Verlag GmbH & Co. KG. p. 121.
  36. ^ N., D. (December 1991). "Closer Look - Raiden". TurboPlay. No. 10. L.F.P., Inc. pp. 15–29.
  37. ^ Schaedle, Wolfgang (October 1994). "Rom Check - Jaguar - Raiden". Video Games. No. 35. Future-Verlag. p. 89.
  38. ^ Schaedle, Wolfgang (September 1995). "Sony PlayStation - Reviews - Raiden Project". Video Games. No. 47. Future-Verlag. p. 90.
  39. ^ Larry, Scary (March 1994). "ProReview: Raiden". GamePro. No. 56. IDG. p. 122.

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