Raiden (video game)
Japanese arcade flyer
|Genre(s)||Vertically scrolling shooter|
(not in all versions)
|CPU||(2x) V30 (@ 10 MHz)|
Z80 (@ 3 MHz),
|Display||Raster, 256 x 224 pixels (Vertical), 2048 colors|
Raiden[a] is a 1990 vertically scrolling shooter arcade video game developed by Seibu Kaihatsu and published by Tecmo in Japan. The game's story takes place in the year 2090, when an alien species known as the Crystals invaded Earth. Players assume the role of Vanquish Crystal Defense pilots taking control of the Fighting Thunder aircraft to defeat the Crystals and save the Earth.
The game was conceived after Dynamite Duke, Seibu Kaihatsu's prior title, failed to sell as well as expected. During development, the game was designed as a vertically scrolling shooter due to the popularity of the genre at the time. Cheaper arcade hardware had to be used due to financial constraints caused by Dynamite Duke's poor sales.
Although Seibu doubted Raiden's success, it managed to sell 17,000 arcade units worldwide, helping to recuperate the company's investments through word-of-mouth. The title became a critical success, with its most lauded features being the graphics, music, gameplay and co-operative play.
Due to the success of Raiden, several sequels and related games were made. Raiden was ported to home computers and various home video game consoles in the early to mid 1990s. The game was released as part of several compilations and through download services such as PlayStation Network. The ports received mixed to positive reception.
Raiden is a vertically scrolling shoot 'em up game consisting of eight stages of increasing difficulty. In each stage, the player maneuvers the Fighting Thunder craft, engaging various enemies and avoiding their attacks. In cooperative play, both players can generate special projectiles that damage enemies by shooting the other player craft. After completing the eighth and final stage, the player returns to the first stage with the difficulty increased.
Collectible items include bombs, which cancel out enemy fire and deal damage over a wide area; weapon power-ups; and score-increasing medals. There are two bonus collectible items: the Miclus (a boss in Seibu Kaihatsu’s 1985 title Wiz) and a fairy that releases power-up items when the player dies.
When the player dies, the fighter's shrapnel become projectiles that damage enemies. If all lives are lost during a gameplay session, the game is over unless players insert more credits into the arcade machine to continue playing. Upon continuing, the player will start at the last checkpoint reached.
The story of Raiden takes place in the year 2090, when a species of alien lifeforms known as the Crystals invaded Earth. The Crystals took control over most of Earth's military hardware to use in the invasion. In response, the world organization known as Vanquish Crystal Defense (VCD) develops the Fighting Thunder attack craft, a cutting-edge weapon based on Crystal technology. To survive against the invaders and fight back, VCD deploys Fighting Thunder as the only hope for humanity.
According to graphic designer and current MOSS CEO Toshinobu Komazawa, the creation of Dynamite Duke gave Seibu Kaihatsu the opportunity to begin developing Raiden, as the former did not sell as well as Seibu had hoped. In order to recoup the costs of developing Dynamite Duke, the decision was made to develop a shoot 'em up instead of a sequel to it. Komazawa noted that the development of Raiden had a negative outlook, but an earnest beginning, since the shoot 'em up genre was "relatively inexpensive to produce" games for, as well as increasing in popularity at the time. Due to financial constraints, the company opted to use arcade hardware less powerful than those used in their previous titles. Seibu could only afford to develop a shoot 'em up with their development budget, with the project becoming a financial decision, as they had no other choice of game to make. Seibu took production notes from the overseas market, borrowing ideas from popular titles such as Capcom's 1942, Xevious from Namco, and Twin Cobra by Toaplan.
The production of Raiden was led by Seibu Kaihatsu president Hitoshi Hamada, while Tetsuya Kawaguchi served as its designer and programmer K. Kondo and S. Mori were the other programmers. Komazawa, H. Matsuo, T. Matsuzawa and T. Wada were responsible for creating the in-game artwork. Y. Segawa was responsible for creating the arcade hardware. Near the end of development, Komazawa praised the programmers at Seibu for being able to produce a high-quality game on less powerful hardware.
The music for Raiden was composed by Akira Sato. A Raiden/Raiden II soundtrack was published by INH Co., Ltd. It includes soundtracks from Raiden (Arcade, PlayStation), Raiden Densetsu (FM Towns), Raiden II (Arcade, PlayStation) and Raiden DX (Arcade) as well as other extras.
Release and ports
Raiden was first released in the arcades on April 1990 by Tecmo in Japan. It was distributed in North America by Fabtek, Taiwan by Liang HWA Electronics, South Korea by IBL Corporation, and Hong Kong by Wah Yan Electronics. The game was ported to various platforms, with each port featuring several changes and additions.
The PC Engine conversion was developed by A.I Company and first published by Hudson Soft in Japan on November 22, 1991, and released a few months later on the North American TurboGrafx-16 by NEC Technologies. It is a mostly faithful port of the arcade original.
The Atari Jaguar version was developed by Imagitec Design, then released in North America on December 1993. The North America, Europe and Japan releases were distributed by Atari Corporation and Mumin Corporation in 1994 respectively. It features various presentation and gameplay changes from the original arcade version.
The MS-DOS port was coded by Nigel 'Freddy' Conroy, Steve Cullen and Martin Randall, and spearheaded by Martin Hooley at Imagitec. It shares the same visual design as the Jaguar conversion with the addition of a full-screen display. Its differences from the Jaguar port include support only for FM sound. It was released only in North America in 1994.
A handheld version was developed by BlueSky Software and launched for the Atari Lynx across North America and Europe in 1997 by Telegames, long after the Lynx's commercial lifespan had ended. It was only available through direct order and a few select retailers.
Raiden Trad and Raiden Densetsu
The FM Towns release was titled Raiden Densetsu in Japan, while both the Sega Genesis and Super Nintendo Entertainment System ports were given the name Raiden Trad across all regions. The word "Trad" in the latter port comes from the word tradition, which is a translation of densetsu from the Japanese port name. Each version of Trad was developed and distributed by different developers and publishers. A European release of the Sega Genesis version was planned to be published by UbiSoft as part of a multi-game licensing deal with Bignet. However, it was never officially released in the region.
Super Raiden is a PC Engine Super CD-ROM² version of the TurboGrafx-16 HuCard port. Its main new feature is the use of Redbook CD Audio for an arranged soundtrack, along with additonal stages exclusive to the CD version. It was developed by A.I Company and released on April 2, 1992, in Japan by Hudson Soft.
The Raiden Project
- See main article: The Raiden Project
Both the original Raiden and Raiden II were included as part of The Raiden Project compilation. The included games are based directly on the original arcade releases and offers several options not found in other ports. The Project version of the first Raiden was re-released by HAMSTER Corporation as a stand-alone PlayStation title for their Arcade Hits series. It was later available as a digital download on the Japanese PlayStation Network store, playable on the PlayStation 3 and the PlayStation Portable.
Raiden was first adapted on mobile phones by Com2uS in 2004. The original game was later included as part of the 2012 compilation Raiden Legacy by DotEmu for mobile devices, PCs and other platforms. Raiden Legacy also includes the three games in the Raiden Fighters sub-series.
An Amiga version was announced in late 1993 to be under development by Imagitec Design. It was intended to be published by U.S. Gold, but according to a former Imagitec employee on an Amiga internet forum, it was left unreleased due to the arrival of newer systems on the market. Another version was made by Imagitec for the Atari Falcon, announced in 1994. Early playable builds of both versions have since been leaked online.
|Genesis||TG-16||SNES||PCE Super CD-ROM²||Jaguar||DOS||Lynx||Mobile|
|Genesis||TG-16||SNES||PCE Super CD-ROM²||Jaguar||DOS||Lynx||Mobile|
|Aktueller Software Markt||N/A||N/A||4 / 12||N/A||8 / 12||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|Atari Gaming Headquarters||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||5 / 10||N/A||9 / 10||N/A|
|Atari ST User||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||40%||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|Beep! MegaDrive||6.5 / 10||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|Computer and Video Games||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||44 / 100||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|Edge||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||5 / 10||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|Electronic Gaming Monthly||29 / 40||30 / 40||N/A||N/A||24 / 40||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|Famitsu||27 / 40||28 / 40||N/A||29 / 40||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|GameFan||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||329 / 400||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|GamePro||19 / 25||N/A||15 / 20||N/A||14 / 20||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|GameSpot||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||7.2 / 10|
|Hobby Consolas||N/A||91 / 100||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|IGN||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||7.0 / 10||N/A|
|Mega Drive Advanced Gaming||81%||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|Nintendo Power||N/A||N/A||11.5 / 20||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|Play Time||N/A||74%||N/A||N/A||60 / 100||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|Sega Pro||76 / 100
58 / 100
|Super Game||91 / 100||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|Super Game Power||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||3.3 / 5.0||N/A||N/A||N/A|
The original arcade release of Raiden did not make as much money initially, with Komazawa attributing this to the game's underpowered hardware and lack of flashy visuals to draw players in. A few months after its release, the game began to generate increased income, resulting in an increase in arcade establishments requesting orders of the hardware. Seibu Kaihatsu ended up selling around 17,000 units through steady sales for a year.
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. 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."
The success of Raiden resulted in several sequels and spin-offs across multiple platforms. Seibu Kaihatsu developed the Raiden games until they went bankrupt in 2005. Japanese developer MOSS, formed by Seibu Kaihatsu's development staff, purchased the rights to the series, with their first release being Raiden III in 2005.
- "Raiden". arcade-history.com. Retrieved 13 July 2019.
- Sotenga (12 February 2011). "Raiden". Hardcore Gaming 101. Retrieved 13 July 2019.
- "THE FLASH DESIRE 雷電III". inhgroup.com (in Japanese). Retrieved 3 October 2019.
- "2006 Seibu Kaihatsu / MOSS Developer Interview". shmuplations.com. Retrieved 13 July 2019.
- A. Jung, Robert. "The Atari Bin - Jaguar Reviews - Raiden". electric-escape.net. Archived from the original on 6 June 2007. Retrieved 7 October 2019.
- "雷電/雷電II". inhgroup.com (in Japanese). Retrieved 14 July 2019.
- CRV (31 October 2007). "A.I". gdri.smspower.org. Retrieved 16 July 2019.
- "PC-ENGINE Soft > 1991" (in Japanese). GAME Data Room. Retrieved 16 July 2019.
- Wallett, Adrian (28 June 2019). "Joe Sousa (Atari) – Interview". arcadeattack.co.uk. Retrieved 20 July 2019.
- Wallett, Adrian (4 October 2019). "Mark Hooley (Atari/Imagitec) – Interview". arcadeattack.co.uk. Retrieved 5 October 2019.
- Smith, Jason. "Atari Jaguar Timeline". jaguarsector.com. Archived from the original on 29 July 2013. Retrieved 16 July 2019.
- Castle, Justin (21 July 2018). "Historical Atari Jaguar UK Magazine Advert/Reviews Collection" (PDF). Issuu. p. 340. Retrieved 4 September 2018.
- "JAGUAR Soft > 1994-1995". GAME Data Room (in Japanese). Archived from the original on 25 August 2018. Retrieved 16 July 2019.
- CRV (29 July 2008). "BlueSky Software". gdri.smspower.org. Retrieved 16 July 2019.
- "News Bits". GamePro. No. 105. IDG. June 1997. p. 20.
- "Recent Sightings of an Endangered Species". GameFan. No. Volume 5, Issue 10. Shinno Media. October 1997. p. 36.
- "News – Ubisoft in exclusive Megadrive Game Import Deal Shocker!". MegaTech. No. 1. EMAP. December 1991. p. 6.
- "Gutter Talk – Ubi-Renovation-Soft". Sega Force. No. 1. Europress Impact. January 1992. p. 10.
- "Super Raiden". The PC Engine Software Bible. Retrieved 16 July 2019.
- "Major Wave シリーズ アーケードヒッツ 雷電" (in Japanese). HAMSTER Corporation. Retrieved 17 July 2019.
- Navarro, Alex (18 November 2004). "Raiden Review (MOBI)". GameSpot. CBS Interactive. Retrieved 17 July 2019.
- DeLa Fuente, Derek (October 1993). "Imagitec US Gold". Joystick (in French). No. 42. Anuman Interactive. pp. 76–77.
- "First Impressions - Raiden". CU Amiga. No. 44. EMAP. October 1993. p. 55.
- Schnelle, Mick (January 1995). "Amiga CD-Joker - Preview -- Raiden". Amiga Joker (in German). No. 53. Joker-Verlag. p. 70.
- ChEoPS (9 July 2004). "Raiden!!!!". English Amiga Board. Retrieved 15 July 2019.
- "Falcon Games - Raiden". ST Magazine (in French). No. 79. Pressimage. January 1994. pp. 68–69.
- "Raiden (partially found unreleased Amiga port of arcade shooter; 1990s)". lostmediawiki.com. Retrieved 15 July 2019.
- "Atari ST - Raiden [Falcon030]". atarimania.com. Retrieved 15 July 2019.
- "Raiden Trad for Genesis". GameRankings. CBS Interactive. 2019. Retrieved 20 July 2019.
- "Raiden Trad for Super Nintendo". GameRankings. CBS Interactive. 2019. Retrieved 20 July 2019.
- "Raiden for Jaguar". GameRankings. CBS Interactive. 2019. Retrieved 19 July 2019.
- "Raiden for Mobile". GameRankings. CBS Interactive. 2019. Retrieved 19 July 2019.
- Mühl, Ulrich (April 1992). "Konsolen Konvertlerungen - Raiden Densetsu (Super Famicom)". Aktueller Software Markt. No. 62. Tronic Verlag. p. 128.
- Quermann, Bernd; Lethaus, Martin (May 1994). "Raiden - Those were the days..." Aktueller Software Markt (in German). No. 87. Tronic Verlag. p. 35.
- Sackenheim, Shawn (1998). "Raiden (TurboGrafx-16) - Review". AllGame. All Media Network. Archived from the original on 15 November 2014. Retrieved 20 July 2019.
- Scoleri III, Joseph (1998). "Raiden (Jaguar) - Overview". AllGame. All Media Network. Archived from the original on 14 November 2014. Retrieved 19 July 2019.
- Alan Weiss, Brett (1998). "Raiden (DOS) - Overview". AllGame. All Media Network. Archived from the original on 14 November 2014. Retrieved 19 July 2019.
- Knight, Kyle (1998). "Raiden (Lynx) - Review". AllGame. All Media Network. Archived from the original on 14 November 2014. Retrieved 19 July 2019.
- Iida, Keita (1995). "AGH Jaguar Review: RAIDEN". atarihq.com. Retrieved 19 July 2019.
- Iida, Keita (1997). "AGH Lynx Review: RAIDEN". atarihq.com. Retrieved 19 July 2019.
- Maddock, Jonathan (September 1994). "Action Feature - Raiden". Atari ST User. No. 104. Europress. p. 56.
- "Be Mega Dog Race - 雷電伝説". Beep! MegaDrive (in Japanese). No. 22. SoftBank Creative. July 1991. p. 30.
- Rand, Paul (May 1994). "CVG Review - Jaguar - Raiden". Computer and Video Games. No. 150. Future Publishing. p. 80.
- Hermelin, François (September 1991). "Megadrive Review – Raiden Trad". Consoles + (in French). No. 1. M.E.R.7. p. 73.
- "Testscreen - Raiden". Edge. No. 6. Future plc. March 1994. p. 57.
- Kunkel, Bill (April 1994). "Raiden - Blast Away Space Pirates on the Jaguar". Electronic Games. No. 53. Decker Publications. p. 64.
- "Reviews - Cartridges - Raiden". Electronic Games. No. 55. Decker Publications. June 1994. p. 78.
- Harris, Steve; Semrad, Ed; Alessi, Martin; Williams, Ken (October 1991). "Review Crew - Genesis - Raiden Trad". Electronic Gaming Monthly. No. 27. Sendai Publishing. p. 20.
- Harris, Steve; Semrad, Ed; Alessi, Martin; Williams, Ken (December 1991). "Review Crew - TurboGrafx - Raiden Trad". Electronic Gaming Monthly. No. 29. Sendai Publishing. p. 24.
- Semrad, Ed; Carpenter, Danyon; Manuel, Al; Williams, Ken (March 1994). "Review Crew - Jaguar - Raiden". Electronic Gaming Monthly. No. 56. Sendai Publishing. p. 38.
- "雷電伝説 まとめ ［メガドライブ］/ ファミ通.com". Famitsu (in Japanese). No. 135. ASCII. 12 July 1991. Retrieved 20 July 2019.
- "雷電 まとめ ［PCエンジン］/ ファミ通.com". Famitsu (in Japanese). ASCII. Retrieved 20 July 2019.
- "スーパー雷電 まとめ ［PCエンジン］/ ファミ通.com". Famitsu (in Japanese). ASCII. Retrieved 20 July 2019.
- "Viewpoint - Jaguar - Raiden". GameFan. Vol. 2 no. 2. DieHard Gamers Club. January 1994. p. 19.
- Chooser, Choosey (November 1991). "ProReview: Genesis - Raiden Trad". GamePro. No. 28. IDG. p. 51.
- Buns, Speedy (June 1992). "ProReview: Super NES - Raiden Trad". GamePro. No. 35. IDG. p. 66.
- Larry, Scary (March 1994). "ProReview: Jaguar - Raiden". GamePro. No. 56. IDG. p. 122.
- Querleux, Philippe (January 1992). "Console Test – Raiden – CoregrafX". Génération 4 (in French). No. 40. Computec Media France. p. 142.
- Canou, Olivier (March 1994). "Test Jaguar - Raiden - Jaguar dans l´ espace". Génération 4 (in French). No. 64. Computec Media France. p. 104.
- García, Marcos (November 1992). "Lo Más Nuevo - Raiden - Ídolos Del Aire". Hobby Consolas (in Spanish). No. 14. Axel Springer SE. pp. 146–147.
- Humphreys, Andrew (August 1994). "Jaguar - Reality Bites?: The Games - Raiden". Hyper. No. 9. Next Media Pty Ltd. p. 23. Archived from the original on 4 August 2018. Retrieved 20 July 2019.
- A. Jung, Robert (7 July 1999). "Raiden - An admirably ambitious effort to duplicate the arcade game that falls slightly short of the original". IGN. Ziff Davis. Retrieved 19 July 2019.
- Nini, Nourdine (August 1994). "Import - Jaguar - Raiden, deux doigts coupe-faim!". Joypad (in French). No. 33. Yellow Media. p. 40.
- Demoly, Jean-Marc (September 1991). "Tests – Megadrive – Raiden Trad". Joystick (in French). No. 19. Anuman Interactive. p. 195.
- Gaksch, Martin (May 1994). "Spiele-Tests - Jaguar - Raiden". MAN!AC (in German). No. 7. Cybermedia Verlagsgesellschaft mbH. p. 47.
- Rad; Julian (December 1991). "Megadrive Review - Raiden Trad". Mean Machines. No. 15. EMAP. pp. 132–133.
- "Mega File - Shoot'em Ups Round-Up: Raiden Trad". Mega Drive Advanced Gaming. No. 1. Maverick Magazines. September 1992. p. 81.
- Weidner, Martin (March 1994). "Test Jaguar - Raiden". Mega Fun (in German). No. 18. CT Computec Verlag GmbH & Co. KG. p. 121. Archived from the original on 27 May 2018. Retrieved 19 July 2019.
- "Game Index - Raiden Trad". MegaTech. No. 1. EMAP. December 1991. p. 79.
- George; Rob (May 1992). "Now Playing - Raiden Trad -- Super NES". Nintendo Power. No. 36. Nintendo of America. p. 103.
- Ray (July 1993). "Turbo Duo Review - Raiden". Play Time (in German). No. 25. CT Computec Verlag GmbH & Co. KG. p. 135.
- Schneider, Ulf (April 1994). "Jaguar Review – Raiden". Play Time (in German). No. 34. CT Computec Verlag GmbH & Co. KG. p. 172. Archived from the original on 29 June 2018. Retrieved 19 July 2019.
- Drevet, Cyril (December 1991). "Tests De Jeux - Mega D. - Raiden Trad". Player One (in French). No. 15. Média Système Édition. p. 106.
- Scamps, Olivier (January 1992). "Tests De Jeux - Core G. - Raiden Trad". Player One (in French). No. 16. Média Système Édition. p. 89.
- Scamps, Olivier (May 1992). "Tests De Jeux - NEC Super CD-ROM - Super Raiden". Player One (in French). No. 20. Média Système Édition. pp. 74–75.
- Locker, Anatol (November 1991). "Videospiele / Tests - Raiden (Mega Drive)". Power Play (in German). No. 44. Future Verlag. p. 153.
- Forster, Winfried (May 1992). "Videospiele / Tests - Raiden (Super NES)". Power Play (in German). No. 50. Future Verlag. p. 148.
- Heukemes, Frank (February 1995). "Test - Überlieger -- Raiden (MS-DOS)". Power Play (in German). No. 83. Future Verlag. p. 108.
- Jarratt, Steve (October 1991). "The Hard Line – Raiden (Import)". Sega Power. No. 23. p. 54.
- "Power Review - Raiden Trad". Sega Power. No. 24. November 1991. p. 23.
- "ProReview: Review Extras - Raiden Trad". Sega Pro. No. 2. Paragon Publishing. December 1991. p. 66.
- "The A-Z of Sega Games – Raiden Trad (Mega Drive)". Sega Pro. No. 5. Paragon Publishing. March 1992. p. 33.
- Froehlich, R. (July 1994). "Jaguar: Raiden". ST-Computer (in German). No. 100. falkemedia. p. 104.
- Nuttall, Andy (March 1994). "Jaguar - Review - Raiden". ST Format. No. 56. Future plc. pp. 50–52. Archived from the original on 16 July 2017. Retrieved 20 July 2019.
- "Superjogos - Raiden Trad -- A seguranç da Terra depende de um caça bombardeiro supersônico chamado Raiden". Super Game (in Portuguese). No. 12. Nova Cultural. July 1992. p. 33.
- Mathias, Lord (June 1994). "Jaguar - Raiden". Super Game Power (in Portuguese). No. 3. Nova Cultural. p. 45.
- N., D. (December 1991). "Closer Look - Raiden". TurboPlay. No. 10. L.F.P., Inc. pp. 15–29.
- Schaedle, Wolfgang (October 1994). "Rom Check - Jaguar - Raiden". Video Games (in German). No. 35. Future-Verlag. p. 89.