|Cabinet||Upright and sit-down|
|Arcade system||Namco System 21|
|CPU||2x Motorola 68000 @ 12.288 MHz,
1x Motorola M6809 @ 3.072 MHz,
1x Hitachi HD63705 @ 2.048 MHz
|Sound||1x Yamaha YM2151 @ 3.57958 MHz,
1x C140 @ 21.39 kHz
|Display||Horizontal orientation, Raster, 496 x 480 resolution|
Solvalou (ソルバルウ Sorubarū?) is a first-person shooter arcade game which was released by Namco in 1991 only in Japan; it runs on Namco System 21 ("Polygonizer") hardware, which displayed the game very smoothly with flat shaded polygons. The game is controlled with an analog (vertically-reversed) joystick with two buttons - one for firing and the other for bombing. It is also the third title in the Xevious series; not only was it the only title in the series to use a Yamaha YM2151 FM sound chip for its songs (with a C140 custom sound chip for its effects and speech), it was also the only one that came in a sit-down cabinet (with a concave mirror which reflects the inverted image of a monitor placed above the player's head), as well as an upright one which had a 20-inch monitor.
Solvalou is also the name of the ship that the player controls in all three games, as well as the fourth and fifth ones, Xevious 3D/G and Xevious Arrangement (both 1995); its name was also borrowed as a fictional company brand in the 4th Ridge Racer game, Ridge Racer Revolution, for an elite Italian racing team which raced in distinct silver and navy blue livery similar to their namesake. It also later appeared in Tekken 5: Dark Resurrection as Jack 5's customization.
The game was released for the Nintendo's Wii Virtual Console service in Japan on March 26, 2009, and is one of the first Virtual Console titles to make use of the Wii Remote's pointer (as it is the most accurate way to replicate the game's 360-degree joystick).
The gameplay is much like that of Xevious and Super Xevious, except this time the game is in three dimensions (and has a first-person viewpoint); the Solvalou's vertical movement is also "reversed" as pushing the joystick up causes it to dive and pushing it down causes it to rise. It can also now take six hits before dying - however, after the fourth hit, the text "SHIELD POWER DOWN!" starts flashing up on the screen, and after the fifth one, the text "SHIELD SYSTEM DOWN!" starts flashing up on it. The only way for the player to replenish the Solvalou's shields is to clear an area, and there are a total of three in the game; they will also receive bonus points at the end of it, based on how many enemies (most of which are new, as only a handful from the first two Xevious games come back for this one) they shot down. The text "WARNING!" shall also start flashing up on the screen when the Andor Genesis mothership (which is one of the enemies from the first two games that came back) appears approximately halfway through the first area, and remain there until the player either destroys all four of its checkered-ball-firing cannons (as checkered balls are now the enemies' main shot) or it retreats. This was also the only game in the Xevious series that rated the player with a percentage of their accuracy on its high-score table.
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