North American cover
Karsten L. Hvidberg
An unknown alien race has attacked an underground mining colony. A lone pilot has been charged with the task of defeating the aliens, while rescuing the trapped miners, using an experimental attack ship.
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The game takes place in a side-view underground environment. The controls are the same as the 1982 arcade game Gravitar (which inspired the home game Thrust). The ship is rotated with the directional pad and the B button applies thrust in the direction it is facing. At all times, gravity is pulling down on the player's ship, which works to the player's advantage to conserve fuel.
To beat each of the game's 9 levels, the player must complete various mission objectives, which are outlined before the level begins (with the exception of the last three levels). The bulk of the missions involve rescuing prisoners, collecting sub modules (to allow your attack ship to go underwater), and defeating alien bosses. To make things more challenging, your ship has a limited fuel tank, which must be constantly recharged by collecting fuel canisters, which are scattered throughout the levels.
There are various other elements that make it easier for the player to be able to finish without running out of fuel-- mining rails are suspended throughout many levels which you can ride on with your ship, which turns off fuel consumption while allowing you to freely slide along them while shooting. There are missile canisters and shield upgrades, along with a "Mega" attack which is released at the beginning of each volley of fire and slowly recharged.
During the development of Sub-Terrania Zyrinx did not possess an official Sega development kit. Instead, they hacked together their own development kit using Amiga computers.. According to Sega of America producer Tony Van, the game was too difficult and went through two rounds of difficulty reduction before it was released.. The game's soundtrack was composed by Jesper Kyd. His sound driver was later used in Red Zone, The Adventures of Batman & Robin (Mega Drive/Genesis version), and AWS Pro Moves Soccer..
Sub-Terrania was met with generally positive reviews. EDGE awarded the game a 9 out of 10, concluding that:
|“||Sub-Terrania is quite simply a superbly structured and implemented piece of software: fast, clever, varied and, above all, addictive. Borrowing heavily from blasters from the past – Oids, Thrust and Lunar Rescue – it feels like a classic game yet breathes new life into the shoot ‘em up genre.||”|
In their review, GamePro deemed it "one of the best games of the year" and gave it a near-perfect score, citing the unique concept and outstanding graphics and animation. Electronic Gaming Monthly gave it a 7 out of 10, and praised the game's strong originality and soundtrack. Computer and Video Games,described Sub-Terrania as "a gorgeous and involving blast", giving it a score of 85 out of 100. Mega placed the game at number 16 in their Top Mega Drive Games of All Time, calling it "a superb game in almost every way".
- "Sub-Terrania". at Mobygames.
- "Interview: Tony Van (SOA Producer)". at Sega-16.
- "Zyrinx". at Sega Retro.
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