Target Earth (video game)
|Target Earth/Assault Suits Leynos|
North American cover art by Roger Loveless
|Genre(s)||horizontal shooter, platform game, action game|
Target Earth, released in Japan as Assault Suits Leynos (重装機兵レイノス Jūsō Kihei Reinosu?) is a video game developed by Masaya in 1990 for the Sega Genesis and the Sega Mega Drive. It has since been re-released on the Wii as a Virtual Console product in Japan. It is the first game in the Assault Suits series.
It is the year 2201 and expanding technologies have given man the power to live anywhere in space. Amidst this backdrop, the story of Target Earth begins with a war between Earth (and its colonies) against a cyborg army returning from the farthest reaches of space. In the game's early stages, the nature or purpose of these cybernetic adversaries, named Chron, is unknown. However, it is later revealed that Chron are the survivors of a failed space expedition (Outer Space Expeditionary Party) sent by Earth a hundred years earlier.
The Earth Defense League fights to defend Earth. The heart of the defensive movement is the Assault Suit-- a twelve-foot tall armored battle machine with awesome fighting capabilities. You are Rex, an Assault Suit Wing commander and master at Assault Suit combat. The battle begins on Ganymede but shifts to battles in space, on the Earth, and inside enemy outposts.
Target Earth is memorable for its well-developed storyline (particularly for an action shooter), catchy music, impressive parallax effects for its time, reward mechanics, and legendary difficulty.
Rex: The hero and game's protagonist. A master of Assault Suit combat and commander of the Assault Suit Wing on Ganymede base.
Assault Suit Wing Chief Commander: Although not officially explained in-game, this character appears to Rex's superior and may be the chief commander of all Assault Suit Wings.
Captain: A senior officer that appears in Stages 6–8 and appears to be the captain of the ship that is constructed after Stage 5.
Leana: Rex's sweetheart. She supplies Rex with weapons and constantly fears for his safety (although she tries hard to hide her concern). She appears on the options screen after the player utilizes a special trick to get 9 continues.
Rance Culzus: Rex's recurring nemesis. A formidable opponent and commander of Chron's Attack Suit Wing.
Enemy Commander: The overlord and commander of all of Chron's forces. Knows the true secret of Chron.
Target Earth consists of 8 stages. Much of the game's mechanics fall in line with those of horizontal shooters with some subdued platforming elements. The player's performance after completing a stage dictates what weapons, armor, and accessories are unlocked in the next stage. The game features 14 weapons, which was considered a lot of firepower for an action game in the early 90's. The wide assortment of armaments increased replay value by encouraging the player to experiment with different ways to defeat enemies.
- Certain scenes in Target Earth were censored. For example, a scene where a comrade does not make it back to the ship (and burns up in the atmosphere) was removed. The romantic relationship between Rex and Leana was also downplayed. Censorship also occurred in the prequel, Cybernator.
- While the official information for the game indicates that it is only single-player, it is possible for a second player to have limited control over enemy movement and attacks on screen.