Xexex (ゼクセクス? Zekusekusu) is a 1991 side-scrolling shoot 'em up arcade game by Konami. It draws on Irem's R-Type and Konami's other shoot 'em up Gradius, while adding the tentacle mechanics of Irem's other shoot 'em up XMultiply. It did not see a home port until 2007, when it was included in the compilation Salamander Portable, released only in Japan for the PlayStation Portable.
In the game, players pilot a ship called the Flintlock in order to save a blue haired princess named Irene of the planet E-Square from an evil lord named Klaus. Each stage is punctuated with a cutscene of the princess crying for help as she is tortured. In the ending, the Flintlock sends the orb back through the atmosphere of the planet, where it morphs into a naked fairy.
The game is notable for different gameplay mechanics between the original Japanese release and the overseas releases.
The gameplay is similar to R-Type and X-Multiply. The player's ship, the Flintlock, has a detachable orb attachment called the Flint, which behaves similar to R-Type's Force Device. Powerups can be obtained in the Japanese version to increase the Flint's power, movement speed, change the main weapon, or even give the player an extra life.
The overseas versions introduce a variety of changes, with the most notable being the removal of all but one upgradable weapon. The enemy patterns are also changed slightly.
In the Japanese version, the player starts with the Proton Laser, a thin stream of weak bullets. Defeating certain enemies will drop other weapons:
- Homing Laser: A 3-way laser with weak "bending" homing for top and bottom lasers.
- Shadow Laser: A thin laser beam that creates a damaging shadow as the ship is moved up and down; the strongest weapon in the game.
- Round Laser: An unusual spread shot (different from the overseas version's main weapon)
- Spiral Laser: A spiral laser of considerable width (similar to the Gradius Ripple Laser); the second strongest weapon.
- Search Laser: A laser with strong homing that travels in square trajectories.
- Ground Laser: Fires an upgraded Proton Laser along with a laser beam that travels across the floor (similar to the yellow weapon from R-Type).
The name of the current weapon is displayed at the bottom of the screen.
In the overseas versions, the only available weapon is the Proton Laser; picking up power-ups increases the spread of the weapon. Missiles are a secondary weapon.
Reception and legacy
As the 1992 Gamest Awards, Xexex was awarded Best Graphics (beating Virtua Racing) and Best VGM (beating Metal Black). Xexex was also nominated for Game of the Year (ranked 4th), Best Shooter (ranked 2nd), and Best Direction (ranked 6th), but lost to Street Fighter II′: Champion Edition, Sonic Wings, and Art of Fighting, respectively.
Konami released four Yu-Gi-Oh! Trading Card Game cards, Flint, Flint Lock, Flint Attack (Flint Missile) and King of Destruction - Xexex, as a reference to this game.
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