Turbographix Memories- Chapter Two- Blazing Lasers…What should have been.

Hey Arcaders!

The next game we’re gong to talk about is WHAT SHOULD HAVE BEEN THE PACK IN GAME.

Blazing Lasers!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The game was called Gunhed in Japan. And what an amazing shmup it is.

Like Keith Courage before it- Gunhed was a tie-in: this time to the Manga and film of the same name.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Via Manganelo

A Robot War ensued an a small robot production island in the Pacific in the year 2025, where sentient supercomputer, Kyron 5, has decided that Mankind was irrelevant. A mecha battalion of Gunhed warriors – huge transformer style tanks – were dispatched to eliminate Kryon 5. They didn’t succeed, but Kyron 5 was essentially marginalized, so no more force was sent. Now, 13 years later, due to a depletion of world resources, the key component that creates supercomputers, Texmexium (I kid you not – this is the name!), is in short supply, as are spare microchips. A group of scavengers have decided to enter the “forbidden zone” and go to the Island in the hopes of collecting Gunhed chips, which are now worth more than gold. From Baka-Updates: In the year 2038, a group of scavengers enter the complex of the renegade Kyron-5 in search of precious element Texmexium. Death befalls each one until only the mechanic Brooklyn is left. He meets a stranded Texas Air Ranger and two children living in the rubble. They must destroy Kyron-5 in order to escape and to save humanity from its wrath. Brooklyn discovers a GUNHED (Gun UNit Heavy Elimination Device) combat robot and restores it. Meanwhile, Babe has been transformed into a bio-droid and is seeking out Sergeant Nim and the Texmexium she stole. In order to save her and destroy Kyron-5, Brooklyn must overcome his fear of cockpits and pilot the GUNHED all the way to the top of the tower. On the way, he faces the combined defenses of the complex.

The Japanese release focuses on the shooting aspect, not the mech- which is a great thing. Only on the title screen you see the mech for a moment- then, it gets it’s shmup on proper. Check it out!


For the U.S. release- we get the name change, and a new title screen. Everything else in intact. roll that beautiful shmup footage!


Via the PC Engine Software Bible

Gunhed, AKA Blazing Lasers was one of the launch titles for the TurboGrafx, and many folks first look at the new console on the block, and what an impression it was.  Often grouped with Hudson’s Soldier series, the title does share quite a few traits, though it is its own distinct entity.  The game is impressive with large bosses, well designed sprites, and an impressive amount going on onscreen with no slowdown.  Some of the backgrounds zip along at a fair pace too.  This game is a classic, and a clear statement by Hudson of their machines capabilities, featuring a lot of gameplay mechanics they would tweak and refine in later games – but as a first effort, they absolutely nailed it.

Now- most sites that review this game often complain about the game’s pacing. That it starts out too easy. Here’s my take- I think it starts out at a good pace- to pick up the play mechanics (especially the powerup system) and to know how each powerup works, and more importantly- which one works best for you. The music is top notch arcade quality, as well as the voice samples. The graphics are almost arcade quality with some nice parallax scrolling! The enemies are well detailed- especially the boss battles! The one thing that would have put this amazing game over the top- was a two player option. It’s the only thing that holds it back. If this game was the pack in upon release- things would have been much different for our fledgling 4th gen system.

So- what do you think? Have you played Blazing Lasers or Gunhed? If not- what do you think of it’s gameplay based on the videos above? Let me know in the comments!

Keep Playin’ Like It’s 1981!