[[caption-width-right:224:Look out below!]]
''This is the control tower. [[DescribeTopicHere Describe the RAY series here]], over.''

The ''RAY'' series is a trilogy of top-down, vertically-scrolling [[ShootEmUp shooters]] developed by Creator/{{Taito}}. The series consists of three games, all of which have "RAY" in its title (at least in their original Japanese names). Each game have you pilot a {{space fighter}} that, in addition to being able to fire straight forward, also has special lock-on weaponry that can target enemies and [[{{Roboteching}} home-in on them]].

!! Games in the series:

[[folder:''[=RayForce=]'' (1993)]]
''[=RayForce=]'' (pictured on the right) is the first game, and is set in a future in which the many nations of Earth assemble a supercomputer called "Con-Human" to govern the Earth's natural resources. As a result of an attempt to fuse Con-Human with the mind of a [[CloningBlues cloned human]], [[AIIsACrapShoot Con-Human goes apeshit]] and starts destroying living organisms all across the Earth and transforming it into what it perceives as a newer, better version of it and its life forms. Humanity attempts to flee to space colonies, only to get hunted down by Con-Human there as well. Naturally, this being a shoot 'em up, [[ItsUpToYou it's up to one or two ships]] to [[EarthShatteringKaboom destroy the Earth]] in order to put an end to Con-Human.

''[=RayForce=]'' uses the Taito F3 hardware, and eventually ports to the UsefulNotes/SegaSaturn and [[UsefulNotes/IBMPersonalComputer Windows 95]]; a re-release of the original arcade game was also featured in ''[[CompilationRerelease Taito Legends 2]]'' for UsefulNotes/PlayStation2, the original UsefulNotes/XBox, and Windows PC. It uses two-dimensional graphics, but because of the game mechanics, the game uses a lot of Mode 7-like graphics to simulate three dimensions. [[SceneryPorn It works very, very well]]. A minor quirk of the game, however, lies in its naming; due to [[ExecutiveMeddling copyright problems]], it has no less than ''four'' [[MarketBasedTitle different names]]: ''[=RayForce=]'' for the Japanese and North American arcade releases, ''Layer Section'' for its Japanese home ports and North American Windows port, ''Galactic Attack'' for the North American Sega Saturn port, and ''Gunlock'' in Europe. On January 13th, 2012, ''[=RayForce=]'' was re-released for iOS devices.

A direct sequel to ''[=RayForce=]'' called ''[=R-GEAR=]'' was planned, but canceled early in favor of ''[=RayStorm=]''. The footage of the game's early development was shown in the ''RAY-RAY CD-ROM'' promotional disc, which can be seen [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M3Dp1tSV36M&hd=1 here]]. In late 2014, a prototype of the game was [[http://forums.gamengai.com/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=553&start=300#p28052 uncovered]] and is expected to be dumped sometime in the future.

[[folder:''[=RayStorm=]'' (1996)]]
''[=RayStorm=]'' is the second game in the series, and is the first to use three-dimensional graphics. Set in [[TwentyMinutesIntoTheFuture 2219 A.D.]] and in a different timeline from ''[=RayForce=]'' and ''[=RayCrisis=]'', Earth establishes a group of space colonies known as the Star Federation. But at some point, the colonies decide to mutiny, form an alliance known as the Secilia Federation, and strike against Earth. The player sets off from Earth in order to defend Earth from the rebellious Secilia Federation.

''[=RayStorm=]'' runs on the Taito FX-1B board[[labelnote:*]](Taito's arcade board based on the [=PlayStation=] hardware)[[/labelnote]], and as mentioned, is the first ''RAY'' game to use three-dimensional graphics, allowing for more varieties in stage scrolling and enemies. Furthermore, unlike the first game, in which you can only fire your homing lasers at enemies ''below'' you, any on-screen enemy is fair game for your lock-on attacks. If you find yourself in trouble, you can launch a SmartBomb that inflicts massive damage to all on-screen enemies. The game was later ported to the UsefulNotes/PlayStation in all three major regions, the Sega Saturn in Japan (under the name of ''Layer Section II''), and finally Windows PC in Japan and Europe. The ports each feature extras such as an arranged version of the original soundtrack (the PC version lack this though), an "Extra Mode" with new versions of the stages, and a [[ThirteenIsUnlucky 13-Ship Mode]] in which you have thirteen lives, with every three lives (for the first twelve lives) using a different ship and the final ship being a weaker prototype ship by default with just one credit. The North American [=PlayStation=] version, handled by Creator/WorkingDesigns, had a contest for $10,000, and a form of EasyModeMockery to discourage players from BS'ing their way through the game and calling it a day. ''[=RayStorm=]'' also got an exclusive [=PlayStation 2=] release, via ''Taito Legends 2'', but it's the arcade version and not the enhanced [=PlayStation=] version.

An [[UpdatedRerelease HD version]] of ''[=RayStorm=]'' has been released for UsefulNotes/XboxLiveArcade worldwide on May 5th, 2010 and a day later on UsefulNotes/{{PlayStation Network}} only in Japan. The HD re-release features the ability to play as two new ships, the [=R-GRAY 0=][[labelnote:*]]the prototype ship seen in the 13-Ship Mode of previous home ports in playable form outside the 13-Plane Mode, redesigned to be reminiscent of the RVA-818-X-LAY fighter from ''[=RayForce=]''[[/labelnote]] and the R-GEAR[[labelnote:*]]a ship that serves as a namesake for the canceled sequel to ''[=RayForce=]''[[/labelnote]], online leaderboards, sharable replays, [[AchievementSystem Achievements/Trophies]], and all stages are playable on any difficulty. Like ''[=RayForce=]'' before it, ''[=RayStorm=]'' also received an iOS re-release.

[[folder:''[=RayCrisis=]'' (1998)]]
''[=RayCrisis=]'' is the third and final game of the series, and is a prequel to ''[=RayForce=]''. Set just before the events of ''[=RayForce=]'', ''[=RayCrisis=]'' takes the fight away from space and Earth and instead puts you in the role of a hacker striving to shut down the Con-Human by using a computer virus. This being a shoot 'em up, said virus takes the form of a ship that flies through an ExtremeGraphicalRepresentation of Con-Human's systems and attempts to destroy it from within.

''[=RayCrisis=]'' runs on the Taito G-Net arcade hardware[[labelnote:*]](also based on the [=PlayStation=] hardware)[[/labelnote]] and, like its predecessor, ''[=RayStorm=]'', uses 3D graphics, and features an "Encroachment Meter" that must be kept to a minimum by destroying enemies. If it maxes out at 100%, you will, instead of fighting the boss of the current stage, face the {{final boss}}es early and get the [[DownerEnding worst ending]] of the game. Unusually for the series, the game does not send the player through the same sequence of stages every time: only the first and final stages are fixed, and the three stages in between are randomly picked from a pool of five stages. The arcade version features a user account system, with the player's data protected by one "secret character", and is used to access stage permutations that the player has previously gone through.

''[=RayCrisis=]'' is the only game in the series not to get a Saturn port, but it still received a port on [=PlayStation=] and Windows. The [=PlayStation=] version of ''[=RayCrisis=]'' was also re-released with ''[=RayStorm=]'' in Creator/{{D3 Publisher}}'s Simple 1500 series. The home ports of the game lack the two-player co-op mode of the original arcade game, but allows the player to pick the three interim stages in the order they choose, and adds an Arrange Mode with altered game mechanics.
!!This series feature trope examples of:
* OneUp: Found in the Special Mode of ''[=RayCrisis=]''.
* TwoAndAHalfD: Your ship can only move and shoot on one plane, but the enemies can attack from the background and foreground. Good thing you have your lock-on lasers!
** Some of the levels in ''[=RayStorm=]'' has your ship move on a non-linear plane, such as the space fleet stage on Stage 4.
* AIIsACrapshoot: Con-Human in ''[=RayForce=]'' and ''[=RayCrisis=]''.
* AllThereInTheManual: In ''[=RayForce=]''[='=]s PC port, there's a two "readme" files (a text file and a document file, although they have the same information) that gives you plenty of backstory on how the Con-Human was created, how it became rogue after malfunctioning, and what disasters it caused.
** If you can read Japanese, there's also TONS of information of about series at [[http://curious-cat.net/rays/data/index.html Curious Cat's]] website dedicated to the series.
* AnAssKickingChristmas: [[spoiler:According to ''[=RayCrisis=]''[='=] true ending, [[DoomedByCanon Operation: [=RayForce=]]] took place on December 24th, M.C.0185.]]
* ArcadePerfectPort: The version of ''[=RayStorm=]'' included in ''Taito Legends 2'' is a 1:1 copy of the original game. The game has all of its default settings, the Ship Select menu runs at full speed, none of the extra features that was later added in the other home ports.
* AttackDrone: Somes bosses in the series uses these.
** In ''[=RayStorm=] HD'', the R-GEAR uses them for its lock-on attack.
* AttractMode: Each game has one whenever you let the game run while you wait at the title screen. ''[=RayForce=]'' and ''[=RayStorm=]'' also gives you a baisc tutorial of the game.
* AwesomeButImpractical: The Hyper Attack in ''[=RayStorm=]''; channel all of your available lock-on slots onto one enemy for an extra-powerful attack. It's plausible with the R-GRAY 1 and its maximum of 8 slots, but on R-GRAY 2 it's just not worth trying to get sixteen locks onto one enemy. In both cases, the damage boost is usually too weak for the risk and there's no bonus for doing it. The Hyper Attack gets a little better in ''[=RayCrisis=]''; see DifficultButAwesome below.
* BalanceBuff: In ''[=RayStorm=]'', R-GRAY 1's only use is to be a beginner-friendly ship, as R-GRAY 2 has twice as many lock-ons available (up to 16 vs. R-GRAY 1's eight) and can earn higher multipliers as a result, all the way to x256. In ''[=RayCrisis=]'', R-GRAY 1 and its superior counterpart Wave Rider 01 can achieve x256 with 8 lock-ons.
* BattleshipRaid: Stage 2 in ''[=RayForce=]'', as a mid-boss. ''[=RayStorm=]'' has more battleships in Stages 4 and 5, with Stage 4's boss being a huge battleship. [[VideoGame/{{Darius}} It's not approaching fast, though]].
* BeamSpam: Your lock-on lasers do this. Some of your foes will use this on you, too. Most notable are the Marius battleships in ''[=RayStorm=]'''s fourth stage (not the missile-launching Nerva battleships), which typically encompass the ''entire width'' of the screen, with ''very'' little time for you to get between where the beams will deploy. And then Hannibal uses that attack a few times during the boss fight...
* BigBad: Con-Human in ''[=RayForce=]'' and ''[=RayCriris=]'', and the Secilia Federation in ''[=RayStorm=]''.
* BittersweetEnding:
** ''[=RayForce=]'': [[spoiler:after destroying Con-Human, the ship is hit by the blast of [[EarthShatteringKaboom Earth's explosion]] before it can escape. After the credits, the camera pans to the what remains of the heroine's RVA-818-X-LAY fighter and seeing it die out. There's also the matter of the Earth exploding in the first place.]]
** ''[=RayStorm=]'': [[spoiler:you crush the Secilian rebellion by blowing up the Yggdrasil core -- the chain reaction from which winds up [[ColonyDrop plunging the entire space colony into the gas giant it orbits]]. While you do neutralize the threat, what's to say that there aren't any innocent bystanders out of its 78 billion inhabitants? To twist the knife in further, many of the Secilian colony's inhabitants were originally Earth's inhabitants who were transferred there among other colonies, which means that you just killed off a good chunk of Earth's population too!]]
* BossWarningSiren: "ALERT: GENERATING HUGE ANTIBODY: [boss name]". A different alert is used when you return to the Self-Field to fight the final boss.
* ColorCodedMultiplayer: Player 1's ship is red while Player 2's ship is blue.
* ContinuingIsPainful: Subverted in these games. Although your score is wiped for continuing, your high score for the first credit is preserved instead of not being registered at all, giving you more leeway to practice if you credit-feed your way through. Your ship will leave behind some power-ups, and alternating in the later games, a full power-up after your final life.
* CoOpMultiplayer: Throughout the series' co-op feature (except for ''[=RayCrisis=]''[='=] home ports). In ''[=RayForce=]'', however, co-op mode divides the number of lock-ons between both players.
* CompilationRerelease:
** The Japan-only ''Simple 1500 Series Vol. 75: The Double Shooting: [=RayStorm=] × [=RayCrisis=]'' for the [=PlayStation=], as the subtitle suggests, compiles ''[=RayStorm=]'' and ''[=RayCrisis=]'' on one disc.
** ''[=RayStorm=]'' was also bundled with another Japan-only compilation, the ''G-Darius / [=RayStorm=] Pack'' from [=SourceNext=] for PC.
* {{Combos}}: The basis of Wave Rider 03's scoring system in ''[=RayCrisis=]'' and the R-GEAR in ''[=RayStorm=] HD''.
* CreativeClosingCredits: ''[=RayCrisis=]''[='=]s credits details the events that unfold should you get any ending besides the worst ending. [[spoiler:The true ending details the events that takes place before ''[=RayForce=]''.]]
* CyberSpace: The entire setting of ''[=RayCrisis=]''.
* DefectorFromDecadence: In ''[=RayStorm=]'', the Barca Section that designed the R-[=GRAY=]s were originally Secelian scientists who became disgusted with Secelia's militarism.
* DifficultButAwesome:
** The R-GEAR in ''[=RayStorm=] HD'' has homing missiles and average mobility, though in the hands of a skilled player, it has higher scoring potential than the other R-GRAY ships due to its combo-based lock-on system combined with a SuperMode that provides a short burst of speed, invincibility, and temporarily gains infinite lock-on attacks.
** The Hyper Attack as presented in ''[=RayCrisis=]''. It actually does a reasonable amount of damage and also gives you a bonus depending on how many enemies you kill and their usual point values. It's still hard to do on Wave Rider 02 because it needs up to 16 locks, but Hyper spamming on Wave Rider 01 becomes a viable strategy.
* DifficultyLevels:
** Unusually, you can set the difficulty level of each individual stage in ''[=RayStorm=]'', rather than the entire game. This stripped from HD version though.
** ''[=RayForce=]'' was somewhat straightforward with its difficulty, going from Very Easy, Easy, Normal, [[DepartmentOfRedundancyDepartment then a few variations of Hard]], and finally Very Hard.
* DoomedByCanon: [[spoiler:The Earth in ''[=RayCrisis=]''.]]
* DownerEnding: [[spoiler:''[=RayStorm=]'s'' Extra Mode ending ''seems'' like it's a BittersweetEnding, with the enemy forces (and billions of inhabitants, many of which were from '''Earth''') being destroyed by having their capital colony dropped into a gas giant. While your badly damaged ship moves away into the distance. If you're playing on the 13-Ship Mode, the ending goes FromBadToWorse when you see this text after the credits:]]
-->[[spoiler:Earth and Secilia have vanished. Likewise, those that developed the "RAY" technology and all evidence of its existence have been wiped away. No record of R-GRAY craft was found, and no R-GRAY craft has ever returned.]]
** [[spoiler:''[=RayForce=]'' and ''[=RayCrisis=]'' are considered {{Downer Ending}}s also, due to the former having the heroine's fighter being damaged beyond repair at the end after destroying the Earth and the latter being DoomedByCanon since it is a prequel to ''[=RayForce=]'' and [[ShootTheShaggyDog all of your efforts to disable Con-Human being pointless]] until the events of ''[=RayForce=]''.]]
* DynamicDifficulty: Survive long enough in ''[=RayForce=]'' and the difficulty goes batshit insane. [[AIIsACrapshoot Notice a parallel with the story?]]
** In ''[=RayCrisis=]'', you have the Encroachment Meter, described in the North American manual as "[[ThisIsGonnaSuck determining the amount of suckage]]". The lower it is, the more enemies will pop up.
* EarthShatteringKaboom: The goal [[spoiler:and [[BittersweetEnding ending]]]] of ''[=RayForce=]'', due to Con-Human fucking up Earth beyond all repair.
** ''[=RayStorm=]'' also has a similar ending, except it's for the bad guys. [[spoiler:It's also a BittersweetEnding considering the collateral deaths of the enemy colony's population. That is, according to the end report.]]
-->[[spoiler:[[AMillionIsAStatistic 70% of the seven billion inhabitants have lost their lives already, and the remaining 30% have no clear hope for survival.]]]]
** [[spoiler:This is due to the colony moon being blown out of orbit and falling into the gas giant it orbited]].
** [[spoiler:Not just Secelia, Earth got destroyed as well, if the text after the end credits in the 13-Ship Mode is true. Leave some ships to guard the Earth, [[IdiotBall next time]]!]]
* EasyModeMockery: The North American [=PlayStation=] version of ''[=RayStorm=]'' by Working Designs, setting the starting lives to more than 5 or setting the difficulty of any stage below 4 will force a "Training Mode" which terminates your game after Stage 4. This function is absent from the Windows port (being released only in Japan and Europe) and the HD version.
* ElaborateUndergroundBase: Area 5 in ''[=RayForce=]'', and Area 7 in ''[=RayStorm=]''.
* EldritchAbomination: Con-Human, and a man-made one at that.
* {{Engrish}}: The stage names in ''[=RayForce=]'' (e.g. "[[BlindIdiotTranslation The Gravity of Blue Side]]"). Also, the background sound clip that plays at the start of the game and periodically throughout: "This is the control tower. Make a left turn. Over".
* EpicRocking: ''[=RayCrisis=]''[='=]s tracks are at least 11 minutes long each. In the arcade version, the same track plays throughout the whole game, with no changes even as the player moves from one stage to the next, except for the last one, hence why each track is so long. In the home ports, the tracks jump sections due to the presences of loading screens.
* EveryTenThousandPoints: Only seen in ''[=RayForce=]''. You gain extends for every 500,000 points in the home versions while in the arcade version its 1,000,000 for the first extend then 2,000,000 for the next one by default.
* ExtremeGraphicalRepresentation: Con-Human's systems in ''[=RayCrisis=]''. All of the enemies are defense programs [[spoiler:and Infinity, the TrueFinalBoss, is Con-Human's core]].
* FakeDifficulty: Unlike ''[=RayForce=]'', the two later installments have no form of extra lives or extends whatsoever and they expect you to make it through the whole with just three lives by default. The Special Mode of ''[=RayCrisis=]''[='=] home ports alleviates this by including 1-Ups.
* TheFederation: United Planets Space Defense Corps (UPSDC) in ''[=RayForce=]''.
* FloatingContinent: Area 4 in ''[=RayForce=]'' features parts of the Earth high above its surface.
* GameBreakingBug: In ''[=RayStorm=] HD'', you can play on Player 2's side in single player by holding the Back/Select button before starting a game. However, due to a bug, you can't pause the game at all. The only way out of a game is to loose all of your lives or go to your system's home menu.
* GameplayGrading: In the later follow-ups of the series.
** In ''[=RayStorm=]'', you are given a bonus based on the percentage of enemies destroyed in the stage and how many of them did you take down with your lock-on weapons.
** In ''[=RayCriris=]''[='=] Original Mode in the home ports, you are graded based on how low Encroachment is kept upon clearing the stage, and how quickly you defeated the boss. These two factors affect the overall Network Condition for the stage where you are given a letter rank and bonus points for your performance.
* GodzillaThreshold: You know Con-Human in ''[=RayForce=]'' is that bad when humans decide that ''[[EarthShatteringKaboom blowing up the Earth]]'' is the only option left for ensuring humanity's continued survival.
* GratuitousEnglish: In ''[=RayCrisis=]'', you have English-spoken lines during the intro [[spoiler:and true ending]] over the Japanese ones.
* GuestFighter: The R-GRAY appear as a playable ship in ''[[VideoGame/SpaceInvaders Space Invaders Get Even]]''; the final boss of ''[=RayStorm=]'' also makes an appearance.
* [[spoiler:[[TheHeroDies The Heroine Dies]]: The ending of ''[=RayForce=]''.]]
* HitboxDissonance: In ''[=RayForce=]'', your hitbox is the area around the cockpit, so stray bullets or laser beams can pass through your ship's wings and you'll still be in one piece.
* HomingLasers: The lock-on weapon of the RVA-818 X-LAY from ''[=RayForce=]'', R-GRAY 1 and 0 from ''[=RayStorm=]'', and Wave Rider 01 from ''[=RayCrisis=]''.
* HomingProjectile: [[FrickinLaserBeams Homing laser beams]], [[MacrossMissileMassacre homing missiles]], [[ChainLightning homing lightning bolts]]. This series loves this trope!
* HumongousMecha: Each game in the series has one (or more) as bosses, while other [[MechaMooks non-boss mechs]] serves as cannon-fodder. Some of them even [[TransformingMecha transform]].
* [[spoiler:HurlItIntoTheSun: The ending of ''[=RayStorm=]'' has you do this to the main Secilian colony, preventing any further Secilian attack but dooming many innocent lives in the process.]]
* JustifiedTitle: Working Designs added the "''Series Termination''" subtitle to ''[=RayCrisis=]'', the last game in the series. In the Japanese version of ''[=RayCrisis=]'', the game bore the subtitle "''-The End of RAY-''".
* KillEmAll: [[spoiler: The ending of [=RayStorm's=] 13-ship mode. Pretty much everybody on Earth and Secelia are dead or doomed, and the pilot never returns]].
* LightningGun, ChainLightning: The R-GRAY 2's and Wave Rider 02's lock-on attack.
** LightningCanDoAnything: Such as homing in on enemies more than a mile away.
* MacrossMissileMassacre: The titles already suggest this, starting with the mighty ''[=RayForce=]''! A number of the bosses do this too, especially after [[TurnsRed turning red]].
* MeaningfulName: Q.E.P.D., the ending piece that plays during the end credits of ''[=RayForce=]'', is an abbreviation for the Spanish words "''que en paz descanse''", which translates to "''Rest in Peace''". [[spoiler:Think about the fate of the heroine who piloted the RVA-818-X-LAY fighter.]]
** Many of the stage names in ''[=RayStorm=]'' are references to places with an antagonistic history with the Roman Empire (Albion, Gaul, Palmyra, Carthage, Juda), with most of the bosses following suit (in order: Pendragon, Vercingetorix, Zenobia, Hannibal, Genseric, Alaric, Spartacus). Secelia is a bit of an outlier, though. While it ''could'' be seen as a misspelling of Secilia, it may also make sense as an attempt at "outer heavens". The gas giant it orbits? Seraphim. Now the forced quelling of the other colonies' protests at Secelia's intent to obliterate the Earth after yanking out all the denizens makes sense. Secelia ultimately wants to be the new emperor, with divine approval at that! You get even more layers when you realize that one reason for the antagonistic relationship between the late Empire and the Goths was religious -- Rome followed Athanasius, the Goths usually followed Arius. Three of the enemies in the seventh stage are named for Verdhandi, Skuld, and Urdhr, the Nornir of the Goths' original belief system. The namesake of the last boss is Yggdrasil, from the same lore. Genseric and Alaric were Arian Goths...
* MookMobile: Most of the enemies you shoot down.
* MoreDakka: Most of the mechas in the series. Alaric, ''[=RayStorm=]''[='=]s sixth boss sprays bullets from it's machine gun, especially when [[TurnsRed turning red]].
* MultipleEndings:
** In ''[=RayCrisis=]'', you have three endings, depending on how many credits you used (thankfully a [[NoDamageRun 1CC]] not a requirement). You get the worse ending if you let your Encroachment reach 100%.
** There's two in ''[=RayStorm=]'' for the home ports, one for the Arcade Mode and the Extra Mode.
* MultiPlatform: ''[=RayStorm=] HD''. Available on UsefulNotes/{{Xbox 360}} and UsefulNotes/PlayStation3, but only available one's available outside of Japan.
* NintendoHard: It's an arcade ShootEmUp series, after all. The first game doesn't even grant you a SmartBomb to defend yourself with. In addition, many enemies have quick laser attacks and {{homing laser|s}} attacks that are very difficult to outsmart.
* OminousMusicBoxTune: The first version of [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wlk_ACj0ihk "All is Shut Down"]], the ending theme to ''Ray Crisis''.
* OminousPipeOrgan: [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1CSweR8Z-8w "Root of All Evil"]], the TrueFinalBoss music from ''Ray Crisis''.
* OneHitPointWonder: You. One stray bullet, laser beam, [[CollisionDamage or turn wrong turn into any enemy]] is all it takes send your ship to scrap heap.
* PaletteSwap: The stages and enemies of ''[=RayStorm=]''[='=]s Extra Mode are colored differently from the Arcade Mode though some stages also have different scenery. The same goes for ''[=RayCrisis=]''[='=] Special Mode. ''[=RayCrisis=]'' also give players the options to swap color palettes of their Wave Rider before starting the game by pressing the shoulder buttons.
* PowerUp: As per shoot 'em up tradition, and they are [[ColourCodedForYourConvenience conveniently-color coded]] too. Red power-ups requires three to level up your main weapon while yellow levels up your weapon instantly, and green power-ups raises the number of your lock-on attacks. There's also a rare blue power-up in the two later games that maxes out both your weapon's firepower and lock-on attacks.
* ReactorBoss: Yggdrasil, the final boss of ''[=RayStorm=]''. Destroying it causes the Secilian colony to become badly damaged and drift into its gas giant.
* RemixedLevel: The first segment of Intelligence's Part in ''[=RayCrisis=]'' is very reminiscent of Albion D.U. from ''[=RayStorm=]''.
* SelfPlagiarism: The {{rail shooter}} ''Zeitgeist'' (a.k.a. ''Jupiter Strike'') isn't set in the same universe but the plot, art style and enemy design all are very similar to ''[=RayStorm=]'' and the player ship in that game use the same lock-on lasers.
* [[spoiler:ShootTheShaggyDog: ''[=RayCrisis=]'', [[DoomedByCanon due to the game being a prequel]] to ''[=RayForce=]''.]]
** [[spoiler:Also in ''[=RayStorm=]''[='=]s 13-ship mode. You stop the Secilian rebellion by destroying the colony itself... only for TheStinger to reveal that ''Earth has been destroyed too''.]]
* ScoringPoints: Throughout the series, your means of racking up the most points other is your lock-on weaponry. Usually when you lock onto more and more enemies, you get a multiplier bonus by the power of 2. Additionally, when your shot power and lock-ons are maxed out, every respective power-up you pick up gives you an extra 1,000pts, and picking up more steadily raises their value to 10,000pts until you lose a life. In the later games of the ''RAY'' series, each ship has its own take on the scoring system, such as R-GRAY 2's ability to lock onto twice the number of enemies than R-GRAY 1, or the combo-based mechanics of Wave Rider 03.
* SmartBomb: Introduced in ''[=RayStorm=]''. This was also featured in ''[=RayCrisis=]''.
* SpaceFighter: You pilot one in each and every game.
* SpaceZone: Areas 1 and 2 from ''[=RayForce=]'', and Stages 4 and 5 from ''[=RayStorm=]''.
* SpiderTank: Pro-Tor from ''[=RayCrisis=]'', as well as a couple of others.
* SpreadShot: [=R-GRAY=] 1's and Wave Rider 01's main weapon. Some enemies and bosses can shoot bullets in spread too.
* SuspiciousVideogameGenerosity:
** Right before the final boss of ''[=RayForce=]'', the game gives you a lot of harmless pods for you to lock-on and destroy, all of which contain enough power-ups to power ''both'' characters to full ''multiple times''. [[NintendoHard You're so gonna]] [[FinalBoss need them]].
** Also in ''[=RayStorm=]'' in the Extra Mode of its home ports, just before the boss of the second to last stage of the game, there are also pods that can be destroyed for items. You can also see the health status color of Spartacus [[AttackItsWeakpoint on the only place to damage it]].
* SuspiciouslySimilarSubstitute:
** In ''[=RayCrisis=]'', respectively you have Wave Rider 01 and Wave Rider 02 as to ''[=RayStorm=]'s'' R-GRAY 1 and R-GRAY 2, which are also unlockable ships in home ports of ''[=RayCrisis=]''.
** In ''[=RayStorm=] HD'', there's also the unlockable R-GRAY 0 fighter redesigned after ''[=RayForce=]'s'' RVA-818-X-LAY fighter. It even features sound effects from ''[=RayForce=]'' as well.
* TankGoodness: Pendragon from ''[=RayStorm=]''.
* ThemeNaming: The bosses of ''[=RayStorm=]'' are named after enemies of the Roman Empire.
* ThirteenIsUnlucky:
** In home ports of ''[=RayStorm=]'', there is an unlockable '''13'''-Plane Mode where you must go through using a total of thirteen ships under one credit, and every three ships changes to a different ship for the first twelve ships. By default, the thirteenth ship is a prototype ship that lacks Hyper Attacks and a Special Attack.
** Not to mention that the R-GRAY[=s=] themselves were reverse-engineered from '''thirteen''' wrecked alien ships discovered on Secelia.
* TransformingMecha: Genseric (Stage 5) and Alaric (Stage 6) from ''[=RayStorm=]'', and Consciousness Part's Sem-slut (or Sem-strut in the North American [=PlayStation=] version) from ''[=RayCrisis=]''.
* TrueFinalBoss: [[spoiler:Infinity in ''[=RayCrisis=]''. It's a... [[SinisterGeometry spherical]]... thing with pretty golden patterns on it. Accompanied by OminousPipeOrgan.]]
* TurnedAgainstTheirMasters: The Con-Human in a nutshell.
* TurnsRed: Most bosses.
* UpdatedRerelease: ''[=RayStorm=] HD'' has completely remade visuals for HD, [[MetaMultiplayer online leaderboards]], sharable replays, and doesn't have the EasyModeMockery feature that Working Design's version of the game had. There's also two new ships you can unlock in the game (R-GRAY 0 and R-GEAR).
* VideoGame3DLeap: ''[=RayStorm=]'' is the first game in the series to go from 2D sprites of ''[=RayForce=]'' (and ''R-GEAR'' to that extent) to 3D polygons.
* VideoGameLives: By default, you start with three for every credit. In ''[=RayStorm=]'' and onward, you can change the default number of lives in the Options menu depending on the game.
* WarmUpBoss: DUAL-LANCE from ''[=RayForce=]'', Pendragon from ''[=RayStorm=]'', and any boss from the first stage selected in ''[=RayCrisis=]''.
* WaveMotionGun: In ''[=RayStorm=]'', Zenobia (Stage 3's boss), Hannibal (Stage 4's boss in Extra Mode), and Genseric (Stage 5's boss) use them.
* WeaponizedExhaust: Used as an attack by GIGA (third boss of ''[=RayForce=]'') and Vercingetorix (second boss of ''[=RayStorm=]'' in the Extra Mode).
* WellIntentionedExtremist: In ''[=RayStorm=]'', you stop the hostile Secilian Rebellion by [[spoiler:destroying the colony of Secilia, '''including billions of potentially-innocent lives'''.]]
* WhamLine: A nasty [[TheStinger stinger]] awaits those who complete ''[=RayStorm's=]'' 13-Ship Mode:
--> [[spoiler:"[[ShootTheShaggyDog Earth and Secilia have vanished.]] [[KillEmAll Likewise, those that developed the "RAY" technology and all evidence of its existence have been wiped away.]] No record of R-GRAY craft was found, and no R-GRAY craft has ever returned."]]
->*BOOM* ''[[JustifiedExtraLives RAY 2]] to continue present tactics.''