Mars Matrix: Hyper Solid Shooting
is a Vertical Scrolling Shooter
developed by Takumi, the same developers behind the Giga Wing
series. It was released in arcades in 2000, and later ported to the Dreamcast
in 2000 in Japan and 2001 in North America.
One notable aspect of Mars Matrix
is its control scheme. You only have one fire button, but this one button is used to fire all
of your weapons. The weapon you fire depends on how you press the button:
- Tap once: Piercing Cannon, a short-range laser that inflicts massive damage.
- Tap repeatedly: Normal Shot, your typical shmup shots. This is the only weapon affected by your Character Level.
- Hold down: Mosquito, a barrier that absorbs bullets and shoots them back, similar to Giga Wing's Reflect Barrier. Unlike the Reflect Barrier, however, you can aim your absorbed shots before releasing them. Enemies hit with reflected shots turn into experience cubes.
- Hold down until the "GHB" meter empties: Gravity Hole Bomb, a powerful Smart Bomb that heavily damages enemies. However, activating the GHB will cancel any reflected bullets you have.
- Artifact of Doom: The Infinity Chip.
- Awesome but Impractical: The GHB does a lot of damage, but also negates bullets that you've caught, and using the GHB empties out the entire GHB gauge rather than parts of it, making you wait a long while before you can use the GHB or the Mosquito again.
- Bullet Hell: Like Giga Wing, the game is fond of dishing out massive patterns of pink and blue at you.
- Cap / Game-Breaking Bug: The arcade version maxes out at 9999,9999,9990note points, and it is very possible to do this if you are quite proficient. The Dreamcast port adds an extra digit so you can keep scoring higher.
- Character Level: You collect gold cubes (either dropped from enemies or generated from reflecting bullets at enemies) to increase your EXP. You first level up at 1,000 EXP, then level up again at 10,000 and then 100,000 and after that, every time the amount is doubled until level 8 (the maximum). Each time you level up, your ship transforms into a different form and gains a more powerful Normal Shot.
- Collision Damage: Averted. Touching other enemies (or the rocks in Stage 1) do not harm your ship.
- Flower Motifs: The Sorceress resides in a machine shaped like a rose.
- Nintendo Hard: Learn how the one-button setup works or you will lose lives faster than a human without a spacesuit runs out of air on Mars.
- Obtained by leveling up to Level 4, and again at Level 8.
- You also get one in item form from defeating the mid-boss in stage 4.
- Pinball Scoring: While not to the same effect as the Giga Wing series, 12 digits (or 13 in the Dreamcast port) is still a lot.
- RPG Elements: See Character Level above.
- Sealed Evil in a Can: The Sorceress contained in the Infinity Chip caused The Precursors on Mars to go extinct, and causes the Martian Rebellion.
- Spiritual Successor: To Giga Wing, until Giga Wing 2 got released.
- The Revolution Will Not Be Villified: Averted; the player is sent to crush a Martian rebellion.
- The revolution is actually caused by the Infinity Chip.
- Unreadably Fast Text: The arcade opening movie is full of scenes that flash a paragraph of backstory for less than a second. The stage result screens also give you your next mission in a very fast marquee.