was a Rail Shooter Video Game
developed by Psygnosis
and released in 1994. Set sometime in the future, spacefaring humans are searching for a new planet to call home, and have come under attack from the haywire Data Gridnote
and its vast robotic legions. An elite squadron named Scavenger 4
is created to counter the threath.
The game is a (vastly improved) sequel to Microcosm
and takes place in the same universe.
This game provides examples of:
- 2½D: Levels (including boss encounters) are pre-rendered FMV cutscenes, while the player ship, enemies, and projectiles are pre-rendered sprites.
- Asteroid Thicket: The opening of Mission 4 (the assault on the Excelsior). There's no destroying these chunks of FMV rock, you simply have to avoid them.
- Attack Its Weak Point: The Life Meter appearing during boss encounters also depicts an image of the boss with some of its weak point(s) highlighted. It does not, however, show all of them.
- Attack Drone: Several types:
- Red "wing pods" flank the ship and fire lasers straight ahead.
- Blue-Grey "drone pods" follow behind the ship's movement and fire straight ahead.
- Green "bolt pods" circle around the ship and fire auto-aimed shots at the nearest enemy.
- Battleship Raid: Mission 4.
- Cap: In the DOS version, lives cap at 7, meaning that if you would otherwise earn a life but have 7 already, it's lost. Additionally, since the last item in the upgrade bar is an extra life, you could end up having to die to purchase anything.
- Cheat Code: In the DOS version, typing in the name of a certain natural red food that's either a fruit or a vegetable (depending on who you ask) before the first checkpoint of the game gives you a secret level with loads of gold-dropping enemies, a joke boss, takes you to Mission 4 after completion, and changes your ship's shots into said food.
- The PlayStation version had one that required you to get a high score first and enter TWISTY! as a name to enable level select.
- Check Point: In the DOS version, there's one at the start of each "segment" (FMV sequence) of a level and when entering a boss's loop. The PSX version adds one about halfway into its equivalent of the third level (which had no checkpoints before the boss on the DOS version).
- Collision Damage: Enemy ships are rarely close enough to actually bump into the player, but the surrounding terrain... one sequence near the final levels features no enemies whatsoever, with the only threat being the claustrophobic obstacle course the player must navigate. In a few cases, even enemy ships may collide with the environment themselves and be destroyed.
- This becomes a bit of a problem during the assault on Excelsior, especially in the Sega CD version (which the DOS version closely follows), since there is a part before the first boss of it that has no enemies whatsoever in it, which means you can't get any extra lives during it. Expect to lose 3 or 4 during it.
- Easy-Mode Mockery: Actually very subtle about it. If you play on easy, you will be underpowered for the first world's endboss (and the game's Wake-Up Call Boss). Why? On easy, a few enemy waves are removed, and the value of half the coin drops are decreased by one tier (Gold to Silver, Silver to Bronze).
- Excuse Plot
- Exty Years from Now
- It's a Wonderful Failure: Getting a Game Over on the final mission treats the player to watching the evil robot horde wipe out humanity with an Earth-Shattering Kaboom.
- Multi-Platform: Saw release on the Sega CD, 3DO, FM Towns Marty (as Scavenger 4), PlayStation, and IBM PC.
- Reformulated Game: Notably, all (save for the 3DO and FM Towns versions, which however do have a different soundtrack) versions have different gameplay and assets. Even the Sega CD version, which is very close to the DOS original in what bits of footage it uses, has a different powerup system and enemy placement.
- One Ship Armada, flown (naturally) by an Ace Pilot.
- Outrun the Fireball: After defeating the firebird boss at the end of Mission 1.
- Robot War
- Scoring Points: Used primarily to earn extra lives at every 50,000 increment.
- Schmuck Bait: Spread Fire. It doesn't give you another Power Up slot, and it unfocuses your fire, making it harder to hit bosses. You can get it as early as stage 2 on easy. It's generally advised not to consider it until the last mission, if at all.
- The Many Deaths of You: The game will show different death animations depending on where in the level or boss fight you died, sometimes showing off an attack the boss only uses at a very late point in the loop. And different versions have different animations. Sadly, for the Sega CD version, they're only played when you lose your last life.
- Took a Level in Badass: A bit of a meta-example. The DOS version appears to be based on the Sega CD version, and all of the bosses look the same and have the same weak points. They don't fire too much in the Sega CD version, and some of them even call in generic mooks to do some of their firing. The DOS version? The firebird opens with danmaku, and it only gets worse from there.
- Timed Mission: The boss battles in the Sega CD version have an invisible timer (though the game is kind enough to show an alert message when it's close to be finished). Take too long and it's an automatic Game Over.