Turrican is a video game series that got started by Manfred Trenz, and was first released on the Commodore 64, but was arguably popular on its successor, the Amiga.It's The Future, and mankind has spread into space. Their sole protection from the scum of the universe is the United Planets Freedom Forces and its armored champion, Turrican. The person wearing the mantle of Turrican varies, as do the villains, though a frequent foe is the evil cyborg/Galactus impersonator known as The Machine.The series borrows elements of Super Mario Bros.., Contra, Metroid and Psycho-Nics Oscar. The games were developed by the now defunct company Factor 5. The levels themselves were massive with lots of secrets to find, like hidden power-up blocks and extra lives. Also, bosses at times didn't necessarily appear at the end of levels. They would show up in the middle of levels, and even the beginning at times. It also has an awesome soundtrack.
Turrican (Commodore 64, Amiga, Atari ST, Amstrad CPC, ZX Spectrum, Mega Drive/Genesis, Game Boy)
Turrican II: The Final Fight (Commodore 64, Amiga, Atari ST, Amstrad CPC, ZX Spectrum, Mega Drive/Genesis*, Game Boy*, PC)
Mega Turrican/Turrican 3: Payment Day (Mega Drive/Genesis, Amiga)
Super Turrican (NES**)
Super Turrican (SNES***)
Super Turrican 2 (SNES)
(*) Released as Universal Soldier
(**) Manfred Trenz game
(***) Factor 5 game
Although the parent company abandoned the series well over a decade ago, the series' cult status has inspired numerous fan-made sequels, such as T2002, the exceptionally professional-looking Hurrican and the Game Gear game GGT.
Awesome, but Impractical: A special Smart Bomb attack in the second game. While in Wheel Form, press the fire button and space button together and he'll fire rapidly with all of his weapons and destroy everything on screen with an explosion. It's not really useful, though, and once you've used it the only way to get it back is to lose a life.
Bishounen Line: A series-spanning example with Big Bad The Machine. In his first two final boss appearances he's bigger than the screen, but in the honest-to-goodness final showdown in Super Turrican 2, he's the size of the protagonist yet somehow twice as hard to dodge and able to absorb considerably more damage than before.
Cutscene Incompetence: Twice in Super Turrican 2. After killing a giant sandworm from inside its mouth, Turrican is inexplicably overpowered by the same guards he'll be killing by the dozens later on. Later, after killing a giant space spider, he's captured by mercenaries.
Down the Drain: World 2 in Turrican, Turrican II and Mega Turrican/Turrican 3.
Drought Level of Doom: World 4 in the original. Due to a certain limitation in the preceding level you're not likely to have a fully leveled spread shot, which makes it incredibly difficulty to find the few invisible item blocks there are.
Law of 100: Collecting 300 gems gave a continue; Turrican II reduced this to 100.
Laser Cutter: The intro to the first game shows a laser or heat ray cutting a rectangle from the black background. The piece falls out, and the developer's logo (Rainbow Arts) becomes visible. This is a reference to a special ability the in-game character has in most of the games. See it here.
Load-Bearing Boss: Killing the final boss always causes their base to spectacularly explode.
Marathon Level: The Womb Level, in every game it appears, will be up to twice as long as the previous World, and usually filled to the brim with detours and lengthy backtracking every time you miss a jump.
Mascot Mook: The Walkers are the first enemy you'll face in the first two games, and the only one to appear in every game in the series. Turrican II added several variations, including flying ones and a factory churning out gigantic versions that shout "Make my day!" when they appear onscreen.
Metroidvania: Not necessarily one, but close. You proceed through levels in a linear fashion, but there's lots of different paths and secrets to find like giant power up boxes and groups of extra lives. Mega Turrican/Turrican 3Super Turrican 2's levels were nothing but linear, though.
Morph Weapon: Electric arcs? Lasers bigger than the wielder? Multi-directional fire from a straight barrel? Smart bombs? Freeze ray? You want it, you got it.
Nintendo Hard: Every of these series' installment is being either pretty close to this, or purely this, no matter whether this is an official game or a fan remake.
No Export for You: An NES game titled Super Turrican was made entirely by Manfred Trenz, but was released only in Europe late in the NES's life. It's a completely independent game to Super Turrican for the SNES, developed by Factor 5.
No Sidepaths, No Exploration, No Freedom: Every level in Super Turrican 2 except one, which is a common source of criticism - considering that the wide open levels with tons of secrets were one of the main strengths of the series.
Nostalgia Level: World 3, the junkyard of Mega Turrican/Turrican 3 has you fight broken-down versions of the first bosses from Turrican and Turrican II.
Personal Space Invader: The face huggers in Turrican II and Mega Turrican/Turrican 3. Turning left and right rapidly cause them to drop off and die.
Or turning into a ball if you have any energy for it.
Platform Game: Oft considered to be the best game of the genre for the Amiga.
Turrican originally began development as a Commodore 64 game by Rainbow Arts. Factor 5, who were working on the Amiga version, originally planned their version as a straight port, but then they decided to make it an original game inspired by the C64 version.
Turrican 2 was developed the same way as well, only this time the Amiga version was the original and the C64 version was the adaptation.
Similarly Super Turrican was released for consoles in two versions. While the NES version handled by Rainbow Arts, the SNES version was done by Factor 5.
Rolling Attack: Turrican's signature ability is his ability to transform into a spiky energy wheel that can destroy many things in its rolling path. This ability was also featured in the Universal Soldier video game, which was a dolled-up Turrican II.
Sand Worm: You fight one from inside its mouth at the end of World 1 in Super Turrican 2.
Schedule Slip: Mega Turrican was finished before Turrican 3, but the the game couldn't find a publisher until 1994 with Data East. As a result, they ported it to the Amiga ahead of time.
Schizophrenic Difficulty: A succesful playthrough of Turrican 1 consists of stocking up as many extra lives as possible before reaching World 4, then finishing the significantly more merciful final world with however many you have left. There's even 3 extra lives and enough laser power-ups to max out your weapon hidden in plain view to the right of World 5's starting point, as if the developers knew how badly beaten the player would be at that point.
Scifi Writers Have No Sense Of Scale: The intro for Turrican 3 states that "Eons have passed since mankind last heard of the evil Machine". Which would mean that Bren McGuire, purple haired protagonist from the previous game is now billions of years old. The writers should probably just have said "Ages have passed..."
Shout Out: The title screen of Turrican is an edit of a Manowar album cover. Given the music, it's a deliberate aesthetic choice.
Turrican 2 has a drone flying past your ship in one of the flying levels with a banner saying, "Katakis Lives!"
Every Turrican game but Super Turrican 2 had one level taking place in an Alien hive, complete with face-huggers, Xenomorphs and even an Alien Queen as the endboss in Super Turrican.
Super Turrican (SNES version) also took place on a planet called Katakis. In both cases, Katakis is an R-Type clone Manfred Trenz worked on.
Skippable Boss: Turrican II has a sort of flying saucer on stage 1-2 which you have to go out of your way to fight. However, if you do, you are rewarded with 4 extra lives when you kill him.
The Maze: World 4 in Turrican is a massive three part maze with creepy ambient sound instead of the Crowning Music of Awesome featured everywhere else. Power-ups are much harder to find, and dozens of pixel-perfect (and sometimes entirely illogical) jumps are required to reach the exit. All of the womb levels in the sequels have similar length and difficulty, but later entries are more forgiving by having an Exit arrow appear if you get lost.
The Very Definitely Final Dungeon: The final confrontation with The Machine takes place onboard his flagship in low orbit over the sun of a solar system inside a black hole in Super Turrican 2.
Timed Mission: Super Turrican (NES game) is the only game with no time limit.
True Final Boss: In Mega Turrican/Turrican 3 and Super Turrican 2, by playing on at least the Normal difficulty level.
Under the Sea: Super Turrican 2 had a the third world take place on an ocean planet with some underwater portions.
Unexpected Shmup Level: Worlds 3-1 and 3-3 in Turrican, and the Commodore 64 version of Turrican II's final stage. In all three levels, you needed to find a hidden item to start the level, but this was changed in later ports. However, later versions of Turrican II changed it to a platform jumping stage.
Super Turrican 2 also had one in the first stage of the last world, but it was overhead instead of side-scrolling and used Mode 7 effects similar to Konami's Axelay.
Unrealistic Black Hole: Subverted. Three ships enter the black hole to stop the machine in Super Turrican 2. Your ship survives out of luck and crash lands on a desert planet while the other two are destroyed.