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Berserk Button: The System doesn't like you to picking up Weapon 2 in the original game.
Big Bad: The "System" in the original. The "Original system" in the Zanac Neo.
"Blind Idiot" Translation: The manual of the original game tells the rather weird story of a system going berserk because "someone opened the icon improperly". Also, areas in the NES port are called "ARER"s and Compile "desinded" the game. Fixed in Zanac X Zanac.
Chest Monster: The boxes that give you power-ups for your normal shot come in three varieties: the kind that actually give you a power-up, the kind that don't give you anything, and the kind that shoot at you when you break them open. All of them look identical (though at least if you shoot the box a couple of times it'll start flashing and you can see whether it contains a power-up or not.)
Idiot Ball: Someone who opened the "Icon" improperly.
Last Ditch Move: Capital ships in the original which spawn projectiles when destroyed.
Long Song, Short Scene: One of the songs doesn't play in any level. Although it still can be accessed by pressing certain buttons after defeating each fortress in area 10.
Macross Missile Massacre: The enemies shoot out missiles. There is one enemy that shoots out an endless stream of missiles so tight that they're pretty much head against a tail.
Magikarp Power: Weapon 5 on the original game. Known as the Rewinder, the first four levels fire relatively slow, but strong energy balls that yo-yo back to your ship and can neutralize enemy bullets. Takes finesse to use, but can quickly destroy turrets on enemy fortresses.
Once it's powered up to level 5, it completely changes into a viciously fast narrow laser that pierces enemies and only gets longer and stronger with each level of power, all the way up to level 10. And it still neutralizes enemy bullets!
Marathon Level: Levels are either really short or absurdly long endurance runs with multiple bosses.
The final level of Neo is the grand champion of this.
Mercy Invincibility: Inverted. Collecting power chips and special weapons is the way to grand 1 or 4-second invulnerability time.
Sequential Boss: The final boss in the original and several bosses in Zanac Neo.
Shoot the Bullet: Pretty much every projectile is destroyable in some way. Certain "indestructible" enemy bullets can only be destroyed by some Subweapons.
Shows Damage: In the original, capital ships and boxes belong to category 1 while the final phase of the final boss belongs to category 3.
In Zanac Neo, most of the enemies with multiple hitpoints blink red when low on health.
Smart Bomb: Enemy Erasers and weapon 6 in the original which clear all the non-boss air targets. Fairies are even stronger since after they're used as such, they blow up the fortress as soon as you reach one.