A series of Digital Pinball Tables for various home Video Game systems. Most of the games were originally developed by Compile for the Japanese publisher Naxat Soft, though Alien Crush and Devil's Crush were later reissued by Hudson Soft on the Play Station Network and the Nintendo Wii Virtual Console. All of the games feature a mix of standard pinball mechanisms combined with gameplay features that could not exist in the real world, wrapped in a Science Fiction or Fantasy theme.
The first game in the series is Alien Crush, released in 1988 for the TurboGrafx-16. Set inside a Gigeresque environment, the player must defeat hostile alien creatures by hitting them with the pinball. The playfield consists of two main screens arranged vertically, with a pair of flippers at the bottom of each, and several bonus rooms can be accessed by accomplishing certain goals.
An enhanced remake/sequel, Alien Crush Returns, was developed by Tamsoft and released in 2008 by Hudson Soft on Nintendo's WiiWare service. It incorporated 3D polygonal graphics, "action balls" with enhanced abilities, and additional tables as downloadable content.
Alien Crush demonstrates the following tropes:
- Cap: The game has a score cap of 999,999,900 points.
- Excuse Plot
- Evil Is Visceral
- Flip-Screen Scrolling: Occurs when the ball moves off of the current screen.
- Gainax Ending: Reaching the maximum score of 999,999,990 points causes the entire table to explode. The game then displays the message "Congratulations !! You are the greatest player", then prompts the player to enter their initials in the high score table.
- Mini-Game: The hidden rooms are very simple pinball tables with a single goal.
- Pinball Scoring
- Real Is Brown
- Top-Down View
Devil's Crush (known as Devil Crash in Japan) was published in 1990 for the TurboGrafx-16, with an occult theme and lots of demons, skulls, and skeletons. The action takes place on a three-screen tall scrolling playfield, with a pair of flippers placed at the bottom of each "screen". Once again, several bonus rooms can be accessed by accomplishing certain goals.
The game was ported to the Sega Genesis by Technosoft and released in Japan as Devil Crash MD and in the US by Tengen as Dragon's Fury. Tengen developed and released a Genesis-only sequel, Dragon's Revenge, in 1993.
Devil's Crush demonstrates the following tropes:
- Bowdlerise: In the North American release, the pentagrams were geometrically altered to become eight-pointed stars. Inverted for Dragon's Fury, where anything star-shaped was changed into a simple five-pointed star. In the Wii Virtual Console port, the spinning pentagrams were altered into spinning triangles.
- Cap: 999,999,990 points is the maximum possible.
- Excuse Plot: There's something vague in the manual about using a holy silver ball to banish demons and save a hellish world from evil.
- Gainax Ending: Reaching 999,999,990 points will treat you to a very brief ending with a woman and a pinball... that makes no sense whatsoever.
- Hidden Track: Dragon's Fury had special passwords that switched the music with tracks from previous Technosoft games, such as Thunder Force II and Herzog Zwei.
- Mini-Game: The hidden rooms.
- One-Winged Angel: Hitting the lady in the middle of the middle screen will eventually cause her to turn into a dragon.
- Password Save
- Pinball Scoring
- Recycled INSPACE: It's Alien Crush in THE UNDERWORLD!
- Skill Shot: Gently plunge the ball into the woman's face without hitting anything for a 2 million point bonus.
- Score Multiplier: If you successfully clear a bonus stage, the ball will temporarily turn blue, allowing you to score four times its normal value. There's also an orange ball, which increases scoring to six times its normal value.
- Spiritual Successor: To Alien Crush
- Super Title 64 Advance: Dragon's Fury is known in Japan as "Devil Crash MD".
- Top-Down View
Naxat Super Pinball: Jaki Crush was released for the Super Famicom in 1992, and remains the only Crush game not to be released outside Japan. It continued the occult theme of Devil's Crush (jaki is a Japanese word for a type of malicious energy, demon, or ogre), with a three-screen tall scrolling playfield and six hidden bonus rooms. It has alternating two-player play and two speed settings for the ball.