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Video Game / Gain Ground

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Gain Ground is a 1988 action-strategy game by Sega. It was originally produced for the Arcades, later ported to Sega Master System, Sega Genesis, and so on. Among them Sega Genesis version is the nearest to original game, while adding one new Epoch.

The game set in the year 2348 a long period of peace has deprived the earthlings of their instinct to wage war. The Federated Government, greatly concerned regarding this ever increasing dangerous situation, developed a Gain Ground simulation system in the year 2348 in an effort to instigate their ever waning fighting spirit. However, suddenly without warning, the Supercomputer went berserk and took many of the citizens as hostages. In order to rescue the people, three of the bravest warriors were urgently dispatched to go forth into the deadly Gain Ground.


The goal of each stage is to either get all characters you control out of the stage via the marked exit, or to kill all enemies on the map. This last ends the level without having to get any more characters out, but it can be quite difficult depending on where they are.

Several stages in Project X Zone are modeled after this game, and use a remix of its main theme.

This game provides examples of:

  • A.I. Is a Crapshoot
  • Alliterative Title: Gain Ground
  • Denial of Diagonal Attack: Played with and averted. All characters can fire in all eight directions with their normal attacks, but some characters can only shoot in certain directions with their special attacks.
  • Difficulty Spike: The first couple of Epoches are tough, but managable. The third one, however, introduces regular mooks with fast-firing, straight-shooting projectiles, and the game becomes utterly brutal.
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  • Final Death: The game's hard mode starts you with all characters. If one dies, they'll be Killed Off for Real!
  • Instant-Win Condition: You can clear a level by either getting everyone through the exit or killing all enemies. No matter how many characters still have to reach the exit, the level ends instantly if all enemy troops die.
  • Justified Extra Lives: Every life is its own character, with different attacks and range. You gain new lives by rescuing characters in the field (by touching them and then bringing both characters to the exit); if a character is killed, they'll be frozen on the map, and another character in your control can rescue them. (If a character dies while escorting another, though... the escortee will be lost!)
  • Loads and Loads of Characters: Thirty in all.
  • Point of No Continues: You can't continue anymore once you reach the Final Epoch; if all your charactes die by that point, your game will be permanently over!
    • To make things even worse, no extra players can join in (which in turn makes the inability to continue uncircumventable)!

Example of: