M.U.S.H.A. (known as Musha Aleste in Japan) is a vertically scrolling shoot 'em up by Compile and was released in 1990, as part of their Aleste series. It was released on the Genesis/Mega Drive in the US and Japan, but not Europe. It has a Spiritual Successor on the Sega CD, Robo Aleste. It was later rereleased in 2021 as part of the Nintendo Switch Online subscription service, requiring an Expansion Pack subscription upgrade along with the other Sega Genesis titles.
M.U.S.H.A. is known for being pretty easy as far as shmups go and is a lot of fun. It's kind of a rarity now, and is a popular import title in Europe.
Tropes found in M.U.S.H.A.:
- Action Girl: Terri's one of the few legitimate heroines from the 16-bit era.
- Artifact Title: The North American version was retitled to M.U.S.H.A., however the sound test still refers to the title theme as "Theme of Musha Aleste".
- Attack Drone: the Guardian.
- Autobots, Rock Out!: The soundtrack has a clear Thrash Metal influence, and is one of the most rocking uses of the console's soundchip.
- Awesome, but Impractical: Your options can be configured into "Free" formation, in which the will seek out enemies thus taking the trouble of aiming off your hands. However, your options are not invulnerable, and getting your options destroyed causes you to take out extra options out of your finite option reserves, thus greatly limiting the use of the Free formation.
- Bragging Rights Reward: Defeating the Final Boss awards 100,000,000 points, enough for 10 extra lives...that you don't need anymore since the game is now over.
- Classic Cheat Code: In 2019, the game's lead programmer revealed a cheat for swapping weapons with the second controller. Trouble is, to input the code the player must first reset the game at the Sega logo screen a hundred times.
- Continuing is Painful: It starts you in the beginning of the level with no extra weapons and a weak main weapon.
- Dub Name Change: Ellinor to Terri.
- Enfant Terrible: The apparent Big Bad, Ayanokouji, is a massive one of these (it's bigger than your mech!) encased in a purple orb.
- Fun with Acronyms: Metallic Uniframe Super Hybrid Armor. Not that it was called that in the original Japanese.
- Humongous Mecha: The player, the enemies, almost everything, really.
- Kaizo Trap: At the very end of the game, Terri/Ellinor is ordered to dock with the mothership, but then Daia 51 fires a quartet of beams and wages one final stand.
- Market-Based Title: The North American release removes the "Aleste" part of the title and makes the "Musha" part a case of Fun with Acronyms. However, the title theme is still called "Theme of Musha Aleste" in the sound test.
- Mecha Expansion Pack / Multiform Balance : the power-ups: Thunder, Water and fire.
- Recurring Boss: The black jet that transforms into a robot. He assaults you in almost every level. Which makes sense, since the robot is none other than main antagonist Daia 51.
- Red Shirt: Your four wingmen are taken out at the opening of the first level.
- Samus Is a Girl: By beating the game on Hard, you're shown a brief still of Terri recovering in a hospital, who is in fact female.