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Video Game / R-Type

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"Blast off and strike the evil Bydo Empire!"

R-Type, along with Gradius, is one of the longest-running, most-heavily ported starfighter-based Shoot 'em Up series in videogame history. From its initial 1987 incarnation as R-Type in the arcades and on 8-bit computers, it was ported to the 16-bit era and forward, and eventually reached a final episode in R-Type Final for the PS2. In 2019, R-Type Final 2 entered crowdfunding. It made double its funding goal, and was released on April 30, 2021.

The backstory, such as it is, is fairly minimal — humanity banishes a hideous bioweapon (the Bydo) into a Phantom Zone, which then goes back in time and attacks humanity several hundred years earlier. The R-Type series of fighters are developed as quickly as possible to fight back the threat, using the Force Device, a piece of Organic Technology which uses a contained larval Bydo to produce an indestructible (but not impenetrable) energy field.


From a gameplay standpoint, the R-Type series is notable for requiring significantly more memorization of its maps than many of its competitors. The original game also pioneered the idea of a system of powerups, each of which did something different (three laser crystals with a corresponding weapon, bits, speed boosts and missiles); prior to this implementation, pickups were either point bonuses or all did the same thing, as with the currency-like system of Gradius.

Not to be confused with a Type R Honda.


Games in the series:

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     R-Type (1987) 
The first game in the series (obviously). Your ship, the R-9, could be equipped with two invincible bits that would hover above and below your ship, homing missiles, and a Force Pod. The Force Pod could then be equipped with crystals that filtered its energy to create various lasers. Yellow shot lasers almost straight up and down, and they would follow the ground, blue shot one laser forward and two lasers diagonally that bounce off surfaces and red shot a pair of lasers, one red and one blue, forward in a transverse wave formation. The bits would also fire lasers if the red weapon was used.

The Force Pod itself could be detached to float on the opposite side of the screen, and called back to slowly home in on your ship and eventually attach to either the front or back of your ship, dictating where the Force Weapon was pointed.

The R-9 is also the first protagonist ship to have a chargeable laser, called the Wave Cannon. Just hold down the fire button and release when the BEAM bar is full.

    R-Type II (1989) 
The second game. Mostly identical in gameplay to the first, but did add two new Force crystals: green and grey, which fired a semi-homing laser (nowhere near as cool as it sounds) and a straight, short-ranged shot with a wide area of effect, respectively. These did not catch on, and the green and grey power-ups were not seen for the remainder of the series (although the weapons themselves made a comeback in Final, as the standard armaments of a variant of the original ship). The Wave Cannon was powered up as well: at full power it would split into numerous smaller blasts (in Final, this was renamed the "Diffusion Wave Cannon").

The game is notable for being shorter, but much, much harder than the first game, and also for being extremely difficult to find nowadays. The graphics were, furthermore, noticeably touched up from the original.

    Armed Police Unit Gallop (1991) 
A very obscure spinoff, know as Cosmic Cop in some territories. The gameplay is much different here, there is no Force and the main shot can't be be charged up. Instead, the ship is armed with a lock-on laser and it can be upgraded with missiles and shot powerups found in each levels.

One of the unique feature of Gallop is the ability to control the scroll rate—The further to the right the ship is, the faster the screen scroll, completing the levels quickly award much more points. The very thin plot involves a peacekeeping organisation chasing Bydo-infected "mad cars".

Many fans think Gallop was retconed as part of the series by Final but this isn't the case. The arcade flyer refers to the player craft as a part of the R-series, and some tracks from it were included in a music album released in 1993.

    Super R-Type (1991) 
Among the earliest SNES releases, Super R-Type is an adaptation of R-Type II, though not quite a port. While the core mechanics are almost identical ("almost" being that the Green crystal works different) and three of the stages are directly lifted from R-Type II, the opening stage is entirely new and the remaining levels are liberally inspired by aspects of the first two games but with enough differences to stand on their owns. Among most gamers though, Super is infamous for its absence of mid-level checkpoints and frequent slowdowns.

    R-Type Leo (1992) 
Leo was a great departure from previous games: the Leo has no Force Device, opting instead for two oversized Bit Devices, and no Wave Cannon either; charging instead allows for a state where the Psy Bits become wrecking balls, speeding around the screen attacking targets. If they're not recalled before the charge runs down, the player is punished by having them take longer to recharge. Leo wasn't a popular game, to the extent that it never even received a home port.

The plot centres on a terraformer control system going haywire, and Earth's efforts to eradicate this menace before it can spread further.

Leo forsakes the series' focus on checkpoints and punishing difficulty; the game continues running after losing a life and even after using a continue, and when you lose a life the ship even drops a powerup. However, the Japanese version do keep the checkpoint system of the older R-Types.

    R-Type III: The Third Lightning (1993) 
R-Type III was the first completely original R-Type game not released in arcades; instead, it's a SNES-only game. Irem obviously learned the lessons of their first SNES outing, since it smoothed out the slowdown issues of Super. R-Type III was the first game to introduce an element of choice to the game, with the player asked to select between a Standard Force, Shadow Force or Cyclone Force at the start, and the R-90 able to manually switch between two Wave Cannons at the press of a button. Both are among the most potent weapons in the series; the Mega Wave Cannon's beam goes straight through walls, while the Hyper Wave Cannon allows for a period of firing super-powered normal shots followed by a brief cooldown time. The loop system of Super was kept, and became the standard in all subsequent games.

As usual, the plot is minimal; there's a new Bydo threat from a new master Bydo creature that may be their leader (but isn't), and you're sent to sort it out.

    R-Type Delta (1998) 
Made for the Playstation 1. It fixed several things from earlier games that made the gameplay much more enjoyable: first, Speed-ups were dropped completely, instead, the player can manually adjust the speed of the fighter. Second, it ditched the Hyper Wave Cannon from III and replaced it with the Dose Attack (known in later games as the Delta Weapon), which is pretty much a rechargeable Smart Bomb. Finally, it expanded on the variety offered by the three Forces in III, this time allowing three different ships to use: the R-9 Delta, which is the classic ship players knew and loved, the R-X Albatross, which had weapons that could be spread out or concentrated, depending on the situation, or the badass looking R-13 Cerberus, with powerful weapons and a Force that latched onto enemies. Just for fun, the familiar POW Armor is also unlockable, and it is by no means a Joke Character...

The game is also considerably darker in atmosphere than previous entries, due largely to switching the cartoony sprites to 3-D graphics that, for the first time, truly captured the dark essence of the Bydo. The music also took a turn for the eerie. All this means that a couple of the later stages can turn genuinely scary if you let yourself get drawn in. The level design is highly praised, particularly the second level, which had underwater sections in which the sound effects and music would change accordingly.

While R-Type, R-Type II, and R-Type III are assumed to happen in chronological order, the events of R-Type Delta actually takes place shortly after R-Type; an entire level is dedicated to enemies from the first R-Type game (with many of them sporting considerable damage, implying that these were the same enemies the R9 first fought), and the introduction sequence just before the player is allowed to select their ship of choice clearly reads "A.D. 2164, Asia"; the events of R-Type first start in A.D. 2163, according to official materials.

Again, there isn't much to the story. After the First Bydo Mission (as the events of R-Type were known in-universe) the Bydo launch another attack, managing to infect a Humongous Mecha called the Moritz-G and unleashing it on Earth. Once more, the R-series pilots are called in to defend Earth, and kill the Bydo at their source.

    R-Type Final (2003) 
Final, on the PlayStation 2, was intended to be the big finale to the series (as indicated by its name), and, as such, the developers went all-out in one department: the available ships. Taking the "multiple fighters" idea from Delta and running with it, there are 101 ships to unlock and use in battle, including every ship seen thus far, as well as scouts, Transforming Mecha, Living Ships, and a flying tank, along with several dozen Forces, Wave Cannons, Bits, and Missiles. Before you get too excited, keep in mind that many of these are not unique; most are simply more powerful versions of others, and many had little quirks or gimmicks that made them difficult to use effectively (such as the infamous B-3A series, also known as the "Misty Lady" series, which had weapons that only fired down. It's as annoying as it sounds). The actual gameplay is considered a step down from Delta, with stages that weren't quite as imaginative as Delta's, although the story did branch a couple of times for variety.

While the individual ship descriptions offered a surprising amount of backstory, the in-game plot itself is even more minimal; no dates are given, making tracing the time passed extremely difficult; the English-language manual states that Final takes place 500 years after the first few games, while the Japanese manual states that it's only been 20 years and the entire game is implied to encompass the years in-between all the previous games. Either way, the story starts when a space station gets infected and falls to Earth. The first few missions are spent cleaning up the Bydo that survived the fall before heading out into their dimension (again) and attacking the source of all Bydo (again). This time, however, it is implied that humanity actually found the correct "source" and defeated the Bydo for good. There are Multiple Endings.

    R-Type Tactics (2007) 
A Genre Shift from the rest of the series, Tactics (released as R-Type Command in North America), features turn-based gameplay that still managed to remain fairly true to the series's roots as a shoot 'em up. It is a retelling of one of the Bydo Wars featured in the older games, though which one exactly is not made very clear; some fans prefer to think of it as an Alternate Continuity. It is told not from the perspective of one single fighter pilot, but from the perspective of a fleet commander, featuring the larger war effort hinted at in the earlier games. The player commands a slowly-growing fleet of various R-Type fighters (mostly taken from Final's huge motorpool) and larger warships against similar fleets of Bydo fighters and warships, as it moves from the Sol System, to the Tesseract (a sort of bridge between this dimension and the Bydo's), and finally to the Bydo home system. The game perspective is from the side, rather than top-down, retaining the feel and look of the original games, while many locales seen throughout the series return. Even gigantic versions of classic bosses Dobkeratops and Gomander make appearances. A sequel titled R-Type Tactics 2: Operation Bitter Chocolate was released in October 2009.

    R-Type Tactics II: Operation Bitter Chocolate (2009) 
The sequel to R-Type Tactics, R-Type Tactics II, for the first time in R-Type history, pits humans against humans; however, gameplay is still very much the same, with a few changes from the first to make the game more balanced. The story goes as such; with the Bydo gone for a significant amount of time, the Space Corps is called upon to scrap their Force-based weaponry as those were Bydo-derived weapons (the game's advertising tagged them as the "Devil's weapon", a fitting name). However, the Space Corps ignores the calls, and the pressure builds up until a Mars-based group styling themselves the Granzella Revolution Army dedicated to forcing the Space Corps to abandon their Force weaponry rises and challenges them. The Human campaign allows players to play either as Space Corps or Granzella forces with customizable characters, mugh like the first Tactics; both armies start with different units and focus on vastly different play styles. Interaction with NPCs are possible through the player's actions, which also include such things like treating your Space Corps/Granzella prisoners well, or being generally apathic to their cause and situation. As with the first Tactics, you get to play as the Bydo as well, although this time the story gets considerably darker in tone even by the depressing standards of the first Tactics Bydo Campaign. It was the second game in the series after the PC-Engine version of the first R-Type, that features human characters with faces and personalities.

    R-Type Final 2 (2021) 
After ex-Irem employees formed the new company Granzella, they kickstarted a crowdfunder to produce a follow-up to Final under license from Irem proper; it more than met its goal, and was released on April 30, 2021. It updates the franchise for modern sensibilities, including widescreen display, a variety of difficulties, and the ability to edit the colors and decals of your starships. Included are recreations of past R-Type stages, though only the stretch goals for recreations from III, Delta and Final were met. It was published by NIS America for the Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Steam.
     Other releases 
There were two compilations released. Both contained versions of R-Type and R-Type II, and both were published in 1999 in the US, with earlier and later releases elsewhere.


  • R-Type Dimensions is an Xbox Live Arcade port of R-Type and R-Type II with remade graphics and a few new features; this compilation was rereleased for the Nintendo Switch and Steam on November 28, 2018 as R-Type Dimensions EX. The original arcade versions are also available.


  • The Wii's Virtual Console also had the TurboGrafx-16 release of the original R-Type available beginning from December 25th, 2006, although the game was delisted on March 30th, 2012.
Copying R-Type was quite the thing for a long time, to the point that Irem ended up suing Factor 5 (makers of the Star Wars: Rogue Squadron series) for producing Katakis.


  • Abnormal Ammo: Sperm?note 
  • Advancing Wall of Doom: The scrolling sometimes turns entire stages into the opposite, but R-Type games have also featured various crushers, most notably in the foundry level of R-Type III, where giant metal presses would close from the top and bottom of the screen with only a few safe spots. In later games, also used as part of Timed Boss situations: Subkeratom in Delta features an invisible one that forces you to crash into the boss if you run out of time.
  • All Up to You: Averted, oddly enough — despite being the only fighter you ever see, the backstory and setup makes it very clear that you're part of a much, much larger war effort. Indeed, the other fighters later appear in the original R-Type's ending, as well as in R-Type 2, where the last boss has captured 4 other fighters. They take part in the ending, which depending on the version of the game, may involve a Heroic Sacrifice but there's always teamwork. In addition, you see more pilots in action in one of the alternate endings to R-Type Final: You become corrupted by the Bydo, and make war on your former allies. The final stage is you fighting off various R-Type ships, your former allies. And the final boss for this route? The one, the only, the original R9-A Arrowhead. Moreover, R-Type Command is a turn-based strategy, with swarms of fighters, utility craft, and battleships on either side.
  • Always Chaotic Evil: The Bydo, thanks to being a completely malevolent race of Eldritch Abominations that seek to spread themselves all over the universe by assimilating absolutely everything, even empty space of all things. The Bydo are beyond reasoning and compassion because they're incapable of anything positive or kind-hearted, having nothing but sheer hatred towards all non-Bydo life. The worst part? Not only are they created by humans as bio-weapons made to fight an unknown enemy, the Bydo are genetically related to humans, driving the point home that Humans Are Bastards.
  • And Man Grew Proud: The Bydo were created as a living weapon system by humanity in the future.
  • And Then John Was a Zombie: The Cerberus ending in Delta, the second ending route in Final, and the human side endings in both Tactics/Command games.
  • Artistic License – Physics: Lasers do not work that way! Goodnight!
  • The Assimilator: The Bydo can absorb anyone or anything into themselves, making them akin to a nightmarish plague of intergalactic locusts.
  • Attack Drone: The Force Device was an independent Bydo-based device over which you had limited control, and which actually received most of your power-ups. Bit Devices fall into the same category.
  • Attack Its Weak Point: Bosses are all about finding the Weak Points and learning when they are exposed and when it is safe to attack them.
  • Awesome, but Impractical:
    • Describes about a fifth of the fighters in Final. Giant piledriving spikes might sound good until you realise their range is about one ship length.
    • The fully-charged shot of the Giga Wave Cannon will, if fired from the far left side of the screen, vaporize everything in the field of play...after spending a whole minute (which, in this style of game, will feel like an eternity) charging and leaving you completely vulnerable. (Made even worse by the fact that the 2nd-loops charge is more than enough to deal with most things.)
    • R-101, the Grand Finale, is a fully customizable ship. You choose what Force, Wave Cannon, missiles, and Bits it uses. To get it, you have to complete the game a few times with the R-100, the Curtain Call...which has all the same perks. And to get that, you have to complete the game a few times with the R-99, the Last Dancer...which also has all these same perks. The only thing you're really getting with the R-100 and R-101 are different chassis shapes; R-99 looks like a traditional R-Fighter, R-100 looks a bit more spiky, and R-101 is just..strange.
  • Badass Normal: Compared to all the other Forces that the R-series fighters use, the Shadow Force does not use a Bydo embryo.
  • The Bad Guy Wins: The human campaign in Command, where your fleet gets Bydo-ified at the end. Then you play as the Bydo for the second half of the game.
  • Battleship Raid: You take down a single battleship in the first game, a fleet of them in the second, then the trope takes a break for R-Type III and Leo before it comes back as a Humongous Mecha Raid in Delta, and then comes back with a vengeance in Final.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Leo. It ends with the pair of fighters known as Leo have to destroy a whole terraformed, but corrupted, planet, setting back human colonization efforts. However the Leo project is acknowledged to be a success, and according to R-Type canon, implemented into humanity's fleet of R-series.
    • What the best ending for Final amounts to. Operation Last Dance is successful and the Bydo are wiped out for good. On the other hand, the ship responsible for dealing the killing blow ends up damaged, floating aimlessly amidst the husks of your enemies. While back on Earth, there are hints that humanity, exhausted from years of war against the Bydo may be going back to the old business of killing each other.
  • Boss-Only Level: The third level of the original game is one long battle against a giant alien spacecraft.
  • Boss Rush: III and Delta.
  • Bragging Rights Reward: Last Dancer in Final requires you to have unlocked every other ship in the game with the exception of Curtain Call and Grand Finale.
  • Breakable Weapons: Despite being supposedly unbreakable, the Climax Boss in recent games has tended to destroy your Force Device at some stage of the battle.
  • Bullet Hell: R-Type II can reach a certain level of danmaku in the second loop.
  • Challenge Run: Skill runs generally involve non-use of the Force Device or Wave Cannon, not killing anything but bosses that would kill you and things that directly obstruct your progress, or some combination of the above. The games appear to have anticipated this, since in III, Delta and Final, the game will give you a Force Device for the final stage of the last boss if you don't have one. Delta and Final also keep track of various handicaps you might impose on yourself, like beating the game without Force or Wave Cannon.
  • Charged Attack: One of the most enduring examples, all R-Series warships have a charge-up Wave Cannon.
  • Charge Meter: Rated in 'loops' based on how many times the bar fills and restarts. Most games settled for two loops, while Final wasn't happy and bumped several up to three and four, and had one with seven. The final boss in Final actually breaks your charge meter, making it take 45 seconds to fully charge (it doesn't work at all otherwise), but devastatingly more powerful.
  • Check-Point Starvation: Super R-Type's levels have no checkpoints. Don't die, or you'll be back to the very beginning of the stage!
  • The Computer Is a Cheating Bastard:
    • In the worst ending in Final, the enemy ships, your former allies, piloting ships like yours, all take substantially more damage than you would in their shoes.
    • Same thing with Delta's fake R-Series ships before Stage 6's boss. They're still easy anyway if you blow up the psuedo-Force one carries with a simple two-loop charge shot, so basically The player is a cheating bastard in this case.
    • R-Type II has allies that you can free from the final boss, but they also die in one hit like you, and they don't think to fire charged shots until after beating said boss.
  • Compilation Re-release: Only applies to R-Type and R-Type II. In case of the 1999 release of R-Type DX, the compilation was of the Game Boy versions which still omitted a few stages from the arcade version.
  • Continuing is Painful:
    • Less so than many of its contemporaries, though; the Wave Cannon is designed to mitigate this to an extent by avoiding the Gradius syndrome of going right back to a totally useless starting gun, and it only takes three weapon powerups to be back to a full-strength Force. The main difference is that rather than instantly reappearing, every R-Type but Leo uses a Checkpoint system, restarting the player only at fixed positions in the level. Super R-Type achieving infamous Fake Difficulty by having no in-level checkpoints at all.
    • The games, at least the first two, are made so that memorization is more important than powerups, except in a few spots like the original's stage 7's checkpoint. So if you know how to survive in a situation without powerups, and you eventually will, don't fret if you die in that situation.
  • Continuity Nod: R-Types, a compilation of the first two games, includes a nod to Armed Police Unit Gallop's ship with the gallery's R-11b. The R-11b is nicknamed "Gallop", has the two main weapons of the referenced game's ship, and is considered a police car.
  • The Corruption: The Bydo. They usually just slaughter everything in their path, but if they encounter something strong enough to resist them, their next plan is generally to turn whatever that is into a Bydo itself.
  • Cosmetic Award: Introduced in Delta and reappearing in Final. Have fun getting the ones involving playing for 1000 hours.
  • Cosmic Horror Story: It's never so much as implied that there's a viable way to determine when or where the Bydo will attack, or what they'll do.
  • Create Your Own Villain: For all their horror and Lovecraftian implications, the Bydo nonetheless were engineered by humanity in the distant future as the ultimate WMD. With Final strongly implying that that the Force Device used by the R-Series pilot sent to the future helped make their creation possible.
  • Critical Annoyance: III has some really odd sound effects, but the Hyper cooldown sound definitely falls into this trope.
  • Crosshair Aware: The foundry level of III had this at two parts. In an inversion, you have to stay in the crosshair or else you will get crushed by the compacting walls.
  • Cut-and-Paste Translation: The US manuals for R-Type (Game Boy) and Super R-Type are notoriously "Americanized", with ridiculous enemy names and descriptions.
  • Darker and Edgier: Seriously impressive considering that this series had you fighting the embodiment of evil from the start, but it wasn't until Delta that the graphics were advanced enough to really drive the point home.
  • Deadly Walls: Up until Delta, when brushing a perpendicular surface stopped killing you, even touching a wall was instant death. Very large enemy ships and wall-like Bydo still have the deadly touch, however.
  • Death Is a Slap on the Wrist: Sidestepping the legendary difficulty of the rest of the series by several miles, Leo features instant continues instead of checkpoints, throws powerups around like confetti and actually has you drop one when you die.
  • Diabolus ex Machina: the syndrome of the human sides in both R-Type Tactics/Command games as well as the ending of Cerberus in Delta.
  • Difficult, but Awesome: Handling a detached Force Pod well is not learned easily, but can really turn the tables in your favors in the end.
  • Difficulty by Region:
    • R-Type II was so hard, Irem had to tone it town for the American arcade release. Just to get a taste of how bad R-Type II was, the first two levels once featured enemies that strike from behind, including the kamikaze fish from the second stage. The second stage once made the Ladies, slow-moving enemies that home in on you and are VERY durable in the second loop, spawned a few seconds apart from each other rather than all at once like the American version, which allowed them to strike from behind. The fifth stage's enemies that created often-unbreakable blocks in ther wake, shoot in the Japanese version. All the stages had bosses with somewhat more health and less useful powerups. Even better, the PSX compilation that contained both this game and the original used the Japanese versions, so there's been no legal way of getting the easier version until Dimensions, unless you find one of the few arcades that still contained this game.
    • Leo's Japanese version can't be credit-fed as easily as the American version, since it takes you back to a checkpoint if you die. However, it does have a LOT of checkpoints for each stage, though, and its stages are barely even longer than the original games, which either provided NO checkpoints or just one.
  • Dolled-Up Installment: Leo.
  • Downer Ending:
    • In R-Type Delta if you play as the Cerberus you don't escape the Bydo dimension and end up trapped in a Bydo plant.
    • In R-Type Final
      • there's only one way to beat the game that doesn't result in killing the player character, and it's ''stupidly'' hard. And just in case you thought the series was going to give you a glorious finale in which peace is restored, several ship entries in Final more or less state outright that humanity is preparing to get back to the old business of killing each other again once the Bydo are gone (and R-Type Command II: Operation Bitter Chocolate confirms this).
      • Entries on the two last fighters, Curtain Call and Grand Finale, also hint that Earth pretty much exhausted its natural resources in the Bydo Wars.
    • The human ending in R-Type Tactics shows the Heimdall sunk into the Bydo dimension, while the Bydo ending has your fleet realizing what they've become and getting chased off Earth by the Space Corps.
    • The same thing happens to your human fleet in Tactics II. For those who wish to know what happened in Tactics II, the two human sides that were fighting each other joined forces to stop another Bydo invasion, which has been headed by the admiral of Tactics 1. After defeating the invasion, your human fleet encounters the Amber Eye, the new Bydo Core. After defeating it, the human fleet gets broken down completely into bits and become Bydo. After fighting an unknown civilization, a human fleet, reaching Earth and leaving, the Bydo fleet goes to the sun and encounter what seems to be a Bydo Recycler called the Solar Envoy. The Bydo fleet repels the first atttempt by the Solar Envoy to recycle you into Bydo, them commit suicide by going into the sun.
  • Dynamic Difficulty: The difficulty of the first two games increases when you get a Force, and increases some more every time your Force upgrades.
  • Earth-Shattering Kaboom: It's implied that even in the time the Bydo traveled back to, destroying planets is so routine that most large spacecraft can do it. In fact, it's also implied that the Moritz-G in Delta, a vehicle that fits on a standard highway, could completely depopulate the planet Earth. Subatomic, the rebirthed form of Dobkeratops in R-Type II/Super, is also said to have enough firepower to destroy planets.
  • Easy-Mode Mockery: In Super R-Type, beating the game on Novice difficulty will deny you the normal ending text and the second loop, tell you that this was only training, and kick you back to the title screen.
  • Eldritch Abomination: What the Bydo are in essence.
  • Eldritch Location: The Bydo Dimension.
  • Emergency Weapon: III's Hyper Wave Cannon. Ridiculous power with a long cooldown time in which you couldn't use your Wave Cannon at all.
  • Everything Trying to Kill You: Those Power-Up-carrying enemies are supposed to be on your side.
  • Evil Is Visceral: All of the advanced forms of the Bydo. This includes and is not limited to: weaponized giant sperm, phallic bosses, bosses that look like vaginas, and on and on. Gomander provides one of the page images.
  • Excuse Plot: Every single game, even with the elaborated plots in the later games. For a long time, "Blast off and strike the evil Bydo Empire!" was as much as you got. Operation Bitter Chocolate even made it to the extreme that human infighting occurs for just the very force device accompanying the R fighters...
  • Fallen Hero:
    • The ending for Cerberus in R-Type Delta has it trapped in a plant in the Bydo dimension. In R-Type Final, if you use a certain ship, you will be able to access that dimension and fight it as a boss.
    • This happens to your character in stage 6.1 and F-B in Final as well. You get turned into a Bydo at the end of 6.1, and are forced to fight your fleet in F-B!
    • Stage 7.0 in Final 2 is a massive graveyard of wrecked R-series fighters, and most of the enemies are gelatinous Bydo that puppet the ruined fighters and turn their weapons against you.
  • Featureless Protagonist:
    • Aside from a bonus CD only released in Japan and the pilot's hands being visible at the start of III, we don't even know what any of the R-series warship pilots look like, let alone who they are.
    • Final 2 has the pilots visible during the initial launch and in the player's customization screen, however, they're wearing full-body pilot suits with face-concealing helmets that leave all physical features other than their sex up to the imagination.
  • Fighter-Launching Sequence: Common since II.
    • R-Type III has a Force selection prompt taking place inside the cockpit, then shows the ship's inner reactor and zooms out of it, showing the ship blasting off.
  • Fixed Forward-Facing Weapon: Human space battleships are routinely built around a gargantuan Wave Cannon that can destroy planets. In Command, this makes up the entire bow module on the battlecruiser.
  • Flower Motifs: The Agrimonia seen in a wallpaper or 2 in the gallery in Final represents Irem's thankfulness for being able to keep making the games despite the lack of a profitable market, as stated in the manual.
  • Flunky Boss: The Stage 4 Mini-Boss of III doesn't attack directly- it summons a pair of annoying indestructible turrets to fire at the player instead.
  • Gaiden Game: R-Type Leo.note 
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation: In Final, the descriptions for various ships have descriptions that mention them having enhanced armour, regenerative abilities, greater speed, reduced handling etc. In practice, they're all One hit-point wonders that control identically. Some ship descriptions explicitly say only one of that model was ever built, but you still get the same number of lives and continues as when you fly the mass-produced models.
  • Gone Horribly Right: The Bydo were originally designed by future humanity as the ultimate WMD. They succeeded beyond their wildest dreams.
  • Gorn: Stage 6 of Delta. Tons of blood and pulsating gibs splatter amidst the explosions.
  • Gotta Catch Them All: R-Type Final includes a roster of 101 fightercraft that you can unlock.
  • Grand Finale: This was the purpose of R-Type Final, until the two Tactics games and Final 2 happened.
  • Hand Wave: How most of the ships can fire a Wave-Motion Gun without a visible barrel is handwaved as "complex physics."
  • Harder Than Hard: Pro mode in Super R-Type, which can only be accessed in the second loop after beating the game on Hard.
  • Hitbox Dissonance: The ship of the first two games has a hitbox that is much smaller than the ship itself.
    • The Transforming Mecha in Final have hitbox with same size as other ships, this is clearly visible for TL-2B2 Hyllos which is much taller than other mech.
  • Hive Queen: In every single game you take down something that's supposed to be the source of the Bydo. As you might guess from the name, in Final you find the right one.
  • Hold the Line:
    • The customary method to defeat the final bosses in most of the games is to lodge the Force into the boss's core and hold out until the Force finishes it off.
    • Final inverts this: firing the Force into the boss's core makes it stronger. When you finally figure out that you're supposed to destroy the Force with a charged shot from your Wave Cannon, that makes the boss even stronger while utterly breaking your Wave Cannon. You then have to charge your cannon for a very long time to get enough power to destroy the Bydo once and for all. And it actually makes sense, since the Force devices are made from the Bydo, and you're trying to wipe them all out, you have to destroy your Force as well.
  • Humans Are Bastards:
    • Creating the Bydo, through a combination of evolution, genetic tampering, and black magic/psionics, essentially spawning a part-demon race of virulent germ-warfare agents just to unleash upon other species across the cosmos, wasn't exactly our finest hour.
    • The bastard in this trope's name is heavily magnified by The Bydo themselves, since they're made with human DNA, essentially making them (related to) humans. They're also nothing but condensed evil, as they feel nothing but absolute hatred and malice for all non-Bydo life while being completely incapable of feeling any positive emotion. In essence, The Bydo are humankind stripped of any remaining positive qualities, leaving nothing behind except for the most primal, base, and vile aspects of the human condition, all wrapped into a malevolent virus that seeks to spread itself across wherever it goes.
  • Humans Are Morons: In R-Type Tactics II: Operation Bitter Chocolate, while facing the menacing threat of the Eldritch Abomination Bydo Empire, the humans fight each other over whether to continue to develop the Force Device or not! Again, this is probably an Excuse Plot created by Irem in order to make players experience two types of R-Fighter battles.
  • Idiosyncratic Combo Levels: In a way: each beam charge level in Final is named something different, the order being "Beam", "High", "Strong", "Great", "Special", "Devil", "Bydo" and "Final".
  • Idiosyncratic Difficulty Levels: In Final, Baby, Kids, Human, Bydo, R-Typer.
  • I Have Many Names: Many bosses have multiple names throughout the series, but Dobkeratops, the iconic armless xenomorph thingy, stands at the top. As well as that name, he's gone by Subtom, Subatomic, Zabtom, Subkeratom, Krill, Doppleganger, and Gladiator.
  • Infinity +1 Sword: The R-902 Ragnarok II and R-13B Charon in R-Type Final. Also, the 3 Ultimate Fighters. Last Dancer, Curtain Call, and Grand Finale only vary in looks, and all pack full customizabilty: Any Wave Cannon, any Force, any Bits, any Bombs. Any weapon combination you want. Add in the color customization and you basically have the game saying "Here. Build the most epic R-Type fighter ever.''
  • Lethal Joke Character:
    • Anytime POW Armor units are playable, such as in Delta and Final. They have a strong Wave Cannon with a spread effect, as well as a Needle Force that can spray bullets all over the place for lots of damage.
    • Mr. Heli from Final looks like a fat, cartoony orange helicopter, but has a deadly Recursive Ammo Gemstone Assault for a Wave Cannon, can equip Mr. Heli bits that can fire independently of charge/force placement, and useful Spread Shots for its red/blue Force powerups.
    • Kiwi Berry from Final is absolutely ridiculous looking, essentially being a Military Mashup Machine between a tank and a spaceship. Its Force however is strong, latching onto enemies for continuous damage when fired at them while also having a powerful Blue weapon, and its Wave Cannon is a tank shot that arcs downwards but does a lot more damage than most other Wave Cannons.
  • Lethal Lava Land: Stage 4, the foundry in III. Notorious for being a Death Course.
  • Level in Reverse: A notoriously tricky section of R-Type III on the SNES requires you to fly through a convoluted set of pipes while dodging magma streams, fighting a miniboss, then doing it again backwards.
  • Level 1 Music Represents: "R9, To The Front!", the battle theme from the original R-Type's first stage that is now regarded as the series' theme, upstaged the original game's title theme.
  • Lighter and Softer: Leo, which boasts more colorful graphics and a jazzy soundtrack, and takes the focus of the plot away from the Bydo. Its overseas release is also more forgiving than other games, respawning you in place upon death rather than using checkpoints. However, the Japanese release is a little more difficult, due to sending you back to a checkpoint every time you die. It's still pretty easy compared to some other R-Type games.
  • Living Statue: Final's re-appearance of the entombed Cerberus from the end of Delta.
  • Loads and Loads of Characters: Final has 101 different ships that you can unlock and use!
  • Lost in Translation: The original Japanese manual (and website) of FINAL says that the game takes place 20 years after the first R-Type, but the English manual says it takes place 500 years later—right when the Bydo were supposed to be created, in fact. FINAL's internal clock for both versions, however, displays the date as being a hundred and sixty years ahead of the present year (so in 2004, it would display as 2164).
    • With that said, at least some English-language European copies of the game had a manual that also stated the game took place 20 years on, just as the Japanese manual says.
  • Magitek:
    • Official sources have stated that the Bydo are essentially Biomagitek.
    • In Final, one ship (Platonic Love) has weapons powered by love. Another (Sweet Memories) has it's Wave Cannon powered by nightmares.
  • Meaningful Name:
    • R-type refers to the r/K Selection Theory, and to the "Round-canopy" design of the R-9A Arrowhead. The Bydo can be considered the titular R-type strategist.
    • The wave cannon is so named because it is essentially a particle beam whose particles possess wave/particle duality, similar to light. This is also why the cannon is so harmful to the Bydo: their flesh also has duality, so the cannon can harm them whether they are solid or waves.
    • One of the ships in Final is called Cross The Rubicon: true to its original meaning (performing an action from which there's no return), it's the branching point in the ship tree where all ships below it consist of Bydo matter to some degree.
  • Military Mashup Machine: R-Series warships are atmospheric fighters with SSTO capability that fight just as happily in atmosphere, in space, underwater, or inside huge horrible alien monstrosities. The Force Device's weapons and the Wave Cannon also tend to handle exactly the same regardless of the medium they're firing in, though Flame-based weapons don't work underwater so good. Though they still work in space.
  • Mirror Boss: Sort of. Several games have you fight Bydo-infested R-Series ships, but they tend to be very weak. Then again, considering, that you're a One-Hit Point Wonder, even two hits would be a huge improvement.
  • Meat Moss: On certain Bydo-infected ships, such as the Bydo Unit Alpha and Bydo Unit Gamma, or ships that use bydo cell cultures for Organic Technology. In Command, it grants certain Bydo ships a Healing Factor.
  • Mook Maker: Most of the giant ships have at least one somewhere.
  • Multiple Endings
    • Delta has four.
    • Final has three, each preceeded by their own final stage: In one, you succeed in destroying the Bydo once and for all, but wreck your ship in the process. In another, your ship is turned into a Bydo and you are sent back in time to destroy your former comrades. In the last ending, you fight your way through time, starting in the 22nd century and finishing in the 26th century.
    • Final 2 also has three, depending on what geometric orb you pick in a particular scene late in the game. There is a fourth one, still unimplemented. The endings are respectively: you defeat a giant leech like Bydo and go home, your ship gets turned into a Bydo, or you fight a spherical shielded Bydo in a jelly-like zone and then get absorbed.
  • Names to Run Away from Really Fast: "Annihilation Platform Moritz-G"
  • New Game+: Final only allows access to the second ending after seeing the first, and the third only after seeing the second. One level also changes to one of five possible versions depending on how the boss was attacked in the previous playthrough, and one stage can only be accessed by finishing the previous one with a particular ship.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: That R9 you save in stage 4 of Delta? Returned to base infected by the Bydo. By the time you get back, the whole base has been infected.
  • Nintendo Hard: What it lacks in danmaku, it makes up for with lots of Trial-and-Error Gameplay. You will NOT one-credit most games in the series without rigorous practice.
  • Nitro Boost: Until Delta, the games featured speed-up power ups, which could end up with you going faster than you could reasonably want to. Thereafter, speeding up and slowing down were assigned to buttons and always available.
  • No Final Boss for You: Unlike the other two paths, Stage F-C in Final has no Final Boss at the end, instead making up for having a Marathon Level which gives you a single life and no continues.
  • Nostalgia Level: R-Type does this constantly almost to the point of committing Game Design Incest, with one particular boss appearing in every single game but Leo, and several entire levels built specifically to reference previous ones. Delta's fifth level consists entirely of scarier versions of R-Type I enemies and situations, and Final has a stage set in the same place as the final stage of Delta.
  • Nothing Is Scarier: Apart from the Bydo themselves, just what was future humanity fighting that they resorted to creating the Bydo?
  • Oddball in the Series:
    • Leo, the only game not to use the traditional Force Pod and the only shmup in the series not to use checkpoints (at least in the overseas version).
    • The two Tactics games due to the Genre Shift.
  • One-Hit Point Wonder: Your Force Device is invulnerable, but you aren't.
  • Organic Technology: The Bydo. They can go for full-on planet-sized bioships or capture and possess a mechanical ship wholesale without externally changing it at all. Oh, did we mention that they seem able to do this whenever they feel like it? And then we come to the Bydo-type ships in Final...
  • Pacifist Run: In Delta and Final most bosses will leave or die on their own if ignored for long enough, though some will kill you instead. Pacifist runs involve killing only the latter. In addition, No-Force runs are perfectly possible and the most common type of Skill Run.
  • Phlebotinum Rebel: The Bydo are a type D, originally having been created by humans as an interplanetary attack force. That didn't quite work as planned.
  • Pile Bunker: Mounted on spaceships!
  • Point of No Continues: R-Type Final's stage F-Cnote  takes this trope even further - you only have one life and no continues to beat it. Should you get hit even once at this point, your ship will be destroyed and it will be Game Over for you!
  • Power of Love: The Love Force in R-Type Final runs on this and Frickin' Laser Beams. Or so its design team claims.
  • Power-Upgrading Deformation: The Claw Force upgrade.
  • Purposely Overpowered: Final has a few ships that are made to break the game on purpose:
    • Ragnarok II has a very powerful Cyclone Force and a Giga Wave Cannon with seven charge stages. You generally need level 2-3 to destroy anything including bosses, anything above is just overkill, and level 2 and above causes the attack to penetrate enemies and terrain.
    • Last Dancer, Curtain Call, and Grand Finale can equip any Wave Cannon, Force, Missiles and Bits in the entire game. You can pick and mix the strongest parts of every other ship this way, such as Sexy Dynamite's Sexy Force and Ragnarok II's Giga Wave Cannon. However, one of these is unlocked only after you have unlocked the rest of them, one requires a password code, and the last is unlocked after usage of the previous one for 30 minutes.
  • Real Is Brown: Armed Police Unit Gallop features a colour palette consisting mostly of brown, grey and more brown.
  • Real Song Theme Tune: "Piano Smasher" by the Blue Man Group (or "Proud of You" by Hekiru Shiina for the Japanese version) is used as the ending theme for Final.
  • Recurring Boss: Dobkeratops and, to a lesser extent, Cyst/Gomander and Shell.
  • Recurring Boss Template: A mecha (Scant in the first, Gydocker in II and Super, Gain in Delta and Final) almost always appear as a Sub-Boss in the first level.
  • Red Herring: The gesture you show to the ATC at the beginning of R-Type Final 2 has no bearing to the later events of the game at all.
  • Reflecting Laser: One of the three original laser-type power-ups, and the Trope Namer.
  • Remixed Level: Stage 2 of Final (Twisted Ecology)) is first encountered as a wetland, the level designated as 2.3. You can change the climate on the next playthrough by destroying the red or the blue "stick" that the boss periodically protrudes, with the red one making it hotter/drier and the blue one making it colder/wetter, opening or closing different areas of the level and introducing different enemy types. Stage 2.1 is an arid desert, Stage 2.2 is a swamp, Stage 2.3 is a wetland, Stage 2.4 is a floodland, and 2.5 is an arctic floodland. According to the enemy data, the boss of the area is capable of climate manipulation, which allows it to do this.
  • Rewarding Vandalism:
    • One of the originators of this trope in shoot-'em-ups, R-Type has the POW Armor, a specific enemy which carried powerups, only liberated by destroying it. It's never really established why humanity thinks it's a good idea wasting this many POW Armours, never mind how they end up in some of the places they do (Such as the alternate dimension made up entirely of Tron Lines).
      • Rectified in Tactics and Tactics II, where POW Armours act as aerial refueling craft for the fighter units.
    • Delta and Final meanwhile also makes it possible to score additional points for blowing up sections of the level, like cars or parts of buildings.
  • Reverse Shrapnel: The R-90's Cyclone Force does this whenever it's detached, and the Bits do it too when it's using the Hyper Wave Cannon.
  • Robo Teching: More often than not, your laser powerups produce some physics-mooning effects with simple "lasers." Red powerups fire a pair of red and blue lasers that travel in an interlocking sinewave pattern, blue lasers bounce around the environment, and yellow powerups travel along the ground. Some games feature laser powerups that bend to hit an enemy craft. Certain wave cannon shots also do this. In Command, the Battlecruiser's laser turret fires four beams in a cross pattern that bend 90 degrees' from the emitters.note  It's implied that it has something to do with using Bydo biotech.
  • Rule 34: Which isn't bad going for a series with no named characters. How? There is Moe Anthropomorphism for most of Final's ships. Several are just cute and you might not think is so bad when this trope appiled... then you get to the Bydo series ships, your eyeballs fall out and your brain turns to cottage cheese. See for yourself, if you dare. (Careful, some pics are NSFW, and not all are clearly marked!)
  • Scenery Porn: Taken just a little too literally in the final stage of Final.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Final has Shout Outs to Image Fight, Armed Police Unit Gallop, Mr Heli no Daibouken, Tropical Angel, Undercover Cops, X-Multiply and Disaster Report.
    • The Bydo Database also lists Matt Gables as one of the best pilots for the previously mentioned Gains, him being one of the playable characters in Undercover Cops.
    • There is even a reference to the pirated Chinese rip-off, "Magic Dragon" in the form of the diamond craft.
    • Pre-release blurbs of R-Type Final 2 has the yet-unimplemented "R-9uso800 APRIL FOOLS".
  • Smart Bomb: Oddly, R-Type was late to the party on this, and Smart Bombs didn't appear in the series at all until Delta introduced the Dose Attack / Delta Weapon.
  • Space Zone: While some levels have multi-directional scrolling, R-Series warships can't even turn around.
  • Steel Mill: Stage 4 of III. Massive compactors and a hellish maze of molten metal which you have to go through twice.
  • Tech Tree: Final's unlock system.
  • That's No Moon!: Bydo Lab in Final mention how they once encounter a planet-sized Gomander.
  • There Is No Kill Like Overkill: The Giga Wave Cannon used by "Ragnarok II" in Final. While most ships have a maximum charging of 2 levels, this one goes up to 7!!! Note that a Level 5 shot is enough to destroy most enemies (including bosses) in one hit.
  • Timey-Wimey Ball: Not only are the Bydo are attempting to destroy their own creators in the distant past before they are created in the first place, one of the endings to R-Type Final involves traveling into the future in a ship built including Bydo technology to convince future humanity to not banish the Bydo into where it can get into the past. It's implied this doesn't work.
    • The implications are far worse. The 26th century people use the ship and the pilot to finalize the creation of the very first Bydo. To boot, they ignore the pilot's advice and still banish the Bydo.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Dobkeratops (or whatever his name happens to be) goes from being an early-game boss in the first few installments to a late-game boss in Delta. In Final, he's on life support in Stage 4.0, and you would think that this signifies Badass Decay, but only a badass would have his heart weaponized and use it as a last-ditch weapons system.
  • Tragic Monster: The protagonist basically becomes this in the R-13 ending of Delta, the Stage F-B of Final, and the beginning of the Bydo campaign in Command.
  • Transforming Mecha: The TL series can transform into mecha mode depending on if their Force is attached or detached. This allows them to switch between 2 Wave Cannons, but the transformation has no other benefits and the last 3 ships can use their switchable Wave Cannons just fine without transforming.
  • Trial-and-Error Gameplay: R-Type is known as a "memorizer" series and for good reason. You'll see the death animation many many times as you learn each stage's safe spots.
  • Video Game 3D Leap: R-Type Delta was a presentation upgrade rather than a total upgrade.
  • Video-Game Lives: As is for an arcade-era video game.
  • The Virus: The Bydo, again.
  • Wall Crawl: Traditional ability of Yellow Crystal weapons, before this became 'being completely useless' post Delta.
    • This status was, with some Forces, subverted in Final, with it becoming the best choice for the Anchor Force DX: dual screen-sweepers!
  • Wall Master: An entire level of III is full of them.
  • Wave-Motion Gun: and it fits on a starfighter. And it's mass-produced. Humanity does not mess around when it fields fleets.
    • And then we have Command's Utgarda Loki, a solar-powered Kill Sat powerful enough to vaporize entire starfleets in a single shot.
    • And then we have the Giga Wave Cannon. At full charge, it fires a literal screen clearing blast several times the ship's size and will literally cover the entire screen to the right of the ship.
  • Weaponized Exhaust: A hazard in the games.
  • Weather Manipulation: Final's second boss Negus O Shim is a Bydo organism capable of controlling the climate, which results in the five stage 2 variants being Remixed Levels of one another, from 2.1 being a desert to 2.5 being an arctic underwater climate. You can cause this to happen in the next stage 2 playthrough by destroying either its red prong (which causes the water to boil and the next run to be more arid) or its blue prong (which causes it to start raining and the next run to be colder/wetter).
  • Wetware CPU:
  • Womb Level: The Bydo tend to produce a lot of these.
  • Xenomorph Xerox: The Bydo resemble the Xenomorphs from the Alien franchise.


Video Example(s):


R-Type (Compiler)

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Example of:

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Main / CombiningMecha