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Video Game / R-Type

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The fate of two races depends on you

"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 — 26th Century 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 retconned 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 centers on a terraformer control system going haywire, and Earth's efforts to eradicate this menace before it can spread further. It was originally set during a "period of peace" in between wars with the Bydo, but Final 2 retcons this to having Leo take place in an alternate timeline in which the Bydo never appeared.

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 does 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, much 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.

The plot doesn't revolve around any war with the Bydo; instead, the premise is that the player is tasked with compiling and analyzing war records in order to aid with future anti-Bydo weapon development. Completing this mission awards the player with the ability to change the very title of the mission (and of the game itself).The game's development model follows the PAYDAY 2 style of paid content addition, by adding in content such as newly-made stages to the game via DLC.

    R-Type Final 2.5/R-Type Final 3: Evolved (2022/23) 
In June 2021, Granzella announced that they will be releasing R-Type Final 3 in the future, as a free update to Final 2. The first part of this major update, titled R-Type Final 2.5, was released for PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S on August 10, 2022 in Japan and Nintendo Switch on August 18, 2022, with the Steam version being updated on August 19, 2022 internationally alongside the console versions. It includes two brand new stages (Stage 5.1 and Stage R1.0) for the base game, new ships, customized difficulty, more customization options for ships, the R-Museum, Pilot and War Records, increased album slots and costumes now having a resource multiplier. This will culminate in the R-Type Final 3: Evolved update, which would include online rankings, online play, a Force model viewer, improved visuals, and more features. It was released on March 23rd in Japan and was released April 25th worldwide.

     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.
  • R-Type Tactics I & II Cosmos is a compilation remake of both the Tactics games, with the Operation Bitter Chocolate storyline being officially translated for the first time. It will be released for PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S, Nintendo Switch and Steam.


  • 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.


  • Abandoned Laboratory: A few of these show up in the series, most notably R-Type III Stage 5, R-Type Final Stage 4.0 and Tactics/Command's Bestra Bydo R&D Facility orbiting Uranus. Par for the course, they're not so abandoned after all...
  • Abnormal Ammo: From flames and lightning to plant roots and corrosive rain to even sperm, both Space Corps and the Bydo utilize a staggering variety of unconventional weapons.
  • Absent Aliens: Despite initial appearances, the Bydo being future human superweapons puts this trope in play. Tactics downplays it as Jade Ross mentions that alien ruins were discovered on other planets. It takes Operation Bitter Chocolate to finally introduce living extra-terrestrials via the Other Civilization in the Bydo Campaign, though their ships still vaguely resemble those used by Earth. There's also the matter of the Kikai Super Machine Civilization in R-Type Final 2, whose technology is used to build the APRIL FOOLS line of R-Craft. Although it's up for debate if the latter should be treated seriously or just seen as a funny reference to the PS Home minigame.
  • Abusive Offspring: Bydo towards humanity. It's complicated.
  • Abusive Precursors: Inverted. For most of the series, humanity is dealing with a race of superweapons created by their descendants.
  • Ace Pilot: All the player characters in the mainline games.
    • Then there's Amanda Heath/Orange Eyes from Final 2, who managed to turn an AWACS into a force of unstoppable destruction. Emma Crawford of the Granzella Rebellion also downed 74 enemy craft with her Eclipse before becoming an officer.
  • Achievements in Ignorance: Downplayed. While 22nd century mankind doesn’t quite understand how the Bydo were created or what makes them tick, they know enough to reverse-engineer Bydo tech, directly incorporate Bydo material into the ships themselves, and even create Force Devices (the Shadow Force and OF Force lines) that use no Bydo material at all.
  • Action Bomb: The only way for Decoys to attack in Tactics (unless they're generated by ships of the R-9AD line, in which case they can also use Wave Cannons).
  • Adaptation Expansion: From Delta onwards, more attention is placed on the setting's lore beyond simply being an Excuse Plot. This becomes especially evident in the R-Type Tactics games, which include a more conventional plot and snippets of worldbuilding liberally dropped in the mission logs.
  • 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.
    • Stage Z2.0 from Final 2, based on the Seabed Ruins level from In the Hunt, has Defender-Majestic constantly trying to either catch up with you or strike you with its climbing arms. Unlike the original stage, however, you have no control over the upward scrolling, forcing you to be even more careful with obstacles or else wind up crushed.
  • A.I. Is a Crapshoot: In place of the Bydo, the main antagonist in Leo is "Major", a rogue AI biocomputer originally designed for space colonization, with its core's pulsating organic components disguised by metallic plating. Final 2, meanwhile, suggests that other renegade AI were among the various enemies fought by the Space Corps.
  • All There in the Manual: Much of the series' lore is found in the manuals, and by Final 2, in-game logs and exposition.
  • 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.
  • All Your Powers Combined: The boss of Stage Z7.1 in Final 2 on lower difficulties is an R-99 "Last Dancer" fighter, which repeatedly swaps out different Force Devices and Wave Cannons as it fights you. (On higher difficulties, the player is faced with the original R-9 instead.)
  • Alternate Universe: Leo is set in a parallel timeline where the Bydo were never created, with the R-series ships instead being made to take on rogue supercomputers and other threats. Final 2, however, suggests that the Bydo eventually attacked that too, if the Homage Stages suggest anything.
  • 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 biomechanical superweapons made to fight an unknown enemy, the Bydo are genetically related to humans, driving the point home that Humans Are Bastards.
  • And I Must Scream:
    • Anyone corrupted by the Bydo who manages to retain their personality and consciousness is forced to fight their former comrades and being unable to do anything about it, especially upon realizing just what they've become.
    • The Bydo themselves are utterly aware that for all their power and capabilities, they are still unable to fully escape their original "programming" as the ultimate WMD, or to create in the same way as humanity. This only serves to further breed resentment against their makers.
    • The R-Type Tactics duology's Bydo Campaigns play with this. The Admiral, while initially coming across as half-awake, is convinced they are still human and are just trying to get back to Earth for one reason or another. Similarly to the Bydo endings from Final and Final 2, this suggests that even while fighting against their former comrades, they're unaware of their true nature rather than being forced to fight against their own will. When they do catch on to what they've become, however, they either flee to the void or destroy themselves while they're still conscious enough.
  • And Man Grew Proud: The Bydo were created as a living weapon system by humanity in the future. Although judging by the fact they survived to banish the Bydo, their civilization wasn't wiped out... unless whatever they were going to use the Bydo against came along and finished the job.
  • And Then John Was a Zombie: Happens quite a lot across the series.
    • The trend began in Delta, where R-13 Cerberus' ending is to get imprisoned in the Bydo Dimension and corrupted into one of them, eventually becoming an Optional Boss in Final.
    • Delta also adds a retroactive example for the very first game, as the manual names the R-9A fighter rescued at the end of stage 4 and then fought in stage 6 as the original Arrowhead who went through the First Bydo Mission.
    • The 6.1/F-B route in Final sees the player transformed into a B-1D Bydo System Alpha (or a B-3B Metallic Dawn if you're already playing as one) and sent through a retread of the very first level to fight against fellow Space Corps fighters.
    • Human campaigns in Tactics and Tactics II both end with the player's fleet becoming converted into more Bydo after seemingly destroying the Bydo Core, thus setting up the two games' respective Bydo campaigns.
    • Final 2 has a similar situation to Final with its 6.1/7.1 route.
  • Anti-Frustration Features:
    • Starting with Delta, you no longer need to collect speed items to upgrade your ship's speed; you simply press a button. You can also reduce your ship's speed by pressing a different button, whereas prior games make speed upgrades persist until you die.
    • Delta makes walls no longer lethal on contact, unless you get scrolled into the edges of the screen.
    • The "training" mode in Final 2 gives you the ability to slow down the action at will. This can be very useful in dodging obstacles and enemy fire, preparing you for doing the same thing for "real" in higher difficulty settings.
    • Final 2.5 introduced special tickets which can be used to increase charging speed of the Wave Cannon or avoid losing power-ups when killed.
  • Anti-Grinding: Final 2 introduces a Score Multiplier that increases based on the chosen difficulty level and the game rank, which itself increases dramatically with survival time within the current stage and how many upgrades the player has equipped, and which resets if the player is killed. As defeating the boss awards a lot of base points, this multiplier exists to squash the strategy of intentionally dying in order to abuse checkpoints to get the most out of their run (as the games do not loop endlessly unlike many of the first two games' contemporaries).
    • Averted with the Tactics games. Want that new ship you unlocked? Go play that one mission with all the [insert resource]. Rinse and repeat.
  • Artistic License – Physics: Some of the weapon systems used by the EAAF/Space Corps defy conventional physics, such as Homing Lasers that can bend 90 degrees towards enemies. This is handwaved as due to either "complex physics" or being reverse-engineered Bydo tech.
  • Artistic License – Space: No Tactics II, Ice Giants are not in fact frozen worlds with thick atmosphere. They do not have surfaces at all in fact.
  • Arrange Mode: R-Type Dimensions introduces Infinite Mode for the first two games, which swaps out the traditional checkpoint system in favor of infinite lives and instant respawn and allows two simultaneous players.
  • 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 that's unlocked by completing the game a few times with the R-99, Last Dancer...which also has all these same perks. 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, as does the R-99.
    • The designs of the "Ultimate Fighters" themselves count, with the exception of the R-99, which looks like a traditional R-Fighter. In contrast, the R-100 looks a bit more spiky, while the R-101 is just...strange. These are justified, however, in that these are meant to be technological showcases for
    • The Balmung missile in R-Type Command and Final 2, which is initially available only to the R-9B Strider and its successors. It's described as the most powerful warhead available, being able to severely damage, if not wipe out, whole swathes of enemies in a wide radius. Its devastating glow, however, can also all too easily mask obstacles and enemy fire, which can make dodging them in tight spaces much harder.
  • Badass Normal:
    • Compared to all the other Forces that the R-series fighters use, neither the Shadow Force nor the OF Force line use a Bydo embryo. It doesn't stop them from being every bit as durable and destructive as their Bydo-based counterparts.
    • The titular ship in Leo was originally designed to be used with no Force Device at all, but is still strong and maneuverable enough to hold its own. Even after getting a tailored Force in the Final titles, both it and its successor's strength lies more on its non-Bydo Bits than anything else.
    • In Armed Police Unit Gallop, the player character is just a cop using a R-series pursuit ship against "mad cars". Given that said mad cars are Bydo and that they're taken out without any Force Device whatsoever, it's nothing to scoff at.
    • It's entirely possible, albeit difficult, to finish a game without ever using a Force Device until the very end. Moreover, given how it's shown throughout the series that not every R-series ship goes into combat with it, it's not out of the question that some pilots have canonically pulled this off and survived.
  • 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 and Final 2.
    • In Final 2, not only do you potentially do this against your former comrades as a Bydo-ified ship, but a number of DLC levels also feature assaults on other human fortresses and warships.
  • Bio Punk: The Bydo in general has it in spades. In addition to organic weapons comprised of heavily mutated monstrosities, they deploy both mechanized units and those that combine organic and mechanical components into unsettling forms. This likewise extends to the Force used by R-series ships, as (with the exception of the Shadow Force and OF Force lines) they’re weaponized Bydo embryos. Not to mention how some of the later R-series ships directly incorporate Bydo tissue as part of the craft.
  • Bittersweet Ending:
    • Leo. It ends with the pair of fighters known as Leo having 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.
    • The 7.2 ending for Final 2 drives this home further. The Bydo are finally eliminated for good this time, but the ship that made this possible is missing in action. Meanwhile, even before the war's end, there are several hints pointing to humanity finding other uses, mostly military for the R-series for more conventional warfare.
  • Black-and-Grey Morality: The Space Corps, especially by Final and Final 2, is shown as not above resorting to drastic and increasingly dubious measures to achieve victory. On the other hand, its sworn enemy is the Bydo Empire, which is practically run on pure malice and won't stop until humanity is wiped out.
  • Book Ends:
    • The final scene of the very final credits for Tactics II is the same as the first scene of the opening. Given the nature of the series, this could also possibly count as a Stable Time Loop.
    • Certain paths in Final and Final 2 have the final level be a retread of the very first one, only with you being the Bydofied ship seen previously.
  • Boss-Only Level: The third level of the original game is one long battle against a giant alien spacecraft.
  • Boss Rush: III and Delta.
  • Bowdlerise: In Final 2, the Stage Y1.0 boss's penis-like appendage is modified to look furry in the North American PS4 and Western Xbox One versions of the game.
  • Bragging Rights Reward: R-100 Curtain Call and R-101 Grand Finale in Final and Final 2 both require the player to have every other playable ship in the game order to be unlocked. This includes the R-99 Last Dancer, which is already capable of equipping any possible weapon.
  • 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.
  • Canon Welding: R-Type Final and R-Type Final 2 either directly state or imply that several other Irem titles are part of the R-Type universe, such as In the Hunt, Image Fight, and possibly even Mr. Heli's Great Adventure.
  • Capcom Sequel Stagnation: Final 3 Evolved to Final 2. While it is indeed the same game, it includes a set of all-new levels exclusive for the PlayStation 5.
  • Cast from Lifespan: In-Universe: the R-9W series of craft have extremely powerful Wave Cannons that can be guided via nanomachines... but also place such severe strain on the pilot that pilots have been known to have to be hospitalized for weeks just from piloting the craft once. This is largely because the weapons systems utilize the pilot's own Life Energy as supplementary fuel. The ships are hated in-universe by pilots, but the military higher-ups keep using them due to their extreme destructive potential.
  • Cerebus Retcon: Some Final 2 DLC levels take a darker interpretation of the Irem titles being incorporated into the same continuity as R-Type.
    • The Image Fight-inspired stages, as well as the enemies that show up in Stage F-C of Final, suggest that the "Boondoggle Galaxy" aliens are another manifestation of the Bydo.
    • Stage Z1.0, based on Mr. Heli's Great Adventure, reimagines the otherwise upbeat backdrop as a space colony overrun by a rogue AI.
    • The alternate universe of Leo is retconned to have also fallen prey to the Bydo due to interdimensional hijinks.
  • 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.
  • Character Customization: Final 2 lets you change the pilot's name, as well as outfit them in various suits. Ships can be customized too with a variety of colors and decals.
  • 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.
  • Checkpoint Starvation: Super R-Type's levels have no checkpoints. Don't die, or you'll be back to the very beginning of the stage!
  • Civil War: The conflict between the status quo and Bydo weapon supporting EAAF vs the anti-Bydotech rebel government GZRA is this. This later morphs into a coalition of the two vs the extremist SLL, although this gets cut short by the return of the Bydo.
    • This note (in Japanese, so requires translation) on the R-9A Arrowhead makes a brief mention to the Solar System being at war with itself just as the Bydo first showed up.
  • Colour Coded Armies: The "indicator" type is used in the Tactics games. At first, it seems that blue/cyan=you and red=enemy. Then you get to play as the Bydo in the second half and its flipped, with YOU being outlined in red and the EAAF are outlined in blue.
    • Tactics II plays with this. Starting from the second chapter it has you swapping between having a blue outline or a red one. After a while, you'll discover that colour does not represent a friend/enemy divide or what faction you are, but actually who goes first (Think of it like a game of chess where blue is equivalent to white and red matches black).
    • One optional mission near the end of Chapter 2 and a Co-op multiplayer mode (2 players vs an AI opponent) has a 3rd faction represented by a green outline. They go last and in both cases they're the enemy.
  • Colour-Coded for Your Convenience: In terms of factions, the EAAF are blue/cyan, GZRA are green and the SLL and Bydo Empire are red (although the latter might also be orange or magenta). Yellow might possibly go to the Other Civilization due to their hull colours. White is neutral.
  • The Computer Is a Cheating Bastard:
    • As a general rule of thumb, any time you face enemy R-Craft, you can expect them to avert One-Hit-Point Wonder and tank several shots before exploding... while you still play that trope straight.
    • The boss fight against the R-99 Last Dancer on Final 2 stage Z7.1 has it swap between several different Force Devices and Wave Cannons. Though the ship is capable of using variable loadouts, that's something the player can't do when piloting it.
  • Compilation Rerelease: The first two games had several of them: R-Types for the PlayStation, R-Type DX for the Game Boy, and R-Type Dimensions for the PC and eighth-generation home consoles. The latter also doubles as a Video Game Remake for both included games.
  • 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 fifth stage in Delta has the player's ship in a nightmarish landscape fending off decayed versions of enemies and bosses from earlier R-Type titles.
    • In Final, one level takes place in the same otherworldly forest as the end of Delta and has you fight the entombed R-13 Cerberus.
    • The Bydo path in Final 2 has the main Space Corps fleet on Earth orbit, showcasing the capital ships and vessels last seen in the Command games in their full glory. And as the Bydo ship, you're going up against it.
    • Some of the Bydo enemies encountered in the Homage Stage DLC levels of Final 2 are directly lifted from the titles they're based on rather than being updated to match the versions seen in the rest of the game. One example is the "Cancer Model 89" in Stage Z4.0, which also references when R-Type 2 came out.
    • Stage Z5.0 in Final 2 manages to be an homage to both the "Frontline Base" level from the original R-Type and "Anti-Space" from Final in its wireframe backdrop.
  • 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. And that's not even getting to the Bydo themselves, which are effectively Lovecraftian WMDs that can not only destroy anything in their path, but can possess whatever they want if they feel like it.
  • Crapsack World: Glimpses of just how messed up Earth's become abound in both gameplay and lore.
    • Armed Police Unit Gallop suggests that Bydo-corrupted "mad cars" have become so much of a problem that the police consider using heavily-armed derivatives of the R-series as pursuit vehicles acceptable.
    • The very first level of Delta involves going through a devastated city in Asia to track down Annihilation Platform Moritz-G, which could fit on a standard highway yet is powerful enough to completely depopulate the planet Earth. Similarly, one stage in Final has you take on a flying battleship while in the middle of another city, with pieces of the vessel visibly falling down onto the streets. It’s hinted at that such incidents are commonplace.
    • The Final and Tactics/Command titles strongly suggest that humanity didn't really stop fighting one another even amidst the existential threat of the Bydo, with the Space Corps implied to be simultaneously taking on various human and AI enemies, such as the Dark Anarchy Society.
  • 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.
  • Creative Sterility: Downplayed with the Bydo. They're as capable of manufacturing new war machines and breeding fresh monstrosities as they are of corrupting/possessing whatever humans have. On the other hand, their very nature makes them utterly incapable of creating, let along conceiving, something new that isn't designed with destruction or malice in mind. This would explain both the series' Recurring Boss tendencies, and the Bydo's resentment towards humanity for making them that way.
  • 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.
  • 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 by Genre Savviness: Veteran players should beware when playing stages of old games remade for Final 2. While they are, for the most part, faithful recreations (to the extent that the engine can replicate the older games), there are some parts that are different, clearly to trip up veterans. For instance, an attack by a second Moritz-G in Stage X3.0, or Final's version of Dobkeratops being replaced by the more dangerous Subatom Nonosis in Stage Y5.0.
  • 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.
    • The Dimensions versions of the first two games have Infinite mode, in which you have unlimited lives, your lives counter is replaced with a death counter, and you simply keep going every time you're killed.
    • Among the customizable difficulty options in Final 2.5 is the ability to retain powerups and Force strength after respawning, though at the expense of penalties to your score multiplier.
  • Demonic Possession: After a fashion. The Bydo are also capable of possessing human ships and weapon systems to bolster their ranks or suit their needs, sometimes without so much as any obvious changes. As seen in the Final and Tactics games, this likewise extends to anyone unlucky enough to be on board, often with them not even realizing it.
  • Determinator: No matter what anyone throws their way, the Bydo never stop in their single-minded journey to reach Earth. Admiral Ross comments on their resolve in the after mission log of Mission 24:
    "No matter how many times Earth fends off the Bydo threat, it seems their forces never give up. They only reform to strike again and again... To call them persistent would be an understatement."
  • 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.
  • Didn't Think This Through: 26th century mankind never expected the Bydo, designed to be the ultimate WMD with an ingrained hatred for non-Bydo life, to actually turn on them. Their banishing it to another dimension also counts. It never seemed to have occurred to them that the Bydo would not only continue evolving, and become even more dangerous in the process, but would also find a way back to repay in kind.
  • Difficult, but Awesome:
    • Handling a detached Force Pod well is not learned easily, but can really turn the tables in your favor in the end.
    • The OF Bits and certain OF Force weapons in Final and Final 2 fire in different directions based on the movement of the craft. This allows for unparalleled control over your direction of fire... provided you have masterful control over your ship's movement. Lampshaded by Final 2's R-Manual, which states that successful pilots of the OF series of ships were considered among the most highly skilled.
    • The Pile Bunker weapons used by the R-9DP series of ships in place of wave cannons require you to be practically within melee range of enemies for these to be effective at all. If you pull it off, however, these can prove to be incredibly devastating, potentially wiping out bosses with one or two strikes at maximum power.
    • In the Final games, the most advanced, end-tier wave cannons are capable of clearing out even the most lethal bosses with one shot at max power, but require considerable time to charge up. If you're able to dodge enemy attacks for long enough, however, the payoff can be very satisfying.
  • 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.
  • Documentary Episode: Final 2's plot is framed as an in-universe attempt by the Space Corps to chronicle the long-standing war and document newly recovered data, ostensibly for further research on anti-Bydo weapon systems. It's also revealed through said datafiles, however, how the Bydo are finally defeated, once and for all.
  • Dolled-Up Installment: R-Type Leo was initially conceived as an original game developed by Irem's parent company Nanaonote  before Irem retooled it into an R-Type game. This could explain Leo's drastic departure in game mechanics from the rest of the R-Type series, such as no Force device, no Wave Cannon, and no checkpoint revival upon death.
  • 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 might suggest that humanity could go back to the old business of killing each other again once the Bydo are gone. R-Type Command II: Operation Bitter Chocolate not only confirms this, but reveals that humanity didn't even have to wait until after the war was decisively concluded to do so.
      • Stage F-B has you taking on your former comrades as a Bydo ship, while the ending implies that you're eventually shot down.
    • 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 encounters the Solar Envoy, which recycles fallen units to create more Bydo and is implied to be the 26th Century starbase from which the Bydo emerged in the first place. The Bydo fleet repels the Solar Envoy's attempts to do the same to it, then commits suicide by going into the sun.
    • Stage 7.1 in Final 2 similarly has you fighting not only your former comrades as a Bydo ship, but also taking out an entire fleet in Earth orbit. While this humiliates the Space Corps to the point of covering up the incident as due to reactor failure, it's implied that you escape into the void.
  • The Dreaded: In-Universe.
    • The R-9WZ Disaster Report is described as such. Reportedly, its weapon systems were incredibly destructive... so destructive that anyone who witnessed it in action, as well as 100% of all pilots who ever test flew one, refused to ever set foot near the fighter again. As such, it was never used in actual combat.
    • The ships under the R-13 line are similarly seen as such. They soon gain a reputation for being potent weapons, but after the Cerberus is lost in action to the Bydo, all subsequent developments are made highly classified. This only serves to reinforce their notoriety, however, with the R13-B Charon being so potent that access is known only to a select few.
  • Dynamic Difficulty:
    • The difficulty of the first two games increases when you get a Force, and increases some more every time your Force upgrades.
    • In Final 2, the difficulty increases when you collect upgrades and when you fill your Dose meter to 100% (although it also decreases if you fire your Dose weapon), and also slowly increases as you survive longer within a stage. The Score Multiplier also increases in accordance with the current difficulty value.
  • Earth-Shattering Kaboom: It's 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, which is. Although 22nd century humanity is suggested as fielding weapons capable of blowing up planets, we never get to see it in action.
  • Easier Than Easy: Practice difficulty in Final 2, below the Kids and Normal difficulties. It always spawns you with a level 1 Force pod to make recovery a little easier. Note that this does not make the game effortless to beat, as it doesn't eliminate many of the unique hazards that make some stages and bosses very difficult.
  • Easy Logistics: Played With. The R-series ships throughout the main games are capable of seeing action for very extended periods of time before ever having to refuel or restock, though the constant presence of POW Armor units seem to help mitigate the need for such. The Tactics titles, which show the wider war effort, further emphasize the logistical aspect.
  • 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.
    • Delta treats the first four levels as only training, with the rest of the game only accessible from Normal onwards.
    • Final and Final 2 name the difficulty immediately below Normal as "Kids".
    • Final 2 has a multiplier that gives you a certain amount of money and resources depending on which difficulty you're playing. Playing on "Practice" or "Kids" reduces your reward at the end of the stage while the multiplier is doubled on "Normal" and above.
    • Also in Final 2, completing a campaign with DLC stage Z7.0 as the final stage is followed with an ending where the player's fighter of choice is slowly drifting through space until a rescue ship shows up to retrieve it. If the stage was completed on Practice or Kids, the fighter will unexpectedly explode before it can be picked up, mirroring the second loop ending of Image Fight.
    • Final 2.5 adds options for keeping your power-ups permanently in a run after death (just like the "Baby" and "Kids" difficulty in the first Final) and a fast charge for the Wave Cannon. However, activating both options will greatly reduce the multiplier.
  • Eldritch Abomination: What the Bydo are in essence. While most of them are biomechanical constructs or horribly mutated living creatures, a common trait of all Bydo is that their flesh is in a constant state of flux between solid mass and energy, and the most advanced ones start to get otherworldly. The Bydo Cores seen in Delta and up, in particular, take on bizarre forms (frequently resembling an ovum) in nonsensical, illusionary locations, and often can't be harmed by standard weapons. The Ebony Eye/Obsidian Pupil encountered in Tactics and Final 2's third path is described not as a living creature but a "Thought Singularity".
  • Eldritch Location: The Bydo Dimension. It looks different in every game, often full of strange illusions, massive factories that are fusions of mechanical and living components, or vast areas made of crystal or liquid metal... stuff.
  • 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.
  • Everyone Has Standards: In Tactics II, the Space Corps' persistent use of Force Devices and other Bydo-based tech even after the war against the Bydo was seemingly over was one of the factors which led to the Granzella Revolutionary Army rising up to stop them. And then the Bydotech-loving Solar Liberation League comes along and both factions team up to fight them.
  • Everything Trying to Kill You: The POW Armors are supposed to be on your side, supplying you with much-needed power-ups, but you'll still die if you run into them. From Delta onwards, however, this is downplayed slightly by virtue of most surfaces no longer capable of killing you upon colliding with them.
  • Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: The Bydo, in spades, as they were originally engineered that way. They’re so devoid of anything other than malice, embodying the primal, base, and vile aspects of the human condition, that they're incapable of having any positive emotions or sentiment at all.
  • Evil Gloating:
    • As early as the PC-Engine version of the original R-Type, it's shown that the Bydo are capable of communicating normally with humanity, but only to either gloat about their imminent defeat or to express their contempt towards mankind for making them.
    • In Delta, much of the final stage, set in the Bydo Dimension, is one gigantic mockery of human civilization and its accomplishments.
  • 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.
  • Excuse Plot:
    • Every single game, though this is gradually downplayed 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. Even then, you still have to turn to supplementary material to get a grasp on the story.
    • Averted in the Tactics games, which come with hefty amounts of story thanks to the captain's logs present before and after every mission.
    • Final 2 zig-zags in being an Excuse Plot. Rather than taking place during any particular period of the war against the Bydo, the war is all but stated to have already ended. Instead, it's essentially a Documentary Episode, as previous battle logs and simulations are accessed to aid in the development of future anti-Bydo weapons and provide a chronicle of how it actually ened.
  • The Faceless: The player pilot in Final 2 can be cosmetically customized, but they will always have their face hidden with a helmet.
  • 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.
    • This might also apply to the EAAF/Space Corps. As the series progresses, they become increasingly authoritarian and unethical in their attempts to fight against the Bydo.
  • Fate Worse than Death: As if simply dying from a Bydo attack was bad enough, being captured and corrupted by the Bydo and used against your former comrades is much worse. And if you're lucky, you may even retain your consciousness but never realize what you've become until it's too late. This is notably the fate of the R-13 Cerberus in Delta, the R-series pilots in the bad endings of Final and Final 2 and the human fleet in the R-Type Command games.
  • 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.
    • Whenever the Admiral you play as in Tactics II is depicted in portraits, they're always shown with no distinct features and their eyes are covered in shadow by an officer cap.
  • The Federation: The [[Earth Allied Armed Forces, also known as the Space Corps, serves as the main "protagonist" faction of the series, leading humanity's war against the Bydo.
  • 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.
    • The optional intro sequence in Final 2 shows your ship as it undergoes its final checks and launches out into the fray.
  • 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.
  • Flawed Prototype:
    • Some of the ships in Final and Final 2 are either this, or a Super Prototype. This is more often than not due to having cool but impractical gimmicks, using experimental Bydo-type enhancements that prove too risky and unfeasible for mass production, or having features that aren't quite complete, and only really useful in subsequent models.
    • It's rumored in supplementary materials that the earliest R9-A, RX-10, and R13-A ships to roll off the assembly line couldn't be piloted conventionally due to their maneuvering capability. Instead, they had human brains removed from their bodies and wired directly into the fighter's controls, with the expectation that none of these fighters would return alive. Whatever the truth behind said rumors are, the production models seen in Final and Final 2 are capable of being used by any human pilot.
    • The Tactics/Command games introduce the Rwf-99 Waltz, a mass-production prototype of what became the Ultimate Fighter series which, though resilient, proved too inefficient at its intended goal of handling variable and powerful weapon systems. The flaws would eventually be ironed out, with the end result being the R-99 Last Dancer.
  • 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.
  • Foregone Conclusion: Throughout the series, it's been consistently established that humanity will not only triumph over the Bydo, but in due time will create them as the ultimate WMD. This is further emphasized in Final 2 which reveals how the Bydo are defeated, once and for all.
  • Forever War: Between the first game and Final, the war against the Bydo had been going on for 20 years at minimum. Given how said conflict also takes place across time and space, complete with battles in dimensions where the laws of reality fall apart, it's implied that it's being going on for much longer.
  • Gaiden Game:
    • R-Type Leo, which features an antagonist that isn't the Bydo (though Final 2 may have reconned that part), and has no Force device, the defining feature of the R-Type games.note 
    • Armed Police Unit Gallop, which canonically takes place around the same time as Delta, shifts the focus away from the main conflict, and follows an urban pursuit variant of the R-series being used to fight Bydo-infested "mad cars". The game also notably puts more emphasis on controlling speed as a mechanic, which would eventually be incorporated in one form or another in later mainline entries.
  • Game-Breaking Bug: Version 1.0.8 of Final 2 on PS4 softlocks if you use the "Replace" function in the Hangar menu (which lets you swap one ship's position with that of another ship in the list). You are prompted to choose the second ship but the game will not respond to any non-directional input, trapping you in the menu and forcing a reset of the game.
  • 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.
    • Some story material in Final 2 suggests that Force Devices aren't truly invulnerable and will eventually break down given sufficient time and/or enemy fire. In gameplay this will never happen, no matter what kind of Force device you're using.
    • Amended in the Tactics games, where Forces have very high health, but otherwise are every bit as destroyable as any other unit.
    • Zig-zagged in Final 2 when it comes to the playable ships. While they're still One Hit Point Wonders with largely identical controls, fighting them in certain levels reveals that they do have varying degrees of armor and speed as described in their respective descriptions.
  • Gelatinous Encasement: According to in-game descriptions, this is how the B-3C Sexy Dynamite ship links with the pilot for control.
  • The Ghost:
    • In-universe, it's implied that after the Cerberus was lost to the Bydo, all subsequent developments in the R-13 series are heavily classified, with the powerful R-13B Charon being known only to a select few.
    • More than a few Bydo-derived ships are seen as either so powerful, dangerous to use, or otherwise too beyond the pale for mass-production that their very existence is kept under wraps.
  • Giant Space Flea from Nowhere: Played With. The Solar Envoy from Tactics 2, at first glance appears to be the first enemy in the entire franchise to be from a distinct alien species, having no prior intel in humanity's database. It's also speculated, however, to be the future space fortress where the Bydo originated from.
  • Go Back to the Source:
    • In Stage F-C of Final, you find a way into the future and take out the original Bydo before it could become a threat.
    • It's possible that the Solar Envoy, a massive black starbase encountered in Tactics II is the 26th century human facility that created the Bydo in the first place.
  • Godzilla Threshold:
    • The experimental R-12 Cross the Rubicon and its successor models attempt to incorporate Bydo tissue and technology directly into the ships' design in some form. These hint at how the war is escalating to the point that humanity considers resorting to such measures as necessary, with some designs more extreme or desperate than others.
    • Further underscored by the Deserted Lab level in Final and Final 2, built by humanity to research Bydo technology and using it against them. From the various "experiments" running amok in the facility, it's made clear just how far mankind is willing to go to win the war.
    • Whatever 26th century humanity was fighting that prompted the creation of the Bydo in the first place. Then again, mankind by that point likely didn't have much left in the way of moral standards to begin with.
    • That the Space Corps kept rationalizing such thresholds by their continued use of Force Devices and other Bydo-based tech is one of the main reasons why the Granzella Revolutionary Army decided to fight back in Tactics II.
  • Gone Horribly Right: The Bydo were originally designed by future humanity as the ultimate WMD. They succeeded beyond their wildest dreams.
  • The Good, the Bad, and the Evil: The three factions of humanity that show up in Operation Bitter Chocolate fit this dynamic well:
  • Gorn: Organic Bydo have a tendency to blow up messily. Stage 6 of Delta, however, takes the cake, with tons of blood and pulsating gibs splattering amidst said explosions.
  • Gotta Catch Them All: R-Type Final includes a roster of 101 fighter craft that you can unlock. Final 2 not only brings all of them back, but also adds a few new ones.
  • Grand Finale:
    • This was the purpose of R-Type Final, until the two Tactics games and Final 2 happened.
    • In-universe, the Ultimate Fighters series (the R-99 Last Dancer, R-100 Curtain Call, and aptly named R-101 Grand Finale) are intended to be the last R-series ships to ever be developed, and are thus the most versatile and powerful of them all.
  • Guest Fighter:
    • The titular vehicle from Mr. Heli and the OF-1 Daedalus and OF-3 Garuda from the Image Fight duology appear as playable ships in both Final games, the latter also showing up in the Tactics games.
    • The Granvia submarine from In the Hunt is a DLC unit in Operation Bitter Chocolate and Final 2.5.
  • Guilt-Free Extermination War:
    • The conflict against the Bydo is this. Given that they view non-Bydo life (especially their creators) with nothing but absolute hatred, thus would stop at nothing to eliminate them and assimilate those who survive, mankind is left with no choice but to wage a war of extermination in kind.
    • The Bydo themselves were engineered by 26th century humanity to be used as weapons for such wars against interstellar foes, strongly hinting at how future mankind doesn't have much in the way of morals themselves.
  • Hand Wave: How most of the ships can fire a Wave-Motion Gun without a visible barrel is handwaved as "complex physics."
  • Hard Mode Perks: Final 2 has a Score Multiplier that, among other things, increases in proportion to the difficulty level you picked for the run and provides additional resources. Since only the high score is saved for a full run and for each course, this encourages picking higher difficulty levels, but only if you are able to handle them, as one-stage scores will be voided if you don't complete the stage.
  • Harder Than Hard:
    • Pro mode in Super R-Type, which can only be accessed in the second loop after beating the game on Hard.
    • Final has Normal, Bydo, and R-Typer difficulty. Final 2 ups the ante by bringing back R-Typer difficulty and adding R-Typer 2 and R-Typer 3 difficulty, i.e. Harder Than Harder Than Hard.
  • He Who Fights Monsters: Downplayed. By Final and Final 2, it's implied that humanity doesn't have all that much left in the way of scruples in finishing off the Bydo once and for all. Given that the Bydo were originally engineered as a WMD based off mankind's darkest excesses and without any redeeming qualities, it's not too surprising.
  • Heel Realization: In the Tactics/Command games
    • Tactics 1 has the Bydo-fied human fleet returning to Earth, but it's not until after they face off against their former comrades in arms that the Admiral fully realizing what they've become. In shame, they flee back into the void before the rest of the Space Corps could pursue them.
    • By the ending of the Bydo campaign of Operation Bitter Chocolate, the Admiral doesn't just realize what they and their fleet have become. Rather than escaping their former comrades or resume the war as the very Bydo they fought against, they decide to commit suicide by diving straight into a star.
  • Hello, [Insert Name Here]: Final 2's pilot is named Jade Ross by default, but you are free to rename them.
  • Hero Antagonist: Any R-Type level where you're Bydo-fied involves taking on your former comrades, whether it's F-B in Final, the Bydo campaign in Tactics, or Stage 7.1 in Final 2.
  • 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 a Bydo leader that doubles as a progenitor/creator of new Bydo. In Final, it's suggested that the Core fought in the final stage is the ur-progenitor, the ultimate source of all Bydo.
  • 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.
  • Human Subspecies: The Bydo, as much of an Eldritch Abomination as they are, are still genetically human. Albeit, stripped of any remotely positive traits and emotions, combined with millennia of evolution making them nigh-unrecognizable.
  • 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.
    • The ship descriptions in Final 2 make mention of how some models eventually find myriad military, police and private security applications, even while the war against the Bydo is still ongoing. Further underscoring how mankind eventually goes back to killing each other once the war ends, with the very weapons used to save themselves.
    • Stage Z2.0 in Final 2 suggests that the Dark Anarchy Society isn't above terrorism and weaponizing ancient relics if it means getting the upper hand... even while the war against the Bydo is still in full swing.
    • Operation Bitter Chocolate reveals that even with the Bydo invading, radicals like the Solar Liberation League still have delusions of usurping power over all humanity, even going so far as outright weaponize the Bydo to a level that even the EAAF/Space Corps at its worst considers too extreme.
  • Humans Are Morons:
    • In R-Type Tactics II: Operation Bitter Chocolate, despite lingering concerns that the Bydo may still be out there, humans still fight each other over the use of the Force Device and other Bydo-based tech. This coincidentally helps justify having scenarios of various human factions fighting one another with R-series vessels.
    • The in-universe logs in Final 2, as well as some of the Homage Stages, suggest that humanity kept on fighting one another all throughout the conflict against the Bydo. With the EAAF/Space Corps even being mentioned as selling R-series tech for military and private security applications while the war is still going on.
  • Human Aliens: Although we never see them in person, The Other Civilization give the impression of being this with their warships looking vaguely similar to those used by mankind.
  • Hyperspace Is a Scary Place: "Dimension 26", which the Bydo use for trans-dimensional travel, allows them to attack humanity not only at any dimension, but at any point in time.
  • 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. Final 2 changes Baby to Practice and Human to Normal, then adds two additional R-Typer difficulties.
  • Imported Alien Phlebotinum:
    • It's rumored that the Sm Gr F Granvia has a control sub-unit that uses non-human technology, which is neither confirmed nor denied by the Space Corps.
    • In addition to the Force Devices in general, the R-12 Cross the Rubicon and many of the models developed from it have Bydo tissue or technology directly incorporated into the ships themselves.
    • Played With in the case of the R-9Leo (as well as the succeeding Leo II), which utilizes highly sophisticated "Psy Bits", human technology from an alternate timeline where the Bydo never existed, to compensate for the prior lack of a Force Device.
  • 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.
  • If It Swims, It Flies: The Final and Command games have ships as varied as the Gallop pursuit units, Mr. Heli and the Granvia submarine operating in environments far beyond what you'd expect, including space. This is justified in-universe, however, in that while they excel in their intended roles, they're also designed to be deployable wherever needed. The Granvia's ability to fly at all is is explained away as having a space fighter frame that can work underwater.
  • Infinity +1 Sword: The R-902 Ragnarok II and R-13B Charon in R-Type Final and Final 2. 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.''
  • Invincible Minor Minion: Some Bydo take on their "wave" form and will pass through the screen, killing you if you touch them. Your weapons just go through them with no effect on them.
  • It Can Think: It didn't take too long for the EAAF/Space Corps to realize that the Bydo, for all their obsession with assimilating victims and killing everything else in their way, are just as capable of pulling off bold strategies and higher-level thinking as any human.
  • Join or Die: The closest thing the Bydo Empire ever gets to "negotiating" with humanity is for the latter to either allow themselves to be assimilated or be eradicated and possibly assimilated anyway.
  • Joke Character: The R-9uso800 April Fool's, currently only available to players who backed at R-Type Final 2's development with at least $500. It is purportedly built with technology from the Kikai Machine Empire, the "Super-Machine Civilization at the center of the galaxy". Its unique Wave Cannon is a 7-loop max like the Giga Wave Cannon, but it doesn't become any more powerful on Loops 1-6. When fully charged it... plays the staff credits. That's it.
  • La Résistance: Introduced in Tactics 2, the Granzella Revolutionary Army is an alliance of people fighting back against the Space Corps due to their oppressing of the populace and constant use of Bydo-derived weaponry.
  • Lethal Joke Character:
    • Anytime POW Armor units are playable, such as in Delta, Final, and Final 2. 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.
    • The R-9DP series of ships, which forgo the traditional charge laser in exchange for a pile bunker. It has hilariously short range and requires you to get up right in the enemy Bydo's face to do any damage... but if you can manage that, it does immense damage. In fact, the R-9DP3 Kenrokuen's Hyper Tesla Pile Bunker can achieve similar levels of damage as the R-902's Giga Wave Cannon with only half the charge time.
  • Lethal Lava Land:
    • Stage 4, the foundry in III. Notorious for being a Death Course.
    • In Final 2, Stage X4.0 is a recreation of Stage 3 from the original R-Type, and one of the three different terrain types that are randomly selected is lava. Like with the pink and yellow bio-goop terrains that can also be selected for this stage, its purpose is to enforce Deadly Walls since Final 2 normally averts that trope.
  • 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.
    • Stage F-B of Final has the player go through stage 1.0 again, this time starting where the boss used to be and going down to the colony ruins' entrance.
  • 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.
    • Played With for Final 2, which uses brighter lighting, more vibrant colors and more upbeat music. Unlike its immediate predecessor, it also has several endings where the player's fighter manages to return to Earth unscathed, and it's strongly implied that the Bydo are dealt with for good now. On the other hand, the imagery can still get as bleak as anything in Delta and Final, especially in the DLC. The lore also goes deeper into how messed up the situation has become, even as humanity brings the fight to a decisive end.
  • Living Statue:
    • Final's re-appearance of the entombed Cerberus from the end of Delta.
    • Defender-Majestic from the Final 2 DLC is a stone monstrosity weaponized by the Dark Anarchy Society that turns out to be organic.
  • Loads and Loads of Loading: The Switch version of Final 2 is plagued with more load times than the other versions of the game. Every time you die and restart at a checkpoint, it takes 10-15 seconds to load back up.
  • 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, given that advances in physics, genetic engineering, and black magic or psionics were involved.
    • 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.
    • Many of the ship classes utilized by the Space Corps in the Tactics games and Final 2 are either directly named after or allude to Norse Mythology.
  • Mechanical Monster: The Bydo have these in droves, both of the fully mechanized and semi-organic variety.
  • 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: Present on quite a few Bydo-infected ships and facilities, such as the B-1D Bydo System Alpha or the Bestra base. In the Tactics games, it grants certain Bydo units a Healing Factor.
  • Mecha-Mooks: Cancers, a recurring basic enemy unit that's one of the first weapon systems the Bydo ever created.
  • Mook Maker: Most of the giant ships have at least one somewhere.
  • Multiple Endings
    • Delta has four, depending on which ship you use.
    • Final has three, each preceded 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.
    • Each DLC campaign for Final 2 adds its own ending.
  • Near-Villain Victory: Part of the reason why the series even happens at all is because 26th century humanity, in a desperate bid to escape destruction, managed to banish the original Bydo into another dimension.
  • New Game Plus: 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. Supplementary material also notes that said R-9 was the player ship from the very first game, which was infected by the Bydo when it returned and presumably caused the whole invasion.
    • In one of the endings of Final, your ship manages to time-travel into the 26th Century in an attempt to prevent the Bydo from ever being made. Instead, it's implied that you help make their creation possible.
  • Nintendo Hard: R-Type games are known for brutal labyrinthine levels where figuring out where you'll be safe at any given time, and dying hundreds of times in the process, is a staple part of the series' gameplay. This has only magnified with the rise of modern Bullet Hell shooters; while a player with sufficient skill can transfer their skills from one bullet hell game to another, every R-Type game demands that you sit down and become intimately acquainted with each level. Furthermore, while many modern shmups are of the "respawn where you died" variety, nearly every game uses checkpoints instead (the international version of Leo and an optional "Infinite" mode for the R-Type Dimensions rereleases of the first two games), so even with unlimited continues, you can't just waltz your way to the end of the game; you must learn every stage and every boss.
  • 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:
  • Nostalgia Level: R-Type does this constantly almost to the point of committing Game Design Incest. One particular boss appears in every single game but Leo, while several entire levels are 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.
    • Final 2 has the series of DLCs focused on remaking most, if not all, levels of the previous games into the game, in no particular order.
  • 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 into turn-based strategy.
  • Older Than They Look: The Japanese manual for ''R-Type III'' names the R-90 Ragnarok's pilot as a 23 year old woman with the body of a 14 year old girl.
  • One-Woman Wail:
    • The final stage of Delta is scored by some very creepy humming, with the final boss theme being similarly ominous and underscored by a choir.
    • The instrumental version of "Monochrome", the ending theme of Final 2, consists of this. It was also played in the final mission of Final 3 Evolved.
  • Once More, with Clarity!:
    • One ending for Final is a retread of the very first level only with you as the Bydofied ship, taking on your former comrades without ever realizing it.
    • While Final 2 chronicles various points in the war, the best ending shows how the Bydo are finally defeated, for good.
  • Once per Episode: Just about every major entry in the series has the final boss battle involve destroying your Force Device in one way or another.
  • 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 the Final games, 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:
    • Humanity makes extensive use of Force Devices, controllable spheres of Bydo tissue employed in the fight against the Bydo. Final takes it even further, revealing that there are several lines of fighters made of Bydo matter.
    • The Bydo themselves are another example, originally having been created by humans as an interplanetary attack force. That didn't quite work as planned.
  • Pile Bunker: The eponymous main weapon of the R-9DP line of fighters. It packs quite the punch, but requires one to get very close to an enemy in order to hit. The B-1B line has an organic variant in the form of large piercing vines, with a considerably better range.
  • 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! Final 2.5 would later bring this back with Stage R1.0.
  • 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.
  • Properly Paranoid: This is humanity's general modus operandi when it comes to combating the Bydo, not taking any chances the moment any such foe pops up. Moreover, the classic Wave Cannon and its myriad variants are all designed to be nigh-overpowered, while the Space Corps' warships are equipped with, if not designed around, enlarged versions of those same weapon systems. Even then, however, it's not always enough.
  • Purposely Overpowered: Final and Final 2 have 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.
    • Charon, the final model in the R-13 line, is equipped with a powerful Bounce Lightning Wave Cannon that can not only clear the screen of enemies but also make taking on hard-to-hit bosses much easier. Its Anchor Force DX, meanwhile, makes up for being difficult to control by being very effective against whatever it latches on to.
    • 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.
    • In-universe, mankind in the 26th century engineered the Bydo purposefully to be the ultimate WMD, capable of wiping out any opponent in their path. Future humanity, however, didn't expect said WMD to turn on them.
  • Real Is Brown:
    • Armed Police Unit Gallop features a colour palette consisting mostly of brown, grey and more brown.
    • Downplayed from Delta onwards. The color palette remains varied and distinct, but generally more muted to reflect the darker tone of later titles.
  • 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. Especially the formermost, as both of the Tactics games pit several different Dobkeratopses against the player, while Final 2 and its DLCs follow suite.
  • Recurring Boss Template:
    • A mecha (Scant in the first, Gydocker in II and Super, Gains from III onwards) almost always appears as a Mini-Boss in the first level.
    • A large battleship or mecha is similarly bound to appear in most entries in the series, serving as the focal point of a Battleship Raid level.
    • Some variation of Dobkeratops is also likely to show up in most entries, usually in the first level, or close to the final one.
  • Recycled Premise: Stage 7.1 of Final 2 is basically a rehash of Stage F-B from Final. You get turned into a Bydo, fly through the first stage all over again, and take on your now-former allies, just like in F-B. Unlike F-B, however, there is no real final boss at the end, similar to F-C.
  • 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.
  • Renegade Splinter Faction: Tactics 2 features the Granzella Revolutionary Army, a La Résistance movement which broke off from the Space Corps over the continued use of Force devices despite having seemingly defeated the Bydo. They later get their own Renegade Splinter Faction in the form of the Solar Liberation League, who antagonize both the Space Corps and Granzella, and even go so far as to use actual Bydo as their troops.
  • 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.
  • 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 Armors 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.
  • Riddle for the Ages: Just what was 26th century humanity at war with that it required the creation of the Bydo remains a mystery.
  • 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 of Cool: Invoked. The R-9DP series of pile bunker equipped fighters were apparently only produced because one guy on the design team had a lot of money to throw away and really liked pile bunkers. It wasn't until a prototype Kenrokuen fighter used its Hyper Tesla Pile Bunker to smash through an otherwise invulnerable Bydo's armor that the military took the idea seriously and decided to mass-produce it.
  • 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.
  • Score Multiplier: Final 2 has one that increases based on the difficulty level you chose and the game's Dynamic Difficulty system, which itself increases as you upgrade your ship, reach and maintain 100% Dose, and survive, and falls every time you die or you fire your Dose. This is to discourage players from dying on purpose to go back to checkpoints and milk the same section repeatedly.
  • Series Fauxnale: Final was supposed to be, well, the final game in the series. Except not only did the series receive two Turn-Based Strategy spinoffs afterwards, it even got another shmup installment, Final 2. R-101 Grand Finale's museum description in the latter game currently serves as the page quote.
    The final spacecraft developed in this project, signifying its end. No new R-Fighters will be created henceforth. The developers, Team R-Type, disbanded after its development.
    At least, that was supposed to have been the case...
  • Shared Universe:
    • Nothing in the original Image Fight or its sequel suggest a connection to R-Type, but the series seems to have been adopted as a part of the R-Type universe starting with Final. A full line of ships based on the OF-1 Daedalus appears in the game along with multiple types of bits replicating the drone types in Image Fight. A few enemies from the game are featured in both Final games and both Operation Bitter Chocolate and the 4th DLC stage pack for Final 2 feature levels based on the third stage of the first Image Fight. Some enemy designs from Image Fight have likewise been retconned as being Bydo units.
    • While the Granvia submersible was previously present as a DLC unit for Operation Bitter Chocolate, Final 2.5 similarly adopts In the Hunt into the R-Type universe, with the Dark Anarchy Society even being mentioned as one of the non-Bydo adversaries of the Space Corps. The Granvia was even added into the R-Museum as a playable ship.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Final has Shout Outs to Mr Heli no Daibouken, Image Fight, Tropical Angel, Undercover Cops, X-Multiply and Disaster Report in the form of several available player ships.
    • 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.
    • One level near the end of Command's Bydo Chapter has you face off against a huge spherical battlestation near a gas giant which you have to destroy via taking down a core with a mass of blue energy in the middle. Funnily enough, it technically is a moon as it orbits Jupiter and has no way to move under its own power. It's no where near fully operational too.
    • R-Type Final 2 has the mostly backer-exclusive "R-9uso800" series of April Fool's fighters. It's also a reference to the Playstation Home " Kikai Machine Empire " minigame
  • 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.
  • Soundtrack Dissonance: The final mission of Final 3 Evolved is set to an instrumental version of "Monochrome", the first ending theme of Final 2.
  • Space Zone: While some levels have multi-directional scrolling, R-Series warships can't even turn around.
  • Stable Time Loop: It's implied that the Bydo's onslaught over the course of the games eventually lead to 26th century humanity creating them in the first place.
  • Standard Sci-Fi Fleet: Being a showcase of the wider military, the Tactics series fully established this trope. Of course, the R-Type's fit the fighter role and all its variants (R-9A=regular, R-9B=bomber, R-11=interceptor...), although as a whole they lean towards assault fighter due their glass cannon nature. There's also a large variety of mecha on both sides of the conflict. Due to the focus on fighters in the series, a lot of the larger craft also double as The Battlestar. Regarding warships, there are...
    • Jormungandr Transport: A small spacecraft capable of carrying two units. Lacks decent weaponry but makes up for it with its (for the start of the game) good radar range and ability to create an exploding decoy. Somewhere between an armed freighter, small Assault Carrier and a Corvette.
    • Nidhoggr: Classified as a Destroyer, it surprisingly fits their intended purpose as an escort geared towards anti-fighter and anti-desynch craft (closest analog to submarines in the verse) combat with their wide range of missiles and being the only unit on the human side capable of using the Desynch Shot. In practice, it falls a bit flat aside from the anti-desynch purpose. Its successors (Hresvelgr and Nostrand) gain a 2 unit hangar like the Jormungandr class.
    • Vanargand: Cruiser. Jack of all stats with powerful long-range laser weaponry, decent speed for a warship and strong radar. 3 units worth of hangar space. Also the first warship to gain a Wave Cannon. Curiously, both it and its follow ups (Garum, Managarm) are given the "UFHC" designation, possibly identifying them as Heavy Cruisers. This would fit them often serving as the flagships of medium sized fleets.
    • Heimdall: Battleship and poster child of the Tactics series. Has 4 different weapon systems, including homing lasers, beam cannons, powerful missiles and one of the most powerful and far reaching Wave Motion Guns. As a nice bonus, it also has 5 units worth of hangar space and a hex radar range of 7 (for comparison, most of the other player units only go up 4), enabling you to kill most enemies before they even see you. Massive resource hog though and is too big to be placed on a lot of maps. Followed by the Tyr Class.
    • Dreadnought: Although the Heimdall and Tyr are classified as dreadnoughts, the Jothunheim, Muspellheim and Niflheim fit this category better with their all destroying weaponry, rarity and sinister spikes protruding from the hull. Should certainly be dreaded.
    • Carrier: The Jarnsaxa as used by the GZRA. Lacks any meaningful offensive weaponry but is heavily armoured and can fit 8 units inside. Then the Angrboda goes on to not only have 10 units of hangar space, but can now also cover itself in a jamming field, making itself virtually invisible.
  • Steel Mill: Stage 4 of III. Massive compactors and a hellish maze of molten metal which you have to go through twice.
  • Strategic Asset Capture Mechanic: Command has hangars set into asteroid bases on certain maps that, once captured by a Repair-type fighter, can heal your units once they've docked with them.
  • Takes One to Kill One: The only truly effective weapons against the Bydo are the Force Devices... which contain an embryonic Bydo themselves as the source of their power.
  • Taking You with Me: More than once in the final level.
    • In R-Type III, Mother Bydo tries to take down the R-9/0 Ragnarok as it tries to escape.
    • In Delta, the Bydo Dimension itself tries to trap the pilot before it could find a way back to Earth. Unfortunately, the R-13 doesn't make it.
    • In Stage F-C of Final various Bydo attempt to wipe you out as you go into the future, even as they're erased from the timeline.
  • Tech Tree: Final's and Final 2's unlock systems, which will require certain fighters to be unlocked before others, representing the development of fighter technology. It also shows up in Tactics II, albeit split between several categories/windows.
  • That's No Moon:
    • Bydo Lab in Final mentions that a planet-sized Gomander was once encountered (this event is not shown in any of the games).
    • The Solar Envoy in Tactics 2 is giant fortress which recycles and manufactures Bydo which is also implied to be the same 26th century battle station the Bydo were created in the first place.
  • There Is No Kill like Overkill:
    • The Giga Wave Cannon used by the "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.
    • While Force Devices are only weapons truly effective against the Bydo, humanity is otherwise forced to resort to overkill by necessity, from standard R-series Wave Cannons to planet-killing weapon systems that could fit on a highway or be mounted on battleships.
  • Time-Limit Boss:
    • The R-99 "Last Dancer" fought as a boss in Stage Z7.1 of Final 2 turns into this in its final phase. It stops swapping equipment, deploys a berserk Anchor Force DX, and starts charging up a Giga Wave Cannon. If the player cannot destroy it before it finishes charging, the resulting blast is, just like when the player uses it, an undodgeable One-Hit Kill.
    • In Delta, the Subkeratom fought in the sixth level has to be beaten within a hidden time limit, otherwise, the player's ship will crash right into it. Meanwhile, the Bydo Core in the final stage has to be destroyed with your Dose Attack/Delta Weapon once your Force Device is fully charged, as waiting too long will result in the Core folding the surrounding walls on you.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Dobkeratops (or whatever his name happens to be this game) 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 are R-Craft which can transform into mecha mode depending on if their Force is attached or detached. This allows them to switch between two different Wave Cannons, but the transformation has no other benefits and the three Ultimate Fighters 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.
  • Turned Against Their Masters: In addition to the Bydo themselves having originally turned on 26th century mankind, some of the mechanized tools in their arsenal are in actuality human weapon systems either possessed wholesale, captured and modified to suit their ends, or reverse-engineered copies.
  • Unreliable Narrator: The supplementary text makes mention of events, battles, and secret projects that are either dismissed as mere rumors, or actively suppressed by the Space Corps.
  • Unstable Equilibrium: The classic shooter example; dying causes you to lose all your upgrades, including your Force, when you respawn at the last checkpoint, while the enemies continue to attack just as ferociously as they were when they killed you. Your ship goes from a death-spewing Lightning Bruiser with multiple defence systems back to being practically unarmed and unprotected. The loss of the speed upgrades in the earlier games was particularly devastating, as it made it that much harder to avoid enemy attacks and reach upgrades with your sluggish fighter before you get crushed again.
  • Updated Re-release:
    • R-Type Dimensions EX not only adds some new features to the first two games, but also enhanced visuals, which can be switched with the original arcade graphics on the fly.
    • Final 2.5 and the upcoming Final 3: Evolved release are intended to serve as this to the launch version of Final 2.
  • Video Game 3D Leap: R-Type Delta was a presentation upgrade rather than a total upgrade.
  • Video-Game Lives: As is standard 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!
  • The War of Earthly Aggression: Even if independence isn't that main reason why war breaks out, the EAAF-GZRA conflict does involve an Earth-centric military government fighting against a dissenting faction who originally started on Mars and proceeded to claim everything beyond Jupiter.
  • 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. Just make sure you're not in the way when it fires...
    • 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:
    • Flying into certain large ships' exhausts will destroy your fighter.
    • Just like in their game of origin, OF-series fighters fire a short blast of exhaust from their engines whenever they change speeds. This will actually damage enemies, though the usefulness of this technique is situational at best.
    • In Charge Glitnir! (Tactics II Mission 23), there's an enemy Angrboda with massive thrusters stapled on. Getting caught in its wake is instant death for any unit. Unfortunately, most of your warships are too slow to clear the gap.
  • 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).
"In spite of superior balance and a powerful Wave Cannon, it never saw combat because the Wave Cannon was deemed too dangerous."
  • Womb Level: The Bydo tend to produce a lot of these.
  • You Are What You Hate: The Bydo are not only derived from human genes, but are also this trope taken to its illogical conclusion. As they embody the worst aspects of mankind, devoid of any positive emotions, and allowed to fester for untold millenia by the time they strike back at their creators.
  • Xenomorph Xerox: The Bydo's organic forms tend to resemble the Xenomorphs. It's especially noticeable on Cancers, Gaupers and Dobkeratopses.


R-Type (Compiler)

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Main / CombiningMecha

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