SATAZIUS is a Horizontal Scrolling Shooter developed by Astro Port and released in Japan in 2011. It was localized and released internationally by Nyu Media within the same year.
Unlike many other modern shmups, SATAZIUS is a Genre Throwback to horiztonal shooters of the 90's such as Axelay, the R-Type series, and the Gradius series, with emphasis on stages resembling obstacle courses, Check Points rather than respawning where you died, massive bosses, reduced bullet counts, and minimalist scoring systems.
SATAZIUS can be purchased digitally via Steam. It is also available on other digital distro outlets, but watch out: Some carriers, such as GamersGate, package the game with SecuROM; the Steam version uses the standard Steam API instead.
SATAZIUS provides examples of:
- Area of Effect: The fourth primary weapon, a forward-firing bomb.
- Boss Bonanza: At the end of stage 5. The higher the difficulty, the more bosses you fight.
- Charged Attack: Of the "collect" variety, sort of. A charge meter builds up over time, faster if you aren't firing any weapons. You have three choices for charged attacks:
- Homing shots that inflict extensive damage and nullify bullets.
- Two horizontal waves that slowly spread out.
- A Smart Bomb that removes all projectiles at once and damages all on-screen enemies. Available only once you've obtained 6 weapon items.
- Checkpoint: As part of the "retro" schtick.
- Continuing Is Painful: Losing a life will reduce your weapons' power levels and your ship speed 1-3 times. Dying several times in succession is a good way to end up with a sluggish and underpowered ship. In addition, dying also knocks out any collected stars you have; respawn at a Checkpoint after the first star and your Perfect bonus is lost.
- Copy Protection: The version of the game purchasable on GamersGate has SecuROM. The Steam version just uses the bog-standard Steam DRM.
- Deadly Walls: As per shmup tradition, touching a wall will kill you instantly.
- Earn Your Fun: Hard difficulty is only available after clearing Normal, and Insane after clearing Hard.
- Flawless Victory: There are 10 stars in each stage. The more stars you get, the more points you get at the end of the stage. Getting all 10 nets a Perfect bonus. Dying during the stage will cause you to lose all of your stars.
- Genre Throwback: Was released as a tribute to checkpoint-based Horizontal Scrolling Shooters of The '90s, in spite of the saturation of Bullet Hell games in the late 2000's and The New '10s. In short, if you've played games like Gradius, Axelay, R-Type, and Thunder Force, you'll feel right at home.
- Hard Mode Perks: The game gains extra content on Hard and Insane difficulties, such as an additional boss during the Stage 5 Boss Bonanza and new forms of the Final Boss.
- Harder Than Hard: Insane difficulty, which is only available after completing the game on Hard.
- Interface Spoiler: Two possible means:
- The weapon select screen, missing 5 weapons, gives a clue to the length of the game.
- Opening the game directory, and looking in the Data/map folder revels one folder for each stage. Users that look at these folders see one for Stage 7.
- Poison Mushroom: The Speed Down item. Considering that your ship moves at a reasonable speed at maximum speed and that you get 5000 points for every excess Speed Up item you get, there isn't really any good reason to pick up a Speed Down.
- Real-Time Weapon Change: You can swap between your two secondary weapons at any time by pressing the weapon change button.
- Shout-Out: Many, particularly to other shmups.
- Stage 3 has rocks that split into smaller, indestructible rocks when hit, like in Gradius III's 7th stage. Even the rock graphics are similar.
- Stage 4 has rotating C-shaped chains of guns with a blue weak point, like in stage 1 of R-Type.
- Just before the Boss Rush in Stage 5, you're attacked by mooks that teleport in out of nowhere, just like in Gradius.
- Non-shmup example: Stage 6 has pairs of red and blue portals.
- Single-Use Shield: You can pick up a shield item that will give you a shield that lasts until it takes a hit or you die from touching walls.
- Time-Limit Boss: If you take too long to kill a boss, you can still destroy it, but you will not get a new weapon.
- True Final Boss: Not necessarily boss so much as forms of the Final Boss. You fight two of its forms on Easy, three on Normal, and all four on Hard and Insane.