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Developed by Eclipse Productions (now World Tree Games) and published in 1995 by Epic Megagames (now Epic Games), Tyrian is an addictive Vertical Scrolling Shooter.

It is the year 20,031. You are Trent Hawkins, a terraformation pilot currently assigned to the planet Tyrian, the only planet in the entire sector that contains samples of Gravitium, a material that causes huge chunks of its landmass to float in the air. While on the job, Trent's best friend, Buce Quesillac, a Hazudra, was shot in the back by a hoverdrone belonging to Microsol, the company in charge of the terraformation efforts on Tyrian. With his dying breath, Buce informs Trent that Microsol intends to use the Gravitium to take control of the sector, and that he's next on their hit list. With that, Trent begins a long, dangerous fight for his survival.

For a game of the genre, Tyrian actually has a surprising amount of story to it, primarily in the form of datacubes that can be collected from certain enemies and read between levels when you get the opportunity to upgrade your ship in the game's Story Mode. Tyrian also includes arcade mode for both one and two players on the same computer or over a local network.

With great graphics for its time, addictive gameplay, and catchy music, along with a wide variety of levels, weapons, enemies, and hidden secrets, Tyrian is a game with a lot of replay value. It is considered by many to be one of the best scrolling shooters ever made.

Three iterations of the game were released. Version 1.x contained three episodes (with the first being released for free, as was common among shareware publishers in the 90's) and chronicled Trent's escape from Tyrian and his hunt for the Microsol invasion fleet. Version 2.x added a few extra levels to Episode 1 as well as a new fourth episode featuring a raid on the research planet Ixmucane. A later re-release, Tyrian 2000 (Version 3.0), added a short fifth episode as well as additional ships and weapons. Game Boy Color and Game Boy Advance ports were started but never released; ROM images of these uncompleted games were available from the Tyrian Repository, managed by author Jason Emery.

It is freeware since 2004. The Tyrian Repository was quite sparse, so it's better to refer to this archived fan site for more comprehensive information about the game. Since 2010, Tyrian 2000 is also available on, with the game's music encoded into a collection of MP3 files (about 12 times as large, disk-space-wise, as the game itself) as a bonus download. Even the graphics were released by artist Daniel Cook on his website under an open licence. A source port of Version 2.1 that ports the game from Turbo Pascal to C, called OpenTyrian, is available for many platforms and consoles; OpenTyrian2000, a fork of OpenTyrian that supports Tyrian 2000, is also available.

Back around 2005, a small group of fans got the OK from Jason Emery to make a freeware sequel, which would have featured a retired, alcoholic Trent Hawkins fighting against the Zica, who had returned to conquer the sector. Unfortunately, the project never seems to have left the planning stage.

Tyrian provides examples of the following tropes:

  • 2½D: The game is 2D, but there are occasional foreground elements, such as the rock arches on SURFACE, that you can fly under without taking any damage.
  • All There in the Manual:
    • A lot of players are surprised to hear that the game has a plot, or that the player character has a name (Trent Hawkins).
    • Reading the datacubes fully can occasionally lead to secret levels or side passages that the player would not have access to normally; the Ixmucane crisis in Episode 4 comes to mind here.
    • There are even some that explain why a flamethrower would work in space, or how food production equipment could be weaponized.
  • Apocalypse How: Ixmucane is destroyed in Episode 4 if you fail to defeat the boss in CORE, or defeat the boss of CORE but fail to defeat the boss of ?Tunnel?. In the former, the planet turns into a sun; in the latter, the planet freezes over solid.
  • Artillery Game: There's a hidden Easter Egg game called Destruct which, unusually for the genre, plays in real-time.
  • Art Shift: Episode 5, exclusively in Tyrian 2000, due to a different art director. Justified due to it taking place a century after the events in Episode 4.
  • Attack Drone: Side-kicks, which offer extra firepower to your ship and they come in many varieties, from simple pea shooters to laser cannons and even short-ranged flamethrowers.
  • Attack Its Weak Point:
    • The boss of Ixmucane is a floating robot encased in rock. The only way to damage it is to hit its core when it is open, otherwise, it is impervious to all weapons.
    • Javi's Dreadnaught in Episode 4. The game actually makes a set of green arrows pointing to the vulnerable part(s). Lampshaded by an explanation from one of your allies in a datacube prior to the mission, stating that he has a scanner that is strong enough to transmit the weak point of the Dreadnought to your ship, indicating them with green arrows. The Dreadnaught's vulnerability is also justified in-universe as its shielding being disrupted by a gravity field, thus when systems are activated, it draws a lot of power from the shields.
  • Australian Phoenix is Hardcore: Compared to the American box art at the top of this article, the Australian box art has a darker palette, and shows a ship in the shape of a Gencore Phoenix/Maelstrom with more realistic proportions from a low angle, giving the viewer a full view of the ordnance it's carrying, while it has just launched a missile and its guns are blazing, complete with smoke and muzzle flash effects.
  • Awesome, but Impractical:
    • Missiles. All of them. They look and sound very nice, and most of them can deliver splash damage, but they often do a lot less damage than cheaper and easier-to-find weapons such as the Pulse Cannon that you start out with. The Atomic RailGun, your front gun in Super Tyrian mode, also falls into this category as well, more so given that the only good thing going for it is its name.
    • The full-power Lightning Cannon emits a dazzling stream of opaque lightning and is relatively powerful, but the power it drains is colossal (even the most powerful generator in the game, the Gravitron Pulse-Wave, cannot recharge fast enough if it is used alongside other energy-draining weapons such as the Zica Flamethrower), higher than the Level 2 or 5 Mega Pulse, and it is often less effective than the Level 11 Mega Pulse due to its lack of spread. This is not helped by the fact that the Mega Pulse is cheaper and usually available for purchase before the Lightning Cannon. Leaving the Lightning Cannon at Level 9 mitigates its lack of spread but nerfs its damage.
    • The Gencore Solar Shield, added in Tyrian 2000, does not draw power from your generator to recharge, but by the time it is available, there is another shield available that gives you the same protection for just over half the price, and the drain on the generator isn't really an issue except with constant-fire weapons like the Lightning Cannon and Zica Flamethrower.
    • Once fully upgraded, the Guided Micro Bombs spam the screen with a lot of miniature homing bombs that, via Death of a Thousand Cuts, do high saturation damage, making them a fantastic auxiliary weapon against single targets. The issue with them is that they are rarely found in the shop, you have no control over them if you're trying to focus fire on one target, and the high amount of micro bombs can increase the likelihood of duds. The more commonly available Heavy Guided Bombs can do what they can, but with much higher single-hit damage at a reduced number of bombs per shot and tighter tracking and movement.
  • Battleship Raid: There is only one enemy in DREAD-NOT: a large warship that you need to destroy piece by piece as it moves around the screen attempting to focus fire on you.
  • Beam Spam: The Laser and Zica Laser weapons definitely fit this, but the Needle Laser is probably the best example (5-6 lasers in one shot on the highest Power level).
  • Big Bad: Microsol, which starts out by killing Trent's Hazudra friend for knowing about their plans to dominate the Tyrian sector, then offs Trent's family, before attempting to follow through with said plans a few times. The focus of Episodes 2 to 4 is to stop them whenever they amass enough resources to actually take over the sector.
  • Big Good: Transon Lohk, head of the Gencore Tech Alliance, Microsol's biggest competitor. You get into contact with him early on and he issues you most of your orders for the better part of the game. Then one day he leaves his transmitter on and you overhear a conversation between him and an underling declaring he's just going to keep using Trent to deal with whatever new galactic crisis comes up. Trent decides there and then that he's getting away after the Deliani crisis ended and a personal rivalry with Vykromod ended.
  • Blessed with Suck:
    • Your Story Mode game turns into a Super Tyrian run if you are flying The Stalker 21.126 at the end of Episode 4 and complete Zinglon's Revenge. All your weapons and sidekicks will be replaced by whatever you managed to generate while playing the minigame and your shield gets dropped to a basic level. The ease with which a player can accidentally Button Mash some of the secret twiddles for the hidden special weapons or functions, combined with the fact that all of them drain some of your shields or your armor, means that you will inevitably trigger one at a bad moment. Using a mouse to play, however, makes it a lot harder to execute them, although this may not be a good idea in some cases. If you choose to just finish the last episode and adapt to the quirks of The Stalker 21.126, however, this trope is subverted as instead of reloading your game in Story Mode and skipping Zinglon's Revenge, your game is permanently converted into a Super Tyrian run and loops back to Episode 1 on the next higher difficulty, but you will be rewarded with the secret code to use the Nort Ship Z in Super Arcade Mode.
    • In one Secret Level in Episode 3, destroying all enemy carrot ships you encounter will make the last one drop a Hot Dog icon, grabbing it will instantly convert the front and rear weapon you've currently equipped to the Hot Dog Front and Hot Dog Rear respectively. While this can easily be traded against other, more preferred weapons in both Story and Arcade Modes, you will be stuck with both weapons in Super Tyrian mode instead of the Atomic Railgun, making the game notably harder given the Front Hot Dog's lower rate of fire. But in any of the Super Arcade Mode, it nets you with a little bit of extra firepower; while you can switch the Front Gun out with any of the weapons available for the mode, you retain a Level 1 Hot Dog Rear for the remainder of the game.
  • Body Horror:
    • The boss of Gyges, Episode 2, is essentially a large mouth with two Combat Tentacles.
    • Vykromod becomes a giant nose (with eyes, tongue, and red blood cells as appendages) at the end of Episode 4.
  • Bold Inflation: The datacubes and ship descriptions. Names and values get priority, but text is sometimes bolded for emphasis as well.
  • Bonus Level:
    • Quite a few, some mutually exclusive. Item shopping is done before levels, so getting the best items usually means visiting the bonus levels that are the only places that sell them.
    • The first episode pushes this trope into overdrive. What's better than a bonus level? A bonus level inside a bonus level inside another bonus level!
  • Boring, but Practical:
    • Your starting Pulse Cannon has good damage when fully upgraded (which is pretty cheap to do compared to most weapons) and can conceivably be used throughout the entire game.
    • The Sonic Wave for your rear slot is available in the very first level, yet it's one of the most versatile weapons in the game. Fully upgraded, you can use Secondary Fire to direct four powerful waves forward like a secondary front weapon. You'll probably learn to get used to seeing those green waves on the screen for most of the game due to how much firepower this weapon provides.
    • The Atom Bomb side-weapons are one of the more available side-weapons in the purchasing menu, and are not terribly expensive compared with many late-game options. However, it is one of the most useful options available due to plentiful ammo (which recharges over time), and providing a devastating burst of damage when extra kick is needed against a target. May cross over with Simple, yet Awesome.
    • The Mega Pulse (found only in the Full Game mode through the shop) starts relatively weak despite its unique property to split into smaller shots whenever it hits something, but when fully upgraded its strength is on par with the Laser as it's a triple blast with the center blast splitting into fireballs and the side shots splitting into a cluster of dual-pulse cannon shots. Combine this with a maxed out Rear Mega Pulse to create a mini bullet hell whenever your ship is surrounded by multiple targets. Alternatively, it goes well with the Sonic Wave, letting you shower enemies in deadly Holiday colors.
  • Boss Warning Siren: "Large mass detected ahead" will be announced and also pop up on the HUD right before a boss is encountered.
  • Breakout Mook Character: You can use the very first Mook in the game as a secret playable character in Arcade Mode. Seems like a Joke Character until it gets the Mega Cannon...
  • Brutal Bonus Level:
    • Soh Jin, a choice between three secret levels in the very first level has destructible "red blocks" that do massive Collision Damage if you bump into them. Also, unlike many other bonus levels where you exit the level if you got killed, this one forces you to complete it without dying. Fortunately, you can buy the best shield in the game from this world's shop so the payoff is excellent.
    • Holes is another choice between Soh Jin and the easier Bubbles. It's nightmare depending on what difficulty level you've selected. On Lord of the Game, your ship is probably still very under-powered as this is will be your second stage. The enemies spam projectiles like there's no tomorrow. If you had a fully upgraded ship, then maybe this would be a fair fight. The weapons offered in this world's shop might be a letdown too.
    • Windy, another secret level in Episode 1 that contained the red blocks from Soh Jin, except this time they were indestructible and were accompanied by stationary orange blocks that fired very damaging blue spheres at your ship and pushed you into them...
    • The first bonus level in Episode 3. Aside from the aforementioned green platform ships, it also featured barriers of indestructible orange rings. Most of them move, some of them move very fast, and a couple of sections of the level have walls made of them, with just enough space between the rings for the sonic wave shooters on the other side to fire in at you while large green orbs (fortunately destructible) flew around and forced you to stay on the bottom of the screen. If you don't have side-firing weaponry and/or the Repulsor ability, you'll be dead several times before you can say "Oh crap I died".
  • Character Customization: The game features a Ship Editor that allows players to create their own custom ships and outfit it with a selection of weapons, generators, shields.
  • Charged Attack: The Charge Cannon and Zica SuperCharger side-kicks charge power as long as the player doesn't fire. Additionally, the 2nd player in the 2-player mode can do this with any weapon, but the charge time decreases as the ship's shot level increases.
  • Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: Inverted. Trent is the one who is constantly backstabbed or betrayed.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: Transon Lohk, the head of Gencore, a rival company of Microsol, turns out to be this. He is later revealed in Episode 4 exploiting Trent Hawkins' One-Man Army to cut costs and also perpetuate the endless war.
  • Crapsack World:
    • The Tyrian Sector is always on the verge of being conquered by Microsol, and Trent seems to be the only competent fighter pilot out there.
    • Several planets in there are flat out terrible to be in. Everyone organic including visitors and inhabitants is fair game for food in Gyges, Torm is rife with corruption, government neglect and more, Ixmucane is filled with hostile Zica technology, Deliani's security is tight to the point where guards will shoot people on sight, etc...
  • Critical Annoyance: A klaxon sounds when your ship is low on armor and gets faster as you get closer to death. While it's active, a support ship will appear, and can be destroyed for some armor.
  • Critical Existence Failure:
  • Crosshair Aware: Soh Jin in Episode 2. The "Warning! Missile Ships!" sign is quickly followed by rather rapid-firing, damaging ships that look like grey missiles. Fleet, in Episode 3, also has a brief warning for you to get out of the way before a fiery beam from a Wave-Motion Gun pulverizes your ship. Similar things exist in Lava Run, Episode 4.
  • Deadly Walls: Present in some stages, most notably those red walls from the bonus levels Soh Jin and Windy. The first level of Episode 4, Surface, also has rock arches that you can pass under; touching the sides causes you to take damage.
  • Deconstruction: Episode 4 veers into a surprisingly poignant deconstruction of stereotypical "one man against the world" video game plots, as well as what happens when said one-man army decides to pull a Screw This, I'm Outta Here. Microsol keeps coming up with bigger and bigger threats, old foes return as Eldritch Abomination Body Horrors, the good guys are shamelessly taking advantage of Trent's uncanny ability to single-handedly destroy these threats over and over again and Trent...Trent is tired of it all. Upon his disappearance from the Tyrian sector, Trent is mourned and hailed as a hero, but the entire sector proceeds to rebuild and continue without him for 101 years.
  • Deflector Shields: Upgradeable shields are available for purchase between missions.
  • Degraded Boss:
    • The boss of Deliani in Episode 1 returns as a Giant Mook in Harvest, Episode 4.
    • Same goes for the bosses you face in Asteroid 1 and Asteroid 2 respectively; both return as large enemies several times in one asteroid secret level.
  • Desperation Attack: The second boss of Episode 1 (in Asteroids Sector 2) is the tank-like Thunder HX-21. When it's low on health, it loses its missile launchers and sonic waves, but will continuously fire a huge, rapid stream of plasma balls at the player.
  • Didn't See That Coming: One of the game's hints is described as a 'Test of Courage', where the player is instructed to not shoot any of the dark gray ships at the beginning of SURFACE until after they pass through the second arch. If the player does destroy all those ships, a Secret Level orb will appear, but if they do ignore those ships, shortly after the mid-boss battle a new enemy will suddenly appear and circle around the screen, firing green balls relentlessly at the player ship. Destroying that enemy rewards the player with one of the rare purple crystals for 5000 points.
  • Disc-One Nuke:
    • The Plasma Storm. Obtainable before the first level, it can completely fry anything, even bosses, in a matter of seconds. This is balanced out by its very limited ammo, especially in the newer version.
    • On the first level, by taking an obscure detour to Soh Jin, one can obtain the most beefy purchasable shield in the game, provided they sell-off/downgrade enough of their ship components to be able to afford it. Congratulations, you now have some of the best protection in the game, though you'll probably be glad you have it on the Harder Than Hard difficulties. The Gencore Phoenix ship becomes available within a stage or two and you can convert that shield power into maxed-out armor too.
  • Doomed Hometown: Failing to kill Trent when they had the chance, Microsol decides to kill his parents in Savara's capital city of Midway with a Kill Sat.
  • Earn Your Fun: The SHIPEDIT program. What weapons and equipment you can give to any of the ten custom ships available is limited by how far you have progressed into the game as well as what weapons and equipment you are using and your Destruction percentage at the end of each level. The more weapons you use in any of the game's modes, the more weapons you can outfit, and the higher your Destruction percentage is at the end of each level, the better you can set each ship's armor, shield and generator levels.
  • Easter Egg: A vast number of hidden bonus arcade modes, hidden ships, and a hidden Scorched Earth type game called Destruct.
  • Edible Ammunition:
    • The SuperCarrot FoodShip Nine, a Carrot-shaped vessel, shoots out food as its main weapons. Not to mention some of the bananas it fires out can cause a really devastating explosion...
    • There's also a rather weak sidekick which fires out bubble gum that moves rather erratically and randomly.
    • Taken even further with the Hot Dog Front and Rear guns. Yes, they fire hot dogs. Bun, mustard, and all.
  • Edible Collectible: The point/money pickups include coins and gems as well as fruit and mugs of ale. Lampshaded and Hand Waved in one of the data cubes: ship captains came to regard food stores recovered from destroyed enemy vessels as war trophies.
  • Energy Weapon: In Story Mode, almost every single weapon fired by the player ship, excluding ammo-based sidekicks, draws power from its generator. This might explain why front- and rear-mounted weapons of mass never run out of ammunition.
  • Evil All Along:
    • Javi Onukala, Gencore's Security Chief, first led Trent on a wild goose chase across many planets to stop him from interfering with Microsol's plans to dominate the entire sector while at the same time planting a homing beacon that painted Trent as a target to every pirate and organism. In Episode 4, he severely crippled the fighting strength of Gencore by turning the defence system of its headquarters on Deliani against itself.
    • Emperor Milktoe aka. Muldar turns out to be working for Microsol at the end of Episode 4. Presumably he's the one piloting the brain ship in Brainiac.
  • Evolving Attack: Most of the weapons have "stages" in their upgrade chains where the weapon gains a fairly terrifying amount of power after being upgraded by a single level. For instance, the Vulcan Cannons, at one stage, drop their fire rates and upgrade their projectiles to deal twice the damage per hit, and the Mega Cannon switches from shooting small peas to launching huge energy pulses at the same rate of fire near the middle of its upgrade chain. Nearly always, the upgrade is accompanied by a change in weapon visuals: pairs of bullets, wider lasers that pulsate, faster missiles that deliver greater splash damage and range, giant sonic waves and so on.
  • Explosions in Space:
    • Justified for the Zica Flamethrower. The weapon works in space due to an energy-based particle field used to generate a flame without any external air or energy source.
    • This is also played straight with the explosive weapons, even though they do not use Zica technology.
  • Eye Scream: EyeSpy has you fight loads and loads of eyeballs, some of which can spawn even more eyeballs. The boss of Nose Drip can detach his eyeballs to attack you, and yes, you have to shoot them down.
  • Face Ship:
    • The Dreadnaught resembles a face with hair and beard.
    • Vykromod is a literal giant face.
  • Faster-Than-Light Travel: 'Warping to next level'. Hyperspace is briefly mentioned it seems even escape pods are warp capable.
  • Fighting Clown: The SuperCarrot's food and fruit weapons are quite deadly.
  • Flying Seafood Special: Coral is a level where all the enemies are based off aquatic animals. They can fly, too.
  • Forbidden Zone: Played for Laughs and Black Comedy in the Travel Tip datacube for Deliani, which has several forbidden zones that can be mistaken for safe ones:
    Though most areas of the planet are restricted and guards are often ordered to shoot unidentified personnel on sight, if you stay in the Light Green Zone you should have no problems avoiding personal injury and death. Be sure to avoid the Blue-Green and Turquoise Zones as well as the Stix Zone. The Red and Yellow Zones are safe for travel, though the Yellow is often confused with the Off-White and Peach Deadly Areas. Many a color-blind traveler has been killed by accident.
  • Foreshadowing: Before the second level of Episode 4, there's a datacube containing a news report with two items. The second, concerning the imminent destruction of Ixmucane, is the only one that seems important, as the first is just a report on the apparent theft of the god Zinglon's nose from a museum. The final boss of that episode is Vykromod in the form of ... a giant nose.
  • Forgotten Fallen Friend: Near the end of Episode 4, Trent reminisces on how the assassination of his best friend Buce was what threw him in the middle of his galactic warzone hell.
    "Dang. Can't even remember his name now."
  • Fruit of the Loon: Fruits play a ridiculously prominent role in this futuristic space shooter. Fruit has its own weird cult. The bosses of the last episode of the game? FRUIT. That also includes ale and pretzels do, too. And the hot dog guns. There's even a giant carrot ship whose attacks are all based on foods. Maybe this one should be Foods of the Loon.
  • Game-Breaking Bug:
    • On newer computers running the game via DOSBox, attempting to view a datacube, sent by Reid after IXMUCANE in Episode 3, may cause the game to crash.
    • If you destroy the boss in the HARVEST level in Episode 4 before its lifebar shows up, the game will be stuck in an infinite loop until you quit the stage and restart.
    • SHIPEDIT information is not saved in the release.
    • The game often crashes DOSBox upon quitting. Frontends, such as the version, or third-party forks like DOSBox Staging, would close DOSBox without incident, whereas a factory DOSBox installation would sometimes hang and lag the entire system it is running on until it is killed using a process manager.
  • Gainax Ending: The ending to Tyrian 2000. The protagonist gets sick and tired of playing hero all the time and attempts to flee to Earth, only to suddenly get picked en route and forced to do battle against a deadly fruit cult.
  • Garnishing the Story: Although in-game lore makes considerable mention of dragons, with Torm having worm-like dragons that tried to rush the character for heavy damage, the final boss of Episode 2 being a blue griffin-like dragon, and one of the secret characters in 2000 being a ship-sized dragon that shoots fire and lightning as its main attacks, they don't actually play any critical role to the story revolving around the player, and exist in the game largely for Worldbuilding purposes.
  • Gatling Good: The Vulcan Cannon fires shots out very rapidly.
  • Gemstone Assault: The enemy ships in Gem War are piloted by the Inzia. They shoot destructible gem mines at you, some of which are homing.
  • The Ghost: General Nortaneous, owner of one of the most powerful ships in the entire galaxy, has his transmission regarding stargates intercepted by Trent in the first episode, and it is rumoured that Gencore made two custom companion ships for his own use, but he never plays an important role in any of the major events that happened in Story Mode. However, he does personally send Trent a message allowing the latter to borrow his own ship if Trent makes it to Episode 5 of Super Tyrian mode. If Trent actually completes the game on Super Tyrian mode, the player receives the code to use the Nort Ship Z in Super Arcade Mode.
  • Giant Flyer: Gryphon, the Final Boss of Episode 2, is a blue griffin-dragon hybrid thing. Which can shoot out it's head and re-attach it.
  • Giant Space Flea from Nowhere: Lord ZZT/Gopenhagen, the blimp boss in Savara V, attacks civilians on the planet, causing the Fridge Horror explained above. No explanation is given for this.
  • God Mode:
    • F2 + F3 + F6 (or F5, depending on the version) = Cheaters Always Prosper. Note that this cannot be done in Super Arcade Modes.
    • The armor vaporization code of the Gravitron Pulse-Wave (F2 + F3 + F4) also does this with the added effect of reducing your current armor level to 1.
  • The Goomba: The U-ship, the first enemy in the game, has relatively weak health AND no attacks at all (except for the playable U-ship which has both, justified here because its backstory indicates that it was stolen from enemy hands and modified for pilot use).
  • Gratuitous Ninja: One of the secret characters is a ninja ship that can fire shurikens and acid gas bombs. It belongs to an actual ninja known as... Ninja. Data Cubes from him are scarce, but he is apparently from Another Dimension, accessible through the Stargate. He initially believes Trent to be an agent of Microsol but later learns otherwise and helps out.
  • Guide Dang It!:
    • The very first level of Episode 1, TYRIAN, links to three secret levels (BUBBLES, HOLES, and SOH JIN). Access to BUBBLES only requires the player to blow up, then fly over, a rock formation that extends off the right side of the screen, but the way to access the HOLES and SOH JIN is much more convoluted:
      • HOLES: Destroy all of the U-ships at the start of the level. This causes one of the spinning ships in the first wave after the "Approaching enemy platforms..." message to drop the secret level orb.
      • SOH JIN: Do not destroy all of the U-ships of the first wave at the start of the level note . This will spawn an additional interceptor near the end of the level that drops the secret level orb when destroyed.
    • In Stargate, Episode 3, one of the mooks drops four secret level orbs from four of its components, two of them leading to one secret level, and the other two leading to another. The trouble is that the components in question move over and under each other, so it is nearly impossible for the player to know if a level orb for Sawblades or Ast. City was obtained.
    • Each and every ship in the game, even ones that look the same, have secret moves that can only be performed if you did the right button combination, which you wouldn't know unless you've either looked up a guide or discover them by accident. One mode in the game, being the hidden "Super Tyrian" mode, even forces you to learn these moves as an alternate method of attack, as some moves generate a few companion ships and front attachments as your sidekick weapons.
  • Hailfire Peaks:
    • In Episode 4, you have fly into the core of Ixmucane in order to stop it from turning into a sun. If you succeed, the planet starts cooling down rapidly thanks to your destruction of the core's power source and you have to exit via an icy passage after saving the inhabitants from an icy death. The reason for this is due to Ixmucane actually being a cold, icy planet until it was terraformed, and the core within provides the heat to make it habitable.
    • Also happens in Brainiac: part of the level becomes fiery, and shortly after that, another part turns icy.
  • Harder Than Hard: Tyrian has three hidden extra-hard difficulties (Impossible, Suicide, and "Lord of the Game"), with the hardest of them making most levels damn near-impossible to beat.
  • Hard Levels, Easy Bosses: For some reason, all the bosses in Episode 5 have very little health, allowing you to destroy them in seconds. Especially visible on the "Station" level, where the boss is immediately preceded by a very hard part with several green platform-like ships firing at you from the bottom of the screen while a giant magnet keeps tossing you left and right.
  • Hard Mode Perks:
    • Savara in Episode 1 has a drastically different (i.e. more challenging) layout on Hard difficulty or higher, but the latter also adds in an extra weapon powerup dropped from one of the enemies.
    • If you play Episode 3 on Easy or Normal difficulty, it ends when you complete Fleet. On Hard difficulty or higher, you continue on to Tyrian X, Savara Y and New Deli, where you can purchase an exclusive sidekick, the Wobbley, as well as some of the more powerful weapons in the game, and are given an early chance to buy the Prototype Stalker-C, probably the most useful ship in Story Mode and the second strongest in terms of hull strength. To balance this out, the additional levels are quite a bit more difficult as compared to many of the game's other levels and might take a few attempts for a new player to complete.
  • Harmless Freezing: The Ice Beam special weapon does this. It doesn't do any damage, but it freezes enemies that it hits, preventing them from firing at you.
  • Healing Factor: The Gencore Phoenix and Maelstrom, as well as the Prototype Stalker-C and The Stalker 21.126 in Super Tyrian mode can recover armor points as one of their hidden twiddle commands. The drawback is that the recovery process is very easily triggered and completely drains all existing shield power.
  • Helpful Mook: One of the enemies in Ice Exit (The large ice crystal-looking ships) will alternate firing regular shots at you with firing blue gems that give points/score at you.
  • Hero of Another Story:
    • Transon Lohk and Reid aren't just spectators in this game. Each one of them play a major role in some pretty large-scale or important operations. Transon helped to co-ordinate the evacuation efforts on Ixmucane onboard the Gencore flagship Icostar II while Trent was busy blasting his way through Microsol's defences on his way into the planet's core, and Reid led the forces on Savara against an invasion force while Trent was helping Transon to liberate Deliani after Javi turned its defence system on itself.
    • Ninja may well be the Hero of Another Dimension.
  • Holiday Mode: The game prompts you whether or not to activate it if you start the game during December. Among the many changes, your ship's voice has a new set of sayings and an entirely new, Santa-esque voice.
  • Homage: There are several references to NES shooter Zanac in Tyrian; two music tracks, "Zanac 3" and "Zanac 5", were even borrowed from the game.
  • Humanoid Aliens: Nearly all of the sentient ones, the most prominent examples being the Hazudra Collectors and Emperor Milktoe.
  • Hyper-Destructive Bouncing Ball: The Nortship Spreader B, one of the Nort Ship Z's available Super Arcade weapons, shoots massive blue balls that damage and bounce off everything they hit. Hilarity Ensues if they get wedged between two enemies or a multi-part boss.
  • Idiosyncratic Difficulty Levels: There's Easy, Normal, and Hard... and after that there's "Impossible", "Suicide", and "Lord of the Game". The last of which makes even the basic mooks into damage sponges and makes them fire at ungodly fast rates.
  • I'm a Humanitarian: Notable in Savara and Gyges.
    • From one of the datacubes describing the restaurants on Savara:
      "Many also cater to the more exotic tastes by serving the patrons of competing restaurants, literally!"
    • To say nothing about Gyges, where denizens eat each other for food. Especially vegetarians, who are regarded as free game.
      A common saying on Gyges: "If you don't want to eat my friends, then I'll eat YOU!"
  • I Just Want to Be Normal: Over the course of the game, Trent goes from space laborer to space hero. It's about the last thing he wants and by the end of it all, he just wants to get the hell out of this crazy war.
  • Immune to Mind Control: The Hazudra are stated to be immune to any form of brainwashing thanks to having holographic memory. This is also the reason why Trent Hawkins' friend Buce was killed by Microsol, since Microsol failed to brainwash him.
  • Impossibly Cool Weapon: Front-mounted lightning cannons, rear-mounted fireball launchers, side-mounted wingmen that fire very damaging energy mines ... need we say more?
  • Infinity -1 Sword:
    • The Mega Pulse is easy to find, available as early as the second level via an easy-to-find Secret Level powerup, and is surprisingly powerful at full power. It is available long before the Zica Laser, standard Laser, and SDF Main Gun yet can feasibly be used for the entire game. It pairs well with the equally accessible rear Sonic Wave, which can be directed to fire four powerful waves forward with the Secondary Fire toggle (once fully upgraded). Alternatively, when paired with the Rear Mega Pulse (found in later levels of Episode 3), it lets the player bring the Bullet Hell to the enemies as, when fully powered up, the Rear Mega Pulse fires two shots to the left and right, as well as one forward and one covering the rear.
    • The rear Heavy Guided Bombs also show up in the first episode and when fully upgraded, deploy four homing discs that each hit like a truck and do the aiming for you while you're busy raining destruction on your main target with your front weapon. They won't win the battle for you, but do help soften targets.
    • The rear Sonic Wave is another solid option at full power. It provides powerful firepower to your sides or it can use its Alternate Fire to direct four powerful green crescent waves forward and supplement your front weapon.
    • The Atom Bomb sidekicks are available early in the very first episode but are among of the most powerful side weapons in the game with generous ammo capacity and each missile hitting like a rocket truck. Their raw damage rate combined with other powerful weapons can make bosses melt away in seconds. They may not have the sheer burst damage of the Plasma Storm sidekicks but the much higher ammo capacity makes up for it.
  • Infinity +1 Sword: In one secret level, you can get hooked up with one of two very deadly laser Special Abilities. Collecting one of the floating powerups will give you a short bursts of Level 2 Lasers as your secondary weapon. Collecting the power-up a second time will give you the SDF Main Gun.
  • Interface Screw: On some levels, your perspective flips, or you have to use "headlights" to light up a cone in front of your ship. On Harder Than Hard levels of difficulty, every level requires you to use headlights.
  • Invincible Minor Minion: Three levels have this little, laser-firing thing that attacks you. The problem? It attacks you from behind and cannot be destroyed. It will go away after a period of time, though.
  • Kill It with Fire: The Plasma Storm and Flamethrower Sidekicks, the fireball front and rear weapons, and there's a special move that you can use that covers the screen in fiery explosions.
  • Kill It with Ice:
  • Language Equals Thought: Played for Laughs with one of the datacubes, describing the natives of the Shifting Sand Land Soh Jin:
    "The locals are wary of outsiders, but will freely accept you as long as you can speak their language. Fortunately, the locals were never too bright and most people can fake their ancestral language which consists of only one word: Sand."
  • Legally Dead: Trent Hawkins is considered dead by most of the galaxy and given a hero's funeral after he disappears to another galaxy for several years instead of returning to Savara to get a hero's welcome.
  • Lethal Joke Character:
    • One of the secret characters is the very first mook you meet in the first level of the first episode. While its arsenal of attacks is rather so-so, some of the weapons it can obtain are powerful, like the Mega Cannon.
  • Lethal Joke Item: The Banana Bomb. Its firing speed is sub-par, and the projectiles it fires are small and slow, but if it hits...
  • Lightning Bruiser: Microsol's plan for most of the game is to create a fleet of these. With their ships' propulsion systems drawing directly on the Gravitium, more reactor power can be allocated to weaponry. Trent beats the crap out of the fleet anyway.
  • Lightning Gun: The Lightning Cannon fires very powerful streams of lightning. Its main drawback is the massive toll it takes on your generator power in order to fire.
  • Ludicrous Precision: According to one data cube, the Zica race have been dead for 421965032 years, 14 days, and 32 minutes (SCI estimation, of course).
  • Macross Missile Massacre:
    • You can pull this off by equipping your ship with Heavy Missile Launcher as your front weapon, Rear Heavy Missile Launcher as your rear weapon, and Micro/Mega Missiles as your sidekicks.
    • Micro missiles do this on their own; they burn through their 100 shots — each — in about twelve seconds of continuous fire.
  • Make Some Noise: The Sonic Wave weapon fires out damaging sonic waves. It even works in space and a datacube explains that a forced particle packing field is used to trap it within a gravitational center, which also makes the shots appear green.
  • Meaningful Name:
    • One of the secret levels, MARKERS, railroads your movement by placing many highly visible blocks on the screen to mark out the only paths you can fly through.
    • Another secret level GEM WAR has loads of gem power-ups floating about, and the only enemies in the level fire out gems at your character. And when you kill them, they drop gems.
    • The first level of Episode 3 is called GAUNTLET. Your ship flies through most of this level at high speed while at the same time dodging mooks, makeshift walls, anti-ship flails and the asteroid thicket.
    • Destroying Microsol's Gravitium-powered fleet is the focus of the level FLEET.
    • What is the name of the level where you sweep the surface of Ixmucane of Microsol's forces so that Gencore and its allies can land and evacuate the planet's inhabitants? SURFACE.
    • The level where you confront Javi in his dreadnought is called DREAD-NOT due to the fact that it can be easily destroyed if you attack its weak points for massive damage.
    • In EYE-SPY, most of the enemies you confront are eyeballs in various sizes. There is also one segment where you have to dodge projectile attacks aimed at you by indestructible eyeballs that momentarily enter the screen from the edges.
    • The boss at the end of BRAINIAC is ... a gigantic brain.
    • The boss of NOSE DRIP is... a giant nose that shoots "snot" as one of its attacks.
    • One secret level in Episode 2 has an interesting twist in which waves of enemies which will drop down depends on which of the enemies you do and do not destroy. Doing this in a certain way also results in a Boss appearing. The name of the level? MISTAKES!
  • The Medic: The armor ship, a Palette Swap of one of the mooks in Torm and Asteroid 2, will descend from the top of the screen and hang around for a while whenever you lose enough armor points to reach the Critical Annoyance klaxon (or if you do not have that much armor to begin with in the first place). Destroying the armor ship will drop a hull integrity bonus which, depending on its color, will repair your armor by up to a third of the maximum armor level possible in the entire game (that's the blue one). This armor ship will keep making appearances at fairly long intervals until you have recovered enough armor to shut the klaxon off.
  • MegaCorp: Microsol, Gencore and several other unnamed groups. Microsol seems to be lead by the Omniscient Council of Vagueness and never runs out of leaders. In the final episode, it's revealed that the entire company is a mere front for the cult of Zinglon and its foul leader, the god himself. In addition, Microsol appears to be the manufacturer of all the game's best items save those made by the Zica.
  • Mercy Kill: This is what amounts to ending Vykromod's life during the NOSE DRIP level. Even the epilogue of Episode 4 discusses about it.
  • More Dakka:
    • You can get front and rear Vulcan Cannons with 11 levels of power each, Vulcan Shot Option sidekicks, and the Dual Vulcan special weapon. Without a high-end generator, your ship can't handle this much Dakka.
    • The Hyperpulse also follows a similar formula to the Vulcan. At maximum level it rapidly fires off about a 35-degree fan of Pulse-Cannon-Style bullets.
  • New Game Plus: At the end of the final episode, you start back at the first level of the first episode with all your equipment, the difficulty bumped up a notch, and a rare chance of your ship being replaced with the Foodship Nine.
  • Nine out of Ten Doctors Agree: Parodied in the datacube advertisement for Alambusol anti-parasite spray:
    "Yes, four out of our five doctors recommend Alambusol to their infested patients. The other doctor was fired."
  • Nominal Hero: Trent, of the "leave me alone", "annoyance/revenge", and "force" types. He just wants to be normal after losing friends and family to the belligerents, and put a pointless conflict to an end, and fled when he refused to be exploited for his heroism anymore.
  • Oh, Crap!: Gencore agent Harble Wom plays this straight and true the very instant he guesses what Microsol is thinking of doing by turning on the Zica computer system deep in the center of Ixmucane.
    "I think...
    I think they're going to turn this planet into a sun.

    [End of File]"
  • One-Hit-Point Wonder: Completely and utterly averted. Your ship has a regenerating shield that absorbs damage. And when your shield is down, your armour then starts taking damage. Only when your armour is down does your ship get destroyed.
  • One-Hit Polykill: Quite a number of these: the Mega Cannon, Needle Laser, Sonic Impulse, Zica Flamethrower, Soul of Zinglon and the SDF Main Gun will pierce through everything they hit.
  • One-Word Title: Also an example of The Place, as it's the name of the planet you're on.
  • Our Dragons Are Different: The planet of Torm has wormlike dragons that have a gigantic amount of health and attack the player's ship with a ramming attack. According to data they're not native to the planet and seeded themselves there, being capable of living and traveling through space. Said dragons are also toxic, but that doesn't stop Torm's inhabitants from making them into the delicacy that is Dragon Succotash.
  • Out of the Frying Pan: In Episode 4, Microsol activates a giant magma fireball in Ixmucane's core in order to turn the planet into a sun. Defeat it, and you save the planet from fiery destruction... and it turns out that said magma fireball was the central energy source for the planet's core, meaning that the planet's now going to freeze over if you don't reactivate the core in time.
  • Outrun the Fireball: The destruction of the brain boss on BRAINIAC causes a massive energy surge that is shown in-game as a extremely lengthy destruction sequence. Trent uses it to perform his Screw This, I'm Outta Here.
  • The Paralyzer: One of the special weapons you can get (as well as a shield-draining twiddle command) was the Ice Beam. If a shot from this hits an enemy, it will not freeze it in motion, but would prevent it from firing shots for a short while.
  • Path of Inspiration: The Order of Zinglon seems to be a fanatical-but-benevolent religious organization for most of the game, then turns out to be the real Big Bad in Episode 5.
  • The Place: Tyrian is the name of the planet the game revolves around.
  • Precursors: The Zica, sort of. They haven't been seen for millions of years, but a lot of their technology is still around. One of the datacubes mentions their return as a possible Sequel Hook, though this has never come to pass.
  • Purposely Overpowered: The Nort Ship Z, your reward for completing the final episode on Super Tyrian mode. Its special weapons are Astral Zone, a Beam Spam of Zica Lasers across the whole screen for three seconds, and the SDF Main Gun. Yes, the Infinity +1 Sword/Wave-Motion Gun of Tyrian is the second of this ship's two default Special Abilities. It also has the same armor level as The Stalker 21.126 — the maximum amount possible in the game.
    "TOP SECRET: This ship is on loan from Nortaneous' personal hanger. The rent on this ship is very high, but it's incredibly powerful.
    The only way to describe what this ship does is to fly it and see for yourself. Nothing on the screen is safe with its special weapon active."
  • Ramming Always Works: Smaller mooks can be destroyed by bumping into them, which does inflict some damage to yourself, although your shields will regenerate. However, larger mooks and bosses frequently ram into you, which often translates into an instant death if you are not careful, and even if them ramming you doesn't kill you, they will violently push you off course, most likely into a path of bullets. It's possibly the reason few if any other shooters without constant gravity have no collision inertia.
  • Rank Inflation: By the end of episode four, Captain Nob, as the last surviving ranking Microsol official, decides to declare himself Admiral, then quickly escalates his title, to General, then Emperor, before finally settling on "Supreme Intergalactic Ruler of Everything, Master of All, Well-Liked by Animals". As he has no actual power by then (besides sending Vykromod after Trent one more time), Trent just ignores him.
  • Rare Random Drop: There is a one in six chance that your ship and its front and rear weapons will be replaced by the SuperCarrot and Banana weapons every time you complete the final episode of the game and start over on the next difficulty level. While the SuperCarrot can be purchased between some levels, this is the only way for the player to obtain the Banana weapons without resorting to the use of a custom ship.
  • Readings Are Off the Scale: The front and rear guns all have eleven power levels. This trope is also the basis of a joke in one of the datacubes that manages to poke fun at The Ten Commandments and This is Spın̈al Tap simultaneously.
  • Recurring Boss:
    • The very first boss of Episode 1, a brown, evil-looking ship with destructible detachable claws, had to be fought again in the same episode as the final boss and as a Giant Mook in an extremely hard-to-unlock secret level.
    • The first boss you had to fight in Episode 2 was a large green ship at the end of Torm. It later reappears in Episode 2 in Botany. Then, in Episode 4, the player had to confront it yet again in the secret level ?Tunnel?, but this time it has additional sawblades and exploding missiles in its arsenal.
    • The Z-29 Central Defense Ship, a large red vessel that serves as the main pillar of Savara's defences. Trent encounters (and destroys) this vessel no less than three times throughout the course of the game. Under the right conditions, he also earns the anger of Transon Lohk because of the number of times he destroys it.
    "Now, look, Trent Hawkins, I am sick and tired of you blowing our Z-29 Central Defense Ship to bits!
    Take your stupid war somewhere else and stop destroying our defense fleet!"
    • The gigantic eyeball in Episode 4 shows up in Lava Run, near the start of the episode, and EyeSpy, near the end of the episode.
    • Dreadnaught (or at least the middle section) too. You confront in one of the lava stages, in Deliani, then as a Battleship Raid.
  • Regenerating Shield, Static Health: The regeneration is power by your generator, same as your weapons. Armor can be restored by enemy drops and, in certain ships, by a twiddle command.
  • Reports of My Death Were Greatly Exaggerated: After Trent destroys Microsol's forces and plans thus saving the galaxy, he decides to retreat to a faraway galaxy instead of being Transon's errand boy once more. The galaxy presumes he's dead and gives him a hero's funeral. 101 years later, he's awoken from cryosleep, still alive, and Zinglon's forces are not happy with it.
    Zinglon cultist: "Again you plague our path towards ultimate wisdom. Again your cursed mind and stolen starfighter technology return. You were thought to be destroyed in your battle with our god, Zinglon. However, I see that some twisted destiny permits you to live. I cannot."
  • Sad Battle Music: Asteroid Dance, Part 1.
  • Scolded for Not Buying: Exaggerated in the lore cubes for Gyges. Anyone who refuses to buy/eat the various alien meats there is fair game to be eaten. As their saying goes: "If you don't want to eat my friends, then I'll eat YOU!"
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here: Trent decides to put himself into cryosleep and hightail it to a random faraway galaxy at the end of Episode 4, after having just about enough of Transon Lohk using him for whatever crisis happens to be going on at the time.
  • Segmented Serpent: The worm-like dragons in Torm that try to charge the player.
  • Sequential Boss: A number of bosses are split into sections:
    • The Final Boss of Episode 1. You have to shoot down its horns first, then you can damage its main body.
    • The Dreadnaught of Episode 4 is a Battleship Raid whose weakpoints have to be shot down in order to proceed to the next part.
    • Vykromod of Episode 4 requires you to shoot down one of his body parts to proceed to the next phase.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Certain datacubes that are usually picked up in the bonus level contain references to other Epic Megagames products like Jazz Jackrabbit and One Must Fall 2097. Only one of these is a direct ad; the others take the form of transmissions from or about characters from those other games.
    • There's also this special weapon called the SDF Main Gun.
    • One of the songs is titled "One Mustn't Fall" in reference to the game "One Must Fall 2097".
    • The final boss from the first level of Episode 2 looks just too much like the first boss from Xenon.
  • Single-Biome Planet: Most of them, Played for Laughs in the data cubes:
    • Tyrian itself is probably the most diverse, with a Green Hill Zone and Lethal Lava Land in Episode 1 and a water level in Episode 4, but they all have one thing in common, namely lots of floating rocks thanks to the mineral Gravitium, the game's Unobtainium.
    • Soh Jin is a Shifting Sand Land, though only one of the levels on that planet actually takes place on its surface.
    • Savara is mostly water with some beach islands that has all sorts of aircraft and blimps.
    • Deliani is an Eternal Engine. Even the plant life (which only appears in one level) grows on machines.
    • Torm is a giant rainforest.
    • Gyges is more or less a planet-wide Womb Level (the datacube with information on the planet says that all native life is carnivorous and are offended if you don't eat them).
    • Ixmucane is another Shifting Sand Land although it may not stay that way in Episode 4.
    • Camanis is an ice planet, though one level in Episode 5 is Under the Sea.
  • Slow Laser: Any weapon that has "Laser" in its name. Even the projectiles fired by the constant Laser aren't hitscan like the Soul of Zinglon.
  • Some Dexterity Required: Unusually for an overhead shooter, each of the many different ships you can pilot has different "twiddle" commands that work exactly like fighting game action commands. Some of these are almost impossible to actually perform when you need them; some are too easy to activate; some of them drain lots of your health when you do activate them. In the extremely difficult Super Tyrian mode, they are your only other attack option beyond your fast-but-weak starter weapon, although thankfully the ship used in that mode can also use the said commands to summon helpers as well.
  • Sound Test: The Jukebox which allows listening to all the music pieces, with trippy colorful visuals as the background. The Jukebox is also available in the Ship Editor.
  • Space Is Noisy:
    • Lampshaded as one datacube explains that all space fighters are equipped with chairs that amplify whatever sound waves they can pick up in space.
    • The Sonic Wave weapon works in space despite being sonic waves. This is justified in another datacube explaining that a forced particle packing field is used to trap it within a gravitational center. This gravitational center also vibrates at a frequency that makes the field around the projectiles appear green.
  • Sphere of Destruction: Banana Bombs create a very damaging explosion sphere when they hit. The "Xega Balls" of TX Silvercloud count as well.
  • Spiritual Successor: To MSX/NES game Zanac. Most obvious when you trigger a warp zone.
  • Spread Shot: Many of them, such as the multi-cannon, Protron, Banana Blast, Sonic Impulse, Fireball, Dragon Frost, etc. Then again, this game IS a Shoot 'Em Up...
  • Supporting Leader: Reid, head of the rebel Mendivian and Anti Microsol league. He becomes the Acting President of Savara late in Episode 4.
  • Take That!: What does the name of Microsol, the Big Bad Mega Corp., sound like?
  • Time-Limit Boss:
    • In Episode 4, level 3 (AKA CORE) there's a gigantic moving magma fireball whose attacks are fairly punishing and you have about a paltry 18 seconds to destroy it. If you fail to do so before the time limit expires, the entire planet of Ixmucane boils over and turns into a star, killing all of its inhabitants. To make matters worse, the boss is immune to certain weapons and if you're lazy enough, it can fully regenerate its health in an instant! On harder difficulty levels, it will abuse its Healing Factor frequently and thus making it far more likely to run the timer out on you and fail the level. You'd better hope you've brought the right weapons to defeat it, as well as sufficiently upgraded them to their maximum levels, so that you can at least destroy that thing before it starts abusing its healing ability.
    • If you manage to destroy this magma fireball in time, the planet starts rapidly cooling down to freezing temperatures thanks to you blowing up the central energy source, and you need to re-activate the core in a hurry. In your way is Captain Nob and his green ship, this time with more weaponry and a (far more lenient) time limit. If you fail to beat him in time, the planet of Ixmucane freezes over, killing all of its inhabitants.
  • Time Skip: Episode 5 in Tyrian 2000 takes place 101 years after the end of Episode 4 if you are not flying The Stalker 21.126.
  • To Serve Man: The inhabitants of Gyges are keen on eating people, especially vegetarians who they see as fair game for food.
  • Turns Red:
    • The final boss of Episode 1 does this once you destroy its horns, required before you can actually damage him. The background music changes, and then it gets really fast and damaging...
    • Many of the other bosses in the game also do this, albeit to a lesser extent. Whenever their health bar approaches 25%, parts of their outer hull break off and they drastically increase their firepower. Subverted by the blimp boss of Savara V in Episode 1, which loses all its weapons and attacks once its health gets low enough.
  • The Unfought: In the final level of Episode 3, "Fleet", there's a Microsol ship called the Illuminator firing a Wave-Motion Gun from offscreen. You never get to fight it. This is both justified and lampshaded by Data Cubes — the Illuminator itself is invisible in a safe position at the rear of the fleet, and the boss battle is against a mine-deploying secondary platform that, when destroyed, will be a signal for the Illuminator to retreat.
    The Harbringer Plasma system was designed for the invisible ship Illuminator. The ship will be deployed at the rear of the main Microsol fleet in our final assault. Failure in the mission in any way will result in the ship breaking off from combat. The Illuminator is being defended by a secondary battleship platform, which is also classified. It's job is to set up a mine defense barrier while the Illuminator acts from a safe position. Should the secondary platform be destroyed, the Illuminator will break off the attack.
  • Unusable Enemy Equipment:
    • Averted, though not strictly in a gameplay sense. The best regular ships you can get, the Stalker series, were designed and built by Microsol. Averted completely by the secret U-Ship, which is the first Mook ever encountered in the game.
    • You can also get the Banana Blaster as a weapon, which is used by the banana ship enemies in the final level of the final episode.
  • Updated Re-release:
    • Tyrian 2000 includes better Windows support (though it's still a native DOS program), a few new ships and ship parts, and most importantly a new episode (albeit a short one) that wraps up the game's story. It also fixes the infamous Turbo Pascal divide-by-zero crash whereby on a computer significantly faster than the state-of-the-art at the time the program crashes immediately.
    • The 2.0 patch for the game could be considered one, given that it adds a lot of new content, such as end of episode minigames, Super Arcade mode and a fourth episode that practically doubles the game's length.
  • Upgraded Boss: The first and last levels of Episode 1 have the same boss. The second instance has a total of three health bars to deal with, has slightly more powerful existing attacks, and a few new moves.
  • Villainous Breakdown: After throwing everything at his disposal at Trent and failing to kill him countless times throughout Episode 2 to 4, Javi finally loses it and resorts to deploying his personal Dreadnaught.
    "What in the universe are you doing still alive?! I thought I told you to die the last time you showed up!
    This time, Trent, there is no escape!
    I will take you out with my personal DREADNAUGHT! You are nothing to me, do you hear me! NOTHING!!!"
  • Wave-Motion Gun:
    • The SDF Main Gun, which will pierce through absolutely everything in the game for massive damage. The Level 11 Laser also counts; it's just as wide as the SDF Main Gun's projectile, although marginally less deadly.
    • In "Fleet", the final stage of Episode 3, an invisible (and unfought) ship known as the Illuminator fires massive lasers from offscreen.
  • What Have I Become?: Said verbatim by Vykromod before the last level of episode 4. Considering that he's been turned into a horrifying giant nose monster, there's a good reason for it.