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Video Game / Vortex

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Vortex is a 3D shooter developed by Argonaut Software for the SNES in 1994. It is one of the few games to utilize the Super FX GSU-1 graphical enhancement chip, which gives it a similar artistic feel to Star Fox, one of the three other games which used the chip.

As the unnamed pilot of the Morphing Battle System (MBS), you are tasked with recovering five pieces of the AI Core from the Aki-Do invaders. The game spans seven levels and three training levels, with many different enemy types and terrain features that force you to utilize the different forms of the MBS to complete your goals.

This game contains examples of:

  • Bottomless Magazines: Averted; if you run out of ammo and can't find an ammo container, you're pretty much screwed.
  • Drop Ship: You get dropped into every non-space level by one, and returned to the mission area if you reach the Invisible Wall.
  • Energy Weapon: You shoot lasers.
  • Expy: Before the game was released, information released about the game led many to believe it was a Transformers title.
  • The Horde: The Aki-Do.
  • Named After Somebody Famous: All of the bosses are this, some more so than others. The first and final bosses Crixus and Vercingetorix may ring few bells, but the ones in between - Darius, Spartacus, Alexander, Xerxes, and Pompey - are all familiar names even to those unfamiliar with history.
  • Nintendo Hard
  • Smart Bomb: The Hard Shell mode of the MBS has no weapons, but if you're in a pinch you can activate an Electrobomb to clear out all enemies in visual range. They must be used sparingly, however, as you only get three per level and have no way to replenish their ammo.
  • Stone Wall: The Hard Shell has exceptionally high defense, but its offensive capabilities are next to nonexistent.
  • Taking You with Me: The preferred method of dealing damage by some enemies.
  • Transforming Mecha: Your MBS can transform between a mech, an automobile, a high-speed fighter jet, and a zero-offense fortified construct.
  • Zerg Rush: Encountered many times if you don't kill the enemies fast enough.