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Video Game / X (1992)

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X is a space combat flight simulation game developed by Argonaut Games and published by Nintendo and released for the Game Boy in 1992.

In the far future, humanity is in search of a new source of energy. They find it on the planet Tetamus II but they must protect the planet from a race of aliens until the energy can be harvested. The player does this by commanding the starship VIXIV through various missions as assigned by the "Training Academy Coach".

After the success of the Starglider 2 game for the Amiga computer, the game's developers wanted to experiment with making a Gameboy game that had 3D visuals. Partway through the game's development, Nintendo stepped in and made the game a first-party game. Even though an international released was planned under the name Lunar Chase, the release was cancelled at the last minute by Nintendo of America because they thought the game was too advanced for a console they were aiming at children. However, the game would get a sequel for DSiWare in 2010 called X-Scape that did release globally. In a 2020 data leak, a fully completed translation of Lunar Chase was dumped online on the same day a mostly complete (and still well-made) fan translation was also released. In addition, Argonaut would later go on to create another game that would begin an iconic series, Star Fox.

Tropes found across this game and its sequel:

  • A Long Time Ago In A Galaxy Far Away: The game takes place on and around Tetamus II, a planet located in a distant galaxy.
  • Easter Egg: Totaka's Song can be heard in Mission 4 if the player waits 40 seconds when they see the fake scientist. The sequel also has the same easter egg found in much of the same way.
  • Excuse Plot: Humans find a new energy source on a distant planet. It's up to you to defend it from aliens.
  • No Name Given: The Training Academy Coach seen in the game is known simply by just that.
  • One-Letter Title: The first game's name is simply just "X".
  • Previously on…: X-Scape has cutscenes that explain the plot of X due to the former's restriction to only Japan.
  • 20 Minutes into the Future: The games are set in the year 8191.
  • Visual Effects of Awesome: The game has a fully 3D look with 3D objects made out of wireframe graphics. In addition, other objects take on the appearance of vector graphics. It's a very ambitious looking game for Gameboy standards. X-Scape also opts for a vector look which was the main reasoning the game was restricted to not being a retail release.