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Quick Info

 
PlayerTypeJapanWorldBoard ID(C)Conversions
Vertical
2P space
shmup
Batsugun?
1994
Saturn
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Brief Description

Batsugun is one of those games where you've got firepower, and lots of it, and still the enemies are just as tough to take out. The entire screen fills up with every shot, but the aliens have learned a trick or two and replies with the same coin. Avoiding enemy shots turns out to be a game of finding the holes in the enemy attack and go there. Other games do this for bosses, but Batsugun does it for most enemies!

Batsugun is more character based than the average shooter, this is maybe a way to get more personality into the game like many fighting games. The game doesn't have any pickups, but a "experience" system where you are awarded experience points for the enemies you kill, marked as '+1' and other numbers when you kill the enemies (see screenshot) which increase your firepower.

You only need to complete the game once to get the ending, which is a first for Toaplan. Usually you must play through the game twice.

"BATSUGUN" means "preeminence", "predominace", "by far the best"
"BATSU" means "dominant", "outstanding" or "excel"
"GUN" is originaly "group" or "brigade", but also means "common level".
"BATSU" also means a cross (X) mark, so there's an "X" under the logo of Batsugun.

Music composed by Yoshitatsu Sakai.

Click here for the Background Story, or Character information.

Unfortunately, the emulated version I play is not functioning very well, the transparency are missing, so many enemies are hidden by gameplay layers but luckily the guy responsible for it (Quench) is a priority-bit finder extraordinaire so I assume this will be fixed very soon.

(Following info from Shooting Star, translated by Fujix, edited by Carl)

How to Play:
You play through 5 stages with an 8-direction joystick and 2 buttons (shoot and bomb). "Power Up" and "Bomb" items appear when you destroy an item carrier that appears throughout the game, various bonus items appear when you destroy certain enemies, buildings, and boxes on the ground. During the game, your ship's power increases as you destroy enemies.

Items:
The gun has 3 levels and each level has 5 steps. You can increase the step of the current level by taking items, but the level goes up by experience points (a gauge displayed the bottom of the screen).

Bomb () works immediately when you push the bomb button. When the game is in 2-player mode, and both players use bombs simultaneously, they pack a punch three times as much as a single bomb. You can keep up to 7 bombs.

Bonus items are named "Victory". Big Victory items () are worth 1000 pts, small ones () are worth 500 pts. When you clear each stage, you get a bonus.

Stage requirements for Pig Batteries (If you are close to the pig head, 110 points are added every 1/60 sec):

STAGE 2 Destroy the control tower beside the flight strip pressing the lever to upper right, right, and lower right.
STAGE 3 Destroy the center core where some batteries are connected and scrolling speed slows down, pressing the lever to lower left, low, lower right.
STAGE 5 Destroy the building on the left side immedeately after the stage starts pressing the lever to upper left, left, and lower left. Two pigs appear here.

Stage Requirements for stage bonuses:

STAGE 2 Destroy enemy ships while you are on the flight strip. (It's too late after you take off.)
STAGE 4 When you are fight against the boss, you leave tanks not to destroy. And then, when the color of tanks changed, clear them all up with a bomber.
STAGE 5 Keep enemies alive on the moving floor until the floor stops.

Ishihara description

(Info from Ishihara Toaplan web, translated by Fujix, edited by Carl)

This is the last shoot'em-up and the first non-endless game by Toaplan.

Batsugun seems to be the easiest game to play that Toaplan created. I can't feel something like atrociousity which Toaplan games had, but the feature that you can get points much was made into that. Especially 59630 bonus is highlight of that, and you'll have to kill your ship to earn points very hard at the boss of the 4th stage. Furthermore, in the 5th stage, the situation is revered, you have to stop shooting enemies. Also, there are hidden "Pig-Gun Batteries", when you get close to it, ears of pig bend(?) and you'll get points on and on.

If you play normally, there's nothing new about this game, but the difficulty suits beginners, and the earn-much feature satisfy advanced players.

It is a good game, but the last one by Toaplan.

About the Special Version

A special version of Batsugun existed, originally it was only for the AOU show (an arcade game show held in Japan every year) and not for sale.

After the Toaplan bunkruptcy, the board started to appear on the second hand market.

One of the differences between the original and the special version is the 4-lap end.

The 2nd lap begins from the 2nd stage, the 3rd lap is from the 3rd stage, and the last lap is from 4th stage. From the 2nd lap, when you kill enemies, they remain bullets to your ship. In the 3rd lap, these bullets get bigger, in the 4th lap, they splash.

In the special version, the collision detection area is narrower than the original. It's just like DodonPachi's one (by former Toaplan employees working at Cave). The special version is quite different from the original, so if you find this version play it well!


Resources
The Character Lineup
Gameplay hints
Background Story
Soundtrack info


Related links
KLOV Batsugun Entry
Destroy All Monsters > Batsugun
SHMUPS Saturn review
Digital Extremes Saturn review


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