- Zero Wing
May 31, 1991(Sega Mega Drive)
platforms=Arcade, PC Engine,
Sega Mega Drive
"Zero Wing" is a 1989
Japanese shoot 'em up arcade gamedeveloped by Toaplan. As with other shoot 'em ups of the time, it featured no real plot except to establish that the player is a lone hero who will save the universe from an evil force. However, it enjoyed a degree of success in arcades and was subsequently ported to the PC Engine and Sega Mega Drivein 1991.
Gametrailers.com listed Zero Wing as the seventh worst video game in its "10 Best and Worst Video Games," though the main focus was on its bad English translation and not its actual gameplay. The poor translation sparked an internet phenomenon in 2000 centering on the phrase "
All your base are belong to us"
As with other scrolling shooters, the aim of the game is to shoot all enemies that appear on screen and avoid getting obliterated by
lasers, crashing into enemies or into foreground scenery. There are mid-level and end-of-level boss enemies that stay with the player until they are defeated.
The player, a "ZIG" star fighter, has several ways to attack:
*Using the main cannon: scatter-shot (red weapon),
lasers (blue weapon), or homing missiles (green weapon).
*Ramming smaller enemies with the orbital cannons that appear above and below the ZIG. These cannons fire whatever weapon is equipped on the main ship at the time.
*Grabbing an enemy using the tractor beam and releasing it at another enemy, similar to the "Kirby" games.
*Releasing the spherical front shield once it is collected, like in "
Soon after starting, the player encounters power-up ships. If destroyed, they leave behind power-ups. These run in the sequence of red weapon, blue weapon, green weapon, and speed-up, and then start with red again. There is also an occasional shield power-up, which attaches to the front of the ship. Once the first weapon power-up is collected, two small ships appear above and below the ZIG, and follow its exact movements. These extra ships are impervious and can be used as shields. As they occasionally move nearer the ZIG when blocked by large enemies or foreground scenery, they can serve as a warning to the player that they should move carefully to avoid a collision.
Each of the three main weapons has three power levels. Each time the same weapon is collected, the power level increases. If a different weapon is collected, it starts back on level 1 power, unless level 3 power was already attained previously. If you have a spherical front shield while you're already holding one, a special power-up will replace it which increase all weapons to a special, otherwise unattainable, level 4. Another way to obtain level 4 is if you're already carrying a bomb and detonate an object that would yield another bomb power up. In the intro scenes, the ZIG's windows are green. In the game itself, the windows change color depending on what weapon the player has.
"All your base are belong to us"
In the Sega Mega Drive version, to expand on the game's plot, an introductory
cut scenewas added to the game. This introductory scene was translated to English from Japanese rather poorly for the European release, because of the European version being rushed,Fact|date=July 2008 resulting in dialogue such as "Somebody set up us the bomb", "All your base are belong to us" (often shortened to "All Your Base", "AYBABTU", or simply "AYB"), and "You have no chance to survive make your time." The introduction does not appear in the arcade version.
In 1999, "Zero Wing"'s introduction was re-discovered, culminating in the wildly popular "All your base are belong to us"
memetic phenomenon. This also popularized the introductory and Level 3 background music by Tatsuya Uemura.Fact|date=October 2007
The console version of "Zero Wing" was never released in
North Americafor the Turbo Grafx (PC Engine) or Sega Genesis (Mega Drive) due to the release of the arcade version distributed by Williams Electronics, which lacks the AYB intro. However, the European Mega Drive version of the game will play on American consoles due to a lack of region protection.
* [http://dmoz.org/Games/Video_Games/Shooter/Z/Zero_Wing/ Category at ODP]
* [http://www.meanmachinesmag.co.uk/review/155/zero-wing.php Zero Wing Megadrive/Genesis review] from Mean Machines Archive
* [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vfwqvUPIRkg Video of the Famous Introduction]
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