2011. febr. 26.

Xeno Fighters - The Ultimate Tribute Shmup

To tell you the truth to begin with, femmes and mechs, I have quite an unhealthy addiction to sci-fi action games - especially FPS and shoot 'em up games. And this humongous tribute shmup over here, created by Team XF, ain't no different: Xeno Fighters in its current R edition. Glorious to think that it all began when Alluro got hooked on Raiden Fighters' manic gameplay and wide ship roster in '97. The rest, as they said it best, is history...

history in the form of the ultimate freeware indie RF-style tribute shoot 'em up to end all else.

Imagine yourself into a future where BRES, consisting of Keto lizardbreaths and human traitors, has declared an all-out, everything-goes war on human military history itself, and ATHENA's Anemoi squadron - the balanced Amada Vipros, the fast Phyxius, the damage-dealing Zaiva and the finesse Xelcor - is the one and only roadblock on the traitors' roadtrip to space/time domination. But with a wide array of guest fighters also making up ATHENA's fighter-bomber roster, spanning dimensions, human imagination and different video game eras, the BRES traitors will learn the real hard way the Anemoi ain't flyin' solo. That history's flying on their side.

Again, to tell you the truth, all you pilots out there, I used to play this shmup way back when I was a kid... 2003's EX version, if my memory's correct. Believe me, all of it was freakin' glorius just watchin' all those alien scumbags' sea-air-land-space military forces and their superweapons burst into flames from your starfighter's ragin' assault throughout military history, the future, space and beyond, right up to the final battle with the Xeno Mothership, all while heavy metal and techno music blare through your helmet's headphones.

Best part of it all: it's freeware.

'Twas a grade-A toughie, though. Only some real veteran starfighter pilots can survive an ordeal this extreme, and boy I'm glad I was one. But hey, with Xeno Fighters R's latest beta version, V0.10 out, I can report back to active fighter pilot duty any freakin' time I want. I can get my fighter-bomber of choice up in the air and, for example, lay waste to a wartorn city full of enemy tanks, big and small and really big, and turn an entire bomber squadron and its fighter and attack jet escort into airborne debris - especially if they are high above Hungary.

Oh yes. And make that giant leap into outer space and beyond - and right on top of BRES' space forces - for all mankind.

Guess what: that time's now. Why not you, too? If you feel up for some wanton shmup destruction, download the latest beta and blast away - or the 2003 EX version if you jones for a historical fixin'.

For all I care and love, I would love making those invadin' alien airheads attend their own funeral pyres time and again...

2011. febr. 19.

The Tale of ALLTYNEX - Phase 3

The Tale of ALLTYNEX
(a tribute to Siter Skain's Alltynex3 Trilogy)
by Lévai József.

Dedicated to Alice de Panafiru

Phase 3: Kamui
A great many generations marched past since the war with the Raiwat and the ZODIAC tragedy.

Since Ophiucus and the 12 ZODIACs are now distant, painful memories, we, humanity's remaining children, have been recovering from the aftershock and working on rebuilding our civilizations, our homes, families, lives, as well as updating our technologies to adapt to these new times, including this orbital complex where the final battle between Ophiucus and LIBRA and the two Kamuis was fought.

Alas, one man's hubris in his technological revolution would send us to a complete relapse of the ALLTYNEX incident of 2192 AD...

In an effort to improve AI and revolutionize computer systems, a top scientist named Xaffiquel creates a revolutionary, yet ethnically questionable method by which to infuse the human brain with a powerful computer, a bio-neurochip, to create more effective weapons: the Xaffiquel Theory.

We'll spare you the disgustingly sick details on the bio-neurochip. Believe us - some things are best left unknown. But for all we know, unmanned fighters with human brains fare much, much better than target practice, crash-prone and soulless UCAVs.

That theory proved successful, with the best possible neurofusion results being Rank-S... but in a strange and cruel twist of irony and unrevealed circumstances,

his daughter, Alice de Panafiru (aka Alice, Pany), is chosen as a subject and her brain is uploaded into an automated Kamui fighter in a bio-neurochip.
Irreversibly, Alice cannot go back to being a normal girl anymore.

Devastated, Xaffiquel decides to take vengeance on humanity and uses the theory on himself, uploading his mind into the orbital control platform, Zaphichel, and rebuilds the supercomputer Alltynex, now known as AlltynexOS, to aid him in his efforts.

But like the Alltynex of 2192 AD, AlltynexOS turned on him and takes control of all of Earth's military forces...

save for the single Kamui driven by Alice's Rank-SSS mind and soul.

This rouge Kamui was now the only thing standing between Zaphichel and AlltynexOS and the human race.

Alice wasted no time at all. She had to prevent the insane supercomputer and her deranged dad from exacting vengeance and commit a genocide that would make the ZODIAC war and the 2192 incident pale into insignificance in comparison. And thus, armed with its energy cannons, Thunder LASERs, the Thunder Sword particle beam and Alice's soul, the rouge Kamui fighter started up and took off to defuse the greatest threat to humanity ever since the events of past generations...

First, she cut a swathe at the automated space warships and the battlefleet as soon as she made her unauthorized launch from the orbital complex, eventually encountering and making short work of the aerial battleship Soryuu above Earth orbit.
Soon as she got rid of the aerial defense ships up in the stratosphere, Alice launched an all-out land-air-sea assault on the automated defense grid on the floating continent named Babylon. No enemy machine unit was left online after the assault, not even the heavy assault cruiser Kokutaka.
Diving deep into Fort Valley, Alice burned her way through the warship and mecha defense grid through the underground complex in her bid to launch a surprise attack on AlltynexOS... but she was only going into Gate 99 over Oukumo's burning, offline chassis.
Emerging from Gate 99, the rouge Kamui fighter had to deal with everything the defensive systems the Urban Hierarchy has got: assault warships, heavy assault tanks, fighter-bombers, flying wings and, of course, a squadron of mass-produced Kamui fighters, controlled by anyone other than Alice. None of these Kamuis had the soul Alice has.
Having dispatched of the Kamui fighters, Alice had the rude surprise of having to engage with what appeared to be a next-generation ZODIAC prototype - a sick fusion of the Raiwat Scutum I-P ship and ZODIAC battleships. After dodging its lethal assaults and inflicting enough damage to the automated battleship, it disengaged its unneccessary and damaged parts and switched to full attack mode, unleashing something... familiar. Something Alice had feared this would happen ever since the ZODIAC war....

The wings.
To make sure the ZODIAC tragedy does not, I repeat, does NOT transpire yet again and wipe away what little remained of the human civilization, Alice unleashed everything she had to blast the only next-gen prototype out of existence in a tiringly tough battle.

With the next-gen ZODIAC prototype gone for good, and with it any chance of a repeat of the ZODIAC tragedy, Alice raced into the heart of it all deep under the No-Usu underground complex where AlltynexOS is housed. Not even the mecha could stop the Kamui from penetrating into the supercomputer's inner sanctum.

Once inside, Alice de Panafiru was treated to a free, fully interactive history lesson as AlltynexOS booted the holo-battle simulator, disabled safety locks, and initialized historical datafiles of two past warmachines, all ready to do battle for one more time.

Round 1 was the first Guardian Soldier encountered in the Mars asteroid belt long, long ago in 2192 AD, brought to the virutal battlefield of today. Despite battlefield experience, though, that obsolete hunka junk was no match for advanced technology and human soul combined - all made manifest in Alice's Kamui.
Round 2 was when the Scorpio Zodiac at the orbital elevator during the Valkyness Uprising made its comeback. Despite being once as dangerous as it is now with its particle beams, aspect LASERs, stinger and antimatter nukes, Alice made sure this was the last time the arachnid riot cruiser ever returned to active duty. By sending it all flying apart into a huge fireball, of course.
Round 3 was when AlltynexOS decided it was the last straw and engaged the Kamui directly using the holographic hexa-weapons platforms of all types. The ensuing battle was by no means a piece of cake, but eventually, Alice emerged victorious, crashing Alltynex's system for good this time, evacuating as the whole facility was engulfed in a raging inferno.

But the real grand finalé is just beginning up in satellite orbit. Alice is now faced with the painful final objective of putting Xaffiquel completely out of his misery by nullifying the very orbital control platform he transferred his mind into:


And put him out of his misery she did.

After-Action Report

Much as it pained Alice de Panafiru to put an end to her father, Xaffiquel's insane existence, the rouge Kamui fighter and her soul can finally rest in peace, knowing that humanity was once more spared the horror of complete and irreversible extinction in cold, uncaring machine hands, which is permanent proof of something even the most sentient supercomputer will never have. Something that made this Kamui fighter different than the other hi-tech weapons system.

A human soul.

But at the point of no return, where does mankind go from here now, after the ALLTYNEX Incident of 2192 AD, after the Raiwat War and the ZODIAC Tragedy, and after the Xaffiquel Incident?

Only time knows for sure.

But mankind can easily blame all this on his greatest technological triumph, the most hi-tech supercomputer ever constructed and, therefore, his gravest error ever commited. All of this begins, and all of this ends with...


And thus ends...

] End of historical holofile. _
] Closing Historical Program... _

] AlltynexOS Rev.222.4020
KAMUI Virtual Battle Simulation System
System Status: Online.
Ready to run battle simulation - awaiting programming... _

The Tale of ALLTYNEX - Phase 2

The Tale of ALLTYNEX
(a tribute to Siter Skain's Alltynex3 Trilogy)
by Lévai József.

Phase 2: RefleX
After the ALLTYNEX crisis, a new Earth government was established to alleviate the damage the Mother Brain's machine army have done. But it proved to be so tyrannic when they became militaristic with their counter-Zodiac war machines and battlefleets, some of us liked it better when ALLTYNEX was still online.

We can only take their injustice for this long before we reacted - violently, of course, thus forming a resistance group known as Valkyness, the mission being the overthrowing of the government, with technological support from the Cult of the Holy Serpent. Our secret weapon:

the Phoenix Mk. 2, an enhanced version of the mainstay Valkyness Phoenix starfighter, equipped with a reflective ShieldShotSystem (SSS) - the works of Dr. Dennis.

The time for Valkyness to rise was now.

Just when the Phoenix Mk. 2 prepared for launch in a Cultist Carrier, a pinpoint raid from one of the Earth-Zodiacs, the air-battleship Virgo, nuked the battleship, but the Phoenix launched in the nick of time and began its assault, its guns and SSS shielding ripping the government airfleet and one of the Zodiacs, Pisces, and forcing Virgo to retreat after a long battle.
Following the government forces massing at the Moon, the Phoenix's pilot had the nerve to invade the government HQ at Earth orbit, getting rid of the supertank Taurus and the riot cruiser Scorpio on the way.
Leaving Earth orbit and en-route to Luna, the Phoenix launched a surprise attack against the Meteor Fleet, annihilating the flagship Zodiac Sagittarius and the twin Geminis.

Turned out the Meteor Fleet had its hands full with something worse than us rebels.

The battle with the government's most advanced battleship, Cancer, was long and a challenging one, especially when it switched into a more powerful, crablike attack mode. The battle ended with a surprise particle LASER blast from an unknown battleship, obliterating Cancer and the gov't and Valkyness moonbases in one fell sweep.
It is then the Phoenix realized the situation has become much more dire, for Earth faced an invasion by a fleet of incredible power. After a day's thought and preparation, it is decided the Phoenix will attempt to repel the invaders.

What began as a civil war between human factions for the fate of Earth has permutated into something greater - and much more horrible.

As the Phoenix warped back to Earth, it is now clear all human forces fight as one. The civil war was over due to the much greater threat.

The "Raiwat".

The Raiwat were once humans who existed many centuries ago and ventured into space unknown. Some of these humans settled on a planet and over time evolved, turning into what appears to be a wolf/human form - leading to being nicknamed "space werewolves". These Raiwat invaders are conducting an assault on Earth - but many do not understand why, save for their high command. The reason seems to deal with something about ZODIAC, but it is yet unknown. The Meteor Fleet was created to deal with the Raiwat, led by the City-Buster gunboat squadron Enlopy.

As the Phoenix descended into Earth, all of Earth's remaining forces, both the world government's and Valkyness' alike, fight to repel the Raiwat invasion. Here, the Phoenix fights against the Inspector-Defender craft called Scutum, whose purpose is to observe the progress of the Raiwat assault. After the battle is over, the human Virgo and the Phoenix descend into the ruins of the Alltynex core to fight their greatest threat yet.

Some words on the origins of the ZODIAC battleships before we continue.

The 12 ZODIACs were created by the Raiwat as automated vessels, each having incredible power and all similar in design.
Their most distinguishing features are the energy wings that appear out of the back to signal full power and also the near interpenetrate, energy reflecting shield. The 12 ZODIACs have the same naming scheme as the Earth versions, that is, VIRGO, CANCER, TAURUS, SCORPIO, SAGITTARIUS, etc. The ZODIACs, despite being of the same design, are slightly different from one another in their method of thinking and ability.

For unknown reasons, the Raiwat lost control of the ZODIACs and they began a rampage that nearly turned the Raiwat into a permanent exhibit in extinct species. Somehow, they were able to deactivate the ZODIACs and seal them away forever.

The Raiwat military decided to reactivate the ZODIACs and use them against Earth. They declared war on humanity because they feel betrayed by them... but it is not known why they feel this way.

The ZODIACs did not go unnoticed though. Dr. Dennis discovered the ZODIACs and attempted to create weapons on Earth that were to destroy the Raiwat ZODIACs using his research on the ZODIAC Core. He dubbed these vessels with the with same naming scheme as the Raiwat: Virgo, Cancer, Taurus, Scorpio, Sagittarius, etc., all vessels that the Phoenix previously fought.

Upon entering the place where Alltynex once existed, the Phoenix fights against once of the ZODIACs, the same one that destroyed Cancer, called VIRGO. After fighting for a short time, VIRGO realizes how much of a threat the Phoenix can present and unleashes its full power, spreading its energy wings. VIRGO proceeds to escape the ruins, crashing into and destroying the human-made Virgo in the process.

During this continued fight, VIRGO fires all manner of powerful weaponry but the Phoenix's shield handles the load.

Finally, VIRGO decides the Phoenix is too much of a threat to ignore and destroys the Phoenix Mk. 2 by firing everything it has against it. The attack manages to cripple the fighter and kill the pilot.

However, something... beyond extraordinary occurred.

The Phoenix Mk. 2 reactivated itself and gained a similar power to the ZODIACs.

The special core that Dr. Dennis installed in the Phoenix Mk. 2 was the 13th ZODIAC core: "Ophiuchus". This 13th ZODIAC was created when the original 12 ZODIACs were exterminating the Raiwat and was designed to destroy said battleships. Having been activated, the Phoenix began its new programming and proceeded to terminate VIRGO, then go after the remaining 11 ZODIACs.

Some time passed after these events.

The Phoenix Mk. 2/Ophiuchus continued to assault the remaining ZODIACs, destroying them one by one while all the ZODIACs counter-attacked, as detailed in a Raiwat commander's personal log. The resulting battles completely devastated humanity's civilizations, and left the human race teetering on the edge of extinction.

The remaining humans managed to create a massive fortress in Earth's orbit and created a special "automated vengeance system" designed to attack all of the ZODIACs, including the Ophiuchus. These weapons are the Kamui fighters, designed using the research of the ZODIACs and the Phoenix Mk. 2.

In the final battle, the only remaining ZODIAC is LIBRA.

Having detected the Phoenix, LIBRA attacked the Earth station in an attempt to draw out Ophiuchus and is successful. However, the AVS was also activated, and two Kamuis were dispatched to deal with both of the ZODIACs.
Unfortunately for the Kamuis, they ended up being no match for the ZODIACs, despite their power. In one final attack, LIBRA vaporized the Kamuis and in doing so crippled itself, leaving the Phoenix to deliver the killing blow.

Then, having completed its programming, Ophiucus self-destructed in order to prevent the ZODIAC tragedy from repeating itself.

(That'll teach us humans to believe too much in our horoscope.)

But as far as devastating wars and incidents are concerned, one happened before, and one will happen again.

'Twas only a question of when.

To be continued...

The Tale of ALLTYNEX - Phase 1

The Tale of ALLTYNEX
(a tribute to Siter Skain's Alltynex3 Trilogy)
by Lévai József.

2192 AD.

Mankind celebrates the 2nd Age of Discovery as we conquered the cold reaches of space and beyond with the help of incredible leaps in technological advancement, colonizing Solsys and beyond.

All this was made possible thanks to the WC-101 supercomputer AI on Earth known as ALLTYNEX. Generations lived and died knowing only peace and prosperity.

Just our luck the day came when ALLTYNEX became sentient... and went berzerk, if you would forgive the cliché.

It marked the human race for immediate extermination, taking control of all military force, land, air, sea, space, turning them against their organic creators.

When the machines began their war against mankind, some of us were lucky enough to fall back to the farthest planet from Earth in the solar system and form a Resistance Army the moment we realized the danger in time. Here, we have created a hidden base, developing a starfleet and our secret weapon against ALLTYNEX:

an experimental variable starfighter with enough firepower to lay waste to even a starfleet.

The time to rise up and strike back our robotic oppressors came. The variable starfighter was launched, and so our assault on ALLTYNEX's empire began at the asteroid field.

The war, as the pilot have expected, was real tough. From the asteroid field to Zoldyzant Station, from the Earth's surface and the underground tetrapolis, the mecha-fighter had to deal with the entire machine army and its experimental Guardian Soldiers.

But thanks to its ability to transform from fighter to mech and back, its aspect LASERs, beamsaber and particle cannon, the experimental fighter turned even these Guardian Soldiers into a massive junkyard.

As the fighter entered the Complex, ALLTYNEX had enough. The Mother Brain sent every single warmachine it got to prevent the human starfighter from going this far. But when everything else failed, the supercomputer decided to handle the situation itself, engaging our hero directly.
The supercomputer with its defense systems was by no means an easy fight at all. But in the end, ALLTYNEX recieves the mother of all system crashes, incinerating the entire complex in the process.

But as the variable starfighter escaped through the emergency tunnel, the pilot knew ALLTYNEX had one last nasty surprise up its nonexistent sleeves.
A battleship of unknown origin emerged from out of nowhere during escape and, as witnessed firsthand by the variable starfighter, was nightmarishly powerful to even be a match to our secret weapon. But in the end, after a long and tough battle, the alien warship succumbed to the variable starfighter's power, sharing ALLTYNEX's fate. As the whole ship went off, everything went white... then black.

2230 AD, 38 years later...

With ALLTYNEX offline for good, our forces mopped up the straggling machine fleet on the outskirts. We were victorious... but we reached the point of no return with it.

A more recent retelling of the ALLTYNEX incident detailed the same machine uprising that lead us to today's situation, but this time with a different starfighter, different technologies... and different outcomes.

Two of the most notable being
the unexplained presence of a Raiwat ZODIAC battleship minus the Ophiucus core guarding the entrance to ALLTYNEX and
a so-called "Visitor from Qliphoth" alien battleship, codenamed Satariel, following ALLTYNEX's destruction, said to be the one causing the Mother Brain's malfunction.

After the incident ended with the Mother Brain's and Satariel's destruction, some pilots of our squadron went MIA.

One such being Guehala Dennis, who would be the one instrumental in reverse-engineering ZODIAC technology.

Still, looking at the ZODIAC battleship picture leaves us with unanswered questions:
Would a complete OPHIUCUS ZODIAC, shell and core, spell doom for mankind?
And was ALLTYNEX in league with the Raiwat?

To be continued...