2011. máj. 20.

GENETOS - A Shmup for All Generations

Report written by:
Lévai József
Planet Genetos Search Project (PGSP)
fighter pilot

"Tatsuya Koyama... you made my day."

I doubt there would be any more appropriate words than this for my intro to my mission report to the Project for one of the most original and peak-of-life shmup mission assignments I ever undertook: GENETOS. My first impressions on my first contact with this game can be best summed up as "a free, interactive shoot 'em up history lesson" - so I took that chance to leave a BIG mark on history (pun intended) and signed up to the Planet Genetos Search Project... as fighter pilot of course.

As you may have heard, the experimental GENETOS GenerationShift System outfitting my Planet Genetos Search Unit craft can be activated once enough DNA cells from downed enemies was collected...  that meant evolving from one generation to the next - and that translates to more advanced graphics and firepower and weapons to waste the bad guys with. Hey, it's an EVOLUTIONARY shooter simulation - you expect something else? Oh, and the heads of the PGS Project gave me my priority objective: blaze my path throughout the history of shmups from start to finish in the search for a new world, namely planet Genetos, wreakin' havoc to any bad guy and "mutant" in my way. Sounds like giving the fans their daily mayhem, huh?

If you think this mission's gonna be a piece a' cake... you got another thing comin' your way, FAST: I'm not the only one with the fancy ability to evolve into new times, so if I get overconfident, future generations will be wondering what the hootin' heck IS a fossilized advanced space fighter wreck DOING here in 1978.

A nasty job, some say insane and impossible... but someone's gotta take risks.

And I'm gonna make doggone sure that someone's ME.

That was my cue to climb into my GSS craft, start up all systems and initiate launch sequence into time itself... starting from the beginning of shump history as we all know it.

- Operating System: Running.
- Weapons: Online.
- Sensors: Online.
- Engines: Online.
- Generation Shift System: Online.
- All systems nominal.
- Genetos Search Unit ready to launch in: 3...

And THAT'S when I lit the candle. Shoot 'em up video game history...


1ST GENERATION - Invasion from Space
Ship: Space Invaders cannon. Movement restricted to bottom and can only shoot one bullet at a time.

First stop: 1978 AD Japan, the time of Taito's Space Invaders... no doubt the first ever shmup in recorded video game history and my favorite classic game, made by Tomoro Nishikado all by himself. This may sound insane to some, but at the time, creating a game solo was perfectly normal... well, as normal as the rest of the funny farm can be.

You can tell that this is the first ever generation of shmups: limited graphics, music, movement, sound effects... thanks to then-primitive technology. But hey - Space Invaders is as simple and innovative as simplicity and minimalism allows. Even the goal's a piece of cake: shoot down those lil' invaders from space before they hit the ground, but watch out for enemy return fire. Too bad in GENETOS, there are no shield bunkers to cover your hide... oh well, at least you can begin harvesting green DNA debris here, too.
Uh oh. Incoming Mutant. And that can only be translated into one thing: we got a BOSS incoming! (Must be that kill-and-collect binge I got myself into...)
Mutant: Alien Mothership (Boss)
This big momma of a alien mothership is easy, contrary to popular opinion. Just keep zappin' it and its invader escort until it goes boom. But easy with the triple bursts it spits out, and with that ship of yours, taking the mutant down will take longer, if not forever. Which leads to only one optimal conclusion: gather the remaining DNA and...
Ship: Galaga-like space fighter. Movement restricted to bottom half and can shoot twin shots. 
Main weapons system can be changed here.

That's right, folks: a Generation Shift means you have evolved from one generation to the next thanks to those DNA you collected. And guess what you get:
A spiffy new space fighter straight from the late 80s' arcade shmup game classics, such as Galaga and Star Soldier. With your twin burst LASERs and expanded movement, that obsolete alien mothership stands ZERO chance now. Die, alien scum! DIE! HAHAHAHAHAHAAAAA!!! (Sorry... got a little bit sucked into the anti-evil alien invader business.)

Well... that's it for Space Invaders and the 1st Generation as a whole. Next stop: the 80s.

To the Next Generation...

2ND GENERATION - 80s Space Mayhem
Welcome to the time of the arcade smash hits that's the 1980s, pilots, pitted against the likes of Galaxian, Galaga, Phoenix, Xevious, Gradius, R-Type, Star Soldier and Recca. The bad guys of this generation are expectin' ya - coming in with guns hot. And good thing so are you.
From attack fighters to combat drones (who can fire back harder) and smiling blocks that won't leave you smile upon making contact, plus with a rockin' 80s style music to go with, you'll be having your hands full kickin' butt and takin' DNA. Of course, when you've reduced most of the alien fleet to space debris, you're gonna have to answer to their boss...
Mutant: Giant Spinner 
Figures the Boss has evolved as well, which is now a mothership looking like a razor flower - and looks ain't the only thing evolved, but also firepower. Take out its primary shield for a DNA boost for the next generation...

 Ship: Advanced space fighter. Ship has a wider frontal shot and can use bombs.
Movement is no longer restricted. New weapon: bomb.
This is the first ship to allow stat changes for Yellow.
A next-generation starfighter with a new weapon, the good ol' BOMB... NOW we're cookin' with gas.

3RD GENERATION - Galactic Soldier

4TH GENERATION - Bullet Curtains for You

FINAL GENERATION - Planet Genetos or 
Darwinian Doom

PHASE 1: Birth
PHASE 2: Variation
PHASE 3: Selection
PHASE 4: Prosperity

2011. máj. 1.

Mother's Day

[Personal Log recording...]

As I type this log into my system, today just happens to be May 1st, which here is Mother's Day... and it's come to my attention just how much it stinks seeing mothers die from my 3 and 9 o' clock, left and right, in my missions, accident and/or intent - I take a look at the photo below and my mind processes about it. In fact, the world would be void with my mom gone... and her comeback as a stinkin' gun-totin' rottin' reject known as a zombie'll only make the pain of loss worse than it already is, knowing from playing one DooM too many.

There are times I wish mommy would be with me forever, and I suppose the ZECT Rider system's Clock Up would do the trick... but hey, we're only human, and this ain't the Grid - people don't belong there, not even Sam, even if I happen to build a digital space station to call home.

So, here's to all the moms, then, now, forever...
(Of course, losing family does not affect Imperial Space Marines. In fact, you take one of their battle brothers down, hundreds of your troops are gonna be fed to their war machine's furnace... just a quick warning.)