Nintendo Famicom Xevious SKUFM35
1 in stock (can be backordered)
Nintendo Famicom Xevious SKUFM35
Nintendo Famicom Xevious SKUFM35.
Xevious (ゼビウス). Xevious tells the story of the fight between humankind and the supercomputer GAMP, which controls the alien forces of planet Xevious. As the sci-fi cliche dictates, it turns out that the inhabitants of Xevious are originally from earth, and GAMP (General Artificial Matrix Producer) is the product of an ancient civilization that prospered on earth an hundred thousands years ago. During this golden age, the “GAMPs” were human clones used in heavy labor, until they rebelled to their own creators. In order to survive the upcoming Ice Age, they left earth and migrated in search of a new homeland, selecting seven planets which were likely suitable to human life. Right before the departure, a group of humans rebelled to them and decided to stay on earth anyway. Thousand years after the leaving of GAMPs, the brave pilot Mu and his android companion Eve decided to travel to Xevious (literally “the fourth planet”) to avoid glaciation. They don’t receive a warm welcome from their ancestors, though: captured and imprisoned, they discover that the Xevian are actually planning a massive comeback on the earth.
Fast forward to our days: all above the earth’s surface, and near the remains of ancient civilizations, giant artifacts suddenly emerge from the soil and activate: they are SOL towers, buried underground and inactive for eons, now responding to GAMP’s orders: the invasion has begun. Mu, Eve and Mio Veetha, a Xevian who opposes to the GAMP’s regime and freed the duo from imprisonment, are back on earth on their ship Solvalou and ready to fight GAMP’s army. Meanwhile, archaeologists Susan Meyer and Akira Sayaka discovered that the Nazca lines could be hiding an ancient weapon which may be used to counterattack GAMP’s army.
The bad guys in Xevious belong to two groups: air and ground enemies. The Solvalou comes equipped with two weapons, each assigned to a button: the Zapper for air enemies, and the Blaster, bombs the ground targets with the aid of a lock-on (another feature that created a sub genre by itself, paving the way for games like TwinBee, Layer Section and Soukyugurentai). The Blaster’s crosshair always hovers a bit more than a third of the screen height above the ship and actually cannot leave the bounds of the screen. So the Solvalou can never move into the upper half of the visible playing field at any time, which at first feels very counter-intuitive, but considering that the default for shoot-em-ups so far was horizontal movement only, the conventions of how this works hadn’t exactly been established yet.
The game features an impressive army of characters, as there are twenty six enemies whose unique behavior give a distinct personality. Some of them seem conceived to intentionally puzzle the player with unconventional patterns, like the floating mirror Bacura – they are immune to all the Solvalou’s weapons, so they can only be avoided. Others charmed players with their stunning animation, like the spinning Jara, or the Tarken, whose cockpit rotates while retreating.
Some of the ground targets are motionless installations and can’t harm you in any way, so they’re there solely to be bombed and earn points. The Zolbak in particular is worth a mention. Also known as “Detector Dome”, it’s an installation that collects data for the GAMP army.
Another fine example of Xevious‘ well implemented difficulty setting is its sophisticated checkpoint system: when dying after getting through more than 70% of an area, the player gets to start the next attempt from the following checkpoint, thus reducing frustration.
The massive flying fortress Andor Genesis is considered one of the first boss enemies ever in the history of video games. It announces its arrival by a rather creepy noise. Unlike any other air target, the lock-on Blaster is required to destroy it: it’s possible to aim directly to the core, or take out its other sensible spots, which is risky but rewards much more points. Or the player can just avoid its bullets and wait for it to flee away, which is cowardly but effective. The Andor Genesis is confronted four times before the game loops.
There are plenty of secrets hidden in Xevious. Sometimes the lock-on turns red as if it were targeting an enemy, even if it seems like there’s nothing on the surface below. This indicates the position of an hidden SOL tower: bombing the spot reveals it. It earns 2000 points to raise it above the ground, and another 2000 points for destroying it. Not as puzzling as these ancient artifacts, but far more precious and rare, are the Special Flags (using the very same sprite from Namco’s own Rally X). These are also hidden, only this time the lock-on won’t blink when it passes over them. So players either have to learn their location by playing the game a lot (they are randomly disposed on a set terrain strip) or just be very lucky. Revealing one adds 1000 points to the score, and grabbing it grants an extra life or 10.000 points, accordingly to the board’s settings.
Actual item pictured