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game cartridge
©Taito Corporation 1989
Release: 1989-01-14 (¥3500)
DiskCard TFD-HAL
Shooter / Vertical

Halley Wars is a vertical shooter and is the conversion of Taito's arcade game released in 1986 (aka Halley's Comet in japan). The Halley's Comet is back from outer-space and scientists all over the world are excited by this event. But this time, things do not really go according to plans and an unexpected fleet of alien spaceships appears from behind the comet. Their destination is Earth and Humanity's finest spaceship and pilot is sent to counter the attack. It can fire a standard laser gun which can be upgraded by collecting power-ups hidden inside grey containers. Smaller ships can also be picked up and a maximum of four of them can join the ship and increase its fire power. These tinny ships can also be used as bombs when the other action button is pressed. Other add-ons s also appear and can massively increase the overall fire-power once attached to the ship. The most original feature of the game is certainly the percentage of damage inflicted to the Earth itself. Any alien spaceship or meteor that passes through the ship's firepower ends up damaging our mother planet. Once it reaches 100%, it is game over, even if the stock of available ships is full. Players have many flying objects to watch for, from fast alien formations to fast tailed meteors and floating debris.
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screen shot It is interesting to notice that Taito released the original arcade game Halley's Comet on the same year the comet crossed the Earth's skies, back in 1986. I wonder if Taito will release an anniversary version in 2061, next appearance of the famous comet. The arcade game (pictured on the left) has a vertical bar on the right of the screen, showing how close the comet is from the player and the Earth. The game's layout is also completely different. The Famicom Disk System version came out in 1989 and was renamed Halley's War. Two other versions of the game exist. One released for Sega's Game Gear in 1991 and a second one, more recent, for cell phones.

Story from the game's introduction sequence:
For the 31st time Halleys comet is approaching. It has gradually changed course. Closer and closer to our planet. Starships invertigating the comet have been destroyed. Aliens were hiding inside. You are the last hope of mankind. Command our most advanced spaceship. Save the planet from certain destruction.


Add your Pov here !

Halley's Comet, the original game, was fun and original for the time. Halley Wars, the renamed Famicom Disk System version lacks many of the features that made the original game so attractive. Background graphics are virtually the same from one stage to the next with a couple of nice features to look at from time to time. The soundtrack, if not bad, is the same in every stage. This kind of bothers me greatly, there was probably enough space on the disk to store more music track. The Earth life percentage is a nice idea, however I just wondered what the hell happened the first time I played. My ship just blew up for no visible reasons and the game was over despite the three ships I had left. Then I finally realized what the percentage meter was about but this is a nasty feature and probably the one that kills you the most. All in all Halley Wars is an unusual and interesting shooter, but a couple of design flaws keep it from being truly great.

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