SECTION Z
game Cover
game cartridge
セクション ゼット
©1987 Capcom
Release: 1987-05-25 (¥2890)
DiskCard CAP-SCZ
Shooter / Multi

American Version
country
Released in America as
SECTION Z
( NES-SZ-USA )

European Version
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Released in
Europe as
SECTION Z
( NES-SZ-XXX )
Section Z is the conversion of Capcom's arcade shooter released back in 1985. Anybody familiar with some of the greatest Capcom's shooters of the time (like Side Arms - Hyper Dyne or Forgotten Worlds) will definitively see a family resemblance. The hero of the game, unlike other traditional shooters, is a flying human in a heavy space armor (called Captain Commando in the American version). A gigantic space fortress is approaching the Earth and the player's duty is to infiltrate it up to the last section (hence Section Z) and destroy the commander. The fortress is divided into small sections and, at the end of each one of them, our hero's path usually splits up. The decision on which way to take may not be critical at first but it soon gets the player to run around in circles. Our hero can use a main laser gun and each button gets him to fire in one direction (left or right). Some enemies, as expected, drop power-ups - some of them take effect instantly (like speed-ups or extra-energy), but others get stored and activated later by pressing select (they include special weapons such as wave-laser, 3-ways or force-field). Some zones also hide warp fields, each one of them can beam the player up to a bonus room. Finally, the life system can be confusing at first -the shield absorbs shots but doesn't protect our hero when he gets hit by an enemy ship. Finally, thanks to the diskCard system, three slots are available to save the game's progress.
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screen shot Section Z was released by Capcom in the arcades in 1985. The original game is however very different, graphics are much darker and the overall color palette much less saturated than the Famicom/Nes version. The character is also very different and looks more like a flying red man with a jet-pack (pictured on the left). He can also drop bombs and the stage's layout is completely different. As mentioned in the quick review, Section Z is sort of the ancestor of more famous Capcom's titles such as Side Arms - Hyper Dyne (1986) and Forgotten Worlds (1988).

Text teaser from the European version:
Will you penetrate Section Z (TM) and defeat the Balangool Empire ? You control the future of Planet Earth !
Planet Earth in the year 2XXX. You are relaxing at the console of your computerized superconductor-generated interplanetary satellite communications system. Suddenly, high frequency radio and television transmissions blast warnings to all inhabitants to prepare for the brutal invading forces og Balangool Empire. Battle and defeat the space soldiers of Balangool, Penetrate teir base divided in section A through SECTION Z (TM), then destroy Balangool master control "L-Brain".


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Section Z - Japanese Guide Book
Japanese guide Book


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Guidebook
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Section Z is certainly one of my favorite shooter for the Famicom system. The game can be repetitive at times, but this feeling usually disappears very quickly. The reason is simple, the game is extremely vast and some sections are very different from the rest. The multiple level paths for instance is a great feature, and becomes very challenging later in the game (for instance, some exits will be flashing red instead of green and can only be passed when the corresponding generator is destroyed). The game also features tons of different weapons which are not available at first which really motivates the player to always go further and deeper in the fortress. All in all, Section Z is not for people looking for a straight shooter as you will most certainly fly around in circles the first time you play. But I personally recommended it !




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