©1989 NEC Avenue
Licensed by Capcom
Release : 1989-07-14 (¥5400)
HuCard (2 Mbits) H54G-1004
Shooter / Horizontal
Released in America as
( RTGX10001 )
Side Arms Hyper Dyne is a horizontal scrolling shooter developed by
NEC Avenue and conversion of Capcom's arcade of the same name
originally released in 1986. Life on planet Earth is on the brink of
extinction - an alien race called the Bozon has launched an unprovoked
invasion and is on a quest to systematically find and annihilate any kind of
terrestrial life. However, a group of heavy armed forces led by human
survivors desperately attempts to save the planet - two heavy mechanical
suits (known as Alpha and Beta mobile-suits), manage to infiltrate
deep into enemy territory and are now humanity's last hope for survival. The
player takes control of Alpha and fights his way through a variety of
colorful, enemy-packed levels. But Side Arms Hyper Dyne introduces a few
unique features that sets it apart from the crowd - for instance, the
Alpha can fire in two directions (forward or backward) based on which
action button is pressed. Additionally, and in the Capcom tradition
(or early tradition in the mid-1980s), various enemies leave behind power-up
icons when killed - however, these power-pods come with a twist and cycle
through different weapons and Speed up/Speed down icons when shot.
Weapons range from Bits, 5-Ways Shotgun, Mega Bazooka Launcher
and 3-Ways. But if the player happens to shoot at these pods for too long,
they eventually lock themselves up into a bonus item, such as a cow, a
star or a Yashichi (the latter two grant the player with rapid-fire
shots). Each weapon can be stored for later use (press Run to switch
from one to the other), and each one can be powered up a maximum of three times
(however, the last active weapon used is lost when the player takes a fatal hit).
Another powerful weapon in the game is Beta - although the second
player's mobile-suit is not playable in this port, it can nevertheless be
called (through the use of hidden Alpha icons) and combine with the
player for devastating effects. Side Arms Hyper Dyne consists of
nine levels and is single player only.
The arcade game Side Arms Hyper Dyne was originally released by
Capcom in 1986 (picture on the right). Interestingly, Capcom
released several shooters in the mid-1980s based around the same
'Jet Pack hero' concept - the first one was
released in 1985 and the last one was the popular and unique
released in 1988. Curiously, the arcade game Side Arms Hyper Dyne
was only converted to a handful of home systems and mainly in Europe
(thanks to the publisher Go!) - Amstrad CPC (1987),
Commodore 64 (1988), ZX Spectrum (1988),
Commodore Amiga (1989), Atari ST (1989) and
PC Engine (1989). The game was also later included in the
Capcom Classics Collection Vol.2 released for the
Playstation 2 (2006) and Xbox (2006), as well
as in the Capcom Classics Collection Remixed released for
the Playstation Portable in 2006. Finally, the only 'sequel'
to the game was released in 1989 for the PC Engine CDRom²
system - the game, called
Hyper Dyne Side Arms Special
includes the original PC Engine HuCard version as well as a new 'remixed'
(and exclusive) mode called 'Before Christ'.
Although the PC Engine version test here is an incredibly faithful
conversion, it nevertheless shows some differences with the original arcade game.
Firstly, the two-simultaneous player mode was omitted and only Alpha
is playable here. Then, although players could switch from one weapon to
another at the touch of a button in the original version, they have to
pause the game in the PC Engine port. Finally, and most probably
the oddest change of all, the music track for the first level was changed
and sounds completely different!
The Side Arms Hyper Dyne flying mobile-suit has made countless
cameos in other Capcom games and somewhat became a sort of company
mascot for a while. The cute 1-up icon from the original game
(a chibi version of the Mobile Suit Alpha called Mobi-chan,
picture on the left)
can be seen in many Capcom games from the 1990s, such as
Street Fighter II, Area 88, Black Tiger,
Great Mahō Daisakusen (aka Dimahoo) or the loading screen
of the CP System III arcade system board. In the mid-1980s/1990s,
it was very common for Capcom to use cameos, the most popular
being the red and white Yashichi (introduced by Vulgus),
which is also featured in Side Arms Hyper Dyne.
Teaser text from the American version:
It is light years into the future and there is trouble in your sector. The galaxy is
being threatened by an unknown nemesis from a distant black hole and you,
earth's love, interstellar Warrior must stop the terrible destruction at hand.
Armed only with your government issued sidearm you must use your brains as
well as your brawn to avoid ambushes, collect treasures and expand your arsenal
or weaponry in preparation for your ultimate battle with the dreaded Nemesis 10.
Game Staff (Copied from the manual) :
SIDE ARMS STAFF
Norihiko Hamada (Capcom)
Shigenobu Nanbu (NEC Avenue)
Yoshito Itoh (Capcom)
Toshio Tabeta (NEC Avenue)
Yoshito Itoh (Capcom)
Special Thanks to
Click on picture to enlarge|
Here are some of the hidden Alpha icons in the game (pictures on the
right). I leave
you to find their exact locations and how to find
all the others... interestingly, they are fairly similar to the ones
from the original arcade game.
Add your Pov here !
Let the Battle for Survival Begin! - I have to admit that I
am very biased about Side Arms Hyper Dyne. You should know
that I initially purchased a PC Engine system because of this
shooter. Side Arms used to be one of my favorite arcade game
when I was a kid, and I've always wanted one at home, and no conversion,
as far as I know, came as close to the arcade original as this
PC Engine port. This version is terrific and really delivers the
goods - the graphics are very close to the original and it is
technically flawless with no problems or slowdowns. The gameplay
is perfect (although pausing the game to switch to a different
weapon is not ideal) and the game uses the PC Engine high resolution!
Well, NEC Avenue went over their call of duty and they also
perfectly ported the game's unforgiving difficulty level. The action
is really fast-paced and the game instantly tosses you back into
action (with a brief invulnerability) when you lose a life. Although
this move keeps the adrenaline running, it also drains your stock
of lives with little mercy. Then some enemies are quite vicious
(the relentless snake-like robots being the worst in my book) making
the game impossible to complete without potential loss of sanity.
All in all, I love Side Arms Hyper Dyne (no surprise here)
and this conversion is perfect.