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By Konami Snes/Super Famicom 1992


For many the greatest Snes Shoot-em-up of all time, Axelay still manages to impress today...

'Get into your flame retardant combat suit, strap into the cockpit of the Axelay starfighter, and stand by to launch into six sanity-crushing worlds. And they're all occupied by the Armada of Annihilation. You need to go in and recapture Axelay's secret weapons taken by the enemy. If you happen to escape with your life, an evil mega machine waits for you at the end of each stage. It's enough to give you terminal space sickness..' (from Snes manual)

Tsk..another alien invasion on the cards.. better grab that spaceship and head on out into the yonder to save mankind. Be careful though, it's the last one we've got. And bring it back in one piece now, the insurance on those things is a nightmare..

On its release in 1992 Konami's Axelay caused collective jaws to
drop in awe due to its fantastic graphical complexity and effects.


The style of the game followed in the footsteps of Konami's own Salamander, with vertically scrolling levels interspersed with

horizontal stages together forming a very varied and attractive
shoot-em-up package. The vertical stages were particularly cool, with neat mode-7 trickery creating a pretty effective illusion of depth as you flew over the scrolling landscape below. I have to admit to not really liking these levels as much as the horizontal stages though (the way the ship keeps on 'centering' itself is very annoying!). My favourite level is the 'Space-Station' second one, the detail laboured on the background with the earth's surface below and in some of the alien ships is astonishingly thorough.The final stages' design is also
quite stunning. In fact in many ways the horizontal levels bear a resemblance to an early incarnation of '
Einhander ' especially
in the weapon selection system. Even the ship looks

Why does this intro remind me of
Douglas Adams' "A Hitchiker's Guide
to the Galaxy" ?!

similar! Axelay was first though..

Oh yes, bosses... Really quite impressive this lot, fantastic for a
16-bit game in fact. They tend to vary in difficulty a bit though, with
the end of stage bosses on the vertical scrolling bits being very hard
(level 3 - aargh!) and the ones on the horizontal levels being quite a
bit easier. Hmm. Anyway, I've devoted the next two pages to them all, plus the ending sequence (so don't look if you don't want to see it).

Alternatively check out the nifty little number that was the
Axelay starfighter

Access Axelay Ship Blueprints

'Things are looking bad for a peaceful cluster of worlds in the Illis solar system. One of their reconnaissance satellites has picked up an evil prescence 1.2 light years away - and it's drawing closer. The dark Armada of Annihilation pulses forward, devouring all planets in its way, their vast array of weaponry poised and ready for any massive army that may try to stop them. However, it may not be a large force that can defeat them, but rather a force of one..' (from Snes manual)

Next page: those Axelay Bosses in full..
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