first of Capcom's 'Jet-Pack Hero'
Section Z starred one 'Captain
Commando' - Capcom's one-time
official mascot - who would later appear
in the scrolling beat 'em up of then same
name (minus the rocket pack..). Your
mission was to penetrate the planetary
base of the evil Balangool
Empire, through each section
divided into sections A through to
Section Z - and the final confrontation
with the arch-nemesis, the 'L-Brain'.
Though fairly basic both visually and
play-wise, this horizontal-scrolling
shooter was still rather engaging
(similar in feel to the
original Darius IMO). A very much
remixed NES version (more of a
shooter-exploration game) was released
three years later in 1988.
nice original artwork
for the US arcade game
(ABOVE LEFT) NES version coverscans, click to enlarge.
to Section Z and
probably the fastest and most out-and-out
'twitch' shooter of the three games.
Sidearms added a two-player mode and
better weapons while retaining the feel
of it's predecessor. I wasn't a huge
Sidearms fan in the arcades (probably
because I was playing 1942
and Nemesis most of the time)
but in retrospect it's a pretty good
game.. if a little repetitive stage-wise
- there are only 3 or 4 different types
of boss seemingly re-used ad-infinitum.
Still, it has a good reaction-shooter
'feel', some great weapon powerups
(selectable from a menu-bar a la Gradius)
and some very catchy music.. the
background midi on this page is
The last, and for
me, most interesting game of the
'series', Forgotten Worlds
started with the immortal words "You
can not stop me with Paramecium
alone!" from one of its
protagonists.. Hmmm. OK then.. One of the
first Capcom CPS1
shooters, the game cast you as one of a
pair of 'Psyonic'
soldiers fighting back against an evil War
God and his reptillian henchmen.
The 'Forgotten Worlds' of the title were
made up of eight diverse and unique
stages, each with its own set-piece boss
- many of which are most impressive for
the period this game was released (1988).
FW did away with the one-hit-death policy
of the previous games and introduced a
player life-bar, another interesting
feature was the 'Weapon Shop'
- the player could collect floating cash
('Zenny') to spend here
on better firepower, extra health and
shields. This feature which would later
become commonplace in many 16-bit
computer shooters ie. Retrograde
(C64), Xenon 2,
X-Out and Blood Money
(Amiga). Many home conversions of the
game were released, including C64, Mega
Drive and a great Turbografix
CD version. A definite Capcom