By Square Sony Playstation 1998

With a bizarre title like Einhander and being developed by newcomers to the
shoot 'em up genre Square, I was very curious about this game and wanted to
play it for some time. I finally got my chance a few days ago and I'd like to say
that it is a high-calibre title and I thoroughly enjoy playing it.

Reviewed by Basi


The word Einhander, for those not good with their German, means 'one-arm'. The game is given this title because the aircraft you pilot in the game has, as well as wings, an arm. This arm is very useful and is an innovation in the genre. After blasting away another ship's armour, you can swoop down, and using the arm, can collect that craft's weapon. For example, after destroying a turret fixated on a moving train, you can pick it up and use it for yourself. The arm has two firing positions. It can either be placed below your ship or above. In the harder stages, you are required to toggle between positions depending on what direction the enemy approaches you at. It must be noted that any weapons you collect all have only a limited number of rounds or missiles.

Those interested can take a look at THE STORY

(Above & Below) Rendered Square art for Einhander - click on the pics for larger versions!


Endymion FRS Mk. II

There are three ships you can choose to pilot. The first one is equipped with a machine gun with unlimited ammunition and has three gunpods. A gunpod is storage for one weapon. So this ship can hold three weapons at one time, and by pressing a certain button you can select which of these weapons are to be latched onto the ship's arm. This ultimately means you can only use one of the probable three stored weapons at a time in collaboration with the standard machine gun.

The second ship on the menu is the easiest to pilot. This one has two machine guns with unlimited ammo as your standard gun but only one gunpod. This basically means, whichever weapon you collect will instantly be extended onto the ship's arm. If you happen to sieze another weapon than it will replace the one already on the arm. Ifyou attempt to collect a weapon you already have on the arm, than that weapon's ammunition will be increased.

Endymiion FRS Mk. III

Astraea FGA MK I

The third ship is very different from the other two. It has no standard machine gun but just two arms. You must be very economical with this ship since you are relying soley on weapons with limited ammunition. You can swap the position of the weapons by pressing the arm-manipulation button. Pressing this button with this ship makes the top arm exchange weapons with the bottom one.


The game offers a vast range of weapons to collect. The first one you will come across is the Vulcan. This is a gattling gun: a cylinder shaped agent of destruction. Hold down fire and the gun will rotate rapidly, firing a staggering amount of rounds per second. On the bottom of the ship, the gun points diagonally downward, on the top it points straight ahead, above the ship's windshield.

Cannon is of a similar size to the Vulcan. It does not fire as rapidly as the Vulcan, but it inflicts more damage. Since it is so powerful it does not have a generous cache of bullets. On the top of the ship it points diagonally upwards and below it, it points straight ahead, just underneath the ship's windshield.

Spreader is a big gun with three openings at the front. By pressing fire, three bullets will be sent out, first in close knit formation, than they will spread out on increasing distance. This weapon is useful to hit enemies approaching at different directions. On the bottom of the ship, the spreader points straight. The alternative position is not on the top but on the ship's rear.

Wasp is a very common weapon. There are two types of Wasp. It can come in the form of a missile launcher, sending out several missiles at once at a fast firing rate. The other version is to send out bright, heat seeking missiles.

There are a few more weapons that I haven't mentioned:

Powerful grenades which can be launched forwards in an arc or dropped below your ship onto enemies

Emits a high-voltage electric charge which can be further powered-up by holding down the fire button

A useful defensive weapon which scatters aerial bombs above or below your ship, forming an effective barrage of explosions

A ship-mounted light-sabre! - similar to the one seen in Radiant Silvergun, it can be switched between upper and lower gunpod quickly to 'slash' at enemies


Page two of the Einhander review this way

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