GAIARES- Telenet/Renovation 1992 Sega Genesis

Gaiares also featured an endearingly bonkers Eco-morality plot - told in an epic seven minute anime-style intro - about saving the Earth both from toxic pollution and also a band of evil Space Pirates (the 'Gulfer') with names like Zoggian and Badnusty..

Gaiares, along with Gleylancer is quite probably my favourite Sega Megadrive (Genesis) horizontal shooter (I was never a huge Thunderforce fan I'm afraid..). Released relatively early in the Megadrive's career, and brought to the US by Renovation (it wasn't released in the UK - criminal really!) Gaiares features one of the most original and appealing weapon powerup systems ever created. By use of a device called TOZ operated by a second button on the controller - and similar to the pod weapon of R-Type - the player could actually capture enemy weapons by firing the TOZ at an enemy ship (or even boss!) , which were then transferred to the players craft. Each different type of alien craft possesed different weapon types - which were further upgradeable by capturing more aliens of the same type to max out a particular weapon. This made for a lot of fun just playing around with the differerent enemy weapons, and learning which enemy craft had the best ones! It's a great system.. and one that really ought to have been reprised in a later shooter (Shootemup designers please take note!..). ;)

Gaiares Story
Gaiares Manual (US)

Start of the game and I'm a bit low on gunpower so I need
to get TOZ-ZING ;) See the pod device to the right of my
ship? I've just fired it at an alien and it has captured it
to transfer its weapons over to my craft..

A few minutes of TOZ-ZING aliens left right and centre later and I've now aquired a whole bucketload of weaponry.. hooray!
Gaiares is a very compulsive game.. and you can have a lot of fun just messing about with the different weapon configurations.

Encountering some mini-bosses as I get towards the planet
surface I'm now sufficiently tooled up to sort them out with
ease. Although the graphics in the game aren't overly
spectacular, the level design is really good with nice long
stages- this one progresses in one long scrolling 'take' from
your launch, through space, onto a planet, and into a
cave system to meet the first boss.

And this is him! Pretty nasty too.. and if you should die you have
to go back to the start! That's a long way! Still I don't mind it too much when the actual game is as much fun as this one.

Encountering a very Gradius-style mini-boss on level two.
I'll try and post some more screenshots of later
stages another time, when I get them done ;)