I was a student at Uni, one of my friends lived above
a video arcade. This establishment had a number of
Toaplan arcade games, including Truxton 2, Vimana and
the incredibly 'more-ish' Outzone. Needless to say I
was often late back from visiting my friend..
game nostalgia can be a little rose-tinted. Fondly
remembered classics of the 'charge-and-destroy' genre
such as Commando, Gunsmoke
and Ikari Warriors have not aged at
all well to be honest (although Commando
still has to be recognised as a ground-breaker).
Other games such as Jackal and Mercs
come off far better today. Outzone,
like-wise, is still an incredibly playable game..
marine has two basic weapons - a rapid fire laser
which can be aimed in eight directions, and a green
'spread-shot' cannon which can only be fired
upscreen. Weapons can be switched by picking up the 'C'
icons littered about the landscape, and powered up by
collecting the occasional 'P' icon.
Players need to utilise both weapons depending on the
situation - for instance the eight-way laser is
useful in the tight corridor sections where enemies
can appear behind you, while the spread-shot is best
for boss encounters. While two further weapons - a
flame-thrower and a kind of rotating ball on a string
that zips around your character taking out all bad
guys - can occasionally be picked up, they are rare.
Occasionally you may find a shield-pickup which can
protect you from one collision with enemy hardware.
It does not usually last too long..
spirit of Toaplan shooters from the 80's and early
90's Outzone is one tough cookie of a game. Enemies
come thick and fast from all directions and often
overpower the player, especially at later stages or
in one-player mode. Stages are best conquered with a
mixture of out-and-out blasting and tactical sniping
from behind 'safe spots' in the scenery - taking out
key enemies and gun turrets before rushing
frantically forwards in the hope of making it through
to the end of level boss intact. To prevent players
dawdling a continually decreasing 'energy-meter' is
present which can only be recharged by finding 'E'
pickups in the landscape, forcing you to keep moving.
Levels range from open plains and alien installations
to Gauntlet-style mazes and narrow
walk-ways where you are in danger of falling a very
long way indeed should you be unwary. The variety of
different enemies and backgrounds in the game is
impressive - from lowly alien grunts to organic
craft, spaceships, trains, robots and some incredibly
This fiendish boss (at the end of
stage three) is a major git..!! It actually cuts away
the floor so you are left with precious little room
to move around.. and the smaller aliens it spawns are
SOO hard to avoid being zapped by! For god's sake
just keep firing and pray!
As far as
I know there were no home versions of Outzone,
fortunately is is playable nowadays in the Mame
and Shark emulators so there's no
excuse not to revisit this ten year old classic! A
sequel called Fix Eight was released
in 1992 which is currently in preliminary emulation
Boss number five is a mean
warship thing. Don't fall off that edge!
Incoming! Final boss!! Rather mean
say the least, and you have to fight right on
the edge of this precipice.. er I just fell off
Toaplan at their best.. an inspired
mixture of Ikari Warriors and Truxton.. the wonderful
last, humans can't control
repeated invasions to the earth.
As a last resort, the United Nations commissioned the
strongest cyborg soldier
to the legendary space death squad.
human race confronted being wiped out by invasions of
strong aliens of Waogira planet. At that time, a message
was posted to U.N. The message said that there were
excellent cyborg soldiers who undertake battle with money
in the remote region, so-called "Out Zone", of
the galaxy system.
plays like a cross between Capcom's Mercs and Toaplan's
own space-shooter Truxton, and as such is a pretty unique
experience even today. Your task is to take command of
one of two cyborg marines sent in to eradicate all the
marauding alien scum from their homeworld - a region
called the 'Outzone' - through 7 long and extremely
challenging levels - complete with a full compliment of
very tricky to defeat end-of-stage guardians.
Caught between two nasty gun-turrets
and a squad of alien robots with only my lowly pink laser
Tank-boss at the end of stage two.. not too hard
compared to some later bosses but you need to destroy the
command-turret which only appears briefly - plus those
pink chain lasers are a bit of a nightmare..
Aargh!! I HATE this boss!!. In its
first form it pelts you with missiles which then further
bombard you with flak.. then splits into this spinning
circle of baddies which is
very hard to avoid being killed by..
stage six boss, this walker robot baddies, is
actually one of the easiest in the game to defeat.
you can see the massive light-saber doobrie the
boss is equipped with. Nasty when it takes a swipe at
you. It can also punch with those 'fists' so don't stray
under 'em or you'll be toast. Oh yes.. the red spot is
bosses now revealed 'weak spot'