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"The Time Bomb Is Set."—Announcer
Alien Syndrome is an old Arcade game made and published by Sega. In 2007 an updated game of the same name was released for the Play Station Portable and Wii, adding RPG Elements. This article covers the original 1987 game.
It has a ton of ports, including a Sega Master System version, a Commodore64 version, and a bootlegged version for the NES, made by Atari's Tengen division. It has 7 stages, with stage 7 consisting of only the final boss fight in all versions. The differences between versions were many and varied, though the screen displaying the enemy ships was pretty much consistent. Some versions changed stages, or the final boss, or musics, or some mix. The Commodore64 and NES versions are known for being close to the original arcade.
The gameplay is nothing notable, just a Timed Mission with all stages but the Final Boss fight requiring hostage rescues. What is notable is that all versions have DoubleEntendres of some kind or another. And not mild ones, either. The kind that makes people not post their reviews on youtube for fear of violating the terms of service. And not just of the Freud Was Right variety either, but also of the serious Squick kind. One enemy, encountered on level 6 in most versions, is noted for looking like intestines.
The arcade was noted for having an egregiously short timer, though other versions have more forgiving ones.
- Aliens Are Bastards: Though of the generic Excuse Plot kind, mostly done for the sake of gameplay.
- Arbitrary Maximum Range: The default gun had this.
- Boss in Mooks Clothing: The enemy spawners. The take quite a bit of damage, and will be a serious drag on your race against the timer, should you choose to kill them.
- Elite Mooks: The arcade version had these, though most other versions did not.
- Excuse Plot: Save your comrades, defeat the aliens, and not much else.
- Frickin' Laser Beams: One of the weapons available to the player.
- Hitbox Dissonance: Like all early games, it has some form of this. However is it particularly noticable in the NES version, where even normal baddies sometimes have an Instant Death Radius due to this. It's worth noting that this also makes them easier to kill.
- Humanoid Abomination: The Final Boss. In the NES version, he's different, but still one of these. Just in a very different way.
- Inferred Holocaust: The Alien Ship crashes into the earth.......... Plus, in many versions (especially the arcade), you could leave some, or even quite a few hostages behind on each ship.
- Instant Death Radius: Due more to Hitbox Dissonance than deliberate design.
- Mook Maker: The ones in this game overlap with Boss in Mooks Clothing above.
- Power-Up: Sort of. Gun upgrades were not anymore powerful than your default one, but may have better range, rate of fire or speed.
- Respawning Enemies: Two types, both the types that spawn from a Spawn Point, and the types who respawn from scrolling back and forth on their spot.
- Shout-Out: Many versions feature an enemy resembling Xenomorphs.
- Timed Mission: Obviously.