Let's talk about Compile, Toaplan, and ALESTE - http://www.mmcafe.com/ Forums


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Maou
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"Let's talk about Compile, Toaplan, and Aleste" , posted Tue 9 Nov 13:49:post reply

So at this very moment I was just playing Musha Aleste on Mega Drive and contend that it had the crown of most badass opening level of a shooter until about...a decade later with Ikaruga or so. Something about pursuing an armed, weaponized Edo-era castle just stands out. I got to wondering if anyone has good memories or stories to share about the legendary Compile and Toaplan style of space shooters that prospered in (I think) the early 90's or so before more or less vanishing for many years.

I think Treasure sort of took up the sword later on with Radiant Silvergun, Ikaruga, etc. and made similarly tight, intense shooters with flexible control schemes without (de-) evolving into the intolerable danmaku bullet hell doujin nonsense from later on, but I didn't discover these early games until a bit late in the cycle. Any fans in the Cafe? Well, Red Falcon I suspect for one...





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[this message was edited by Maou on Tue 9 Nov 14:00]

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Spoon
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"Re(1):Let's talk about Compile, Toaplan, and " , posted Wed 10 Nov 00:51post reply

quote:
So at this very moment I was just playing Musha Aleste on Mega Drive and contend that it had the crown of most badass opening level of a shooter until about...a decade later with Ikaruga or so. Something about pursuing an armed, weaponized Edo-era castle just stands out. I got to wondering if anyone has good memories or stories to share about the legendary Compile and Toaplan style of space shooters that prospered in (I think) the early 90's or so before more or less vanishing for many years.

I think Treasure sort of took up the sword later on with Radiant Silvergun, Ikaruga, etc. and made similarly tight, intense shooters with flexible control schemes without (de-) evolving into the intolerable danmaku bullet hell doujin nonsense from later on, but I didn't discover these early games until a bit late in the cycle. Any fans in the Cafe? Well, Red Falcon I suspect for one...



Compile's Zanac is one of my very favourite shoot em ups, and it is terribly far-thinking. It has basic level layouts that are fixed, and enemy waves that are dynamically set based on your performance. The game scrolled at an amazing speed, and was a game that was highly reactionary in its gameplay, rather than being memorization-based. It filled the screen with bullets, but was most definitely not danmaku. Another 8-bit game which is similar in terms of moving with breakneck pace and filling the screen with crap and yet not being danmaku is the Summer Carnival '92 game Recca (not made by any of the mentioned companies, but whatever).

Zanac X Zanac had almost unreasonably good music, and was a great gift to fans of Zanac, but it felt too easy.





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"Re(1):Let's talk about Compile, Toaplan, and " , posted Wed 10 Nov 02:40post reply

This is the kind of topic I could really write the wall of text in response to! The 16-bit era was truly the pinnacle of the shooter.

I'll start by immediately going off the specifics of the subject by mentioning Telenet Japan's wonderful Gaiares for the MegaDrive. It feels a little easy these days, but with its absorbable weaponry, it excellent spritework, and its gigantic bosses makes it a favorite for me of this era.

As for Aleste, I regret that I've never had the opportunity to play Spriggan for the PCE, which I understand was quite good in a way that Musha Aleste was and Super Aleste... kinda wasn't. For some reason I keep feeling like there was either an arcade version of Aleste or a similar game that was around in arcades, but I'm blanking on it right now. I just recall a Musha Aleste style player piloted mech with lots of medieval Japan-styled enemies.





Maou
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"Re(2):Let's talk about Compile, Toaplan, and" , posted Wed 10 Nov 13:54post reply

I'll forgive you because A) it's Telenet, who I have an irrational affection for despite only playing a little bit of PCE Valis and B) Gaiares looks cool and has animation from the 'fantasy' style we often talk about.

New rule: pictures required!





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HAYATO
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"Re(3):Let's talk about Compile, Toaplan, and" , posted Wed 10 Nov 18:10post reply

quote:
I'll forgive you because A) it's Telenet, who I have an irrational affection for despite only playing a little bit of PCE Valis and B) Gaiares looks cool and has animation from the 'fantasy' style we often talk about.

New rule: pictures required!



Compile shooters rank fairly up on my personal ranking, specially the Aleste saga. From the unforgettable MUSHA (whose first stage keeps blowing my mind even to this day)to the beautiful (albeit a little messy) spin-off, Seirei Senshi Spriggan, I love every one of them. The only one who dissapointed me was the SNES version: I approached it with high expectations, coming from the Megadrive/Genesis world myself and getting the average shooter (a pretty and fine one, nevertheless) filled with generical spaceships insted of intense feudal japan mecha action was a huge letdown for me...

Just to illustrate my point :

- Musha Aleste (1990)
- Seirei Senshi Spriggan (1991)
- Dennin Aleste (1992)

- And then, Super Aleste (1992). Seriously, WTF??


For those who love their shooters with a distinct japanese flavor, I'd higly recommend Vic Tokai's Trouble Shooter/ Battle Mania saga for Genesis. True masterpieces, specially the second one, Battle Mania Daiginjou. For those interested, a dual japanese/english translation ROM patch for Daiginjou (amongst others) can be found HERE





Maou
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"Re(4):Let's talk about Compile, Toaplan, and" , posted Thu 11 Nov 13:46post reply

Agg, Dennin Aleste was on Mega CD and I never even noticed! These are great.

Do you all have memories of the 'scene' surrounding these shooting legends? I'm afraid I wasn't in time to see people who were crazy-good in the arcades or to hear the fans talk about their favorites or to hear their laments when Toaplan and Compile kind of vanished...any tales?





人間はいつも私を驚かせてくれる。不思議なものだな、人間という存在は...