Radiant Silvergun (レイディアント シルバーガン Reidianto Shirubāgan) is a vertically scrolling shooter video game, developed by Treasure. It was released in arcades on the ST-V platform in 1998 and subsequently ported to the Sega Saturn, with added cutscenes by noted animation studio Gonzo. It was announced at Tokyo Game Show 2010 that the title would be brought to Xbox Live Arcade with high-definition visuals and online co-op.
It features a unique and innovative weapons system, with seven weapons available at any time. The player has three buttons to control the weapons; the weapon fired depends on the combination of buttons pressed. According to producer Hiroshi Iuchi, the main inspiration for the game's design was Image Fight, an arcade game by Irem from 1988.
Unlike in most other shoot 'em ups, there are no power-ups. All weapons are available from the start. Weapons can 'level up', however, becoming more powerful as the player uses them to score points. There are a selection of 7 weapons that can be used at any given time:
The game is designed so that there is almost always a 'right' weapon for any situation. The bosses in the game are designed so that they have multiple 'sections' which, if all destroyed before the 'core' of the boss, will award the players with point bonuses. Being able to apply the right weapons on any different boss is key to obtaining these bonuses. For example, a boss may have two sections located on either side of the screen. You could immediately go up to one and begin shooting it with a vulcan, or you could hover in the centre and hit both at the same time with the side bombs. This would increase your chance of obtaining the bonus before the time limit runs out and the boss self-destructs.
The game rewards players for "chaining" enemies of just one of three colors, red, blue, or yellow. Whenever the player kills three enemies that are of the same color, who can obtain a points bonus. This also facilitates faster upgrading of weapons.
In the arcade mode, the game's first level is stage 3. At the end of stage 3, the player can choose to continue at stage 2 or stage 4. Both stages lead to stage 5, then stage 6, and the finale at stage 1. This is true to the story's chronology; for example, the events of stage 2 occurred a year before stage 3. In the Saturn version, the player is forced to play all of the stages, starting at stage 3, to stage 2, then 4 through 6 and 1.
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