R-type is another Irem classic and one of the best side scrollers around. It is a difficult game - it's harder than it looks. The game is deterministic in that the enemies always come from the same place everytime you play. You therefore need to memorise enemy patterns in order to get good at the game.

Game Mechanics

A complete game of R-Type consists of 2x8 rounds. The second time through, the action takes place on the same repeated set of backgrounds and enemies but the enemies are sped up and shoot more bullets. The second time through the game is much, much harder as a result. The game scroll mostly left to right, stopping at bosses and in level 3 the game scrolls counterclockwise from the left side as you circle below a large ship.

Weapons And Powerups

Reflecting Lasers (blue)
Great general purpose weapon that richochets off objects it hits
Antiair Laser (red)
Ring style laser shots in straight line, very powerful.
Antiland Laser (yellow)
shoots up and down and when it hits an obstacle it runs along the surface.
Careful, you don't want too many of these.
Twin Missiles
These missiles are homing, a necessary supplement to your main weapon.
Bit Unit
You can collect two of these. These float above and below your ship and protect you from enemies. Enemies take damage when they touch the bit units.

The 1st button is the fire button. If you shoot rapidly you shoot small bullets. If you hold the fire button to charge up, you release a large shot that does much more damage.

When you first collect a Laser powerup gem, a droid appears from the left of the screen. You can attach the droid to the front or back of your ship. The main difference between good and average players is the use of the droid. The droid is invincible (except on the final boss) and can be used in many useful ways. You can release and collect the droid by using the 2nd button. When the droid is released and you shoot, bullets are released from both your ship and the droids.

You need to collect 3 of the Laser powerup gem units to be fully powered. The first gem unit gives you the droid. The droid can shoot straight ahead. After the 2nd gem the droid can shoot diagonally when separated. After the 3rd gem, the droid can shoot both diagonally and up and down when separated.

The Stages

1. Bydo Empire Frontline Base

Level Description
Fairly easy level. You get all your powerups in this level and can learn to use your droid.
Boss - Krell
The middle face is his weakness. Avoid the tail and bullets from the middle face. Shoot off your droid right into his middle face and then move your ship up to safety and fire away until he is dead.

2. Bydo Caves

Level Description
Another Fairly simple level. Watch the pods near the middle of the level. Keep an eye above and below for enemies that come out of the walls. Don't run into the terrain.
Boss - Gomanda
I love this boss. He consists of a pulsing eye (weakpoint) with 4 holes where a segmented snake can enter/exit. Number the holes 1 to 4 (left to right). The snake will enter/exit 8 times before the stage ends. The exit pattern the snake takes is 1,4,3,2,4,1,2,3. When the snake exits his body is reinforced and each segment can shoot you so you need to shoot the segments or destroy them with your droid. Kill the boss by shooting the pulsing eye enough times. You get more points by not killing him until the snake has appeared 8 times.

3. The Mega Battleship

Level Description
The entire level consists of one huge battleship protected by armaments that you circle anticlockwise until you reach its weak spot.
Boss - Mega BattleShip
Work your way down, under, up the right hand side, then above the ship until you reach the central core. When it stops firing and turn red, charge up and shoot it - one or two full blasts is all it needs. The difficulty is in getting all the way around the ship.

4. The Terrible Mechanical Cells

Level Description
A nasty level. You have to use your droid and bits to advantage. Little red enemies leave cells in their wake as they streak across the screen from all directions. Halfway through the level swapping your droid from front to back is usually a good move.
Boss - Monpaira
This boss consists 3 ships pulled into one. The ships separate periodically and then come back together. The green windows are the weaknesses. If you get behind the ship at the start with your droid on your tail you can kill the lower part very quickly and polish off the other 2 parts soon after.

5. The Underwater Caves

Level Description
Lots of snakes throughout the level. Shoot them in the head to kill them off quickly or in the body for more points. Smaller enemies come from above and below and can be a nuisance.
Boss - Kraken
I haven't quite got this boss worked out yet. The main core is protected by several octopi. The octopi separate and fly toward you and bounce off the walls (not a proper bounce though). The trick is to avoid getting trapped. Charging your weapon and killing individual octopi seems to help. Eventually the core will be revealed and you can shoot the shiny red spots to kill him.

6. The Warehouse Labyrinth

Level Description
Another nasty level. You have to learn the safe spots throughout the level. There is a continual stream of Mura (blocks with red weak spot). They are virtually impossible to kill because they move fast and the weak spot is behind them. Avoid them and work out a path through the level.
Boss - Several Mura
Stay in the bottom right corner with your droid behind you. When the Mura appear and come down to your level shoot them. If one comes with its weak spot the wrong way, move up and then left and kill it when it come up to you.

7. The Eroding City

Level Description
The first half is ok. Just shoot the enemies that appear. Stay away from the walls because they explode. Beware of the enemies that come from the left of the screen. The 2nd half ???
Boss - Buronku
I have only seen this boss once. Debris falls from above. Below is an enemy ??? Periodically from the right the boss appears. You have to shoot the shiny blue part of it. If you are fully powered up it is possible to find a spot to stand still, shooting continuously as debris fall and enemies appear. I have a lot of trouble finding that sweet spot ...

8. Bydo Empire Home Base

Level Description
The first part of this level leading up to the boss is relatively simple. There are invincible blue spinning blobs that appear and have to be avoided.
Boss - Bydo
You have to shoot your droid into the mouth of the enemy when it opens and then spend a lot of time avoiding the blue blobs until the boss finally dies.