Raiden Fighters 2

Infobox VG
title = Raiden Fighters 2: Operation Hell Dive


developer = SEIBU KAIHATSU INC.
publisher = Fabtek (US) The Metrotainment Network (Asia) Tuning Electronic (DE)
designer =
release = 1997
genre = Vertical scrolling shooter
modes = Single player, 2 player Co-op
cabinet = Upright
arcade system = Seibu SPI System
display = Raster, 240 x 320 pixels (Vertical), 6144 colors
input = 8-way Joystick, 2 Buttons
nihongo|"Raiden Fighters 2: Operation Hell Dive"|ライデンファイターズ2|Raiden Faitāzu Tsū is a 1997 scrolling shooter arcade game by Seibu Kaihatsu. It is the direct sequel to "Raiden Fighters", which is part of the Raiden scrolling shooter game legacy. This game shares the same intense gameplay as its predecessor, as well as expanding on the concepts that defined it. It is followed by "Raiden Fighters Jet", the third and final game so far in the series.

The later "Raiden Fighters 2 - 2000 Operation Hell Dive" clone runs on cheaper hardware and features notoriously inferior sound than the original. A newer single-board version was released for the US market. This version of Raiden Fighters 2 is a stand-alone version that has all fighters available immediately.

Plot

"Raiden Fighters 2" takes place four years after the events of the first game. In the aftermath, a few surviving guerrilla groups gather under a dictator. Together, this rogue group forms a new nation and launches a salvo of attacks on the protagonist fighting forces. ["4 years pass since the defeat of the Dictator's Army. However, the remnant guerrillas gathering under a Dictator make a new nation and start attacks on our forces.", Opening prologue, "Raiden Fighters 2: Operation Hell Dive", SEIBU KAIHATSU INC. 1997] In response to these surprise attacks, the government recalls the previous troops into action once again, outfitted with retooled ordinances. ["The new government force musters the previous fighter-bomber troops and orders a special mission using the newest weapons.", Opening prologue, "Raiden Fighters 2: Operation Hell Dive", SEIBU KAIHATSU INC. 1997]

Gameplay

Like most games in the shoot 'em up genre, "Raiden Fighters 2" has simplistic controls. A Fire button shoots the player craft's weaponry. A Bomb button unleashes an attack that deals massive damage to all enemy targets caught in its blast, as well as nullify enemy firepower. Bombing is most often used as a panic attack to save the player from death. Experienced players are known to utilize Bombs to aid in scoring.

Each of the seven standard fighter craft has two secondary weapons. Each weapon has a charged special that is activated by the player holding down the Fire button until the craft flashes. This special attack is then unleashed when the player releases the Fire button. The resulting attack deals massive damage to enemy targets.

A new feature introduced in "Raiden Fighters 2" is the Hybrid Attack, available only during a two-player game. This attack is initiated by both players unleashing their charged special attacks near simultaneously while within very close proximity within each other. The resulting attack renders both players invincible and unleashes a powerful energy beam attack that can destroy large enemies easily and seriously damage bosses. Players cannot move their craft during the Hybrid Attack. However, they can still make their Slaves shoot and drop Bombs. This attack is available only to the seven standard aircraft and the Hell Diver.

Scoring has been given a significant upgrade from the first game. Medals, bonus items that increase player score, appear far more frequently in "Raiden Fighters 2". Additionally, airborne Medals tend to form tight clusters near the top-center of the playfield, and remain stationary for a longer time interval. This behavior, along with a dramatically reduced fall speed, makes Medals much easier to collect. Many enemy attack patterns encourage the use of the bullet scratching technique to dramatically increase player score. The game also includes many more hidden secrets. The Violet Head Train boss stage alone has a total of six hidden Micluses. This game is the first Raiden Fighters game to change the font for the Medal pick-up score values.

tages

There are a total of seven stages, divided into three Missions. Each of the first two Missions ends in a long, drawn-out boss encounter. This boss stage usually lasts over four minutes, and players have to destroy the boss piece-by-piece. The first two stages in these Missions are randomly ordered. The final Mission is a fight against an attack dome and finally the true final boss.

Mission 1

Allied Air-Base

If players encounter this stage as their second, a number of Aegis II-c fighters appears alongside the players. The number of Aegis II-c's that appear depend on how many lives the player had lost in the previous stage. Targets shot down by the Aegis II-c's are added as bonus points to the players. Any surviving Aegis II-c's before the boss reward players with extra points. Boss: Giant hover vehicle.

wampland

Before the boss, a large plane appears and drops floating mines towards the player. Destroying these mines causes them to return fire against the player. Depending on the rank of the game at the time, this return fire can be anywhere from a single aimed shot to a fast five-way attack pattern. Boss: "'a large hover tank

Boss Stage

(Code name: Violet Head) The entire stage takes place over a behemoth war train. The engine of the train is the final confrontation.

Mission 2

Beachhead Landing

Encounters of note are small LPD's making a beachhead landing. Boss: Gust Weasel (Giant tank).

Bomber Squadron

The player engages in shooting down a squadron of gigantic bombers. Accompanying this bomber squadron are flights of small fighters and medium attack planes as escorts. Destroying all visible engines of a bomber will completely destroy the bomber in an enormous explosion. Boss: Hummingbird XB-3 (Attack bomber).

Boss Stage

(Code name: Sand Lobster) The entire stage takes place over an enormous land carrier over a desert in a sandstorm. The main control bridge is the final confrontation. This boss is a reference to the Japanese manga Area 88, which also has a land carrier rolling through a desert. It was also used as a boss in the Capcom horizontal scrolling shoot 'em up of the same name (released outside Japan as U.N. Squadron.

Final Mission

*After making a low approach over a small population center, the player makes an assault on the main enemy headquarters. Encounters include medium and large tanks, as well as turrets on castle wall battlements. The player can have up to two boss encounters: an actively attacking dome, and an experimental attack aircraft designated XB-7, code-named Red Eye.

Fighter Craft

The seven standard aircraft in this game are mostly overhauls of their original "Raiden Fighters" incarnations. Some craft had their secondary weapons switched around, while others had theirs revamped. The rest are new to this game, complete with new weaponry.

There are even more secret fighters available in the game. This game makes use of a time-release feature that makes more fighters available for play depending how long the arcade machine had been running since initial boot-up. Several newer single-PCB versions of the game eliminate the time-release feature outright and make all the fighters available for selection immediately.

All but the Aegis II-c and the Dark Sword reappear in the sequel "Raiden Fighters Jet".

Aegis IV

In the game, this is a very balanced fighter with no outstanding strengths or weaknesses. Aside from minor graphical changes (gray-colored nose, blue Homing Rays, and contra-rotating propellers), the Aegis IV is exactly like the original Aegis from the first "Raiden Fighters".

Beast Wing

This plane is a new variant of the Beast Arrow from the first "Raiden Fighters", retaining most of its appearance. The Beast Wing has a flamethrower for its Laser weapon. The Stinger Missiles home in and attach themselves to their target, exploding moments afterward. The Charged Missile special unleashes a swarm of these missiles.

The Beast Wing has the same advantages and disadvantages as its ancestor.

Chaser 2000

This is an updated variant of the original Chaser from the first "Raiden Fighters" with a different Laser weapon. It now has a reflecting property, bouncing from one target to another. The Chaser 2000 has the same advantages and disadvantages as its ancestor.

Death Header

The Death Header is a black plane (or red in "Raiden Fighters Jet") that somewhat resembles the Vought XF5U-1 Flying Pancake, made popular in the Psikyo shooter Strikers 1945 II. The Electric Lock-On Beam behaves similarly to the Devastator's Electro-Zapper Beam (including its charged attack) from the first "Raiden Fighters". The Heat-Seeking Missiles spin around in place for a while before homing into an enemy.

Eraser

The Eraser, which looks similar to the Devastator plane from the first "Raiden Fighters", uses weapons from two other planes from the original "Raiden Fighters" with different names: Beast Wing's Laser (Pulse Beam) and Devastator's Missiles (Ultra-Fire Cruise Missiles), complete with the same charged specials.

Flying Ray

The Flying Ray has fast movement speed and effective weapons when fully powered up.

Its Laser weapon is an enhanced version of the Endeavor's Laser weapon. Its charged special deploys almost instantly, providing a quick burst of heavy firepower on demand.

Griffin

The Griffin's Laser consists of small pods that aim at enemies and fire several bursts of green energy before disintegrating. Its charged laser special launches four pods that lock in formation in front of the Griffin, each firing a green laser that passes through enemies.

The Parachute Bombs are from the Endeavor in the first game, improved by being given a shorter time to charge up its special attack. This Missile weapon is the only non-Bomber attack available to players in this game that can destroy enemy bullets.

Many players consider this plane hard to use.

Hell Diver

The Hell Diver's Boomerang Laser can pass through multiple enemies, damaging them along its path. The Missile weapon consists of typical pseudo-homing missiles. It uses the Firestar Bomb of the standard craft. A noted ability of the Hell Diver is its charged Laser special; it releases many Boomerang Laser projectiles quickly.

lave

The Slave's only weapon consists of a rapid-firing main cannon that increases in spread as it is powered up, adding to its already extreme firepower. It inherits the speed and the bombs of the fighter it normally accompanies.

The most dramatic attribute of the Slave plane is its exceedingly small hitbox; it is the smallest in the entire game. Due to the Slave's bloated attributes (especially when it inherits the speed of faster craft) and tiny hitbox, some players consider the Slave to be unbalanced.

Raiden mk-II

This "Raiden II" guest ship utilizes the purple Plasma Lock-On Laser and standard homing missiles from its original game as its weaponry.

The Raiden mk-II's most obvious disadvantage is its slow movement speed. Its other disadvantage is the long delay for its Bomb to deploy. The Raiden mk-II can be easily shot down before its Bomb deploys, making its use more offensive than defensive.

Judge Spear

The Judge Spear is the fastest fighter available.

It is equipped with the Napalm Missiles from "Viper Phase 1", which are powered-up by collecting Missile power-ups. The Vulcan gun is powered up by collecting Laser power-ups. The Judge Spear's bomb deploys quickly into a long-lasting explosion. While the Judge Spear has already formidable firepower, it is further enhanced by collecting Slaves.

Raiden mk-IIβ

This is the player 2 blue version of the Raiden mk-II.

The Raiden mk-IIβ has a faster movement speed than its red counterpart. Its main weaponry is the original Raiden Spread Vulcan, which requires four "L" power-ups to attain maximum strength, at which the weapon covers a 120° arc in front of the ship. Its secondary weapon is the Cruise Missiles from the original "Raiden" series.

The biggest disadvantage of the Raiden mk-IIβ is its lack of rapid-firing capabilities. Additionally, the Spread Vulcan's firepower is minimal far away from enemy targets.

The other disadvantage for the Raiden mk-IIβ is its Bomb, which is the Cluster Bomb from "Raiden II" and "Raiden DX". It deploys instantly, providing immediate cover from enemy fire. However, the bomblets explode on contact with aerial targets, greatly decreasing the cover from enemy fire provided by the bomb. The many disadvantages of the Raiden mk-IIβ cause many players to consider this ship to be hard to use.

Blue Javelin

This is the blue version of the Judge Spear that the second player uses in "Viper Phase 1". Like the Judge Spear, the Blue Javelin was unnamed when it originally appeared in "Viper Phase 1."

The Blue Javelin's speed is slower than that of the Judge Spear. The Vulcan Cannon has a little spread when fully powered up. The Burst Concussion Missiles come directly from "Viper Phase 1." When fully powered up, Blue Javelin can shoot up to 16 of these missiles in one burst. The Blue Javelin also uses the Dimension Mine bomb the Judge Spear uses from "Viper Phase 1".

The Blue Javelin is considered by many players to be as well-balanced as the Aegis class fighter planes.

Miclus

This blue creature is Seibu Kaihatsu's mascot and a prominent secret item in the "Raiden Fighters" series.

The Miclus' only weapon is his flame breath, which is fully powered up by collecting just four power-up icons. The Miclus' Slaves are actually Fairies that fight alongside Miclus. Miclus' Bomb attack is a continuous stream of fire that Miclus breathes out, similar to the Beast Arrow's charged Laser special. While Miclus is performing this attack, players can manually bend the stream of fire left and right by moving in those directions.

Miclus possesses high firepower with below average speed.

Fairy

The Fairy is the Miclus' slave and another secret item in the series.

Her firepower is exactly like the Slave's, and her firepower is just as damaging. The Fairy inherits the Miclus' Bomb attack, but the Fairy becomes completely invincible while the attack is in effect. The Fairy can still scrape bullets while invincible, increasing the player score steadily.

World experts are known to abuse the Fairy's invincibility in order to achieve the highest scores.

Aegis II-c

A camouflage-colored variant of the Aegis IV, the Aegis II-c is the plane that sometimes joins the players in the Allied Air-base stage.

The Aegis II-c's Laser weapon is the Aegis IV's Homing Rays with enhanced speed and rapid-fire rate, just as fast as the Aegis IV's charge laser attack. This rapid fire capability can destroy ground bosses quickly by directly overlapping them and shooting. Its Missile weapon is the same as the Aegis IV's. The Aegis II-c does not have any charged specials.

Dark Sword

This ship is a black version of the Judge Spear with the same Vulcan Cannon and an even faster movement speed.

The Dark Sword's missile weapon is an enhanced variation of the Blue Javelin's Burst Missile weapon. Fully powered up, Dark Sword can fire up to 25 of these missiles at once, covering almost the entire screen. The Dark Sword uses the Dimension Mine Bomb its cousins use.

This is the last ship to be unlocked.

Music

The music of "Raiden Fighters 2" is composed in the techno style with some instances of drum and bass (the theme of the boss stages). The soundtrack was composed by Go Satoh. His past works include the soundtracks of "Raiden II", parts of "Raiden DX", "Viper Phase 1", "Senkyu" ("Battle Balls" in the USA), and the first "Raiden Fighters".

References to the Original Raiden Games

* In addition to their roles in the "Raiden Fighters" series, the Miclus and Fairy are also pick-ups in the original Raiden series. The Miclus gives the player 10,000 points (50,000 in Raiden DX if the player picks it up while it jumps). The Fairy gave the player 10,000 points and released power-ups when the player dies.
* When playing a two-player game using both Raiden ships, a classic trick from the original Raiden series appears. When the Raiden mk-IIβ shoots the Raiden mk-II, the Raiden mk-IIβ's shots turn into very damaging star-shaped projectiles with their trajectories changed into random directions covering a wide arc in front of the Raiden mk-II. This trick is also present in "Raiden Fighters Jet".

ignificance of the player craft names

*Aegis:The name comes from the shield of the Greek god Zeus in Greek mythology, or a shield-shaped ancient Egyptian amulet.
*Flying Ray:This craft is most likely named for its passing resemblance to the ray, which is a relative of the shark.
*Griffin:The name is the same as that of the legendary creature with the body of a lion and the head and wings of an eagle.
*Hell Diver:This craft's name is possibly taken from the SB2C Helldiver, an American aircraft carrier-based dive bomber produced for the United States Navy during World War II. This craft also partially shares its name with the game's subtitle.

Ports and conversions

On November 21, 2007, Japanese video game magazine Famitsu reported the development of a compilation of all three "Raiden Fighters" games for the Xbox 360. [Famitsu Weekly; November 21, 2007; magazine scan (http://www.gamersyde.com/gallery_7060_en.html)] This compilation is titled "Raiden Fighters Aces", published by Japanese software company Success Corporation and released on March 27, 2008.cite web |url=http://www.gamefaqs.com/console/xbox360/data/944128.html |title=Raiden Fighters Aces Xbox 360 GameFAQs.com game page |accessdate=2008-02-27 |publisher=GameFAQs.com ]

Footnotes

External links

* [http://www.klov.com/game_detail.php?letter=R&game_id=9247 Raiden Fighters 2] on [http://www.klov.com/ The Killer List of Videogames]


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