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RAM Requirement: 512k RAM

Control: Joystick or Keyboard

Release Status: Abandonware

Year: 1988

Publisher: Sierra

Developers: Game Arts

System 6 Compatible: Yes

Hard Drive Installable: Yes

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Silpheed, is the sequel, of sorts, to Thexder. It was created by the same Japanese team of Game Arts and converted by Sierra.

Silpheed doesn't play at all like Thexder. Where I think Thexder became quite stale over time, Silpheed really does keep you on your toes. Silpheed is more or less a top down view arcade game, where you control your ship forward, back, left and right as wave after wave of your enemies pour down upon you in formation, subsequently meeting their doom due to your possibly superior skill, but more likely to be your unchallenged firepower.

Golans, hollow red spherical objects as seen in Thexder, drop power-ups as they are destroyed including speed-ups, auto fire, set barriers, invincibles and bonus points. The more points you get, the better. For reaching certain point scores, better weapons can be added to your increasing arsenal, and being able to choose which weapons to use for each level (some weapons are better for specific levels, e.g. lasers are effective in levels where you enter giant asteroid ships) becomes a real advantage.

The graphics may look a little strange under emulation, as the gameplay is played in the IIGS 640x200 graphics mode, where dithering of the available 4 colours achieves 16 colours and the dithering effect is not as apparent on a IIGS monitor (which has a much smaller and compressed image then say a contemporary monitor). It turns out that the graphics are completely unaltered from their original version available for the Japanese computer, the NEC PC 8801, which includes almost the same higher resolution graphics mode of the IIGS.

If you are only emulating Silpheed at the speed of a stock IIGS (2.8Mhz) Silpheed may seem a little easy being slower, but play at faster speeds turns the game into an exhilarating interstellar dogfight as you dodge and weave between asteroids, laser fire and waves of enemy fighters.