Tyrian is a 2D space shooter by Eclipse Productions that was released in 1995 for the PC. It was released with 3 episodes, and a 4th added later on. Unlike 2D shooters of the time (Scratch that... of any time.), this one featured far more role-playing elements, for example, being able to purchase upgrades for your ship and power them up using the points you earned in game. You can attain better shields, chassis, a multitude of weapons, for the front, rear, and sides, and a bunch of other gadgets to add to your arsenal. The shop stock changes after every stage, and as you progress, they get more and more powerful. Another thing far different about this one is how much stamina your ship has. Rather than dying in one hit, or even just a few hits, your ship can take quite a lot of damage. And when your shields give, you still have armor to protect you. And if all that isn't enough, if your armor gets dangerously low, a supply ship will come to your aid and drop off a repair kit... Provided you can grab it before you get killed. It sounds easy, but the developers did their best to compensate for that, by adding a crapload of enemies that also have quite a lot of stamina.
But what is by far the most defining factor of this game is the weapon system. Any weapon can be upgraded up to 10 times. At first, you'll start off with your little pea shooter, and before you know it, the only thing on the screen is bullets. Think of it as an upside down bullet hell shooter.
|UGH, why is there this lame backdrop in the way of my bullets?|
Despite the fact that you can power up your ship to oblivion, the game is actually very challenging, and offers harder difficulty settings. Although very story-driven, you can get through the entire game without hardly reading a line of text. If you want to actually get into the story, however, you'll have to collect data cubes dropped off by some enemies during the missions. Reading them is completely optional, so if you only care about actually playing the game, you won't have to bother. Story aside, the game also contains many secrets to be found, including secret levels, weapons, and free upgrades. The game is available for free as "OpenTyrian," an open-source version of the game re-released in 2007. You can get it for the PC, but it has also been converted to work with many other things, such as a modded Wii, PSP, Zune HD, Android, Gizmondo, Dingoo, and almost anything with buttons and a screen.
You can download the game for PC here: