Mega Turrican is another multi-scrolling arcade shooter of the Turrican saga, this time making its appearance to the Sega Mega Drive console. This game, which is almost identical to the Amiga's Turrican 3, was developed by Data East and Factor 5 in 1993.
STORY / GAMEPLAY In this Sega Mega Drive installment you control the almighty, super-soldier Bren McGuire (the same armored hero of the previous Turrican games). Bren is ordered once again to destroy the army of an alien force called "The Machine" who unleashed attacks against the world with just a single cause: Rule! Bren is an armored soldier, a specially trained commando who can accurately shoot and blast foes, jump over numerous obstacles and take out big bosses of any kind and strengths. Bren's main weapon is a devastating laser gun that can be upgraded through orbs found by smashing (or shooting) several bonus boxes and flying objects. Through these upgrade orbs, his gun can be changed into a flame thrower, a bouncing projectiles gun, a "Multiple" that spreads its bullets diagonally, plus more. His armored suit can take many hits until the energy bar drops and lead Bren to his death, but the energy bar can also be refilled collecting relevant orbs. This particular suit features a special winch that can help Bren reach in higher platforms. Our soldier also carries limited bombs, in the form of modern blasting grenades that can hit and kill every living being in all 8 directions. Turrican's enemies vary from small wandering aliens to flying objects (and beings) and super huge, tough bosses that aim to make Bren's mission miserable and terminate his plans. But I guess his worst enemy are the traps and gaps scattered around the levels and the time limit. Yes, each level is timed and you must act and fight quickly until you hit the "Exit" and get to the next level.
GRAPHICS / SOUND Mega Turrican's graphics look great, showcasing the Mega Drive's prowess. The backgrounds are particularly rich and colorful and they differ from level to level. The action is intense, very fast and smooth, no matter how many sprites crowd your screen. You fight against enemy sprites of different sizes and "behaviors"; some of them look funny (yes they do!) while others look really menacing. This enemy variety adds a lot kudos to the game. Let's go to the game's sound now which is the game's strongest point. It consists of some awesome music themes (that bring in mind the Amiga version) and some very accurate and great sound FX (e.g each weapon upgrade has its own sound detail).
OVERALL Mega Turrican is a great Sega Mega Drive game and among the best action shooters for this console so every Mega Drive owner should absolutely give it a try.
In-game music sample:
Some videos belong to retroshowcase.com (indicated); others not
CPU: Motorola 68000 at 7.16 MHz in PAL, 7.67 MHz in NTSC / Secondary Zilog Z80 at 3.55 MHz in PAL, 3.58 MHz in NTSC MEMORY: Main: 64Kb RAM + 8Kb / Video RAM: 64Kb / Audio RAM 8Kb GRAPHICS: VDP Chip: 256x224, 320x224, 256x240, 320x240 / 512 colors (1536 using shadow-highlight mode),64 x 9-bit words of color RAM, 4 lines of 15 colors plus transparent, allowing 61 on-screen colors / Sprites: Up to 64 on-screen, 16/20 per line, 256/320 pixels per line, per-sprite priority / Interlace Mode 1 (no increase in resolution and Mode 2 (2x vertical resolution) SOUND: Main: Yamaha YM2612 @ 7,16MHz with six FM channels, four operators each / Secondary: TI SN76489 with 4-channel PSG + 3 Sq Wave channels.