Tyrian is a coin-op quality, vertical scrolling shoot 'em up released by Eclipse only for the PC (MS-DOS) in 1995. !
STORY / GAMEPLAY The year is 20,031(!) You are Trent Hawkins, a terra-formation seeking pilot. For three years your job was to fly over tough-to-navigate planetary formations and check for habitable locations on newly terra-formed planets. Your latest assignment ordered from the Interplanetary Council is Tyrian, a proposed trading world on the edge of the sector, near Hazudra territory. The Hazudra are a lizard-like species recently discovered at a nearby asteroid field. One of your fellow workers and close friends, Buce Quesillac, was a Huzudra. But Buce was suddenly killed by a waiting hover-drone that disappeared into the sky before you could blink, let alone stop it! The reason behind this was his knowledge of Gravitium, a special mineral unique to Tyrian, able to control the force of gravity. You must now avenge your friend's death and leave Tyrian as fast as possible, before they hunt you down. The game has a variety of enemies and end-level bosses. Note that the game is quite tough as too many enemies may attack you while the game speed is extremely fast at times. Certain extra levels are only available in hard difficulty and provide ample opportunities to find unique power-ups and upgrades. The simplicity and frenetic nature of Tyrian are among its trademarks. It includes many game modes; from the Story Mode that gives you the option of up to two simultaneous players to the much different Arcade Mode. The possibility of choosing your ships and the large array of customizable weapons are yet a couple more of its selling points. As long as you shoot down specific enemies you collect points that can be used as cash to upgrade your weaponry (better ship, armor, extra weapons, shield etc). There are over 150 upgrades and over 15 different ships! Note that in 1999, Tyrian was re-released as Tyrian 2000 including an additional fifth episode and some bug fixes.
GRAPHICS / SOUND The graphics are top notch as long as you have a Pentium based CPU (or a highly clocked 486). The backgrounds of the levels look excellent and the sprites move fast and smooth on-screen. The background scrolling is flawless and varies in speed during gameplay! The game supports a handful of sound hardware like Soundblaster, Pro Audio Spectrum 16, Terratec Maestro32, Gravis Ultrasound and Roland MT-32, so the sound is awesome! All tunes support either FM synthesis or midi sound modules whilst the sounds effects of each weapon and the ships' explosions is truly brilliant.
In-game music sample:
PC (ms-dos based)
CPU: Various processors from Intel,AMD, Cyrix, varying from 4.77Mhz (Intel 8088) to 200Mhz (Pentium MMX) and up to 1995 (available on this site) MEMORY: 640Kb to 32MB RAM (typical up to 1996) GRAPHICS: VGA standard palette has 256 colors and supports: 640x480 (16 colors or monochrome), 640x350 in 16 colors (EGA compatability mode), 320x200 (16 or 256 colors). Later models (SVGA) featured 18bit color palette (262,144-color) or 24bit (16Milion colors), various graphics chips supporting hardware acceleration mainly for 3D-based graphics routines. SOUND: 8 to 16 bit sound cards: Ad-Lib featuring Yamaha YMF262 supporting FM synthesis and (OPL3) and 12-bit digital PCM stereo, Sound Blaster and compatibles supporting Dynamic Wavetable Synthesis, 16-bit CD-quality digital audio sampling, internal memory up to 4MB audio channels varying from 8 to 64! etc. Other notable sound hardware is the release of Gravis Ultrasound with outstanding features!