Psycho Chaser

A vertically-scrolling shoot 'em up with a walking robot rather than a spaceship.

Overview

Psycho Chaser is a vertically-scrolling shoot 'em up that features an android protagonist who strides up the screen. It was Sting Entertainment's first video game: the developer would later be better known for their JRPGs like Baroque and Yggdra Union. The player character, the eponymous Psycho Chaser, is a sophisticated android warrior with multiple built-in weapons that was designed to combat an AI that has gone out of control.

The game was a PC Engine exclusive for almost two decades until it was added to the Wii's Virtual Console in 2008. Neither version of the game was released outside of Japan.

Gameplay

The Psycho Chaser has four weapons that it can switch between at any point which offers different amounts of screen coverage: Fire, Multiway, Blaster and Thunder. Each can be upgraded up to three times between levels by collecting and spending "Psycho Energy".

  • Fire is a straight vertical shot with a high level of power. Upgrades make it more powerful.
  • Multiway fires in three directions: diagonally forward left, diagonally forward right and behind. It's a weaker weapon, but capable of hitting multiple targets in awkward positions. As it is upgraded, it adds additional directions.
  • Blaster is a circular wave beam that attacks enemies directly to the left and right of Psycho Chaser. Upgrades increases the size of the waves.
  • Thunder is a homing attack that automatically targets and chases whichever enemy is closest after being fired. It remains on the screen for a while, preventing the player from firing until it has vanished. Upgrades make it stronger, allowing it to destroy enemies faster.

In addition, the player can collect power-ups which fire additional missiles with every shot. They spread out from Psycho Chaser and then fly up the screen.