The Phalanx wiki last edited by Mento on 10/21/14 06:16PM
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Phalanx is a side-scrolling shoot 'em up from Kemco. Its full title, as shown in the title screen of every version, is Phalanx: The Enforce Fighter A-144. A fairly standard example of the genre, the game is best known for its unusual North American SNES box art which depicts an elderly banjo player with the spaceship far in the background.
The game was originally released on the Japanese home computer the Sharp X68000 in 1991, this version was developed by Zoom Inc. It was followed by the SNES version the following year, which was released in the US, Japan and Europe. The 2001 GBA version was also released in those three territories. A WiiWare remake was added to the digital store in 2009 in Japan.
Phalanx is a side-scrolling space shooter. The ship which the player controls has the ability to switch between three different movement speeds, allowing for greater dexterity when avoiding enemy threats. Also unlike most space-shooters, the player's ship can take up to three hit points worth of damage, and an item existed which would restore this health. There are three different difficulty levels available at the start, a fourth can be accessed by entering a cheat code.
The player's ship has three slots for weapons, which can be switched between at will. When the player grabs a fourth weapon, the one which they are currently equipped with will be switched out with it. Dropping a weapon will create a "smart bomb" effect which differs depending on the weapon which was dropped.
The gameplay of this title has been significantly overshadowed by its SNES box art, which instead of depicting a space ship fighting or anything relevant like that, instead features an old man playing a banjo with a spaceship zooming in the background, with the words "The Hyper-Speed Shoot-Out In Space" to the right of the man. The publisher has stated that the decision was made due to wanting to do something different. Versions of the game which came on other platforms featured different pictures that came without old banjo men.