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The first game in Compile's Aleste series, Aleste has the player control a spaceship flying through a series of vertical levels, shooting down alien aircraft and collecting power-ups which increase both the ship's offensive and defensive capabilities.
The game was released on Japanese MSX systems as well as the Sega Master System. It was later released in the US and Europe as Power Strike, which would then go on to inspire a sequel of its own without Compile's involvement.
Each of Aleste's power-ups are numbered, and can be found throughout the stage. Each needs to be shot to dislodge them and then collected before they can float off screen. There are eight main weapon types and the "P" icons, which increase the current weapon's power. Important to note is that all special weapons (besides "1") are finite in nature, and will vanish after 80 seconds. Collecting another power-up of the same number will add another 80 seconds to the timer.
As well as the special weapons below, there is the default laser. Though relatively weak, the laser can fire in multiple directions like a spread shot gun when powered up.
- This is a much larger laser shot that carves a path through enemies when fired. The downside is a slight delay between each shot. When fully powered up, it can clear a way through enemies and their fire. It is also infinite, unlike every other secondary weapon.
- Provides a forward-facing shield which allows the ship to plow through enemies, but leaves their sides and back exposed. Furthermore, there's no way to shoot distant enemies.
- A long, power laser shot. Cuts a swathe through enemies, but is limited in scope.
- A barrier, like 2, only it manifests as a group of balls that orbit the ship, protecting it from all directions. The balls grow larger with power-ups, providing better defense.
- Like 4, this creates several balls, only now they fly away from the ship and home in on enemies. Though good against waves of small darting enemies, it's generally too weak for larger foes.
- A powerful crescent wave beam that emanates from the ship. Though limited in scope, it can be swayed slightly with horizontal weapon, making it a powerful weapon for experts.
- Creates a larger barrier than 2. Still limited by its inability to affect distant enemies.
- Creates a long laser shot that oscillates across the screen in a wave formation, making it very effective for large numbers of enemies.