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OverviewRaiden is a side scrolling shooter that defined the standard for most scrolling shooter games. Players control the Raiden Supersonic Attack Fighter in an attempt to defend humanity from a race of aliens that threaten the Earth.
GameplayLike similar games from the era, Raiden is all about dodging enemy fire and powering up the ship. Players begin with a basic Vulcan attack and weak power, but can increase the strength of the weapon by collecting powerups dropped by certain ships. The two weapons in the game are the Red Vulcan and the Blue Laser, both of which can be powered up to eight times. The Vulcan has excellent range when fully upgraded, working as a spread cannon, while the Laser is a concentrated beam of destruction and can destroy enemies and bosses much quicker than the Vulcan. Other upgrades include two missile variants, Yellow "Dumbfire" Nuclear Missiles that do significant damage, Green Homing Missiles that can clear the field of smaller enemies, and bombs that can do immense damage on an opponent and eliminate enemy fire.
The game consists of eight levels and upon completion of the eighth level, the player is given one million points. They are then sent back to the beginning with whatever armament the ship ended the game with, and start the game over from the beginning. Enemies however are much faster and more aggressive than the previous time and as a result, the game can be played indefinitely.