Rock On, likely intended to be "Lock On" (and possibly intended to be different, to avoid confusion with a different Lock On
) is a simple shooting game for the PC Engine. The player controls a small and odd looking ship named the "Macmillan MP4" as they battle through a variety of enemies looking to get rich. The "Macmillan MP4" is capable of holding three types of weapons which the player can cycle through as they choose by pressing the run button. The "I" button is a standard shot type which the Macmillan is always equipped with; the II button is whatever special weapon the player currently has equipped. Both shot types can be fired simultaneously.
The game's bizarre and extremely fast-scrolling intro details the game's basic scenario: People are bored with life so some have started to search for the treasure(the FISA) of a lost civilization, termed the "ancient people". These bounty hunters are called "busters". You play as the buster most likely to succeed, a man named "Mr. Zella". Of course, this future society craves dangerous entertainment, so the whole thing has apparently been turned in to some sort of television show for the entertainment of the masses; most of the enemies are likely placed by the makers of the show to increase the entertainment value for viewers. Prize money is apparently awarded for an exciting performance (although this has no effect on gameplay)
There are a variety of items to be picked up; most are alternate weapons for your ship.
- Speed Up: Increases your ship's speed, up to 6 levels.
- Laser: Shoots powerful shots straight forward.
- 2 way: Shoot bullets in two directions at an angle above and below your basic shot.
- 3 way: Shoot bullets in three different directions.
- 8 way: Shoot shots in eight different directions. The best!
- Front fire: Shoots a powerful jet of flame from the front of the ship.
- Back fire: Shoots a powerful jet of flame from the rear of the ship.
- Fire ball: Shoots a powerful fireball.
- Crack: Shots which burst when they hit the enemy, resulting in large damage.
- Napalm: Shoots missiles that explode in a fiery burst.
- Lock On Missile: Perhaps this should be "rock on missile"? It destroys even the most powerful of enemies with a single shot, but it's also single-use.
- Twins:Twin missiles fired from the front of the ship.
- Froncrash: Turns the Macmillan itself in to a projectile. Dangerous!
- Snake: Fires a strong snaking chain of shots. Slow rate of fire, but powerful.
- Barrier: Creates a barrier around the ship which can absorb some damage.
- Warp: Pick this up to move to the next part of the stage.
- Reverse warp: Moves the player to an earlier point in the stage. Look out!
- 1up: An extra life.
The game has 4 "zones" which the player advances through in his search for the FISA and for the entertainment of the mindless masses.
SPACE ZONE: The first zone, it's in space, as one could assume from the name. The second half of the stage takes place in an asteroid field; the stage boss is a giant battleship the player repeatedly circles, ala R-Type
's stage 3.
DEJA-VU ZONE: This oddly named zone takes place over a cityscape as the sun sets. It is incredibly short; the boss is a small sphere which does very little.
LABYRINTH ZONE: No relation to the identically named area from Sonic, this zone begins in a cave-like environment. The player must maneuver carefully at points to avoid colliding with the terrain. Parts of the stage resemble a mechanized base, complete with pounding piston trips, and other parts are volcanic in nature. Eventually, the player arrives in an ancient temple; the boss is a large mechanical dragon. Apparently the jewels the player begins to find in this stage are FISA.
EXIT ZONE: The final zone. The player continues to advance through mostly cave-like environments, with some variations; the are accelerates progressively, similar to some of the Gradius
high-speed stages. Eventually the player escapes back in to space, only for enemies to continue to assault him. The final boss is a surprisingly resilient but otherwise unremarkable blue robot. Attempt to grab as much of the treasure as you can at the beginning... that was the whole point of this endeavor!