OverviewEarth Defense Force is a side-scrolling shooter that was originally released into the arcades. A version was later ported to the Super Nintendo that lacked two player co-op play but had new weapons. The game was developed and published by Jaleco.
StoryThe universe has been at peace for the last two thousand years due to the creation of the Union of Federated Planets, which was formed to promote harmony and understanding between all the different races. But recently a mysterious organization known as AGYMA has been plotting to gain power and cause chaos. AGYMA has been provoking nearby planets that used to have feuds until the formation of the Union of Federated Planets, now these once peaceful planets are attacking each other again. If left unchecked, AGYMA could wreak havoc and destroy the now peaceful universe. However, the Galactic Intelligence Force has infiltrated the AGYMA and learned of their next move. AGYMA plans to annihilate Earth, home to the Union Council, and they've already set up home bases on Earth and the Moon. Of course, for every villain there is a hero and luckily the Earth Defense Force (E.D.F.) is here to save the day. You are a member of the E.D.F. and you've volunteered to take down AGYMA single handedly (what are you nuts?) Piloting the latest the E.D.F. has to offer, the XA-1, you'll be in command of eight different weapons and two small satellite ships. The task at hand is difficult though; you'll have to pilot your way to their bases and destroy six separate bosses, all on your own. An interesting note: the back of the US box provides the quote "A super saga of 23rd century satellite warfare!" while the US manual states the game takes place in the year 4129. Conflicting dates indeed.
GameplayThere are six stages in the game, each with a boss fight at the end and even some with a mini boss. You start out with four ships with each ship being able to sustain three hits, lose all your ships and it's game over. Before each stage you're given a chance to chose from one of the eight available weapons (see below), as well as when you die or complete a stage. While you shoot down enemies you may notice the bar at the top of the screen increase, that's you gaining experience. From level one to five, you'll become stronger with each enemy killed. Your satellites will level up as well, more on that later. You should also note that you can change your speed at will.
StagesStage 1: First Encounter - Your first encounter with the AGYMA is a daylight mission over Earth. Fight a mini boss before you make it the level boss as well as hundreds of individual enemies just as capable of taking you down. Stage 2: Midnight Intercept - Night has fallen over Megalopolis and it's up to you to reclaim the city from AGYMA while facing off against enemies with plasma beams and ripple lasers. Stage 3: Deep Blue Cave - The third stage takes place in an underwater cave that the AGYMA has converted to a hidden base. Fight a mini boss as well as the level boss. Stage 4: Space Ambush - After cleaning up AGYMA's forces on Earth, you head to their Moon base but not before taking on fleets of their soldiers. Stage 5: Lunar Landing - While getting ever closer to their Moon base, you'll need to take heed by dodging a meteor shower as well as a mini boss and level boss. Stage 6: Final Fortress - After finally making into the headquarters you'll face the toughest challenge yet.
WeaponsVulcan - A shot spread out in a fan-shaped pattern
Shot Speed: A Shot Power: C Rapid Shot: B Laser - Concentrated shots cause severe damage at the point of impact.
Shot Speed: B Shot Power: B Rapid Shot: CAtomic - When an atomic shot hits an enemy ship or is hit by enemy fire, it explodes over a wide area and engulfs all enemy ships around it. Not effective against laser fire.
Shot Speed: B Shot Power: A Rapid Shot: C Homing - Shots home in on enemy ships.
Shot Speed: B Shot Power: C Rapid Shot: A Explode - Shots explode on impact and destroy all enemy ships in the area.
Shot Speed: A Shot Power: B Rapid Shot: C Search Laser - Slow, powerful shots that home in on the closest enemy ship.
Shot Speed: C Shot Power: A Rapid Shot: A Photon - Hold the B button to accumulate energy, then release it to fire a powerful shot that can pass through objects.
Shot Speed: A Shot Power: A Rapid Shot: C Grenade - These air mines explode at timed intervals, or when touched by an enemy ship or enemy fire.
Shot Speed: C Shot Power: A Rapid Shot: C
SatellitesAs mentioned earlier, you are also accompanied by two satellite ships that act on there own but stay with you; they're exactly like the options from Gradius. As you level up you gain the ability to change their formation and their power increases.