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Overview

Zanac is a top-down, vertical-scrolling shooter (also known as shoot-em-up, or in some circles, shmup) developed for the NES.

What set this game apart from other shooters in the time period was the ability to have two distinct methods of firing, which can be done at the same time. Using the A button would fire a small projectile upward, standard to most vertical shooters. However, the B button fires a round ball of energy in the direction the ship is heading, allowing the ship to take on foes from any side, even behind. This weapon can be upgraded by destroying certain enemy ships, or certain structures placed on the ground. Each type of upgrade is numbered from 0 to 9. Also, each of the upgrades can be recollected up to 3 times in a row to upgrade the weapon further for more damage dealt or shield provided.

Zanac is also notable for its unique hardware-based cheat code. To access the level select, the player must consecutively reset their NES 13 times.

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