R-Type Leo is a sci-fi side-scrolling shoot-'em-up developed and released by Irem (in conjunction with their parent company Nanao) for arcades on December 1992.
A spin-off of the R-Type series (and its last arcade entry), R-Type Leo features numerous gameplay differences to the series' main games (including a ship respawn system, two-player co-operative multiplayer and the replacement of the Force system with an upgrade versions of the Bit system, known as "Psy-Bits").
The game's story is set in a parallel universe, as the man-made mechanical planet Eden begins its assault on mankind due to a malfunctioning supercomputer core. Players must fight against its mechanical forces by piloting starfighters called LEOs, in an attempt to destroy the planet.
It was later included in the 2013 PC and Mac compilation Irem Arcade Hits.
The game plays similar to the standard R-Type games, with one button dedicated to shooting and one dedicated to manipulating an auxiliary device. However, the game includes numerous differences:
- The player's main weapon no longer charges-up into a more powerful beam wave. In addition, the weapon itself changes depending on the last Laser Item collected.
- Two-player co-operative multiplayer is allowed, rather than players taking turns.
- The "Force" system is re-tooled to a new, upgraded version of the "Bit" system (known as "Psy-Bits".
Psy-Bits & Weaponry
Each player's ship can be equipped with two satellite units known as "Psy-Bits". While serving as shield for the ship (negating most projectiles and damaging enemies), Psy-Bits can fire weapons in conjunction with the ship's main weapons.
By pressing the Psy-Bits button, players can perform a special attack where both Psy-Bits launch forward and seek out enemies to ram into. After the attack is complete, it automatically makes its way back to the ship. The game uses a gauge to determine when and how far the Psy-Bits can attack before it needs to be recharged (by having it return to the ship).
Players can acquire special power-up items for their ship by destroying special pods, then collecting the item they leave behind. All items are lost once the player's ship is destroyed.
- Speed-Up Item - Increases the movement speed of the player's ship.
- Missile Item - Allows the ship to periodically two fire missiles as they are firing their main weapon, one upward and one downward. If there is an enemy straight ahead of the missile, it will then propel itself forward in a semi-homing manner.
- Laser Item - Deploys the Psy-Bits if not already deployed. Otherwise, it upgrades them while changing both their weaponry and the ship's main weapons to match its color (red, blue, or green). Unlike the Laser Crystals in R-Type, these items cycle through colors if left uncollected.