=========================== Zero Wing Genesis FAQ 2.66 Game (c) 1989,1991 Toaplan FAQ (c) 2001 Frank Provo Author: Frank Provo E-mail: email@example.com =========================== The current version of this guide is always available in text format at: http://www.gamefaqs.com This Zero Wing FAQ is a silly endeavor, but original portions are still the intellectual property of its author. This Guide is copyrighted to Frank Provo ((c) 2001), but don't let that stop you from launching every 'ZIG'. ================= Table of Contents ================= A. What is Zero Wing? Toaplan? B1. The Infamous Introduction in English B2. The Introduction Translated from Japanese B3. The Introduction's Bearing on the Plot C. How can I get Zero Wing? D. How do I play Zero Wing? E. Boss Guide F. Endings (Genesis and Arcade) G. More Information, Parodies, Etc. ===================== A. What is Zero Wing? ===================== "All your base are belong to us." Zero Wing is a side-scrolling shoot 'em up, in the same vein as R-Type, Gradius, or any other progenetor of the genre. It was developed by Toaplan in 1989 for the arcade (released by Taito) and later ported to the SEGA Megadrive (Genesis) and PC Engine (by Naxat) systems in 1991/2. A PC Engine CD version of the game also exists, which includes a CD audio soundtrack, a bonus extra level, and Japanese animation style cut scenes. Other popular Toaplan shooters are Truxton and Batsugun. However, none have achieved quite the same _cult_ status as Zero Wing for the SEGA Megadrive (Genesis). Why? _Engrish._ Toaplan couldn't find a US publisher for the game, but it sure looks like it came out in Europe. Sadly, they didn't exactly have the kind of deep pockets it took to localize AND publish a game in an English-speaking market, so their translation department was a bit minimal. In fact, by all indications, the person who localized Zero Wing was a lone Japanese guy who was taking English classes at night. As a result, a rather decent, albeit knock-off shooter ended up with one of the most memorable videogame intros ever created Only someone with a distinctly lacking knowledge of the English language could ever come up with something so nefariously humorous. (See next section) To whomever translated the game for Toaplan - THANK YOU! Sadly, Toaplan went bankrupt in 1995. Amusingly, the arcade game had no poorly translated introducttion, but it did have a poorly translated ending. Together, the Genesis and arcade versions of the game would make quite a pair. *grin* ====================================== B1. The Introduction (English version) ====================================== In A.D. 2101 War was beginning Outside Ship - An explosion occurs. Ship's Bridge Captain: "What happen ?" Mechanic: "Somebody set up us the bomb." Close-Up of Excited Communications Officer Operator: "We get signal." Captain: "What !" Ship's Bridge Operator: "Main screen turn on." (CATS appears) Captain: "It's you !!" Close up of CATS CATS: "How are you gentlemen !!" CATS: "All your base are belong to us." CATS: "You are on the way to destruction." Close up of captain & CATS Captain: "What you say !!" CATS: "You have no chance to survive make your time." Ship's Bridge CATS: "Ha ha ha ha ...." Close up of Forlorn Captain Operator: "Captain !!" Ship's Bridge (ZIGs on monitors) Captain: "Take off every 'ZIG'!!" Shows a ZIG pilot powering up Captain: "You know what you doing." Shows a ZIG moving into launch position Captain: "Move 'ZIG'." ZIGs on monitors, Bridge Explodes Captain: "For great justice." The ship explodes. A lone ZIG zooms into view! If you want to see the INSANELY CATCHY Flash parody of the intro, point your web browser to: http://www.fffever.com/AYB2.swf or http://www.scene.org/redhound/AYB.swf or http://www.stileproject.com/base.html For high-rez stills of the same, visit: http://members.nbci.com/finagler/base/index.htm If you want to see a similarly humorous comic parody or .mov of the intro, visit Overclocked's Zero Wing sections: http://www.overclocked.org/OCzerowing.htm http://www.overclocked.org/OCalloscar.htm Finally, if you want to see how it all started, check out: http://www.planetstarseige.com/allyourbase/index2.html ======================================= B2. The Introduction (Japanese version) ======================================= A.D. 2101 The war began Outside Ship - An explosion occurs. Ship's Bridge Captain: "What happened!?" Mechanic: "Someone detonated bombs all around us!" Close-Up of Excited Communications Officer Operator: "Captain! Incoming transmission!" Captain: "What!?" Ship's Bridge Operator: "Image coming through on the main monitor." (CATS appears) Captain: "You... you are...!!" Close up of CATS CATS: "You appear to be preoccupied, gentlemen." (sarcasm) CATS: "Thanks to the cooperation of the UN forces, we've taken over all of your bases." CATS: "Your ship too shall soon be destroyed." Close up of captain & CATS Captain: "Im.. Impossible!" CATS: "We thank you for your cooperation." (more sarcasm) CATS: "Enjoy the remaining moments of your lives...." Ship's Bridge CATS: "Hahahahaha ...." Close up of Forlorn Captain Operator: "Captain!?" Ship's Bridge (ZIGs on monitors) Captain: "Launch all ZIG fighters!" Shows a ZIG pilot powering up Captain: "We leave it up to them..." Shows a ZIG moving into launch position Captain: "Give us hope for our future..." ZIGs on monitors, Bridge Explodes Captain: "We're counting on you, ZIG!!" The ship explodes. A lone ZIG zooms into view! [translated by WooJin Lee and two sheepishly anonymous persons.] ========================================= B3. The Plot as the Introduction Suggests ========================================= Taking into account the three organizations mentioned in the actual Japanese translation, we're to believe three major powers control the spaceways in the year 2101. They are the United Nations, CATS, and a third organization - the one the hapless souls aboard that poor red ship belong to. Japanese animation and manga have been full of condescending references to the west ever since the end of World War 2, which leads me to believe that the third, unnamed organization is Japan. (Don't hold me to that) So you've got the UN (the west), Japan/Asia, and CATS (an alien race). So, in the year 2101 CATS teamed up with the UN and in a surprise move took over or destroyed ALL of Japan's planetary bases. For some wacky reason, the lone ship in the intro is the focus of the CATS leader's personal attention. The ship falls into CATS' boobytrap just as all the rest did, but a lone ZIG fighter (Code Name: ZIG-01) manages to launch before the ship explodes. You are the pilot of this lone ZIG. You are to travel to the bases CATS took over and drive their forces away. It is up to you to wipe this menace from the galaxy, hopefully showing the UN the folly of their ways in the meantime. Can a solitary ZIG defeat this alien menace and reunite east and west in peace? "Move 'ZIG'! For great justice!" =========================== C. How can I get Zero Wing? =========================== Okay, so you're curious - you want to actually play Zero Wing. Alright. If you want to purchase the game, go to your local used game store or visit eBay - you're hunting for "Zero Wing" for the SEGA Megadrive. It should have been released as a SEGA Genesis game in some countries though. Good luck in finding it, as it was a very limited release. If you want to emulate the game, the first thing you need is a Genesis emulator. A good site for this is usually http://www.vintagegaming.com/. I use Gens from time to time - it seems sufficient. Then you need to find the .rom image. Guess what, roms are copyrighted material, so I can't help you find one. However, if you check out sites such as http://www.emux.com/ or http://www.classicgaming.com/ I bet you'll strike paydirt. =========================== D. How do I play Zero Wing? =========================== Zero Wing is quite standard for a side-scrolling shooter. You play a lone ZIG pilot sent on a mission to save the galaxy from the ruthless CATS. The game's main selling point is its lavishly huge boss characters and the fact that it's not "b*tch hard" like most games in the genre. Your ship flies from left to right - more precisely, the screen is scrolling towards you. Enemy ships and weapons fire will come toward you - don't touch any of that stuff. Once in awhile, you'll destroy a fat lazy ship that will drop power ups - those, you can touch. You get 3 lives. When you die, you'll restart from a set point within the level. Controls: D-Pad -> Steer your spacecraft A button -> Fire weapon B button -> Prisoner Beam The tractor (or Prisoner beam as it's called in the arcade game) beam lets you grab small enemies and use them as a shield, much like the renowned Genesis shooter, Gaiares. Power Ups: (names taken from arcade game) Green - Homing Unit Blue - Laser Unit Red - Valcan Unit, becomes a spread shot Blue Insignia - Speed Up Unit, increases speed AND earns extra lives Bomb - looks like an option, release it or get shot and it explodes! Collect 3 power ups to upgrade your weapon to maximum. The first RED power up collected will give you two "option" pods that will increase your firing range (automatic spread shot) AND act as a shield for shots above and below you. Don't hesitate to run these "options" into oncoming bullets - it's better than plowing your ship into them. Once you've obtained the "option" pods with a RED item, you can safely collect other colored power ups to upgrade all three weapon streams. E.g. Always grab Red, Green, Green, Green if you wanna kick butt. Another cool thing. If your weapon is at level 3 and you accidentally collect a different colored power up, you'll have that shot at level 3 instead of starting anew. Each time you collect a fourth similar power up, you'll get 5000pts. Sometimes, when you've collected enough insignias, you'll earn an extra life. RARELY, when you snag an insignia, you'll earn 10 lives! Even MORE RARE, sometimes late in the game a round Purple tank (as in round container) will appear. It's the size of a small enemy. Snag it and you'll get an EXTRA LIFE plus, GET THIS, A FOURTH SHOT POWER LEVEL. That's right - the homing unit becomes "giant arrowhead of death," the Laser shot becomes the "tree-trunk laser beams," and the Valcan shot becomes an INSANE spread shot. The game has 8 stages... but you'll need to play through it a few times to see all the endings. (Bleah) ============= E. Boss Guide ============= Stage1 - Location: Natols - Big Purple Alien This alien looks like a giant mutated fetus. It'll launch blue plasma balls at you - avoid them. Try to shoot at its forehead or mouth. He'll stay on the right half of the screen and move up and down. Stick to the left and avoid his shots while shooting. Stage2 - Location: Legrous - Twin Ball Ships This pair isn't the best boss in a shooter. Near the end of the level you will encounter a round ship with a few gun turrets mounted on it. It will fire blue lasers, a few bullets, and launch semi-homing missiles at you. Keep firing anywhere at him and move up and down to dogdge his shots. You'll face a purple version of the same a few seconds later. Vanquish both to end the level. Stage3 - Location: Pleades - Blue Mech And you thought that spaceship mini-boss was big. You'll face a blue metal robot at the end of this level. He'll shoot lasers from his upper and lower body, as well as homing bullets from his stomach. Watch out for the big fireballs coming from his whopping hand-cannon too. The homing bullets will prove your greatest worry, although he'll walk quite close to you from time to time. Stage4 - Location: Aquese - Floating Weapons Platform Wow - this stage is short. After flying across a giant floating weapons platform, you'll come to the end of it. Shoot the big bundle of wires at the bottom with a homing shot to release it - if you want to. Either way it's going to break loose and go wild with purple spread shots and a few blue lasers, as well as plasma bubbles from time to time. This is a rather large boss, so you won't have as much room to move as you'd like. You'll need to destroy the front midsection and main body to beat it. Stage5 - Location: Submarine Tunnel - Fusion Reactor The mid-boss on this level is tough, so I thought I'd briefly mention something. Don't be lulled into flying into the center of its floating shield devices. Stay back and shoot it while dodging its purple spread shots. On HARD the shield orbs will fire straight blue lasers. As for the actual boss of this level, it's a giant reactor with five turbines - each of which fires out a volley of aimed purple shots. Destroying the two upper and lower engines is easy, but the one in back will take about 40 or 50 shots. Watch out for the worm creature that initially protects it, as it'll come out to harass you. On harder difficuly levels, that worm is insanely quick. Stage6 - Location: Barracade Zone - Armed Cubes After fighting some armed cubes, you'll face three LARGE armed cubes. Their weapons are weak - only forward facing blue lasers. Their main attack though is their mass, they'll move forward and back and up and down in an effort to ram you. Stay to the upper left and you should do okay. On hard difficulty, you may want to watch out for the middle one moving forward and then up. Stage7 - Location: Bellon - Floating Heart The boss at the end of this H.R. Giger reminiscent stage looks like an alien heart with a giant claw coming out of its behind. The heart has no attacks other than moving around. The claw will try and grab you though and has decent range. Note: If you damage the claw too much, it will shatter into a number of hovering asteroid fragments, which will then just wobble around blocking your shots. Your option tanks can destroy them, but they'll respawn. You can tractor and launch them too - whee! Stage8 - Location: Gerbarra - Alien Train Tank The mid-boss of this stage is no fun either, but if you remember to swoop between its purple shots and under it during its missile volley, you should be fine. The main boss of this level is annoying and huge. It will fire two homing charges from it's lower turrets, usually in tandem with a straight blue laser shot from the upper turret. The ugly creature at the top will also fly toward you, AND home missiles will launch out of the green orb on the machine's back. There are two strategies for beating this. 1. Sit in the back/middle of the screen and swoop low to avoid oncoming attacks, while firing at the red case on the back. 2. Park yourself just in front of the train level with the glass-cased creature and dodge it plus the missiles while constantly shooting the red case on the back. Once the escape pod launches, you've beaten the game. Guess what, each time you beat the game, you begin again on stage 1. Every time you beat all 8 stages, you get a newer and better ending. (Well, the first three times anyway.) ========== F. Endings ========== Don't have the stomach to beat the game once, let alone three times? I don't blame you - here's what you'd see in the Genesis version. ROUND1 ENDING "Congratulations!" Watch 10 little purple "raisin" guys dance for you. ROUND2 ENDING "Congratulations!" Art shot of the train in flames. Credits rolling off to the side. ZIG plane swoops into the frame and sits there. ROUND3 ENDING "Congratulations!" Your battered ZIG putters through space A giant red ship locks it in a tractor beam A green planet. The giant red ship floats into view. The giant red ship burns its engines and flies around the planet! A big purple "raisin" guy winks at you. (No credits this time?) Once you've seen all that, all you can do is keep playing until you run out of lives. If you're that good to make it through three times without using cheats, codes, or saves, you are a shooter God. Author's note: If the programmers were honorable men, they'd have wrapped all the endings into a single glorious end sequence. Also, what in the blue blazes are those purple raisin creatures?! And here's what you'd see if you beat the arcade version: ARCADE ENDING1 (thanks Remy - www.utterer.com) You'll see a text obscured by a bunch of dancing "raisin" aliens: "CONGRATULATION !! A.D.2111 ALL BASES OF CATS WERE DESTROYED. IT SEEMS TO BE PEACEFUL. BUT IT IS INCORRECT. CATS IS STILL ALIVE. ZIG-01 MUST FIGHT AGAINST CATS AGAIN. AND DOWN WITH THEM COMPLETELY! GOOD LUCK." ARCADE ENDING2 ? Author's note: There's probably a second ending, but I'm sure not going to be the one to find it. I lack the stamina. Also, why didn't the Genesis version have this bad Engrish at the end? It's insanely funny and goes well with that version's intro. ============================ G. More Info, Parodies, Etc. ============================ If you have any information to contribute to this FAQ, email it to me at: firstname.lastname@example.org. If you want to find out more about Toaplan and their games, check out: http://www.toaplan.com Toaplan's Zero Wing Genesis Page is here: http://www.toaplan.com/zerowing/zerowing_story.html SHMUPS at ClassicGaming.Com has a review of Zero Wing you'll want to read: http://classicgaming.com/shmups/reviews/zerowing/zerowing.htm If you want to see the INSANELY CATCHY Flash parody of the intro, point your web browser to: http://www.fffever.com/AYB2.swf or http://www.scene.org/redhound/AYB.swf or http://www.stileproject.com/base.html If you'd like to check out an MP3 of the song or check out the band who made the "All your base are belong to us" theme, visit their site on MP3.COM at: http://artists.mp3s.com/artists/190/the_laziest_men_on_mars.html For high-rez stills of the same, visit: http://members.nbci.com/finagler/base/index.htm If you want to see a similarly humorous comic parody or .mov of the intro, visit Overclocked's Zero Wing sections: http://www.overclocked.org/OCzerowing.htm http://www.overclocked.org/OCalloscar.htm Finally, if you want to see how it all started, check out: http://www.planetstarseige.com/allyourbase/index2.html Zero Wing Parody Stores on Cafe Press are popping up like flies!: (The stars are my subjective ratings of how the merchandise looks) http://www.cafepress.com/dreldarion/ ** (his was first!) http://www.cafepress.com/zerowingstuf/ **** http://www.cafepress.com/tlmom **** (two stores) http://www.cafepress.com/everyzig/ ** http://www.cafepress.com/movezig/ *** (multiple stores) http://www.cafepress.com/zwstore/ *** http://www.cafepress.com/greatjustice * http://www.cafepress.com/zig * http://www.cafepress.com/setupbomb ** (two stores) According to CNet/ZDNet GameSpot's (http://www.videogames.com/) "Instant Poll" from 2/21/2001 through 2/23/2001: Question: How are you gentlemen !! Responses: (3,895 votes - 101%?!) All your base are belong to us. 1282 (33%) For great justice. 187 (5%) Main screen turn on. 127 (3%) Take off every 'ZIG' !! 137 (4%) What you say !! 821 (21%) No opinion 929 (24%) Somebody set up us the bomb !! 412 (11%) Woah, even The Register (http://www.theregister.co.uk) has picked up on Zero Wing - I guess the fad really is dying: http://www.theregister.co.uk/content/28/17122.html And finally, in the "I kid you not" department. MTV's Loveline radio show (aired 2/22/2001) apparently got a call in from a woman who complained that her boyfriend makes her say "All your base are belong to us!!" during sexual intercourse. Okay, that's pretty dumb. This FAQ peaked at #11 on the GameFAQs Top 50 and was on the chart for 5 days! This FAQ peaked at #1 on the GameFAQs Genesis Top 10 and has been on that chart for 6 days! THANKS go to Zany Video Game Quotes (zanyvg.overclocked.org), Overclocked (www.overclocked.org), and Something Awful (www.somethingawful.com) for starting this whole mess in the first place. Remember: "All your base are belong to us." ..end..