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(Ginga Fukei Densetsu SAPPHIRE)
Ginga Fukei Densetsu SAPPHIRE is an intense vertical shooter by Hudson Soft and is probably the most popular PC Engine CD-Rom among gamers. The game was released late in the console's lifespan and offers what no other PC Engine game ever dreamed of - visual feast of psychedelic effects and outrageous action. The protagonists of the game are four girls pilots part of a futuristic police unit called the Burning Rabbits. Their duty is to go after bandits, to explore the far corners of the universe and to even venture back in time, whatever the risks, to prosecute the worst criminals. Because humanity is now advanced enough to travel through time, this special police force was created to protect society from these new 'time criminals'. The player has four girls, and therefore four spaceships, to choose from. Each one balances out the next and usually trades off fire power for maniability and speed. Three weapon types are available throughout the game - Vulcan gun, Multi Ways and Laser beams - and each one of them can be significantly upgraded. Then special satellites soon fly close to the spaceship and provide additional firepower. Interestingly, they can also protect the ship from enemy bullets and be charged up to launch daring attacks. A two-player simultaneous cooperative mode is also available.
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