Heavy Barrel

The Arcade PCB by Data East Corp.

Heavy Barrel screenshot

Emulated in MAME !



Heavy Barrel © 1987 Data East.

Heavy Barrel is a scrolling shoot-em-up for one or two players, in which an army of terrorists have seized control of a nuclear missile facility. Players must infiltrate the heavily defended base and shoot their way through seven levels before reaching the final enemy Boss confrontation.

As with SNK's "Ikari" series, Heavy Barrel allows players to rotate their on-screen character and fire and move in all directions. Additional weapons and power-ups can be found, as well as keys which are used to open locked weapon containers that litter the levels.

In addition to the standard in-game weapons, the "Heavy Barrel" gun of the game's title also features. This must be assembled by collecting six different components (found in locked weapon containers). Once completed, the Heavy Barrel gives the player incredible firepower and instantly destroys anything it hits (with the exception of end-of-level bosses, which take several hits), although the Heavy Barrel only lasts for a period of thirty seconds, as indicated by a depleting red bar displayed at the top of the screen.


Heavy Barrel the  Arcade PCB
Click to enlarge
(members only)
Main CPU : Motorola 68000 (@ 10 Mhz)
Sound CPU : MOS Technology M6502 (@ 1.5 Mhz)
Sound Chips : YM2203 (@ 1.5 Mhz), YM3812 (@ 3 Mhz), OKI6295 (@ 7.757 Khz)

Players : 2
Control : dial
Buttons : 2


Heavy Barrel was released in December 1987 in Japan.

Alfa Records released a limited-edition soundtrack album for this game (Data East Game Music - 28XA-205) on May 19, 1988.


The game's objective is to wipe out a military complex filled with soldiers and lethal military equipment. The available weapons are the standard machine gun, the heavy machine gun, the fan gun, the flame thrower and the Heavy Barrel. Grenade weapons include standard grenades, red grenades, and ball and chains.

The Heavy Barrel is a super weapon that is obtained by collecting six special gun pieces found in locked weapons containers. The Heavy Barrel gun has unlimited ammunition and destroys everything you hit with it. It does, however, only last for a short time, indicated by a depleting red meter at the top of the screen.

Throughout the game there are only enough pieces to assemble the Heavy Barrel three times, but collecting the components is definitely recommended, as certain sections, and particularly the final boss battle, are practically impossible to survive without it.

At the start, you will parachute in. Massacre a bunch of guys until you encounter a man with a tripod machine gun. Kill him, then get the heavy machine gun weapon. Use this to wipe out the small tank next to the bridge.

There are Four boxes to the left of the bridge. A heavy barrel part is in the second box from the right. Pick up the flame-thrower and start shooting the guards and flying packs that come from across the bridge. After they're dead, a chopper will fly in and attempt to kill you. Throw grenades at it, don't waste the flame-thrower. Assuming you have sufficient dodge skill, you can kill the chopper before it overwhelms you with bullets.

Across the bridge a large number of troops will attack you. Here is where the flame-thrower is useful--it takes out a lot of troops at once. Next to the pyramid machine gun are three boxes--kill the gunner, then open up the left-most box. That reveals a red grenade icon. Pick that up and start grenading your way to the gate.

At the gate, grenade everyone (you have 70 grenades to start with) and keep pushing forward.

At three points in the game you will be on a moving platform. In anticipation of these difficult points you should have red grenades and fan guns or a flame-thrower. If troops jump on the platform you ought to grenade them, since the gun should always be saved for destroying heavy machinery. The first platform is a series of cannons which can be destroyed with a single grenade, followed by a number of guards who can be killed with a single red grenade thrown to the exact center of the screen. At the end is a machine with large grabbers that extend towards you. Stay on the left of the platform and start flaming it and throwing grenades simultaneously. The machine rarely grabs on the left, so with luck you should be able to destroy it without a loss.

The second platform passes by a large number of cannons and it is imperative that you destroy as many as possible, since they FOLLOW the platform and shoot large cannonballs at you. Here is where dodging is useful, since it's hard to keep the number of cannonballs on the screen to less than twenty.

The third platform consists of a series of flying guards, then TWO of the mechanical grabber machines show up. Fortunately one attacks first, on the right, so you should stay on the left and disable it ASAP, then switch right and disable the other.

There is, at some point in the game, a narrow bridge which is the killing zone for two helicopters. You should have good weapons, and run up while facing backwards. Hopefully you can flame and destroy it, after which you can dodge the other until you kill it. If you die, pick up the fan gun sitting on the bridge, and use it.

At another point you will be confronted with two conveyor belts (which you cannot ride) going in opposite directions. Due to the obstructions in the middle you ought to use the Heavy Barrel here to blow everyone away, and run through as quickly as possible.

At another point you will have to run a gauntlet of cannons and grenade-throwing guards. To deal with this, DON'T use the HB, since you will not be able to get enough parts to kill the last guy. You should get a flame-thrower, and fire left even before the enemies show up on the screen. They will die and you can walk left to collect more weapons as they appear.

Another large machine spits out glowing needles that split into three parts and angle downwards. You should dodge left and right methodically while tossing grenades and firing. Don't look at the machine. Just keep doing that while looking at the needles and dodging. Lives are much more important than keeping a hoard of weapons.

At one point you will meet three Predator-like creatures. You can destroy these three using machine gun or simple grenades, though they look tough. Only one or two fire slow shots at a time, so you can dodge them. Keep pumping bullets into them until one explodes.

The final gauntlet is very difficult. Enemy guards throw red grenades right and left, 'copters keep charging you, and more predators show up. You should keep moving forward, never getting stuck in one position, since if you press on you ought to be able to get the grenade throwers before they let off one throw. Keep your ammo well stocked by picking up new guns, even if you still have 20 shots left. Red grenades are essential here--the ball and chain is too slow to deal with so many guys.

You are near the end when you drive off the laughing guy... pick up the next box on the left, get the Heavy Barrel, walk north, and finish the game.

A few obvious reminders--you can only carry four keys, so if you have four and more are lying around, open up boxes. They can contain extra lives, shields, red grenades, weapons, a cloud gun (which is virtually useless), and HB parts. Learning where the HB parts are is pretty important too. But most essential is learning when to conserve your ammo and when to cut loose with everything you have.

The high score is essentially meaningless, since at the end you have about 400k points and you get one million for killing the last guy.


1. Heavy Barrel (1987)
2. Midnight Resistance (1989)



Nintendo Famicom japan (mar.2, 1990) "Heavy Barrel [Model DFC-XH]"

Game's picture.
Game's ROM.
Game's screenshots.

Page last modified on November 13, 2015