Super Zaxxon © 1982 Sega.
Super Zaxxon is a 1- or 2-player video game that presents the player with tremendous challenge and excitement never before experienced. The 3-dimensional-like, isometric graphics are produced by projecting the picture at a slant on the screen, putting the player in remote controlled realism with his player ship.
The player ship climbs, dives and strafes to maneuver through the many obstacles it encounters in its flight. In unique game play action, the player ship appears larger or smaller depending on its altitude, casts trailing shadow that follows it just as a real shadow would. This shadow, an altimeter on the video screen, and the points of impact of the player's gunfire, help judge the altitude of the player's space craft, lending new skill and challenge to Super Zaxxon.
Flying at supersonic speeds, the player confronts an ominous floating munitions fortress. Here the player ship must battle hidden ground-to-air missiles, rotating gun turrets, tracking parabolic antennas and electrifying maser barriers as he banks, climbs and dives to strafe enemy installations and fuel tanks, gaining valuable points towards ships and extra fuel.
Once through the fortress, Super Zaxxon lures the player ship into a foreboding tunnel where the player must use cautious skill and a responsive extra-heavy duty fighter pilot control stick to overcome the limited ceiling in the tunnel and dodge or destroy a terrific onslaught of flying minelayers, enemy ships and self-destructing robot spaceships, yet also avoid the indestructible mines that crowd the dim corridor.
Accompanied by the roar of space wind, the player soars out of the tunnel to face another battle within the enemy headquarters. This is a more heavily defended floating fortress of tighter passageways armed with maser barriers and increasingly heavier firepower from enemy defenses. Overcoming all this, the player is ready to face the ultimate challenge within the enemy headquarters - a bigger-than-life, fire breathing Dragon who can destroy the player ship with a single breath of fire. With an unnerving wail, the fierce Dragon flies forward and unleashes a breath of flame from its huge mouth. But by firing six direct hits on the Dragon's mouth, the player can defeat the Dragon. The game ends with the loss of the last player ship.
Main CPU : Zilog Z80 (@ 3.04125 Mhz)
Sound Chips : Discrete circuitry
Screen orientation : Vertical
Video resolution : 224 x 256 pixels
Screen refresh : 59.999408 Hz
Palette colors : 256
Players : 2
Control : 8-way joystick
Buttons : 1 (FIRE)
Super Zaxxon was released in November 1982.
After the release of "Zaxxon", Sega realized it had a hit on its hands. The unique nature of the game featuring its three-quarter perspective was one of the first (if not the first) games to add depth and some feeling of perspective to a space game. Sega was quick to follow up on this success with Super Zaxxon.
Super Zaxxon built on the Zaxxon model by creating a more challenging game. Although Super Zaxxon didn't do as well as its predecessor, it still created a respectable niche as far as arcade games went. Sega went on to produce other games such as "Star Trek", "Buck Rogers", "Pengo", and "Tac/Scan" to name a few.
Differences Between Super Zaxxon and "Zaxxon" : Although both games look the roughly the same in design, this is where the similarities end. Super Zaxxon was made to be a more challenging game. It achieves this by the following differences :
* Your fighter moves much faster. This makes going after ground targets a big challenge.
* The graphics are different. Although this is more of a viewing difference, it can still change ones perspective after they have gotten used to the Zaxxon graphics.
* There is no more outer space battle. Instead, you must go through a narrow tunnel to get to area 3.
* Instead of 20 fighters, you now have to tangle with 25 fighters in area 2.
* A new enemy, the Mine Layer, is introduced. As the name implies, this ship lays mines in your path. You can destroy the mines but it takes a few hits.
* Instead of encountering one Zaxxon robot, you now have to deal with three Super Zaxxon, dragon looking robots.
* The placement of things (fuel tanks, gun implacements, etc.) in areas 1 and 3 is different then in Zaxxon.
* There are now indestructible, elevated guns in area 1. These guns sit on the right side and they are 2.5 units in altitude.
Scoring is pretty straight forward in this game. Some variable scoring does exist for a couple of things.
Gun Implacements (Green and Gray) : 200 or 500 points (random)
Fuel Tank : 500 points
Radar Tower : 1,000 points
Missile (Ground-to-Air) : 300 points
Missile (Air-to-Air) : 200 points
Fighters (on runway) : 100 points
Fighters (in air) : 200 points + (50 points/level after level 1)
Mine Layer : 200 points + (50 points/level after level 1)
Mines : 200 points + (50 points/level after level 1)
Super Zaxxon (destroyed with missile in mouth (all colors)) : 2,000 points
Super Zaxxon (destroying launched missile (all colors)) : 500 points
Destroying all planes in the tunnel : 2,000 points
When you start the game, your fighter will be in the middle at the bottom of the screen. You will see an asteroid with a wall rising from it. You will then see an opening in the wall. This is how you will enter areas 1 and 3.
AREA 1 : This area is basically ground targets. You may have to increase altitude to get over the short barriers but this is basically a ground attack area.
a) The action starts immediately as soon as you go through the opening in the wall. Drop your altitude immediately to not only to avoid the Air-to-Air Missile, but to take out ground targets.
b) Fuel is a precious commodity. You must destroy the Fuel Tanks in order to increase the amount of fuel in your fighter. This won't be an easy matter, many of the Fuel Tanks are covered either by Gun Implacements, Ground-to-Air Missiles, or both.
c) When you are flying along the ground to destroy targets, watch out for the Gun Implacements and Missile Silos. Both will fire upon your fighter at every opportunity. The Missile Silos will usually launch Ground-to-Air missiles as soon as your fighter is over them. Gun Implacements only fire when you are at ground level.
d) As soon as you 'hop' over the short barriers, get down to ground level again to do more destruction. Try to hit the Radar Towers since they yield the biggest points at this point.
e) When you get to the airfields, try to destroy as many fighters as you can (you can destroy a maximum of five). The more fighters on the ground you destroy equates to that many less you have to encounter in area 2. This also means you have a better chance at the 2,000 point bonus.
f) Speaking of the airfields, watch out since there are many hidden Missile Silos within them. Keep moving around or you may be surprised by a Ground-to-Air Missile.
g) Do not fly at maximum altitude if you can help it. If you fly too long at maximum altitude, your fighter will be met head-on by an Air-to-Air missile which is very difficult to destroy (takes six shots).
AREA 2 : This is one of harder areas of the game. You will be entering a narrow tunnel where your maximum altitude is only one unit. In addition, there is very little maneuvering room.
a) You will be attacked by both enemy fighters and enemy mine layers.
b) Since there isn't much altitude within the tunnel itself, it should be easy to pick off enemy air units. The problem that arises, though, is the concentration of said air units.
c) Be very wary of the mine layers. They swing from side-to-side within the tunnel and have a bad habit of dropping a mine right in your flight path. Six shots destroy a mine but it is usually placed so quickly, you don't have a chance to shoot it.
d) Enemy air units only come at you from the front. They don't return from the back for more action.
e) The enemy fighters will usually make three to four passes at you before you are out of this area.
AREA 3 : This is the area that gives players the most trouble. Due to the small openings in the walls plus those openings being at different heights can really test a player's skill. In addition, you must still take out Fuel Tanks in order to keep flying.
a) In order to make sure that you will be able to pass through an opening, continue to fire your gun. If your laser fire doesn't go through, that means you have to quickly adjust either your altitude or left/right orientation.
b) The barriers are relatively close together which means you have to get through one and quickly adjust to where the next one is. Over a period of time, you will memorize where the openings in the barriers are and make your trip that much easier.
c) Many of the targets such as Fuel Tanks and Radar Towers are just on the other side of the walls. This means you have to drop and go left or right very quickly to have a chance of hitting them.
d) An added bonus of firing through the barriers (especially the ones at ground level) is that you can knock off the targets on the other side of said barrier making your life that much easier.
e) After the last barrier, you get to tangle with the Super Zaxxons. To defeat them every time :
1) Set your altitude to one and one-half units.
2) Go to the middle side of the screen.
3) When he starts to enter, start firing. Adjust your fire so that you are hitting the area where the mouth of the Super Zaxxon is.
4) You need to get six shots into his mouth before he throws a fireball at your fighter.
5) Once you have either destroyed, or forced the blue Super Zaxxon to retreat, you have to deal with the green Super Zaxxon.
6) Once you have either destroyed, or forced the green Super Zaxxon to retreat, you have to deal with the red Super Zaxxon.
7) After you have either destroyed, or forced the red Super Zaxxon to retreat, you go back to area 1 again.
8) As a reward for killing off the Super Zaxxons, you get 2,000 points apiece for them.
Once you complete Area 3, the cycle begins anew.
Atari XEGS (1984)
[US] Sony PSP (nov.16, 2006) as an unlockable extra in "Sega Genesis Collection [Model ULUS-10192]"
[EU] Sony PSP (feb.2, 2007) as an unlockable extra in "Sega Mega Drive Collection [Model ULES-00556]"
[AU] Sony PSP (feb.8, 2007) as an unlockable extra in "Sega Mega Drive Collection [Model ULES-00556]"
[EU] Commodore C64 (1984)
[US] Commodore C64 (1984) "Super Zaxxon [Model 012-05]"
Apple II (1984)
F.A.Q. by Kevin Butler A.K.A. War Doc