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R-type logo.png

R-Type is a horizontal shooter Arcade game produced by Irem in 1987. The player controls a space fighter named "R-9 Arrowhead" to defend humanity against a mysterious but powerful alien lifeform known as "Bydo", which was later discovered to be not entirely alien in origin. R-Type is recognized as one of the classics of the shooter genre from the 1980s arcade.


In-game screenshot

R-Type is set in the 22nd century, and the player flies a futuristic fighter craft called the R-9A "Arrowhead", named for its shape, and because it is the ninth model in the 'R' series of fighter craft (but it is the first of the series to actually be used in combat; the previous models were all prototypes). The mission is to 'blast off and strike the evil Bydo Empire'. The significance of the R- in the series title refers to the production code as well as the term of endearment for the player fighter craft, the "Round Canopy".


The Force is R-Type's most famous and unique innovation. It is a special Pod that fires powerful lasers that change depending on the type of weapon collected. The Force device can be used on the front or back of the ship, or even have it floating in front and it will fire differently. The Force can also block most enemy fire and also damage enemies.

There are three types of Lasers that can be picked up during play including: Counter-Air Laser (Red item that switches the fire to a front circle beam that looks like a 8), Rebound Laser {Blue item that switches the weapon to beams that bounce off walls), and Counter-Ground Laser (Yellow item that switches it to beams that shoot from the side of the ship towards the top and bottom of screen).

Bits are small, floating orbs, resembling miniature Force units in appearance. They in many ways act like Options in the Gradius Series.

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