Carnival Recca Cover

Recca Japanese Cover

Recca is a vertically scrolling shooter for the Famicom. It was created in 1992 by Naxat Soft as a Summer Contest game. Recca is an earlier example of a manic shooter due to it's high difficulty and mass of shots the player has to dodge to survive.


Carnival Recca

In-game screenshot

Recca is a very challenging game to play, due to the many waves of enemies and the shots they fire. The bosses are also very challenging, having lots of firepower and odd patterns. There are several modes of play for Recca: Normal Mode which is regular play, Score Attack is how fast can one reach a score in a given time, and Time Attack is how many points can one get within 2 minutes.

Although there are only 4 stages, they can be long and are all not the same length. In another departure from traditional games, there are multiple bosses on every stage, especially stage 4 which is a virtual boss rush with at least 7 bosses throughout the stage.

Recca also has a additional mode, Genki Mode which gives the player 50 lives but the enemies explode in shots each time one is destroyed. The title screen will have a red pattern in the background when activated to tell Genki Mode is active. In addition to Genki Mode, there is a remix of the stages that is accessible when the game is beaten. The stages will have different bosses and the ending will be the true ending.

The ship can use weapons and pods which fire and can block shots but require some skill to use them as shields. The secondary weapon is a bomb which is charged while not firing and is the most important tool available. When fully charged, it will be at least two times the size of the ship and will produce a high-damage, lingering blast which is vital in beating bosses fast. It can also be used to block most shots, making it into a rechargeable shield. Effective use of the bomb will help ensure survival throughout the game. Speed can also be changed up to four levels.


Recca also has several powerups that increase the chances of survival for the player. There are weapons, pod powerups, and other useful ones.


Weapons can be powered up to three times, each one increasing power and functionality.

  • V (Vulcan) - This is the shot the ship initially has and is a vulcan shot. Each level increases the size of shots and it's angle of influence.
    • Level 1 - Single shot ahead.
    • Level 2 - Three shots are fired, the additional two shooting 15 degrees left/right of the main.
    • Level 3 - Five shots are fired, the additional two shooting 15 degrees left/right of level 2.
  • L (Laser) - This shoots very powerful, rapid-fire pulse lasers.
    • Level 1 - A single laser is shot ahead.
    • Level 2 - Twin lasers are shot ahead.
    • Level 3 - Twin lasers are shot but bend 45 degrees left/right respectively that home in on enemies.
  • F (Free-Way) - This shoots shots in multiple directions and is reminiscent to the Star Soldier main weapon. It is the only weapon to shoot backwards.
    • Level 1 - Shoots a wide, three-way shot like level 2 vulcan.
    • Level 2 - Shoots like level 1 with and additional shot directly behind the ship.
    • Level 3 - Shoots like level 1 with two shots behind aimed at 45 degrees left/right.
  • H (Homing) - Shoots relatively rapid energy balls that home in on targets. The shots will not perfectly aim at targets initially.
    • Level 1 - Shoots a stream of small homing shots.
    • Level 2 - Shoots a stream of medium homing shots.
    • Level 3 - Shoots a stream of big homing shots.
  • B (Blaster) - Shoots powerful and rapid firing shots directly ahead.
    • Level 1 - Shoots two shots ahead.
    • Level 2 - Shoots three shots ahead.
    • Level 3 - Shoots four shots ahead.

Pod TypesEdit

These assist in firing and can act as partial shields. Their best use is allowing the ship to attack while charging the bomb as they can fire separately. One powerup adds a pod for a max of two.

  • F (Front) - Shoots at a 45 degree angle to the left and right.
  • B (Back) - Shoots at a 45 degree angle to the left and right behind.
  • R (Rolling) - Revolves around your ship and can potentially hit enemies everywhere. Difficult to use due to slow pod firing and lack of aim.
  • C (Control) - Shoots directly ahead, left, right, or behind. Moves in the direction opposite of what you move in.
  • S (Seeking) - Auto-aims at enemies relatively well. It is perhaps the best pod type available, excellent for bosses. However it decreases shield potential greatly.


These are other powerups.

  • Eagle Icon - Adds points. Is the most common powerup.
  • 1-Up - Adds an additional ship to the player.


Recca is popular in the shmup community, so much so that the game engine was basically copied to another game, that game is called Solaria (which in turn may have been copied by another company). Not much is known about how the creators got access to the engine, but it is an obvious clone of Recca.