1993 / 94 the fantasy
shooter celebrated a rebirth with two companies at the top of the market:
Raizing and Psikyo.
After their award winning eastern mythology themed Sengoku Ace, Psikyo
decided to mix elements of the european history with a mech topic. The
result was a fun-shooter that doesn't took itself too serious: Gunbird
Five new characters with psychic abilities hunt for a magic mirror in
several fantastic stages. The world of Gunbird is filled with strange
mechanical devices, walking, flying and shooting at any intruder. The
end of each stage is guarded by an evil trio called 'the trump'. They
attack the heroes with a huge machine. Once that machine is destroyed,
a smaller and faster robot raises out of it as a second challenge, before
the trump flees and our heroes are allowed to leave the stage.
If shooter fans think of Psikyo characters, they automatically think
of Marion, that cute 13 years old, blue dressed witch on her flying
broom. First introduced in Gunbird, she is some kind of a mascot for
Psikyo today. Other protagonists in this game are Valnus, the fat russian
robot, a German scientist called Ash, a female fighter from China, similar
to Jane (Sengoku Aces) and last but not least an old man on a strange
The weaponary system of Gunbird is very similar to it's predecessor:
The main shot on [A] button is individual for each character. Holding
the same button charges the weapon to release something more powerful
against the enemy. Furthermore there is a smart bomb on button [B].
Main power and number of bombs can be upgraded by collecting appropriate
Like in Sengoku Ace, the player will find gold coins throughout the
game which reward him with 200 points for collecting each one.
Gunbird is one of the first games of that new era of shooter games.
Original PCBs and Sega Saturn ports can be purchased for reasonable
prices at Ebay or directly from game dealers. I can recommend this game
especially to newbies of the Shmup genre, since it's system is easy
to understand, and the number of bullets on the screen is still moderate.
Manic shooter fans sleeping with Batrider and waking up with Progear,
will find Gunbird's age of 8 years recognizeable when it comes to graphics
and gameplay. Nevertheless it is still a good game, for players and
sheep] in 2002