Space jockeys, prepare to do battle in a strange wonderful world with mammoth mechanical battleships straight from the Steel Age. Flying fortresses, armored locomotives, steel-plated submarines, and other whimsical mechanical menaces overrun Steel Empire, the first game for the Genesis by Flying Edge (a.k.a. Acclaim). Your mission: Motorhead has taken charge of the world and only the Republic of Silverhead can vanquish this motorized monstrosity.
Pick A Plane, Any Plane
Climb aboard one of the two types of aircraft in this seven stage, one-player shooter. Choose between the Striker Airplane, which features speed and front/rear firing missiles, or the Z-01 Zeppelin Airship, which is slower, but has front/rear firing aerial mines and front/rear firing missiles. At the beginning of each stage, grab the flying craft that's got the weapon power you need to beat that stage.
- The Missiles that Striker fires down and the Aerial Mines of the Zeppelin are more powerful than the regular Missiles.
- Use the Striker in Stage 2's cavern speed trap. It's easier to dodge through the Liendengel Caverns.
- The Zeppelin works better in Stage 5. You're gonna need those Aerial Mines.
In each stage you soar across a strange and beautiful landscape, from the weird rooftops of Rahl's Mine City to Gardani Beach's sultry seascape and then on to the eerie underground madness of the Germburn Fortress. The graphics are spectacular, marred only by slight “slowdown” when too many sprites crowd on-screen. The mood is set for each stage by a strange flickering animated sequence.
Having been launched into a strange future, the graphically-gorgeous enemy crafts look like spacecrafts out of the old black and white Buck Roger's movies. In addition to many tanks, planes, parachutes, and yes, even flying windmills, each stage also has large middle and end bosses.
- Blow a hole into the vulnerable belly area of Stage 3's Floating Fortress, hide inside, and fire away until the fortress blows. You can destroy the middle fortress boss of Stage 5 in the same way.
- Beat the Stage 4 boss by first blasting its periscope, and then using your Missiles and Lightning Bombs to destroy all of the guns along the top of the sub.
- Hide behind the asteroids in the final battle of Stage 7 to dodge the flame walls tossed by the Motorhead.
Are You My Motor?
The Motorhead's minions are tough, but fortunately the members of the Republic are constantly around to drop supplies your way via parachutes. Power-ups include extra Lightning Bombs, energy, speed, special outrigger planes, and 1-Ups. Grab Experience Power-ups to boost your Experience Counter. Every time your counter hits three, your Upgrade Level increases-which mean your fire power, energy level, and speed increase. There are 20 different levels of fire power.
- To snag a 1-up, shoot out this right-hand propeller in Stage 3's castle fortress.
- There's a type of bonus round in Stage 5. Blast flying saucers and grab as many power-ups as you can.
- There's a 1-up in Stage 6 just at the top of the second cliff.
Flying Edge's first foray into the Genesis arena soars as a more than respectable shooter. The gorgeous graphics will enchant you, despite the slowdown problems. A decent range of challenge is available via adjustable difficulty settings, as is the ability to alter the number of continues and lives for each of the settings. This original shooter is just plain fun. We suggest you steel yourself for battle.