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Pyramid Patrol

version: jp - year: 1993 - developer: taito corp - publisher: pioneer ldc - format: laseractive, mega ld - condition: near mint - rarity: common

Early shooter exclusive to the LaserActive with gameplay similar to Space Berserker and Vajra 2. A semi-sequel called Pyramid Intruder was released on 3DO.

 

Backgrounds are often inspired and they don't hurt you in any way, at least on "easy" mode which is not easy at all.

 

The guillotines level is cool, although the boss at the end is merciless. Learn where he appears from and when he is vulnerable. Once you know that, use the primary shot to drain his healthbar quickly and disregard incoming fire when you can hurt him, until he dies.

 

You start with 3 credits, although you can earn 3 extra credits by reaching level 8 without ever dying. Not easy to do though even on easy mode!

 

Level 8 looks distinctively different from the other levels

 

On easy mode, the lasers fired by these things are harmless. No idea what happens here in normal or hard mode though.

 

A few incoming waves pop up while these blue things pulsate like hearts. The end is near...

 

On the wall, the last boss awaits...

 

...waking up from his eternal sleep...pissed!

 

The music in this final section turns from eerie to truely empowering. If you played Taito's other Mega Ld Hyperion, you'll know what I am talking about. Awesome!

 

Shoot the red core under his torsoe, while also shooting at incoming fire.

 

You should try to kill his first form before he starts spitting fire from his mouth and shooting lasers like there is no tomorrow.

 

If you do, his head will eventually rise from his remains and attack you. This part is the hardest of the entire game. To stand any chance at all, you should reach this point with at least 60% of your health bar because the amount of bullet he will vomit onto you will disintegrate you in like 5 seconds if you don't have enough health. As soon as he shows up, drop a power shot on his face and then follow his movements with your target as close as you can. Focus primarily on hitting him although if you can destroy some of the incoming fire, that will sure help you. Once you do that, if you had enough health, he should die after about 10 or 15 seconds...good luck!

 

the ending sequence is a bit confusing

 

it involves retrieving this golden statue

 

but I am not sure what the statue does.

 

A very challenging ending, well worth the struggle!

Review - Pyramid Patrol, not to be confused with the "edutainment" title The Great Pyramid is an early LaserActive shooter for the Sega Pac module.

You control a target inside a cockpit of a spaceship, and your mission is to destroy a Pyramid which appeared on the surface of planet Mars. It is believed to be an outpost of a hostile alien civilization plotting to ultimately invade Earth. But...why the aliens built an Egyptian Pyramid on Mars? Well, ask Taito!

For an early Mega LD game, Pyramid Patrol is damn good. Graphically, it really showcases the potential of the LaserActive platform, with plenty of inspired background graphics. The rich detail of the levels really represent a good incentive to try to see all the surprises that Taito had in store for us.

If the background graphics are inspired, it must be noted that even the graphics processed by the Sega module are well done. The cockpit is nicely detailed while regular enemy spites zoom in gracefully from afar.

The only problem I sometimes had was to actually spot enemies on time before they got too close, because sprites look a bit fuzzy when they are very far, but this seems to be a common problem in LaserActive games.

Just like the backgrounds, bosses are all processed by the LaserActive itself, so they look definitely nice and they are in full 3D. Pyramid Patrol certainly feels a bit like Vajra 2 although the latter has a bit more variety in the levels, it has better graphics for the bosses and has smoother backgrounds.

Back to Pyramid Patrol, the camera work is also good, with plenty of zooming and rotations to present battles with the most dramatic angles. Since bosses are played back by the LaserActive hardware and not by the Sega Pac, they basically follow a sequence no matter what you do. You will have to clear their health bar before they eventually drain yours or before they simply ram onto your ship and kill you. If you clear a boss before the end of the animated sequence, all of his latter attacks won't harm you and you will have to wait for the sequence to finish while your teammates will keep on shouting to keep on aiming and shooting, even if you already killed the boss...weird.

Anyways, this is a small problem that certainly doesn't detract from the playing experience which remains good, especially for a Laserdisc game.

The fact that the music is really excellent and that speeches aren't too bad also contributes to create an atmospheric shooter which has a lot to offer.

I should also mention the fact that there is a primary weapon which is set on autofire and a power shot that can be performed by pressing the B button of the pad. This secondary weapon is too slow to be considered really useful though, because you'll often have to deal with an apocalypse of bullets on screen which won't leave you much time to charge up a power shot.

Anyways, Pyramid Patrol is most definitely one of the better LaserActive games out there, and the fact that it is both common and cheap shouldn't make you believe that it sucks, because it is totally the opposite!! There are 8 levels to clear, with devastating difficulty spikes by the boss of stage 7 (guillotines level) and by the second form of the last boss in stage 8, which I thought was completely impossible until I managed to incinerate him in a glimpse of lethal inspiration that struck me!

Bottom line: if you are looking for an inspired shooter and are just starting to play LaserActive games, this is a great starting point although the difficulty of latter stages might hurt your pride. 8,5/10


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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