Blazing Lazers is a 1989 vertical shooter developed by Compile and published by Hudson Soft. The game was initially released as a TurboGrafx-16 exclusive, but would later be released on Wii’s Virtual Console and the PlayStation 3 online network. It is loosely based on the Japanese movie Gunhed, sharing the name with the Japanese version of the game.
In the late ’80s, vertical shooters were a dime a dozen. It was a massively oversaturated market, meaning that it took a lot to impress critics. Despite this, the game received a great critical reception, with everything from the visuals, music, and balanced gameplay coming in for praise.
Blazing Lazers Premise
Blazing Lazers places a lot like many vertical shooters in the area. You must shoot through multiple waves of enemies using various weapons on your ship, with optional power-ups available to collect throughout the levels. The game is particularly brutal about taking damage, reverting you to the last checkpoint when hit. As with most similar games, when all your lives have been taken, the game is over.
What makes this game so unique is its speed. It doesn’t slow down at all, an experience that at the time, could only be found in arcades. This, alongside its brutal death mechanics, ensures that Blazing Lazers gets more intense as the gameplay progresses.
Blazing Lazers Main Characters
In Blazing Lazers, there isn’t really a main character, just on the basis that the gameplay doesn’t lend itself well to creating a deep story for players to experience. You take charge of a Gunhed Advanced Star Fighter, playing as a nameless protagonist throughout.
In fact, the bosses in the game are some of the only named characters in Blazing Lazers. These are:
- TriClops (Stage 1)
- Big Borg (Stage 2)
- Tarax the Great (Stage 3)
- Space Prowler (Stage 4)
- Demon Rock (Stage 5)
- Space Parasite (Stage 6)
- Battle Tank (Stage 7)
- Skulldor (Stage 8)
- Master Computer (Stage 9)
- Space Siren (Stage 9)
- Dark Emperor (Stage 9)
Blazing Lazers Titles in the Series
Although Blazing Lazers was lauded by critics, it never received any form of sequel, instead standing alone almost four decades later. There’s likely a good reason for this. With Blazing Lazers being an adaptation of Gunhed, this means that there would likely be licensing issues to work through if a sequel were to be made. For developer Compile, that would be more trouble than it’s worth, especially when it has its own critically acclaimed vertical shooter series in the form of Aleste/M.U.S.H.A.
We’re glad that we ever got Blazing Lazers in the first place, but given everything already mentioned, the time for it becoming a series is long gone.
- Blazing Lazers (1989)
Blazing Lazers Cheat Codes
Before you can use any of the cheat codes in Blazing Lazers, you must first enable the Sound Test. To do this, simply hold Select, then press Left and Right repeatedly until “Sound 01” appears on your screen. This is an indication that the below cheats will work.
|Cheat Code Effect
|At the title screen, hold Select and press Run until the phrase ‘Area 1’ appears.
|Allows you to start the game with 30 continues.
|Press I, II, Select 22 times. Then hold Select and Run until the game starts.
|Start the game from Area 0 with 30 continues.
|Hold Right, and keep pressing Run quickly at the title screen.
|Allows you to view the ending of the game.
While the above cheats require you to enable the Sound Test, the below cheats need one more step: Debug Mode. After enabling the Sound Test, press I, II, then hit Select repeatedly until the debug screen appears. Now, you can activate the following cheats:
|Cheat Code Effect
|At the Level Select screen, hold I and II and press Start.
|Gives you extra lives and bombs when starting the level.
|Half game with lots of Satellites.
|77, then press Up and Down before leaving Debug Mode
|Gives you invincibility.
|00 – 09
|Allows you to select your level, from Level 0 (00) all the way to Level 9 (09).
Blazing Lazers Cheat Code FAQ
How Do I Activate the Sound Test in Blazing Lazers?
To activate the Sound Test, hold Select, then press Left and Right repeatedly until “Sound 01” appears on your screen. This is the indicator that all of the Sound Test cheats can be used.
How Do I Activate Debug Mode in Blazing Lazers?
First, activate the Sound Test. Then, press I, II, then hit Select repeatedly until the debug screen appears.
Does Blazing Lazers Have Achievements?
No. Trophies were unfortunately never added to the PlayStation 3 rerelease of the game, scuppering any chance of achievements in Blazing Lazers.
The image featured at the top of this post is ©Screenshot from Blazing Lazers..