Side Arms: Hyper Dyne, usually referred to simply as Side Arms ( サイドアーム) in Japan, is a 1986 arcade shoot 'em up game. It is a scrolling shooter that, unlike most games in the genre, allows the player to shoot both left and right. It is featured on Vol. 2 of Capcom Classics Collection for the PlayStation 2 and Xbox. The game's catchphrase in Japan is "Zettai Gattai!" (「絶対合体!」, lit. "absolute fusion").
The controls consist of an eight-way joystick for moving the Mobilsuit and three action buttons. Side Arms uses two shooting buttons, one for shooting to the left and the other to the right. The third button is used to change between the weapons acquired by the player. There are five types of power-ups that can be acquired by the player: a speed upgrade, an orbital bit that will provide additional firepower with the standard gun, a shotgun with shoots in a fan-shaped range, a three-way shooter, and a mega bazooka launcher that fires a laser beam. The player can choose what power-up their mecha will receive by shooting the power-up icon until getting the item they want. All of the weapons, as well as the mecha's speed, can be upgraded up to two or even three levels depending on the item. There is also a speed downgrade that will reduce the Mobilsuit's speed by one level. There are also two "Auto" power-ups, shaped like the enemy characters from Vulgus: one is shaped like the "Yashichi" and allows the player to fire continuously with either firing button held down; while the other, which is shaped like the "Sakichi", allows the player to shoot upwards, downwards and forwards at the same time, but at a slower rate than the regular shot.
In addition to the standard power-ups, there are two special combination power-ups shaped like the Greek letters α and β that will combine the player's Mobilsuit with an ally. This allows the player to do an eight-directional attack at the same time as their regular attack. When two players are playing this power-up will combine both players' suits instead. One player will move the combined suit and perform the regular attack, while the other will provide the eight-directional attack. If the combined suit gets shot by an enemy soldiers, it will revert both suits into their regular separate states.
The Mobilesuits can be augmented in various ways, ranging from speed to added fire power. The powerup system is visually reminiscent of the one utilized in the Gradius series of scrolling shoot em' up games by Konami. POWs are collected which will allow cycling through the selection bar to choose different weapons. When the player is killed, only the last weapon used is lost. Unique to the game, Henry and Sanders, in their Mobilesuits, can combine into a more powerful hybrid form. This mode can be hard to control, as both players have the ability to move the ship.
The weapons are as follows:
- Bit - Gradius-style options that encircle the player, replicating fire.
- Shotgun - Slow-firing 5-way spread shot.
- MBL (Mega Bazooka Launcher) - Powerful forward-firing shot.
- 3-Way - Fast-firing shot that fires forward and in the upper- and lower-diagonal directions.
- Auto - Can come in two types: a forward rapid-fire shot that fires fast (represented with a Yashichi icon) or a 3-way shot that fires forward, up, and down, at a slower rate than the forward shot (represented with a star icon).
The game takes place during an escalating conflict between the humans and Bozon, an alien force that seeks to destroy all life on Earth. Lieutenant Henry (ヘンリー中尉) and Sergeant Sanders (サンダース軍曹) are deployed to Earth, piloting Mobilesuits α (Alpha) and β (Beta), in an attempt to save Earth from its destruction.
- A later CD-ROM version available only in Japan entitled Side Arms Special featured an Arrange Mode and a remixed soundtrack.
- Mobi-chan appeared again as a bonus item in several Capcom games.
- Both Mobilesuits appeared in Namco x Capcom as sidekicks to the Unknown Soldiers from Forgotten Worlds.
- The Mobilesuits Alpha and Beta appeared in Project X Zone (alongside Blodia) as a summonable attack by Devilotte. In the sequel, Baby Bonnie Hood summons Alpha and Beta when she performs her Cool Hunting attack as opposed to the hunters she summons in the Darkstalkers series.
- The Mobilesuit Alpha also appears as a guest DLC ship in Dariusburst Chronicle Saviours.
Arcade Version [Super Staff]
Game Design: Poo & Kihaji
Object Design: Dekachin & Kawamoyan
Scroll Design: Toride no Yas & Mikichan
Supplement: Uhe Uhe & Kurichan
Sound: Tadanomi Suruzoo
Music: Kinchaku Aya
Hard Ware: Punch Kubozoo
Soft Ware: Mr.
Additionally, Side Arms, like many other games during this era of gaming, credited its staff in its default Score Ranking Table, which is as follows:
- 1st 100000 TAK
- 2nd 80000 TOY
- 3rd 60000 KEI
- 4th 40000 AOK
- 5th 20000 J_3
TurboGrafx-16 Version [Staff]
Directed by: Yoshito Itoh
Character Designed by: Susumu Ueda
Scroll Designed by: Susumu Ueda, Naoe Nonomura
Music Composed by: Takashi Tateishi
Programmed by: Yoshito Itoh
And Special Thanks to: Akira Yasuda, Masayuki Akahori, Atsushi Kakuta, Yuki Kyoutani, Miki Kijima, Toshifumi Ohnishi, Yoshinori Takenaka, Tadakatsu Makiuchi, Koji Yoshida, Yoshiki Okamoto
Presented by: Radiance Software
Licensed by: © Capcom