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Bio-ship Paladin (also known as Space Battleship Gomora) is a horizontally scrolling shoot 'em up arcade game from 1990. It was later ported to the Sega Mega Drive. While the game is essentially a standard horizontally-scrolling shoot 'em up, it has an innovation that makes it unique in the genre. The player flies a spaceship (specifically, a bioship) which has the standard forward guns to be found in all horizontal scrollers, but it also possesses a weapon that can be manually targeted with a crosshair, in the same manner as in the game Missile Command. This allows the player to fire in any direction with pinpoint accuracy, and adds an extra level of strategy to the game. The game saw an almost arcade perfect port on the Sega Mega Drive. What few changes there were actually enhanced the look of the game such as added parallax scrolling backgrounds in level 2.
Taking place on the planet Atlantal, a huge battleship and space fleet suddenly appears and attacks Atlantal's largest city, Delila, leaving the city in ruin. The fleet, known only as The Aggressors, continue to spread throughout the planet and further into the galaxy, past the Galegino Path, the sea of flame. To drive out and stop The Aggressors, the best twin-seat space fighter on the planet - the Paladin - is sent out; a powerful bio-ship that can grow larger in strength and size. The Aggressors are suggested to have come from Earth as the enemies and bosses all have vehicle names of different languages and many of the bosses are actually named after alcoholic drinks.
The Paladin had a variety of offenses. Unlike most shoot 'em ups, the Paladin actually had an armor gauge, meaning that the ship would not be destroyed with one hit or brush up against a foreground object. The ship had a semi-automatic Laser weapon that, when held down, would charge up and unleash a stronger laser blast. The ship also had the Beam weapon. Once selected, players could use a manual aiming crosshair that could be placed anywhere on the screen, allowing the player to shoot any visible enemy fighter. Aside from those armaments, the players also had various pick-up items:
Speed Up: The iconic speed-up item which increased much needed ship speed.
Life Up: This not only increased the ship's armor, but also caused the ship to grow in size.
Bits: These small, circular guns mounted to the top and bottom of the ship and the player could collect a total of six. The bits would unleash suppressive diagonal fire, but only when the player pushed the fire button. The bits however were destructible.
Auto Beam: This weapon caused the Beam to automatically lock-on to enemies on the screen and would fire at a rapid pace on its own. The effects however were temporary.
The player or players had to fight through nine levels filled with clever foreground obstacles and slews of enemies. Many of the bosses had to be destroyed by first shooting off their guns, missile launchers and jets before destroying the whole ship. However, there were no Extend bonuses.
Levels and Bosses
Stage 1: Ruins of Delila
Stage 2: Jungles
Stage 3: Sub-Space Fortress
Stage 4: Forests
Stage 5: The Galegino Path
Stage 6: Space Port
Stage 7: Hangar
Stage 8: Space
Boss: Cointreau w/Mongo T-1 & Mongo T-2
Stage 9: Space Fortress