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Blazing Star is a scrolling shooter video game for the Neo Geo home game system. It is the semi-official sequel to the acclaimed Neo Geo shooter Pulstar, which was itself a close cousin to the R-Type franchise. A typically hefty Neo Geo ROM at 346 Mb, the game makes extensive use of pseudo-3D prerendered sprites, brief anime and CGI cutscenes (mostly during the intro sequence), and frequent Engrish voice samples and captions. While Blazing Star was superior in many respects to previous shooter games, some fans compare it unfavorably with Pulstar on the basis that Blazing Star was overly easy and there are those that prefer the simpler 2D sprite look over the prerendered sprites that came to dominate many of the more recent shoot-em-ups.
Sometime in their past, the planets Remuria and Mutras started an interplanetary war that has shown no sign of ending. The endless fighting between the human-like inhabitants of the two planets had gone so long that weapon development moved into far dangerous territory: Organic Weapon Production combined with alien technology. Soon, a single sentient weapon, Brawshella, was born. Brawshella gathered all animal life on both planets and forced them to do its bidding and attack the humans. In a week, the humans were assimilated by Brawshella.
Yet, once they were assimilated, they found no other purpose in life but to continue fighting each other. After a while, four of the assimilated fighter pilots regained their consciousness and remembered their pasts. Upon discovering their humanity, the pilots were conflicted with following Brawshella's orders or fighting it to fully regain their independence. The pilots finally turn against the machine in a battle to rediscover themselves and reclaim their planets.
The joystick and two buttons are used to play Blazing Star. The joystick moves the ship around, while button A fires the normal shot. If A is tapped rapidly, then a variation on the normal shot is used. If A is held down, then the ship stores energy for a charged shot, which is fired when A is released. The charged-shot attacks have a duration based on how long the A button is held for, and pressing B during the attack will split the projectile in some way, greatly increasing the range.
Power-ups can increase the strength of the player's guns, while also increasing the maximum power of the charged shot. The types of shots, charge-up attacks, and split shots used are dependent on the ship the player selects. For instance, the ship seen in the screenshot above has small energy waves as its normal shot. The charged shot, seen in action here, releases a continuous stream of large fireballs. By pressing B, every fireball onscreen splits into numerous smaller shots, spreading to cover a much wider range.
One of the mangled translations in game, "You fail it! Your skill is not enough, see you next time, bye-bye!", has become a famous Internet catchphrase (see Engrish), often abbreviated to FAIL. According to an August 7, 2009 New York Times article by Ben Zimmer, the popular expression FAIL came from this game:"This punchy stand-alone fail most likely originated as a shortened form of “You fail” or, more fully, “You fail it,” the taunting “game over” message in the late-’90s Japanese video game Blazing Star, notorious for its fractured English."