Xexex (released in North America as Orius) is a 1991 side-scrolling shoot 'em up arcade game by Konami. It draws on R-Type and Gradius, adding the tentacle mechanics of X-Multiply. It did not see a home port until 2007, when it was included in the compilation Salamander Portable, released only in Japan for the PlayStation Portable.
The game is unusual for different gameplay mechanics between the original Japanese release and the overseas releases.
As mentined, gameplay is similar to R-Type. Your ship (the Flintlock) has a detachable orb attachment (the Flint); to protect the Flintlock's front (attached), to release it close by—it grows tentacles—and destroy enemies it touches (detached), or to charge power (up to two levels; 'blue' is half-, 'yellow' is full-screen) and release as either electrified half/full-screen-stretching tentacles or a quick-moving Flint that flies forward half/full-screen doing damage along the way. You can collect powerups to increase the Flint's power (two upgrades), allow your ship to move faster, change the main weapon (six different powerups), or increase life count by one (the game's logo).
The overseas versions introduce a variety of changes, such as forcing a single but upgradeable main weapon (icon and sprite for the Round Laser but is a spread shot), homing missile powerups as a side weapon (similar to R-Type), the removal of the 'blue' charge strength ('yellow' strength with 'blue' charge length), a single life bar instead of a life count (and the secret item pickups located throughout levels are all life bar restoring items, with the extend icon), among other things. The enemy patterns are also changed slightly.
In the overseas versions, you start with the Proton Laser, a thin stream of weak bullets. Picking up a powerup will change it to a spread shot which increases in strength with additional powerups. You can also collect missile powerups for a side weapon.
In the Japanese version, you start with the Proton Laser. Picking up one of six powerups gives you the following:
- Homing Laser: a 3-way laser with weak "bending" homing for top and bottom lasers
- Shadow Laser: a thin, laser beam; the strongest weapon
- Round Laser: an unusual spread shot (different from the overseas version's main weapon)
- Spiral Laser: a spiral laser (similar to the Gradius Ripple Laser), second strongest weapon
- Search Laser: a laser with strong homing that travels in square trajectories
- Ground Laser: your main gun is changed to an upgraded Proton Laser while a laser beam travels across the floor (similar to the R-Type weapon)
The name of the current weapon is displayed at the bottom of the screen (not in the overseas version, of course)
The story involves you piloting a ship called the Flintlock, to save the blue haired princess named Irene of the planet E-Square, from a rather effeminate looking evil lord named Klaus. Each stage is punctuated with a cutscene of the princess crying for help as she's tortured and begins to lose clothing - not unlike Artemis from Namco's Phelios - or the lip-stick wearing, bad guy taunting you. In the ending, the Flintlock sends the orb back through the atmosphere of the planet, where it morphs into a naked fairy for some reason why Princess Irene's saved her planet and the mission was completed.