Reviewed by Milen
This is a VERY quick quickshot 'review', from Milen. Haven't had any
damned time to play anything much recently myself, so until a wee bit
of peace and quiet comes along, this one will do nicely! Zanac, Gun-nac
and The Guardian Legend were all unknowns to me until recently, and
to be honest I'm having more fun with them than much of my latest Playstation
acquisitions! Says an awful lot about technology that eh? It's astounding
how these early games had to concentrate on sheer simple playability,
as the graphics aren't really that hot. Storage space I suppose. Later
games by Compile were still indubitably excellent, but often the game's
focus would be blurred by weapon overkill or graphic whizzery, like
in Super Aleste. Anyway, here's a quick summary of the game by Milen,
with a few pics, just to let others know about it in the meantime!
Oh, and for an alternative and more comprehensive review, mind and visit
for Jay McGavren's opinion on Zanac!
Eight different secondary weapons, EACH of which with several power
levels. This, on a NES!
Pretty good graphics.
EXTREMELY fast gameplay, including some areas where the television
frame rate combines with the scrolling speed to create almost strobe-like
Artificial intelligence built into the game, which causes it to
change the game's difficulty and enemy space ships dynamically according
to the player's actions. (Firing your weapons a lot causes the game
to send more and stronger monsters. Destroying the bases that appear
along the way in the time given instead of letting them pass by
resets the game's difficulty to a base level.)
Moderately good music. The "Extra Life" sound is an eight-note fanfare
which you have probably heard before. (It's used in The Guardian
Legend, another ultra-classic NES shoot'em-up which some see as
a sequel to ZANAC, and perhaps in other games too. It's also included,
as an homage, as the "Secret Level!" fanfare in Tyrian for PC. Two
of the music pieces in the Tyrian sound test are "ZANAC3 and ZANAC5,
and are very accurate reproductions of level themes from ZANAC.)
This is like an archaeological dig! Look how the famous Compile
weapon system is being tentatively introduced here, and the manically
fast scrolling, even on the archaic Nes!
Doesn't this remind you of level 2 in Super Aleste, where the screen
fills with tiny missiles? Well, it's a lot harder here, as the weapons
are more restrained, and the things still home in damned fast,
Lots of smallish, but devilishly devious sub-bosses, not too sure
about the colour scheme though!
Bit of a bast this purple installation thingie, with those circular
blobs homing in with unerring accuracy! Ran out of time (had to
tidy up before I got chucked out the house), so the pics stop here
for the moment! (No, I wasn't just crap at it! :)