Warp Speed to Gyruss

So much has been written about Konami‘s classic fixed shooter Gyruss over the years (decades even) that I felt that even more should be written about this unique classic arcade game.

If you are a classic cabinet arcade game aficionado/retrogamer, you may have noticed that Gyruss‘ fixed shooter style is similar to another Konami offering (which we also reviewed a few months ago) known as Time Pilot. Given that both games came out of Konami at the time, it’s not too surprising that Yoshiki Okamoto had a hand in designing both games. Time Pilot of course incorporates the illusion of movement by utilizing a background scrolling effect, with your ship remaining permanently centered as you pivot. In Gyruss, your ship is anchored to the perimeter of the playing field as you move around the circumference, while shooting and destroying enemy ships as they manifest from the center. Gyruss actually make great use of the vanishing point effect here which is often seen in driving and racing games.

Time Pilot and Gyruss. The same…yet different?

Fun Fact: Konami had originally asked Yoshiki Okamoto for a driving game and instead he “rebelled” and offered up Gyruss and Time Pilot. Needless to say, this digression led to some friction with the top brass at Konami and from Okamoto’s days were soon numbered at the company.  That said, depending on how you look at it, if you take Time Pilot‘s rotate/aim/shoot principle, it is actually very reminiscent of the inherent turret movement that you’ll find in tank games. This alongside Gyruss‘ use of the high speed space battle along a fixed vanishing point, you just might be able to argue in court that Okamoto did in fact deliver 2 driving games. Employers, right? What do they know about the inner workings of a designer’s mind?

The gameplay in Gyruss is legendary and fast as you destroy enemy ships and warp from Neptune to Earth. Each subsequent level gets faster and seemingly more chaotic as you make it to the next planet. But it should be said that the enemies in Gyruss fly in a per-determined pattern. Indeed when I played Gyruss many years after first playing it as a kid, I found that my trigger fingers retained a sort of muscle memory and I remembered the pattern at which the enemy ships flew. Note that this in no way takes away from the fun of playing Gyruss. No wonder that Gyruss still consistently ends up on Top 100 lists of best retro video games of all time.

Enjoy a longplay/playthrough of the classic Gyruss right here:

Year: 1983
Developer: Konami
Publisher: Konami, Centuri, Parker Bros, Ultra Games
Designer: Yoshiki Okamoto
Platform: Arcade
Genre: Fixed Shooter

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