Xevious is a vertical scrolling shooter arcade game that was released by Namco in 1983 (but copyrighted as 1982). It runs on Namco Galaga hardware, and was designed by Masanobu Endō (who later created The Tower of Druaga). In North America, the game was manufactured and distributed by Atari, Inc.. In Brazil, the arcade cabinet was printed with the name of 'COLUMBIA' for the game, while the software still showed the original title of 'Xevious'.
The player must use an 8-way joystick, to pilot a combat aircraft called a Solvalou, which is armed with a forward-firing Zapper for aerial targets and a Blaster which fires an unlimited supply of air-to-surface bombs for ground targets. The game, presumably set in Peru, was notable for the varied terrain below, which included forests, airstrips, enemy bases - and mysterious Nazca Lines-like drawings on the ground. There are various aerial enemy aircraft which fire relatively slow-moving bullets at the player, as well as (presumably unpiloted) fast-moving projectiles, and exploding black spheres. Ground enemies are a combination of stationary bases and moving vehicles, most of which also fire slow-moving bullets at the player. Giant floating Andor Genesis motherships appear in certain areas; these must be defeated by knocking out their cores, and are considered one of the first level bosses to be incorporated into a video game. The game scrolls through 16 areas, looping back to Area 7 after Area 16. The Solvalou continually advances over varying terrain, and the boundaries between areas are marked only by dense forests being flown over. If the player dies, play will normally resume from the start of the area - but if the player has completed at least 70% of the current area before dying, play will resume from the start of the next area instead. As the Solvalou continuously flies forward, it is possible to advance without defeating any enemies.
Xevious tells the story of the fight between humankind and the biocomputer GAMP, which controls the alien forces of planet Xevious. It turns out that the Xevious inhabitants are originally from Earth, and GAMP (General Artificial Matrix Producer) is the product of an ancient civilization that prospered on earth a hundred thousand years ago. During this golden age, the Gamps were human clones used in heavy labor, until they rebelled to their own creators. In order to survive the upcoming Ice Age, they planned to leave earth and migrate in search of a new homeland. They finally selected seven planets that were likely suitable to human life. Right before the departure, a group of humans rebelled and decided to stay on the earth anyway. It is from here that thousand years after the leaving of the Gamps that the brave pilot Mu and his android companion Eve decided to travel to Xevious (literally, the fourth planet) to avoid glaciation. They would not receive a warm welcome from their ancestors, though: captured and imprisoned, they discovered that the Xevians were actually planning a massive comeback on the Earth. Fast forward to our days: all above the Earth's surface, and near the ancient civilization remains, giant artifacts suddenly emerge from the soil and activate: they are SOL towers, buried underground and inactive for eons, now responding to GAMP's orders. The invasion has begun: it is now that, with perfect timing, Mu, Eve, and Mio Veetha, a Xevian who opposes to the Gamp's regime and freed our duo from prisoning, are back on the Earth on their Solvalou ship and ready to fight Gamp's army. Meanwhile, archaeologists Susan Meyer and Akira Sayaka discovered that the Nazca lines could be hiding an ancient weapon that may be used to counterattack Gamp's army.
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