Star Force (released in North America by Video Ware in the arcades as Mega Force) is a vertical shoot 'em up arcade video game made in 1984 by Tehkan (now known as Tecmo). In Japan, it is considered to be a monumental work among shooting games. There have also been caravan tournaments for the game in Japan.
In the game, the player pilots a starship called the Final Star, while shooting various enemies and destroying enemy structures for points. Unlike later vertical scrolling shooters, like Toaplan's Twin Cobra, the Final Star had only two levels of weapon power, and no secondary weapons like missiles and/or bombs. Each stage in the game was named after a letter of the Greek alphabet. In certain versions of the game, there is an additional level called 'Infinity' (represented by the infinity symbol) which occurs after Omega, after which the game repeats indefinitely.
In the NES version, after defeating the Omega target, the player can see a black screen with Tecmo's logo, announcing the future release of the sequel Super Star Force. After that, the infinity target becomes available and the game repeats the same level and boss without increasing the difficulty.
Star Force was ported in 1985 to the Nintendo Famicom and MSX home computer by Hudson Soft (likely because Tecmo would become a licensee of Nintendo only in 1986). The North American version for the Nintendo Entertainment System was developed and published in 1987 by Tecmo with different graphics, music, and control over the Famicom version. Despite the U.S. arcade version being titled Mega Force, Tecmo decided to release the NES version under the original name of Star Force. It was also ported to the Sega SG-1000 by Sega, Sharp X68000 by Dempa Shinbunsha and mobile phones by Tecmo. In 1995, along with two other NES shooters, the Family Computer version of Star Force was remade by Hudson Soft with minimal upgrades for the Super Nintendo as part of the Japan-only release of the Caravan Shooting Collection. The same version was also included in Hudson's compilation of NES shooters in 2006 in Hudson Best Collection Vol. 5. The original arcade version was later added to the compilation titled Tecmo Classic Arcade, which was released for the Xbox. In 2009, the arcade version was made available for download on the Nintendo Wii Virtual Console for 500 points as four of the initial offerings for the 'Virtual Console Arcade' category (the other three being Namco titles).
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