Raptor: Call of the Shadows (often Raptor for short) is a 2D raster graphics vertical scrolling shoot 'em up single player game for the x86 PC originally written for MS-DOS, by Cygnus Studios (which has since changed its name to Mountain King Studios). It was published by Apogee Software on April 1, 1994.
'In the future a mercenary flying the [advanced] Raptor, is sent on interplanetary missions to [destroy] top competitors of MegaCorps.'
The game is divided into three 'sectors': Bravo Sector, Tango Sector, and Outer Regions, all of which have nine sub-missions called 'waves', making for a total of 27 levels (9 per sector). The full version of Raptor allows players to start out in any of the three campaigns, though playing them in order helps the player to more easily accumulate money for weapon and shield upgrades.
Once a player beats a Sector, they can replay it with all the money and weapons that they have accumulated. The difficulty is increased when the player does this however, e.g. if the player beats the Sector on Rookie and replays it, the difficulty will be set to Veteran.
As in all shoot 'em up games, enemies must be shot and destroyed. While flying enemies are the most numerous, many ground targets (buildings, vehicles, turrets) can be destroyed as well. Bosses appear at the end of each wave or even halfway through the later, more difficult waves. For each target destroyed the player earns credits. The amount of credits earned per enemy destroyed is usually proportional to how tough or dangerous it is, with some of them dropping additional credit bonuses. The Raptor jet is particularly durable compared to player-controlled craft of other scrolling shooters, which can be destroyed with a few hits. However, there are no 'lives' so the game is over when the player dies, although the player can reload a recently saved game.
The player starts out with only the default machine guns, and will eventually be able to buy or collect more weapons using a credit and purchase system menu before starting or after finishing a wave. There are two major categories of weapons: the first type is always active (all carried weapons of this type will always fire simultaneously whenever player shoots), and the second type is selectable. During gameplay, when firing, only the currently selected selectable weapon will fire, though the currently selected weapon can be dynamically switched to deal with the appropriate situation. Some selectable weapons can only hit airborne targets, others only ground targets, while a few can hit both. Some of the more unique weapons in Raptor, compared to other shoot 'em ups, are the two types of selectable auto-tracking turrets. Other notable weapons are three selectable cannons with expensive prices, that fire continuous instant beams capable of penetrating and destroying multiple targets in one shot.
In its own category is the megabomb, a one-time use weapon which destroys everything on the screen including enemy projectiles, except for the toughest enemies (such as bosses) in which case it will damage them. It can either be picked up or purchased; a maximum of 5 megabombs can be carried at any given time.
The Raptor jet is protected by 100 points of regular shielding, which regenerate extremely slowly, when the player isn't firing (except in the Elite difficulty). There is also another kind of shields, called phase shields, which add another 100 points of shielding. Unlike regular shielding, phase shields do not recharge (unless the player collects a regular shield power up). Up to 5 layers of Phase Shields can be purchased in the shop. However, it is possible to go beyond 5 layers if Phase Shield powerups are picked up in-battle.
Last but not least, the player can purchase a single utility, the Ion Scanner to measure the energy and damage meter of any boss confronted.
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