Section Z

a game by Capcom

Platform: NESNES

Genre: Shooting Games

  • Manufacturer: Capcom
  • Machine: NES

Matt Berry in St. Charles, Illinois, gives us a piece of advice about the Megasmasher. If you come across a Megasmasher when you already have one, you should select the first one and then pick up the second. Thanks to Matt, you'll have a powerful three-way Megasmasher.

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Section Z Downloads

NES Section Z download
  • Manufacturer: Capcom
  • Version: Nintendo Entertainment System

Section Z is a scrolling space adventure which calls for a quick trigger finger, intuition and some mapping ability. It does not bring much that is new or exciting, but is still fun to explore and play.

The object of Section Z is to battle your way through 26 sections (A through Z) of Fortress Balangool. Each area scrolls from left to right, pitting you against the forces of the enemy Balangool, who have obliterated a space station near Saturn and are now headed toward Earth. The 26 sections are split into four levels each, and at the end of each level is a more powerful enemy Captain. These Captains fire tracking missiles and are protected by two force screens that must be destroyed. At the end of the 26th section lives L-Brain, Master Control of Balangool. Defeating him saves the universe from being conquered.

The space suit you wear can be maneuvered up, down, forward and backward on the screen, although the scrolling is continuous and can't be stopped, so you can't backtrack through an area you've already traversed. You have a gun which can destroy most of the enemy forces, although it may take quite a few hits to do the job on some of them. Unfortunately, the gun can only fire horizontally, so some of the enemy forces - notably the gun emplacements along the walls - can't be destroyed. You can fire forward by pressing the "A" button, and fire behind you by pressing the "B" button. The turbo buttons available on some alternate controllers will help.

You start out with one life, and spare lives are very hard to come by. You can take 20 hits before your energy is depleted and you die, thus ending the game. Being shot costs you one energy hit, while colliding with an enemy or running into a wall costs you five hits and sends you back to the beginning of the current section. Since being hit by a bullet can move you into a wall, it's not a good idea to fly too close to the wall. Destroying some of the enemies will release a token which can be picked up that replaces five of your energy points.

Each section requires a different strategy to complete, and some, which appear very difficult at first can actually be solved quite easily with some perseverance. For example, the sixth level has a solid wall of enemies, moving from right to left, that take three or four hits to destroy. However, there is a narrow corridor near the bottom of the screen through which you can pass virtually unmolested - except for those pesky guns mounted on the walls!

In addition to the token which allows you to replenish your energy, other items appear which can give you powerful shields, more speed for outrunning bullets, a three-way laser beam, missiles, bombs and a sort of alter-ego that goes after the enemy ships for you! These will all be needed, for the enemy forces become quite formidable by about the sixth level.

The only big complaint I have about Section Z is that the manual seems to have been written for an entirely different game. The sections are numbered rather than having letters, so much of what it is in the manual related to section letters makes no sense. Further, the illustrations are very poorly done, so it is hard to know what items on the screen do. You are also not warned that the red transporter beams, found at the end of some sections are fatal. Overall, though, this is a very playable game that I keep coming back to.

reggie posted a review
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