Gain Ground

Gain Ground

[geyn]

Gain Ground is an arcade game that was ported to the Sega Master System, Mega Drive/Genesis and PC Engine (TurboGrafx-16). In 2004, it was re-released in Radica Games' TVPlay Legends Vol. II TV Games compilation. It was remade in the PlayStation 2 title Sega Ages 2500 Series Vol. 9: Gain Ground, which was released only in Japan. The Mega Drive/Genesis version was made available on the European and Australian Virtual Console on February 2, 2007, and was made available in North America on February 5, 2007.

Gameplay

In Gain Ground, players control one of a set of characters at a time. There are twenty characters, each with different weapons. To beat a level, players must reach the exit point with at least one character or destroy all enemies on the level before time runs out.

Littered across the level are captive characters, which can be rescued by walking over, then escorting the controlled character to the exit point. If a player controlled character is killed, that character turns into a captive, except that they will disappear if the next active player controlled character dies, exits the level without them, or the player has no characters left in their party.

The game is over when all controlled characters in the party are killed without any reaching the exit. However, there are three continues which allow a player to restart the level with their original three characters.

There are 40 levels in the arcade version of the game. The Master System and the Genesis/MegaDrive have 50 levels in the game. The last level has been known for requiring suicide tactics and the wasting of one's character stock, rather than actual skill.

Characters

There are twenty playable characters in Gain Ground, each with their own strengths and weaknesses. Each character has a minor, weak weapon which can be fired in any direction, and a special weapon which has different capabilities from the normal attack, and which vary between characters.

The characters in Gain Ground also vary in which hand they hold their weapons. This was originally done purely for cosmetic purposes, but it was very soon discovered that this feature made it easier for some characters to shoot around certain walls and obstacles than others. When selecting a character for a situation, one must consider the character's speed, weapon type and range, and with which hands they hold their weapons.

Name Hand, walking speed Normal weapon Special weapon
Athra (アスラ Asura) Right-handed, quick Spear, short range Arcing spear, short range All directions
Betty (ベティ Beti) Ambidextrous, slow Pistol, short range (left hand) Grenade, short range North only (right hand)
Cyber (サイバー Saibaa) Ambidextrous, slow Pistol, medium range (right hand) Spread missiles, long range North only (left hand)
Fire Knight (ファイアーナイト Faiaanaito) Center, slow Magic missile, medium range Fireball, short range North only
Gascon (ガスコン Gasucon) Right-handed, quick Spear, short range Arcing spear, short range North only
General (ジェネラル Jeneraru) Ambidextrous, slow Pistol, medium range (right hand) Flamethrower, short range All directions (left hand)
Glow Knight (グロウナイト Guronaito) Center, slow Magic missile, medium range Orbiting balls of light
Honey (ハニー Hanii) Ambidextrous, slow Pistol, medium range (left hand) Grenades, short range All directions (right hand)
Johnny (ジョニー Jonii) Right-handed, quick Rifle, medium range Rifle, medium range North only
Kid (キッド Kiddo) Left-handed, slow SMG, medium range SMG, medium range East/West simultaneously
Kou (コウ Kou) Left-handed, slow SMG, medium range SMG, medium range North only
Mam (マム Mamu) Ambidextrous, quick Pistol, medium range (left hand) Boomerang, medium range North only (right hand)
Mars (マース Maasu) Right-handed, quick Arrow, medium range Arcing arrow, medium range North only
Mud Puppy (マッドパピー Maddopapii) Ambidextrous, slow Pistol, medium range (right hand) Laser cannon, long range North only (left hand)
Professor (教授 Kyoju) Left-handed, quick Rifle, long range Rifle, long range East/West simultaneously
Robby (ロビー Robii) Ambidextrous, slow Pistol, medium range (right hand) SAM, long range All directions (left hand)
Valkyrie (バルキリー Barukirii) Ambidextrous, quick Pistol, medium range (left hand) Boomerang, medium range All directions (right hand)
Verbal (バーバル Baabaru) Right-handed, quick Arrow, medium range Arcing arrow, medium range All directions
Water Knight (ウォーターナイト Wootaanaito) Center, slow Magic missile, medium range Water spout, short range All directions (stuns enemies)
Zaemon (ザエモン Zaemon) Center, slow Magic missile, medium range Tornado, short range (Spirals outward, bounces off enemies & walls)

History

Gain Ground started off as an arcade game. Released in Japan and America in 1988, Gain Ground ran on the Sega System 24 architecture. It supported up to three players at once. Each player had an 8-direction controller and two buttons.

Gain Ground was ported to the Sega Master System in 1990 and the Sega Mega Drive/Genesis in 1991. Renovation Products released the game in the United States. Both coversions were handled by Sanritsu. In 1992, a PC Engine Super CD-ROM² version (Gain Ground SX) was released by NEC Avenue. In 2004, the game was remade for a modern audience on the PlayStation 2 as part of Sega's Sega Ages 2500 series. It's now been ported onto the Wii's Virtual Console for download.

Storyline

From a Gain Ground flyer:
A long period of peace has deprived the earthlings of their instinct to wage war. The Federated Government, greatly concerned regarding this ever increasing dangerous situation, developed a GAIN GROUND simulation system in the year 2348 in an effort to instigate their ever waning fighting spirit. However, suddenly without warning, the Supercomputer went berserk and took many of the citizens as hostages. In order to rescue the POWs, three of the bravest warriors were urgently dispatched to go forth into the deadly GAIN GROUND.

Trivia

  • One of the characters in Gain Ground has the same name as a Namco character; Valkyrie. She is the main antagonist of the game The Legend of Valkyrie.

External links

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