Raiden III is a revival of the classic Raiden games developed by Seibu Kaihatsu, it is the first Raiden game to be on a home console in the U.S.A. After a franchise hiatus of over 11 years following the release of Raiden DX, set in a universe different from all previous games and updated with a new look and feel. Raiden III is the first to use a new Taito Type X arcade system developed by Taito, instead of conventional arcade systems. New concepts are introduced, which includes a "new 3D scrolling system" that involves the camera pointing down normal to the player while the scenery moves in three dimensions: climbing, descending, and sometimes moving vertically. The blue Ion Laser concept is more like a sword beam, instead of the ones laser line is seen in prior installments.
Years after the invasion, Earth has been left in peace, as the invasion has been a past event. But however, the deranged Cranassians manage to invade Earth, again, this time, overrunning the planet. But yet again, the Raiden mk-II and Raiden mk-IIβ is called back into action and blast into the sky, to rid the insane invaders of Earth once again.
Players once again take control of the famous Raiden mk-II, red for player 1 and blue for player 2 as usual; there are no selectable ships. Only Fighting Thunder ME-02 (Raiden mk-II and Raiden mk-II ß) as player fighter. Two player mode is enhanced by an exclusive new attack: a beam that is usable whenever one player lines up in front of the other. In Double play mode, both players share the live and bomb stocks, and without continue. In Playstation 2, both players can be played from the same controller.
Scoring is straightforward, with inconsequential special bonuses: a multiplier up to 2 (displayed on screen) to the normal value of enemies if they are destroyed quickly after they appear, collecting medals and fairies (see below), destroying "secret" targets, collecting excess powerups. Flashshot multiplier bonus is obtained by quickly destroying an enemy that appears on screen (up to 2.0). The speed of multiplier decreasing depends on enemy type. In 2-player mode, a win bonus score is added to the player with the most kills at the end of stage.
There are in total 7 levels, the first three set on Earth and the last three in space. Level design is related to prior Raiden games: the first three levels are particularly close to previous games, with the first based on the original Raiden; the bosses are similar to those in the corresponding levels of Raiden II and Raiden DX. While Raiden, Raiden II and Raiden DX give a 1,000,000 points mission clear bonus and loop back to the first level, Raiden III ends with an animation without looping.
|3||Ocean||BS-03||Dawn of Sorrow|
|4||Space Station||BS-04||A Labyrinth of Steel|
|5||Huge Enemy Battleship||BS-05||Intruder|
|6||Floating Continent||BS-06||Invisible Menace|
|7||Enemy Final Base||BS-07||Last Fear|
The only choice is the "Fighting Thunder ME-02"(Raiden mk-II and Raiden mk-II ß) fighters, which are colored red and blue to represent players 1 and 2, or both in dual or double play mode. Player's ships have smaller hitbox as found in Raiden Fighters series.
The ship fires simultaneously with two weapons: the main weapon and the sub-weapon. Weapons have a power level, which increases by collecting individual powerups. In addition there are bombs that fill more or less the whole screen, harming enemies and dissolving all enemy shots. At the beginning of the game or after death, the default weapon is Vulcan Cannon (see below), a marked increase of firepower over the one-way Vulcan of the previous Raiden games, no secondary weapon (but you can collect secondary weapon at the rest of playthrough) and default three bombs (the number of bombs can be altered as a game option).
- Vulcan Cannon - A traditional spread weapon that shoots streams of 2 or 4 small yellow bullets in 3, 5, or 7 directions (including straight ahead). Upgrades Vulcan Cannon will increase the spread of the number of bullets. Corresponds to the red crystal and takes 5 upgrades to fully upgraded.
- Ion Laser - A traditional narrow weapon, appearing as a single continuous forward-facing blue laser; lateral ship movement makes it swerve very slightly. Upgrades Ion Laser will increase the width of the beam and presumably the damage rate. Corresponds to the blue crystal and takes 5 upgrades to fully upgraded.
- Proton Laser - A replacement for the characteristic "toothpaste" plasma laser featured in the Raiden series, appearing as a very narrow green beam that swings markedly (moving at an angle of about 45 degrees) with lateral ship movement. Upgrades Proton Laser will increase the width and brightness of the beam and presumably the damage rate. Corresponds to the green crystal and takes 5 upgrades to fully upgraded.
For all three variants, powerups simply increase the number of shots and there are three power levels.
- Nuclear missile - Shoots dumb-fire missiles that spread out laterally then accelerate forward pattern. In addition to direct hits, the nuclear missiles' explosions cause strong damage given. Corresponds to the "M" square and takes 3 upgrades to fully upgraded.
- Homing missile - Shoots homing missiles that turn freely and seek the closest enemy around the player. The damage given is weak, but it is very ideal for attacking enemies around the player. Corresponds to the "H" square and takes 3 upgrades to fully upgraded.
- Radar missile - A partially guided variant of the nuclear missile in which the missiles drift laterally until they align with enemies and charge forward. The radar missiles' explosions cause strong damage given, just like the nuclear missiles. Corresponds to the "R" crystal and takes 3 upgrades to fully upgraded.
- Bombs - Unlike in previous Raiden games, the bomb's action in Raiden III is immediate: a ball of flame spreads out rapidly from the position of the player. The bomb stock can be increased with bomb powerups, appearing as a "B" on a spinning triangle. The craft can carry up to 7 bombs; if another bomb powerup is collected, bonus points are accumulated. Any bombs left over at the end of a stage are worth 5,000 bonus points each.
Miscellaneous pickup itemsEdit
In addition to the main weapon, secondary weapon and bomb powerups, there are miscellaneous pickup items.
- Extra Life (1UP) - When picked up, the player receives another life. Appears near the end of level 3 and 6 only. Any lives left over at the end of a stage are worth 10,000 bonus points each.
- Full Power-Up - This appears under certain conditions such as the player dying many times; these will upgrades the primary and secondary weapons to maximum level. Worth bonus points if collected when the player already has maximum power. It is similar to secondary weapon powerups with a "P" square.
- Fairy - A fairy appears after shooting certain objects. When the fairy is collected, it helps the player a the craft is destroyed, giving some powerup. Unlike in previous games where the player could be penalized for shooting it, this fairy cannot be hit by the player's shots.
- Point item - Worth 500 points when collected and 10,000 bonus points at the end of a level. For the purpose of end of level bonuses, medals will reset to 0 when a player loses a life. So player have to stay alive as very long until end of stage to accumulated Point Item bonuses.
The Flash Desire Raiden III Game Capture DVDEdit
- The game capture DVD of Raiden III was released on November 2, 2006. It costs about 6,090 yen each, and has approximately running time of 120 minutes for a DVD and approximately 70 minutes for a CD. Its features include:
- Contents 01 - Raiden III Normal Mode Capture Image (Kinomoto will not be in charge of playing; it plays back one-coin capture images of the same work from start to the ending.)
- Contents 02 - Raiden III Double Play Mode Capture Image (Hattori will be in charge of playing; it plays back 1 coin capture images of the same work from start to the ending.)
- Contents 03 - OUT TAKE (Other than the score image which is higher than normal mode main part, wonderful phenomenon and income technique, you record the opening movie.)
- Soundtrack CD (see below)
- Shoot like lightning (Opening demo)
- Takeoff with the suffer (Start demo)
- Lightning strikes (Level 1)
- Passing pleasures (Boss)
- Mission accomplishment (Level clear)
- Electric Resistance (Level 2)
- Dawn of sorrow (Level 3)
- A labyrinth of steel (Level 4)
- Intruder (Level 5)
- Invisible menace (Level 6)
- Last fear (Level 7)
- Fairy (Ending)
- Game Over for Raiden I (Game over)
- Carve your name (Name entry)
- Preparations (PS2 Main menu)
- Official Raiden III Site
- Raiden III Taito Site
- MobyGames Raiden III Site
- Raiden III Digital Edition on GOG.com
|Main Series||Raiden - Raiden II (DX) - Raiden III - Raiden IV (Overkill) - Raiden V|
|Raiden Fighters Series||Raiden Fighters - Raiden Fighters 2: Operation Hell Dive - Raiden Fighters Jet|
|Conversions||The Raiden Project - Raiden Fighters Aces - Raiden Legacy|
|Other Seibu/MOSS shmups||Stinger - Scion - Air Raid - Viper Phase 1 - Caladrius (Blaze)|