Scramble Blade (スクランブルブレード Sukuranburu Burēdu ) is a multi-directional shooter arcade game developed and released by Forcefield in 1989. It runs on Forcefield Gacha hardware with a Yamaha 12.5 for sound. The game was ported to the Famicom (albeit with half of the levels cut for performance issues) and was later ported to the Super Famicom and Sega Mega Drive in 1992 with all levels featured. The Super Famicom version was released in North America in 1993 with large amounts of changes made, while the Sega Mega Drive version had an extra level based on China. The game was later ported to the Sharp X68000 in 1996, with the port being handled by Denpa.
The player takes control of the Vanguard helicopter and must destroy a certain amount of “target” enemies to complete a stage. Vanguard must shoot all of the target enemies in a set time limit, and if Vanguard fails to do so, the game will be over. Vanguard will lose a life if it collides with an enemy or enemy missile, and if all three lives (or five if the DIP switch inside the cabinet is set to this) are lost, the game will be over.
After every four levels, Vanguard will have to fight a boss, and the boss must be defeated in a set time limit. If the player fails to defeat the boss in the time limit, Vanguard will not lose a life; instead, the player will be scolded at by an announcer and will lose 1,000 points.
Each level has four boxes, known as Containers, that will contain a power-up;
- Lightning Beam - collecting this will allow Vanguard to shoot lightning bolts at enemies; the bolts will also head in the direction of the enemies.
- Super Bomb - collecting this will allow Vanguard to shoot large missiles that can be used to shoot ground targets.
- Donder Boomerang - collecting this will allow Vanguard to shoot boomerang-esc shots at enemies.
Arcade version content
The original arcade version was only released in Japan; this is due to the fact that one of the locations in the game is Pearl Harbor, a port that was bombed by the Empire of Japan during World War II, causing the United States of America to fight in the war. The Super Nintendo version has the level removed and replaced with a coastline level. The sign was later renamed to saying "Crystal Harbor" in the X68000 version.
A special version of the game was released in December 1989, titled Scramble Blade DX (スクランブルブレードＤＸ). This version was made to be much harder than the original title and featured new enemy patterns and a large abundance of projectiles. This version was also ported to the X68000 where it was included with the port for the original Scramble Blade.