is a horizontal-scrolling shooter arcade game developed and released by Irem in 1987. The player controls a star ship, the R-9 "Arrowhead", in its efforts to destroy the Bydo, a powerful alien race bent on wiping out all of mankind. The R-9 can acquire a glowing orbicular device called a "Force", protecting it from enemy fire and providing additional firepower. The arcade version was distributed by Nintendo in North America; it is the last arcade title Nintendo distributed.
R-Type was the first game to run on Irem's 16-bit M72 arcade system. Initially a joke among staff, the Force was based on dung beetles. The development team drew inspiration from Gradius, Aliens and works by H.R. Giger. Music was composed by Masato Ishizaki, while character designs were done by "AKIO". The game's title stems from the word "ray", as in a ray of light, in reference to the player's raylike weapons used throughout the game.Gameplay
The game is composed of several sequential levels, with a boss enemy at the end of each. The player controls a small spacecraft and must navigate terrain and fight enemies using the various ship weapons. The player's spacecraft has, by default, a weak but rapid-firing main gun; and a more powerful gun called a wave cannon, which requires the player to hold their fire to build up power for the cannon.
During the game, the player can obtain an auxiliary device called a Force. This resembles a glowing orange ball. The Force can be attached to the front or back of the player's spacecraft, or detached to fly freely. When attached, the Force provides one of three different powerful weapons, in addition to the main gun and the wave cannon.
When detached, these weapons cannot be used, but the Force will instead resort to a secondary set of guns, which can be fired by the player even if the Force is at a distance from the spacecraft. The Force has a secondary use as a shield; it is completely indestructible and can block most things fired at it, as well as damage or destroy enemies on contact. The inspiration for the Force came partly from a joke, where AKIBO (the designer), was envisioning the behavior of a dung beetle.
The R- in the series title stands for "ray", as in a ray of light, in reference to the many different types of rayed weapons that players use in the series. Another theory suggests that "R-Type" refers to Bydo as r-strategists in r/K selection theory.