Super Aleste (スーパーアレスタ), known in North America as Space Megaforce, is a vertically scrolling shoot 'em up video game developed by Compile. It was published by Toho in 1992 for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System as part of the Aleste series. In a traditional fashion, the player pilots a spaceship through a variety of locales crawling with enemy squadrons to shoot down, though the story in the Japanese version is different from American and European ones. However, Super Aleste also offers a "Short Game", where only a set of small levels are played, with the emphasis on scoring as many points as possible.
The story differs slightly depending on which version is played. Regardless of the version though, the opening premise to both Super Aleste and Space Megaforce is actually the same, with the western version simply removing all mentions to the two protagonists.
In the year 2048 AD, Earth was in an unusual situation. The sudden attack of a gigantic Sphere turned major cities in the world into ruins. The mysterious Sphere stopped over the Latin American jungle and began to build a floating city. The final offensive of the Earth Allied Forces, using the latest Aleste attack aircraft, was finally cut off. However, only a few minutes after the fight began, all Aleste fighters were annihilated...
Among the Alestes suspended on the jungle vines, ace pilot Raz woke up. He saw himself amid the mountais a few kilometers away from where the fight took place. He could see the huge Sphere in the distance. Raz tought to himself, as he remebered the light of the bullets flying away from his ship, that he had heard a voice calling him from somewhere. The voice was from a consciousness trapped within the Sphere, which escaped through a gap created from the attack and helped Raz's Aleste aircraft. In front of Raz's doubtful eyes, he saw his wrecked Aleste now repaired and remodeled. What he had thought was a plant vine hanging his aircraft was actually the "voice"; the body of the consciousness.
The Aleste craft completely merged with the consciousness's body. Raz is pulled back into the reborn Aleste, and hears a voice from behind. Looking at his back, he saw a girl sitting behind him. It was a human figure based on a image that the consciousness took from Raz's mind. She named herself Thi and told Raz: "If you don't release the controlled planets which the Sphere uses as a source of energy, you can't penetrate into its central core. Only this high-powered Aleste can do this, and I'm sure I can count with your cooperation...".
The Aleste starts to rise from the tangled vines. Aleste is no longer the old Aleste. The unimaginable powers and super weapons it gained by merging with the consciousness are completely different. It was reborn as the Super Aleste. What kind of battle awaits the protagonist piloting the Super Aleste with Thi's guidance? A new journey begins for the two, as they fly the Super Aleste for their first mission.
A fierce battle to save Earth begins.
In the year 2048 A.D., the Earth faced a major crisis. All of an enormous glowing object 15 kilometres in diameter suddenly appeared from space and began to attack all the major cities on Earth. The retaliative attacks of the hastily formed emergency Earth Defense Forces had no effect on this unknown enemy. In an instant, all of the major cities of the world were reduced into rubble and the attacks on humanity ceased. Just as quickly the mysterious object then flew over to the tropical rain forests in Central America and began construction of a floating city in mid-air.
In order to break down the superior defenses of this mysterious object, the planets of the support units that supplied energy to the object were to be freed to stop its momentum. The Earth Defense Forces' final ultimate weapon, the ED-057, was modified for space flight and refitted with numerous super weapons to make it a super shooting machine beyond imagination with the aid of world's most intelligent scientists. The ED-057 sorted off to the first planet. What kind of enemies and troops could possibly be waiting there? And what is the objective and true nature of the mysterious object? The tremendous battle to save the Earth was to start here.
There are eight types of weapons to use, and each can be powered up by collecting chips (small spherical items). Picking up chips causes the player's current weapon to level-up, to a maximum of six. There are two types of chips to find; Orange chips contribute to a level-up, but at higher levels, more chips are required to reach the next level. Green chips make the weapon level up instantly. Each weapon has a function that can be manipulated with the Shot-Control button, changing around the weapon's abilities to suit different situations. Switching to another weapon is done by picking up a numbered item, with initials representing one of the eight weapons.
The player's health is tied to the level of their weapon. When the ship is hit, the weapon loses four levels of power (but it cannot go below 0). If the weapon is already at level 0 upon getting hit, the player dies. This means the weapon must be at level 5 or 6 for the ship to survive two hits. Also, there are two types of extra lives; Normally, if the player dies, they try the level again at the last checkpoint. However, it is possible to convert lives into Special Lives with a certain power-up; These allow the player to come back at the exact place they were killed, losing no progress. If the player has enough lives that a number is used to display them, then the icon becomes red if they have at least one Special Life left.
Like many other shooters, this game has its set of obstacles, but the ship won't be destroyed by touching them, unless the scroll pushes and crushes the ship against the obstacle.
Stages and Bosses
The Japanese version has more content than the European and American versions, here are some of the differences.
- Has super deformed art on the options and game over screen.
- Has story intermissions between the stages.
- The ending is twice as long and reveals the mystery behind the enemy invasion. More information is revealed upon beating the game on the harder, very hard, and then the hardest difficulty levels.
- The names of the levels and their bosses are different
- Some voice samples are different in the US/EU than in the Japan version.
Super Aleste received a manga adaptation on February 22, 1993 in Japan, being illustrated by Okazaki Sami, written by Kubo Muneo, and published on the Monthly ASCII Comic.