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game HuCard
©1989 Zap Corp./Namco Ltd
Release : 1990-04-27 (¥6800)
HuCard (4 Mbits) NC90003
Shooter / Horizontal
Barunba is a multi-directorional shooter developed by Zap Corp and published by Namco. The evil Dr Dopperu has plans of world domination and his army of robots brings terror and destruction everywhere they go. The antigravity-ship Barunba is sent to stop the massive threat and to restore peace to the region. The globe-shaped fighter comes equipped with a rather unusual weapon system - a rotating ring is mounted around the ship and gives it the peculiar ability to shoot in any direction (the first action button rotates the ring clockwise and the Run button anticlockwise). The Barunba is also equipped with a fair arsenal of lethal weapons that range from a fast-paced and conventional Vulcan gun (V) to a slow piercing laser (L), powerful Napalm Bombs (N) and a round Shield beam (S) that can be charged up and used as a shield. Each weapon can be switched to on the fly by pressing Select, and they can be individually upgraded up to three times (five upgrade slots and three power levels total) - curiously, they apparently lose their power overtime and need to be regularly upgraded. Barunba consists of five large stages (each featuring a mid-way boss as well as a tougher final boss) and is single-player only.
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Barunba : Msx2 version Barunba was ported in 1990 to the Japanese MSX2 on two floppy disks (picture on the left). Like most (if not all) MSX games, this port has a very choppy multi-directional scrolling and the graphics took a serious hit. Surprisingly, the MSX2 port doesn't feature the rotating ring anymore, and uses instead pre-defined configurations that the player can change during gameplay (such as front, sides and four-ways) .

Game Staff (Copied from the end credits) :


Game Design
T. Kajii
H. Miyakushi

Character Design
Macot . E
M. Tamura
G. Kiyasu
K. Matsuda
K. Miyoshi
T. Yoshimine
M. Itoh
H. Nishikawa


Barunba manual
Click on picture to enlarge

When you lose a life, at the Game Over screen, hold Up and press Run to continue. However, the game resets all the weapons to their lowest power level when you continue...

Barunba : shield weapon/safe spots Gameplay Tips:
Barunba is a very difficult game. However, the best weapon against some of the bosses is curiously the shield (it is the only weapon that can absord enemy fire). For instance, the mole boss (level 4) can be easily disposed of by staying in the small opening in the left of the screen. When the large mole appears, a safe spot can be found in the top-left corner of the screen. Again, the final three bosses from level 5 can be easily defeated with the shield.

Weapon Power Levels:
Weapon levels in Barumba can be a bit confusing. Each weapon has three power levels, but five upgrades need to be collected in order to reach the third level, and each sub-evel is color coded:
Barunba : weapon levels Level 1 (Low) - Red/Purple
Level 2 (Medium) - Blue/Turquoise
Level 3 (High) - Green

Add your Pov here !

Barunba is really average and doesn't quite hit the mark... for instance, the graphics are rather nice in some places, and quite messy and plain ugly in others. The pace of the game is also painfully slow - not much really happens for long stretches of time, and this is not much of a problem the first time you play, but it becomes a frustrating yawn-a-thon later on. Add to that the fact that you have only ONE life to complete the whole game, so, believe me, you will fly through these first levels ad nauseam before getting to see the end of it! The rotating gun is also tricky to use - other games (such as the popular Forgotten Worlds and the less popular Hany in the sky) use this feature and I have never been fond of it. In my opinion, conventional directional controllers (D-Pads) are just not designed to handle it well, and the whole experience is generally unduly cumbersome. All in all, Barunba is technically correct and has its fair share of originality with large bosses and surprises sprinkled here and there, and how many games get you to see the pilot through the cockpit windshield? That definitively gives the ship some added flair, right? But the game could have been much better and the rotating gun isn't really enough of a selling feature for me. In the end, just a slow paced and really average shooter...

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