game Cover
game HuCard
©1989 NEC Avenue
Licensed by Capcom
Release : 1989-07-14 (¥5400)
HuCard (2 Mbits) H54G-1004
Shooter / Horizontal

American Version
Released in America as
( RTGX10001 )
Side Arms Hyper Dyne is a horizontal scrolling shooter developed by NEC Avenue and conversion of Capcom's arcade of the same name originally released in 1986. Life on planet Earth is on the brink of extinction - an alien race called the Bozon has launched an unprovoked invasion and is on a quest to systematically find and annihilate any kind of terrestrial life. However, a group of heavy armed forces led by human survivors desperately attempts to save the planet - two heavy mechanical suits (known as Alpha and Beta mobile-suits), manage to infiltrate deep into enemy territory and are now humanity's last hope for survival. The player takes control of Alpha and fights his way through a variety of colorful, enemy-packed levels. But Side Arms Hyper Dyne introduces a few unique features that sets it apart from the crowd - for instance, the Alpha can fire in two directions (forward or backward) based on which action button is pressed. Additionally, and in the Capcom tradition (or early tradition in the mid-1980s), various enemies leave behind power-up icons when killed - however, these power-pods come with a twist and cycle through different weapons and Speed up/Speed down icons when shot. Weapons range from Bits, 5-Ways Shotgun, Mega Bazooka Launcher and 3-Ways. But if the player happens to shoot at these pods for too long, they eventually lock themselves up into a bonus item, such as a cow, a star or a Yashichi (the latter two grant the player with rapid-fire shots). Each weapon can be stored for later use (press Run to switch from one to the other), and each one can be powered up a maximum of three times (however, the last active weapon used is lost when the player takes a fatal hit). Another powerful weapon in the game is Beta - although the second player's mobile-suit is not playable in this port, it can nevertheless be called (through the use of hidden Alpha icons) and combine with the player for devastating effects. Side Arms Hyper Dyne consists of nine levels and is single player only.
Side Arms Special (Pce-CDRom²)
screen shot screen shot
screen shot screen shot
screen shot screen shot
arcade version The arcade game Side Arms Hyper Dyne was originally released by Capcom in 1986 (picture on the right). Interestingly, Capcom released several shooters in the mid-1980s based around the same 'Jet Pack hero' concept - the first one was Section Z released in 1985 and the last one was the popular and unique Forgotten Worlds released in 1988. Curiously, the arcade game Side Arms Hyper Dyne was only converted to a handful of home systems and mainly in Europe (thanks to the publisher Go!) - Amstrad CPC (1987), Commodore 64 (1988), ZX Spectrum (1988), Commodore Amiga (1989), Atari ST (1989) and PC Engine (1989). The game was also later included in the Capcom Classics Collection Vol.2 released for the Playstation 2 (2006) and Xbox (2006), as well as in the Capcom Classics Collection Remixed released for the Playstation Portable in 2006. Finally, the only 'sequel' to the game was released in 1989 for the PC Engine CDRom² system - the game, called Hyper Dyne Side Arms Special includes the original PC Engine HuCard version as well as a new 'remixed' (and exclusive) mode called 'Before Christ'.

Although the PC Engine version test here is an incredibly faithful conversion, it nevertheless shows some differences with the original arcade game. Firstly, the two-simultaneous player mode was omitted and only Alpha is playable here. Then, although players could switch from one weapon to another at the touch of a button in the original version, they have to pause the game in the PC Engine port. Finally, and most probably the oddest change of all, the music track for the first level was changed and sounds completely different!

Mobi-chan The Side Arms Hyper Dyne flying mobile-suit has made countless cameos in other Capcom games and somewhat became a sort of company mascot for a while. The cute 1-up icon from the original game (a chibi version of the Mobile Suit Alpha called Mobi-chan, picture on the left) can be seen in many Capcom games from the 1990s, such as Street Fighter II, Area 88, Black Tiger, Great Mahō Daisakusen (aka Dimahoo) or the loading screen of the CP System III arcade system board. In the mid-1980s/1990s, it was very common for Capcom to use cameos, the most popular being the red and white Yashichi (introduced by Vulgus), which is also featured in Side Arms Hyper Dyne.

Teaser text from the American version:
It is light years into the future and there is trouble in your sector. The galaxy is being threatened by an unknown nemesis from a distant black hole and you, earth's love, interstellar Warrior must stop the terrible destruction at hand. Armed only with your government issued sidearm you must use your brains as well as your brawn to avoid ambushes, collect treasures and expand your arsenal or weaponry in preparation for your ultimate battle with the dreaded Nemesis 10.

Game Staff (Copied from the manual) :


Executive Producer
Norihiko Hamada (Capcom)
Shigenobu Nanbu (NEC Avenue)

Yoshito Itoh (Capcom)
Toshio Tabeta (NEC Avenue)

Yoshito Itoh (Capcom)
Character Design
Susumu Ueda

Scroll Design
Susumu Ueda
Naoe Nonomura

Music Compose
Takashi Tateishi
Special Thanks to
Akira Yasuda
Masayuki Akahori
Atsushi Kakuta
Yuki Kyoutani
Miki Kijima
Toshifumi Ohnishi
Yoshinori Takenaka
Tadakatsu Makiuchi
Koji Yoshida
Yoshiki Okamoto


Side Arms manual Side Arms Turbografx-16 manual Side Arms - Advert Side Arms - artwork
Click on picture to enlarge

Hidden Alpha icon Hidden Alpha icon
Hidden Alpha icon Hidden Alpha icon
Alpha Icons:
Here are some of the hidden Alpha icons in the game (pictures on the right). I leave you to find their exact locations and how to find all the others... interestingly, they are fairly similar to the ones from the original arcade game.

Add your Pov here !

Let the Battle for Survival Begin! - I have to admit that I am very biased about Side Arms Hyper Dyne. You should know that I initially purchased a PC Engine system because of this shooter. Side Arms used to be one of my favorite arcade game when I was a kid, and I've always wanted one at home, and no conversion, as far as I know, came as close to the arcade original as this PC Engine port. This version is terrific and really delivers the goods - the graphics are very close to the original and it is technically flawless with no problems or slowdowns. The gameplay is perfect (although pausing the game to switch to a different weapon is not ideal) and the game uses the PC Engine high resolution! Well, NEC Avenue went over their call of duty and they also perfectly ported the game's unforgiving difficulty level. The action is really fast-paced and the game instantly tosses you back into action (with a brief invulnerability) when you lose a life. Although this move keeps the adrenaline running, it also drains your stock of lives with little mercy. Then some enemies are quite vicious (the relentless snake-like robots being the worst in my book) making the game impossible to complete without potential loss of sanity. All in all, I love Side Arms Hyper Dyne (no surprise here) and this conversion is perfect.

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