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Air Buster: Trouble Specialty Raid Unit (Arcade)

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Title Screen

Air Buster: Trouble Specialty Raid Unit

Developer: Kaneko
Publishers: Namco (JP), Sharp Image Electronics (US)
Platform: Arcade (Kaneko Triple Z80-based)
Released internationally: January 1990

DevMessageIcon.png This game has a hidden developer message.
GraphicsIcon.png This game has unused graphics.
RegionIcon.png This game has regional differences.

Air Buster: Trouble Specialty Raid Unit is a horizontal shoot-'em-up with colorful graphics. It was later ported to the Genesis and TurboGrafx-16, with a planned Sharp X68000 version scrapped during development.

Developer Easter Egg

A hidden Easter egg can be activated by placing first place on the high score list, entering TERU as the name, and pressing 1P Button 1 16 times on the high list table during the attract mode. The amount of time the message stays on-screen is shared with the high score list, so the earlier the combination is done, the more time this message will remain before the gameplay demos.

This Japanese message translates to "Teru-chan, how are you?", and refers to a girl that developer Takeuchi "Tiny Tomo" Hisanori was dating at the time.

(Source: suddendesu)

Unused Graphics

City Stalker Assembled.png
The first stage's boss, City Stalker, only shows the bottom and front portions of its body on-screen, leaving the upper far-right part of its body unseen in the actual game. This is how the rest of it looks, revealing the "MLM" (Mecha Load Master) marking that also appears in the armor of Stage 3's boss, Bit Station.

City Stalker Destroyed Parts.png
Only two of City Stalker's destroyed parts are used, as seen on the left side, for the top and bottom missile hatches. The sprites on the right, showing the destroyed laser cannons are unused as they cannot be destroyed in the final game.

City Stalker Unused Hatch.png
The second hatch on the right side of City Stalker's bottom area has animations, but it never opens in the actual game.

Robot Boss.png
This mecha would've been used as the Stage 5 mid-boss, but instead, a recolored robot from Stage 5 was used. This enemy also had what looks like a green barrier and a projectile attack that would've been emitted from the barrier.

Shell Frame Pods.png
Two animations of the Shell Frame are unused. And three sprites of ring lasers also went unused that the pods would've shot from.

Two Arm Cyclops Mecha.png
This cyclops-like mecha would've appeared in Stage 4 because it uses the same palette as the blue robot.

Unused Logo.png
Early versions of the game's logo.

Regional Differences

The Japanese version is much harder, such as in Stage 4 where the blue robots turn into green robots if you hit them. The missile carriers also appear during the blue robots attack you.