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Laser Invasion

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Title Screen

Laser Invasion

Also known as: Gun Sight (JP)
Developer: Konami
Publisher: Konami
Platform: NES
Released in JP: March 15, 1991
Released in US: June 1991


RegionIcon.png This game has regional differences.
PiracyIcon.png This game has anti-piracy features.


Laser Invasion is a rather ambitious first-person action game that tries to be a combat chopper simulator, gun shooter, and maze explorer all in one...on the NES. The results are about as good as you can expect from the 8-bit console.

While the game is built around a wacky headset controller, it can also be played with a regular controller or Zapper.

Regional Differences

Title Screen

Japan US
Gun Sight title.png Laser Invasion (U) -!--0.png

Aside from the different title and coloring for the Konami logo, the Famicom version starts directly at the title sequence, whereas the NES version adds a copyright screen prior to that.

Options Menu

Japan US
Gun Sight options.png Laser Invasion options.png

The options between the two versions are slightly different.

  • The Famicom version doesn't support the Laser Scope headset, since the peripheral was never released in Japan, so it's limited only to the standard controller or a light gun.
  • The name given to the light gun peripheral differs between the two versions: "ZAPPER" in Laser Invasion, "GUN SYSTEM" in Gun Sight.
  • Gun Sight has a password feature, while Laser Invasion instead allows the starting number of lives to be adjusted from 3 to 5. This change affects the cheat codes that are available for each version as well. In Gun Sight, the password 9PLY allows the player to start the game with 9 lives. This option is available in Laser Invasion by moving the cursor on the options menu to "players" and pressing B, Left, or Right 51 times (it doesn't matter which button is used).
  • The Famicom version also has a Hard mode that can be turned on by simply inputting HARD as the password. The NES version doesn't seem to have any equivalent cheat.

Continues

Continues work differently between the two versions:

  • In Gun Sight, using a continue will take you to the last checkpoint you went through in a mission. The only real penalty is having your score reset to 0.
  • In Laser Invasion, you're forced to restart the current mission, though to balance this out the number of continues is upped from 3 to 5.

On-Screen Indicators

Japan US
Gunsight hokyuujo.png
Gunsight teki kichi.png
Laser invasion allied heliport.png
Laser invasion enemy heliport.png

The on-screen indicators used during the combat chopper segments when approaching a supply stop or an enemy base were appropriately localized for their respective versions.

Japan US
Gun Sight mission clear.png Laser Invasion mission clear.png

The mission clear screen in Gun Sight moves the helmet to the left in order to make room for the password given at the end.

Region Switch

Japan → US Switch US → Japan Switch
Gun Sight-usoptionmenu.png Laser Invasion-jpoptionmenu.png

Both versions have an internal region switch, though much simpler than the one found in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III: The Manhattan Project. Game Genie code AEKVLZPA will switch the NES version to Japanese mode, while PEKTTZAA will switch the Famicom version to US mode.

When the region switch is activated, Gun Sight will switch the options menu to the version used for Laser Invasion and vice-versa. Only the names of the light gun peripherals will be left unchanged. However, the password support in Laser Invasion is non-functional and will freeze the game when used (making it impossible to use the 9PLY and HARD cheats). On the other hand, the 9-lives cheat from Laser Invasion will work perfectly fine on Gun Sight. The way continues work will also be changed as well.

The title sequence will also change slightly. While the title that gets formed will remain the same, the game will attempt to switch the flying letters to the ones used for the alternate title. However, due to different CHR data, they will not be displayed properly. This is because the Famicom version stores its katakana fonts where the NES version stores the flying letters, whereas the space for the Famicom version's flying letters on the NES version was replaced with placeholder tiles.

The language used for the cutscenes and dialogue will remain unchanged.

Copyright Screen

Japan → US Switch US
Gun Sight-uscopyright.png Laser Invasion copyrights screen.png

When the region switch is active, the Famicom version displays an extended version of the US copyright screen which credits Ultra Games, suggesting that Laser Invasion was originally going to be published under that branding by Konami. The finalized NES version was published under Konami's own label instead.

Mission Clear Screen

Laser Invasion JP mission clear.png

When Gun Sight is set to US mode, it will display the same mission clear screen used for Laser Invasion. However, when Laser Invasion is set to Japan mode, it will display an alternate mission clear which omits both the helmet and the password. This is likely a side effect of the password feature not being implemented in Laser Invasion.

Anti-Piracy

As with most games Konami has published since 1990, this game features a form of copy-protection: when booting, the game checks for the presence and integrity of a CHR bank with copyright tiles. Part of the copyright message screen contains the string "© KONAMI 1991", and the copy-protection routines check for that string.

If the test fails, the Japanese version turns on the hidden Hard mode by default, where one direct hit kills you instantly. Strangely, the US version does all the same checks and sets the same flag...but has none of the effects due to Hard mode being nonexistent in that version, even with the region switch set on.