Burai Fighter

aka: Burai Senshi
Moby ID: 16690
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The Burai, a race of evil super-brain aliens, have launched their plan to conquer the universe with their army of half-organic, half-robot creatures -- the robo-mutants. It's up to you to stop them! Strap on your jet pack, and get ready to become the ultimate Burai Fighter.

Burai Fighter is an arcade shooter with two modes of play. Most levels are side- and vertical-scrolling with pre-designed layouts. A few levels are different, though: top-down perspective, with a randomized layout. Either way, you'll be armed with a variety of weapons, including different guns (laser, missile, ring) and the powerful cobalt bomb which kills everything onscreen.

Burai Fighter uses a slightly different gameplay mechanic when compared to other shooters. You can shoot in 8 directions, and when you hold down the fire button you keep shooting in that direction.


  • ブライ・ファイター - Japanese spelling
  • 無頼戦士 - Japanese spelling (kanji)

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Credits (NES version)

Music Composer (uncredited)
Cover Artwork by



Average score: 77% (based on 10 ratings)


Average score: 3.6 out of 5 (based on 7 ratings with 1 reviews)

One of the Hardest NES shooters ever made.

The Good
Burai Fighter is a horizontal shooter developed by defunct Japanese studio KID -that for the most part was contracted to make console ports and bishojo games, but has quite some obscure gems with a distinctive style: secret endings and such.

You control an unnamed hero flying in a space suit from a side-view perspective and with a gun in his hands, with a very simple style of graphics but a lot of personality. Nice music too.
The objective here is to kill the final boss of each stage.
You can Fire with B and use a bomb with button A: pretty straightforward for a shooter...
But that's the end of normality here because you can shoot in all 8 directions while moving, but to change the direction you wish to shoot you have to move in that direction first, then press and hold the B button for rapid fire and as long as you keep holding the B button you will shoot in that direction. If you release it and then move in another direction, when you press the button again you will shoot in that other direction...
Pretty complex, wouldn't you agree?
Well guess what, this only describes most of the levels because in levels 3 and 6 the game changes to a Top-view perspective, and for some inexplicable reason they decided to change the mechanic, now making it so that you can only shoot in the direction you are facing. It's so weird!
Also, the objective in these levels changes, now you need to destroy a base that you have to find first, following a map that you only get a glimpse of at the beginning of the level.
If you manage to beat one of the stages, as a reward you get a password that you must write down immediately if you intend to move on.

The Bad
It has three difficulty modes: Eagle (the easiest), Albatross (way more difficult) and Ace which is insanely hard, I don't think it is beatable on an actual NES... not by a normal human being, definitely not casually, and by that I mean you probably need to play this every single day for years to have a chance.
And I haven't even begun to complain about the difficulty: of course it's a one hit death, and doesn't matter where you are, you re-start at the beginning of the stage, without your current power ups and none of your bombs...
And get this: there's even a fourth unlockable difficulty mode...!!!
So, to get the true ending you need to beat this game at least twice in its hardest modes.
But don't worry too much, even the easiest mode is a near impossible challenge...
This game has a lot of things you get to hate in a shooter: your "ship" is too big, your weapons too weak, sometimes it is better to avoid the Power Ups, it has very small corridors that the scrolling use to crush you while the enemies shoot at you, the shooting mechanic is weird and kind of uncomfortable...
And yet... the game is good?
I mean... It is a unique shooter for the NES and personally I've never experienced anything like it.

The Bottom Line
Burai Fighter belongs to a different era when a game was judged not only for its quality but also for its durability... According to producer/designer Ken Lobb "Kal" there was an intention of releasing this on arcades with some early work that never went further.
In any case, it was clearly made for an audience of hardcore players well seasoned on the challenge shooters used to offer in the Arcades. In the backrooms of such places sense enhancement drugs were probably offered and thus games like this and even harder were beatable for a few chosen ones.

NES · by pelida77 (36) · 2023


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  • MobyGames ID: 16690
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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by PCGamer77.

Additional contributors: Freeman, LepricahnsGold.

Game added March 1, 2005. Last modified August 30, 2023.