Xenon 2: Megablast

aka: Xenon 2, Xenon II
Moby ID: 277
Buy on Game Boy
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Description official descriptions

Xenon 2: Megablast is a vertically scrolling space shooter, in which you have to pass several levels, filled with waves of enemies, that all end with a level boss creature. Each group of enemies you destroy grants you a cash reward and every once in a while you enter Colin's Bargain Basement, where you can use this cash to purchase upgrades for your ship like better weapons, speed & health upgrades, etc. Some upgrades can also be picked up during the levels.

The first part of the game has an organic feel to it, while the second part of the game features mechanical enemies. As there are some maze-like sections with dead-ends in the game, your spaceship scrolls backwards when you keep pressing the down key.

Spellings

  • ゼノン2 - Japanese spelling

Groups +

Screenshots

Promos

Credits (Amiga version)

11 People

Designed by
  • The Bitmap Brothers
Programming
  • The Assembly Line
Graphics
Music
  • Bomb the Bass
Music Programming
FX
Copyright © 1989
  • Rhythm King Records
Written by
Taken from the album
  • Into the Dragon
"Into the Dragon" by
  • Bomb the Bass
Produced by
Reconstructed on Amiga and Atari ST computers by
Reconstruction by David Whittaker used original samples from
Produced by
  • Yoyodyne Propulsion System
"Yoyodyne Propulsion System" as
  • The Future Begins Tomorrow

Reviews

Critics

Average score: 81% (based on 36 ratings)

Players

Average score: 3.5 out of 5 (based on 110 ratings with 4 reviews)

An excellent shoot-'em-up for the XT.

The Good
The graphics are extremely detailed for the time, even on a CGA display. The music is very well written (even the PC version), and the gameplay is really great. You gotta love the development staff too :-)

The Bad
Well, it's really challenging, I don't think I've ever actually completed it (possibly because I missed the second disk...)

The Bottom Line
A really good shoot-'em-up you'll enjoy, if you're into old games.

DOS · by Tomer Gabel (4538) · 1999

Megablast

The Good
Released way back in 1989, this was one of the games that established the Bitmap Brothers as gods of the Amiga games scene. With time it became obvious that the funky, 'metallic' graphics were all they could do, but they fit the game superbly. The Bomb the Bass soundtrack (Amiga only, although amusingly Tim Simenon sequenced the original record with an ST) was the first proper dance / computer game cross-over, years before 'Wipeout', and is fantastically old-fashioned and fun.



The Bad
The actual game itself isn't actually much fun. In keeping with the spirit of the times, it's very hard, unfairly. If you don't have masses of power-ups at strategic points in the game you die repeatedly, 'R Type 2'-style. The Bitmap Brothers struck a much better balance between gameplay and technology with 'Speedball 2', 'Godz' and others.

The Bottom Line
Epoch-making, gorgeous vertically-scrolling shoot-em-up with dodgy gameplay and fantastic Bomb the Bass soundtrack.

DOS · by Ashley Pomeroy (225) · 2000

Flawlessly executed blaster with a stomping soundtrack

The Good
Xenon 2: Megablast is just about the most flawlessly executed arcade game to ever appear on the pc. Every element of the shoot-em-up formula is there: swarms of opponents, huge bosses, strange scenery, and ridiculously massive weapon upgrades. As ever, though, the Bitmap Brothers take these pieces and make an even more powerful whole. At a time when space blasters belonged on consoles (Salamander for the NES) or in the arcades (R-Type 2, you name it), Megablast is somehow different and even superior in its visceral graphics and manic gameplay.

Unlike so many other games, Megablast is the graphical equal of its Amiga counterpart. And, incredibly, it manages a brilliant soundtrack on pc speaker alone. Yes, Bomb the Bass probably sounds better through 100 watt amplifiers, but Megablast will actually have you tapping and bouncing along during play.



The Bad
Megablast is unforgivingly hard, especially in later stages. There is also no password or save game option. However, these are really complaints of the "Claudia Schiffer has bad toenails" variety. Megablast is essentially flawless.

The Bottom Line
Xenon 2: Megablast is the "Generation Killer" of pc shoot-em-ups; nothing else even comes close. One of three or four games culminating in Gods that made the Bitmap Brothers into Kings of the Computer, Xenon 2 is the perfect realisation of its genre. And, one more time, you've NEVER heard something that cool coming out of a pc speaker...

DOS · by Colin Rowsell (43) · 2002

[ View all 4 player reviews ]

Trivia

DOS version

The DOS version of the game starts up with the in-game music turned off as default. The PC speaker version of the song, coupled with the sound effects of the game, would drive anyone to madness. The sound effects masked the Bomb the Bass tune playing in the background. The other versions of the game have music turned on as default.

Ending

SPOILER WARNING! Don’t read this item if you want to play through the game by yourself.

Xenon 2: Megablast is infamous for having one of the most disappointing ending sequences of all time. No artwork, no animation, no storyline, not even a congratulation -- after a strenuous battle with hundreds of enemies, you’re “rewarded” with the already well-known shop screen and a sarcastic comment. After that, a white dot. Then the main menu.

Music

The theme tune is Megablast by Bomb the Bass. This was released in the UK ca. 1988 on the album Into the Dragon. It is a reworking of the theme from the John Carpenter movie Assault on Precinct 13.

The Amiga soundtrack is regarded as a much better soundtrack than the Atari ST version, thanks to its sampled nature instead of the weaker synth sound of the ST version. An obscure detail is the fact that Tim Simeon from Bomb the Bass used an Atari ST in the studio to produce the Megablast track.

More details can be found at Discogs.com or at kompaktkiste.de.

Awards

  • Power Play
    • Issue 01/1990 - Best Action Game in 1989
    • Issue 01/1990 - Best Graphics in 1989
  • ST Format
    • Issue 01/1990 - Included in the list 50 Games of the Year
    • May 1990 (Issue #10) - Included in the list "ST Format's 30 Kick-Ass Classics"
    • Issue 01/1991 - Best shoot-'em-up in 1990
  • Zzap!
    • January 1990 (Issue 57) – 'The Best Games of the 80's Decade' (Stuart Wynne)

Information also contributed by -Chris, ElectricMonk, Johnny "ThunderPeel2001" Walker and Macintrash

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Related Sites +

  • Abandonia
    for DOS, Windows: downloadable releases; additional material
  • Atarimania
    for Atari ST: database; downloadable releases; artwork; additional material
  • DJ Oldgames
    for different platforms: downloadable releases; additional material
  • Hall of Light
    for Amiga: database; manuals; artwork; screenshots; additional material
  • Lemon Amiga
    for Amiga: game reviews; music; manuals; additional material
  • My Abandonware
    for PC and Amiga: downloadable releases; online versions; additional material
  • Wikipedia
    combined platform entry
  • Xenon 2: Megablast
    Bitmap Brothers' site for Xenon 2: Megablast.
  • www.gods-country.de
    The Bitmap Brothers tribute page for this game

Identifiers +

  • MobyGames ID: 277
  • [ Please login / register to view all identifiers ]

Contribute

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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Tomer Gabel.

Jaguar added by Indus. CDTV added by ronaldvd. SEGA Master System added by Tibes80. Atari ST, Amiga added by Rebound Boy. Antstream added by firefang9212. Acorn 32-bit added by Kabushi. Genesis added by Mike Quigley. PC-98, Sharp X68000 added by Terok Nor. BlackBerry added by MAT. Game Boy added by quizzley7.

Additional contributors: robotriot, Macintrash, Apogee IV, kametyken, Martin Smith, formercontrib, Patrick Bregger, ronaldvd, Jo ST, FatherJack, ZeTomes, Kayburt.

Game added September 17, 1999. Last modified March 26, 2024.