- Air Duel (1993 on DOS)
Air Duel is a 2D up-scrolling shoot 'em up game where you take control of straight shooting Jetfighter FG-40 or the crosswise shooting helicopter E-709. You have to stop a secret organization called D.A.S. that threatens world peace before the total collapse of the Worlds Defense Force.
As you make progress and fight of various tanks, flying crafts, ships, static guns and bosses power-ups come available. Power-ups include power capsules that increase your firepower (max four times) and a guided bomb that can be controlled after being deployed and damages enemies in a large area. The game can be played solo or with a friend.
Credits (Arcade version)
Average score: 62% (based on 2 ratings)
Average score: 3.3 out of 5 (based on 1 ratings)
Air Duel is an overlooked shoot-em-up from Irem. The game is up there with titles such as X Multiply or even their other titles from the early Eighties, in that it received no home ports. In the game, you take control of one of two aircraft – a jet fighter and a chopper - sent to deal with an organization that has brought destruction to the world’s cities.
There are seven stages in the game, and each stage has your fighting airborne enemies over breathtaking backgrounds such as forests, bases, and oceans. I like the destroyed cities and islands in the fifth and sixth stages. As usual with any shoot-em-up, there are power-ups and extra bombs to collect, and you even need to defeat a boss at the end of each stage,
The highlight of the game is the ability to select the two types of aircraft in between stages. It’s not like Silkworm, where you select your vehicle and are forced to stick with it for the rest of the game. Each aircraft has their own weapons systems. If you are playing the chopper in one stage, then upgrade its weapons to the max, as long as you don’t lose a life, that upgrade level will still be there even if you choose the fighter.
I think the music blends well with the stage. I like the easy listening music in stage six, as well as the victory music. The boss music is the same for each stage, but I don’t mind this at all. The sound effect of the final boss firing energy bolts at you is terrific.
In typical Irem fashion, completing the game triggers a “Super Game Mode” in which you have to complete each stage all over again. Although this is necessary to get the true ending, at least it is much better than Rainbow Islands, where you have to do a specific thing to see the good ending. I think Irem wanted players to score-attack and get themselves in the high score table.
There isn’t anything bad about this game.
The Bottom Line
Air Duel is another of Irem’s shoot-em-ups that should have made its way onto home systems. The graphics and sound is excellent, and the gameplay is fast and frenetic. It’s a game that R-Type fanatics should enjoy.
Arcade · by Katakis | カタキス (43051) · 2020
The game was one of the eighteen arcade games included in the compilation Irem Arcade Hits.
- MobyGames ID: 75253
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Contributors to this Entry
Game added by Flapco.
Blacknut added by Sciere.
Game added November 21st, 2015. Last modified February 22nd, 2023.