Raiden III is the follow-up to the early 90's shoot 'em-ups Raiden and Raiden II. Once again you control the Raiden "Fighting Thunder ME-02" trying to fend off the attack of the alien invaders. There are in total 7 levels, the first three set on Earth and the last four in space.
This is a vertically scrolling shoot 'em-up which (as many other vertically scrolling shooters do) offers the option to either play the game in "yoko" or "tate" screen flipping modes depending on whether your tv is placed on its side or not.
In arcades, it was the first game to use the "Taito Type X arcade system"-board. It implements a 3D scrolling system permitting the scenery to move in three dimensions: climbing, descending, vertically moving.
Yellow Vulcan Shot
Spread weapon - shoots streams of 2/4 projectiles in 3/5/7 directions.
Green Proton Laser
Replaces the characteristic "toothpaste" plasma laser of the Raiden series.
Blue Laser (new to the series)
A continuous forward-facing blue laser, lateral ship movement makes it swerve slightly.
Nuclear Missile ("M" power-up)
Dumb-fire missiles that spread out laterally then accelerate forward. In addition to direct hits, the explosions cause damage as well.
Homing Missile ("H" power-up)
Homing missiles that target the closest enemy around the player; weak damage, but it protects the ship on its flanks.
Radar Missile ("R" power-up)
A partially guided missile; the missiles drift laterally until they align with enemies and charge forward. The radar missiles' explosions cause damage as well.
A ball of flame spreads out around the ship. The bomb stock can be increased with bomb power-ups ("B" on a spinning triangle). The ship can carry up to 7 bombs.