Air Fortress (NES)

Developer/Publisher: HAL Laboratory 

Release Date: September 1989

Genre: Space Shooter/Platformer 

System: Nintendo Entertainment System

Players: 1


In Air Fortress players control Hal Bailman, last hope of the planet Farmel’s space federation, which has come under attack from invincible space fortresses. Hal’s mission is to infiltrate the enemy fortresses and destroy them from the inside. To accomplish this task, he has been given a specially shielded space suit and a lightcraft capable of slipping through the enemy’s defenses. Once inside each enemy base, Hal must find and destroy its power core, which will completely neutralize each fortress.

Every fortress is made up of two stages. The first stage is an auto-scrolling shoot ’em up where Hal must make his way inside the airlock by blasting his way through flying enemies. Colliding with a wall, projectile, or enemy ship will destroy the lightcraft, but players get three chances to reach the airlock. The lightcraft fires bullets of its own and can manoeuvre quickly. On the way, Hal can pick up energy orbs and explosive bullets that will come in handy in the fortress.

Once inside the ship, Hal can move freely in his space suit and shoot the base’s defenders. He can also fire powerful exploding bullets to take out tough foes. Hal’s suit can boost above obstacles, but this costs energy, which will count down as he explores. Once Hal locates and destroys the core, he must find the exit before the fortress explodes. Air Fortress features eight regular stages and a second quest with eight more levels that can be unlocked after the game has been completed. 

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