Terra Cresta 3D is a 1997 vertical-scrolling shooter video game developed and published by Nichibutsu for the Sega Saturn in Japan. The player assumes control of three starships as they must complete six stages while destroying enemies and avoiding collision with them and their projectiles. By collecting small “F” icons the player can merge the three ships into one and gain access to new, more destructive weapons. It is the seventh and final game in the Terra Cresta series, following the 1992 game Terra Cresta II for the PC-Engine.
3D is the second entry in the series to have no involvement with creator Shigeki Fujiawara, who several years prior departed from Nichibutsu to work on the Bomberman series for Hudson Soft — this left the company struggling to produce any successful action-oriented titles, shifting focus towards pornographic mahjong arcade games instead. Terra Cresta 3D was negatively received for its gameplay, level design and inferiority to similar games on the platform, although its graphics and soundtrack were praised by some. It is one of Nichibutsu’s final games, as they ceased their video game operations in the early 2000s.
Terra Cresta 3D is a vertical-scrolling shooter video game. Assuming the role of three different starships — the Winger, Gamma and Beta — the player is tasked with completing six stages by destroying enemies and avoiding collision with them and their projectiles.The Gamma gives the player a tailgun that can fire forwards and backwards, and the Beta doubles the player’s firepower. These ships can be found by destroying small bases found throughout stages.
By collecting small “F” icons from defeating enemies, the player can combine all three ships into one for increased power — combining with one other ship gives the Winger a wave beam, and combining with two provides the Winger with heat-seeking lasers that automatically lock onto enemies. The player can also launch a powerful screen-clearing bomb in the form of a flaming phoenix that glides across the screen. Stages end with a boss that must be defeated to progress. By performing a button combination on the main menu, the player can access a cheat giving them 99 lives at the beginning of the game.
Development and release
Terra Cresta 3D was released in Japan by Nichibutsu for the Sega Saturn on August 8, 1997 in Japan. It is the second Terra Cresta game to not have any involvement with series creator Shigeki Fujiwara, as several years prior he left Nichibutsu to work on the Bomberman series for Hudson Soft. Described as “the heart and soul of the company” by Hardcore Gaming 101, his departure left Nichibutsu struggling to produce any successful action-oriented games, instead releasing a number of pornographic mahjong arcade titles throughout the late 1990s. Terra Cresta 3D is one of the company’s last video games alongside titles such as Battle Round USA, as they suspended their operations in the early 2000s.
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