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Xain'D SleenA (aka Solar Warrior and Soldier of Light)

Disappointing. Very, very disappointing. I bought this game boardset from a catalog purely on the basis that (a) I'd never heard the name, and (b) it wasn't very expensive. I guess you could call this purchase an educational experience.

Xain'D SleenA is a side-scrolling shoot'em up from Japan Technos where you play a small - and believe me, I mean SMALL - space-traveling freedom fighter sort of guy bravely battling other small sorts of things; robotic-looking soldiers, insects, flowers, green blobs and more.

Tiny sprites, jerky, slow and flickery scrolling, poor control and horrifically grating music and sound effects characterize this not-at-all-unique gameplay experience. The only thing I can say in favor of this game is that the graphics are varied; there are several planets you can battle on, and each has a unique backdrop, foreground tiles and enemy sprites (though certain types of enemies are common to all levels).

The board runs on three MC6809 processors; audio output is provided by two Yamaha YM2203 chips. I think this boardset is probably an ancestor of the Double Dragon hardware, or at least contributed to its engineering a little. The game would be very easy to emulate (given circuit diagrams), because I can't locate a single custom or rare device on it; there's not even a PAL to analyze! Everything is discrete off-the-shelf LS logic, mostly from Goldstar. (In Double Dragon, a lot of this discrete functionality was compressed onto a large Hitachi 687B01; exactly what this chip does, I'm not sure, but I would guess it contains at least the FM and ADPCM audio).

Sorry about the big Xain picture; digital cameras don't snap mostly black areas very well. The big Xain picture is the best piece of graphics in the entire game. The text next to it says: "MISSION: XAIN, YOUR RESPON-SIBILITY IS DEFEND OF ALL PLANETS AGAINST THE EMPIRE'S INVASION. GOOD LUCK!"

Xain'D Sleena uses a horizontal low-res monitor, one 8-way joystick with two buttons, and it has a standard JAMMA pinout, which is just as well because you would feel very annoyed, potentially homicidal, if you had to build a wiring harness to play such an uninspiring game. DIP switch settings are as below:

DIP Switch Bank 1

* indicates a factory default setting.

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
Coin 2 1 coin 1 play 0 0
1 coin 2 plays 1 0
1 coin 3 plays 0 1
2 coins 1 play 1 1
Coin 1 1 coin 1 play 0 0
1 coin 2 plays 1 0
1 coin 3 plays 0 1
2 coins 1 play 1 1
Attract mode sound Yes* 0
No 1
Continue Play Yes* 0
No 1
Game Style Cocktail 0
Upright 1
Screen Inversion Normal* 0
Reverse 1

DIP Switch Bank 2

* indicates a factory default setting.

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
Difficulty Easy 0 0
Normal 1 0
Less than difficult 0 1
Difficult 1 1
Game Time Normal 0 0
Faster 1 0
Faster still 0 1
Speedy 1 1
Bonus Life First/Second/Every 20000/70000/70000* 0 0
30000/80000/80000 1 0
20000/8000/none 0 1
30000/80000/none 1 1
Lives 3 0 0
4 1 0
6 0 1
Free Play 1 1


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