Armed Police Batrider is a vertical shooter which may have a story
involving blowing stuff up. You can get a scene at the end of the game,
but that's about it.
Raizing created a masterpiece with Battle Garegga, so for their next game
Raizing made just a few changes. The result? Visible bullets, less
punishing rank, and more stuff happening at once even very early on. Armed
Police Batrider will be familiar to Garegga players but doesn't add the
enemy chaining of Bakraid.
Raizing also has a rather interesting background story for Batrider. An
artificial island dubbed Zenovia is constructed outside of NYC. The firm
GiganTech is brought in to police the city and maintain law and order.
GiganTech enjoys great success, and people flock to Zenovia. This all
turns out to be a ruse, as GiganTech itself is run by criminals. The
GiganTech army is made of machines with AI designed for combat, limiting
the options to the government. Finally, nine convicts are selected to
defeat GiganTech. They are given hover cycles called Batriders to fight
in. Victory means freedom, failure brings death. Somewhere along the line
nine more showed up, looking for a new challenge after winning their own
Vanilla Batrider is a bit like the original King of Fighters. You don't
choose one player, instead being forced to pick a team of three. However,
under the dip switch settings you can access Stage Edit, Guest Characters,
and a Boss Rush. I recommend at least activating the Guest Characters.
Unlike Bakraid, the Guests are all returning veterans from previous Raizing
games. The Battle Garegga planes piloted by the Wayne brothers return.
All four magic warriors from Mahou Daisakusen return as well. The ninth
slot goes to a character from Shippu Mahou Daisakusen, a shmup/racing
The A button shoots your gun, the B button drops a bomb unique to each
character (yes, 18 different bombs!). Letting go of A charges the Aura in
front of your fighter, like Battle Bakraid. Once charged it'll release a
full-power attack, and your options will sit in place. You can charge the
aura, and drop the options right on top of ground bosses to do heavy damage
while getting out of the way. If you map a C button in MAME or on your
cab, you can use it to rotate the Garegga planes' options. Otherwise
you'll need to use button inputs.
When selecting a character, the button you use to select will also change
their attributes. Button A powers up the shot, button B powers up the
option. Button C enhances the options and shot at the expense of speed,
and the Start button enhances speed at the expense of shot and option
power. Play around, some characters are better suited to one style than
another. With 18 characters, and nearly all of them useable, it might take
a while to find your favorites.
D.D. in the FLYING KILLER
D.D. is part of the Police Team. His main shot is pretty wide, and his
options make it even wider. It doesn't seem to do a whole lot of damage
per bullet, though up close you can concentrate a lot of power on an enemy.
His bomb is a dark blast that does a lot of damage in a small area.
SHORTY in the CARRY CARRY
Shorty is the second member of the Police Team. She also has a fairly wide
main shot. Her options fire a stream of homing missiles. The missiles
don't seem to do a lot of damage, but they seek out everything and she can
have a lot on screen at once. Her bomb is a huge energy blast that
envelopes her Batrider and effectively destroys everything in front of her.
JYUJI in the SANGEREA 5280
Jyuji is the final member of the Police Team. His main shot is another
wide shot, but his options are the lightning shots that Chitta used in
Mahou Daisakusen. For his bomb, he drops a flaming bird that slowly
MARIA in the CLITTER IV
Maria is the first member of the Psychic Team. I wonder if Clitter isn't
supposed to be Critter. Sounds a little risque. Her main shot is a wide
shot. Her options swing around in about about a 60 degree arc. For her
bomb, a bunch of orbs pop up behind her and fire a stream of energy. They
lock on to enemies and do a ton of damage if they all lock on to the same
part and aren't blocked.
GOLDEN in the RAZORBACK
Another Psychic member, Golden has another wide shot. His options shoot
straight ahead, and for his bomb he fires a salvo of missiles half the
width of the screen straight up.
STRAWMAN in the BEYOND 8570
And the third Psychic Team member. Yet another wide shot (notice a trend
here?), but for his options he shoots rings that lock on to an enemy even
when he moves past them. For his bomb, he fires bullets all over the screen
and the pattern looks like one of Black Heart's from Battle Garegga.
BIRTHDAY in the MAD ROMERO
Birthday is a member of the Criminal Team, even though all of these
characters are supposed to be criminals. Her normal shot is a wide one,
her option shots a fireball that explodes. Instead of a normal bomb, four
huge circular saws pop out of her Batrider and allow her to cut through
TAG-T in the GRIZZLY VSE
Tag-T is the second member of the Criminal Team. Another wide shot, though
for his options he fires homing lasers similar to those in Rayforce. For
his bomb, a huge blade spins all around his Batrider and lets him cut
ADAM in the V-TWIN BOGIYMAN
Yes, it is spelled Bogiyman in the game. Adam has another wide shot, while
his options fire little half crescents. For his bomb, he literally covers
the entire screen with saws. All of the Criminal Team seem to have a
passion for saws.
If you've activated the Guest characters, you'll get the following nine
choices as well.
The Wayne Brothers from Battle Garegga are back! These planes are all
pretty much identical to their forms in Garegga. The Silver Sword has a
slight spread, the options are exactly the same as before, and the bomb is
a napalm that moves opposite the direction you hold on the stick.
The straight shot pierces when powered up, and it has a vulcan bomb.
Straight shots, and a crap load of homing missiles.
The Wild Snail still has a piercing weapon at all power levels and can
still cut through enemies. Still has flame throwers that lock on to
enemies for a bomb, too.
GAIN in the VALHALLYZER
Gain has a slight spread on his bullets, and gets two piercing options
instead of four like Garegga. His bomb is the Mahous Daisakusen bomb,
though here it is colored blue.
CHITTA in the GUN DALF
Chitta also has a slight spread to her shot. Her option fires tons of ice
cubes all over, effectively the same as her wide shot from Mahou. Instead
of a traditional bomb, she summons a DEMON that destroys anything that
Miyamoto is still so badass that instead of a vehicle he just flaps his
wings fast and flies into battle. He has a straight shot that gets a
little wider as it powers up. His options are explosive, and for his bomb
he flings crescents all over the screen.
BORNNAM in the GOLGODIAN
Bornnam the Necromancer returns and has a slightly modified moveset from
his Garegga incarnation. Most notably, he has a pretty wide shot now, and
his options shoot the right-angle lasers he used in Mahou. He drops a
freaky skull on enemies for his bomb and it still does good damage.
CARPET on a MAGIC CARPET
Carpet originally showed up in Shippu Mahou Daisakusen, a pseudo sequel to
Mahou Daisakusen. She has a somewhat narrow forward shot. Her options
fire piercing shots and follow her like Gradius options. For her bomb, her
sprite grows huge and she gains a ton of speed and invincibility. Parodius
has the exact same powerup.
While all of the new characters have fairly wide shots, they aren't all
classified as "wide shot" in game. The Garegga ships don't have as much
spread, but their options give plenty of width and are still extremely
flexible. My suggestion is to enable single character mode and play with
a few different ones until you find one that you like.
The graphics really don't look much different from Battle Garegga. The
colors themselves are brighter, with more reds and blues instead of greys
and browns. This brightness extends to the bullets, all of which are now
larger and easy to see. No invisible bullets like Garegga. Like both
Garegga and Bakraid, you'll be facing a lot of military vehicles along with
some giant robots and strange contraptions. The level design is quite
different, with huge numbers of ground enemies leaving bomb fragments
behind and all kinds of stuff to bomb.
The sound department is above average but nothing special. The explosions
and sound effects all sound like straight lifts from Battle Garegga, or
nearly so. The music was provided by multiple composers, including Hitoshi
Sakimoto. While it's all pretty good, I prefer Garegga and Bakraid. If
you fight Black Heart in Batrider, you will get a new version of Stab and
Stomp that is actually better than the original.
The scoring system is lifted directly from Battle Garegga. Shoot enemies,
and collect medals worth up to 10,000 points each. No enemy chaining in
this game. This game throws a lot of enemies at once, so take some care
when the screen is full of flying enemies so that you don't drop medals
without even seeing them.
The Rank system from Garegga returns as well, although it isn't quite as
hard to work with. The first thing you'll want to do is set the game so
that it boots up in the Test menu, then press the Start button (not the A
button) on Game Mode. This sets the rank to a low value to start with.
Otherwise, it'll be very high right away. From there, just do like you
would in Garegga. Batrider is very generous with powerups and after the
first level you will almost definitely be fully powered up. Just ignore
powerups besides bombs after that and you won't drive the rank too high too
When you begin a game, you'll be given a few options. Training is just a
couple stages and includes an autobomb when you are hit. Normal is 5
stages. Advanced is 7 stages at a higher difficulty. Special is a boss
rush in which you are always fully powered up. Once you've made your
course selection, you'll be given the character selection. From top, the
selections are for a Team, Team Edit, Random, and Single. Team gives you
one of the three default teams. Team Edit lets you pick any three
characters in any order and with your preferred shot style. Random is hard
to predict, though even if you haven't enabled guest fighters it can select
them. Single gives you three lives with a single character. I recommend
using the Single mode until you get comfortable with the game, then switch
to Team Edit.
The first stage is already a madhouse. Right away, you'll have cars to
destroy for points and motorcycles running under you. Those motorcycles
drop bomb fragments, grab as many as possible. This stage also has a huge
used car lot, and like many of us have wanted to do in real life you can
destroy the cars and the dealer's building. For a bonus, swing around the
sign and destroy the building then quickly take out the sign. You'll
release birds, just like Stage 2 of Battle Garegga. They aren't worth
nearly as much here, but it pads your score nicely.
The first boss is a big dual-armed tank named Confrict. Wouldn't be a
shmup without Engrish, would it? This guy is pretty easy if you don't get
cocky. My suggestion is to damage each arm with your aura until it blows
up once. Each side will then release a whole bunch of items that you can
collect for points. Just sit back and let your aura take care of homing
missiles, and get out of the way if it shoots anything else at you.
Eventually both sides will blow up again and be replaced with guns. Most
of these aren't too bad, though the flame throwers tend to catch me off
guard. Batrider uses a reduce hitbox, and to give you an idea of how
small, the central turret of this boss fires a twin shot. If placed just
right, you can fit between the bullets vertically.
If you activate Stage Edit I recommend the Sewer next. The Sewer is
awfully large for a city, large enough to house submarines! Early on,
you'll come across a bridge with turrets on it. These turrets fire a
straight beam. You can fit between the beams but your dodging space is
limited. A better idea is to bomb them before they flip over, which
destroys them and reveals a medal. Later on in the stage you'll face more
laser enemies. The beams go from harmless to deadly very fast, so don't
sit on top of the beams expecting to be OK.
The boss for this section is called Deviate. This boss is a platform full
of gun turrets. Initially it'll fire aimed bullets at you and it will
chase you all over the screen with them. In addition, each of the six
turrets will regenerate with new types. The main target is the central
part. Once the first part is destroyed, another turret pops out and starts
trying to hit you with blue bullets.
Beat this boss with a Garegga ship still alive and you'll get to fight
Black Heart from Battle Garegga! Pretty much the same fight and not too
bad overall. The visible bullets make it much more manageable.
For my third stage, I selected the Airport. The Airport has a bunch of
medals waiting to be found. It is also absolutely crammed with bombs. Two
big trucks drive by right at the start. If you destroy the cab before the
trailer opens, it'll reveal a full Bomb icon and five small ones. And
right after these guys are a few endless streams of turrets, like those
motorcycles in Stage 1. This stage has a midboss of sorts as well.
Towards the end of an airliner you'll face a wall of turrets. Destroy each
side before going after the center to unlock a secret later.
The boss shoots it's way out of the nose of the airliner. Bazzcok is a
huge flying airplane that has a combination of bullet spreads, lasers and
popcorn enemies. I end up using far too many bombs on this guy, he gives
me more trouble than the other bosses from the early levels.
I didn't do it this time, but I believe this is the stage where one of
Bashinet's forms can be triggered. I did fight him in the boss rush, and
he goes through his first three incarnations from Mahou with a whole lot
Skyhigh was my fourth stage. This stage takes place too high for ground
enemies, so instead it throws tons of aerial enemies at you. At one point,
you'll have to face two mid bosses at once. You also get to face a hoard
of big blue planes that surprisingly go down pretty quickly. The last leg
of the stage is a screen full of missiles heading right at you. Just hold
the fire button and you'll be fine.
You'll face Boredom after those missiles. Not exactly a name that instills
fear, is it? Boredom is a strange contraption being airlifted by some
durable helicopters. Smash them quickly or they'll get pissed off and
start throwing wide, tight spreads at you. Boredom itself then activates
and has a nice slew of attacks. The one I get the most often is also the
easiest to avoid, a host of vaguely aimed green rings. It also has a stuff
like a crazy spread pattern. I've also gotten arms to pop out and fire
aimed shots. This fight can go either fairly easy or pretty rough
depending on what patterns Boredom uses, so if you're having trouble just
keep at it.
At this point, the stage order is now pre-determined. The next stage is
the Highway. The music is really not fitting for the mood of the game, but
it might go well with the beach underneath the road. The main focus of
this stage is the big blue vehicle you'll be chasing through most of it. It
fires a nice wide bullet spread and can be a real pain. Regular enemies
also get extremely aggressive by this point especially if you haven't been
controlling rank at all.
This area can have multiple bosses. The first boss will be determined by
the stage order, with Sewer giving the easiest boss, Sabut. Sabut has many
attacks, but what I noticed was a lot of straight streams of bullets. As
long as you aren't caught in a stream, it doesn't take a whole lot of
moving to avoid the bullets.
While grabbing screenshots, I also managed to trigger Envy, the hardest
boss of the Highway. Envy has some homing lasers that can circle around
and come back, and can drop a bunch of purple lasers that I wasn't able to
find a pattern for. They looked like they were moving in nearly random
directions. Envy also has a blue blast that is very pretty, and takes up
about a third of the screen. This guy is a major pain so if you just want
to beat the game, try NOT triggering him.
And because I still had a Garegga ship left afterwards, I triggered Black
Heart Mk. II after Envy. Just like in Garegga, the Mk. II version wastes
no time filling the screen with projectiles.
Once you've finished with any bosses you triggered, the Highway stage is
over and the Normal game ends here. On Advanced mode, two more stages
The first is Zenovia City. I didn't pull out a stop watch or the like, but
it seemed while playing that this level was by far the longest in the game.
Lots of turret groups in this level. At several points, you'll run across
big circular turret groups that act a lot like Mad Ball from Battle
Garegga, with many shared attacks. You'll also run across walls of turrets
and guns and at one point a couple missile launchers that shoot missiles
twice the length of your ship.
The boss for this zone is Grubby, an enormous robot. Grubby has a bunch of
attacks, like chasing you around with aimed bullets or fling screen-wide
spreads at you. He can also stick out a bunch of guns on mechanical arms
that each have their own set of attacks. The one that kills me the most
are the little purple blasts. They are very hard to see, and when they
explode they don't give any time to move away.
The final level is the GiganTech building. This level doesn't seem nearly
as long as Zenovia but it is pretty heavily packed with enemies. Very
early, you'll fly right up to a dude behind a huge desk. Said dude drops
down and brings up a twin turret. If you sit right in the middle of the
screen, the turret's bullets will not hit you. The other turrets CAN hit
you. Once he has enough, you'll get to fly through the building some more.
One long section is full of green tubes. It seems that these tubes
release suicide bullets, and they were doing a good job pinning me down.
Right before the boss you'll get to contend with some whirly turrets. It's
possible to squeeze through the gaps, just try to kill them quickly as once
more than about two are on screen the bullet count goes way higher than you
The final boss, Discharge, is a multi-part contraption. Initially, you'll
be concentrating your shots on the dude you chased down while he hides
behind some green glass. Beat it, and the ceiling comes crashing down.
Keep shooting here, that rubble is deadly. The next stage of the final
boss looks a bit like the Technodrome. The laser guns are visible on the
body, stay between them. When they spin, if you move at the same time they
won't get you. In the third phase of the fight, Discharge sets up a couple
mobile turrets. This is a difficult fight and the projectiles come from
all parts of the screen.
Beat Discharge, and you'll get an actual cutscene of your surviving
characters looking over their work. Each individual character gets a
cutscene as well.
Armed Police Batrider is another great Raizing game. I don't think it
quite reaches the level of Garegga, but I don't think many games do reach
that level. The Normal mode and Training mode are fun enough for casual
shmuppers and those looking for depth will get plenty of that here. Give
it a whirl.
Character artwork was taken from Sheep's World of Arcades.net
it out for all the secrets that I didn't include here.