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Neo Nectaris FAQ (1994, PC-Engine DUO)

 
  release information:

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Cover Art  (Neo Nectaris)

Title:   Neo Nectaris
System:   DUO
PC-Engine + CD
 (NEC)
Format:   Super CD
Country:   Japan

CD-ROM  (Neo Nectaris)

Back Cover  (Neo Nectaris)

Developer:   Hudson Soft
Publisher:   Hudson Soft
Catalog #:   HCD4062
Release Date:    07.29.94 
Release Price:   6800 yen  
($58 USD)          
# of Players:   1 or 2
Genre:   Turn-based war strategy

Spine Card  (OBI)

 
  
  introduction & background information:

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In 1994 Neo Nectaris (Super CD-ROM) was released in Japan for the DUO console (basically, NEC's DUO consolidated a PC-Engine + CD-ROM into one sleek console, as well as upgrading the RAM).  Here is an advertisement from a Japanese gaming magazine announcing the July 29 release date.  It had been a long five years since the original Nectaris (HuCard) debuted on the PC-Engine (which sold over 200,000 copies and was re-titled Military Madness for its' North American release on the TurboGrafx-16 ).  Turbo Technologies Inc. ( TTi ), a joint venture between Hudson Soft and NEC that handled the North American launch of the Turbo Duo console,  announced it would release Neo Nectaris under the tentative title of Military Madness 2  ( source: TurboForce Magazine ) ... but, like many of the games announced by TTi at the end of the TurboDuo's lifespan, it was never released.    
  
Unlike most Nectaris titles which are simply ports and / or recycled updates of the original game (i.e. offering new levels but little else), Neo Nectaris is a genuine sequel to the original game (in that it expands beyond the original game's premise by introducing new, fresh elements to gameplay).  Don't get me wrong -- I am grateful for the new campaigns in the recycled versions of Nectaris -- but Hudson Soft could have, at minimum, made a token effort to innovate the series over the years.  This could have been achieved by simply adding more variety and depth to the weapon arsenal, A.I., terrain, gameplay, etc. Furthermore, to avoid offending Nectaris Purists (who are more than content with the original formula), Hudson could have provided various play options (i.e. "classic mode") that allowed gamers to tailor the game to their preferences.  Alas, this was not to be, and Hudson chose a simpler, safer (and thus more stagnant) path for the Nectaris series.  In fact, I would go so far as to say that, by ignoring the innovations introduced by Neo Nectaris, Hudson actually took the series backwards:  the series could have continued to grow and evolve after Neo Nectaris, instead, the series regressed back to the original formula.  Again, don't get me wrong -- I love the original game, and I would always want the option of playing new games in this "classic mode" -- but Neo Nectaris demonstrated that you could introduce minor changes to the game's basic formula without alienating loyal fans (that is my assessment, at least).  And so the question arises: "How does Neo Nectaris differ from the other titles in the Nectaris series?"
  

  
  Why Neo Nectaris is so special:

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The purpose of this section is to contrast the original 1989 Nectaris / Military Madness (PC-Engine / TurboGrafx-16) with its 1994 sequel Neo Nectaris.  I will comment on 1998's updated version of Nectaris (a.k.a. Nectaris: Military Madness) for Sony's PlayStation as well -- thereby creating a three-way comparison to illustrate the similarities / differences amongst the games most familiar to North American audiences (indeed, only the TG-16 and PSX titles were released stateside). 

Of these three games, Neo Nectaris features many unique attributes & novelties that are absent from its brethren, thus making it the "oddball" that stands out.  1998's PSX Nectaris, in contrast, remains staunchly faithful to the original game (with the addition of 3-D polygonal battle scenes, of course) and essentially ignores the developments introduced by Neo Nectaris.  Oh well.  NOTE:  Although I am focusing on the differences (nuances) between Nectaris games in this article, please keep in mind that the SIMILARITIES outweigh the differences ... and if you like one Nectaris game, you will most likely enjoy them all!  Beware, there are spoilers ahead...

Girumoa Fakuta Kanon Rappuru
SR-22  Girumoa
" AtlasShrugged "
GX-97  Fakuta
" Teknik "
HA-55  Kanon
" KanonFodder "
KM-55  Rappuru
" KrazeeTrigger "
Maito2 Gaadin Majuu Burenaa
TB-10  Maito2
" TimeBomb "
BT-90  Gaadin
" DaddyLongLegs "
BT-91  Majuu
" BioBeast "
BT-92  Burenaa
" Rodan-Sans-Wings "

* Neo Nectaris adds 8 brand-new types of military units. Each of these new weapons has special functions that are quite unlike anything found in the other Nectaris games.  These 8 units are ABSENT from the PSX version.  NOTE: In lieu of reliable translations, I have given corny nicknames (appearing in quotations) for these units.  For more accurate name translations, visit the Neo Nectaris translation project.
  
  
  

Kilroy Giant Mule
GX-88  Kilroy
Tougher & Deadlier
HMB-4  Giant
Less sloth-like
NC-2  Mule
Speedier

* Weapon specifications have changed for many units.  For example, GX-88 Kilroy's DEFENSE and AIR ATTACK are twice as powerful now, increasing from "10" to "20".  And HMB-4 Giant and NC-2 Mule are faster now -- their SHIFTING increased from  2 --> 3  and  6 --> 7,  respectively.  See the Weapon Guide for a chart listing all of the military units and their attributes (a "+" denotes a change in specifications from the original game).  PSX version maintains the original weapon specifications.
  
  
  

click here for directions (ON/OFF)

* You can now turn on / off battle scenes (turning battles "off" speeds up the flow of the game). PSX allows this as well.
  
  
  
  

1989 battle scene 1994 battle scene

Nectaris  (1989)

Neo Nectaris  (1994)

* Neo Nectarisí battle scenes have been revamped: a 3/4 perspective is used now. Plus, all vehicles were given a facelift and new animation.  PSX offers 3-D rendered battle scenes. Personally, I think these 3-D scenes suffer from horribly choppy / awkward camera angles. This gratuitous use of polygons was an attempt to make the game appear contemporary in 1998, despite the fact that the gameplay itself was identical to the original 1989 game.
  
  
  

1989 user interface 1994 user interface

Nectaris  (1989)

Neo Nectaris  (1994)

* Neo Nectarisí user-interface is similar to original, but rearranged and slightly redesigned:  A MAJOR improvement. A unit's attributes are now displayed at all times, thereby eliminating the extra step of selecting "GUIDE" every time you want to see this info.  PSX maintains the less efficient (and somewhat cumbersome) interface of the original.
  

  
  Why Neo Nectaris is so special: continued...

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Brand new soundtrack

* Neo Nectaris offers a CD soundtrack (Red Book Audio) with brand new, dramatic orchestral compositions. This puts Neo Nectaris in the "oddball" category because it is the only title in the entire series that doesn't rehash the tunes found in the original game. PSX's tunes are faithful renditions of the original score and sound great -- but it would have been much more interesting to hear a more radical rearrangement and / or remix of these familiar tunes. Has the 1989 soundtrack gotten stale for you, too?
  
  
  

Scene from cinema

* Neo Nectaris has three cinema sequences throughout game. In fact, developments in the storyline correspond with developments in gameplay (see Cinema Scenes -- and below -- for further details).  PSX has intro / ending cinemas, but no cinema midway through the campaign.
  
  
  

Martian battlefield

* In Neo Nectaris, midway through your campaign, the battle relocates to Mars.  The change of venue is mostly superficial -- geography looks different but terrain effects remain the same and level design adheres to the same formula -- but the rusty-blood tinged battlefields complement the evolving storyline and create an appropriate atmosphere for your confrontation with the BioHeiki.  PSX, like the original, takes place on Moon only.  No BioHeiki, either.
 
 
 

Cover art  (1989 Nectaris)

HuCard  (1989 Nectaris)

* As a bonus, Neo Nectaris includes the original 1989 Nectaris game on the same disc (plays identical to HuCard!). PSX also allows you to play the original 1989 campaign -- but you play these classic maps in the updated PSX game environment (i.e. with CD soundtrack & 3-D graphics).  TRIVIA:  When the TurboDuo console was released in North America, it came with a 4-in-1 game pack-in CD-ROM.  This 4-in-1 disc, along with Neo Nectaris, is one of the few instances in which a HuCard ROM (i.e. Nectaris, Bonk's Adventure, Bonk's Revenge, Bomberman) is booted from a CD.
 
  
  

 See all five VERSUS maps !  See all five VERSUS maps !
  
*
Unlike the original Nectaris, Neo Nectaris provides five special "VS" (versus) maps for 2 player competition. Weapons are evenly distributed between both players on these 5 maps--allowing for a "fair" competition. This is a nice feature because 2-player mode in the regular campaign handicaps player 1 (i.e. player 1 controls the Union forces, who are outnumbered by the vast Guicy arsenal under player 2's command).   

PSX supports 2-player competition, but the feature must be "unlocked" first (by defeating both "Legend Story" and "New Story" campaigns). PSX does not provide maps specifically designed for 2-player competition, unfortunately, but offers a PLETHORA of bonus maps instead -- this fact alone makes the PSX version a worthy addition to your library.
  

  
 

related games:

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If you are short on time or patience, then check out the Quick List of All Nectaris Games.  Otherwise, you can delve into the Nectaris Legacy for a comprehensive list of all titles in this series. You will also find information on Earth Light (1992, Hudson Soft, Super Famicom), a close cousin of Nectaris.

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