Released: August 1989 Published by: Image Works

Platforms: Amiga, CDTV, Atari ST, PC, Archimedes, Sega MegaDrive/Genesis, Sega Master System, Gameboy

Credits: Eric Matthews (Game Design), Martin Day [The Assembly Line] (Code), Mark Coleman (Graphic Design), Bomb The Bass (Music), Richard Joseph (Sound)
CDTV: Delvin Sorell (CDTV Programming), David Whittaker (Music Code & Sound FX), Richard Joseph (Voice FX), Nick Pelling (Stereo Code)
Description: Xenon 2 is a multiple award winning vertically scrolling shooter that was, at the time, (1989) the best example of the genre bar none.

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Demo Download

Atari ST

Piloting the 'Megablaster', its your mission to shoot your way through five levels of increasingly nasty alien scum, all bent on one thing, your destruction. The aliens inhabiting the space of Xenon2 are wonderfully varied and come at you in waves thick and fast, even kamikaze style. Destroying these waves results in the reward of glass orbs which, when collected, can be spent in the shop on powerups for your ship. Xenon 2's shopkeeper has a wide range of goodies to spend your hard earned cash on, from the basic energy boosts to a nice little power up called 'Super Nashwan Power'. Nashwan power is a ten second taster of what your ship is actually capable of, and is a sight to behold as you wipe the floor with anything that dares to enter the screen with you. However, although extremely tempting, your money is better spent on weapons that will last. Learning what weapons to buy and when is all part of the difficulty of Xenon 2 and you will have to discover through trial and error which level is best to buy that rear mounted gun, and in which level the side shot is more suitable.

A nice innovation in Xenon 2 is the ability to stop the screen scrolling and scroll it backwards. This feature isnt just there for a gimmick either as some points in the game actually require you to use this option, either after taking a turn into a dead end of scenery, or to backtrack to attack different parts of the huge bosses.

The graphics are nice clear and typically Bitmap in style. The levels all feature beautiful parallax scrolling which (with the aid of another powerup) can even be dived into, for a few brief seconds of respite from the carnage. The quality
of the visuals is stunning throughout and really were top notch for when it was released, and still look more than acceptable today.

The sound was a real selling point for this game when it first arrived as it used 'real' music. 'Megablast' by Bomb the Bass plays throughout the game and compliments the frenzied on screen action perfectly. Using famous artists for games music today is an everyday thing but Xenon 2 is where it all started.

Difficulty wise, Xenon 2 is certainly no pushover. Even the most hardened shooter fanatic will find this game a serious challenge and will have to put in long hours before finally completing it. The difficulty curve is steep, but in my opinion thats what shoot em up's are all about.

Overall Xenon 2 is a fantastic shooter that, while being hard as nails, still manages to be addictive even today. With benchmark graphics and awesome sound, its place is secured in classic gaming history.

Visitor Comments: last 3 out of 8 - Show all

posted on 02 Nov 2009, 20:57 by Achim Härtel
Great Game, one of my favourites! Way ahead of the games of its time

and one of the two best playable ones (the other being Hybris).

For those who are interested i have my shopping guide here:

Xenon 2 Shopping Guide



Buy Health as necessary, but if you cant afford the other items, do it

only if you are very low on health.

Collect all offered weapons except when stated otherwise.

If you buy an upgradable weapon, only half of the price for the first

grade is lost, the higher grades will be paid back fully at selling.

If you collect any upgrades while Nashwan Power is active, the upgrade

is lost! (So dont buy it, it is almost useless anyway).

Buy a Dive when you have the money and like it, then you can hide in the

scenery with the space bar.


Level 1, Shop 1: Trade nothing

Level 1, Shop 2: Sell Rear Shot,

Buy Double Shot, 0 (1) Power up and 3 (1) Side Shot

Level 2, Shop 1: (Buy 1 Side Shot if you have only two)

Level 2, Shop 2: Sell Side Shot, buy 2 Laser, (Power Up), 1 Rear Shot

- Take the 2 rear shots at next level

Level 3, Shop 1: Sell Rear, Buy 2 Power Up, Buy 2 (3) Side.

Level 3, Shop 2: Buy Drone, (Cannon, Power Up)

Level 4, Shop 1: Buy Power Up

- do not take the Rear Shot in the Level

- get as much cash as needed

Level 4, Shop 2: Buy Cannon, Power Ups, 3 Lives

- do NOT take the missile offered in the next Level, it

will replace your sideshot if you die!

Level 5, Shop 1: Buy Lives

The items in parentheses are alternatives, if you have the money.

posted on 23 May 2009, 17:03 by Curian
Great game, used to play it on my Amiga when I was a teenager. Then a friend got it on ST... the gfx are almost the same, the gameplay exactly fits... but the sound... there's almost anything left in the ST version. And especially the music was one of the major goodies of this game, so I was kinda happy not to have bought an Atari *lol*.

posted on 13 Aug 2005, 18:38Richard by IanWLTHP
Owned and loved the master system of this but never cracked the crab boss. I remember taking both his eyes out once and then smashing my pad to pieces when he promptly killed me. VERY tough. I've just got one question - did the sunglasses in the shop actually do anything? I never figured it out and can't find any reference to them online. I'd appreciate a email if anyone knows - ianlwthp@hotmail.com. Thanks a lot!

13 Aug 2005, 22:32

kametyken: Those Ray Ban's(?) just darken the screen, an interesting effect but not useful at all.