RayStorm is a shoot 'em up game originally released for the Taito FX-1 arcade board in 1996. It is the second game in the RAY series, but continuity-wise it set in a different universe as RayForce and RayCrisis. While it retains the same base gameplay as RayForce (the two attack layers), RayStorm features some major improvements over its predecessors, including two new playable ships (plus an unlockable extra one on the PlayStation port or two for the HD re-release), a chargeable smart bomb/special attack (Laser Barrage), a high-powered full lock-on attack (Hyper Laser), and fully 3D polygonal graphics.
In the year 2119 A.D., space travel became a reality. With all of the nations on Earth working together, humanity expanded throughout our solar system, setting up colony after colony. To maintain a reasonable level of peace and security, the government of Earth established a "Star Federation." This Federation would be responsible for controlling all of the colonies local governments.
It is now 2219 A.D.. In the past one hundred years Earth quickly expanded its colonies all the way to Orion. However, the Star Federation has found it increasingly difficult to keep security in all colonized sectors. Therefore, the Federation heavy handedly put all of the twenty space colonies under strict martial law. As the Federation continued to tighten its iron grip, the space colonies mutinied.
On the planet Secilia, the strongest of the colonies, the rebels established the "Secilia Federation," and began their fight for freedom. They won sweeping victories, and finally defeated Earth and its Star Federation.
Not content with winning the war, the Secilia Federation transferred all of Earth's inhabitants to the colonies and announced its intention to destroy the Earth. After suppressing the opposition from the colonies, a special strike force was sent to destroy the Earth.
However, hidden deep within the Barca Section, a new spacecraft, developed under the code name "R-GRAY", has been completed. It was built from thirteen different Secilia ships and features a highly experimental weapon system. This is the only ship capable of stopping the Secilia Federation from destroying the Earth. With all mankind's future at stake, the time has come to attack the Secilia Federation in a desperate assault to gain reprieve from Earth's death sentence - OPERATION: RAYSTORM.
Stages and Bosses
|1||August 4, 2219: Albion D.U., Earth||Pendragon||Geometric City|
|2||August 5, 2219: Old Gaul City, Earth||Vercingetorix||Aquarium|
|3||August 5, 2219: Palmyra Valley, Earth||Zenobia||Muddling Through|
|4||August 5, 2219: 3rd Fleet, Earth Orbit||Hannibal||Catharsis|
|5||August 6, 2219: Carthage Base, Secilia Orbit||Genseric||Luminescence|
|6||August 6, 2219: Etruria, Secilia||Alaric||Toxoplasma|
|7||August 7, 2219: Juda Central System, Secilia||Spartacus||Slaughter Hour|
|8||August 7, 2219: Juda Central System, Secilia*||Yggdrasil||Intolerance|
*The final boss fight is treated as its own stage.
- The Sony Playstation port was released in 1997. Working Designs localized and published the PlayStation port under their SPAZ label. This version features limited credits (which can be set to unlimited via a cheat command), higher overall difficulty by default and a "Training Mode" which forces the game to end after Stage 4 when an individual stage difficulty is set to below threshold or player life option set above the default value. This version features many enhancements and additions:
- Two different game modes, Arcade Mode (original arcade stages) and Extra Mode (arranged stages with different stage appearance, enemy/boss color and attack patterns, and different ending).
- Selectable original (Zuntata) and remixed (Neu Tanz) soundtracks for the Extra Mode.
- Adjustable Stage Difficulty, individual difficulty sliders for each stage of the game.
- Extra options rewarded upon game completion:
- 13 Ships Mode: Unlocked upon completion of Extra Mode for the first time. Go though the entire game using only 13 ships/lives without continues. Two from each fighter type (R-Gray 1 and R-Gray 2) and each lock-on mode (Auto, Manual) and R-Gray 0 are available for use. The player will be forced to switch ship type for each two lives/ships lost, ship deployment order can be changed via option menu.
- Shooting Down Rate: Unlocked upon completion of Arcade or Extra Mode in 13 Ships Mode. Displays enemy destruction and lock-on shoot down rate during gameplay.
- Stage Select: Unlocked upon completion of Arcade Mode or Extra Mode. This mode allows player to select and play an individual stage. Each stage records the highest score, destruction/lock-on shoot down rate and ship used.
- The Saturn port was exclusively released in Japan as Layer Section II by MediaQuest. While lacking in visual fidelity and the audio department, and overall gameplay fluidity due to hardware limitations, it offers several exclusive features, such as Addition of opening, ending, intermission FMV cutscenes and CG images used as loading screens between stages.
- RayStorm was ported for Windows 95/98 by CyberFront (who were responsible for porting many Taito's arcade title to PC, including RayCrisis). Overall it was largely ported from the original Japanese PlayStation version with the exclusion of Neu Tanz remixed soundtrack. This port also runs at higher resolution (up to 640x480) and has better sound quality.
- RayStorm HD was released on PlayStation 3 through PlayStation Network and Xbox 360 through Xbox LIVE Arcade in 2010. The PlayStation 3 version was only available in Japan while the Xbox 360 version is available internationally. Features remastered, high-definition (720p) graphics with a 16:9 widescreen aspect-ratio, online leaderboards, shareable replays, and two new unlockable ships.
- Taito released an iOS port of RayStorm in 2012, one year after the iOS re-release of RayForce. The iOS port features adjustable ship movement speed, Arcade Mode and iPhone Mode (named Remix Mode in the Android version) which is essentially the Extra Mode with toned down difficulty. An enhanced version for Android devices featuring controller support, high resolution in-game UI and an extra arranged track from ZUNTATA was released on June 29, 2017 as an update for the previously released version. On September 12, 2017, RayStorm was released on the Amazon Appstore with an exclusive remixed Area 2 background music by Yu Shimoda from ZUNTATA.
- All enemies developed by the Earth Federation were named after subjects related to the Roman Empire, while enemies developed by the Secilia Federation were named after deities or creatures from European mythologies and folklore.
- Likewise, all bosses with the exception of the last are named after Roman Empire subjects. This implies all of them were built by the Earth Federation then taken over by Secilia.