Border Down


Publisher: Sega
Hardware: Naomi GD Rom
Year: 2001
Controls: 1 Joystick 3 Buttons Per Player
Number of Players: 2 Players
Serial / Ic : GDL-0023 / 253-5509-5097J
GD Rom Image:
Ported To: Dreamcast


Dedicated Cabinet :


Border Down has subtle depths. At first glance it comes across as a fairly plain traditional shooter, with only 5 levels and little in the way of impressive power-ups. However, it soon becomes apparent that first impressions are misleading. There are a multitude of stages, levels and game pathways to choose from and the minimalist nature of the weapon design frees you. Free to forget about which weapon to choose and instead concentrate on what really matters. Dodging bullets, shooting aliens, owning the bosses and racking up the scores.
It’s a side scrolling / horizontal shooter, based on the necessarily thin plot of aliens attacking a colony on Mars. To battle this threat, we humans have developed a remote controlled combat ship piloted by RAIN (Remote Artificial Intelligence Network). Three pilots take part in each attack stage, each one with a slightly different plan of action, but all with the same goal of neutralising the boss on each stage. The three pilots constitute the Border system that gives the game its name, each one representing a life: green, yellow or red border. Losing a life whilst in green forces a “border down” to yellow, and similarly from yellow to red. Dying whilst in red finishes the credit.

The border system is more than a simple life count. The border dictates how each stage will play, including varying difficulty levels, changing attack patterns and different backgrounds, some of which are strikingly beautiful. All three borders rejoin at the stage boss. The border system is completed by the ability to select a different border at the beginning of each stage, although the prerequisite bonus must be achieved during the previous stage if you want to “border up”. The whole Border concept instantly trebles the scope of play. Whilst initially disconcerting to find yourself in a different time of day or even a completely different area when killed, it soon becomes second nature and occasionally even deliberate. The border chosen at the start of each stage determines the underlying difficulty level. If you border down within a stage (get killed), the game gets slightly easier, for a given border, than if you had started the stage in that border. For example, if the green (easy) border is selected on stage one, then the mid-stage sub-boss meets you with a flurry of bullets. If you die here and drop down into the yellow (medium) border, the bullets are less numerous and easy to dodge. However, if the yellow border is selected at the start of the same stage, then this sub-boss meets you with both the flurry of bullets and aimed particle-beam weapons. Therefore, a player might want to border down deliberately to reduce the difficulty level while trying out a lower (more difficult) border. If the stage is completed with a decent bonus, you can border up again at the beginning of the next stage and repeat the process over again.

(Description written by: NTSC-UK)

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