List: Compile’s Shmups

Compile was one of the best shmup developers of the late ’80s to early ’90s, but unfortunately, when the genre took a downturn in 1993, they abandoned the genre.  Thus, while Compile itself didn’t shut down until the early 2000s, after 1993 Compile almost entirely abandoned the genre, and even the 1993 titles are a clear step back from 1992 in terms of scale and budget — 1992 saw three 4th-gen console titles, two of them CD games, all of them pretty good.  1993, though, saw just a 3rd-gen game, a handheld (and thus simpler graphics) game, and one 4th-gen console title that was externally published and may not have entirely been designed by Compile, though they certainly worked on it and listed it as one of their games on their website.

It’s unfortunate that Compile stopped making shmups, that one game from ’01 excepted; their games are some of the absolute best in the genre!  Blazing Lazers is my favorite Compile game, and one of the all-time best shmups ever, but Space Megaforce, Spriggan, Robo Aleste, MUSHA, Aleste/Power Strike, Gun-Nac, and more are fantastic games as well.  I absolutely love Compile’s shooters, which is why I made this list.  The list is sorted by year, and the platforms and regions each game released in are also listed.  Bolded titles are the ones I have.


Compile Shmups


Borderline – SG-1000 (JP Only) (Compile just did the SG-1000 port of the Sega arcade game of the same name)


AE – MSX (JP Only)


Final Justice – MSX (JP Only)


Zanac – MSX (JP Only)
Zanac AI – FDS (JP Only)
Zanac EX – MSX2 (JP Only)
Thexder – MSX (JP Only), PC (US Only, PC port by Sierra)
Guardic – MSX (JP Only)


Zanac – NES (US, EU, same as Zanac AI on FDS but on cart)
Zanac AI 2nd Version – MSX2 (JP Only) (upgraded port of the original)
[Maou Golvellius – MSX  (JP Only, mostly not a shmup but a few parts are slightly shmuplike)


Aleste – MSX2 (JP Only)
Power Strike / Aleste – SMS (JP, US, EU) (port of the MSX2 game)
The Guardian Legend / Guardic Gaiden – NES (US, JP, EU)
R-Type – Sega Master System (SMS) (JP, US, EU) (Compile just did the SMS port of the great Irem arcade game of the same name.  The port has one exclusive level.)
[Shin Maou Golvellius – MSX2 (JP Only) (upgraded port of the first version)]
[Golvellius: Valley of Doom – SMS (JP, US, EU) (upgraded port of the first version; again, mostly an action-RPG, but there are a few slightly shmuplike segments.)]


Aleste II – MSX2 (JP Only)
Aleste Gaiden – MSX2 (JP Only)
Blazing Lazers / GunHed – TurboGrafx-16 (TG16) (JP, US)


Xevious: Fardraut Densetsu [Legend of Fardraut] – TG16 (JP Only) (contains a port of Namco’s original arcade game and a new followup game from Compile with the same basic gameplay and that’s TG16 exclusive)
Gun Nac – NES (JP, US, EU)
M.U.S.H.A. / Musha Aleste: Fullmetal Fighter Ellinor – Genesis (JP, US, EU)


Seirei Senshi Spriggan – Turbo CD (TCD) (JP Only)
GG Aleste – Game Gear (GG) (JP Only)


Spriggan Mark 2: Re-Terraform Project – TCD (JP Only) (the only Compile hori)
Space Megaforce / Super Aleste – SNES (JP, US, EU)
Dennin Aleste – Sega CD (JP release, US/EU releases came out the following year)


Robo Aleste: Nobunaga and his Ninja Force – Sega CD (US, EU; Western release of Dennin Aleste.)
Power Strike II / GG Aleste 2 – GG  (JP, EU) (not the same game as Power Strike II on SMS)
Power Strike II – SMS (EU Only) (not the same game as Power Strike II on GG)
Sylphia – TCD (JP Only) (programmed game for outside publisher)


Zanac X Zanac – Playstation (PS1/PSX) (JP Only) (2.5d sequel/remake to the original Zanac)

About Brian

Computer and video game lover
This entry was posted in Classic Games, Game Gear, Genesis, Lists, NES, PlayStation, Sega CD, SNES, Turbo CD, TurboGrafx-16 and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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