Strikers 1999 (ストライカーズ1999), released internationally as Strikers 1945 III, is a vertical shooting game developed and published in 1999 by Psikyo. The game was ported to Android in 2015 and to the Switch in 2018 as part of the Psikyo Shooting Stars Alpha collection.
The game is a direct sequel to Strikers 1945 II, and is set 54 years after it's predecessor. The game deviates from the WWII aesthetic of previous Strikers titles, and incorporates more sci-fi elements. The game introduces the Technical Bonus scoring mechanic, which was later adopted by Dragon Blaze.
Strikers 1999 is a 2 button game and consists of 8 stages. As with previous Psikyo titles, the order of the first 4 stages is randomised with each credit. The difficulty of these stages varies depending on how late they appear in the stage order. After clearing all 8 stages, the player automatically enters a second loop, which features significantly denser bullet patterns.
- A Button (Press): Shot
- A Button (Hold): Super Shot (depletes Super Gauge)
- B Button: Bomb (depletes bomb stock)
Basic attack performed by pressing the shot button. This attack is upgraded by collecting Power-Up items, and reaches max power after 3 items have been collected. After collecting two Power-Up items the shot is supplemented by a secondary attack, or sub-shot, which offers some additional screen coverage. Colliding with an enemy will reduce the shot power by one level, and losing a life will reduce the shot to its base level.
The super gauge is located at the bottom left of the screen, and is filled by killing enemies. Holding the A button releases a powerful attack which depletes the gauge. Super attacks are character-specific, and can be charged up to 3 levels.
Bombs do not grant invincibility, but instantly clear enemy bullets and deal damage within specific areas of the screen. The precise effects of bombs are character-specific.
Strikers 1999 offers 5 playable ships by default, each with their own playstyle and unique advantages. A 6th ship, the X-36, can be unlocked by entering the code 01999 in Maintenance Mode. After this, the ship becomes selectable by pressing UP on the random ship on the ship select screen.
|F/A-18 Super Hornet|
• Shot: An 8-way blue shot, flanked by an additional green shot on each side.
Super Hornet is a well-balanced ship with good damage when up close. While it deals significantly less damage if they are away from the enemy, due to how projectiles work in this game, it can be made up for with its Super-Shot. A solid option overall, that can make good job of enemies with some routing.
• Shot: An 8-way purple shot, flanked by an additional green shot on each side.
Stealth fires *very* slow projectiles and it's one of the slowest ships, this makes perform poorly when played in a regular way. To really make good use of it, the player must perform very aggressive shotgun strats. Due to how the game handles projectiles, they will repeatedly spawn if your distance between the enemy is small. They can also be used to cover multiple spaces at one due to their low speed, firing them before an enemy spawns in a location while you are covering another section of the screen. It can fall back on its wide shot and Super Shot when you aren't able to move their faces, but the Super Shot itself is very tricky to use, having comparably low range to the other ships. A powerful ship with potential, just not a conventional one.
• Shot: A narrow green shot aimed directly forward.
Raptor's Piercing Shots allow it to have a very good stage performance, and with some bosses with multiple parts and/or a myriad of Zako accompanying them, it's also good there. It suffers from a very, very weak main shot however, so making good use of your Super-Shot when needed is crucial, otherwise, big HP targets will spell disaster.
• Shot: Two columns of purple projectiles aimed directly forward.
Harrier has the most consistent main shot damage of any ship, and a very good bomb that let's you reposition very easily. It can use its super shot for stage portions with many Zako. Its the slowest ship in the game, even more than Stealth, so it necessitates heavy routing when compared to the other ships, and you will either have to let go of some medals or sacrifice enemy destruction if you want the most amount of points. Due to this, it's amongst the worst ships for scoring, but for survival, its flaws can be worked with for a ship that's really good at doing what it can do.
|F-4 Phantom II|
• Shot: 5-way spread shot, flanked by green projectiles on either side.
Phantom is both fast and very powerful when up front, but has some of the worst stage performance in the game by itself since its sub shot can disappear if it doesn't hit something in its short travel distance. It's not encouraged to shotgun with this ship, it's required, but becomes *the* best boss killer if the player knows what they are doing thanks to its high damage and ability to macro dodge some peculiarly difficult patterns unlike Stealth or Harrier.
• Shot: Column of 5 blue shots aimed directly forward.
The X-36 is considered the strongest ship in the game, thanks to its powerful homing lasers, fastest speed in the game, and devastating super shot attack. It lacks any meaningful weakness aside from dealing less damage when up front compared to other ships, but it's inconsequential when factoring how destructive its damage can be thanks to Super Shot. Recommended for beginners and veterans alike.
|Power Up |
Increases your shot power (max power after the 3rd item)
Increases your bomb stock by 1
200-2000 point score item. Point reward depends on when the coin is collected during its spin animation.
After clearing all 8 regular stages, the player automatically enters a second loop. The second loop features significantly denser bullet patterns, and bosses have all-new patterns.
Scoring in Strikers 1999 is relatively straightforward. Certain enemies, when destroyed, will leave behind gold medals that rotate on the spot. These medals will reward the player with 200, 500, 1000 or 2000 points, depending on when they are collected during their spin animation. To achieve the max score of 2000 points, medals must be collected specifically when they flash brightly.
If two 2000pt medals are collected consecutively, the player is awarded a chain bonus of 200 points.
This mechanic made its debut in Strikers 1999, and was later featured in Psikyo's 2000 title Dragon Blaze. At specific points during the second phase of each boss fight, bosses will temporarily expose a blue weak point for you to destroy. By default these weak points are invulnerable, but moving within close proximity will cause them to turn red, and dealing any damage to the red core will instantly kill the boss, and award you a Technical Bonus of 40,000 points.
Bosses will only expose their weak point once per fight, and will usually release a barrage of bullets at the same time, so careful positioning is needed to take advantage of this opportunity. Note that the stage 8 boss does not have a weak point, so a Technical Bonus is not possible on this stage.
Clearing both loops rewards the player with an endgame bonus as follows:
- Lives Remaining x 100,000
- Bomb Stock x 50,000
- Power Level x 10,000
See Strikers 1999/Strategy for secrets and advanced play strategies.
Following its original arcade release in 1999, Strikers 1999 received an Android port in 2015. The game was ported to the Nintendo Switch in 2018 by Zerodiv. After initially only being available on the Nintendo eShop, the game was later released physically as part of the Psikyo Shooting Stars Alpha compilation.
On June 30th 2020, the game was released on Steam by Zerodiv and City Connection.
By using Dipswitches, the player can access different features. The codes are:
81650-Maintenance Mode: Makes more options in the main Operator Test Menu available, including a stage select option, rank select, and different levels of powerup.
81630-Secret Random Enabled: The X-36 is available in the "?" Random Selector.
81620-Secret All Disabled:
81610-All Data Erased: Includes bookkeeping records and extended play information.
01999-Secret Command Enabled: Press Up on the Joystick after selecting the "?" Random Selector to select the X-36.
- "X-Naut.Psikyo" at Mobygames. Retrieved 2020.09.16.
- Psikyo Visualworks Poster Book, June 2003. Hosted on Internet Archive. Retrieved 2020.09.16
- "Strikers 1945 III" at Arcade Museum. Retrieved 2021.01.30.
- "STRIKERS 1999" at Google Play Store. Retrieved 2021.01.30.
- "Strikers 1999 For Nintendo Switch" at mobygames.com. Retrieved 2020.09.16
- "Psikyo Shooting Stars Alpha" at Nintendo.com. Retrieved 2020.09.16.
- Screenshots page for "Psikyo Shooting Stars Alpha" at Nintendo.com. Retrieved 2020.09.16.
- "Strikers 1945 III" at Metacritic. Retrieved 2021.01.30.