R-Type II (not to be confused with a PC Engine split version of the original R-Type) is a sci-fi side-scrolling shoot-'em-up developed and released by Irem for arcades in Japan on December 1989, with a worldwide release in 1990.
The sequel to the 1987 shoot-'em-up R-Type, R-Type II puts players in an upgraded version of the R-9 (known as the "R-9 Kai", or "R-9C") as they further take on the alien Bydo Empire. New additions include an updated Beam-Wave Cannon (which can be over-charged for a barrage of shots), two new laser types for the Force companion unit, and multiple missile types.
The game was used as the base for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System game Super R-Type, received a handheld release for the Game Boy in 1992, and received European ports for both the Amiga and Atari ST (both developed by Arc Developments and published by Activision) in 1991. It was coupled with the original game in the 1999 Sony PlayStation compilation R-Types and received an enhanced port (along with a port of the original game) in the 2009 compilation R-Type Dimensions.
The game plays nearly identical to the original R-Type, with one button used for firing weapons and one button used for attaching and detaching the Force companion unit.
New to the game is the Beam-Wave-Scattering Cannon, an upgrade to the original ship's Beam-Wave Cannon. Normally, it functions identical to the original cannon, as shots can be charged-up by holding down the Shot button and released to fire a larger shot that is more powerful than the standard shot and over-penetrates enemies.
However, holding down the Shot button while the Beam gauge is filled for a short time causes it to over-charge (with the gauge filling up orange instead of blue). Releasing the shot while the Beam gauge is fully charged (as indicated by the gauge flashing) instead fires a barrage of waves that spreads outward for larger reach.
Holding down the Shot button while the Beam gauge is flashing for a short time causes the gauge to reset down to the normal filled level, requiring them to over-charge it again. This forces players to time their shots correctly.
The original game's Force mechanic makes a return, where by collecting a Laser Crystal dropped by certain enemies, the player's ship can summon an indestructible biomechanical companion known as a "Force".
Like the original game, it has two modes of use depending on whether or not it is attached directly to the ship. Regardless, it absorbs most smaller projectiles and can damage enemies by colliding with them, and can fire in-conjunction with the player's rate-of-fire (but cannot charge-up shots). Players can upgrade the Force twice by collecting additional Laser Crystals.
While attached, an upgraded Force can fire unique weaponry based on the color of the last Laser Crystal collected. Otherwise, when detached, it fires basic shots in a configuration based on its upgrade level. Blue, Red, and Yellow weapons return from the previous game, while Green and Gray weapons are new to the series.
- Reflective Laser (Blue) - Fires three thin blue beams, one straight forward, one in an upward angle, and one in a downward angle. These beams ricochet off of walls and other objects. The last Force upgrade increases the length of each beam.
- Air-to-Ground Laser (Yellow) - Fires two flame-like beams, one straight upward and one straight downward. These beams crawl across terrain once it comes into contact with them. The last Force upgrade increases the length of each beam.
- Air-to-Air Laser (Red) - Fires two forward-facing beams, one red and one blue. Unlike other weapons, the last Force upgrade causes both lasers to intertwine in a helix pattern for a powerful front-facing attack.
- Search Laser (Green) - Fires two thin orange beams back-to-back, each of which begin curving diagonally towards the vertical position of a nearby enemy. The last Force upgrade increases the length of each beam.
- Shotgun Laser (Gray) - Fires capsules straight forward that explode in a large radius after a short distance. The last Force upgrade increases the distance before detonation.
Like the original, players can acquire special power-up items for their ship by destroying a special type of enemy known as the "POW Armor", then collecting the item they leave behind. All items are lost once the player's ship is destroyed.
The only new addition to the game is the Air-to-Ground Missile power-up, which can be used to replace the classic Heat-Seeking Missile power-up.
- Speed-Up - Increases the movement speed of the player's ship. Can be further increased (up to three times) by picking up additional copies, although higher levels can cause less-precise movement.
- Missile - Allows the ship to periodically launch missiles by pressing the Shot button. The Red pick-up (Heat-Seeking Missile) fires two missiles that track nearby enemies, while the Blue pick-up (Air-to-Ground Missile) drops a single missile in a downwards arc (which travels along terrain, similar to Gradius and Scramble). Collecting one pick-up replaces the other.
- Laser Crystal - Summons a Force if it is not active, otherwise upgrades the Force (up to two times) and changes the Force's weaponry (based on the Crystal's color, either blue, red, or yellow).
- Bit - Summons a smaller support "Bit" unit that acts as a shield for the ship. Only two Bits can be active at a time, with the first one above the ship and the second one below the ship.