Burning Force (バーニングフォース) is a 1989 shoot-'em-up by Namco originally released in the arcades in Japan before seeing a Sega Mega Drive port released internationally the same year. You play as Hiromi, a graduate of Earth University, who must pass a six-day final examination of fighting enemies over water to become a Space Fighter.
The game takes a Space Harrier perspective but is much more limited in terms of control. Each day is divided into four areas. Areas 1 and 2 are normal shooting areas where you are on a waterbike on which you may only move left or right. Holding speeds up, holding slows down, letting go goes back to normal speed. shoots your normal weapon, which may be upgraded as in a typical shoot-'em-up. shoots missiles which you have a limited supply of.
Area 3 is a boss area which substitutes the waterbike for a ship that has the same controls, but can fly around the screen a la Space Harrier (so use / to move around instead of changing speed). The cutscene that transitions you from the waterbike to the ship shows you the boss's weak points. Area 4 is a bonus round in the ship where the goal is to collect as many points/powerups as possible.
Game Program: Ogawann
Sub Program: Kobakun
Sound Program: Kwaeru
Story by: Makotomas
Charactor Designers: Kuma, 7852
Sound Designers: Noririn
Constructive Manager: Koh
Total Coordinate: Gen
Special Thanks: Big Gan, Kero, Udauda
Directed by: Makotomas
JP print advert
Print advert in GamePro (US) #18: "January 1991" (199x-xx-xx)