Dezaemon Plus

Dezaemon Plus is a PS1 game that was originally released in Japan back in 1996.

The Dezaemon series of games allows you to create your own vertically-oriented shoot-em-up games. While the series itself dates back to the days of the NES, this release is the first time any of the Dezaemon games have come to the United States.

Video

Instructions

Controls

This only provides controls for the menus and the games. Controls for the various editors will be provided in the relevant sections below.

Control In Game Menu Screens
Control Pad Move character Move cursor
X Button Bomb Accept
Circle Button   Cancel
Triangle Button Fire Bomb
Square Button Shoot  
Start Button Pause Game Accept

Game Play

Contest 1

Play and watch footage of games that won a contest held in Japan way back when. Select the controller to play the game, select the filmstrip to watch footage of the game.

Contest 2

Play and watch footage of games that won a different contest held in Japan way back when. Note that every game in both ‘Contest’ sections was created entirely within the toolset provided by the game.

Edit

Graphics Editor

A graphical editor that allows you to edit the games’ existing graphics or create entirely new ones.

Construction

Editing everything else that ISN’T Graphics or music, such as enemy placement/behavior, weaponry, maps, etc.

Music

A program for you to create your own music.

Load/Save

Load and/or save data. The top option is Load and the bottom option is Save. When saving the game for the first time, you will be asked to select a memory card to save to. After selecting the card, select the option on the left to create a new Save File. This WILL take a while. When loading the game, you will be asked to select a memory card to load from. After selecting the card, select the left option to load the game. Again, this will take a while.

Misc.

Set Controls (top option), Background Music(middle option) or copy a stage you’ve created to a different location in your game (bottom option).

Editing Stuff

Graphical Editor

When starting the graphical editor, you will be presented with a menu with options like “My-Ship”, “Item-Weapon” and so on. Select the one that corresponds with what you intend to draw, or one of the ‘Free’ spots if you don’t know what your creation is gonna end up as. Note that each option has a different default palette.

Editing Screen

At the left of the screen you have the Preview Window and the Window Options. At the Right of the screen you have the Editing Area and the color palette. At the top of the screen you have the Drawing Tools.

Graphical Editor Controls

  • Control Pad Move Cursor
  • X button Draw, Select Drawing Tool, Select area to copy, Scroll through Graphic Library (Slow)
  • Circle Button Reset Color(to Black), De-select area, Scroll through Graphic Library (Fast)

Editing Screen Options

  • Line Deactivate Gridlines (Off), or show them for each 16×16 Sprite (Chr) or every pixel (Dot)
  • Size Set the Zoom level of the screen to X2(64×64), X4(32×32) or X8(16×16). The ‘Dot’ Line option and the Animation option are not available while the Size is set at x2.
  • Pen Set the Pen Size to small (1×1), Medium (2×2), or Large (4×4, circular)
  • Anim See how the drawing looks when animated.

Graphical Editor Tools/Menus

From left to right, the Tools/Menus are as follows.

  • Graphics Library This option brings you to a screen containing all of the Graphics created for the Sample Game(on the left side of the screen). You can scroll through this by moving the cursor to the arrows at the top or bottom and pressing X to scroll through one row at a time, or by holding O to scroll rapidly through the library(you can also hold X with the cursor over the slider and press up or down). When you’ve located the graphics you want to edit, press X once to activate the selector, move the cursor so everything you want to edit is highlighted, and press X again(you can only highlight an area of a maximum 4×4 squares). Drag the selected graphics to the blank area on the right side of the screen and you can edit it with the other graphical tools. Once you’re done editing, copy and paste your creation back into the graphics library.
  • Bomb Erases EVERYTHING in the edit area.
  • Exclamation Mark Undoes the previous action. Useful if you accidentally push the Bomb button.
  • Pencil Should be obvious, it draws lines. Hold X to use it.
  • Straight-Edge Draws straight lines at various angles. Press X once to set the lines’ start point, move the cursor to where you want the line to end and then press X again to draw the line.
  • Square/Rectangle draws squares and/or rectangles. Press X once to set one corner, move the cursor to where you want the opposite corner to be and press X again to draw the rectangle.
  • Fill Tool Fills a shape with the selected color. Just move to where you want the color and press X. Be careful and make sure your shapes are closed before using this, otherwise it’ll fill the whole area.
  • Copy/Paste Tool Copies and Pastes a section of your drawing. Press X once to set one corner of the section to be copied/pasted, move the cursor to the opposite corner and press X to Copy. Move the cursor to where you want the area copied to and press X again to Paste. You can Paste as many times as you want until you hit the Circle button.
  • Rotate Tool Rotates a square section of the drawing. Press X to set one of the corners, then move the cursor until the area you want to rotate is selected. The selected area will rotate 90 degrees counter-clockwise. The area-selector will be there until you press the Circle button, and the boundaries can be altered after rotating(to create Spirals.
  • Flip Tools (Vertical/Horizontal) Flips a section of the drawing vertically or horizontally. They control much like the other selector-based tools.
  • Color Editor Select one of the colors in the palette, then set the RGB values for said color using the arrows.

Construction Editor

When opening the Construction Editor you will be asked to select a Stage to edit. You can also select how many levels your game will be. Select the stage and click on “Start” to begin. The menus, located atop the screen from left to right, are as follows:

  • Ship/Weaponry (Plane Icon) Edit the appearance of the Ship (Plane icon), and the Appearance/Behavior of your weapons/power-ups (Missile Icon).
  • Explosions (Mushroom Cloud Icon) Edit the apparance of the Explosions.
  • Title/Credits (Card with Question Marks) Edit the Appearance of the Title Card and Credits (Guy going through a finish-line).
  • Enemies (Fly icon) Edit the appearance/Behavior of regular enemies.
  • Boss (Demonic thing icon) Edit the appearance/Behavior of the levels’ boss.
  • Map (Map icon) Edit the level map, enemy placement, special effects.
  • Other (Controller Icon) Set the Background music, and playtest your creation.
  • In the upper-left corner of the screen there is the option to return to the main Stage Edit menu, in the upper-right is the option to access the Graphics Editor. The Graphics Library is located at the bottom of the screen in all submenus except for the Map Editor. Replacing existing graphics is done by selecting the graphic from the Graphics Library with X, then dragging it over to the graphic to be replaced and pressing X again.

    Ship/Weaponry menu

    After accessing this menu, you will see the Player’s Ship. Here you can edit the appearance of the player’s ship. Selecting the Missile icon next to the plane icon takes you to the Weaponry/Powerups submenu.

    Weaponry/Powerups

    Accessing the menu shows the powerups and weaponry for the game. Note that there has to be 7, you cannot add or remove any. Select the powerup whos properties you wish to edit with X. The icons in the center of the screen control what the powerup is. The arrow in the bottom-right corner of this menu indicates what the fired projectiles look like(only available on Weapons). The power-up at the lower-right corner of the screen with the ‘D’ next to it is the Default Weapon, that you start the game with.

    From left/right, then top/bottom, the icons are:

    • Move Determines wether the power-up moves post-spawn.
    • Vulcan A Basic forward-firing gun weapon. Adds more bullets when powered-up.
    • Vulcan B Spread-Gun weapon. Powering up increases the spread.
    • Laser Homing Laser weapon. Powering up increases the amount of lasers fired simultaneously.
    • Missile Forward-firing missile weapon. Powering up adds secondary homing missiles.
    • Cannon Basic forward-firing gun weapon. Hold the Fire Button to charge, release to launch a powerful blast that destroys everything in front of you. Charge speed can be set in the ‘fired projectiles’ screen (higher number means faster charge). Powering up inreases the power of the charged projectile.
    • Shadow A forward-firing laser that penetrates enemies and follows your ship left/right. Powering up increases the width of the laser when following.
    • Shield A shield that protects your fighter from a single hit.
    • Eggplant Maxes out your score and gives you 9 lives. For playtest purposes only.
    • Power Increases your weapons’ power by one level.
    • Bomb Increases your bomb stock by one.
    • Speed Increases your ships’ speed by one level.

    Explosion menu

    Edit the graphics for the explosions. Animation frames are shown from left-right(leftmost=frame 1), and the animation is shown in the box next to them.

    Title Screen Menu

    Here you can edit the appearance/behavior of the title graphics and input graphics for the credits. Select the wrench in the upper-right corner to control the behavior of the title card(rotation, vertical and horizontal strech for two layers). Select the icons that show how you want the card to act and then click “check” to see it in action.

    Enemy Menu

    Here you edit the appearance/behavior of the various regular enemies for the level. Enemies are divided into 5 categories based on their dimensions in 16×16 sprites: 1×1, 1×2, 2×1, 2×2 and 4×4. The little squares/rectangles in the upper-left corner indicate which category is being
    edited at the moment. In the center of the screen are enemies of the category specified. Animation frames are from left to right. Note that each enemy only has a certain amount of animation frames, and the total amount of enemies for each level is limited. On the right side of the screen is an indicator showing how much more space for new enemies there is. Select the Wrench to edit enemy behaviors.

    Enemy Behavior Menu

    The upper portion of this menu screen is taken up by a ‘summary’ of the enemy being altered. It displays the enemy’s animation, movement pattern, shot pattern, amount of hits taken, visual effects, points granted, and wether or not it gives a powerup. You can Scroll through the enemies in a given category by selecting the arrows at each end of the screen. The bottom portion of the screen contains the actual editable behavior information. This is symbol-based and is fairly obvious. The categories are at the left side of this menu. From top to bottom, they are as follows:

    • Movement Set the movement speed of the enemy in question(1-8, 8 is fastest), as well as its movement patterns.
    • Firing Set the speed at which the enemy fires(1-8, 8 is fastest), the variety of bullet it fires(small, large, and Enemy Generator), and its firing patterns.
    • Durability/Score Set how many shots the enemy takes to destroy. The amount of shots goes from 1-8, with 8 being the most shots. The tank icon indicates wether the enemy is ground-based(highlighted) or air-based(not highlighted). The two Infinity Icons indicate Invincible enemies, the Infinity-1 icon for enemies that still hurt you when they hit, the Infinity-2 icon for enemies that don’t. Below the Durability settings are the Score settings, setting how many points the enemy gives on a scale of 1(50) to 8(10,000). Below the Score settings is an option to determine wether or not the enemy drops anything upon defeat. Note that it is not possible to get an enemy to drop a specific item.
    • Animation Set the animation speed of the enemy, from 1 (slow) to 8 (fast). Click the icon below the numbers to see the enemy in action.
    • Visual Effects There are two varieties of Visual Effects that can be applied to a given enemy; the Squash/Strech effects and the Rotation effects. In the top-right corner of the Behavioral section of the screen are icons to swich between the effects being applied. The Square icon brings you to the Squash/Strech menu and the loop icon brings you to the Rotation submenu.
    • Squash/Strech submenu At the top-left corner of this menu is the setting for how the effects will be applied. From left to right, the icons mean: Off, Vertical+Horizontal, Horizontal and Vertical. Directly below these is the Animation Speed for the effect. As always, 1 is slow and 8 is fast.

    Below the Speed options is the Starting Size. Leftmost is smallest and rightmost is largest. The ‘+’ is the default size for the enemy being edited,
    and the two ‘E’s indicate that the enemy is too small/large to be shown. Use the ‘E’s if you want the enemy to appear/disappear out of nowhere.

    Below the Starting Size are the Loop (dog icon) and Start (clapboard icon) Settings. For the loop options, the arrow pointing straight down means that the animation will play once. The arrow with points at both ends means that the animation will play forwards, then backwards, then forwards, and so on. The circular arrow option indicates that the animation will play, then start over in a loop. The Start icons indicate at what point the animation will begin. 1 indicates that the animation will start playing at the top of the screen, 2 indicates that it will start playing 1/4 down the screen, and 3 indicates that it will start playing 3/4 of the way down the screen.

    Below these are the Ending Size options. This is much like the Starting size, except it indicates what size the enemy ends up at.

    In the lower-left corner of the screen is the Preview option, and in the lower-right corner is the Special Collision option. If this is activated, the
    enemy only triggers collision detection when it is at its default size.

    Rotation Submenu

    The Speed, Loop, Start, Preview and Special Collision options are present on this menu, and function identically to the ones on the Squash/Strech submenu.

    In the top-left is the main Rotation option. From left to right, the icons mean: Off, Clockwise, Counter-clockwise, and Follow the Player.

    Below the Speed options is the Starting Orientation. The left-most icon represents the sprite facing forward. Below the Loop and Start options is the Ending Orientation.

    Boss Menu

    Here you can edit the appearance/behavior of the levels’ boss. Each boss is made up of 2 64×64 sections. The option in the upper-left corner
    selects wether the two sections are horizontally or vertically aligned. The wrench icon controls the boss’ behavior patterns.

    Boss Behavior Submenu

    The upper portion of the screen snows a summary of the boss’ behavior (movement patterns, attack patterns/origin points, durability and points). The lower portion shows the editable behavior information. The categories of behavior are shown to the very left of the bottom portion. From top to bottom, the categories are as follows:

    • Movement Unlike normal enemies, Bosses have 3 different movement patterns that are executed one after the other in an endless loop. Below the speed option at the top of the screen are icons ‘M1′, ‘M2′, and ‘M3′. Selecting any of the three icons brings up a set of movement patterns. Selecting movement patterns for the boss is much like setting the patterns for normal enemies, except the aforementioned 3-pattern loop. Each pattern can have its speed set individually.
    • Firing Again, setting the firing pattern for the boss is like setting the firing patterns for normal enemies, however there are additional options. Below the speed option are ‘F1′, ‘F2′ and ‘F3′ icons. When selecting an F icon, a crosshair appears on the boss’ graphics on the top of the screen. This indicates where the attack originates from on the boss. The origin point can be moved by moving your cursor to the point on the boss you want the attack to come from and pressing the X button. The firing speed, firing pattern and bullet type options for the boss’ attacks are identical to those of normal enemies, except for one difference. In addition to the Small, Large and Enemy-generator bullet options, there is also a ‘Laser’ option. It’s a wide, forward-firing laser centered on the origin point which lingers for a few seconds.
    • Durability/Score The Durability and Score option setup is identical to the one used for regular enemies, except the amounts of bullets required and points granted are larger.
    • Preview Test out the boss, see it in action.

    Map Editor

    Upon entering the Map Editor, you see what look like two maps. The one on the right is the map for the level being edited, the one on the left is
    the available graphics for the map. Note that map graphics from the left section can only be dragged and dropped onto the map on the right in 64×224 slices. By selecting the ‘Graphics Library’ option on the top-left corner of the screen, you can drag and drop graphics from the library to create new slices to edit the map with.

    The two icons next to the graphics library icon bring you to the Scroll Effects submenu and the Enemy Placement submenu, respectively.

    Scroll Effects Submenu

    From this menu you can edit the scroll speed of the levels’ individual sections, as well as the special effects. From left to right, the four icons
    represent Scroll Speed, Vertical Wave, Horizontal Wave and Horizontal Tear. Use the scrollbar on the right side of the screen to locate the area of the level that you wish to edit.

    Select an icon and press X to increase the level of the effect by one, or press O to decrease the level of the effect by one. The effect levels go from
    0(stop/no effect) to 7(fastest/greatest level of effect). The two icons with the magnifying glass allow you to see the level in action. The one with ‘ALL’ on it shows you the entire level, the one without just shows you the level starting with the area just before the area that’s currently on-screen.
    The Scroll Designator(Finger) icon allows you to set a specific area with a special effect. If de-activated, setting a special effect will affect that area and all areas ahead of it.

    Enemy Placement Submenu

    From this menu you can edit the placement of individual enemies. The scrollbar and “Check” icons are present on this menu and function identically to the ones on the scroll effects submenu. The books icon accesses the enemy library. Click the top/bottom arrows to scroll through the enemy categories, and the left/right arrows to scroll through the individual enemies in each category. When you’ve found the enemy you want to use, press X to select it. Move the enemy to where you want to place it and then press X again to place it. Once you’re done with the placement, press O to deselect the enemy. Note that you can place the same enemy multiple times without returning to the library, and use the scrollbar while you have an enemy selected. You can also select a placed enemy by pressing O while the cursor is on it. Deleting an enemy is done by pressing X while the cursor is on it. In the upper-left corner is the remaining amount of enemies you can place.

    Music/Test Play

    Set the music tracks for the game, and testplay the stage you’re editing. The icon in the upper-left corner determines wether or not the level repeats after you finish it.

    Music Editor

    The number in the top-left corner of the screen, just below the “Exit” button is the number of the music track currently being worked on. The arrows next to the number let you scroll through the available music tracks. Music tracks 1-16 are blank tracks that can be written however you want. Tracks 17-32 are the various sample tracks. They can be edited and copied from, but they cannot be saved. To the right of these are Copy options. From left to right, they are:

    • Copy Track Copies an entire music track. Scroll to the track you want to copy and press X to copy the track, then scroll to where you want to paste and press X again to paste the track.
    • Copy Section Copies up to 4 bars of music. Move the cursor to where you want to start copying and press X to set one end of the section to be copied. Then move the cursor to the end of the section to be copied and press X again to copy the section. Move the copied section to where you want to paste it to and press X a third time to paste the section.
    • Erase Section Erases up to 4 bars of music.Move the cursor to where you want to start erasing and press X to set one end of the section to be erased. Then move the cursor to the end of the section to be erased and press X again to erase the section.
    • Undo Undoes the previous action.

    To the right of these options are the Instrument options. Move your cursor onto an instrument and press X to select the instrument. Once you’ve selected an instrument, move onto where you want to place a note in the track and press X to place it. Note that you can only have one note in a given column of the track at the same time. By default, notes placed on the musical staff are quarter-notes. The squiggly-line option to the left of the instruments will extend any note it’s placed next to. Any note can be extended for as long as you want. The circular icon to the right of the instruments changes the instruments currently being displayed.

    The middle of the Music Editor screen is taken up by a 4-bar section of the music track currently being worked on. Each track is composed of 16 such sections.

    In the lower-left corner of the screen are the Volume, Tempo and Loop options. Each track has to have a section which plays on an endless loop.
    The curved arrow on the left sets where the looping section begins, and the curved arrow on the right sets where the looping section ends. The tempo bar on the bottom sets the tempo for the piece. You may not set the tempo of each section individually.

    In the lower-middle section are the track navigation otpions. The number indicates which 4-bar section of the track you’re on, and the scrollbar below it allows you to go from one section to another. The up/downward-facing arrow allows you to flip between two different sections of track. This allows you to place an additional set of notes for a more complex musical compositon. Next to this are the Stop, Play and Loop options. If the Loop option is enabled, the current 4-bar section of track will play continuously.

    To the right of the navigation options are the Rhythm Track options. Rhythm Tracks are background tracks that play alongside your composition. The picture icon indicates what sort of rhythm track is will play alongside the current 4-bar section. Move the cursor over the picture icon and press X and O to scroll through the rhythm track genres. The four lights under the picture icon indicate which drum/bass track will be playing alongside the rhythm track. Move the cursor over one of the lights and press X to select the individual drum/bass track. The face-icon to the right of the picture icon indicates the Mood of the rhythm track that’s playing, and the guitar icon next to it turns the Bass section of the drum/bass track on or off. The letter below these icons indicates the key that the rhythm track is playing in. Use the arrows next to the letter to change the key.

    Hidden Games

    When accessing the Sample Game icon (top icon) hold either L1 or L2 to load one of the two games. The first is the SFC version of Daioh Gale before it became Revision 2, and the second game is a short two-stage shooter called Omake Power Storm.




12 Responses to Dezaemon Plus

  1. avatar diego says:

    This game, Dezaemon plus, is awsome. Please release more shmup games.

  2. avatar -Nas says:

    Wow. Just wow. Why this game never came here before this is lost on me, but now that it is here, why more people aren’t talking about it is equally lost on me. There are more that 8 unique shmups included from the get go, all of which vary thematically, if not entirely gameplay wise. But since the gameplay feels so solid, you won’t mind. With the possibility of making your own shmup and sharing it with your friends who also have the game…well, I’m pretty stoked. Thanks for bringing this over, MonkeyPaw, and have you considered holding your own custom contest? ;-)

  3. avatar Crazy A.J. says:

    This is a great game! I’m just having a little difficulty understanding the “Game Play” menu. There are 4 items and the last 2 are contest winning games, but the first 2 seem to be the same thing (Daioh Gale Ver.2). What is this game and what’s the difference between the first 2 menu items?

  4. avatar Baldark says:

    I believe that second item in the game menu is your edited version of the game. That’s what I click on to play my 1 stage game(so far).

    This game is great! I’m still trying to find out how to download other people’s games though. I hope it is through the game’s interface.

  5. avatar Sketcz says:

    I managed to make a horizontal shooter using Dezaemon Plus, despite it being designed for vertical shooters. It required some clever trickery with enemy generating, but it’s looking pretty good so far. You should find my blog entry if you click my name, which has a save file for it.

  6. I remember playing the NES rom long ago… This looks like the original NES game but beefed up! It looks & feels retro by just looking at these screenshots plus youtube videos! *Plans to buy!* ( That Map & music editor, I gotta try that! ) Thanks again MPG..

    For all Classic Shooter Fans,
    2 Arcade PSOne Shooter Hits that must be on PSN next to Dezaemon Plus….

    Soukyu-Gurentai: Oubushustugeki

    Info – http://bit.ly/dZtaRJ

    Videos – http://bit.ly/h20zDW , http://bit.ly/fjJSsU , http://bit.ly/i2a4SI , & http://bit.ly/htKGE4

    Wolf Fang: Koukiba 2001

    Info – http://bit.ly/eG46Dz & http://bit.ly/fbTvQw

    Video Playlist – http://bit.ly/euVmDp

  7. avatar Gryzor says:

    First off, I’d like to give yall a huge THANK YOU for bringing this gem to the PSN! It’s a crime this is the first time us westerners have had the chance to get our hands on these outside of import channels. They’re simply brilliant in every way.

    I can’t speak for anyone else my age; but it would’ve blown my mind having something like Dezaemon as a kid. Mario Paint is awesome; but how about one where you can take everything you’ve created and make it into an arcade shooter? WHAT!? Sign me the hell up!

    I’m a bit more familiar with the second one on Saturn; but despite not having quite as many features, Plus does not disappoint at all. It’s already slowly sucking my free time away (can’t wait to show off my game.) I’m very much hoping to see Dezaemon Kids! materialize on PSN eventually too. ;)

  8. Pingback: Dezaemon Plus Review | Trendy Gamers

  9. Pingback: Trendy Gamers | Dezaemon Plus Review

  10. avatar Vasara says:

    I have a comment…I can’t save/load my game.I really tried everything and it just doesn’t save.

  11. avatar Vasara says:

    Ok where do I go for customer support?I got this game right away once I found out it was available on the psn.Now I have a none saving make your own shoot em up game.I played around with it in order to see how it works and all and it seems quite cool,but whats the point if you can’t save your progress.

  12. avatar john says:

    Hi Vasara, Please send your customer support questions to info@monkeypawgames.com We’ll be happy to help you with your questions. All of our titles have game pages with fairly specific how-to information so that’s the first place to look. But we are always here to help. Thanks for your continued support!

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