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Anyone who has played arcade games would agree with the fact that these games provided the basic idea for all the games that are being produced nowadays. Platform games, wrestling games, vector graphic games, action games, sports games, shooting games—they had them all.

Vanguard™ is a 1981 arcade video game. The game is known as one of the first “scrolling shooters” ever made that allowed scrolling in multiple directions and the first “shoot-‘em-up” where a player can shoot in four different directions. Vanguard is also unique in the sense that the player must focus on avoiding obstacles while firing in order to survive.

The Gameplay

The gameplay of the game involves the player controlling a ship with limited amount of fuel that constantly depletes. The story of the game is that the “Gond” has been terrorizing nearby space colonies with its periodic raids of destruction. The player has been selected to pilot an advanced fighter ship with high offensive capabilities, and must enter the cave inside the asteroid where the Gond makes his home and safely fly through every zone. The player must take the Gond out and succeed in the mission.

Some zones start off primarily as a horizontal scroller, but in some zones, the ship flies vertically. Also, at the end of each zone the player must defeat a boss that is guarded by two moving force fields with holes in them. There are a total of ten zones in the game: Mountain Zone, Rainbow Zone, Styx Zone, Rainbow Zone 2, Stripe Zone, Rainbow Zone 3, Bleak Zone, and the City of Mystery / Last Zone.


The ship can independently fire lasers in any of the four cardinal directions. By securing the energy pods, a short time of invulnerability can be obtained. This turns the ship effectively into a weapon, and the enemies change attack patterns to avoid the player. The player must constantly avoid colliding with the walls. The walls can be used defensively to avoid oncoming enemy fire.

Difficulty Levels

There are ten rounds. The player must complete each level before fuel runs out to avoid losing lives.

Interface and Controls

Use the arrow keys for navigation and the control button to perform other actions.

Vanguard™ is a very interesting game with an innovating storyline that motivates the player to keep on playing until the game is completed.

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