Aug 21 2009

Xain’D Sleena

zorro @ 9:20 pm

Xain'D Sleena - Cleedos Soa's FInal BossTechnos, they of Double Dragon fame, released what I consider the platform-shooter genre’s finest hour – Xain’D Sleena. I have the full arcade cabinet at home, and let me tell you it is an absolute pleasure. Hard, full of surprises and hordes of enemies still keeps me coming back to this game. It was also one of the first games to have another game inside it – a horizontal shooter. Once you had finished clearing the planet, you blasted off into space and took on waves of ships.

Xain'D Sleena - Guwld Soa's End of Level BossXain’D Sleena allows you to choose which planet you wish to start on as well, which is novel. The mid-level bosses are kinda weird though, an ancient, giant, flying head chases you across the desert planet and an enormous brontosaurus spits fire from a swamp. At the end of each level, you come face to face with the boss in his base, make sure you are powered up before you get there otherwise you can basically forget it. The last boss in particular is so ludicrously difficult that tears of frustration still spring to my eyes just thinking about it :)

Xain'D Sleena - Title & BriefXain is an elite soldier, the best of the best, and with his rocket powered boots and blaster he decides to take on the might of the evil empire, Dristarg. With only the poor, but inspirational grammar of the free peoples of the universe, Xain must clear all the planets of Dristarg’s legions.

Xain’D Sleena is similar in many ways to Metroid or Turrican, though it lacks the exploration aspect of either of the two home titles. It also has one primary difference, between each planet is horizontal shoot-em-up, where Xain and his space-ship must take on Dristrag’s space-based craft and eventually the giant mobile space-station. Button 1 fires a rapid laser and button 2 fires a tri-directional diagonal pulse during these flying sections. Both of the buttons can be used to clear some of the trickier enemy attack patterns. Though suffering some noticeable slow-down during these sections, they remain very playable and fit nicely into the overall game design.

Xain'D Sleena - Arcade Flyer

Power-ups are obtained by shooting the alien scientists who periodically flee your onslaught. They come in four flavours: Two-Way Photon, Arrow Laser, Grenades, Triple Laser. The Triple Laser is the most powerful but the others have their uses, depending on enemy placement.

Xain’D Sleena had a number of unique features when released. The double-jump performed by tapping the jump button again at the apex, allowed Xain to reach some of the higher platforms and clear some of the longer distances. Also, Xain could kneel and lie down to fire which offered some tactics amidst the hail of bullets.

Soldier of Light - Amiga - CoverManufactured by Taito for release in the U.S., some localisation changes were made. For a start they renamed the game Solar Warrior but they also renamed the planets (see Planet Profile AKA) and removed the ability to select a planet which made the game a lot more linear. It was licensed to Memeto for release in the UK who adopted the name Soldier of Light.

It was converted to the Commodore 64, Sinclair Spectrum and the Amiga under the name Soldier of Light. All conversions were terrible.

Xain'D Sleena - Shoot-em-up section Xain'D Sleena - Escaping from the last planet Xain'D Sleena - Mid-Game Space Station

Xain'D Sleena - Cleemalt Soa

Difficulty: Easy

AKA: Saturn
Terrain: Lunar
Hazards: Nothing special
Mid-Level Boss: None
End-of-Level Boss:

Xain'D Sleena - Cleedos Soa

Difficulty: Easy

AKA: Jupiter
Terrain: Desert
Hazards: Monks, Worms
Mid-Level Boss: Giant Egyptian Head
End-of-Level Boss:

Xain'D Sleena - Lagto Soa

Difficulty: Medium

AKA: Venus
Terrain: Jungle / Rainforest
Hazards: Insects, Killer flowers
Mid-Level Boss: Dinosaur
End-of-Level Boss:

Xain'D Sleena - Kworal Soa

Difficulty: Hard

AKA: Neptune
Terrain: Underwater
Hazards: Fish, Lobsters
Mid-Level Boss: None
End-of-Level Boss:

Xain'D Sleena - Guwld Soa

Difficulty: Hard

AKA: Mars
Terrain: Volcanic
Hazards: Lava
Mid-Level Boss: None
End-of-Level Boss:

Xain'D Sleena - Final Planet

Difficulty: Insane

AKA: Space Fortress
Terrain: Industrial
Hazards: Time-limit
Mid-Level Boss: None
End-of-Level Boss:

5 Responses to “Xain’D Sleena”

  1. Lansed says:

    I’m envious that you have a full arcade version of this at home. My parents had this in there fish and chip shop when I was little.
    Definitely one of the greatest platform games of all time.
    I’m glad I can still enjoy it on the mame system.
    Happy gaming……

  2. Marbles says:

    Zorro, congratulations on a fantastic review of my all-time favourite arcade game. I share your passion for this gem,and as of today I am a proud owner of a full arcade cabinet. Your thorough analysis got me revved up in anticipation for the delivery of my new toy that I’ve spent a lifetime dreaming about owning.
    I have bought an authentic Technos motherboard and a generic cabinet. Do you have any idea where I can gain the authentic marquee and control panel for the game?
    Great stuff,keep it up

  3. zorro says:

    Thanks Marbles, I really do have a lot of love for this game, I’m glad you enjoyed reading about it.

    To your questions: “Do you have any idea where I can gain the authentic marquee and control panel for the game?”

    I had a quick look in the usual places: KLOV, MAWS and Arcade Flyers but none of them seem to have the marquee. Your best bet would be to either look for a Solar Warrior marquee (which seem to be more common) or use the Xain flyer that you can find around to mock something up yourself.

    Do send me a picture of your cabinet when you get it all hooked up, I’ll add it to the Xain page :-)

  4. Jorge says:


    Excelente trabajo, sobre todo por lo detallada, pero me asalta una duda, mejor dicho, quiero hacer un comentario. Y es que en los tiempos de mi niñés cuando frecuentaba los arcades, vi a alguien terminar el juego matando al ultimo jefe del planeta de metal y estoy casi 100% seguro que al terminar de esta forma, al final aparecía la imagen de Xain’d a la derecha de la pantalla(igual a la que sale al inicio a la izquierda, cuando uno inicia el juego), pero con la diferencia que aparece sin la máscara y aún más el rostro de Xain’d es el de una mujer rubia de pelo largo. Nadie me ha podido confirmar ni desmentir, no se si tienes información al respecto

  5. zorro says:

    Hi Jorge, it actually sounds like you’re mixing up this game with the original Metroid on NES.

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