Macross Newsletter #34
By Graham Parkes 02/19/01

VF-X2 SPECIAL VERSION REVIEW

INTRODUCTION
I was recently lucky enough to be able to acquire the VF-X2 Special Version (also known as the Tokyo Snack Version).

For those of you who don't know, VF-X2 Special Version was never available as a retail item. It was available only in Japan as a mail-in campaign prize from the Tokyo Snack Foods Corporation and was limited to 1,000 copies only. This makes it one of the rarest (and also most expensive) of Macross items to find now. In on-line Yahoo Japan auctions VF-X2 Special Version has been known to sell for as high as 25,000 yen/$225 US$ (in the year I've watched Yahoo Japan auctions I've only seen it up 2x-the first closed at 10,000 yen and the second was at 25,000)

The Special Version game is very different from the normal retail version of VF-X2. Listed below in point form is a brief summery of the differences followed by more detailed explanations:-

HOW VF-X2 SPECIAL VERSION DIFFERS
Modified main page with the words "Special Version" added.
Different option screen
No opening movie
No save feature
Player controls the VF-5000B only
Spoken English or Japanese can be selected for the operators voice
Three modes of play available (Survival Mode, Score Attack Mode & Itano Circus)
The standard stages of VF-X2 are not included
Features different box art and instruction sheet
Two different modes of GERWALK control selectable
Game disk with black front featuring VF-X Ravens Logo and the words "Special Version"
Addition of kill score stars
Addition of calibration screen for analog control
Disc Picture
Tokyo Snack Splash
Opening Screen
Option Menu
Analog Calibration

Up until now, the only English language resource on VF-X2 Special Version has been Egan Loo's excellent Macross Compendium entry. I now present you with a comprehensive look at one of the rarest of Macross games.

CASE
VF-X2 Special Version comes in a card slip case instead of a regular plastic CD case. The cover art is different from the regular version, being the VF-19A GERWALK picture that was used in magazine advertisements for regular VF-X2.

Box Front
Box Back

EXTRAS
VF-X2 Special Version is supposed to come with 4 color postcards featuring CG art by Tenjin. Unfortunately, the version I obtained did not feature these.

INSTRUCTION SHEET
The instruction sheet of VF-X2 Special Version is also different from the regular instruction sheet as shown below.

Instructions

MECHA
As far as the game itself goes, the most obvious change is that the player has only the use of the VF-5000B Star Mirage, which was not featured in the regular version. None of the regular mecha used in the standard VF-X2 game are available to the player of the Special Version.

It is interesting to note that the VF-5000B was planned as a replacement for the VF-1XPlus in the now cancelled US version. In fact according to the Macross Compendium, many of the features in VF-X2 Special Version were destined to end up in the US version.

CONTROLS
VF-X2 Special Version features the same controls as the regular version. However, on the options page it is possible to select either US or Japanese operating controls for GERWALK mode. The Japanese GERWALK controls are identical to the standard version of VF-X2. The US GERWALK controls are supposed to work the same way as battroid controls, but to be honest I haven't noticed any difference whether I select US or Japanese GERWALK controls!

LANGUAGES
The option screen also allows players to select either a female English speaking (American accented) voice or a female Japanese voice for the operator. However, as their is no opening movie or introduction and no spoken mission briefings the Special Version features very little speaking. The only speech I have heard so far is warnings when your VF-5000B takes serious damage. Or warnings when the mission time is running out (Score Attack Mode only).

Some of the spoken sentences are(click below to listen):-
"Captain Focker your armor is approaching critical, be careful" (39kb .wav file).
"Aegis your plane won't take more of this, try harder" (28kb .wav file)

GAME PLAY
The game play of VF-X2 Special Version is similar to the regular retail version in that the player has to fly around and blow stuff up. However VF-X2 Special Version does not feature the mission based stages of the original VF-X2 game.

Instead, it has three distinct modes of play. These are, 1) Score Attack Mode, 2) Survival Mode and, 3) Itano Circus Mode.

SCORE ATTACK MODE
Score Attack Mode is a space based game in which the player has a limited time in which to destroy a set number of enemy. I'm not sure what the exact time limit is, but after 4 minutes into the game the operator informs you that the 70% of the mission time has elapsed. (76kb .wav file)

In Score Attack mode, the player has unlimited gunpod ammo and normal missiles, but only 100 Micro Missiles and 50 Chaff.

The enemies that you have to destroy are as follows (listed in order of appearance):-
1) multiple orange color drones
2) multiple unarmed space freighters
3) multiple tan color drones
4) multiple beam firing Defence Satellites
5) multiple Ghost AIG-9 fighters
6) one Destroyer space ship

Mission Briefing
Mission Results
Screen Shot
Screen Shot

 

SURVIVAL MODE
Survival mode finds the player flying above the landscape used in mission two of regular VF-X2. As the name implies, the aim of survival mode is to kill as many of the enemy before being killed yourself. To help you do this you are given an unlimited amount of gunpod ammo and normal missiles and 999 Micro-Missiles and 99 Chaff.

Survival mode is split into rounds. During each round you will be attacked be about 12 to 18 enemy, although thankfully not all at once! The enemy usually attack in waves of between 1 to 3 craft. The final enemy of each round is always the Annabella Lasiodora Mobile Weapon from mission number 10 of the standard VF-X2.

The exact quantity and mix of the enemy varies from round to round, but usually consist of between 1 to 3 each of VF-1, VF-11, VF-1S, VF-17D, VF-17S, VF-19A, VF-22, Pheyos Valk, Ghost and one only of the Annabella Lasiodora Mobile Weapon.

Survival mode is my favorite of the three games.

Mission Briefing
Mission Results
Screen Shot
Screen Shot

ITANO CIRCUS MODE
Itano Circus mode is probably the most boring of the three games in my opinion. This is another space based game in which the player must dodge or shoot down wave after wave of missiles fired from an unseen drone which cannot be approached or destroyed. The aim of this game is just to survive for as long as possible.

In Itano Circus mode the player is only armed with a gunpod. Also the number of missiles fired at the player gradually increases the longer you survive. This does lead to some impressive visuals after about ten minutes of play as the screen is literally filled with missiles.

Mission Briefing
Mission Results
Screen Shot
Screen Shot

KILL SCORE
One neat feature of VF-X2 Special Version is the addition of a Kill Score as you are playing in either Survival Mode or Score Attack mode. This Kill Score takes the form of different colored stars which appear in the top left corner of the screen each time the payer makes a kill. To start with each kill is awarded with one small red star. Each time the player achieves 10 kills, the 10 red stars change to one slightly larger silver star. If the player reaches 50 kills he is rewarded with one large gold star. My person best kill score on Survival Mode playing on Maniac difficulty is 47 kills so far!

PERSONAL OBSERVATIONS
Although I can't confirm it, does seem to me as if it takes fewer hits to destroy the enemy in VF-X2 Special Version than in regular VF-X2.

Please send any questions or comments on this review to graham@macrossworld.com

Graham