Jets'n'Guns is a 2004 2D side-scrolling shooter for Windows, Mac, and Linux, by developer Rake In Grass. The player takes the role of a mercenary pilot, flying his (or her) ship through various missions, earning money through various means, and using it to upgrade his ship. There is a staggering variety of weapons available for purchase, including many types of guns, lasers, etc, as well as missiles and bombs. More weapons and ships become available as the player progresses through the game. The game features a soundtrack by Swedish SID Metal band Machinae Supremacy. There are many cyberpunk elements present in the game, as it takes place in a heavily corporate future, where violence is sensationalized. Many of these elements are also associated with the humor of the game, with weapon advertisements appearing both inside
missions on billboards, or in the weapon shop, featuring slogans such as "Ultimate Destructive Power" and "As seen on TV!". This is particularly evident in one level, in which the player is the star of a reality show, were a select number of lucky fans get to be slaughtered by the star. Advertisements pop up, sometimes obscuring the player's view of his own ship.
There is also some self-referential humor, like secret collectibles in each level, taking the form of a rubber duck or fish. The description of these items informs the player that he should just sell it, as there is no bonus for collecting all of them (an idea present in many other games).
Tactics play an important role the game as well. Different levels call for different weapon selections -- bombs may be vital for ground targets, but aren't much use in space. The side-scrolling nature of the game, setting it apart from the large number of vertical shooters, allows for some unique strategic and gameplay elements, such as the bombing of ground targets, or gun or knife-shaped enemies shooting or taking a swipe at you. Enemies come from all directions, though usually the front, and, since your ship can only take so much heat, it is generally not possible to just hold down the fire key.
In December of 2006, RakeInGrass released a massive expansion called Jets'n'Guns Gold. It could be purchased as an expansion to the existing game, or it could be purchased as a stand-alone version including everything from the original. It doubled the number of levels (from twenty-one to forty-two) replaces the original story-text with noir, comic-style panels between missions. The new missions were added between existing ones, fleshing out the existing story instead adding onto the end, as game expansions are wont to do. Gold also added some additional ships and weapons, 800x600 resolution graphics, and 6 new music tracks (from game music company Hubnester Industries, which is owned by three members of Machinae Supremacy).
When the game begins, the player is a freelance mercenary, and the first missions involve taking jobs eliminating criminals, protecting dames and the like. The player, who had been on of the best pilots in a recent war, but is now out of work, is contacted by his old commanding officer, Col. Troubleman. The evil overlord Xoxx has captured the Professor Von Hamburger, a scientist who had been developing a huge quantum cannon, and Xoxx plans to use the cannon to destroy the universe. The player, obviously, is
the only one who can stop this. The professor's daughter, Erika von Hamburger, also contacts the player, but she is more interested in having her father rescued than saving the universe. The player's current ship can't make the cut though, something special is needed, and to that end the player steals the TMiG-226 from the heavily guarded FeX labs. After making a rendezvous with the U.S.S Impotence, the player then embarks on a series of missions all geared towards stopping Xoxx, including such things as an assault on a Cube of the Einhoff Beer Empire (see image). The location of the completed quantum cannon, the Lord Chaos Mk. 1, is discovered, and the
player attacks it, finally fighting and defeating Xoxx, but the evil overlord escapes in a backup time washing machine, revealing that it is too late to stop the cannon from firing, and the universe is destroyed. In the end of the universe, the player stops at a restaurant (the same one that was encountered earlier, inside a time warp) and the player uses that time warp again, appearing at the beginning of the game (though at a harder difficulty).
Jets'n'Guns consists of a number of missions (21 in the original game, 21 additional in Jets'n'Guns Gold for a total of 42), and between each mission the played is able to spend money outfitting and upgrading his ship -- a format seen in many games. The game itself takes the form of a sidescrolling shooter, usually with the objective of a mission simply to survive, but sometimes the player must destroy specific targets, or retrieve items. Money is earned primarily for destroying enemy ships or structures, and gaining money is coincident with increasing the score (though the score is not decreased upon spending money, of course).
Money spent on weapon and ship upgrades throughout the game is always refunded 100% when sold back. This allows the player to experiment with different ship and weapon upgrade levels until they find what works best for the given level. The game will even sometimes notify the player on what the focus of the next level is. For example, if the next level features ground targets, the game will recommend that the player equip bombs, or if the next level is an outer-space mission, the game will suggest that the player focus on frontal firepower. New weapon and ship options are made available as you play through the game.
Firing weapons increases the amount of heat your ship produces, and if the heat maxes out, the ship will be unable to fire for a second or two while they cool down. The different weapons in the game all have varying levels of firepower, rate of fire, and heat produced. Weapons are also functionally unique; the first weapon you are given is a basic machine gun attached to the front of your ship, but by the end of the game you'll be able to purchase and use guns that shoot homing shots, guns that shoot their bullets in different patterns, guns that shoot flames in a short area in-front of the ship, and even guns that shoot bees. Upgrading weapons will increase their power and rate of fire, but will also increase the amount of heat they produce.
Ships are also able to equip missiles and bombs. Missiles are unique in that they are only able to be equipped in a ship's missile slot, but basically add more firepower. Bombs are only able to be equipped in bomb slots, and are dropped out of the bottom of your ship. There are several different types of missiles and bombs, all of which have different levels of firepower and rates of fire.
The different ships in the game allow different styles of play. While a smaller ship may control faster than a larger ship, it will also generally have weaker armor and cooling systems. All ships have at least 2 front weapon slots, 1 missile slot, and 1 bomb slot. More expensive ships, as they unlock, offer more slots and some even have back weapon slots, which will fire behind your ship. The different features of each ship can be upgraded, such as increasing their armor or improving their cooling systems (allowing weapons to be fired in longer bursts and cooling down faster). Some ships offer more accessories, such as spheres that rotate around the ship, blocking enemy fire. All ships can also equip a "Mission Meter", which displays the progress of the current level as a percentage at the top of the screen, and a "Boss Detector" which reveals each boss's life bar.
Levels are not able to be replayed (until completing the game and playing through again), so there is no way to farm money. Instead of letting the player go back and replay a previous level to earn some more money, the player must use the money they have and pick the best weapons and upgrades for the current situation.
New Game +
After completing the game, the player is taken back to the first mission and the difficulty is raised up one level. All upgrades, including money, weapons, ships, and ship augments are preserved. Score is also preserved and continues to increase as the player replays the game, earning even more money.
While in-game, press the tilde key (~) to open the developer console, then type in the cheat and hit Enter. Cheats will reset upon death and will only last until the end of the current level. Using any of these cheats will permanently flag your save file with a "CHEAER" label, so be warned!
- power_to_the_people 1 - 4x weapon damage
- richman x - Sets money to "x" amount
- veni_vidi_vici - Instantly completes current level
- arnold_for_president 1 - Invincibility
- keep_cool 1 - Infinite ship cooling (allowing for unlimited, uninterrupted weapon use)
The soundtrack to Jets'n'Guns was composed and performed by Machinae Supremacy, a Swedish metal band. The band offers free downloads of the soundtrack on their site. The versions offered are of a higher audio quality than what was used in the game. The download versions are also longer, because they were cut to allow for looping in the game.
The Machinae Supremacy site is located here, and the download page is located here.
|Track #||Track Title||Length|
|1.||Theme From Jets'n'Guns||2:51|
|3.||Koala in the Spider's Web||2:02|
|5.||Flight of the Toyota||2:01|
|6.||Teh evul p4in of Doomy Hell||0:47|
|7.||Erecta my Hamburger Baby||1:51|
|8.||Little Green Men||2:01|
|9.||Lava Trouble Bubble||2:25|
|10.||Zogrim ate my hamster||1:09|
|12.||Archangels of Sidaroth||1:18|
|15.||Knee-deep in the Xoxx||1:44|
|16.||Kings of the Sea||1:56|
|18.||Lord Krutors Dominion||2:22|
|21.||Escaping the Krut||2:05|
|22.||Death From Above||2:40|
|23.||Flames of Fire||2:13|
|26.||r0x0rd teh x0xxor (level cleared)||0:50|
- http://jng.rakeingrass.com - Rake in Grass's Jets'n'Guns website
- http://machinaesupremacy.com - Machinae Supremacy's website, offering free downloads of the soundtrack