Alien Soldier
Image: Treasure/Sega

Update [Thu 22nd Jun, 2023 17:30 BST]: Earlier this month, we told you about a hack that adds 6-button controller support to Treasure's 16-bit action game Alien Soldier. Well, remarkably, it appears that three more hacks have been added to since then, which are all cross-compatible with one another.

BillyTimeGames! recently uploaded two hacks for the game. One is an Alien Soldier Password SRAM hack, which allows you to save your game on the game's Super Easy difficulty and load from where you left off, while the other is a weapon regen hack that sees your ammo gradually return with each second of the in-game timer.

Another developer named i_hate_drm, has also put out a weapon cycling hack for the game too, allowing players to cycle through weapons at the top of the screen with A, rather than using the weapon wheel. Enjoy!

Original Story [Thu 8th Jun, 2023 16:30 BST]: Sega and Treasure's 1995 action game Alien Soldier for the Sega Mega Drive/Genesis is a classic of the run 'n gun genre, but it's hard to deny it can be a little bit difficult to get used to initially, due to its slightly busy control scheme and punishing waves of enemies.

Luckily, though, help is at hand almost 28 years later, in the form of a brand new romhack that finally incorporates a more approachable, arcade-style 6-button control mode to the game (thanks Gosokkyu).

According to the page, the hack is the work of three individuals: NaOH (hacking), MiniMacro (graphics), and TwistC (design). It basically allows you to use the additional, available inputs from the Sega Mega Drive 6-button controller to cut down on the need to remember the various combinations required to dash, parry, and swap weapon modes.

The original control scheme is even kept intact, should you want to switch between the two, with the game automatically swapping over depending on what controller you are using. There's also an option for a hybrid mode too, which combines the two schemes for those with "a strong muscle memory of the original game".

Here are the changes from the page:

  • You can now dash by pressing Z. (Down+C no longer dashes in 6-button mode.)
  • You can now perform the “Counter Force” parry manoeuvre by pressing Y. (Double-tap B no longer parries in 6-button mode.)
  • You can now toggle shoot modes by pressing X or Mode at any time. (Down+A no longer swaps shoot mode in 6-button mode.)
  • The new controls are displayed in the “control test” screen, assuming a 6-button controller is inserted.
  • On the password input screen, pressing up now increments the number and down decrements.
  • Bypasses internal checksum verification and region lock.

Something to also bear in mind is that there are actually two versions of the patch, with "alien-soldier-6-button-toggle.ips" being the one intended for 6-button setups, while the hold variant is recommended for controllers with shoulder buttons.

In order to apply the hack, you'll need a Japanese version of the ROM and a patching tool like Lunar IPS. More information can be found on the page.

[source, via]