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Zanac is an arcade-style video game; a vertically scrolling shooter. It was designed by Compile, who went on to develop a number of classic shooters, including Blazing Lazers for the TurboGrafx-16. Zanac’s first release was for the MSX computer in Japan. It was then released for the Nintendo Famicom Disk System in Japan on November 28, 1986, and in the United States as an NES cartridge in October, 1987. It was re-released for the MSX2 system as Zanac Ex.
Zanac is notable for its unique AI programming. Player actions (including, but not limited to: firing weapons, gaining power-ups, and destroying enemy fortresses) would increase or decrease the number and difficulty of the enemies on-screen. The AI was reset at the beginning of each of the 12 levels, or when a particular enemy (the “Sart”) was destroyed.
Zanac, like many video games of the era, is also notable as an example of Engrish, owing to its numerous translation, grammatical and spelling errors in both the manual and the game itself. For instance, on the title screen, the word “designed” is spelled “desinded.”