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Metal Storm is an entrepreneurial Australian Brisbane based firm. Metal Storm acquired patents and intellectual property in relation to technology invented Mr Mike O'Dwyer, in May 1994. His invention is essentially electronic ballistics technology. It has many potential uses including: industrial uses; seismic uses, such as planting sensor devices deep into the ground; various agricultural uses; and of course, military applications.

The technology is capable of firing one million objects (such as bullets) per minute. This is done by tightly grouping the objects in tubular containers and electronically firing from those containers at devastating rates.

In 1998, Metal Storm signed a non-exclusive agreement with US-based Science Applications International Corp. to undertake research programs. In addition the technology was marketed around the world to various potential buyers of the technology. In January 1999, Metal Storm signed an evaluation and research agreement with the Australian Department of Defence for the Metal Storm rapid fire weapon system. It is expected that the company will seek use of its technology in US and UK defence arsenals.

In November 2000, Metal Storm was awarded a research and development program contract worth over $A80 million from the Australian and US defence agencies. The technology will be evaluated to determine its suitability for various military applications.

The technology is indeed quite frightening. A single metal storm weapon would be capable of wiping out hundreds of soldiers in a few seconds. With continuing tension in many areas of the world, the use of this kind of technology in the future would change the way we think about ground wars, and indeed, air and naval wars. Western armies would be capable of devastating forces without the technology in much shorter spaces of time.

Source: http://www.metalstorm-ltd.com

Metal Storm is also a game for the Nintendo Entertainment System, released by Irem America Corporation in 1990.

I love this game. I want to marry it.

In the year 3521 the giant space station Cyberg on Pluto goes haywire. It was designed to protect humans from aliens, but now it's attacking the Solar System with its Giga Laser. Neptune has already been vaporized and Earth is most likely next (why the other planets are skipped, I know not). You, the hero, pilot the M-308 Gunner (which looks MUCH cooler than a plumber) with the order to activate Cyberg's self-destruct sequence.

Metal Storm looks like your basic platform shooter when you begin, but with exceptional graphics for the day. You move the d-pad left or right to move, you guessed it, left or right. 'A' jumps and 'B' fires your gun, or as the game refers to it, your fusion rifle. Whatever. It is the future, I suppose. Your rifle can fire in the four cardinal directions. There is a timer on each stage, usually starting at 400 seconds (these are not NES seconds, they actually last one second). The interesting and unique aspect of this game is the gravity control device. Your M-308 can reverse the gravity of the space station as it pleases, placing you on the top or bottom surface of the area you are in. This is done by holding up if gravity is "normal" or down if gravity is reversed and pressing 'A'. You can also crouch by holding down (or up, once again, if the gravity is reversed) on the d-pad. As you can imagine, this allows for interesting game play. Be careful though; this is an old school game. One hit and you're dead (Although the resulting explosion does look pretty nifty).

As with any good game, there are power-ups. These resemble cookies (IMHO) and are adorned with the one of the letters G, P, S, C, A, B, T, and 1-Up (so it's not a character).
G: This is the gravity attack, which envelops your M-308 in flames when it reverses gravity. It damages or destroys any enemies or projectiles which touch it, and renders the M-308 invincible.
P: This upgrades your fusion rifle to a plasma boosted rifle. This is stronger and wider than the standard shots, plus it can destroy certain enemy projectiles and penetrate some structures that standard shots cannot. This purely offensive weapon is best for those times when the M-308 simply has to outgun the opposition.
S: This generates a protective shield around the M-308. The shield absorbs certain projectiles and can destroy some enemies on contact. When against a wall or floor, you can continuing holding the d-pad in that direction to push the shield forward a bit, hitting anything that gets in its way.
C: C stands for Crusher, which immediately destroys all enemies on screen. This is activated upon touching it.
A: This enhances your armor, allowing you to take one more hit. It makes the M-308 look a little bulkier than normal, in case you can't remember if you have it. Some enemies are destroyed if they touch you while you have this armor.
B: 5000 bonus points. Whoop dee doo.
T: This adds 120 seconds to your timer. You also get an additional 200 seconds if you die.
1-up: Duh. However, unlike other power-ups, this one doesn't reappear if the M-308 is destroyed and you have to plod through the area again.

This game gets bloody hard, especially on expert mode. To get expert mode, beat the game normally. Things are faster, shoot more things, and there are just plain more things. The stages are also slightly changed; one in particular, the "cage stage," will make you tear your heart out and hurl it at the screen in a final moment of moronic desperation.

If at all possible, play the Japanese version. The colors are brighter (the M-308 is white instead of orange), stage 6 is much harder, there are more and better cinema scenes, and the ending is better written. Most of it is still in English, as well.

The game uses passwords to save your progress; here are a few:
131-DDFW-KSB: This is the first stage, but on expert mode. American version.
131-DDFW-KEB: Same as above, but for the Japanese version.
!F1-ZRJ9-TTK: This is the last stage, normal mode, American version.
YF1-ZRJ9-TTK: Same as above, but Japanese version.
9RS-LRR2-495: Last stage, expert mode, American version.
9RE-LRR2-495: Same as above, but Japanese.


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