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R-Type Final R-9A Arrowhead

The R-9A Arrowhead with the Standard Force.

The Force unit is a defining feature of R-Type. It is a pilot-controlled satellite unit created by Bydo tissue. A Force unit typically consists of a glowing orange sphere with a number of control rods attached. The Force, like its cousin, the Bit Device, is virtually indestructible and damages whatever it contacts; pilots should be warned that whatever an attached Force doesn't eat, will pass right through it. It contains a catalyst function that converts injected energy into different wave forms. It's been referred to with a few different names, such as Force Device, Force Pod, and Power Pod.

Force Usage

The Force is R-Type's most famous and unique innovation. Described as "an indestructible living weapon", it is a glowing, often spherical pod that can be attached to almost any Space Corps ship. It is fashioned out of Bydo cells that are captured in their embryotic stages, which are then 'grown' as per specifications to what type of force they will be. In the R-Type Series alone, there are over 50 different varieties of forces.

Force units allow the pilot to focus different wave forms through it in order to create offensive beams. The type of beam depends on the color of the Laser Crystal. When launched independent of the spacecraft, each Force operates on its own AI, if it possesses one. Though no longer actively controlled, a skilled pilot can learn how an detached force acts and use that to an advantage. Forces are gained by first obtaining a Laser Crystal power-up. This summons an embryonic Force device. Further collection of crystals cause the Force to grow, up to a maximum of 3. With each level of growth, the Force's attached and detached attacks increase in overall power. A Force device can be attached to either the front or back of a spaceship, allowing a pilot to provide a rear attack that otherwise wouldn't exist.

The pilot normally has a single button with which to control the Force. By pressing the button when the Force is attached to the ship, it is rocket-ejected away in whatever direction it is facing. When detached, the Force can be made to fire, but it uses an array of simple blasters rather than the weapons it supplies to the ship. This is because the ship blaster's energy itself is being channeled into the force and amplified by the crystal inside. By pressing the button again, the Force can be recalled back to the ship. Because it homes in on the player's ship, the player can control it in a limited manner by moving the ship as it is returning. It is standard behavior for a Force to try to stay on the same lateral plane as the pilot if the pilot keeps distant. If the pilot gets too close, the Force will approach and attach itself automatically. Should the pilot switch sides, the Force will as well, unless the pilot closes for docking.

The Force also, importantly, acts as a shield. It is indestructible and can block normal enemy weapons, such as Bydo Shots. It can also damage or destroy enemies by collision.

Force Construction

First Force

Researching the usage of the Force

Quoting directly from Irem's website:

"The Force is a piece of Bydo flesh. It has characteristics of both a life form and a mineral. By absorbing a certain type of energy, it undergoes a three stage transformation. When struck by a beam, a catalytic function causes the beam to change its form. Against the Bydo, the purest form of energy was extracted from this piece, and converged into a ball-like shape and manipulated through a control rod. The name "Force" implies both a physical and mental power. Four [or more] rods are needed to control the Force. Each one organically combines with the energy inside."

Every Force Device fundamentally consists of a core, which is the glowing body within the device, and an external, artificial mechanism called the "control rod". The control rod's purpose is to function as an inhibitor for the core. Control rod components can also be equipped with extra cannons similar to the R-series' default weapon. Some Force Devices, such as the Shadow or Cyclone Force, are even equipped with their own Bit Devices. Thrusters within the control rod direct the movement of the Device, and relays connect the device to the control of the R-craft's onboard computer. The computer automatically handles the maneuvers of the Force Device, and detached Devices will perform differently according to their unique programming. Some will attempt to match the altitude of the R-craft, while others will avoid the altitude of the R-craft. While the computer handles these movements, the action of Recalling, Docking with or Releasing the Force Device to or from the R-craft is under the direct decision of the pilot.

The glowing orb in the center of every Force Device hides its terrible secret: This core is essentially a flesh sample of the Bydo. Bydo flesh has the unique property of being neither matter nor energy, but in a state of constant flux between the two. As such, it becomes a catalytic converter for energy weapons. By concentrating certain wavelengths of energy and subjecting the sample to the beam, new energies are created at wavelengths that are effective against the Bydo. Different energy injection wavelengths are achieved through the use of the colored lenses of the Power-Up Laser Crystals. Essentially, the R-craft is the energy source of the weapon. This energy is refined after passing through an equipped Laser Crystal, and finally, the Force Device, if docked to the R-craft (in most cases) converts the energy into a wavelength that is able to cancel the Bydo molecular structure.

The control rods interface with the organic Force through synaptic roots that extend into the sphere of the core, much like the dendritic extensions of neuron cells. For the Standard Force with four control rods, these roots are hidden beneath the points of attachment of the rods to the Force orb. During the opening sequence of R-Type Final, a synchronization sequence between the control rods and the Force Core was shown. As the dendrites from the control rod made contact with the dendrites offered by the inner nucleus of the Force, %100 synchronization occurred. Without an inhibiting restraining device or control rod, the Force Orb has the capability to mature into a full-fledged Bydo. The orange ball is merely its embryonic form. In R-Type Command/Tactics, Bydogen is involved in Force construction.

Growth Process

Without control rods, the Force would have the ability to grow into a Bydo like this:


There are many different models of Force units.

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