Coryoon starts off with an absurd premise. Coryoon, a baby dragon, and a princess are hanging out together when all of a sudden, a gigantic monster comes out of nowhere and turns the princess into a super-deformed version of herself. Coryoon goes out to exact vengeance on the monster and turn his princess back to a normal person. On the way, you fly through color themed levels, fight huge bosses, and eat lots of fruit.
Coryoon is a horizontal shooter made by Naxat, a relatively obscure company that churned out some really good games, such as Recca, and some really bad games, like Faussete Amour. Fortunately, Coryoon is one of Naxatís best games, ranking among the best of the PC Engineís shmups. It certainly has a reputation behind it, as prices can get downright ridiculous if you want a physical copy.
Gameplay is pretty standard shmup fare at first. There isnít very much hazardous terrain to dodge and most enemies fly in groups and patterns. Every so often a stork will fly by. They move pretty fast, but are huge, so theyíre easy to hit. After defeating a stork it drops an egg. Coryoon can eat the egg to gain power-ups. Red is fire, which does a lot of damage, but doesnít have the best range. Blue is water, which functions like a laser, firing in a straight line and piercing through enemies. Yellow is a spread attack, shooting little lightning bolts in front of and behind. It does very low damage, but can still be useful if you know how to use it well.
In addition to gaining power-ups through eggs, Coryoon can collect spades, hearts, clubs, and diamonds for other special powers. Spades give you a screen-clearing bomb. Hearts give you tiny dragon helpers, clubs are basically fruit magnets that make fruit come to you instead of simply falling, and diamonds shrink your sprite and hitbox. The mini dragons are kind of underwhelming, as they run away once you reach a boss, but otherwise all the powers are pretty cool. You can also kill giant chicken enemies to gain power-ups.
One of the best parts about Coryoon are the boss designs. Each level has two bosses, one at the halfway point and another at the end. Most bosses have multiple forms and a variety of interesting attacks. One of the cooler bosses involves fighting a monsterís head surrounded by fire. After defeating it, its full body appears and it gets angry. Another fun boss is the giant turtle with crystals growing out of its back. It has a lot of different attacks, most of which are very bizarre.
Coryoonís gameplay may seem similar to anyone familiar with the first Air Zonk game, which mysteriously took on a different feel in its sequel. This is easily explained by the fact that Air Zonk and Coryoon shared staff: Yashiharu Takaoka was the designer and main programmer in the first Air Zonk and had the same duties for Coryoon, hence why the two feel so similar. Meanwhile Hishashi Matsushita and Daisuke Morishima worked on the music for both Air Zonk and Coryoon. While the games donít have much to do with each other, as they were developed at different companies, they still retain a similar sense of style.
Coryoon is one of the most graphically impressive games on HU card. It features many planes of scrolling, huge bright-colored sprites, and it moves extremely fast. It also fits a lot of sprites on screen at once. Whenever an enemy is killed it drops fruit. Fruit comes in many different types and sizes, and are all worth points. Sometimes, thereís so much going on it becomes hard to concentrate, leading to mistakes. Coryoon is very forgiving though. It practically throws extra lives at you like candy on Halloween, and you donít restart at a checkpoint, making it possibly the easiest shmup on the PC Engine.
Thereís some cool extra features too. If you beat a level you unlock that level in stage select, which starts you on the selected stage instead of the beginning. You can also turn off the fruit, which will make your score lower. On the upside, youíre much less likely to have a seizure during some of the gameís more hectic parts. Slowdown is practically nonexistent, even with over fifty sprites on screen moving at lightning fast speeds.
It was a fairly late release on HU card. By 1991 the CD add on was out, introducing people to flashy cutscenes and CD quality soundtracks. Since Coryoon was released on HU card, despite its quality it was largely ignored. It probably didnít help that many of Naxatís games never left Japan. Coryoon was sadly not an exception. As a result, as of 2011 it commands a price of over $100 (USD) for just for the HU card itself. While Coryoon is legitimately fantastic, you can find many other cheaper games on the PC Engine Ė and although they arenít quite as good, they go for much more reasonable prices.