Cybernoid: The Fighting Machine is a shoot ’em up developed and published in 1987 by Hewson Consultants for the ZX Spectrum, and was then ported to the Amstrad CPC, Atari ST, Commodore 64, NES, and Amiga. It was programmed by Raffaele Cecco. The Sinclair ZX Spectrum and Atari ST versions featured a main theme by Dave Rogers, whilst the Commodore C64 version (later released on the Wii‘s Virtual Console service) featured a completely different theme by Jeroen Tel.
In Cybernoid, pirates have raided the storage depots of the Federation and stolen minerals, jewels, ammunition and the latest battle weaponry. The Cybernoid ship has been dispatched with instructions to retrieve the stolen booty and to return it to storage within a specified time limit. The cybernoid needs to battle the pirates and their planetary defense systems in order to retrieve the stolen booty.
Cybernoid is split into levels with each level consisting of several screens which are travelled via a flick-screen system of play rather than scrolling. The hazards in each screen can be different – some will have just enemy pirate ships, some homing missiles, some gun turrets, some indestructible enemies on fixed-paths that have to be traversed and some a mixture of these. The Cybernoid ship can collect power-ups for assistance (including a rear-gun and a giant spiked ball which flies around the ship) and also use a variety of built-in special weapons such as shields and homing missiles.
Shooting pirate ships often leaves power-ups or jewels which Cybernoid can then collect.
The NES version was made by Studio 12 productions, consisting of Chris Harvey as the programmer and Adrian Carless for the graphics. They put a few in-jokes into the title page, the main one being that the Cybernoid ship was designed by “M.Sugden”, referencing the British Actress Molly Sugden, who played Mrs Slocobme on the TV series Are You Being Served?.
Cybernoid is an excellent PC remake of a classic Spectrum/Commodore shooter. It offers a well-designed balance between strategy, action and even puzzle elements that will keep the action experts happy for hours on end.