Alien Syndrome
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Sega
1987
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Sega's Alien Syndrome brought frantic alien blasting to arcades the year after Aliens brought it to theaters, and though the game's sensibility is decidedly less dark, it manages to squeeze a fair amount of tension out of its gameplay. The game's two protagonists, the strangely child-like Ricky and Mary, venture into a series of alien-infested ships to rescue their kidnapped comrades and escape before the ship self-destructs, fighting a boss alien once they reach the end of each level. Maps located around the levels help you locate your friends, and weapon power-ups help you mop up increasingly aggressive aliens, but really the timer is your most dastardly foe as you navigate the game's corridors. The game's cabinet was known for its plastic three-eyed alien topper, which didn't fit in our overlay, but you can imagine it there staring down at you menacingly.

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