Terra Cresta[lower-alpha 1] is a 1985 vertical-scrolling shooterarcade game developed and published by Nichibutsu. The player assumes control of a starship named the “Wing Galibur” that must destroy the Mandler army before they destroy all of humanity. Gameplay involves shooting enemies and collecting different ship parts that each provide their own unique weapon, such as a wave gun or a double shot. It is the sequel to Moon Cresta (1980), Nichibutsu’s first big hit in arcades.
The player takes control of the “Wing Galibur” fighter craft, and must shoot down the incoming enemy craft in the air and on the ground. Small capsules can appear on the ground, and once the player has shot all of them down, will award the player with a piece to attach onto the Wing Galibur. These pieces can give the Wing Galibur extra firepower and wider shots, with four individual pieces to acquire; should the player have all pieces to the ship and press the “transform” button, the Wing Galibur will transform into an enormous, flaming phoenix that is invulnerable to anything for a brief period of time. Additionally, the player can press the transform button without all pieces, and cause the pieces to split from the Wing Galibur and move into a triangular shape around the player. During this, the pieces are invulnerable to all enemy fire, while the player is not; should he or she be hit with the pieces, the Wing Galibur will revert to a singular craft, and if the Wing Galibur is hit, the player will lose a life, and the game will be immediately over should the player lose all of their lives.
In Japan, Game Machine listed Terra Cresta on their October 15, 1985 issue as being the third most-successful table arcade unit of the month.
In a 2016 retrospective review, Hardcore Gaming 101 compared the game to Super Mario Bros. in terms of taking concepts established in its predecessor and expanding on it while adding its own unique ideas alongside. They greatly praised Terra Cresta for its unique power-up system in particular, namely the ability to split the different ships apart for a short while, and favorably compared the gameplay itself to Xevious for its design and challenge, alongside its several nods to Japanese science-fiction shows and mecha.Hardcore Gaming 101 also praised the Nintendo Entertainment System version’s soundtrack for being an improvement over the Japanese Family Computer score. In their coverage of the series in 2016, Retro Gamer magazine liked the game’s enhancements over titles like Xevious, alongside its “then-contemporary” power-up system.