== Nixon Computer ==

GAME CLEAR No. 161 -- Raimais

video games game clear arcade archives hamster taito ps5

Raimais (1988, Arcade)

Developer: Taito
Publisher: Taito
Clear Version: Arcade Archives release (2021, PS4/Switch)
Arcade Archives Developer: Hamster Corporation
Arcade Archives Publisher: Hamster Corporation
Clear Platform: PS5
Clear Date: 3/7/24


Mirror of Fate

Raimais (pronounced “Ray Maze”) is a very cool game. I was put onto it by the effusive praise for it doled out by Heidi Kemps at a panel she co-hosted at MAGFest a few years ago. It was a Sunday panel and thus woefully underattented, but she and her co-panelist highlighted a number of great Taito games including this one.

She is certifiably obsessed with Raimais, and her four-part blog series about it really completely obviates anything I could post, but I’ll say a few words anyhow because it’s so good.

Raimais stars protagonist Rika Midorikawa and follows her quest to save her brother from the evil Mr. Molto, who is holding him captive. In the very brief opening cutscene, she dons her helmet and hops into her fancy futuristic technobike to begin her quest. What follows is her pursuit of Molto through a series of 32 different mazes, each containing a number of dots. Rika must collect all of them while avoiding a number of enemy vehicles with varying behaviors to move on to the next. Wait, that sounds familiar, doesn’t it?


But that’s what strikes me as great about the game. It’s obviously heavily influenced by Pac-Man, yet it never feels like it. Its feel and control, aesthetic and soundtrack, and its additional mechanics all completely subvert the feeling that you’re just playing another dot-munching game. Throw in some boss fights against huge robots and fully voice-acted cutscenes, and you’ve got yourself a work that succesfully differentiates itself from its inspirations, unlike some games.

I put tons of virtual quarters into the slot and hammered on the continue button in order to get through this game and see one of its multiple endings, but I reckon I’ll be back. It’s too stylish and fun for me to not revisit it and try to go for its best ending, now achievable by way of a fix introduced in the Arcade Archives release.

I know I post about a lot of random old shit on here that has minimal appeal to my paltry readership, but man this is actually one of the cool ones. At least look up a longplay and jam to the soundtrack for a bit. Your old buddy Clayton would appreciate it.