UPL’s dummy thicc shmup Bio-Ship Paladin joins the Arcade Archives

(Look, I’m old af, I don’t know if that’s the right context)

Hamster has really been packing the Arcade Archives range out with old-school UPL shmups lately, and this week is no exception. And speaking of “packing out”, you better give this one some serious room, as the newest retro drop is the hefty, king-sized Bio-Ship Paladin — now available for download on PS4 and Nintendo Switch.

Released in Japan in 1990 as Battle Ship Gomora, Bio-Ship Paladin is a horizontally scrolling shump that sees players jet through the skies of Atlantal, on a quest to rescue the city from an army of intergalactic invaders known as “The Aggressors”. It’s all fairly standard stuff, but what Bio-Ship Paladin brought to the table was an individually controlled weapon, with a time targeting reticle similar to that of Atari classic Missile Command.

Additionally, the Paladin itself is pretty damn chonky, easily one of the largest player vessels in shmup history. This, inevitably, leads to somewhat clunky gameplay and while Paladin isn’t without its fair share of innovation and visual ambition, it simply isn’t as fun to play as its faster, hotter-firing contemporaries. Bio-Ship Paladin would receive a port to the Sega Mega Drive in 1991, while this release from Hamster is the arcade version’s first official appearance on any home format.

You can check out all of the interstellar action for yourself in the video below, courtesy of YouTuber Were1974.

Chris Moyse
Senior Editor - Chris has been playing video games since the 1980s. Former Saturday Night Slam Master. Graduated from Galaxy High with honors.