Tyrian 2000 Free On Good Old Games

Ho ho ho! Tis’ the season to be jesus christ it’s the 14th already and I haven’t started my Christmas shopping. Doomed.

Anyway, Good Old Games are having a dirty great Holiday sale and perhaps as a means of driving further interest they’ve (1) Added scrolling shooter Tyrian 2000 to their catalogue, and (2) Made it available for free. You can get it here. Tyrian 2000 was only an update of the original Tyrian which went freeware in 2004 (EDIT: Apparently Tyrian 2000 is also freeware!), so this isn’t exactly the world’s most generous offer, but it’s still a pleasant surprise. Want to see what you’re in for? Well! Have a gander at the following archive footage.

Listen to that music! Also, check out the incredibly long boss fight at 4:30. I’ve had relationships shorter than that boss fight.


  1. Namos says:

    Carrot ships and banana spam! For the fruit and vegetable space consortium!

  2. Jimmy says:

    Someone didn’t tell the dude in the video that [left] and [right] actually select higher levels of front and back weapons. he had them at level 1, which might explain the length of the boss fight.

    • aequidens says:

      Also, nobody informed him that the rear weapon can be pointed forward. I think it was with enter or slash or some key in that region.

    • Arathain says:

      Enter it is. Oo, that’s a bit helpful. I’d forgotten, if I ever knew.

    • Pemptus says:

      I believe it’s enter in-game and slash to test it out on the purchase screen.

  3. Wilson says:

    If they’ve done something to make it work better it’s a great offer. I loved this game, and I can’t wait to play it again!

  4. mlaskus says:

    Oh Tyrian, this game is a masterpiece. Probably the best shmup out there.

    • squareking says:

      Tyrian is absolutely awesome and, although it’s been free for a while, GOG’s placing of said game in the spotlight is equally awesome — but you, my friend, have a date with the latest build of MAME and a developer called CAVE. Then visit Toaplan, Takumi, Raizing and Psikyo.

    • Urthman says:

      Yes. Tyrian is a good game, but it’s not in the top 25 shmups of all time. It’s probably not even in the top 25 PC shmups of all time (many of which are also free).

      If you like SHMUPS on PC, check out some of the links in the notes to this video:

      And if you’re up for trying games in MAME, here’s a list of some of the best shmups ever:

      link to shmups.system11.org

      As a start you could go to Kenta Cho’s webpage (link to asahi-net.or.jp) and download rRootage, Parsec47, Tumiki Fighters, and anything else that strikes your fancy. They’re all good.

      And make sure you give ChoRenSha 68K (link to tky.3web.ne.jp) a try.

      And Warning Forever (link to www18.big.or.jp)

      And Kamui (link to siterskain.com)

      And one of the Shanghai Alice games (link to www16.big.or.jp)

    • mlaskus says:

      I don’t date, I conquer!

      Thanks for the recommendations though.

    • Casimir's Blake says:

      NO, Squareking. Cave make bullet-hell nonsense. They cannot design levels. Tyrian has you flying through ships, caves and all sorts of places that must be avoided, as well as the usual collection of enemies. This gives the gameplay some purpose beyond racking up a score and surviving for 9 seconds longer, and makes the overall experience a lot more memorable.

      Oh, how I loathe bullet-hell, empty-level shooters. Oh Techno Soft, how I and many others miss thee.

    • Jae Armstrong says:

      The best? Perhaps, but it’d have to beat down Perfect Cherry Blossom and Warning Forever and Ikaruga and an entire host of greats to get there.

      Top ten, definitely. Top three, very probably.

    • Urthman says:

      [Spam filter ate this because it had too many great links, so I’ll try breaking it up.]

      Yes. Tyrian is a good game, but it’s not in the top 25 shmups of all time. It’s probably not even in the top 25 PC shmups of all time (many of which are also free).

      If you like SHMUPS on PC, check out some of the links in the notes to this video:
      link to youtube.com

      And if you’re up for trying games in MAME, here’s a list of some of the best shmups ever:

      link to shmups.system11.org

    • Urthman says:

      As a start you could go to Kenta Cho’s webpage (link to asahi-net.or.jp) and download rRootage, Parsec47, Tumiki Fighters, and anything else that strikes your fancy. They’re all good.

      And make sure you give ChoRenSha 68K (link to tky.3web.ne.jp) a try.

      And Warning Forever (link to www18.big.or.jp)

      And Kamui (link to siterskain.com)

      And one of the Shanghai Alice games (link to www16.big.or.jp)

    • mlaskus says:

      I realize that there are thousands of Japanese shmups out there, but I place Tyrian well above them all because I hate bullet hell.

    • squareking says:

      Yeah, bullet hell’s not for everyone. We don’t all like bleeding eyeballs. So-called ‘euroshmups’ (Tyrian, Jets & Guns, etc) and caravan-style shooters are awesome if you like the mechanic but want to actually beat the game without dogged practice. :) Honestly though, early Raizing titles like Battle Garegga and Dimahoo might be easier to pick up. The Gradius and R-Type series are wonderful, too.

  5. Bluebreaker says:

    Tyrian 2000 has been freeware since 2004.

  6. EALouise says:

    Oh wow, weirdness. The other day I was reminiscing about a shareware scrolly-shooty game I got off a PC Gamer disc. I thought it was awesome, but I completely forgot it’s name.

    Turns out it was Tyrian.

  7. Mr Wibble says:

    Worth it for the soundtrack alone.

    • Wulf says:

      This is a truth.

      Well, that and the absurdity. How about 25% of the way in the developers decide they simply don’t care about story any more and it goes absolutely bonkers in that special sort of Fahrenheit way that I find really funny and charming.

      One of the best things about Tyrian really was that it wasn’t serious business, many scrolling shooters at the time were serious business, coming out of Japan and all, which was serious business-land for gaming at the time (today that’s America, it appears). Tyrian was a true breath of fresh air by comparison. As has already been pointed out, it had fruit & veg ships.

      It’s worth playing even today, if you can handle the difficulty. It’s still as bonkers as the day it was released. To be honest, I think part of the reason I’m so fed up with gaming currently is because whilst I like many modern ideas, I tend to think that games have too high of an opinion of themselves, they take themselves too seriously. That even counts for stuff like World of Warcraft, despite its cartoony demeanour and pop-culture references (you can be silly without those!), it still tends to have a high opinion of itself, its continuity, and its lore. I think this is why I like TF2 by comparison though.

      I’m just rambling now though.

      In short: Play Tyrian, it looks normal at the start, but you’ll soon see just how utterly bonzo it gets. It’s like watching the descent into insanity o the developers. Brilliant stuff. Anyone who’s played it will know what I’m talking about (I hope).

    • mlaskus says:

      I have to agree, the game is absolutely, positively bonkers.

    • Jimmy says:

      Speaking of pop culture references,


      the single player storyline in Tyrian revolves around Trent Reznor


    • Wulf says:

      I didn’t say that they were necessarily a bad thing, but they can be when a supposedly serious game is absolutely drowned in them, as is the case with World of Warcraft. Since Tyrian is obviously entirely silly, and it has no reservations about being silly, then anything goes.

    • khamul says:

      The soundtrack is available as part of the package from GOG, handily converted into MP3 for your personal-media-device convenience. So yes, WIN.

      I’m listening to it now, and it’s like being thirteen again, only in a good way.

  8. Ashen says:

    Like it’s been mentioned already, Tyrian has been freeware for quite a while. It also spawned OpenTyrian which is a port for most platforms you can think of.

    • mlaskus says:

      It got ported even to Android. Great for some shooty fun on the go.

    • Dominic White says:

      I’ve got the iPhone version. It works shockingly well on a touchscreen. Maybe not quite as good as mouse control, but better than keyboard.

  9. Navagon says:

    Brings back memories of Super SWIV and other such SNES SHUMPS.

  10. PiMan says:

    Odd – that picture at the top looks like Xenon 2 to me… Are they basically the same game?

    • Dominic White says:

      Similar aesthetics, but almost completely different games.

  11. Arathain says:

    I like Tyrian. I shall download it again.

  12. Delusibeta says:

    In other news, Humble Indie Bundle 2 went live an hour ago. link to humblebundle.com

  13. djbriandamage says:

    This game totally rocks. I’ve sunk dozens of hours into this thing. This is the shmup epitomized. Props to GOG for releasing this with a 130MB soundtrack.

    I love it so much I take it with me. If you have a means of running homebrew software on your Nintendo DS you need to check out this port: link to vespenegas.com

  14. Access says:

    A classic of it’s genre for sure. Sadly, I’ve yet to see a game in a similar style with such deep customization as Tyrian.

    • Dominic White says:

      Jets N’ Guns is basically the only modern successor to Tyrians style. link to jng.rakeingrass.com – Very expensive on the official site, but it may be cheaper elsewhere.

    • Evil Timmy says:

      Does anyone have any similar recommendations? I’ve played the crap out of Tyrian/2000, beaten Jets and Guns dozens of times, even demolished the frequently brutal Raptor: Call of the Shadows (published by Apogee back in the day), but I want more. I’m not a big fan of the bullet hell-type SHMUPS, I vastly prefer this particular style, where you earn cash for taking out enemies/completing objectives, use that to buy upgrades, then carefully pick your loadout for the mission to deal with the enemies therein.

    • Casimir's Blake says:

      Yeah it’s nice when a shmup actually takes you places, right? Rather than utterly lazy empty screens full of enemies and bullets with, at best, a scrolling background with no obstacles. It is a particularly frustrating “minimalist” take on the genre, and sucks if you’re after “games as experiences”, not “games as challenges”.

    • Spacewalk says:

      Probably the only closest thing that you’ll get is the trial version of Fantasy Zone 2 DX and only then if you can get it to run (being non-Unicode and all that. Google for help on running Japanese language games on your Windows, there are guides everywhere for this). If you can you’re in for a short treat. Controls are arrows for movement, Z and X for shot and bomb and space for insert coin and enter to start (it’s an emulation you see). F1 for configuration, controls are on the third tab if memory serves.

      Probably the only downer is that it’s a trial version so it’s quite short, times out before the second boss but depending on stuff you do there’s two different version of him.

  15. blah says:

    Anything that Alexander Brandon was involved with must be played/listened to! XD

  16. Caleb367 says:

    Tyrian’s one of the awesomest shooters ever made, period. In my opinion, only Jets’n’Guns Gold ever got close. And it too had a kickass soundtrack XD

  17. Plopsworth says:

    Tyrian is a classic. I played the shareware version to death back in the day. The satisfying bubble-wrap like ability to blow pieces of the level apart, the varying levels, lovely art style with parallax scrolling scenery, the superb synth music and the fact that it isn’t a “bullet hell” type game made it great.

    Watching the video I groaned that the player didn’t shoot the giant boulder at 2:02. I haven’t played the game in many years, yet I still immediately remembered the hidden bonuses.

  18. ErikM says:

    Oh man.. I remember playing this 2 player when I was a wee one. Huddling close together by the keyboard yelling for the queue when those special bonus orbs came. Good times.

  19. Nick says:

    Tyrian really is wonderful.

  20. noom says:

    Tyrian is incredible.

    One of the most amazing things about Tyrian, is there an entire extra game hidden in it if you have the right code (I can’t remember it, but it can no doubt be Googled) and that extra game was ALSO amazing.

  21. noom says:

    link to telcontar.net

    I looked it up. The code is DESTRUCT. It could be described as Worms style, aye. Somewhere between that and Scorched Earth mebbe.

    Intended as reply to above comment, obv.

    • Nick says:

      Yeah thats the one I was thinking of, it was great fun. Tyrian was one of the few shareware games I actually bought the full version of back in the day, I liked it that much.

  22. Rane2k says:

    Great game! I played this a lot back in the day. :-)

    As somebody mentioned before, the boss fight takes so long because the guy took a not-so-good primary weapon, didn´t upgrade it and didn´t switch the mode of his secondary weapon (the green stuff) to shoot more forwards (can be switched in-flight for different situations). :-)

    Also, type “destruct” (minus quotes) in the main menu for a sub-game, there´s also a few other secret arcade modes, each with a separate secret code (TECHNO was one of them I think, for those of you who don´t care about the upgrade buying system ^^)

  23. Rane2k says:

    Damn, ninjaed on the code by a minute. :-)

    (Not going to edit this in my old post, as it will get eaten by the reply system whenever I edit.)

    very good web!

  24. Navagon says:


  25. Mist says:

    Eh, successful marketing trick =). Downloaded the game and then remembered that I had transferred some funds to my Paypal account in order to buy Planescape Torment, but hadn’t actually bought it yet. Fixed now =)

  26. lafinass says:


    I’ve been trying to remember the name of this game for years.

  27. noobnob says:

    This year’s Christmas sale completely dwarfs last year’s offerings. If I recall, it was just a handful of games on the sale, and now GOG has almost 300 games with up to 50% discount! It’s great to see how it has grown so much in these two years.

  28. Neil says:

    I actually didn’t play any Tyrian games, but I did play one from Epic MegaGames called Overkill that had a very similar look: link to youtube.com

  29. Collic says:

    Trivia time : many of the ships in AI war are old Tyrian sprites. That boss is the raid starship model :)

    I didn’t play this at the time, but it looks fun enough. I’ll give it a go.

  30. 8-bit says:

    I started the game up and it said detected Christmas. activate Christmas? y/n well I don’t know what its going on about so I just press y and it gives the game a bit of a Christmas makeover. Does anyone know if the game actually checks the clock on your computer or will it do that at any time of the year?

    • Vykromod says:

      It checks the clock. I believe that Christmas is detected whenever you start the game in December.

  31. pupsikaso says:

    Tohou this ain’t, but it looks and sounds splendid!

  32. Will Tomas says:

    forking shoes.

  33. Rune says:

    It was mentioned, but no link. Here is OpenTyrian for Android. It works pretty well with the touch screen as long as you set the guns to auto fire. Otherwise it gets a bit tiring to hold down the fire button. I have a Samsung Galaxy Spica, and it works pretty well, although with some slowdown occasionally.

    link to appbrain.com

  34. belstaff says:

    thanks for share with us

  35. Sic says:

    Fuck yeah, Tyrian!

  36. Antlerbot says:

    Tyrian was good, though I always preferred Raptor: Call of the Shadows. Less space-y, more awesome fighter jet-y. Yes.

  37. Spacewalk says:


    I remember being absolutely mad about Tyrian that I could see it whenever I closed my eyes. It’s probably because I was so into Xanac. That almost never happens these days, the last one was Mount & Blade which is about as far away from spaceships in space that you can get and then it’s usually nightmares about sending ten troops against an army of a hundred and sixty and none of us have horses.

  38. Hmm-Hmm. says:

    Tyrian, yeah, I enjoyed that game a great deal. A game which deserves more attention.

  39. kulak says:

    I have waited so long for this game to resurface into my memory hole.

    good times.

    best scrolling space shooter EVAR.

  40. ShadowSilver03 says:

    Am I the only one who has this game on their HTC Hero via the Android market?

  41. Blob says:

    I think a Demo for this was included with Jazz Jackrabbit. I loved it so much, it was the next game I bought. God, this brings back memories….

  42. stuntaneous says:

    This is one of a handful of old, awesome games I loved but to date never found or remembered the name of. This post has made my fricken day!