Gain Ground

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a game by Sega
Genres: Action, Shooting Games
Platforms: Sega GenesisGenesis, Sega Master SystemSega Master System
Editor Rating: 6.9/10, based on 5 reviews, 7 reviews are shown
User Rating: 7.0/10 - 2 votes
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See also: Arcade Games
Gain Ground
Gain Ground
Gain Ground
Gain Ground

In the not so distant future, "Gain Ground" is a popular training game designed to prepare players for battle. Participants must make their way through five rounds reflecting different time periods in history, with each round consisting of ten stages. Of course, players are required to wear authentic battle clothing as they engage the Gain Ground androids trying to defeat them.

The goal is not only to survive long enough to reach each stage's exit, but ultimately defeat the five "Superdroids" marking the end of each round. While the game was certainly fun for the participants, something went wrong with the central computer controlling it. The Brain, as it was called, suddenly malfunctioned and shut down the simulation, trapping those still left inside. There was also one small change: the androids were now bent on destroying all of the competitors!

Three fighters have vowed to rescue their comrades and eliminate the Brain: James, Siren and Tonga. All characters have both normal and special weapons, each possessing specific strengths and weaknesses. For instance, some weapons are only effective for reaching high places, low places or certain angles. During the course of the game, you'll be able to rescue 17 different hostages to add to your team.

Each of these characters will offer new weapons (such as fireballs, spears, grenades, etc.) to help you progress through the stages. The five rounds are as follows: the Dark Ages, the Renaissance, the Golden Age, Present Day, and the Near Future. Having trouble with some areas? Bring along a second player for simultaneous action!

You can move your character in 8 different directions; up, down, left, right and the diagonals and you can also attack in those directions too. Each character has 2 attacks, one attack that can be fired in any direction and another attack which may be limited by direction, white arrows at the picture of your character indicate which direction the attack can be used.

Gain Ground is based on Sega's 1989 arcade game of the same name.

Gain Ground features:

  • Based on the arcade hit of the same name
  • Three initial characters to choose from
  • Over a dozen extra characters to recruit
  • Action for one or two players

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System requirements:

  • PC compatible
  • Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP
  • Game modes: Single game mode

Player controls:

  • Up, Down, Left, Right - Arrow keys
  • Start - Enter (Pause, Menu select, Skip intro, Inventory)
  • "A" Gamepad button - Ctrl (usually Jump or Change weapon)
  • "B" button - Space (Jump, Fire, Menu select)
  • "C" button - Left Shift (Item select)

Use the F12 key to toggle mouse capture / release when using the mouse as a controller.

Sega Master System

System requirements:

  • PC compatible
  • Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP

Game Reviews

Time Marches On...

Sega is adding a Gauntlet style game to their 8 bit Master System library. In Gain Ground you must search through different multi-screen battlefields looking for more powerful weapons while avoiding or shooting the bothersome enemy soldiers who relentlessly come after you. This version of the old arcade game is set in a 3/4 overhead perspective view and allows for two player simultaneous game play. Gain experience points and progress through time as you obtain the newer style weapons.

This little-seen Sega coin-op is getting a second chance on the Sega Genesis. You control a band of raiders in an action game that's got great background graphics, thanks to the Genesis' powerful 16-Bit processor, and game play that vaguely resembles Gauntlet. Collect valuable items and if the enemy gets in your way...blow 'em apart!

Infiltrate The Stronghold!

Your comrades have been captured by a ruthless army, it's your job to rescue them! Take every precaution, and perhaps bring along a friend. Two can play through each of the fifty precarious levels! How good do you think you are? Can you master all 50 levels and take the last level commander? There's only one way to find out!

  • Levels: 5
  • Theme: Action
  • Players: 1-2
  • Difficulty: Hard

A Gauntlet-style game that has a cast of characters journeying through time trying to defeat an onslaught of different creatures trying to obtain total control of the Earth.

Work your way through time in this remake of and old Sega classic quest game now translated for the Master System. Start off in the cave man era and search for stronger weapons while avoiding the enemy which will do anything to keep you off their land. The weapons get more advanced as you progress from level to level and you move up to clubs, spears, bow and arrows and eventually guns. Play against the computer or with a friend in a 2 person cooperative game.

Gain Ground is an unusual strategy-arcade hybrid that features progressively difficult rounds of combat in which the player is gravely outnumbered by hordes of computer-controlled foes. The abilities of the enemies and the construction of the terrain change from round to round. In these ways, the game resembles the humdrum Crack Down. But Gain Ground offers a few more twists, making it a more complex and interesting game.

When the game begins, you're given a certain number of lives...but each life is actually a different character, each of which has unique abilities and weapons. Every time a new stage begins, you select which one of the characters will fight in that stage (except for any characters who got killed off in previous stages). The difficulty lies in learning which character has the most strategic advantage in any given stage. For instance, if you're holding a pistol, there's no way you'll be able to defeat an archer standing on the other side of a castle wall. But if you can lob a grenade or a javelin well enough, you've got a crucial advantage. High-tech weaponry is generally best, but it also tends to be heaviest, so the character may walk slower. Many characters have two weapons, usually a specialty weapon and a simple hand pistol.

Playing in easy or normal mode gives you three "lives" and a preset number of continues. Playing in hard mode disables the continues but gives you 20--count 'em, 20--lives, each of which is a different character. The weapon selection is far more extensive this way. Learn to play on hard and forget the other levels.

Each stage is filled with mindless villains and contains an exit. Once you begin a stage, you have two ways out: either through the exit, or by polishing off every enemy onscreen. Wipe out the whole enemy contingent, and the stage will end. Take the exit, and each character or life you have left will also have to take the exit...meaning a lot of extra work and time. (If any of the subsequent characters clears the screen, the stage ends.) There's also a timer in operations: take too long plowing through a stage, and you lose your present life.

Each level ends with one or more bosses. They have strong defenses, but their attack patterns are easy to learn. Some stages in some rounds (there are ten stages per round) seem almost impossible to clear, but this game has a two-player cooperative mode that changes the strategy entirely. For singleplayer games, there's always the option to have each character cut and run for the exit rather than risk lives trying to clear the level.

Due to the constraints of having to show a whole battlefield on-screen at once (using only about 65% of the screen's width), the characters are small and poorly defined. The background graphics are adequate but certainly nothing impressive. The music, like the rest of the game, is often too repetitious; many stages have identical music.

Gain Ground didn't appeal to me. I found the endless combat sequences tedious after a while (particularly in easy and normal modes). But those who enjoy war games mixed with action, or combat scenes from RPG/action games (such as Sword of Vermilion) will probably find a lot of entertainment value in Gain Ground.

Snapshots and Media

Sega Genesis/Mega Drive Screenshots

Sega Master System Screenshots