There are two background stories for the original Virtual On. The first one stems from the Japanese version, while the second was taken directly from the Saturn game.
Earth has entered the Virtual Century (V.C.). The whole world is now being controlled by some great syndicates that operate the media industry. The Earth is in a "dark age" in both politics and culture. Humans have switched their focus to space. Compared to Earth, the colonies outside Earth are expanding at a great speed. The syndicates on Earth have bewared of this new power.
In V.C.0084, one of the syndicates on Earth, DN, has found the "ruins" of a civilization that contains technology that is far more advanced than on Earth. DN hid this technology and used it to produce weapons that are much more advanced than the other syndicates'. These human-like robots are called "Virtuaroids."
VR are difficult to control. Only people who are "Virtual On Positive" can control a VR well. In order to search for these people, DN made a video game called "Virtual On" and put it in the arcade game center to test the "Virtual On Positive" of the player. Moreover, there is a remote control system in the game machine. Of course, the players of this game do not know this.
However, the ruins on Moon has become out of control. The ultimate weapon -- Sun Cannon has been started up. DN has decided to destroy the ruins with their VR. The code name of this plan is "Operation Moongate". Players who are "VO+" are forced to join this operation through the game machine. Can you finish the "game"?
The Virtual Century Has Begun
The world is under new management. It is the age of economic feudalism; governments have been privatized, multinational conglomerates have carved the world into enterprise zones and sprawling business entities stretch their tentacles into every sector of public and private life.
V.C. 0084 - The delicate balance of power maintained by the rival trade consortiums was thrown awry when a lunar-core mining survey commissioned by the DN Group uncovered and extensive ruined outpost of incredible complexity and indeterminate age beneath the desolate surface of Earth's moon.
The DN Group appropriated esoteric machinery from the lunar ruins and implemented a revolutionary R&D program under the tightest-security blanket - OT (OverTechnology) Systems. Years of secret research culminated in the development and release of a new line of neurally-directed combat droids with battleground precision and attack capabilities far beyond any mechanized warriors produced by the competition.
OT Systems gave DN Group a total monopoly, cementing its dominance of the world economy. But, more disturbingly, the internal security programs of the lunar base were accidentally re-armed by DN Group technicians, unleashing virtual pandemonium on the surface of the moon. "Operation Moongate" was initiated to shut down the base before the chaos could extend to Earth.
V.C. 00 a. 0 (Present Day) - The battle for control of the moon is underway, with OT Systems combat machines arrayed against the formidable remnants of the lunar complex defense forces. The DN Group forces have numerical superiority, but are being tactically outclassed by the experienced droid defending the base. In a desperate effort to recruit talented virtual pilots, the DN Military Support Division has opened a Test and Training program designed to cultivate maximum combat skills in the shortest possible time. As on of thousands of test candidates, you must prove yourself in simulation warfare against increasingly powerful DN tests droids before qualifying for the Mindshift into real-time combat in the lunar theater.
Gameplay is fast and furious as you take control of one of eightVirtuaroid through ten levels of play, including one 'secret' level. The arcade version makes use of its twin stick controller to pilot the Virtuaroid, which was also available for the home Saturn version. Pushing both sticks forward moves the VR forward, pushing them both to one side would move the Virtuaroid in that direction, and pushing one forward and one back would rotate it. Pushing the left stick to the left and the right one to the right will cause the VR to jump. There are two buttons on each stick. One button controls dashing while the other controls the weapons. Push the corresponding sticks button to fire either the right or left side weapons. Push them both to fire the middle weapon.
The gameplay is very deep as weapons cancel other weapons, certain combinations can do certain moves, and actually knowing what you're doing gives you a strong advantage.
You are pitted one on one with another VR, computer or human. Theclock counts down as you play and the first to knock the other playerslife bar to zero or with the highest life after the end of the round wins. Winning two out of the three rounds in a stage will allow you to pass to the next stage, running into every virtuaroid, including a mid-boss called Jaguarandi (who was, according to the Japanese story, a bug in the game that visualized all of the battles of a small boy into a VR) eventually fighting the final boss, Z-Gradt.
There are eight different Virtuaroids in the game, each with their strong points and weaknesses.
The Temjin was the first prototype developed by the DN Group. This machine was made for stability and performance. An all-around fighting machine, what the Temjin might lack in advanced technologies, it makes up for with it reliability.
The product of early experimentation with a stronger armored structure, the Dorkas is built slower than the other droids, but packs a heavier punch. The long range and obstacle-clearing power of its hammer attack make it a particularly tough customer in broken-field arenas.
The Fei-Yen is the fastest of the DN Group droids, sleek and streamlined for high-speed maneuverability. The R&D team had to cut back on armor and heavy weapons, but the Fei-Yen is rumored to have a devastating secret attack system for last-ditch defense.
Based on the popular Raiden battle-droid, the Belgdor is a slightly more mobile variant with a formidable homing missile system. The Belgdor doesn't have the one-punch KO capability of Dorkas or Raiden, but it beats them both in speed and jumping range.
TRV-06K-H Viper II
Developed for fast tactical deployment, Viper II extends the Temjin prototype to a new level of quickness and agility. Sacrifices were made in the Viper II armor and close-range arsenal, but most machines have trouble getting close enough to hit one.
The Ba-Bas-Bow was released well after the other DN Group battle-droids, and it represents a new direction in virtual warfare tech-droids. With longer sustained jumping power and next-generation smart guidance weapons systems, the Bal-Bas-Bow may be the newest stage in battle-droid evolution.
The Apharmd models are designed for use as guerilla shock-troops, with a pair of beam tonfas especially suited for hand-to-hand combat. Turbo speed and sturdy armor make the Apharmd droid a force to be reckoned with on any battleground.
Raiden droids are feared equally for their dual laser cannons and their strontium-alloy armor. If these machines have a weak point, it's a lack of speed and jumping ability, but they don't need to spend much time trying to get out of anything's way.
Virtual On has nine main stages and one hidden one. The first five stages - Flooded City, Airport, Water Front, Green Hills (a reference to a blue hedgehog), and Ruins - are simulation stages. The last four - Space Dock, Moon Base, Death Trap, and Nirvana - are real warfare according to the story. Stages are listed in game order.
Put your machine through its paces in search-and-destroy mode. Strategically placed buildings give cover to both sides of the conflict. Try staking out the high ground to launch attacks against the enemy below.
There's room to roam, but no place to hide in this 100% natural simulated battlefield. One point to remember - pine trees are not particularly effective cover against homing missiles or napalm.
Mindshift out of training mode for your first encounter with a real enemy. There are impenetrable fortifications regularly spaced throughout the fighting are of this remote station orbiting the moon. And the difficulty level has made a quantum leap - these are real guns, live bombs. This is not a drill.
You'll have to put all the maneuvers and tactical skills you learned in simulation battles and live combat to get through this stage. There's plenty of cover to work with, so take your time and wear your enemy down.
While Virtual On had a unique, stylized look, its advertisements had nothing of the sort. To the left, in all of its bizarreness, is the game's original arcade flyer. As the beautiful models attempt to put some sex appeal into the VO universe, they gradually morph into Virtuaroids. An accurate portrayal of the game, I must say.
On the right, an advertisement for the Saturn version shows a decapitated robot. The bad news: it's not Bal-Bas-Bow, but some electronic mannequin that has nothing to do with the series.
These codes are for the Saturn version of Virtual On.
Alternate Colors Code - At the start screen, hold up and press the left and right trigger.
Change Virtuaroid Colors - Hold the left trigger while you make your VR selection.
Play as Jaguarandi - Hold down and press the left and right triggers simultaneously. You should hear a sound. Jaguarandi will be selectable past Raiden.
Virtual On: Cybertroopers - A hardcore Compendium - This site's focus is on the original Virtual On. It has strategies and guides for every Virtuaroid as well as goodies, music, and other info.
UP's Home Page - Featuring sections on both the VOOM and VOOT, this site has strategies and tactics for Oratorio Tangram and general info for the original Virtual On.