Macross M3 (マクロスM3?) is a 3-D arcade-style shooter that was released for the Sega Dreamcast. Similar to Macross Digital Mission VF-X and Macross VF-X2, players were part of the elite Dancing Skull squadron and piloted various Macross-universe mecha through a variety of story-based missions. The game spans several decades in the Macross Timeline, from A.D. 2014 to 2030, and features playable pilots such as Maximilian Jenius, Milia Fallyna Jenius, and their adopted Zentradi daughter, Moaramia Jenius. It is considered a prequel to the Macross 7 television series.
Like its Playstation predecessors, Macross M3 is mission-based 3D shooter where players chose from several playable pilots, each with their own unique variable fighter. Combat was dependent on players taking advantage of their variable fighter's three distinct modes: Fighter, GERWALK and Battroid. The final game consisted of eight stages called "episodes", and each episode consists of a handful of levels, totaling 18 playable levels.
The game is set in a previously unexplored period of the official Macross scenario (2014 and 2030). The game is noted involving series creator Shōji Kawamori, character designer Haruhiko Mikimoto, and animation director Ichiro Itano. Kawamori stated he wanted to flesh out what transpired between Maximilian Jenius and Milia Fallyna Jenius, and how the events in the game led to Macross 7. In addition, one of the big selling points of the game was the inclusion of previously unseen variable fighters, the VF-3000 Crusader and VF-9 Cutlass. Shōji Kawamori helped to refine their design.
SynopsisSpace War I ended with the destruction of much of the Earth's surface. Mankind and Zentradi formed a society that led to a space colonization program in 2012, hoping to preserve their species. As humanity and their new Zentradi allies expanded across the galaxy, many were convinced that they had finally entered a new era of peace.
However, not everyone was keen to join this new order. Zentradi Fundamentalists began mobilizing on several planets in the frontier section of the galaxy. Many began engaging in acts of terrorism, which terrified the population. Responding to these attacks, U.N. Spacy organized a secret military force known as the "Dancing Skull", led by ace pilots Maximilian Jenius a.k.a. "Blue Skull" and Milia Fallyna Jenius a.k.a. "Crimson Skull".
The Dancing Skull squadron were stationed aboard the cruiser Arugenikusu, allowing them full autonomy in how they carry out their confidential operations. Due to their status as a secret military group, the two ace pilots didn't expect much in terms of friendly military support. They engaged in military "dances" in the battlefield, claiming it helped their combat effectiveness. Early on, the couple captures and rehabilitates a young Zentradi named Moaramia Jifon, eventually adopting her as their daughter. Years later, she would be inducted to the Dancing Skull team, having many adventures since.
- Episode 1 - AERIAL DANCE
- Episode 2 - DANCING TIGHTROPE
- ステージ数 - 3
- It is A.D. 2018, the Dancing Skull team's mission is to destroy the weapons development base discovered in the new Nile on the planet Cristrania. On Stage 3, the Dancing Skull team engage an the unidentified new VF type, the Variable Glaug. They capture the aircraft and its pilot, Moaramia Jifon.
- Episode 3 - ESCORT OF VISITOR
- Episode 4 - BLACK CELEBRATION
- Number of stages - 3
- In A.D. 2022, the planet New Asia, which housed the U.N. Spacy biological research facility is destroyed and abandoned after a bio-hazardous accident. The Dancing Skulls engage the AI-controlled defense system and giant insectoid biological weapons. Moaramia finally becomes a selectable character in this episode.
- Episode 5 - FEAST OF SANDSTORM
- Number of stages - 2
- In A.D. 2028, Dancing Skull team provide assistance on the relocation of a U.N. Spacy weapons research plant on the planet Susia. They repel the attack of the guerrilla organization "Iron Discipline". After a defensive battle on the ground, they proceed to intercept a large bomber in the sky.
- Episode 6 - FIRE CARNIVAL
- Number of stages - 2
- In A.D. 2029, the terrorist group "Stringle" has hampered operations on the resource-rich planet of Dahan. Dancing Skulls are deployed to engage with a powerful mobile weapons platform that was released from an enemy battleship that immediately folded out.
- Episode 7 - DEVIL GATE DRIVE
- Number of stages - 2
- In A.D. 2030, the planet Bellfan was occupied by the Anti-U.N. Forces rebel forces and many of its U.N. personnel, including the chief aide are taken hostage. This mission doubles as a combat test for the prototype VFX-11. This episode reproduces settings material originally found in the book "THIS IS ANIMATION Special Macross Plus" (manga, 1995, 70 pages).
- Episode 8 - DANCING SKULL
- Number of stages - 1 + branch A, b
- In A.D. 2030, the Dancing Skulls intercept a mysterious flying object which was approaching the U.N. Spacy military command based located on the sky above the planet Susia. This episode diverge according to how the players "clear" the level. A "Good Ending" and "Bad Ending" is possible, which alters the story progression and the enemy's final weapon.
- VF-1J Valkyrie
- VF-4 Lightning III
- VF-3000 Crusader
- VF-5000 Star Mirage
- VF-9 Cutlass
- VF-14 Vampire
- Variable Glaug
- MBR-04-Mk.VI Destroid Tomahawk
- MBR-07-Mk.II Destroid Spartan
- ADR-04-Mk.X Destroid Defender
- SDR-04-Mk.XII Destroid Phalanx
- HWR-00-Mk II Monster
- (Opening) "BRING IT ON"
- Lyrics: Brian Peck / Masaaki Iizuka Arrangement: Masaaki Iizuka song: Yusuke Nakamura
- (Ending) "NEVER ENDING WORLD"
- Lyrics: Brian Peck / Yusuke Nakamura Arrangement: Yusuke Nakamura song: Yusuke Nakamura, Yukino Someya
Limited Edition Release
A limited edition boxed version was released, which included a laminated card and a special certification.
Macross M3 SOUND FILE - BGM, the game's soundtrack, included 12 songs (roughly 29 minutes of music), including the theme song, was released on February 21, 2001 by Victor Entertainment.
- 1. プロローグ
- 2. OPテーマ 「BRING IT ON」
- 3. SELECT
- 4. CAGE
- 5. Fire Carnival
- 6. Aerial Dance
- 7. Starless
- 8. Devil Gate Drive
- 9. Skull Dance
- 10. Black Celebration
- 11. ステージクリア
- 12. EDテーマ 「NEVER ENDING WORLD」
The game was poorly received by the professional gaming press and public due to poor control scheme and uneven difficulty. However, it was praised for its character design and the appearance of rarely seen and new mecha.
- The game includes a special "quiz page", and you could obtain a special pasword on the official Macross M3 page. (The link is dead however). Entering this password allows you to use the variable fighters from Macross Plus, including the YF-19 and YF-21 on Free Mission mode.
- Once you complete the game, you can use the plug-in to listen to the songs of Lynn Minmay if you start a new game. If you acquired the "Good Ending", you get to hear "Do You Remember Love?" while the "Bad Ending" plays "Shao Pai Long".