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The System, a far-ranging strategic machine, is slaughtering human beings by the millions. As the pilot of the star fighter AFX-6502-ZANAC, you are humanity's only hope. The System is equipped for fighting against a multitude, so you flying alone may have a chance to defeat this sprawling enemy. Your primary goal is to destroy the central base of the enemy's machine troop.
The ship you control moves vertically and uses eight special weapons (in addition to its conventional weapons). These weapons include: the All Range Weapon, which fires into controlled directions; the Straight Crusher, which starts off slowly and crushes enemy weapons; the Field Shutter, which acts as a shield; the Circular, a weapon which circulates around your ship; the Vibrator, which vibrates left and right; the Rewinder, which climbs up slowly and decelerates as it falls; the Plasma Flash, which acts as a smart bomb in the air; and High Speed, which acts as a smart bomb on the ground. You can only use these weapons one at a time.
As you fly along, shooting everything in sight (in the air and on the ground) and catching weapon power-ups, you will be confronted by a variety of enemies, each of which fly and shoot in specific patterns. For example: a Duster is a rock that fires at long range; a type one Umber scatters bullets in seven directions; and a type two Veybar slants down, reverses, zooms, and then shoots bullets.
Zanac, which is composed of twelve levels of play, is unique in that it uses something called ALC (Automatic Level of Difficulty Control Function) which is programmed by artificial intelligence. The strength and quantity of the enemies change according to the player's skill level and method of attack. Also, the place where the enemies appear varies game by game. One example of this is that the faster and more frequently you shoot, the harder the game gets relative to the player's and enemy's skill level.
At certain points during the game, the vertical scrolling will stop and you must destroy the boss of that fortress within a certain time limit. ~ Brett Alan Weiss, All Game Guide