Terra Cresta is the sequel to the classic Moon Cresta and is a beautifully-made, vertically-scrolling shooter with progressive weapons build-up, and challenging ‘Bullet Hell’ action.
It was developed by Nichibutsu and released into arcades in 1985.
While Terra Cresta was not considered to be particularly ‘cutting edge’ at the time, it was a solid blast and did garner respect among shooter fans.
The ship you pilot is called the “Wing Galibur” and it can pick up extra ship pieces to enhance its firepower and defences. There are four individual pieces to collect and when you have all four you can temporarily transform into a fiery phoenix-like bird and decimate everything on screen.
Terra Cresta is great fun. Until you lose all your weapons. Then it becomes almost impossible… That said: this, and its 1992 sequel on the PC Engine, are both challenging and memorable blasts. The overhead T-Rexes are hilarious.