Front Mission Series: Gun Hazard (1996)

by Christopher
7 minutes read


A side-scrolling shooter with RPG elements, ‘Gun Hazard’ explores a futuristic world of mecha warfare against the backdrop of a political coup. With its deep gameplay mechanics, engaging story, and rich character development, it remains a noteworthy title for fans of the genre.


Released in 1996, ‘Front Mission Series: Gun Hazard’ is a captivating blend of side-scrolling action and rich RPG elements, set in a futuristic world where mechas, known as wanzers, dominate the battlefield. As a spin-off of the Front Mission series, this title offers a unique narrative and gameplay experience that diverges from its strategy RPG roots.


“Front Mission Series: Gun Hazard” is a side-scrolling shooter game developed by Omiya Soft and published by Squaresoft for the Super Famicom. Released only in Japan on February 23, 1996, it is the second entry in the Front Mission series. The game combines elements of side-scrolling shooters with role-playing game elements.

Unlike the tactical role-playing game entries of the numbered Front Mission titles, the gameplay of Gun Hazard differs significantly. Battles take place in real-time on scrolling 2D maps. The player controls one character who pilots a bipedal mech known as a wanzer. Game progression in Gun Hazard is done in a linear manner: watch cut-scene events, complete missions, set up wanzers and vehicles during intermissions, and sortie for the next mission. The player travels to locations on a point-and-click world map. In Gun Hazard, the player can leave the mech and explore. Another feature of Gun Hazard is its usage-based progression system. The usefulness of parts and weapons increases with prolonged usage; the more they are used in missions, the more effective they become.

Set in 2064, the story of Gun Hazard takes place all over the world in an alternate Front Mission universe. In the early 21st century, nations around the world fought over the control of natural resources. With natural resources dwindling in supply, the nations of the world eventually banded together to seek a solution to the growing crisis. Realizing the potential in space-based energy, they began development of an orbital elevator known as “Atlas” in 2024. As the orbital elevator’s completion drew near, a breakthrough was achieved in miniature fusion reactors. The countries responsible for Atlas began to halt development of the orbital elevator and pursued miniature fusion reactor technology. Left unfinished, Atlas became a symbol of failed dreams and hopes as the world regressed back into a world of conflicts.

The plot of Gun Hazard revolves around a soldier based in Bergen, Norway named Albert Grabner. In January 2064, Ark Hellbrand of the Bergen Army stages a coup d’état in an attempt to overthrow the government led by President Moss Orwen. This conflict is one of many that occur in this world of shifting power and economic crisis.

“Front Mission Series: Gun Hazard” is a unique blend of side-scrolling shooter and role-playing game elements set in a world grappling with political and economic upheaval. The game’s plot is deeply intertwined with its gameplay, offering players a rich and immersive gaming experience.


Albert Grabner – The protagonist, a skilled wanzer pilot. Colonel Ark – The antagonist, orchestrating the coup d’etat. President Orwen – The besieged leader of Bergen, seeking to escape the rebellion. Various support characters – Recruited throughout the story, providing cover fire and support abilities.


A departure from the series’ strategic roots, ‘Gun Hazard’ offers a side-scrolling shooter experience enriched with RPG elements. Players control Albert and his wanzer, navigating through stages, engaging enemies, and completing objectives. The game introduces mechanics like ejecting from the wanzer to explore, recruiting characters for support roles, and customizing wanzer abilities with different weapons and upgrades.


‘Front Mission Series: Gun Hazard’ stands out as a bold experiment within its franchise, offering a compelling narrative and a satisfying fusion of action and RPG gameplay. Its legacy is that of a cult classic, cherished for its ambition and the unique spot it occupies in the Front Mission series.

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