Corona Maximus (究極のコロナ in Japan, Ultimate Corona in US Wii VC re-release.) is a sci-fi 2D platformer/run 'n gun developed and published by Scarce Gaming for the SNES and Mega CD on August 22nd, 1994 in PAL and NTSC-JP regions only, until a Wii Virtual Console re-release brought the game to the US on August 21st, 2009. It focuses on the adventures of the titular character, Corona, as he adventures through time to stop his future self from controlling America in the year 2094.
The game plays similar to Spikeyfruit, with enemies resistant to jump attacks, but weak to other attacks. Corona's abilities are jumping, running, kicking, shooting, and using a CD-ROM disc to time travel. The game is nonlinear. However, unlike Spikeyfruit, the levels are played in multiple parts, similar to the original 4 Genesis Sonic games, minus the time limit. The game has multiple routes to the goal in each time era, allowing the player to play through the whole game in one era, and making the game based on exploration. Each world (or "Area," as the game calls them.) is accessed from the hub world of Downtown NYC, and has three levels, (Episodes.) and one boss level, (called an "Arena.") with 5 grades for each episode, A-D, and F, A being the best, and F being the worst, followed by Corona audibly commenting on the performance in the Mega CD version. Corona comments on various things in the game, such as the grades, beating a level or boss, losing a life, collecting new weapons and shields, and time travelling. Combined with the cutscenes in the game, the game uses synthesized voices for the characters, music's vocals & lyrics, and the announcer that states the name of the Area, followed by the Episode number or boss name in the Mega CD version, while only the announcer is used in the SNES version.
Corona starts each level with a handgun, and can use floppy disks to upgrade to a sniper rifle, an automatic rifle, and even a rocket launcher with 10 second invincibility. Each gun increases his defense by one, and if he gets hit, he loses the extra heart, as well as the gun. After every episode, Corona discards the weapon as part of his victory pose.
Corona can obtain shields in the same way as weapons, by way of floppy disks. Each shield provides resistance to 3 hits, can be rammed into enemies, possibly creating a domino effect - slamming all enemies hit into the nearest wall or off-screen, and, if Corona is running at top speed upon reaching a body of water with it, can be used to surf. All shields are also discarded after every episode during Corona's victory pose.
During the game, Corona travels through time by using Corona's Time Hack ability. In each episode, There are 4 eras: Prehistory, Past, Present, and Future (called, "Dystopia" before being cleared.), of which Future Corona has conquered each. All 4 eras have a Corruption machine, propaganda, and a Corona 2.0 wreaking havoc upon the environment. Upon destroying all of them, Dystopia will transform into a futuristic paradise, and without normal enemies or hazards, to boot. After clearing all areas of corruption, including Downtown NYC, Corona will face off against a secret final boss.