Tyrian 2000

Blast away, upgrade your weapons and even buy new ships in this classic top-down vertical scroller shooter.

Release Date

November 1999.


It is free! Get it now from GOG.com.

There are lots of weapons to get/buy.

There is a ship editor where you can change weapons for the ship, modify the armour and even change the graphics for the ship. This could be considered as cheating as you can start with a super ship, but it does give more variety to the game.

The two player mode is quite innovative in that not only are there two ships flying around blasting things, but you can join the ships together and one player controls the movement of the ship and a few guns, while the other player controls a turret on the ship.

Street Fighter type moves in a vertical scroller? It is unofficially called ‘Twiddles’. Perform a sequence of moves and button presses and something special happens. If you are lazy to find out yourself what these moves are, there is a cheat document included in the GOG.com package of the game. Or you can check out this Tyrian 2000 fan site. Be careful with the twiddles as most of them use up shields or armour when triggered.

After playing Astro Avenger I came back to Tyrian 2000 and discovered that Tyrian 2000 can actually be played using the mouse too! It does not control as easy as Astro Avenger but at least there is a choice.


Like all action scroller shooters, Tyrian 2000 gets repetitive. I find that I can always return for a quick game, but I usually cannot play one sitting for long.

Half the time, when I exit the game, DosBox freezes. I then have to kill the process manually. I am unsure whether this is a DosBox issue or a game issue, but I have run other games with DosBox and have never encountered this problem until Tyrian 2000.

Other Points

The graphics are old and appears pixelated, but the animations are very smooth and looks great.

There are four game modes: Two player arcade mode, Timed battle, Arcade mode and full game mode.

Timed battle has a time limit where you have to score as high as possible.

Arcade mode, is the standard shoot stuff, pick up weapons/upgrades and keep going. You start with a number of lives but can get more.

Full game mode differs from arcade mode in several ways. There are no weapons/upgrades to pickup. You must score points and use them to buy stuff. You can also buy different ships. The story is told in this mode and there are data cubes to collect which tells part of the story as well as provide some information. You only get one ship and if that is destroyed, you must start the level again. After each level you can save your progress though.

Play Tyrian 2000 around Christmas time.


Reviewed version 3.0

All information is based on the GOG.com packaged version of the game.

I really liked Xenon 2: Megablast and Raptor: Call of the Shadows.

I also really liked RIP 3 The Last Hero and liked Larva Mortus. They are not scroller shooters, but they are simple action shooters.

I swap between using keyboard and a gamepad to play.

I have NOT completed all the levels.


Tyrian 2000 is DRM free from GOG.com.

Minimum Requirements (as stated on GOG.com)

  • Windows XP or Windows Vista
  • 1 GHz Processor (1.4 GHz recommended)
  • 256MB RAM (512 recommended)
  • 3D graphics card compatible with DirectX 7 (compatible with DirectX 9 recommended)
  • Mouse, Keyboard
  • The site also says compatible with Windows 7(32 & 64 bit). I have not verified this.

Computer Played On

  • Core 2 Duo 2.16GHz
  • 2Gb RAM
  • ATI Radeon X1600 256Mb RAM (laptop version)
  • Logitech G35 headset and/or Realtek HD Audio(no idea what model) with Altec Lansing ACS41 speakers or Logitech ClearChat Premium PC Headset.
  • Win XP Pro
  • Thrustmaster Firestorm Digital 3 gamepad.
  • Graphics settings are set to whatever I feel comfortable with playing on this PC. They are usually not set to the highest settings. All screenshots are taken with my settings.

Handy Tips

If you use a joystick/gamepad and are running the GOG.com version of Tyrian 2000 via DosBox, you can set autofire on for the buttons. This helps if you do not like button mashing for some of the weapons. The down side is, the rapid firing weapons won’t fire as often AND you can trigger the twiddles unintentionally.

To turn on/off autofire in dosbox, search for autofire=false in the dosboxT2K.conf file and swap between true and false

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