This was NEC’s answer to Altered Beast, Keith Courage in Alpha Zones. There is no arcade tie-in here (though the Turbo Grafx-16 did launch with R-Type). NEC was at a disadvantage as far as arcade ports went but that didn’t stop them from trying different things such as a pinball game at launch. Keith Courage in Alpha Zones is an action/platform title that was the pack-in title for the Turbo Grafx-16 (man those were the days, free games with the purchase of the console).
Keith Courage in Alpha Zones features a bit of role playing, similar to the Legend of Zelda games, with purchasing of bombs and the like while in town. In town spinning kitty cats are your number one hindrance to advancing- those things are quite regular annoyances. Once in the underground levels the enemies take center stage. Characters that are apparently part giant gun run rampant and skulls similar to those in Castlevania populate the world.
The Turbo Grafx-16 could not perform parallax scrolling effects so players are treated to something akin to a more graphical NES game here. Animations are limited to say the least and the underworld levels are VERY similar to each other. The overworld levels do change as you progress but so much of the game is in the underworld levels.
Keith Courage in Alpha Zones is not an awesome game but it is serviceable. NEC would have been better served to have included Legendary Axe as the pack-in in North America.