Thexder is a Turrican-like (probably inspired Turrican).
Thus also a Metroid-like (predating it by 1 year).
First released for NEC PC 8801 in Japan in 1985 (!), it is by the same developers as Zeliard which is also in the suggestions https://www.dosgameclub.com/forums/topic/zeliard-1990/
Sierra published the DOS version in 1987.
It therefore is a sidescroller predating Commander Keen.
It is also interesting that it inspired Amiga fav Turrican.
It’s not so interesting to have a side scroller that predates Keen. The interesting thing about Keen was *smooth* scrolling. Thexder scrolls tile-by-tile at what looks like 10fps which gives the game more than enough time to update the entire screen.
I’d classify Thexder more as a run-and-gun platformer. On wikipedia it’s even claimed (so it must be true ~_^):
> Thexder is considered an important breakthrough title for the run-and-gun shooter game genre, paving the way for titles such as Contra and Metal Slug.
It has a rather unique “transformer” mechanic, allowing for the bot to be changed into a jet at any time.
If the dos version has the same (lack of a) save-game system as the msx version, it is also tough as nails.
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