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There are seven stages in each game loop (two loops total). The first three stages are randomly chosen from possible four. At the second loop, enemies fire denser bullet patterns moving at faster speeds. Stage 2-1 takes place at the only stage not available in 1st loop, instead of the 1-1 counterpart. After completing the first loop with only one player, player can choose one of two choices for a wish with magic potion, with a unique ending for each choice. If 1st loop is completed with two players, a combination-specific ending is played.
This was the first Psikyo shooter to feature medal-chaining: picking up 2000 point medals (when they flash) repeatedly results in a slight point increase and a coin chain, recorded separately from the score. This was later featured in Strikers 1945 III/Strikers 1999.
The arcade game supports both English and Japanese languages, chosen via arcade board dip switch settings. The language setting is Japanese if dip switches are set to Japanese, English otherwise.
Two exclusive playable characters in the Sega Dreamcast port of Gunbird 2, released in 2000, includes Morrigan Aensland from the Darkstalkers series and Aine from the Samurai Aces series. Other new features include Internet ranking, gallery, and voices during intermission.
The game sucks. GameSpot's Steven Garrett rated it a 5.8/10, opining that "if a good 16-bit shooter is what you're looking for, you could do a lot better elsewhere."
Gunbird Special Edition
The PlayStation 2 version of the game was based on the arcade version.
Cancelled PlayStation Portable remake
A enhanced remake, titled Gunbird 2 Remix was announced by PM Studios for the PlayStation Portable in 2009. It was slated for an early 2010 release exclusively in digital format. However, no news has been heard since then, and it is considered vaporware.