The R-9C War-Head is the main protagonist of the 1989 Shoot 'Em Up arcade game R-Type II and its 1991 spin-off Super R-Type. It is one of the many R-Craft successors to the R-9A Arrowhead, which became somewhat outdated after the first Bydo War in R-Type. The War-Head was designed to correct many flaws the Arrowhead was known to have, and was built with a more powerful wave cannon to help counter evil forces of the Bydo Empire.
After the Space Corps' success in the first Bydo War, several projects were made to improve upon the R-9A Arrowhead's design to improve the R-Crafts' performance against Bydo forces should the alien force return. Many designs were put into place, such as the R-9A2 Delta, and the R-9A3 Lady Love, but these spacecrafts were considered prototypes to a final design, and as such were only used in reserve.
Eventually, the R-9C War-Head was released, a direct successor and improvement to the Arrowhead, which was nearly identical to the predecessor, but with more firepower and an additional and more powerful wave cannon.
By the time the Bydo Empire returned and attacked the Solar System, the War-Head was launched against the invaders, and like the Arrowhead, the War-Head once again proved to be a major success.
Following the second victory against the Bydos, the War-Head remained in service (albeit reserve) as the Space Corps continued to improve upon the overall design of future R-Crafts.
Like its predecessor, the R-9C War-Head boasts numerous weapons for all forms of combat but at a larger variety, thus making more versatile against Bydo forces.
- Vulcan Cannon - a standard, rapid-fire capable cannon that can eliminate most small Bydos easily.
- Standard Wave Cannon - a powerful charging cannon that is capable of decimating multiple Bydos in its path, as well as being capable of dealing massive damage to larger bydos and bosses.
- Diffusion Wave Cannon - a stronger variant of the Wave Cannon unique to the War-Head, which allows the craft to charge the Wave Cannon longer for an even more powerful blast (indicated by the Wave Cannon Meter turning from green to orange). The resulting shot fires seven bolts: one traveling straightforward, and another three traveling upwards and downwards respectfully, eventually causing all their trajectories to cross soon afterwards. The blast does more overall damage than the Standard Wave Cannon, and covers a larger area too, making it useful against large groups of enemies, although its usefulness becomes negated in small corridors.
- Standard Force - a powerful mechanic consisting of a Bydo embryo restricted within four control rods, the force can be "thrown" by the R-9C War-Head, allowing it to deal contact damage. While separated from the craft, the force will fire independently, increasing for every Laser crystal the War-Head obtains until it has reached full power. When connected to the War-Head, it allows the craft to fire a powerful laser. Depending on the color of the crystal the War-Head obtains, the weapon will be one of the following:
- Air-to-Air Laser (Red) - fires a powerful, penetrating laser consisting of one red and blue unit, at full power, the two lasers will begin to intertwined, allowing them to cover a wider area.
- Reflective Laser (Blue) - fires three penetrating beam-type lasers, with the top and bottom lasers traveling in a 45 degree angle. The lasers are noted for their ability to bounce off walls, at full power, the lasers become longer.
- Air-to-Ground Laser (Yellow) - fires two powerful beams that travel upwards and downwards respectively before hitting a surface, which upon contact, will begin to travel across the ground, destroying anything within its path. At full power, the lasers will become longer.
In addition, the War-Head is granted two additional lasers compared to the Arrowhead:
- Search Laser (Green) - fires two penetrating lasers that somewhat home onto their targets. At full power, the lasers become longer.
- Shotgun Laser (Grey) - fires large shells, which explode after traveling a certain distance.
- Homing Missiles - obtained when the War-Head collects a crystal with a red "M" on it. When used, the War-Head will fire two missiles that will track the nearest enemy and damage them. They have high accuracy, but deal low damage.
- Spread Missiles - obtained when the War-Head collects a crystal with a blue "M" on it. When used, the War-Head will drop a single missile that travels downwards at a 45 degree angle, which upon making contact with the ground will explode, causing the resulting explosion to travel forwards along the ground.
- Round Bit Devices - the Round Bits act as a small, shield-like device that absorbs weaker enemy fire. They are indestructible so long as the War-Head is not destroyed, but do not provide any firepower in most cases save for the Air-to-Air Laser.
- Speed Up - when the War-Head obtains a crystal with an "S" on it, it will increase is its overall speed by one unit for a maximum of five. One must be careful not to obtain too many, it will make the War-Head harder to control.