Hey- I'm a pretty uneducated video game kinda guy, so this may be a dumb question.
Around 1988 or so, there was a nifty top-to-bottom combat type of game. The layout was very similar to the famous Ikari Warriors. You had two guys (two players) at the bottom of the screen as it moved up. Ocassionally, whe you got a midway point in the level, you would move sideways... I remember crossing a rope-bridge, for instance. It was sort of like a futuristic/sci-fi version of Ikari.
Along the way, you could pick up power-up weapons. Flamethrowers, bazookas, etc. The most vivid power-up I remember was a big-ass "flail" type of weapon. You'd launch it, and it would send out a big spiked ball that orbitted around your guy and took out anything.
The "boss" for the first level was on a robotic gantry. It moved left to right and would shoot out robotic claws. Quite the bitch to beat. In all, I think the game had 6 levels.
That's about all I accurately describe. I remember playing it in the arcade, endlessly, in the summer of 1988. I don't think it was ever released on Nintendo, Sega or any other home game system of the time. My buddy and I can't remember what it was called... just that we racked ass at it.
If it had the mace, yeah, I'm pretty sure that's Heavy Barrel. There were a couple other Ikari-ish games with a futuristic theme (notably Ikari Warriors 2: Victory Road, which was what I initially thought you were talking about... but it had a sword, not a mace) but I think that's your game.
Kansas-born and deeply ashamed The last living La Parka Marka
"They that can give up essential liberty to gain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." - Benjamin Franklin
As for overhead auto-scrollers, I'm partial to Gunsmoke and Commando.
"Crom... I’ve never prayed to you before— I have no tongue for it. No one— not even you— will remember whether we were good men or bad, why we fought, why we died. No. All that matters is that today, two stood against many; that is what’s important. Valor pleases you, Crom, so grant me one request: Grant me revenge! And if you do not listen, then to hell with you!" - The Prayer of Conan
Apparently all that's changed from the non-international Star Ocean is the use of anime portraits instead of character models? By all accounts the voice acting is still terrible and anime as fuck. I'm still getting it some day. -___-