|Release Dates:|| Q4 1988 (JP. Cancelled)|
July 1989 (US)
|Designer(s):||Masahiko Kurokawa (Patariro)|
|Composer(s):||Harumi Fujita (Misses Tarumi)|
|Compilations:||Capcom Classics Collection Mini-Mix (GameBoy Advanced)|
Strider, developed for the Nintendo Entertainment System, is one of the main games in the series. For a long time believed to be a retooled NES "adaptation" of the Arcade game due to the technical limitations of the console, it was actually under development before the original coin-op.
The player assumes the role of Hiryu as he travels through seven different locations (Kazakh, Egypt, Japan, China, Africa, Los Angeles and Australia) eliminating hordes of enemies while seeking for clues to accomplish his objectives. This game differs from the others in the series in that, unlike the traditional action plataformer, there is quite a bit of exploration and backtracking to previously visited areas. The player progresses through the game by obtaining key items, allowing access to previously-inaccessible areas or unlocking new destinations for Hiryu to visit. Due to this, stages are expansive and filled with respawning enemies, traps, and dead ends.
Text-based cutscenes advances the story in-between stages, based off the Strider Hiryu manga's plot, though with notable differences in a few of the characters' importance and fates, as well as a few extra sidequests to extend game time and justify extra stages.
StoryEditAfter having eliminated his own sister after she went mad, Hiryu decided to abandon the Striders organization and live peacefully in Mongolia. One day, Striders' Vice-Director Matic showed up, requesting that Hiryu return for one last mission. Hiryu's friend Kain had been captured by the enemy. Matic ordered Hiryu to find and eliminate him, and threatened to start slaughtering Mongolians if Hiryu refused. With no other choice, Hiryu agreed and returned to the Striders' base in the Blue Dragon space station.
Hiryu agrees to find and rescue Kain, but decides against killing him. As soon as Kain is rescued, Hiryu is made aware of a dangerous brainwashing machine known as the "ZAIN Project", being under development by a corporation known as simply "The Syndicate". Realizing that both Kain and his late sister were used as testing subjects for the machine's mind control, Hiryu swears to put a stop to the project and their creators.
Two numbers in the top left corner of the screen represents Hiryu's Health and Energy respectively. In most games these two terms are used interchangeably. In this one, Health is how much damage Hiryu can withstand before dying, while Energy provides power for different Tricks Hiryu learns throughout the game. After fulfilling a stage's objective, Hiryu will level up. This increases both meters' maximum total, as well as unlocking some of the many Trick abilities. Unlike an RPG, the game's leveling system is predetermined with a level 10 cap, and not determined by enemies defeated or experience.
The Blue Dragon station serves as the game's stage select screen. There are three different options to use: Transfer, which sends Hiryu to the selected location among the various on the map; Analyze, which is used to read messages on various disks found throughout the game in order to further the plot and unlock new areas; and Password, which gives the player a password for the current progression. As an interesting bonus, after giving the password, the game shows a sort of "Next On" blurb detailing the story thus far. The game splits itself into 10 different chapters or "Scenes", each with its own title and summary, much like a TV series.
Since the game is designed with exploration in mind, it features tube-like transports spread throughout each stage, helping the player move along or backstrack to previous areas easily. The player can enter from either above or below, and be transported along its length to another part of the stage (or even another stage entirely). Not all tubes allow entry from both ends, and certain tubes are strategically placed to send the player back to earlier parts of the stage, usually the very beginning.
Unlike the arcade game's acrobatics, this game's animation is much more restricted. Hiryu is only capable of walking forward or backwards, plus a basic vertical jump. Hiryu's Cypher is his main offensive weapon, being able to either strike once in front of him or raise it above his head by holding up, allowing to stab upwards at enemies on higher grounds. Other abilities in Hiryu's arsenal include:
Slide In - Hiryu's classic slide technique, though in this game he's unable to damage with it until he finds the Attack Boots. Hiryu learns this ability after his first level up.
Acceleration Jump - When Hiryu runs down a slope, he speeds up. One can take advantage of this to jump farther. There are few parts on the game that allow the use of this ability.
Triangle Jump - By jumping into a wall and then jumping on the opposite direction, Hiryu can perform a wall jump and reach places that are otherwise inaccessible. This technique is quite difficult to pull off in the game, and has become one of the game's main reasons for its infamous bad programming and unresponsive control.
Plasma Arrow - An ability unlocked by a scientist during Hiryu's visit to Japan. By holding up the Cypher for 3-5 seconds, then pressing the attack button, Hiryu unleashes a plasma projectile in front of him. The technique is strong and cost no energy, but takes so long to use it becomes quite useless, as few enemies stay quiet enough to allow the hit.
Tricks are special abilities Hiryu learns throughout the game, as he levels up. They are available in the menu screen upon hitting select. Each technique consumes a specific amount of energy when used.
|Fire||Lv.3||5||Shoots a fireball from the Cypher that travels forward in a straight line.|
|Medical||Lv.4||10||Restores 20 points of health.|
|Spark||Lv.5||5||Releases an electric ball that travels through the ground. It's only real use may be in Egypt's inclined ledges, where hitting enemies with the normal attack becomes troublesome.|
|Jump||Lv.5||10||Allows Hiryu to jump higher than normal for a short time. It's relative early to obtain, allowing a quick replacement for the dreaded Triangle Jump.|
|Warp||Lv.6||30||Allows Hiryu to warp back to the Blue Dragon from any point in the stage. Mostly useful to get out of dead ends or when lost.|
|Ground||Lv.7||30||A quake-like attack that destroys all enemies on screen. Not really that useful considering there are few instances where enemies crowd the screen.|
|Medical 2||Lv.8||25||Restores 50 points of health.|
|Spark Ball||Lv.9||15||SP-Ball in-game. Releases a large electric ball that travels through the ground. Basically, an upgraded Spark.|
|Medical 3||Lv.10||50||Restores 150 points of health.|
Unlike the other games in the series, items in this one have a slightly more pivotal role, mostly thanks to the game's exploration nature. Backtracking onto previous stages (mostly Kazakh) in order to use a newly-found item or ability to get into new areas is common practice.
|Energy Capsules||Usually thrown by defeated enemies, this item restores Hiryu's health points. There are two variations: smaller "pellets" restore 1 point and larger "energy balls" restore 10.|
|Attack Energy||Identical to the above, only it restores the energy points required for Tricks' usage.|
|Skull Sign||A harmful item that sometimes comes out of defeated enemies or hidden areas on the walls. Once picked, Hiryu will lose 10 health points.|
|Boots||Three special items that gives Hiryu different abilities: Attack Boots (yellow) gives him the ability to damage through his slide attack; Aqua Boots (blue) allows him to walk on water and Magnet Boots (red) allows him to walk up special flashing walls. They are hidden away in both the China and Egypt stages. Once obtained, these items are always active.|
|Keys||Vital for progression, they are found after a boss fight or after accomplishing the stage's main objective. There are a total of 5 keys, each corresponding to numbered doors found on most stages. After getting one key, all the doors of its number are unlocked for Hiryu to progress. Once obtained, these items are always active.|
|Files||Vital for progression, they are found in much the same way as the keys. They must be analyzed with the Blue Dragon's Analyze option to further the plot and unlock new locations for Hiryu to visit. They are 6 in total, each with a different character recorded within (Ryuzaki, the Commander, Kain, Director Kuramoto, Matic and Faceas Clay in that order).|
Part of a three-way project between Capcom and Moto Kikaku consisting of this game, the Strider Hiryu manga and the arcade coin-op. Tatsumi Wada was put in charge of the manga; while the coin-op was handed over to Kouichi Yotsui and the "consumer version" to Masahiko Kurokawa. Following a meeting between the three arranged by Capcom in the Shinjuku Hilton hotel, where the early concept and common elements between the projects were decided, Yotsui and Kurokawa returned to Osaka and worked together to flesh out the basic outline agreed upon in Shinjuku.
Despite the initial intent for each team to take the fully-formed concept and adapt it to their respective media, Kurokawa and Wada wound up working closely together, writing an involved and developed story that became the backstory for both the manga and the NES-developed game. Due to this proximity between both projects, it's hard to appreciate the game without having read the manga first, as it explains some important plotholes and shows which parts were created as filler for the game and which are actual storyboard points. While Yotsui was also approached, he turned it down and created his own version of the story, on the grounds he saw the three projects as a competition to see who could make the best product.
This adaptation was originally announced in June 1988 for the Famicom (the Japanese NES), when the manga was in the middle of its run. Initially reported for release the following October, it was later changed to December instead, following the release of the manga's tankôbon (collected edition). For unknown reasons, the game was further delayed to a 1989 release and eventually cancelled for its Japanese release. A few promotional items were released before the game's cancellation, the most notable of which was Strider Hiryu: Original Music, a cassette released in 1988 as a promotional giveaway to the readers of Weekly Comic Comp (where the manga was serialized) which included themes to be featured in the Famicom game, as well as vocal versions of the opening and ending themes.
Later in 1989, the game was given a quick rushjob and released in the American market to pick up on the arcade's success. As a result of this, the game is known for its poor programming. Where it suffers the most are the collision detection and control scheme. The collision detection makes avoiding enemy fire tricky. The controls are stiff and sometimes unresponsive; certain actions (most memorably the Triangle Jump) are an arduous chore. Another thing the game suffers badly from is its (notably rushed) translation. Typos, oddly-phrased sentences, and mistranslations abound. Cutscenes are often hard to understand and often leave the player at a loss.
- ↑ Capcom (1989, NES). Strider (English). Instruction Manual, Pg. 4
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 Capcom (1989, NES). Strider (English). Instruction Manual, Pg. 10
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 Capcom (1989, NES). Strider (English). Instruction Manual, Pg. 11
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 Capcom (1989, NES). Strider (English). Instruction Manual, Pg. 12
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 5.2 Tane, Kiyofume. "The Father of Strider Who Made the Game World Explode: Kouichi Yotsui Discography". Gameside issue 16, February 2009. Translated by Gaijin Punch for Gamengai.com. Accessed 21 Nov 2010.
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 Scion; Dire 51. "Interview with Kouichi "Isuke" Yotsui". LSCM 4.0. 24 April 2010. Translated by Gaijin Punch. Accessed 21 Nov 2010.
- ↑ "Strider Hiryu Japanese Magazine Scans". Famicom Tsûshin, June 1988 issue.
- ↑ "Strider Hiryu Japanese Magazine Scans". Strider Hiryu Promotional ad.
- ↑ "Strider Hiryu Japanese TV Advert". Retrieved from Archive.org. Accessed 21 Nov 2010.
- ↑ "Strider Hiryu Japanese Magazine Scans". Marukatsu Famicom, October 1988 issue.
- ↑ "Strider Hiryu Japanese Magazine Scans". Famicom Tsûshin, January 1989 issue.
- ↑ 12.0 12.1 Strider Hiryu: Original Music entry. VGMDb.net. Accessed 21 Nov 2010.
- ↑ "The Phantom 'Strider Hiryu' Theme Song" (Japanese). Retrieved from Archive.org. Accessed 21 Nov 2010.
|Strider Manga/NES Series|
|Main Articles||Strider Hiryu (Manga) • Strider (NES) • Moto Kikaku • Tatsumi Wada • Masahiko Kurokawa|
|Characters|| Arana • Commander • Faceas Clay • Hiryu • Kain • Kubira • Kuramoto • Matic • Police Chief • Sheena|
Game Exclusives: Badger • Dragon Fiend • Flash Blade • Kodiak • Ryuzaki
Manga Exclusives: Captain Keith • Kazakh Institute Scientist • Mariya • Rin • Yuri
|Stage Enemies|| Doberman • Egypt Soldier • Giant Robot • Hunchback • Machine Cannon • Mechanical Snail|
Robot Frong • Russian Infantryman • Scuba Soldier • Sharkman • Sky Wing • Spark Machine
|Technology||Cypher • Kali • Phantom Train • Shadowtag Bullets • Stealth Chopper • T-48 • ZAIN Project • Yggdrasil|
|Locations||Africa • Australia • China • Egypt • Japan • Kazakh • Los Angeles • Red Dragon|
|Groups||Enterprise • Kazakh Secret Police • Striders • Strider Matic Unit|