Hi. My name is Michael Jones, but my friends call me Mike. I'm fifteen years old and I live in Seattle Washington.
Have you heard of my Uncle Steve? Well, most people don't call him that, they call him Dr. Jones. He is a very famous archaeologist who is looking for some lost ruins in the Coral Sea. I've never actually met him, but last week
I received a letter from him inviting me to stay with him at his laboratory on C-Island.
I leave tomorrow on a helicopter! I bet I won't be able to sleep at all tonight. Well, goodnight.
* * *
Today I landed on C-Island after a long helicopter ride. The people are very friendly, and they all seem to know my Uncle.
I sure like this village, but I haven't been able to find my uncle anywhere and no one here seems to know where he is either.
I'm Chief Coralcola, a close friend of your uncle's.
Listen! Try not too be upset... Your uncle, Dr. Jones... has been... abducted!!
Mike, you are the best hope of rescuing Dr. Jones."
"I'm the Shaman of Coralcola, and the Chief's sister. Many wild monsters are said to be lying in wait in the dark below.
But remember! The magic of the Southern Cross is always on your side.
Look for the Southern Cross in the sky above to help you find your way.
--From the NES Startropics instruction manual.
Overview: One of Nintendo's earliest forgotten treasures, many people might have heard of Startropics but never were able to actually play this fine game.
The graphics are very nicely done for the NES, your main character a good size to see on the screen and the enemies detailed as well. Textures are also well done when searching around islands. The sound and music are also pretty cool, some of the best that this 8-bit machine could give.
But the real joy of Startropics lies in its gameplay. While you look around islands in a sort of early Final Fantasy style, when you come into the dungeon areas, you'll see a resemblance to The Legend of Zelda. This style works very well and it was very different than other titles at the time. The control might be a bit punishing at first, but with practice you'll be able to pull off near-perfect jumps and attacks in no time.
Easily one of the best forgotten games on the NES, Startropics is one that you should certainly give a go. The overall presentation is amazing and the challenge factor is certainly there, making you strive to get better and better at it. I totally recommend this game to any fans of the RPG-genre!
Directions: Unlike many adventure games on the NES, Startropics is broken up into chapters, therefore the storyline is linear and you have that one path to follow. In total, Startropics has a number of 8 chapters.
When you start the game, you are thrown into a town with a map setting very similar to Final Fantasy. When in these towns, you can speak to people and gain new information. Keep in mind that the story can only progress, at times, if you speak to everybody in a certain area.
When you move to a dungeon area, the game switches mechanics and you travel in a top-down view that mirrors The Legend of Zelda. In each room, it's common to encounter different enemies. This is where you can fight them, initially with the Island Yo-Yo, the first weapon you acquire. This is unlike any yo-yo, in that it's an island treasure and can be used for stiff combat. Keep in mind that later on in the game, you are able to upgrade this weapon.
When you reach the end of a dungeon, you are met with a big boss character. Similar to many adventure games, this creature requires something of a strategy in order to fight and counteract its pattern. These are often tough to defeat, which adds to the challenge factor already set in.
From the start, like The Legend of Zelda, you are given a heart meter which counts as your life. This will be used during the dungeon segments. If you find yourself losing health, you are able to fill up your heart meter with the use of small hearts or collecting stars. The meter can also be lengthened by one with the use of Big Hearts, which are, in essence, the Heart Containers of the Zelda games. You are also given three lives from the start; if you lose them all, you have to restart from the beginning of the dungeon you're at. Also, keep in mind that you can gain extra lives with the use of "Try-Your-Luck Signs."
Aside from the Island Yo-Yo, there are other weapons that you can gain. In addition to this, you can upgrade it to the Shooting Star (6 full hearts required) and the Supernova (1/2 meter full or 11 full hearts required). If you don't meet these requirements, it'll downgrade to the next lowest weapon.