Hello everybody and welcome to another edition of Johnny's Game profile. Today, we're going to talk about a very obscured video game that you may or may not hear from the NES days: StarTropics
StarTropics (NES, 1991)
The game begins as a middle school student named Mike Jones ventures to the Coracola Island Archipelago to find his Uncle (Dr. Stephen Jones) who went missing after an Archeological journey.
The main protagonist. A middle school student who has dreams of becoming an ace pitcher in the MLB. Hailing from Seattle, Washington, he ventures alone to the Coracola Island chain to find his Uncle. He also has a childish fetish where he likes to stick Bananas in his ears.
Dr. Stephen Jones
Mike's Uncle and an Archeologist that came to the Coracola Islands to find something that may be linked to Aliens that came to Earth a long time ago. He is missing somewhere in the Island Archipelago and Mike must find him.
The Chief of the Coracola Tribe. Mike's first course of action is to talk to him as this is the guy Mike's Uncle has last seen. He'll give Mike his first weapon which is a Yo-Yo. He also bears a striking resemblance to Mario.
Just to let everybody know that the Joneses, are *not* related to Indiana. Sorry.
StarTropics looks, feels and even plays similar to The Legend of Zelda as Mike ventures all over the Coracola Island Archipelago and into many of the caves as well, and the caves are where the action is. Mike can use all kinds of weapons such as the Yo-Yo that is previously mentioned (which can be used unlimited amount of times) or any projectile weapon (e.g., a spiked disc, a baseball, a baseball bat, cleats and even magical items such as medicine bottles, snow magic that freezes enemies, and even crystal staffs that reveal hidden ghosts) that are limited in quantity. Like in LOZ, Mike sometimes has to solve a puzzle such as find a switch or defeat all enemies to open doors or blast a wall (since there are no bombs in this game) to proceed, he can even find secret areas where he can find hearts or even luck signs where how many extra lives Mike can earn.
In the areas above ground, Mike must help out the local Coracola people so he can gain access to certain areas and even obtain certain items. Mike can also commandeer a submarine (known as Sub-C) where it has R.O.B. (Robotic Operating Buddy) and can go underwater in certain places.
Along with the places in the Coracola Islands and caves that dot the area, Mike must also travel through the insides of a Whale (and build a fire a la Pinocchio) to eventually an Alien Spaceship.
StarTropics is known to be a pretty difficult game, and the big reason why is when you take damage. Unlike in other video games where you get hit, your character flashes (meaning he/she is temporarily invincible, allowing you to avoid enemies and/or a trap and catch a second wind), this doesn't happen in ST, you can get hit multiple times and lose a lot of health if you're not careful. The bosses are especially hard as they usually are out of range and only come close for brief periods, which means you must use the items that are limited in quantity. Plus, once you progress through the game and get a better primary weapon, as you lose health, you'll go back to using the lower-powered weapon.
However, this game did receive enough recognition to receive a sequel which came out nearly 2 years later.
StarTropics 2: Zoda's Revenge
Taking place several months after the first game. The Joneses are back in Seattle as Mike is back in school and his uncle is trying to get a fix on what he and Mike discovered in the Coracola Island. But then Mike gets a telepathic message from Princess Mica who tells him a vague message. As he goes to his uncle to find out, Mike gets out a book and says what Mica told him, what Mike will soon realize that he's going on another adventure, this time through Earth's history to find artifacts known as "Tetrads", and the evil alien Zoda is out to revenge on Mike for stopping his plans during the first game.
The Princess of her alien race of Hirocons. After being released by Mike in the first game, they stay on the Coracola Islands as refuge. During the second game, Mica plays a role similar to that of Zelda, she helps Mike on his latest adventure by giving him vague messages, but eventually falls victim to the old, boring, role of damsel in distress =, leaving Mike to rescue her.
The game plays very similarly to the first game, only this time Mike can now throw weapons 8-ways (in the first game he can only throw 4-ways). Mike also gains some magical projectile which some enemies can only be defeated with, and that powers down when Mike's health gets low rather than his primary weapon.
Mike's adventure is also very interesting as he goes through time. He travels from the Ice Age to Ancient Egypt to Italy during the renaissance to the 1849 Californian Gold Rush to 15th century Transylvania. Along the way, he helps out historical figures (some real like Cleopatra and Leonardo DiVinci and some fictional like Sherlock Holmes and King Arthur). The above-ground segments in stages still have Mike solve puzzles and the underground segments are the action (where enemies and traps lurk). The game still retains its high level of difficulty despite all of the new features and items.
The second game didn't get quite the reception its predecessor did, and now both games are barely recognized by even some of the older generation Nintendo Fans. Maybe a remake should be in order, I don't know.