Friday, December 2, 2016

Startropics Pt 2 - Deconstruction

Part 2 begins, as the journey of the aptly-named Mike rolls on. Armed with a yo-yo and a kilo of Bolivian nasal dust, can this daring young man save the world? Find out inside.

Remember what I said about every puzzle in the game involving green tiles? Well, it's true. The puzzles in this game aren't too interesting compared to the average puzzles in a Zelda game. While Zelda puzzles can be difficult, the puzzles in this game are pretty easy for people who have less than two first names.

A new foe appears here. It teleports around and shoots fireballs, much like the Wizzrobes of Zelda fame. In this case, they're defeated by bouncing their shots back at them with a mirror weapon. This makes for a fun little battle, as timing is everything.

Next thing we know, our hero finds himself in a room with a bunch of mummies. There is no escape from their Trump-like groping hands.

The boss of this somewhat mystical-themed dungeon is a ghost. This game likes to throw bosses at you that you can't actually hit most of the time. So instead of fighting it normally, I end up staying on the shore, jumping up and down as suggested by House of Pain in their hit song "Jump".

After a while, the boss will move into range and I can actually hit it. Not a fan of that kind of fight design. And what's Mike's beef with this ghost anyway? Poor guy is just trying to haunt stuff in peace.

That's another dungeon down. Look at that life meter... Mike barely survived that dungeon to the point that even a mean-spirited joke could have done him in.

Mike stumbles into a fortune teller's tent, bleeding profusely all the way and mumbling out requests for a heal.

The fortune teller dresses Mike up as a girl so that he can infiltrate that castle with all the women in it. "I' cold" he says.

Meanwhile, back at the castle! Our hero arrives, looking for all the world like a babe-alicious fox. Time to get in on those pillow fights they're having in there, Mike!

"I think I see a light...over there" he says as he stumbles about, clutching his ribs.

The hell is THIS? There are no pillow fights in here! Just a bunch of female soldiers training!

"Doc...tor" says our hero.

Feast your eyes on Queen Shecola.

Queen: "That makes my thighs moisten!"

Mike: "Can I... just have... a heal"

And then he has to deal with the advances of an old hobo who sits outside and critiques the women who pass by. Back off, old hobo!

Mike gets a new weapon for all that trouble, finally upgrading from the Yo-Yo. This is basically a morning star, and it's a lot more functional. After that, Mike gets a scroll from a guy on a mountaintop. Watch out, Mike! That's been the only TP this guy has had access to in ages!

Mike proceeds to gingerly read the, scroll. On the bright side, he got healed somewhere in there.

At this point the game gets a bit non-linear for a little while, and Mike ends up on a fish-shaped island.

Next up, Mike encounters the master of the island. He's a hard man to get ahold of.

What I'm wondering is... why is every area called something-cola? Did Nintendo have a deal going with Coca-Cola when they made this game?

Next thing we know, Mike's ship gets eaten by a... I'm not sure what that thing is. This day just went from bad to worse.

Inside the giant sea beast's intestinal track lurks a strange naked man and his raft. What the heck is going on? Am I going to meet Cattatafish next?

He proposes that we start a bonfire, but first our hero has to find the guy's lost lighter.

What follows is a confusing intestine maze... but at least it isn't technically another dungeon.

After finding the lighter, Mike sets the raft on fire.

The result is, of course, lots of smoke, and the sea monster ends up belching them out.

Moments after this picture was taken, the man lit up. DAMMIT, MARLBORO! HAVE YOU NOT DONE ENOUGH DAMAGE?

This is the legendary reference to the instruction booklet of the game. There was a page that, when dipped in water, would give you a code to progress in the game. Of course, if you didn't have the instruction booklet... for instance, if you had to burn it for kindling to heat your Bulgarian hovel... well, you were SOL. Luckily, today we have the internet.

Here's the code, for anyone wondering. Since only three digits are input-able, one could have conceivably punched in every possible combination and eventually arrived at the right one. Here's hoping they started at 999 and went backward, though...

And that's it for Chapter 4. Considering that Chapter 3 makes up about a third of the game and sports three big dungeons... well, Chapter 4 was about ten minutes long. Talk to a few people, get through some intestines.

Carrier pigeon? By Jove, it's Cyan! Cyan lives!

"I hope you haven't been hanging out with Bate" he says. "Guy's a real wanker, 'e is."

A puzzle follows, where Mike has to play this giant piano in a certain note-order to proceed onward. This is just like that scene in "Big".

Interesting room, as the platforms plummet into the abyss behind our hero. This is a very Zelda-esque situation.

A sweet underwater area follows. One thing is for sure: this game loves oceans.

Boss fight. This is yet another battle where you have to wait for the boss to get within range, and there's little room for error once it does.

Another boss follows soon after. This room right here is probably the worst thing I've seen in the game so far. When you first walk in, nothing happens for a good seven seconds or so. So if you're like me, you'll wonder what's going on, and might walk up to the face on the wall since it's the only thing you can really do. Problem is, if you walk up to the face on the wall, YOU DIE.

Waiting avoids the one-shotting, as the face springs to life and the battle begins.

Finally, one last boss fight. This one is tricky because you have to time your shurikens to break apart at the right time and hit both statues. Yes, I've got shurikens now.

That was quite the dungeon. With that, I'm basically done with Chapter 6. Game has been moving right along since Chapter 3 ended.

Finally, Mike finds his uncle, Dr. J. ...who proceeds to go on about aliens. WTF is going on?

My God! Mike is...Mike is Gokou?

Oh. So basically, one alien crashed, the surviving aliens are on their way to get the pod, and only Mike can stop them. This game is truly all over the place.

Tune in next time for the thrilling finale of Startropics, as Mike battles aliens and his own teenage angst.


  1. I can certainly see why this game was one of the ones that prompted the outrage that gave us the ratings system we have today. So offensive!

  2. That'll show those game renters! Although I wonder how rare a booklet for this game that doesn't have any water damage is.

  3. I've never heard of a game requiring the instruction booklet before. That's thinking outside the box..well, no, you're still in the box, just a different part of the box.

    Some Caribbean beaches end with the suffix -cola, for example Pensacola, FL. Here they made it universal.

    This is still a cool game, but I hope the alien scenery still has some beaches. The aquatic theme makes it unique. You're a fan, right, Brayn?

    The big-faced NPCs in the cut scenes are also unique.