Saturday, December 16, 2017

Super Star Wars (Super NES, 1992)

This game is excellent.

Remastered post, now with Nintendo Power scans and added awesomeness.

...where everyone speaks English.

The Star Destroyers sure are iconic. Their shape is appealing, too. They look like the battleship of the future.

...though this IS a long time ago. In a galaxy far away.

Here's Luke Skywalker, son of Padme. You fight a lot of Womprats early on; they drop hearts (health) in abundance.

 Speaking of Padme, I think a lot of people forget how cool Episode II was at times. It had Mace Windu and Yoda shown in combat for the first time, Padme turning out to be a badass, a cool final battle.

The first boss is the Sarlacc. It doesn't really look like it did in the movies. Unless it roared out of the ground and I don't remember...

On the bright side, boss HP drops very fast in this game if you stay on offense.

"Die motherf******er!" says Luke as he opens fire. Does he kiss his sister with that mouth?

This is like an objective from one of those Dragonball Z RPGs. No real information is given. Luckily, this is a straightforward side-scroller, so I won't be roaming around a huge overworld.

Next up, a driving stage, as Luke flies around the desert. On that note, I would like to question why we STILL don't have flying cars in 2017.

Look at that thing jump!

Objective here is just to fly around shooting Jawas until it tells you to head for the Sandcrawler. This game isn't complicated at all, but it's a lot of fun.

Hilarity ensues as Luke blasts more Jawas.

This might be a good time to mention that you can find powerups for your blaster that put it through various levels of asskickery. It starts out firing only small laser beams, but the later powerups make it a death machine.

Atop the Sandcrawler are lots of turrets. All things considered, this stage is where the game starts to get difficult. It never lets up, either. The one strike against this game is the difficulty, and I think it might have been a bit much. When I was a kid, it put me off of the game fairly quickly.

This boss is awesome-looking... and wasn't in the movies at all. Anywhere. That I know of. Which is pretty cool, I like all the new stuff.

Things like this add to the mythology of the movie; it's like you're seeing deleted scenes.

The final Blaster upgrade is Plasma, which does a huge amount of damage. That said, I don't like it as much as the second-to-last upgrade (Homing Missiles, self explanatory) or the third-to-last (Rapid Ion, which fires super-fast and ricochets). Plasma may be the strongest, but it's very straightforward compared to those two attacks.

Of course, this is a 90's action game, so it wouldn't be complete with tiny platforms over an abyss. The jumping controls could be better, but they aren't awful or anything.

The Marvel Team-Up begins to form, as Obi-Wan gifts Luke with a lightsaber. Too bad Obi-Wan isn't playable in this game. I bet he has some moves.

The lightsaber is AWESOME. In many situations the blaster is superior, but the sheer coolness of running around slashing enemies can't be beat.

A bunch of Bantha minibosses attack in a row. Can Luke avoid becoming Bantha Fodder?

The real boss is a massive Womprat. This game deserves some serious props for being so creative with the bosses and giving us so many creatures that we didn't really see in the movie. If anything, this game expands upon the movie.

Plasma is actually useful here, as it pushes the boss away.

More driving, complete with indiscriminate Jawa murder!

In Mos Eisley, I encounter Stormtroopers for the first time. Luke is looking at the screen like "uh oh!"

That or he's wondering why I'm taking pictures instead of making him defend himself. Idle animations are how game characters question their cruel god.

The stormtroopers attack in groups from all sides. With damn miniguns, no less. It doesn't help that this is a wretched hive of scum and villainy. Forget about getting any assistance from the locals.

We get our first character select. Luke is surprisingly average-sized.

I go with Chewie, and the first thing that stands out is his gigantic life meter. Right now the fullness of it looks like the amount of dislikes on "Ajit Pai reads mean tweets".

One of the characters from the Hologram Battle Game (seen for about two seconds in the movie) is the boss here.

Playing as Chewie is odd. He isn't too mobile, and the entire strategy seems to be "stand in place and pummel the enemy until either you or they lose". Still, this boss is rad to see in motion.

"Though I hear Docking Bay Sixty-Nine is fun this time of year" says Han while ogling female passerby. Han shot first, indeed.

At a lofty six feet fall, Han Solo is the giant of the human(?) characters.

Solo is now playable. NICE. Shorter life meter than the others and no lightsaber, but he leaps higher than Luigi. It's like he's smuggling a Boba Fett jetpack in his butt. No wonder Fett hates him so much!

Two tough bosses await at the end of Mos Eisley. I'm a boss-thusiast, so the more the merrier. Especially if they weren't really in the movie. First is this thing, which sorta resembles a probe droid...

...then this thing, which looks like a Gradius boss. The Empire had all kinds of technology and I like seeing things besides your standard Walkers.

Complete tangent, but I wish more of the Terminator video games gave us machines that we hadn't seen in the movies. We've seen T-600s and T-800s a million times, but they almost never give us things that are merely mentioned or referred to (the way these Star Wars games do). You won't see any T-700s or Centurions or any of that cool stuff from the Cameron Future War in any video games, though at least Genisys gave us Centurions in a movie finally. You'd think the makers of Terminator video games would be interested in farming the gold mine of unknown Terminator models since we've only really seen a couple of them.

There's one exception: The developers of Dawn of Fate for the Playstation 2 created T-400s and T-500s for the game, which is pretty cool. Though it jumps right to T-800s after that, which is a bit lame.

Check out my Dawn of Fate post here if you want to know more about it.

Stormtroopers choke on exhaust fumes as our heroes take off. Now that the RPG party is complete, it's time to rescue Princess Leia from the Empire.

Puny maintenance droids attack once you arrive at the Death Star. least, I think this is the Death Star. I haven't seen the movie since 2005. I might as well hand in my nerd card now. I wanted to do a quick re-watch of all eight movies before Episode VIII, but there just hasn't been time.

One hell of a boss here. It's also Gradius-esque in that you have to shoot through a bunch of panels to reach the core.

Another boss fight. This one is basically a Dr. Wily saucer fight.

It gets smaller as the battle goes on.

If the movie had all of these boss battles, it would have been five hours long.

It's Princess Leia. Han's interest is immediately piqued.

"No problem, kid! Chewie and I have gotten into lots of pants more heavily-guarded than this!"

Next up, Han scales a lengthy elevator shaft to battle...

...yet another boss! It's the tractor beam core, and taking it out will let us escape.

Protip: It looks like it, but the area below you isn't actually a pit. You can jump down and blast the core from below where you're safe from all of its attacks.

Alas, the Obi-Wan / Vader confrontation is distilled to this one screen. Well, I'll get my own crack at Vader in the next game. Surprised you don't fight him at all in this one, given how the game went all-out with bosses.

The Death Star is looming large. 30 years of Imperial oppression are about to end, as our heroes make their legendary run at destroying it.

But seriously, once the Empire built this thing, it was pretty much all over for every other faction in the galaxy, thus completely ending any semblance of freedom...for a while, anyway. It's a bit chilling when you think about it.

The Death Star run begins with another Sandspeeder type free-roam deal where you're flying around a huge arena-like environment, shooting at enemies. In this case, you need to destroy a certain amount of TIE Fighters and stationary gun towers.

Alas, the final stage isn't as cool. This is a trench run and basically amounts to an on-rails shooter as you fend off TIE Fighters for a while. Once the number in the middle gets to 000000, you win. In the meantime, it ticks down as you approach the Death Star Laundry Chute that you have to fire torpedoes into.

Once you get close, the final boss appears. Darth Vader's TIE Fighter is more powerful than most (he must have fortified it with The Force), but it isn't too bad. You can hardly even call it a final boss.

Cutscene! The Death Star gets blown to bits, and the X-Wing is still one of the coolest ship designs ever. It's like someone looked at the two wing-positions of the Klingon Bird of Prey and went "why not both?"

The difference between X-Wings and TIE Fighters is a lot like the difference between Japanese katanas and Chinese longswords. One is designed for maximum effectiveness in the right hands, the other is designed to be inexpensively mass-produced for a massive army.

Leia looks freakishly tall here, while Luke and Chewie look like kids. I guess they're all standing on different stair-levels, but you can't see that in the shot...

Credits roll, and it's worth noting that POPOVICH is the greatest name.

Congratulations! Try harder mode? thanks, this was tough enough. Onward to Super Empire Strikes Back.

There are many unanswered questions for me when I think about Star Wars. How does the Death Star move? Does it have warp thrusters somewhere? fast do ships go in Star Wars, anyway? What would Hyperdrive be on the Star Trek warp scale? Are Star Wars ships faster than Star Trek ships? Which would win in an all-out battle, Enterprise-E/Sovereign or a Star Destroyer?

As a bonus, I'm going to take a quick look at the Nintendo Power coverage of this game. It actually made the cover! I remember reading this issue at the library when I was a little kid.

The dominant picture here has a lot of red in it. Surprised at the lack of good-guy lightsabers, too. It definitely has an epic look to it, regardless.

I really like the way Nintendo Power intersperses pictures of the source material, as well as having boxes to talk about individual characters and their abilities. This is the case for most of the games they covered in the mid-90's.

Wait...what happened to level 3?

As a kid, I also liked reading about special items. They were almost as interesting to me as the bosses.

 Some of the more complex levels get maps, and the coverage continues onto the fold-out poster for this issue. Great picture of Leia, too. She's jailed by the Empire, and rescuing her is the objective of this particular set of levels.

Good stuff, and I never get tired of checking out my old Nintendo Powers when I'm playing these retro games. Sometimes they're helpful, and they almost always add to the game's flavor.


  1. There isn't really any way to answer those last questions you posed, because both franchises have such different rules. I don't think Star Wars ships have shields, and they definitely don't have things like cloaking devices, but they seem a lot sturdier. I will say that Enterprise-E would probably kick a Star Destroyer's butt. It's a warship, after all. Same goes for the Dreadnought in the latest movie.

    1. Dreadnought was pretty insane, yeah? I guess they are completely separate universes. No telling what SW's Hyperdrive is in terms of ST's warp factor... but I think it's safe to say that "Going to Plaid" in Spaceballs is faster than anything else.

    2. Hahaha, great reference.

  2. You want to know why we don't have flying cars? Drunk drivers. ...also like every terrorist ever.

  3. "This game is really really good."
    LOVE being introduced to a game, especially one with this iconic title screen, this way. Let's GO!

    I'd forgotten Star Wars happens a "long, long time ago". It changes the way I think about everything.

    BROOO the DBZ RPG connection wit looking for the droids in the desert is PERFECT! Because wandering around with no clues and everything looking the same is what the STORMTROOPERS were doing!

    Dear God that new boss is something all right. Lucas would be proud.

    I'm glad the blaster still has its advantanges once you have the lightsaber. Don't nerf Han!

    Luke doing drivebys.

    Luke and I are the same height! Heyy!

    Chewie's non-mobility makes him pretty interesting. A shootout it is! It works because of his life bar.

    I'm a huge fan of the bosses too. I'm also glad you're using Han so much and I'm a big fan of how his shooting animation looks just like the real-life version's.

    Solid effort all around, and it was made by an American team? Back then we thought the Japanese did -everything- but it's good to know some Yanks were already figuring things out.