|Developer:||Axes Art Amuse|||||Release Date:||1994 (NA)|||||Systems:||Super Nintendo|
This week on Super Adventures I'm playing SNES game Holy Striker, better known as 'Fire Striker' in the US and 'absolutely nothing' in Europe as they didn't bother to release it here. No great mystery why Nintendo of America decided to tweak the title when they brought it over, seeing how keen they weren't on religious references in their games.
That's pretty much the only thing I know about the game, but I've just loaded up its Wikipedia page and apparently it's a "piece of high carbon or alloyed steel from which sparks are struck by the sharp edge of chert or similar rock". Uh... what the hell's chert? Also, is there really no page for the game Fire Striker? Have I finally found something Wikipedia's never heard of?
Oh duh, I was just spelling it wrong; it's FireStriker without the space. You know what, forget the wiki page, I'd rather come into it blind anyway.
Hang on a second, there's three choices on the title screen and not one of them says 'OPTIONS'! Super Nintendo games are supposed to give me an options screen so I can put my lives count up and stuff. Instead there's a mysterious 'MULTI MODE' option sitting in its place, which is apparently different enough to '2 PLAYERS' to get to appear alongside it. I'll have to remember to try that out later.
So there were Four Kingdoms in the world, each named after one of the four elements. Sounds legit so far.
"But, there was a weapon which ruled over the Four Kingdoms... The TRIALIGHT... A weapon created by the Arch Mage WYLDE. The one who possessed it could unite and rule over the Four Kingdoms. One who can wield the TRIALIGHT is know as a FIRESTRIKER."It's turning into Lord of the Zeldas. You thinking this might be an RPG? I'm definitely thinking RPG.
"Each Kingdom chose a FIRESTRIKER to compete for the TRIALIGHT. Ultimately the Kingdom of WIND Won. Thus, the Four Kingdoms were united. But, it was the beginning of a nightmare. Arch Mage WYLDE was not satisfied with peace. He conjured Four Monsters to overthrow the unified world."Wow, this game will capitalise Any part of any WORD it damn Well feels like. If only WYLDE had given out rings like Sauron, then they could've summoned Captain Planet to fight him. Oh wait they'd need the Kingdom of HEART for that.
"The Four Monsters loosed upon the world a beast that could turn humans to stone."Petrification huh? Nasty.
"Finally, only the Kingdom of WIND remained, fighting alone against WYLDE's monsters. Ordinary weapons were of no use against the Monsters."
"Now, only one hope glimmered... WYLDE's TRIALIGHT. And, only one FIRESTRIKER had survived."Not hard to guess which of these four is the STRIKER of WATER.
Final Fantasy IV.
Turns out that I'm SLADER, the last FIRESTRIKER and I'm here in the King's throne room to receive my quest. My job is to get the TRIALIGHT and use it to slay the Four Monsters and stop Arch Mage WYLDE from plunging the World into DARKNESS. Uh, darkness I mean.
I'm sure these other warriors would love to help, but only the TRIALIGHT can slay the Monsters and I only I can wield the TRIALIGHT, so the King's armies are going to have to sit this one out.
Yeah this tree's definitely a place I'm visiting, as moving here has brought up a character select screen.
YouTube link to the soundtrack if you want some music to go along with your GIFs.
Seems to me that this is one of those fantasy-themed Breakout clones, like Wizorb. Though instead of a paddle I've been given an Zelda-style hero to bounce the ball around with. Plus I've got a guy in a cloak keeping watch over my goal, which is good as either we're smacking this ball around on a hill or it's got a strong natural instinct to migrate south. Cloaky doesn't move around much though. He's less of an AI sidekick, more of an immobile barrier.
The ball tends to head in the direction I'm pressing when I hit it, but so does my hero, so getting it exactly where I want is kind of tricky. With my crappy aim I'm going to be so screwed if I ever have to fight a boss.
Fortunately chests are optional though and all I actually had to do here was carve myself a gap through the blocks and then smack the ball into the open goal. Then it went and put me on the next stage, with entirely new bricks blocking a completely different goal.
LATER, ON STAGE 1-3.
Well now I know that exploding rocks sometimes contain hearts, and spiky balls can't be firestruck. Also the music changes between stages, which is cool as it stops it getting too monotonous and makes me feel like I'm making progress.
Man, when I catch up to this Arch Mage we're going to have words about all these stone blocks he dumped across the road.
|Gameplay displayed in extreme fast-forward.|
But I’ve figured out what the POWs are for at least! I can collect and carry just three POW spheres at the moment, but activating one of them gives me a single superpowered shot that can obliterate an entire column of bricks! Assuming I can get it to fire off in line with the blocks I'm trying to hit.
I've got to be careful though, as these POW power-ups lying around can be shattered with a few accidental hits.
This is SPEL, the first of Arch Mage WYLDE's Four Monsters, but the one who holds the most ironic name. He reveals that he knows I'm the FIRESTRIKER of WIND and he's not impressed, promising that he'll let me feel the power of the WIND. Eww.
Well the Monsters are immune to everything but the legendary TRIALIGHT, so I hope this fireball I've been smacking around is the relic itself or else this fight is going to end badly for me.
Wait, no I didn't, he's blowing me up! Crap, crap, crap...
So, do you think those green balls his firing off are supposed to be WIND? Because he promised to show me the power of WIND, but all I see are green things and explosions. Seems like the explosions only happen when I hit that shiny orb atop his fur-less torso though, so I'll know when they'll be coming in future. Assuming I can ever hit him in the weak spot again.
|Gameplay massively sped up because gameplay took forever.|
That's the first of the Four Monsters down, three left to go!
I've got a choice of directions now: a small village, a smaller village, a castle, and a Final Fantasy crystal. And maybe my own castle too, I'll give that a try first.
Interestingly it did let me replay the tree stages again, despite the fact that there's nothing obvious I can gain from it besides POW and health. Can't return to the greenhouse stages though, that place blew up.
ICE VILLAGE STAGE 1.
Sorry, I get sarcastic when I'm bored. Plus whiny.
ICE VILLAGE STAGE 2.
Amazingly that was my hero's first heroic death so far. I might not be able to get the ball to go anywhere I want it to, but holding onto my hit points hasn't been too hard so far.
OPTIONAL ICE STAGE 1.
|Gameplay fast-forwarded again.|
Oh by the way, I should mention that I've figured something out that's kind of important: I can slide cloak guy left and right with the 'L' and 'R' shoulder buttons to put him in front of the ball or cover damaged tiles (but I usually don't). I'm guessing that if Player 2 were to drop in to my game, he'd take over the cloak guy role immediately.
OPTIONAL ICE STAGE 2.
So these snowy stages were in the Kingdom of EARTH the whole time? My understanding of this world has been turned on its head!
EARTH TEMPLE STAGE 2.
EARTH TEMPLE STAGE 5.
I realise it's important to see what the ball's doing, but personally I'd rather the game kept me in frame instead so that I have a fighting chance to dodge sneaky enemy and indestructible spiky balls, at least when I'm in single player. I lost 6 hit points to a single butterfly during that GIF!
Oh wait, that's not a butterfly, it's a set of disembodied vampire jaws. Well that makes me feel a little better about my robot not being able to beat it in a straight fight.
EARTH TEMPLE STAGE 6.
12 SECONDS LATER.
To be fair, I came into the fight with a single hit point so the chances of it going my way were slim. But it gave me the opportunity to study the wall's routine: he shoots fire and rocks at me and then I lose.
Now it just has to happen another 9 times before I run out of hit points, else I'm screwed. It's possible to gain hit points during the fight so it's not completely implausible for me to hang on that long. It might take a while though.
|This one's in fast-forward too.|
I'm sure I must be doing that thing I do where I overlook something really obvious, because fighting him like this is exhausting. I've been running around here smacking my ball around and dodging fire for almost five minutes now on this life alone and I'm only half done.
Well thank fuck for that, I can finally stop playing. NO.... DON'T OFFER ME 5 CREDITS, WHAT ARE YOU EVEN DOING? I'm not trying that stage again, I'm through with it! I'm free! I can turn this off and move on with my life.
Wait, I forgot to see what Multi Mode is.
I was kind of liking FireStriker, right up to the point where I wasn't. I'm not sure where the turn came exactly, but I eventually began to realise that everything was taking much longer than I comfortable with. The game had burned though my limited reserves of 'give a fuck' before I even got to the wall boss, so at that point it was just pure stubbornness keeping me going and that ran out when my lives did.
It's tedious and frustrating but the catchy music does help to counter that to a degree provided you can stand listening to it. Only a degree though, it's not that catchy. Plus being able to pick what level you want to play next is cool, though not being able to save after you're victorious isn't. It didn't even give me a password!
There's not many fantasy RPG-themed Breakout games in the world, but that's fine with me as I've come to realise I don't like the genre all that much. I'd probably put this above Wizorb though at least because having to dodge enemies adds a new dimension to the gameplay. Though on the other hand Wizorb's got magic powers and a village to walk around in...
I won't give FireStriker a 'Not Crap' award because I got sick of it and I don't see myself coming back to it any time soon, but I can see other people enjoying this a lot more than I did. It's certainly well put together and polished enough, so you won't have to fight through a layer of awkwardness to get to the boring bit. It's probably worth a few minutes of your time at least, if you find you like the look of it. Always good to try something out of the ordinary.
Either way you should totally leave a comment in the comment box below. Share your Firestriker and Super Adventures related thoughts.