Posts Tagged ‘Axel’

Sparkster rockets to the end, lets make some ham

March 26, 2010

Alright, endgame time with Rocket Knight Adventures.  I mentioned most of the epic battle you have with Axel in Stage 7, but like I said, he’s not the final bad guy. 

This particular stage starts off by tossing you into a “boss” fight right at the beginning.  You might have saw a King Pig like dude hanging out with Axel post Princess capturing, and then he popped up again at the end of Stage 5 when he runs away like a little baby and leaves the Princess behind.  Well, this is the guy you face off against at the beginning of Stage 7.  He’s actually really basic, and there’s a reason for this.  You pretty much can just rocket yourself into him and easily dodge his jumps; his pattern is pretty much as basic as you can get.  However, once you knock enough energy off, you come to realize that he’s actually a robot in disguise.  A few more hits and this form is toast, but variations of him will plague you throughout the level.  Actually, he’s just about the only enemy you encounter here outside of Axel, and you’ll run past different versions of him being made that will occasionally pop out of the background towards you, but they’re easily dispatched. 

The real battle, after the Axel fight, comes in this Pig robot’s final form.  I’m assuming from the look and shape that he’s supposed to be some type of supercomputer, or AI gone rogue, something along those lines.  If this was a modern game, it’d probably be Sparkster’s long forgotten father that went mad and got sucked into his favorite TV show but really the whole story just doubled as a parable for whether or not Possums can dream when they sleep and then Sparkster would wake up at the end with new robot legs or something.  But no, here it’s just a big round computer screen with a digitized pig face and lasers that shoot out at different angles that bounces around the inside of a room. 


Ah 16-bits, simpler times indeed. 

 This final battle is a pretty big pain, mostly because it gets so damn hard to hit the weak spot on robot pig face.  When the lasers shoot out, depending on the position they reveal themselves, a small red node will pop up on the robot, and you pretty much have to rocket around the room in order to hit it, oftentimes at an angle or by rebounding off a wall.  Dodging the lasers isn’t really the hard part, but the challenge comes from being able to dodge and hit quick enough.  That pesky weak spot doesn’t stay active for very long, making this battle a lot lengthier than it needs to be.  In all honesty, it’s a pretty weak final boss, and I prefer to think of that fight with Axel as the end of the game. 

Anyways, if you manage to hit it enough, it blows up, and Sparkster leaps into an escape pod, and you’re lead to believe it’s all over.  The next screen is Sparkster falling to the planet, and this leads into a particularly cool looking sequence that requires you to dodge the remnants of this robot pig AI that now exists just as a broken screen.  Survive the descent until you hit the re-entry point of the atmosphere, which then causes the unprotected robot to burst into flames.  The background scrolls from space to planet atmosphere during this sequence in a pretty believable fashion, and it’s definitely worth seeing, and pretty inventive to boot. 

 After that, there’s a quick reunited scene between the Princess and her dad, but Sparkster chooses to slink off in stoic knight fashion, and takes off into the sky before anyone can bother to thank him for saving them from Pig Robots.  It’s a nice simple, open-ended ending that paves the way for a possible sequel and doesn’t do much story wise, but definitely fits in with most platformers and action games from that particular era.  I’m actually glad there’s little to no text during this sequence, as it would have been a little cheap to try and tack much story on at this point. 

 So while I won’t say that Rocket Knight Adventures is quite the best of the best when it comes to 16-bit action, it’s still a cool little title that anyone who still owns a Genesis should try and seek out if you haven’t already.  I picked up my version for about $10 off of Ebay, and that was complete, so I’m sure you can dig up a copy for a pretty cheap price if you look around.  Definitely worth the three or so hours you might need to devote to finishing it, and it provides enough challenge without feeling ridiculous or cheap. 

 Next week is another title; this time I’ll be taking a look at Donkey Kong Country 2.  I’ve never played a DKC title past the first one, so this will be a wholly new experience for me, and I’m looking forward to it.  So come Monday, it’s on like Donkey Kong.

Or Diddy Kong.