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StarTropics is pretty hard

Octopus Prime

Mysterious Contraption
(He/Him)
I definitely beat it under my own steam when I was a Young Parson; Level 6 was perhaps the biggest hurdle since if you died you had to do several extremely difficult dungeons with 3 hearts, in a game where health pick-ups were incredibly scarce.

Then I found that re-spawning Health Containerand things got much more manageable
 

Sarge

hardcore retro gamin'
It was my third! (Though I also backfilled my collection). Did you also originally sign up for the free copy of Dragon Warrior?

I feel like I've tried to replay Startropics a bunch of times, but I always bounce off a few chapters in. I beat the entire game once back in college, relying heavily on Nintendo Power maps.
Stupidly, no I didn't. I got in on that set of four Player's Guides, but I absolutely should have just sprung for the extra year. I did get the game eventually, though, traded it, then got another new copy from Toys 'R' Us years and years later.
 

Sarge

hardcore retro gamin'
I loved watching the ending, and the game even gives you that save right at the end, so you can watch it over and over. :)
 

RT-55J

definitely not a robot
(He/Him)
As good as those illustrations are, imo the best part of the ending sequence is when after escaping the ship Mike falls into the water and the death jingle plays. That joke had me in stitches.
 

Ghost from Spelunker

BAG
(They/Him)
I vaguely recall renting StarTropics back in the day, and since rented games did not come with the manual, I was well and truly screwed...
I remember when I rented it, the video store had a piece of paper taped to the container with a big "PASSWORD IS 747" written on it.
That store knew their stuff.
 

Daikaiju

Rated Ages 6+
(He, Him)
Yeah, one of the downsides of our manual-less future is no neat bits like the letter that came with StarTropics.
 

MCBanjoMike

Infamous third lava dolphin
(He/him)
When I rented the game, I knew there was supposed to be a letter that you dipped in water, but the game didn't come with it. Since I did have the manual, I tried dipping that, which of course didn't accomplish anything - but I felt TERRIBLE about it afteward.
 
Those rendered scenes were worth the effort.
Whatever else you can say about Startropics 2, one thing I feel it improved over the original was spreading these cutscene graphics across the game so you don't have to play through a hard-as-hell final dungeon to see most of them.
 

FelixSH

(He/Him)
Made it to Chapter 7 and went into the spaceship. Which is a teleport maze. With really obnoxious enemies. What the hell? I feel like the game went full-on bully mode now.

Lil tip: In Chapter 4, if you don't mind a bit of a grind, you can keep collecting the Heart Container to max out your health for the rest of the chapter. The extra hearts will disappear when you advance to Chapter 5 though.
Thanks for the tip, just made it through Chapter 6, but I just used savestates. I like to do that for my first time through these hard NES games, so I can experience everything without going insane. But it seems like something I might enjoy to try as a challenge, learning the dungeons well enough to make it through them legitimately.

One of my favourite weird things about this game is the sign, that you get to pick up. Depending on the number you get, you number of lifes increase. Or go down, which is what general happens to me. Can you die that way? This is just such a dumb, mean thing, I can't help but love it.

Another favourite thing is the mood of the game. I love that I'm just there, on this collection of tropical islands. Outside of the dungeons, there seem to be no enemies, and it feels pretty chill. I enjoy spending time in this world.
 

RT-55J

definitely not a robot
(He/Him)
I definitely recommend making a map of the teleporter maze. The critical path is pretty short IIRC, but pretty well hidden.
 

FelixSH

(He/Him)
And done. The last two chapters were a huge difficulty spike, and were the only place in the game that felt unfairly hard. Maybe some training would make it way more doable? There was certainly a lot of swearing involved, plus online maps and save states, because no way am I torturing myself so much.

But it was fun, and a nice experience overall. And I really enjoyed the ending montage, showing me all the things that I did and bosses I slaughtered.
 

MCBanjoMike

Infamous third lava dolphin
(He/him)
I'm maybe a little more hesitant to see Nintendo return to that setting in 2020, now that I think about it. Made up Polynesian cultures were a lot easier to get away with 30 years ago than they are now. If they go back, they'd have to be more careful of how they represented the people of that part of the world, so as to avoid caricature.
 
I find the actual mechanics of Zoda's Revenge so much better, but the time travel thing isn't as fun as the tropical island theme from the first game. The great theming smooths over a lot of the game's rougher edges, which is why I normally lose most of my enthusiasm for Startropics once you're firmly in the alien ship.

It's also kind of weird Zoda's Revenge keeps the tiles at all considering you're no longer locked into a grid for movement or have to jump on the tiles. They come off as even more space wasters in that game, some sore of vestigial organ from the first game that no longer applies.

I hope ZR shows up on the Virtual Console at some point soon.
 
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