Here comes some starsThe original StarTropics game was an action/RPG hybrid that saw young Mike Jones venture through some ill-defined “South Seas” Caribbean-esque tropical venues. Mike traversed caves, spoke to parrots, and eventually discovered the source of all of his woes were mysterious aliens. The aliens are well established as antagonists from early on, though (StarTropics), so they’re not completely out of left field in this otherwise mundane adventure about Mike exploring some deadly vacation destinations. In a time when NES titles were often incredibly bonkers, Mike’s quest was arguably simply a much more ordinary Legend of Zelda.

And then we got StarTropics 2. And it was insane-o cuckoo banana pants crazy.

So, in the interest of properly conveying the plot and further adventures of Mike Jones, please enjoy these 30 unmodified images from my playthrough of StarTropics 2. It’s pretty straightforward!

See? Pretty typical tale of aliens and wizards and the occasional Sherlock Holmes. A winner is you!

FGC #441 Zoda’s Revenge: StarTropics II

  • System: Nintendo Entertainment System. It also found a home on the Wii and WiiU, but it hasn’t made it to Switch as of this writing. Give it time!
  • Number of Players: Mike is going to have to go it alone.
  • Maybe actually talk about the game for a second: StarTropics 2’s major change to the StarTropics formula (aside from the plot) is that Mike is now capable of moving in a full 8 directions, and is no longer stuck with the four cardinals. And that’s wonderful! StarTropics 1 always felt a little too stiff for the system that also allowed Mega Man to kick Quick Man’s ass, and the new and improved Mike feels like a whole new hero. And he’s got access to at least one weapon at all times that isn’t completely nuked by losing health, too. Overall, StarTropics 2 certainly has its flaws, but its general gameplay “feel” seems much improved over its more famous predecessor.
  • GO AWAYGoggle Bob Fact: Mega Man 6 and StarTropics 2 were the only two games that I kept at my Grandmother’s house when I was a Wee Goggle Bob (would you trust a child to carry a $50 hunk of plastic back and forth between houses? No, these games stay here). This means that I played through the two titles completely at least once a month for probably two years. So, even though I hadn’t played StarTropics 2 in probably a couple of decades, it’s still somehow soaked into my DNA. This is one player that knows how to handle a rampaging dragon.
  • What’s in a name: Mike collects magical pieces of a necklace that eventually summons a lost king. In the Virtual Console release, they are simply known as “blocks”. However, the original release refers to these four-piece blocks as “tetrads”. Gee, I wonder why they decided to change that?
  • An End: The game autosaves before and after dungeons, so it does save right after completing the final dungeon/boss. And that means that booting that file will only ever load the peaceful final ending town. Postgame content? New Game+? What’s that?
  • Did you know? StarTropics 2 was the final Nintendo-produced exclusive Nintendo Entertainment System exclusive title. Technically, the last Nintendo-Nintendo game was Wario’s Woods, but that was available for other systems, too.
  • Would I play again: I have a lot of fond memories of StarTropics 2… but, by the end of this playthrough, I was just about ready for it to be done. StarTropics 2 is a lot of fun, but it’s also a limited NES game with a lot of the same challenges wearing slightly different hats. I’ll play it again someday… but it might not be for another decade.

What’s next? Random ROB has chosen… Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night! Okay, ROB didn’t choose that one at all, but I backed Bloodstained, dammit, and I’m going to talk about it. Please look forward to it!

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