GSQ5: No time for love, Dr. Jones

StarTropics is one of those NES games that I rented and devoured in the course of a weekend and probably would have forgotten entirely if not for the fact that it had those weird resonances with Zelda — the file select screen, the dungeon designs, etc. — and incorporated scattershot bits of American pop culture. Knowing now that it was Nintendo’s attempt to make a game specifically for American audiences explains a bit, I suppose.

And with this post, my vow to publish an NES-related article from GSQ5 every day in October has been fulfilled. I think maybe I will post much more varied content in November! Or maybe just hide under a table or something.

10 thoughts on “GSQ5: No time for love, Dr. Jones

  1. I beat this on Virtual Console, and boy was that a task, I’ll tell you what. It’s actually pretty reasonable until the spaceship. All bets are off once you get there, though. Holy crap.

  2. I was lucky enough to beat the space ship in a single go, meaning I never lost the laser gun or whatever the best temporary weapon was. I’ve long harbored a suspicion that if I’d screwed up and lost the weapon, that level would have been stupidly difficult… which is one reason I’ve never gone back to revisit the game.

  3. Back in 2000 when I got a used NES from Funcoland and started to build up an NES collection, this was the only game I could find brand new (at Toys “R” Us). I still have my shiny new box and dry letter (thanks Internet). Man the spaceship was tough though!

  4. Startropics is a game I have wanted so badly to love, but have simply found it difficult to do so. I’d love to see a good remake that tones the odd/cheap difficulty down a few notches.

  5. Still love this game. And yeah, it gets tough at the spaceship. But ironically, after having much trouble when younger with the final boss battle, I had almost no problems at all after playing through a couple of months ago.

    The sequel was even better, in my opinion, and well worth tracking down.

  6. I’ve played through both of these recently. It’s a shame because both are fun but pretty flawed games that show the potential for much more. Startropics has a really fun atmosphere and interesting level design, but the controls are brutal and the hopping-based gameplay is just plain tedious.

    Startropics II fixes the controls, but the time traveling gimmick isn’t as fun because the actual level design is really poor. Most of the rooms are just empty squares with a few enemies in them. Plus, they retained the tile jumping even though it isn’t necessary to advance in rooms, making it seem really extraneous. If only they could have combined the best of both into one really good game.

  7. It just hit me that Startropics had quite a few similarities to Secret of Evermore. Both were Zelda-esque games made in Seattle for American gamers, set in the present starring a regular kid. Do we need a crossover now?

  8. Tato> I know what you mean. With that stuff in my way, I never even made it to the spaceship.

    This is one of those games where I love everything except actually playing it.

  9. I’m still surprised I didn’t see a single mention about this games music in the article or comments. I agree the sequel is just as awesome and am waiting for possibly another.I never knew Japan never saw it until I read this though… Which I guess explains why we never saw Mike make any Smash Bros cameos…

  10. The sequel has better controls (although having gotten used to the ones in the original, I didn’t necessarily appreciate the change), but gah, it’s actually MUCH HARDER than the original, if that’s possible.

    The real problem with the sequel, though, is that the time-travel business just isn’t as interesting as the island theme. In the original, they decided, okay, south-seas theme all the way through (until the space part), so they had to find creative and interesting variations on the single idea throughout, which they did rather well. In the sequel, we’re just bopping all over the place, so there’s no need to do anything beyond predictable, surface-level riffing on any of the individual themes.

    It DOES have the Cactus Dance, however. So I guess it’s really a wash.

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