Captain Starmaster 3010
The following is taken from a now deleted blog called "Games Addiction" run by a user calling themselves "OldHerbz" or Herbz for short that mostly specialized in the review of obscure video games from the 8 bit, and 16 bit eras occasionally going to into other types of games.
March 15, 2015: Yo Yo everybody it's your boy Herbz here, and welcome to another installment of Games Addiction were I find old games no one's heard about, and see if they're Class 5 classics for Class 1 crud.
So today I was at the local flea market like always scoping out for new games when I saw a counter run by some old guy I had never seen before.
The counter had a bunch of games I had seen before like sports games, shooters, Zelda 2, etc but there was this one Sega Genesis cartridge that caught my eye.
It didn't have a sticker on it just a piece of white tape with the words "Starmaster" written on it.
I thought it sound like a spaceship shooter like Raiden or R Type, so I asked the man running the counter, and he said it was $5 so I poneyed up the cash and bought it.
So, let's see how this game plays shall we?
So, we got the usual stuff like "Licensed by Sega of America", and some logos from a company called Cytek or something that I never heard of before, but the copyright stuff says 1990.
Now there's a shot of the Earth in outer space, and some white text crawling up.
The text says "Earth: the year 2010. War, and pollution have taken their toll on the Earth, and it cannot continue to support human life."
We see what looks like a futuristic city with some flashing explosions, Then the screen goes white, and when it clears the city is in ruins
There's a clip of some scientists working in a lab which pans to show this giant spaceship that looks like some giant tower poking out of a flying saucer
"The surviving governments of the world have decided to put aside their differences just once to come together to combine their collective intellect to create a space colony called the Eden"
there are some guards in futuristic military clothes leading a crowd of faceless people into ramp that leads into the ship.
"The Eden will take a small 10, 000,000-person population into space in the hopes that someday when the effects of man's ravaging of the planet undo themselves man can return to his home."
It goes back to Earth in space only now it looks all weird, and alien, and post-apocalyptic, and all that stuff
"The year is now 3010, Scientists on the Eden have determined that the Earth is once again fit for human inhabitation but there is one problem:
In the intervening millennium Earth has been overrun with dangerous, and carnivorous life forms."
We see a bunch of weird looking monsters the most normal looking ones I can think of look like some humanoid mammal monsters with claws, and slanted eyes but even then they have horns coming out of their elbows, their arms are held out like a mantis's, and their walking like their sitting down.
The weirder ones look like flying blobs or lizards with what look like moaning human faces, or they look like something out of an old episode of Star Trek.
Then one of these monsters looks directly at the player, and slashes at the screen leaving these white claw marks
"The only hope for humanity is to send down the Eden's greatest, and bravest soldier Captain Starmaster down to Earth to eliminate the predatory mutants so mankind can reclaim the Earth."
We see some guy step out of the darkness, and he looks like something out of VR Troopers or Ropcop with this white or silver armor, a black visor, and all sorts of glowing lights on him.
All the while there's this bad ass sounding super heroic music playing.
"Captain Starmaster is equipped with the most powerful, and deadly weapons in human history as well as various tools which can help him explore any terrain no matter how treacherous"
Now there's a POW show that looks life your typical red screen with techno crap all over including a target.
Next, we see Captain Starmaster firing some futuristic machine gun that shoots lasers.
We then see the various monsters from earlier being hit and blown up by the lasers in the most PG rated way humanly possible.
Then it shows Captain Starmaster, and the title screen shows up in these futuristic silver letters that say "Captain Starmaster 3010"
There's a thing that says, "Start Game", and another that says "Menu"
I go down to "Menu" first, and hit start, and it shows the usual stuff like Passwords, Dificulty, Music all that Jazz.
Anyway, on to the actual game itself I go up, and hit start game
The first level seems to rocky mountain level.
A green text box with a red orb of light next to it shows up.
The text box reads "Captain Starmaster this is Eden do you read us?'
Then the red orb is replaced with a picture of Captain Starmaster's face.
He says "I read you. My goodness it's worse than we thought".
The Red orb replies "Starmaster we need you to clear out all the mutants in this area. We are sending you a Sonic Wave Gun, and some Climbing Claws to help you with your mission."
Starmaster than says "Understood Eden commencing mission"
The red orb replies with "Good Luck Captain you are only hope"
The game itself seems to be some Metroid knock off.
I don't think Sega had too many of those except for Slime World but they did have a lot of Mario, and Zelda clones.
The controls are pretty simple you use the D Pad to move around, A jumps, B fires your weapon which is the laser machine gun from the cutscene Start pauses, and C brings up a menu where you equip weapons, and gear which is blank for now.
I move around the level there's all sorts of weird flying turtle monsters with Xenomorph looking teeth, and rocks that look like they're part of the background but then when you get too close, they turn out to be some centipede looking creatures.
Eventually I get to some futuristic white pods I can go into.
When I do Starmaster glows green, and a text box says, "You now have Climbing Claws", and "You now have Sonic Wave Gun".
When I go to the cliffs, I can now climb up them, and when I switch to the Sonic Wave gun Starmaster's gun now shoots this yellow wave at enemies that can shatter certain rocks so I can move forward.
After what seems like forever I finally get to the boss.
It looks like some weird mix of a gorilla, and a mole on top but the bottom looks like an earth worm or a snake.
It attacks by shooting its own wave attack, and then launching a couple of rocks that attack the player in some circular motion.
It takes me forever but eventually I find out you supposed to hit the monster's eyes until some green jewel like orb shows up on its stomach, and fire at it.
Eventually I win, and the monster explodes in typical 16-bit fire effects.
That's all for now but tommorow I'll get to the other levels.
I'll try to be as brief as I can with the next few levels.
So now we have a forest level.
The trees are a mix of the kind you'd see in a forest in California, the kind you'd find in the jungle.
Some of them have seeds that look like angry faces with sharp teeth, and move around with spider leg like roots, and attack by waving their branches around like whips.
Some of the monsters look like a cross between a wild cat, and some bug like a termite or a wasp.
I'm supposed to get a weapon called "Homing Sniper", and an item called "Wood Saw"
The homing Sniper ends up being some blue laser that locks on to enemies in an L shape, and the wood saw clears trees you can't get past.
The boss is weird I don't know if it's one creature or two.
The top part looks like some yellow, and black insect with dragon fly like wings, spider eyes, and a grasshopper like body while the bottom looks like some tumble weed with a billion purple eyes, and these giant white, and red flowers that shoot lasers.
I find out the weak spot is the wings, and the tumble weed part, and move on.
Next is an ice level with these creatures that look giant balls of fur with teeth and tentacles, and giant sea urchins that look like they're made of ice.
I get these boots that let you walk on ice without slipping, and a flame thrower for melting blocks.
The boss is some weird lizard creature that looks like a brontosaurus with a turtle shell, and a t rex head that breaths freezing mist, and shoots lasers out it's eyes that I have to shoot the neck of when it's not attacking.
Next is volcano level where I get a heat shield, and an ice beam.
Some of the monsters here are weird looking like these green blobs that turn into humanoid shapes, and some hoping stick insects that fire spread shots.
The boss reminds me of Gudis from Ultraman towards the future only skinnier, and purple.
It attacks with these blue energy rings, and this green gas.
I'm supposed to use the freeze ray to freeze the gas into a platform that I can use to climb and use my other weapons to attack the exposed brain which is the weak spot.
Now it's a water level there's all these weird monsters that look like a cross between a crab or a lobster, and some coral.
Another looks like some squid or octopus, but its tentacles are electric eels
I'm supposed to get an item that allows Starmaster to move through the water without sinking, and an "Electro Gun" that fires electricity in a weird trident formation.
I get to the boss, and it's some cross between a shark, a whale, a manta ray, and a bunch of other sea animals.
The weirdest thing is that sometimes it points itself up, and the bottom which is now the front looks like some deformed mermaid or something.
I'm supposed to hit this angle like tail it has when it goes to the mermaid stage.
After that I get another cutscene where the red orb of light says "Captain Starmaster we believe we have found your last target enter the ruins, and eliminate the mutant menace once and for all"
Starmaster replies "Affirmative Eden I will not fail".
The next level is a sewer level they bring back some of the monster from previous levels and include some of the monsters from the opening cutscene.
It also seems like a final exam level because I'm supposed to use all the weapons, and items I collected so far.
I also have to get one last time that lets Starmaster go through radiation clouds without getting hurt, and this thing called "The Super Laser" that's this big laser that takes up a third of the screen.
Not only that but I have to fight the bosses again.
Then I get another section and it looks like the surface of the ruined city from the opening cut scene.
I fight all the various monsters until eventually I get to the final boss.
I'm trying to think of a good way to describe it other than it's like a PG rated version of something you'd see in John Carpenter's The Thing.
It's got four legs, and four arms, it has insect wings, and bird wings.
The legs look like a mix of reptile, and mammal.
I think has fins, and gills, and it has some weird mollusk like head with a billion eyes, and some melting looking human face for a stomach.
It's not surprisingly the hardest boss in the game since you have to use every weapon in the game to hurt it.
It swipes at you with its arms that your supposed to freeze into platforms to climb and shoot the head.
Then it fires lasers and breaths fire, and you're supposed to use the electro gun, and homing sniper on the head.
Next it spits acid, and you're supposed to use the Sonic Wave gun to disorient it while you use the flame thrower on its acid sacs.
Finally, it fires a wave attack from the melting face while you use the super laser to finish it off.
At last we get one final cutscene.
Captain Starmaster then walks through the ruins of the destroyed city and enters a building.
He walks up to a computer, and a spike comes out of his arm like in Robocop and he enters it into a port.
Some binary code flashes on the monitor, and then we see an image of a man in a recording.
Some text appears on the screen.
"They abandoned us. They thought no one else was left on this planet but we were".
The man continues "Please if you can hear us there are still people trapped on Earth. Pleas rescue us".
The recording continues "It's no use we're stuck here our best bet is to try to survive, and repair what's left of the Earth".
Then the recording shows the man only now his teeth looked like fangs, and his eyes were all yellow.
The man said "It's too late. Our scienitsts say because of all the lingering chemicals, and radiation those of us left behind are starting to mutate."
He adds "At first it will be physical but at some point, our minds will revert back to knowing only how to kill or be killed. Oh god why us.
Then finally it just shows one of the monsters from the game, and the text now says "Meat. I must have meat". Then it shows him roaring, and it plays the sound file for the monsters roaring.
Starmaster then asks, "Did you see that Eden?"
Then the red orb of light appears and replies "unfortunately yes captain".
Then it flashes back to the Eden leaving Earth.
Then it shows a still image of people on the Eden as the text says "At first when humanity left Earth in the Eden everything was peaceful, and everyone was happy"
Then it shows the people looking frightened.
The text says "But it didn't last the survivors realized they weren't enough resources to survive a permanent existence in Eden"
Then it shows Eden's computers, and the inhabitants looking at the Eden's robotic workers.
The text now says, "Faced with a difficult decision the survivors made the hardest choice they could make".
It then shows the people in tubes next to computers with glowing lights, and then cut to the lights on the eyes of the Eden's robots lighting up
The text continues "The inhabitants of Eden downloaded their brains into the ship's computers, and then uploaded them into robotic bodies."
It then cut back to Starmaster in the building saying "So that's it. It was all for nothing".
Then it shows Starmaster taking off his helmet to reveal a Terminator like robot skull.
Next Starmaster reaches into his own chest plate pulls out a device that looks like a cross between a mechanical heart, and a miniature nuclear reactor, and crushes.
Then his red eyes go dead.
Next, we see the Eden land, and its robotic inhabitants walk out.
We see the robots doing experiments on the mutants.
The text says "Unfortunately the inhabitants of Eden were unable to return the mutants to human form but they after continuous experimentations were able to restore the inhabitants' sentience.
Then it shows the robots growing mutants in tube, and then showed them going back into the mind transference machines.
Then it shows the mutants in the tubes waking up, and it showed the robots, and mutants living in harmony.
Then the text says "And so the sad tale of Captain Starmaster came to a happy end. Humanity maybe extinct but life will find a way to continue who knows for sure if this is truly the fate that awaits us but if we continue on our current path it might".
Then it shows the Earth in space again with the letters Game Over The End.
Well that's Captain Starmaster.
The graphics are great for the time.
The gameplay is awesome.
I wonder why they never released it publicly other than obviously the big twist would have been seen as a bit too intense for young kids.
Not to mention I can't help that a lot of players would have thought the twist would seem like a fuck you ism to them.
Still considering that environmentalism was a big deal back then, and this was just before the USSR ended, I can see why they felt the need to make a point on what the aftermath of war and pollution.
That is why I'm declaring Captain Starmaster a class 5 addicting game.
This is OldHerbz saying stay addicted.