Sparkster © 1994 Konami Company, Limited.
Sparkster is a cartoony side scrolling action game by Konami, and sequel of Rocket Knight Adventures originally released for the Sega Megadrive in 1993 (this Super Famicom episode is often considered as a spin-off rather than a direct sequel though). The evil Lioness and her growing army of wolf soldiers are taking over the opossum kingdom, and the young Flora, the king's daughter, has been kidnapped and held for ransom by the cruel invader. The protagonist of the game is Sparkster, a skilled and courageous opossum rocket knight, and his sole mission it to rescue the distressed damsel and to save the kingdom from total annihilation. But little does he knows that his arch-enemy Axel Gear, the rogue and betrayer rocket knight, has also joined forces with the assailant and will do anything in his power to make sure Sparkster doesn't succeed in his mission. Sparkster's first incredible ability is to hang from anywhere with his tail (trees, pipes and so forth), allowing him to escape dare situations, or reach inaccessible areas. Then, with the help of his trusty sword, he can slash his enemies, fire deadly beams or break through walls. But Sparkster's armor and unmistakable aviator glasses hide another secret - the opossum wears a jet-pack on his back, and holding the attack button for a few seconds gives Sparkster the incredible ability to fly through the air and reach higher platforms, or bounce off walls. The same technique can be used to unleash rocket-boost charges against the enemy. Sparkster has a few other tricks up his sleeves, such as a powerful spin attack or an equally damaging air dashing move. Sparkster consists of nine stages and features a simple password system to save the player's progress.
Cartridge ID: SHVC-ASSJ-JPN
Released on September 15, 1994 in Japan for 9800 Yen.
Sparkster is an interesting and imaginative franchise, and many players have drawn a strong parallel between Konami's opossum hero, and Sega's flagship character Sonic the Hedgehog. And parallel there is. The first Sparkster game was released for the Sega Megadrive in 1993 under the name Rocket Knight Adventures, and this two years after Sonic the Hedgehog. Like Sega's flagship platformer, the game featured fast-paced action and a rodent character (well, technically, hedgehogs are not rodents, but you get the point). Unlike countless other Sonic wannabes in the mid-1990s, Rocket Knight Adventures was actually wonderfully crafted and was Konami at its best. But the game never became a huge hit, which was rather unfortunate (the game enjoyed some levels of success though). Of course that didn't stop Konami, who went ahead and released a first sequel for the Super Famicom and Megadrive in 1994 simply called Sparkster. Both games were released the same month, but the Super Famicom version was the first one to hit the shelves. Although both game share the same cover art, they are two completely different games and were apparently developed by two different teams at Konami. The Super Famicom version is arguably better, but it is often seen as a spin off, rather than a true sequel. On the same note, the Japanese Megadrive version of the game was subtitled Rocket Knight Adventures 2, and is considered as the true sequel to the first game.
Crazy hard mode: Go to the title screen and enter the setup menu. Then highlight Level and press Left, Left, Right, Right, Down, Up, Down, Up, A and X. The Crazy Hard difficulty mode should now be available.
Director, Main Programmer: Axelay! Ueda
, Ponce Yamamoto
Main Designer: Yada Bonsei
, Nagisa Chan
, Sato Noriyoshi
Sound Design: K. Uehara
, M. Ikariko
, M. Matsuhira
, Y. Yamane
, A. Yamaoka
Package Design: K. Namba
, Y. Nozawa
Advisor: J. Blaustein
Producer: K. Tom
Game's description by Laurent Kermel; http://www.videogameden.com