チャレンジャー © 1985 Hudson Soft.
Challenger is an action game that combines side-scrolling and overhead action with a pinch of exploration. The player assumes the role of an archaeologist (and adventurer) named Challenger as he attempts to rescue princess Maria kidnapped by an enigmatic villain known as Don Warudorado.
The game mixes three different gameplay phases, all divided into four scenes. The first scene takes Challenger on the roof of an express train traveling at full speed. Don Warudorado keeps Maria captive in the front car and Challenger must get to it, fighting all kind of enemies with his throwing knives along the way. But when he finally gets to her, Don Warudorado disconnects the front car from the rest of the train and escapes with the damsel.
Challenger is now trapped on Don Warudorado's island, who is now hiding in his highly protected Pyramid lair. But before he can reach his antagonist, Challenger must explore the island and find three key items in order to enter Don Warudorado's hiding place - a crown, a ring and a key. The items are hidden inside caves scattered throughout the island - there, Challenger has to jump from geyser to geyser in order to reach the precious artifacts. But things never come easy, and the island is infested by all kind of enemies and traps - Tama flames, Mourin rabbit-like creatures, Kara skeletons, Ojiizu mercenaries, Okkusuboun skulls, Pirarobo robots, Kebara carnivorous plants, sand pits and so forth. These enemies also sometimes drop special items when defeated - they come in two flavors; power-knives (super-speed and more powerful knives) and magic orbs (kills all enemies on screen). Although most of the enemies can be terminated by throwing knives at them, some are immune to them (for instance, Tamas and Karas can only be killed by collecting power-up items).
Once Challenger collects the three key artifacts, he can then enter the pyramid, fight Don Warudorado and deliver the princess. Interestingly, Challenger features sixteen difficulty levels (adjustable at the beginning of the game) which increase the number and type of enemies the player encounter throughout the game.
GAME ID: HFC-CH
Challenger was released on October 15, 1985 in Japan for 4900 Yen. The game was never released outside Japan.
Challenger was certainly influenced by Bousou Tokkyuu SOS, originally released by Hudson Soft for the ZX Spectrum 48K in 1983.
BUG: The score display is 7 digits in units of 100 points, but the maximum score is 6,553,500 instead of 9,999,900, after which it returns to 0.
Standing at the start of the train and when there's 87 seconds left, when one hears a kankan noise, throw the knife 4 times, and you get an immortal Challenger. Plus, the time freezes while you'll get an extra 10000 bonus points.
If 16 of the same enemy are defeated, the whale appears. If defeated with a knife, one gets a 1-up (and 10000 bonus points). However, power items cannot be used during that time.
In Scene 2, press A, B, A, A, B, B, A, A, A, B, A, A, B, B, B, B, A, B, A, B, A, B, B, A, A, B, A, A, A, B, A, B on Controller 1. The message KIKU MEGU LOVE STORY! will appear, after which you'll be sent to the title screen.
KIKU is short for Kikuta Masaaki, one of Hudson's programmers. By the way, writing the sequence as a binary string in which A stands for "0" and B stands for "1" (i.e., "0100 1100 0100 1111 0101 0110 0100 0101") will give you the hex string 4C 4F 56 45, which in ASCII means "LOVE".
Programmed by: Kikuta Masaaki
GBA (2005) "Hudson Best Collection Vol. 3"
Mobile phone (2005)
Game's description by Laurent Kermel; http://www.videogameden.com