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Star Force
Box artwork for Star Force.
Japanese title スターフォース
Developer(s) Tecmo
Publisher(s) Tecmo
Distributor(s) Wii Virtual Console
Release date(s)
Genre(s) Shooter
System(s) Arcade, NES, MSX, Sharp X68000, Sega SG-1000, Mobile, Wii
Players 1-2
Followed by Super Star Force
This guide is for the 1984 Arcade game. For the Atari 2600 game of the same name as Star Force's alternative name, see Mega Force.
Star Force marquee

Star Force is a vertical shooter developed by Tecmo (known at the time as Tehkan). It was released in some arcades outside of Japan as Mega Force. The game consists of a single fighter ship flying through space, and occasionally over floating terrain while being attacked by enemy ships, and destroying land based targets. The only weapon is the ship's guns, but they can be enhanced through a single power up that attaches to the ship and grants the player rapid fire capability.

Received considerably better in Japan than it was in the U.S., Star Force is considered repetitive by many American players, while others applaud the game for its degree of challenge. It was converted to several popular Japanese systems such as the Famicom, MSX, Sega SG-1000, and the Sharp X68000 home computer, as well as a Mobile phone app. The only system to ever see an American release was the NES, where the game was actually improved over the original Japanese release. Star Force was remade in 1995, along with two other NES shooters with very little upgraded, for the SNES in the Japan only release of the Caravan Shooting Collection. It was also included in Hudson's compilation of Famicom shooters in 2006 in Hudson Best Collection Vol. 5.

Story[edit]

In the year 2010 of Dimension Almanac, there was a mysterious planet named GORDESS which was moving in the darkness of the cosmos for the purpose of mass murder and plunder. Everyone gave up fighting against GORDESS because of its awesome power. One day a brave soldier riding a space patroller challenged GORDESS to fight. People called this space patroller "FINAL STAR", wishing to be saved. You must bring an end to the murders which have been committed for the past 2,000 years.

Controls[edit]

  • Joystick: Use the joystick to move the ship in any one of eight directions. The ship is capable of moving to any location on the visible screen.
  • Fire: Press Fire to shoot twin bullets in an upward direction. If you collect the power-up known as the purser, you can hold the Fire button down for rapid fire.
  • 1-2 Players: Press to start a one or two player game.

Gameplay[edit]

The player must pilot a spaceship over series series of islands - drifting in outer-space - shooting enemy spacecraft and ground-based targets. Special symbols appear at regular intervals and can be shot or collected for bonuses. The levels are designated by letters of the Greek alphabet.

A single power-up, known as a purser, must first be shot before it can be collected. It first appears as a brown circle. Contact with this circle will destroy your ship. Once it is shot, the purser appears in the form of a smaller ship, which can be collected in order to grant your ship rapid fire power.

Each level has an end-of-level boss that must be defeated before the player can progress to the next level. The boss itself has no offensive abilities other than collision, however the platform that it launches from contains two cannons that fire a few shots at your ship before scrolling off the screen. Each level also has a mid-level boss that can be defeated before it forms entirely, granting the player a large point reward.

Tips & Tricks[edit]

  • You can determine which direction the end of level boss will move before it even appears by looking at your score. If the hundreds digit is odd, the boss will move to the left. If it is even, it'll move right (the tens and units digits are always zero).
  • 1,000,000 Points Bonus : On the violet continent, if you see a coelacanth fossil on the left side, go to the right side and shoot. Cleopatra appears - shoot her and you'll get a million-point bonus. The coelacanth may only appear on the third violet continent.
  • 80,000 Points Bonus : At some points in the game you will see two columns of green arrows down the center of the screen. Concentrate on either the left or right column of these arrows, and try to shoot 16 in a row. You will be awarded an 80,000 bonus for doing this. The first time these appear, it is possible to get two such bonuses in a row (if there are not many enemies around!), and sometimes more if the level ends before the column has finished appearing. Later on there is a short column of only 16, so only one bonus is possible here.
  • 50,000 Point Bonus : There is a stage mid-boss that combines into parts. When you hear the tune indicating that it is about to appear, stop shooting (You don't actually have to stop shooting altogether, but if you hit part of the enemy before the center part flashes white the bonus will not work). Position your ship so that you are just underneath the center part of the enemy and wait for it to flash white. Once this has happened, shoot the center part several times : the enemy will be destroyed and you will be awarded the 50,000 point special bonus.

Home Conversions[edit]

The Famicom, Sega SG-1000, and MSX conversions are close replications of the arcade game, but as expected, the 16-bit Sharp X68000 boasts a near perfect translation of the arcade game (the X68000 was particularly famous for the accuracy of its arcade translations.) The NES conversion of Star Force contained a few graphical and gameplay improvements over the Famicom version that improved the accuracy of the port. Star Force was also converted for play on mobile phones.