|Publisher(s)||Hudson Soft, Taxan (US)|
|Distributor(s)||Wii Virtual Console|
|System(s)||NES, MSX, Game Boy Advance, Wii|
|Followed by||Super Star Soldier|
|Neoseeker Related Pages|
Star Solder is a vertically scrolling shooter developed by Hudson Soft for the Famicom and MSX home computer in 1986. It was the fourteenth best selling Famicom game released in 1986, selling approximately one million copies in its lifetime. While it is the first in a series of games to bear the Star Soldier title, it is considered the second in what's known as the Caravan shooting collection, the first being Star Force. Back when Hudson Soft was a big name in the video game industry of Japan, they ran a nationwide video game tournament known as the "Hudson All-Japan Caravan Festival" where players competed against one another in the popular shooting genre.
Star Soldier itself doesn't offer a tremendous amount of innovation, and not every concept that was introduced works flawlessly. For example, Star Soldier allows the players to duck under the terrain (by means that the player has relatively little control over) which makes the player invincible, but it also prevents the player from attacking and it can occur at the worst possible times, so its effectiveness is debatable. However, Star Soldier does feature a rather intriguing power-up system that ultimately allows for the player's ship to fire rapidly in five different directions at one time.
Star Soldier also contains a number of hidden items like bonus point tiles and power up tiles, some of which will only appear when certain conditions are properly met. The stage bosses would flee and send you backwards through the stage if you did not destroy them quickly enough the first time that you encountered them. The game was quite popular in Japan, but less so in the rest of the world. While sequels to the Star Soldier series were made, they have little to do with one another other than being vertically scrolling shooters with amazing power ups.
Star Soldier was first 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. In 2003, a 3D remake of the game was released for the PlayStation 2 and Nintendo GameCube, but it was not entirely faithful to the original game. An upgraded version of this remake was released for the PSP in 2005. In 2004, Star Soldier was included as one of the 30 NES games to be released for the Game Boy Advance as part of the Famicom Mini series. It was also included in Hudson's own compilation of Famicom shooters in 2006 in Hudson Best Collection Vol. 5.