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Box artwork for Blackthorne.
Box artwork for Blackthorne.
Year released1994
System(s)SNES, Sega 32X, DOS, Game Boy Advance, Mac OS, macOS, Windows
ModesSingle player
Rating(s)ESRB Teen
LinksOfficial websiteBlackthorne at PCGamingWikiBlackthorne ChannelSearchSearch

Blackthorne (Blackhawk in some European countries) is a cinematic platformer that was developed by Blizzard Entertainment.

The gameplay involves large platforming sequences similar to the 2d Prince of Persia games, in which Kyle can run and climb around the environment, find keys and items and progress to the end of each maze like level. However, unlike the original Prince of Persia, Blackthorne focuses equally on both combat and map traversal (solving puzzles and running around).

Combat in Blackthorne takes the form of gunfights. The unique feature in these moments (for both Blackthorne and his enemies) is the ability to prone the wall and dodge incoming bullets. This can make for some interesting gunfights, but can also be hard to beginner players not used to the controls.

The game has seventeen levels within four areas - the mines of Androth, the Karrellian forests/swamps, the Wasteland desert, and Shadow keep. The Sega 32X version includes a fifth area, the snowy mountains, which is not found in the other versions of the game. As the game progresses through these areas, Kyle becomes stronger and better armed, but so do his enemies.

One of the game's characteristic elements, quoted to this day, is Blackthorne's unique ability to fire behind himself, without turning around, essentially aiming blindly. This subtle element, though rarely useful, adds a lot of attitude and edge to the character.

Story[edit | edit source]

Blackthorne is set on the planet Tuul, which has existed for hundreds of years without human knowledge. All of this time, Tuul's people have been ruled over by a single shaman who "was blessed with all knowledge". Years before the game begins, Thoros, the latest ruler, finds it near impossible to choose between his two sons as the next ruler. Believing it will solve the dilemma, he leads them to the deserts and kills himself. His body becomes two stones, light and dark, and he gives one to each boy to rule their own kingdoms respectively.

The people of the lightstone form the kingdom of Androth, and the people of the Darkstone form Ka'dra'suul. But while Androth respects their stone, Ka'dra'suul reject theirs, and are eventually transformed into monsters by it. In this time, a ka'dra named Sarlac seizes power. He forms an army and leads them against Androth. Knowing of his people's doom, the ruler of Androth, King Vlaros, with the aid of the Androth magician Galadril, sends his son Kyle to Earth to save his life. Vlaros also gives Kyle the lightstone for safe keeping. He wishes that Kyle can one day return and use it to save their people.

20 years later, Kyle has become a renowned military captain and mercenary. After breaking out of prison facing court martial, Kyle begins having strange dreams, and eventually is re-confronted by Galadril. He is told that it is time to return to Tuul and save his people. The game begins here with Kyle setting out to kill Sarlac and reclaim his throne.

Table of Contents


Version Differences[edit | edit source]

  • Graphical differences can be seen in each version, with a more 3D look in the Sega 32X version.
  • The Sega 32X version has an additional area.
  • The inventory bar that appears when select is pressed appears horizontally at the top of the screen for the SNES version, but it appears vertically on the right side of the screen for the MS-DOS, Sega 32X and Mac versions.