Solomon's Key

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This is the first game in the Solomon's Key series. For other games in the series see the Solomon's Key category.

Box artwork for Solomon's Key.
Box artwork for Solomon's Key.
Solomon's Key
Year released1986
System(s)Arcade, Sega Master System, NES, Family Computer Disk System, Amstrad CPC, Commodore 64/128, Sinclair ZX Spectrum, Atari ST, DOS, Wii, Nintendo 3DS, Wii U, Nintendo Switch
SeriesSolomon's Key,
Arcade Archives
Japanese titleソロモンの鍵 (Solomon no Kagi)
Genre(s)Action, Puzzle
ModesSingle player, Multiplayer
Rating(s)CERO All agesESRB EveryonePEGI Ages 3+OFLC General
Arcade Archives Solomon's Key
Publisher(s)Hamster Corporation
Year released2014
System(s)PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch
LinksSolomon's Key ChannelSearchSearch

Solomon's Key (known in Japan as Solomon no Kagi) is an action-puzzle game developed and published by Tecmo in 1986 as an arcade game on custom hardware based on the Zilog Z80 chipset. The game is better known as a 1987 port to the NES, although it also appeared on many other game systems of the time, including many popular European home computers, as well as a Japanese only release for the Sega Master System (known in Japan as the Sega Mark III). The NES port was later released for the Wii Virtual Console in 2006.

Solomon's Key is recognized as one of the most difficult games to appear on the NES, or any other platform for that matter. The player must overcome unlimited enemy spawning, challenging level designs, a countdown timer, Dana's fragility, and limited ways to dispatch enemies. In addition, it is easy for the player to unintentionally make levels impossible to clear while playing them. Solomon's Key also has many hidden items and secret levels that are hard to find which enhances the reward for playing the game. The ending also changes slightly depending on which secret levels the player finds and completes, if any.

The main character, Dana, is sent to retrieve "Solomon's Key" to restore the world to light from demons that were accidentally released. The object of the game is to advance through 50 rooms of the "Constellation Space" by acquiring a key to the door that leads to the next room before the timer runs out. The game incorporates various elements of the platform-shooter genre; Dana can run, jump, create or destroy orange blocks adjacent to him, as well as create fireballs to destroy demons. The orange blocks can also be destroyed by jumping into them twice. Along the way Dana can acquire items to upgrade his firepower and extra lives, as well as items that award bonus points and unlock hidden rooms. To acquire particular items, Dana must make, then break blocks (sometimes in a certain manner) to make them appear.

Story[edit | edit source]

Arcade title screen.

When the world was still in a state of chaos, evil spirits roamed the world freely and rioted. The magic document "Solomon's Key" was the product of the great King Solomon's magical research. It described how the evil spirits were confined to the underground constellation Miya. Centuries later, one man sought to prove the existence of Solomon's Key. He discovered constellation Miya at last and arrived at the Solomon's Key. He took the magical document, and in the next moment, evil spirits overflowed and the world and time were torn! The world reverted back into its earlier chaotic state, and became a kingdom of darkness, governed by the evil spirits. The king of the lilac garden fairies Yutora ordered magician Dana to perform the restoration of the world. Dana has now broken into the unexplored region of the dangerous constellation Miya where the Solomon's Key was stolen.

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