Greetings Ladies and Gentlement! Welcome to the thread of Mike Jones, protagonist of Startropics!.
Today we will be talking about the main hero from an old Nintendo property from the NES days, the afromentioned Startropics.
Well, i guess it's time to talk about it in detail.
Startropics is an NES game released in 1990 in US and Europe (but never released in Japan), developed by Nintendo Integrated Research & Devlopment (Once called Nintendo R&D3, who worked on the Punch Out series) and Locomotive Corporation, and produced, written and directed by Genyo Takeda (who was known as "Technology Fellow" of Nintendo before his retirement in 2017).
-Cover Art of Startropics-
Our protagonist Mike Jones decides to visit his uncle Dr. Steven Jones, who's located in the C-Island of the South Seas. However, Dr. Jones has gone missing (it's later revealed to have been abducted by aliens) and Mike decides to go on a quest to find him, but instead of using traditional weapons like Swords and Shields, he uses a special Yo-Yo to defend himself from monsters. In his adventures, he finds a lot of peculiar monsters, labyrinths, quirky characters and unique weapons. Later, Mike finds Dr. Jones and learns that the aliens had captured him because he had discovered a crashed escape pod from a far-away planet called Argonia, said Pod contained Cubes which are now in hands of the evil Alien Zoda, so Mike decides to infiltrate his Spaceship and defeats him, liberating an alien girl named Mica and a group of children from an almost exctinct race of aliens called the Argonians, who decide to live on C-Island due to their home planet beign destroyed, and it all ends with a Celebration on the Island.
The game is a 2D Action Adventure with a Top-down perspective, basically Zelda, but is grid-based and has its own twists added so that it stands out, most notably it features the ability to jump from platform to platform in some areas, but only in squares. The game is also divided by Chapters, giving a more linear narrative.
Startropics was a moderate success, getting good sales and positive reception from the critics and gamers alike, thanks to its tropical settting, catchy music, good graphics and gameplay that managed to fun and derivate enough from Zelda to stand out on its own, it became a beloved classic of Nintendo Entertaiment System. It only made sense to make a sequel to this installment, and so they did with Zoda's Revenge:Startropics 2!...............released for the NES in 1994 only for North America.....
-Cover Art for Startropics 2-
This time, Mike is sent back in time after solving and reading aloud a cipher with the help of Mica, and discovers that Zoda is alive, and is collecting a series of objects called the Tetrads, and now he must travel to different time periods (such as the Wild West and the Medieval Times) and retrieve the Tetrads before Zoda gets them all, while he encounters peculiar faces during his journey, such as Cleopatra and Sherlock Holmes.
The gameplay is not so different from the first game, with the main difference beign that instead of taking place on a tropical island, you travel trough different locations in time. You now can move and attack diagonally and jump freely (unlike the first game, in which you could only jump on blocks) and some enemies react differently depending on the weapon that was used to attack them, and the game focuses more on combat and platforming instead of puzzles.
While the game was positively recieved for the most part, it is contested among fans due to the changes made into the game, with some people saying that it ruins the game while others say that it turns it into a worthy if not better sequel.
Regardless, the game fell into obscuirty due to it beign released in 1994, when the NES was basically forgotten by most people, not to mention it was the same year that brought us Donkey Kong Country, Final Fantasy VI, Sonic 3 & Knuckles and the Playstation 1.
However, a lot of franchises can return from hiatus or even the dead, and Startropics could easily be one of them.
So, why would he be included in Smash?
In every installment since Melee, we had a character that comes from the NES era, from Ice Climbers to Pit to Duck Hunt, Mike could be the next old school character that makes it into Smash. The reasons as to why these characters are included tend to vary, but Mike could definetly be a potential to not just be included, but re-imagined like Pit in Brawl, basically bringing an old but beloved Nintendo character back into the action.
-How would Mike Jones look in Smash (art by JoeAdok from Deviantart)-
Mike could be our next Pit, a character re-imagined as if he was a Nintendo character that evolved alongside Mario, Link and Samus, giving him a breath of fresh air.
So.....what are his abilities?
Mike may be just an all-american teen, but he has quite some tricks up his sleeve. In the first game he has:
-A Yoyo that is later upgraded into a "shooting Star" (basically a longer version that looks like a chain whip) and then later into the "Super Nova"
-A baseball Bat
-A flaming Torch that he throws at enemies
-A Bola Twister that he can use against distant enemies
-A Miracle Mirror used to reflect projectiles
-a Baseball called the "Wonder Horsehide"
-Spiked Shoes that allow him to attack all enemies on-screen by teleporting and doing a flying heel kick at them
-and a Laser Gun.
-Some of the afromentioned weapons in the instruction manual-
The sequel introduces Throwing Axes that are then upgraded into Daggers and then into Katanas (that you also throw) and also Psychic Shock Waves.
Now i know what you may think, "baseball bats, psyhcic powers, and a YoYo? doesn't someone else already have all that?"
Well yes, Mike just so happens to have some similar equipment to Ness from Earthbound.
However, Smash has showed us that even if you have similar abilites to someone else, it will not matter as long as you can use it in your own way. Mike's Psychic Shock Wave from the second game is way different from any Psychic attacks Ness uses in Earthbound or Smash Bros, and due to his big arsenal, a better comparison for Mike would be Link, since both have a main weapon (YoYo for Mike and the Sword for Link) that is upgraded later into the adventure (Shooting Star for Mike and Master Sword for Link) while getting a lot of secondary weapons along the way (Mike gets a Baseball Bat, a Flaming Torch and Baseballs while Link gets a Boomerang, Bow and Arrows and Bombs)
Mike has enough weapons make a full moveset out of it, the only thing we need is how to implement them. I had this idea where Mike used his YoYo for ground attacks (Jab, Smash Attacks, Tilts) and he used his secondary weapons as Special moves, like the Bola Twister. I feel that would be good way to implement his arsenal in Smash.
So he's got the moves, but what about his chances?
As mentioned earlier, Startropics was never released in Japan. It was developed by Nintendo R&D3, a japanese developer, but it was never released in the land of the rising sun anyway. This unfortunately means that Japanese audience, the main market that Nintendo aims for, doesn't know and doesn't care about Startropics.
After the release of Zoda's revenge, the series has also been dormant for over 20 years, with the only things done with the franchise are the re-releases of the games on the Wii Virtual Console (the VC release of Startropics 2 was the first time Europe got the game) and Startropics 1 beign included in the NES Classic.
Despite this, not all hope is lost. Nintendo has showed us that they are willing to bring franchise back from the dead or at least make mention of them, and while is true that the only mention of Startropics is in the Chronicles in Brawl, some Smash universes get barely any representation before their main character becomes playable in the series. Also, Nintendo and Sakurai are not strangers to give Western Fans some service too, as evidenced by the inclusion of Little Mac in Smash 4, and while Mac does have his games released in Japan, he is not particulary popular there in the slightest.
So maybe, just maybe, Mike Jones will be our "old school" character, and his franchise could be revived to become an alternative for those who want an action adventure game that is not Zelda. Startropics could be much more narrative based since the series always progressed by chapters, contrasting with BotW's more open world nature.
But enough of that, if you want to support Mike for Smash, just post so that we can include you on the support list. Feel free to post any potential moveset that you can come up with if you want to.
-Go Bananas, people!-
Tord the Red Leader
Good Guy Giygas
Tord the Red Leader
Good Guy Giygas
-Pending (submissions are welcome)-
-by Golden Icarus-
Last edited by a moderator: