Released simultaneously with McDonald's Treasure Land Adventure, this was the first game the feledgeling company undertook to develop after their departure from Konami in 1992. It was originally released on the Sega Mega Drive/Genesis in late 1993, and later on, converted to the Game Gear by M2. On February 23, 2006, Gunstar Heroes was released as part of the Gunstar Heroes: Treasure Box Collection for the PlayStation 2. It is also available on the Nintendo Wii's Virtual Console. In 2009 it was released on June 10 for Xbox Live Arcade and June 11 for PlayStation Network.
Gunstar Heroes is a side-scrolling run and gun shooter. The player has four weapons to choose from, and they can be combined in various pairs to create a total of 14 unique weapons. In addition to the weapons, the player can engage enemies in close quarters combat. It is possible to grab and toss enemies, perform sliding and jumping attacks and a long-range skid.
Unlike most games in the genre, the player has a life total calculated in numbers. Death to a player requires multiple hits but just one death will issue the option to continue from the start of the level or to end the game. Players have unlimited continues.
The main highlight of the game are its boss encounters, which often feature large enemies made up of multiple sprites allowing for fluid movement.
:The Gunstar Dynasty has been the protector of the planet Gunstar 9 (G-9) for generations. In his youth, Dr. Brown defeated Golden Silver, a destructive android that traveled millions of miles to suck G-9 dry of all its resources. Dr. Brown was able to extract the four famous Mystical Gems, the robot's power source, and imprisoned it on one of G-9's moons.
- Years later, a new menace rises. Smash Daisaku, a vicious dictator found out that the Gunstars knew the location of the Mystical Gems. One day, Smash Daisaku kidnapped the Gunstar twins' older brother Green and used a mind control machine to make Green obey his orders.
- With Green's help, Smash Daisaku amassed all four Mystical Gems, has turned Gunstar 9's peaceful worker droids into deadly menaces, and is now preparing to leave for Gunstar 9's moon to reactivate Golden Silver.
- Japanese story
- (This is considered the proper storyline that sets up the sequel, Gunstar Super Heroes)
- The world was nearing its end. An evil organization created the ultimate weapon, Golden Silver, the God of Ruin, to destroy countless cities on Earth from the moon. The Gunstars (Red, Blue, Green, and Yellow) seeing the Earth turn into a living hell before them and fueled by anger, had a showdown with the powerful Golden Silver. At length, after an arduous battle, they defeated the evil God of Ruin. To make sure he was never resurrected, they sealed his body on the moon and took the 4 gems that powered him, and sealed them away in separate places on Earth. The Gunstars, having been pushed to their limits, prayed for a new civilization to arrive, and they began their long sleep. All that is, except for one...
- Time passed, and a new civilization was built on Earth. A legend was spread across the land. "Revive the God that sleeps on the moon, and he will guide the most righteous people to Utopia."
- Grey, the commander of the dictatorship calling themselves "Empire", believed in this legend and attempted to carry it out. So he sent people to the moon in a battleship called the "Ark", in order to mine for the 4 gems that would call the God forth. It was then that the leader of the underground mining excursion, Professor Brown, uncovered some capsules, in which the Gunstars were having their long sleep.
- Once they awakened, they learned of the Empire's plan to revive Golden Silver. Their companion, Green, whom they had remembered being with them until the very last moment, had lost his previous memories and was assisting the Empire in the revival of the God of Ruin.
- "We won't let such a tragedy happen again! We'll get back the gems and put a stop to the revival of Golden Silver!" Once Professor Brown heard the Gunstar's words, he decided to betray the Empire and promised to help the Gunstars in their battle.
== Characters ==
*Gunstars Red and Blue: The playable characters. Twin brothers who protect the planet.
*Gunstar Yellow: Navigator and sister of the Gunstars, she gives them short briefings on the levels.
*Professor Brown: He deactivated Golden Silver in the past, but is too old to do so again, Instead, he becomes Red and Blue's mentor.
*Gunstar Green: The mind controlled/amnesiac older brother of the twins who now works for the Empire. He controls a giant shapeshifting Mech, the Seven Force.
*Grey: The leader of the Empire. He desires to awaken Golden Silver and reshape the planet to his desires.
*Smash Daisaku: Grey's red-suited subordinate. He appears throughout the game to oppose Red and Blue.
*Pink, Orange, and Black: High-ranking Empire commanders who appear as stage bosses.
Gunstar Heroes featured four basic weapon types: Force, a powerful shot that fires rapidly; Lightning, a straight shot that goes through enemies; Chaser, which homes in on enemies; and Flame, a shot that is very effective at close range.
By combining two weapons, a new weapon can be formed. For example, combing Lightning and Chaser gives a homing lightning beam attack.
Shortly after its original release, Gunstar Heroes made its way to Sega's handheld machine, Game Gear. The port was handled not by Treasure, but by development house M2. As the console's power could not be matched to that of the Mega Drive, the game was significantly scaled down, stripping its multi-player mode, Black's Dice Maze, and several graphic effects. It does, however, add in a few new features such as a jetpack level and the chance to drive one of the walker robots from later in the 16-bit version.
The game received a PC port on December 17, 2004 as a part of the Sega Honpo series, titled Template:Nihongo.
On February 23, 2006, Sega released a Treasure-oriented entry in their Sega Ages series for PlayStation 2. Named Template:Nihongo, it contained Gunstar Heroes prominently (to the extent of it being on the front cover), along with Dynamite Headdy and Alien Soldier. Treasure Box also contains the various versions of these titles (such as Game Gear versions, versions from different countries and a Japanese prototype, which is essentially the full completed game but lacking tweaks), as well as digital manuals and other bonus materials.
Gunstar Heroes was released December 11, 2006 in North America on the Wii Virtual Console and December 15, 2006 in Europe. A version for Xbox Live Arcade and Playstation Network was released on June 10, and June 11 in 2009, respectively, with online co-op, leaderboards, and 'improved graphics' via smoothing. However both the Playstation 3 and Xbox 360 versions have reported that the online co-op feature is a step backwards from the original, due to the inability to rejoin your partner upon death. Instead players must wait for their partner to also die in order for the level to start over, whereas in the original you could rejoin immediately in return for half of your partner's HP.
Gunstar Heroes debuted on the iOS platform on November 22, 2010.
== Sequel ==
On October 6, 2005, Treasure and Sega released Gunstar Super Heroes, a Gunstar sequel for the Game Boy Advance. The game makes a few changes to the gameplay, such as having a fixed weapon selection and the addition of 'super' attacks controlled by the trigger.
Cool Character Creator
special thanks to
- ↑ Template:Cite news
- ↑ “Gunstar Heroes: Weapons Details,” Game Informer 181 (May 2008): 105.
- ↑ Template:Cite journal
* Official Treasure Co. Ltd Webpage
* Template:Moby game
* GameFAQs: Gunstar Heroes
* Sega of Japan Official Sega Ages Vol.25 "Treasure Box" Webpage
* Sega Ages page with promotion and concept art
* Gunstar Heroes Mega Drive review from Mean Machines Archive