Astra Super Stars

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Astra Super Stars
Japanese arcade flyer of Astra Super Stars.
Japanese arcade flyer of Astra Super Stars.
Developer(s) Sunsoft (programming)
SANTACLAUS (illustration, design)
Publisher(s) Sunsoft
Distributor(s) Tecmo
Platform(s) Arcade Game, Sega Saturn
Release date(s) Arcade June 6, 1998
Saturn August 6, 1998
Genre(s) 2D Versus Fighting
Mode(s) Single player, 2-player
Cabinet Horizontal
Arcade system Sega Titan Video hardware (STV)
CPU 68000, SH-2
Sound SCSP
Display Raster, 704 x 513 pixels, 6144 colors

Astra Super Stars (アストラスーパースターズ?) is a 1998 2D versus fighting arcade game illustrated and designed by SANTACLAUS, developed and published by Sunsoft, and distributed by Tecmo exclusively in Japan on June 6, 1998. It is Sunsoft's fourth fighting game after the 1994 Super Famicom Hebereke franchise spin-off Sugoi Hebereke, the 1995 Galaxy Fight: Universal Warriors and the 1996 Waku Waku 7. It is powered by the Sega Saturn-based arcade system known as the ST-V (Sega Titan Video). Unlike most typical fighting games, Astra Super Stars is an airborne-based fighting game.

Gameplay[edit]

The object of the airborne-based fighting game is to constantly attack the opponent until he/she/it is knocked out (KO'd) in two out of three rounds (except the one round-only final boss fight), which this rule is commonly found in most fighting games. There are two modes in the original arcade version: "Story Mode" (1P-only) or "1P VS. 2P" (same as nearly every multiplayer mode of other fighting games). In "Story Mode", the player must select a character to play through the game with. At the beginning of each battle, the player must converse with his or her opponent by selecting 1 of 3 sentences. Depending on which sentence is selected, the CPU-controlled opponent will either "Heat Up" (become hard), "Cool Down" (become easy) or stay neutral before fighting (no difficulty change). This is only used in all playable characters and the mini-boss, but not the final boss.

Player controls with an 8-way joystick and six buttons, similar to one of the two arcade cabinet versions of the 1987 Street Fighter and its sequel Street Fighter II. However, the six basic moves work differently compared to typical six-button layouts. The two heavy attack buttons usually send the opponent flying across the stage; however, sometimes the opponent can bounce himself/herself off the side of the screen he/she was sent toward. Depending on how aggressive the combos are performed, sometimes the opponent bounces back and forth around the screen like in pinball (as indicated by the game). Moving the joystick horizontally will move the player's character toward the same directions. Moving it horizontally twice will allow the player's character to dash toward the same direction. Moving it vertically will move the player's character briefly below or above the screen, which can be used for dodging attacks or chasing opponents above or below the screen. When holding the joystick vertically, the player's character will slowly move back to the middle of the screen. The energy bars below the screen are "Star Rank" bars, which are used for filling enough energy to perform one of two desperation moves per playable character called "Star Specials".

Unlike most fighting games, Astra Super Stars only features the small basic moves and the large Star Special moves, but no medium-sized special moves. The player can summon a shield around his or her character to briefly prevent the opponent from attacking the player's character. If the player constantly attacks the opponent that is guarding, the guard breaks, making the opponent briefly unable to move. When next to the opponent, the player can "turn behind" the opponent. If the player KOs the opponent the second time either with one of two heavy button basic moves or with a Star Special, the opponent will exit the screen. If the player aggressively attacks and KOs the dizzied opponent, it becomes a "Doctor Down" KO. Like in Data East's 1984 Karate Champ arcade, when the time is up, the judge will determine who fought the best. Depending on how the player or opponent wins a round, the winner will have a certain letter placed below his or her lifebar. The "V" means the winner KO'd the opponent with a basic move, the "S" means the winner KO'd the opponent with a Star Special, the "D" means the winner aggressively KO'd the dizzied opponent, and "J" means the winner was chosen by the judge.

Plot[edit]

Characters[edit]

Screenshot of Astra Super Stars.

There are eight characters to choose from.

Lettuce (レタス?)

Place of birth: Unknown
Occupation: Adventurer
Age: 19
Sex: Male
Height: 176 cm
Weight: 69 kg

Maron (マロン?)

Place of birth: Air Shrine
Occupation: Angel Minarai
Age: 16
Sex: Female
Height: 161 cm
Weight: 42 kg

Stella (ステラ?)

Place of birth: Forest Park
Occupation: Witch
Age: 1024
Sex: Female
Height: 170 cm
Weight: 51 kg

Sakamoto (サカモト・坂本彦左衛門?)

Origin: Eastern Countries
Occupation: Police
Age: 30
Sex: Male
Height: 196 cm
Weight: 90 kg

Rouge (ルージュ?)

Place of birth: North Country
Occupation: Santa Claus
Age: 10
Sex: Female
Height: 131 cm
Weight: 22 kg

Coco (ココ?)

Place of birth: West Capital
Occupation: Prince
Age: 13
Sex: Male
Height: 145 cm
Weight: 30 kg

Cupe (キュープ?)

Place of birth: South Country Island
Occupation: Suit
Age: Unknown
Sex: Male
Height: 232 cm
Weight: 169 kg

Fooly (フーリー?)

Place of birth: Black City
Occupation: Gang Leaders
Age: Unknown
Sex: Male
Height: 201 cm
Weight: 78 kg

Satan Volte (サタン・ボルテ?)

Place of birth: Unknown
Occupation: Demon
Age: Unknown
Sex: Male
Height: Unknown
Weight: Unknown

Test-Kun (テストくん?)

Place of birth: Unknown
Occupation: Unknown
Age: Unknown
Sex: Male
Height: Unknown
Weight: Unknown

Ports and related releases[edit]

Astra Super Stars was later ported to the Sega Saturn exclusively in Japan on August 6, 1998, two months after the original arcade version. While this version features the same "Story Mode" and 1P VS. 2P modes, it also features seven exclusive modes. "1P VS. COM", "COM VS. COM", "Character Profile", "Option Mode", "Illust Gallery" and "Exit". "Exit" returns to Attract Mode. This version's soundtrack is an updated version of the arcade version's soundtrack.[citation needed]

SANTACLAUS, the illustrator of the Astra Super Stars art and design, developed and released a novelty freeware software on their website Astra Inn for Mac and Windows PCs dedicated to Astra Super Stars fans titled Rouge Kitz Room (るーじゅ・きっつ・るーむ?), which allows users to dress Rouge in different clothes, who is one of the characters from the game as well as SANTACLAUS' mascot. They also developed and uploaded an online casino-style online card game Fools Karte (フルスカルテ?) on December 12, 2001, for members of Astra Inn only. Fooly from Astra Super Stars was added to this game as its protagonist. Rouge, Maron, and Stella, also from Astra Super Stars were also added to the game with three exclusive characters: Ravi, Prato and Trasche.[citation needed]

Soundtrack[edit]

Astra Superstars - Original Sound Trax
Soundtrack album by Kazuo Nii
Atsushi Takada
Satoshi Asano
Released February 18, 1998
Recorded Unknown
Genre Video game soundtrack
Length 76:46
Label Pony Canyon
Scitron Label

A soundtrack album of the Sega ST-V arcade system version was released by Pony Canyon and Scitron Label on February 18, 1998 exclusively in Japan under the catalog number PCCB-00298. It contains nearly every background music, as well as sound effects and voice samples from the arcade version. It also includes "Angel Star -Soundtrack Version-", an exclusive version of Maron's theme "Angel Star". It was composed and arranged by Kazuo Nii, Atsushi Takada, Satoshi Asano.[citation needed]

External links[edit]

References[edit]