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Screenshot of the arcade version of The Astyanax.
|Designer(s)||Tokuhiro Takemori (producer / director / designer)|
|Release date(s)||1989 (Arcade)
|Mode(s)||2-players cooperative (arcade)
|Arcade system||Jaleco Mega System 1A hardware|
|Sound||Sound CPU : 68000
Sound Chips : YM2151, OKI6295
|Display||Raster (256 x 224 pixels, 1024 colors)|
The Astyanax, known in Japan as The Lord of King (ザ・ロード・オブ・キング?), is a side-scrolling action game developed by Aicom released for the arcades by Jaleco. A home version for the Nintendo Entertainment System, simply titled Astyanax, was released during the same time as the arcade version.
A long time ago, an ugly battle was being waged everyday as the world was ruled by demons. The people trembled with fear, with nobody to stand up for them. Until one day, a brave young man received a divine revelation from God and was granted the mythical Fire Axe. His name is Roche. Giving the people courage again, Roche embarks on a journey to the Castle of Algerine in order to defeat the demon overlord Argos and restore peace to the world.
The arcade version of Astyanax is set in a fantasy world populated by mythical creatures from Greek and Arab mythology. The game consists of six stages: a forest, a cave, a lake, a lift, a castle and the final battle. Up to two players can play simultaneously with continues allowed at any moment. The first player controls Roche (a blond-haired warrior in blue armor), while the second player controls an unnamed palette swap of Roche in red armor with black hair. The controls consists of an eight-way joystick and three buttons for attacking, jumping or use a thunder attack that covers the whole screen. The player has four health points per life.
The player's main weapon is his axe, with a power gauge that fills automatically when the player is not swinging it. When the gauge is filled, the player's axe will be lit on fire, allowing for a stronger attack. This allows the player a choice between faster weak swings or a slow strong one.
The player can obtain power-ups by destroying stone pillars such as crystals for points or red jewels for additional health. There's also a blue arrowhead that will increase the strength of the player's thunder attack by up to four levels (the player must have at least one arrowhead in stock to perform a thunder attack) and a shield that allows the player to block enemy attacks until it breaks.
Astyanax is a 16-year-old student from Greenview High School who has been having a recurring dream in which a young woman is calling out for his name. One day, while on his way to class, Astyanax is suddenly transported into another dimension. Astynax meets the fairy Cutie, who explains that he is in the kingdom of Remlia and has been summoned to rescue its ruler, Princess Rosebud, who is being held captive by the evil wizard Blackhorn. Armed with the legendary axe Bash granted, Astyanax sets out on a journey to Blackhorn's lair with Cutie in order to rescue Rosebud.
Unlike the arcade version, the NES version can only be played by one player. Like in the arcade version, the player has a life gauge, a strength gauge that fills automatically when he is not attacking and a magic gauge for his spells (perform by pressing Up and B). Unlike the arcade version, the player can wield other weapons besides the default axe, as well as use different magic spells (which are selected by pausing the game).
By picking up a power-up, Astyanax's weapon, the Bash, changes shape from its default axe form into a spear, which can be upgraded again into a sword. The spear has the weakest attack strength, but allows Astyanax to use his magic spells more often by consuming less magic points, while the sword can deal the most damage on enemies, but consumes the most magic points when casting a spell. The player will revert to his previous weapon after losing a life.
The player's magic spells consists of a binding spell that temporarily freezes all enemies for a few seconds, a fire blast spells that damages all enemies within range and a thunderbolt spell that damages every enemy on-screen. Each spell consumes a different amount of magic points, with the binding spell consuming the least point, while the thunderbolt consumes the most.
Other power-ups that includes a power supply that extends the length of Astyanax's power gauge, allowing for stronger axe swings, a wing that increases the refill speed of Astyanax's power gauge, potions that restores the player's health and magic and extra lives. Astyanax can also encounter Cutie throughout certain stages, who will offer to either change Astyanax's weapon or refill his magic points.