The Flash (video game)
Cover art (Sega Master System)
|Publisher(s)||Sega (Master System)
THQ (Game Boy)
|Composer(s)||Master System: Jeroen Tel|
The Flash is an action video game based on the DC Comics superhero of the same name. It was developed and manufactured by Sega and Probe Entertainment for the Sega Master System in 1993. The game's release followed approximately two years after the cancellation of the Flash TV series on CBS.
From the instruction manual:
- "With the assistance of electronics wizard The Trachmann, your old enemy, The Trickster, has taken control of Central City. True to his warped sense of humor, he's made himself mayor and decided to get rid of you for good. Declaring you a common criminal, Mayor Trickster has put a price on your head so high that every hoodlum and punk in the city is hunting for you in order to claim the reward for themselves. To make things even more interesting The Trickster has raided the city treasury and stolen five priceless gems which have been scattered around the city as bait in a madcap but deadly assortment of traps. And if that wasn't enough, The Trachmann has released an unstoppable FED (Flying Electronic Droid) which has been programmed to search Central City and destroy you."
- A) Find the switch which opens the level exit and then:
- B) make it to the exit within the time limit.
There is also a secondary goal of collecting the gems that were stolen which increases the players score. If the player fails to make it to the exit within the time limit the FED tracks Flash down and kills him upon contact. While the player can run from the FED (giving them a last gasp effort to make it to the end of the level) due to the FED's ability to move over the screen regardless of the physical restraints that the player must encounter (e.g. walls) the player is eventually doomed to losing a life.
The FED acts as a more realistic method for imposing a time limit rather than the player just suddenly dying like in many platform games of this era.
The levels in the game are given the title "Episode." Each Episode is split into two zones. At the beginning of zone 1, Tina from S.T.A.R. Labs will report to Flash on the whereabouts and activities of the Trickster giving the player an intro to the Episode and to help advance the storyline. At the end of the second zone in each Episode, Flash must face Trickster in his Trickstermobile. While the boss in the "boss stage" remains the same throughout the game, the Trickstermobile increases in difficulty with additional weapons and speed as the game progresses.
- Episode 1 - Trickster for Mayor
- Episode 2 - Roller Coaster Runner
- Episode 3 - Warehouse Antics
- Episode 4 - Trouble at Mega Corp
- Episode 5 - At Peace in the Park
- Episode 6 - The Trickster's Funhouse
Critical reception to The Flash was mixed. Some found the fast pace of the game too difficult to control while others appreciated the depth in graphics, level design, and the soundtrack. However, by 1993, the Sega Master System was no longer supported in the Japanese and United States markets. Thus, the game's existence in the world's two biggest video game countries went relatively unnoticed and remains an obscure European release to this day. However, it is highly valued by some retro game collectors for this very reason.
Game Boy game
A different Flash game was released for Game Boy in 1991 by THQ. The Game Boy version was also based on the The Flash TV series, and had a password system. Unlike the Master System release, it was released in the United States.