Cruise Chaser Blassty
|Cruise Chaser Blassty|
|Platform(s)||NEC PC-8801, NEC PC-9801, Sharp X1|
Cruise Chaser Blassty (Japanese: クルーズチェイサー ブラスティー Hepburn: Kurūzu Cheisā Burasutī) is a science fiction role-playing video game developed by Square for various Japanese computers, including the NEC PC-8801, PC-9801, and Sharp X1. The game featured mecha originally designed by Mika Akitaka and musical contributions by Nobuo Uematsu, being the very first video game he wrote music for. The game had an unusual battle system, which involved the player controlling a customizable mecha robot from a first-person view. It followed a group of young people from Earth caught up in a war between a solar-system spanning government and a group of rebels. After release, the game's story was adapted to a manga and serialized, then released as a pair of standalone books. The manga received a sequel, though the game itself did not.
The game is played through a first-person perspective, with a role-playing battle system and the ability to customize the player's mecha. The bottom of the screen shows various gauges and power levels of the mecha's systems, while the majority of the screen shows the current view of the mecha. The player flies the mecha through space, coming across groups of enemy spaceships. Battle in these cases is handled through a series of text boxes, in which the player decides how much of their available power to spend on an attack, and then the results of the attack are displayed. When the player encounters an enemy mecha instead, the main screen is split into two, with each half showing either the player or enemy mecha. The player selects their attack type via a menu, and simple animations play out on each half of the screen, one at a time, to show the attack and the results.
The game's story focuses on a group of young people from Earth caught up in a war between a group of rebels and a government controlling the solar system. The game is set in the future, where the majority of humanity is ruled by a group, called the Commune, that lives giant space station named Ondina orbiting the Earth, which oversees the development and expansion of humanity throughout the solar system. A group of rebels called the Inverse, based on Mars, are rebelling against what they see as an oppressive government. The primary weapons in the fight are space fighters called Cruise Chasers, which can transform into giant robots using the "Blassty" system; other types of space fighters are also used. The player may choose whether the Inverse or the Commune win, giving the game two different endings.
The game was designed and written by Hironobu Sakaguchi and Kazuhiko Aoki. The graphics were made by Hiromi Nakata and Bruno Miki, and the original designs for the mecha were done by Mika Akitaka. The programming for the game was done by Shun Saigusa for the PC-8801 version, Makoto Wakamatsu for the PC-9801 version, and Takashi Koyama for the X1 version. Project EGG, a licensed emulator for home computer games, included Cruise Chaser Blassty in its limited edition "Classic PC-Game Collection" on September 8, 2013, alongside The Death Trap, Will: The Death Trap II, Alpha, and Genesis—other Square games released between 1984 and 1987. They released the game to their web-based emulator as well on May 2, 2014.
The soundtrack to Cruise Chaser Blassty was Nobuo Uematsu's debut project, which he composed with Takashi Uno. A vinyl album for the game, titled Cruise Chaser Blassty, was released on Apr 26, 1986, containing six tracks from the game.
Reception and legacy
The game was the fifth game that Square had published, and the third that they had developed themselves. In 1987, the game's story was adapted into a manga and was serialized in Hobby Japan magazine from 1986 to 1987. The chapters were collected into two tankōbon volumes labeled "Part I" and "Part II" released in December 1990 and April 1991 respectively. A sequel to the manga, titled Cruise Chaser Blassty 2, was released on April 1992.
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- "限定生産『CLASSIC PC-GAME COLLECTION -THE DEATH TRAP・WILL・ALPHA・BLASSTY・GENESIS-』好評販売中！ / レトロゲーム総合配信サイト プロジェクトＥＧＧ" (Press release) (in Japanese). Project EGG. 2013-09-06. Retrieved 2016-02-01.
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