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|Release||January 15, 1993|
|Sound||PC Speaker, Adlib, Sound Blaster|
Major Stryker is a 2D vertical scrolling shooter game written for DOS by Apogee Software. Its working title was "Strike Force" and was released in January 1993. The game was originally distributed as shareware. It consists of three episodes, with only the first episode distributed as shareware, and the rest available commercially. The three episodes play on a Lava Planet, an Arctic Planet and a Desert Planet. The game was re-released as freeware on March 14, 2006 and on Steam with support for Windows and macOS in 2014.
After a third world war, ending with only eight years of peace, Earth is attacked by the alien Kretons. Major Harrison Stryker, a World War III veteran, goes on a mission to wipe out the Kreton military installations on the three elemental planets within their galaxy. The only named characters are the eponymous hero and Fleet Admiral Yoshira, an attractive, often flirtatious woman who briefs Stryker between missions.
There are three difficulty levels, which have drastically different levels of powerups, enemies, and enemy fire.
At set locations in regular levels and during intervals of boss levels, Stryker's allies deliver numbered boxes containing firepower upgrades, which affect the pattern and number of shots fired. A player with upgraded firepower is lowered to single shots upon being hit. A player with basic firepower instantly loses a life. Hitting a wall also loses a life regardless of firepower. Three different types of shields exist: Two side shields that protect the jet left and right until it is damaged, two temporary small wave shields that rotate around the jet and a temporary invincibility orb shield.
Powerups can be obtained by wiping out an entire fleet of ships or destroying the shield of a shielded powerup. The six powerups appear as letters. B (Burst) increases the number of shots the player can have on screen. H (Hover) causes scrolling to halt for a few seconds. R (Rapid fire) temporarily allows the player to continuously fire by holding down the fire button, rather than tapping it as normal. M (Major Stryker) is an extra life. S (Speed) temporarily increases the speed of the ship. Z (Zap bomb) is a bomb; the player starts each life with four bombs and can accumulate more. When used, bombs do two points of damage to everything on screen except hiding enemies, and cause all enemy fire on screen to disappear. H and S both have a double edged sword quality, demanding the player carefully consider when to pick them up; H releases a fleet of enemies on opposing sides of the screen, and S increases the jerkiness of the ship, making it impossible to maneuver or aim with precision.
At the end of each level, the player is awarded additional points on the percentages of enemies destroyed and hostages rescued, as well as point bonuses based on secret achievements. Hostages are rescued by ramming into the capsules they are contained in. The capsules are otherwise invincible, and can serve as obstacles blocking the player's fire.
The game features PC Speaker and Sound Blaster sounds, and the AdLib music is similar in style to Bobby Prince's other songs. The game uses EGA graphics and draws three backgrounds ("triple-parallax scrolling").
- Apogee Software December 1991 Catalog
- Official Webpage and download
- Major Stryker at MobyGames
- music from Major Stryker Album -- live re-recording
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