Zero the Kamikaze Squirrel
|Zero the Kamikaze Squirrel|
Cover art for the Genesis version
|Composer(s)||Rick Fox (credited as Fox Productions)|
Zero the Kamikaze Squirrel is a video game developed by Iguana Entertainment, and published by Sunsoft in 1994. It is a spin-off of the Aero the Acro-Bat series and was released for the Sega Genesis first in October then for the Super NES in November along with the release of Aero the Acro-Bat 2.
The plot begins halfway through the plot of Aero the Acro-Bat 2. Zero receives a telegram from his old girlfriend Amy telling him that an evil lumberjack named Jacques Le Sheets has invaded Stony Forest, their island homeland, and has been chopping down the trees there in order to create an abundant supply of paper, which he will use to print counterfeit money using stolen plates already in his possession. In addition to that, he has also captured her father. Despite protests from his master Edgar Ektor to not do it (who tells him nothing is more important than his mission with him, notably referring to Ektor's Plan B from Aero 2), Zero decides to return home and stop Le Sheets (which explains his absence from Ektor's side in the Aero 2 final battle).
Upon arriving at the island, Zero's plane is shot down and crashes on the beach, so he starts making his way to the forest on foot. Zero's path takes him through the enemy-infested beach, up the cliffs where he faces two humanoids made of rock, into a volcano where he defeats mining workers and guard robots (during which he learns - after interrogating one of the beaten robots - that Le Sheets is at his paper factory, and that he is now holding Amy captive, after she tried unsuccessfully to save her father herself), through a river on a jet ski, into the forest where he defeats a metal claw-wielding creature, through a toxic waste sewer on a motorboat, and finally right into Le Sheets' factory.
After confronting and defeating Le Sheets on the roof, Zero spots a flying ship trying to escape, but he manages to board it just in time. Inside, he finds a tied-up Amy and frees her, but when they attempt to escape, they are confronted by the ship's pilot: Zero's own master Edgar Ektor (it is left for the player to assume that the counterfeit money scheme was his fool-proof back up plan referred to in the ending of Aero the Acro-Bat 2). Zero squares off with Ektor in a final battle, and in the end - with some assistance from Amy - Zero is able to defeat him and leaves him aboard the ship, which crashes into the side of a cliff. Zero is seen falling victorious from the ship in a parachute while carrying Amy in his arms, but Ektor's fate is left unknown.
The four reviewers of Electronic Gaming Monthly gave the Genesis version an 8.25 out of 10, praising Zero's innovative techniques, especially his dive and swoop moves, and the colorful graphics, which one of the reviewers said surpass the Genesis's theoretical color limits. Captain Squideo of GamePro, in contrast, commented that while most of Zero's moves are fun, the dive and swoop moves are too difficult to control. He shared EGM's approval for the game's colorful graphics, but concluded that "Difficult controls make this martial arts squirrel less than an instant superstar." He made similar remarks of the SNES version, which he described as "identical" to the Genesis version, but this time concluded Zero the Kamikaze Squirrel to be an overall good game despite its drawbacks.
- IGN staff (June 21, 2002). "Aero Swings to Shelves". IGN. Retrieved April 4, 2012.
- "Review Crew: Zero, the Kamikaze Squirrel". Electronic Gaming Monthly. Ziff Davis (65): 40. December 1994.
- "ProReview: Zero the Kamikaze Squirrel". GamePro. IDG (65): 96. December 1994.
- "ProReview: Zero the Kamikaze Squirrel". GamePro. IDG (66): 70. January 1995.