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Overview

Title screen.

Blaster Master is an NES action game released by Sunsoft in 1988. It features both side-scrolling and overhead shooting stages. It is renowned for its music, questionable plotline, and high level of difficulty. In Japan it was released as Meta Fight without the benefit of having anything to do with the rescue of a frog.

Plot

Why, Fred? Why?!

Everything is pretty normal for Jason Frudnick. He's a teenage boy; he does things that kids do. I'm sure he played with action-figures just like the rest of us; I'm sure he's swung on a swing set multiple times. He's probably been in a bit of trouble with his parents, but he can talk to Fred - his pet Frog - when he's feeling down. Like I said, things are pretty normal for Jason. That is, until one fateful day.

One day his pet frog decides to go hopping off somewhere, and Jason goes chasing after him. He falls into a giant hole which leads to an underground cavern. To his surprise, he's still alright -- but his pet frog, has mutated due to radiation! Jason eventually stumbles upon a sweet-looking battle-tank, which he claims as his own. The tank is referred to as SOPHIA, which is short for "Subatomic Omni-directional Probative Hyper-responsive Indomitable Abdicator." It's up to you to guide him with the aid of his new tank through eight stages of underground madness. Are you up to it?

Gameplay

The master of blasting.

As he explores this new world, he will have to defeat a boss for each area. Doing so will grant him a new power -- for example diving underwater -- in the same vein as games like Mega Man. Throughout the course of the game you must revisit areas multiple times--a cue taken from The Legend of Zelda. The game is notoriously hard and is sometimes mentioned in the same breath as games like Battletoads and Ninja Gaiden.

You begin the game in your new tank, and must traverse the area from a side-scrolling perspective. You can do basic things like jump, use special abilities, or fire your gun. You can leave the tank to explore the area around you, but keep in mind that your armor and attacks are severely weaker.

Blasting as Jason.

When you enter a passageway, the game switches camera-angles to an overhead perspective. You otherwise shoot up baddies like usual, only without the use of your tank (since SOPHIA can't enter passages or climb ladders). You can throw grenades through a fairly archaic method, and your guns gain power-ups; enabling you to deal more damage, shoot further, and more rapidly.

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