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Overview

Keith Courage in Alpha Zones is a side-scrolling action adventure game that served as the pack-in game for the TurboGrafx-16. The original Japanese release is based on an anime license, Mashin Eiyuuden Wataru, which follows the adventures of a young boy named Wataru after he is transported to a fantasy world and becomes a hero. The title can either mean Demon (Majin) Hero Wataru or Machine (Mashin) Hero Wataru; a deliberate pun, as both monsters and mechs were featured in the anime.

The game is notorious for its lack of quality, which is only exacerbated by the fact that it was the pack-in game and thus fairly prominent among system owners.

Story

B.A.D., the Beastly Alien Dudes, have invaded Earth and burrowed into the ground, causing much havoc. Keith is a member of N.I.C.E., Nations of International Citizens for Earth and is tasked with the job of ridding Earth of B.A.D..

The game consists of 7 stages that have an overworld and underworld for the player to traverse. The overworld is where Keith can talk to a few friends like the Prophet who warns of danger ahead, the Wise Wizard who sells bombs and Nurse Nancy who heals Keith's wounds for a price. There are also a few enemies to deal with, like flying pots and spinning cats that fall from the sky. The Weapons Master also lets Keith upgrade his sword, for a price, to use in the underworld level ahead. Upon reaching the end of the overworld, the player can jump on a platform and take a rainbow transport to the underworld.

Upon entering the underworld, Keith is in an armored suit called the Nova Suit. He also receives an upgraded sword and bombs to fight a variety of enemies. The underworld has Keith mostly going from side to side and sometimes vertically to get to the end where the boss awaits. Jumping down a hole leads into the boss's chamber where the boss fight would commence.

Accolades

In issue 66 of Retro Gamer in an article about the history of Hudson, the game was listed as one of their games to miss.

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