The Switchblade wiki last edited by fiye on 10/21/14 01:48PM View full history


Containing elements of Super Mario Brothers, Rana Rama and Rick Dangerous this 2D flip-screen platformer is a mixture of an action (punch 'n' shoot 'em up) and an exploration game. Switchblade puts the player in the role of Hiro, a sort of Japanese comic-style hero and the only surviving Bladeknight who has to reassemble a sword called Fireblade and destroy therewith the evil Havok. The scenario is accompanied by clautrophobic atmospheric backdrops, detailed sprites and moody tunes. It was developed by Simon Phipps (also author of Rick Dangerous) from Core Design and published by Gremlin in 1989 on all popular 8-bit and 16-bit homecomputers at the time.


Scenario (Amiga)

After 10 000 years of peace Havok has returned on the cyber world of Thraxx. The Fireblade, source of strength for the ancient Bladeknights, has shattered and its power died. Seizing the opportunity, the evil Havok and his nightmare creations have slaughtered the people of the Undercity and taken control of Thraxx. The Bladeknights died helpless alongside their people and only one of their order survived. The last of the Bladeknights is Hiro, a hi-tech warrior armed with a powerfull reprogrammable cyber-arm, who now must enter the Undecity and reassemble the sixteen fragments of the shattered Fireblade. Only then can he take on Havok and avenge the death of his people.


Entering Undercity (Amiga)

The 128 screens of the cyber world Thraxx (consisting of the surface of Thraxx and the Undercity) are self-mapping. So each screen is made up of smaller screens which only light up once they have been entered. It means the need for careful observation and exploration is enhanced, or a vital entrance to a new area might be missed.

The main protagonist Hiro can run, jump and climb up and down ladders. Hiro can fight in a hand-to-hand mode against his enemies or destroy them with a collected weapon. Fighting in a hand-to-hand mode Hiro can throw a punch, a high kick or a low sweeping kick. Which move Hiro will perform in a hand-to-hand fighting mode depends on how long the fire button is pressed and held down. Because by pressing and holding down the fire button the "power meter bar" increases(shown at the right bottom of the screen) and the combat move Hiro will perform is more powerfull. Hiro can also use up to seven weapons against his enemies like a blade, scorchball, dart, spinblade, needle bolts, trispike and the most powerfull weapon the Fireblade itself after collecting the sixteen fragments of it. Which weapon Hiro is using is shown by the "weapon indicator display" at the middle bottom of the screen by a corresponding symbol. If Hiro is fighting in a hand-to-hand mode the weapon indicator display shows a fist.

Hiro facing Havok (Amiga)

Bonuses like gems(which vary in size), flasks or orbs are found throughout the game, hidden in such locations as walls or simply scattered around the corridors and rooms. Also single letters can be collected by Hiro which light up at the bottom of the screen and form the words EXTRA and BONUS. Spelling EXTRA gains the player an extra life and spelling BONUS gains the player a bonus 10000 points.

Boss Enemies

Level 1
Giant Spikelouse
Level 2
Giant Scorpoid
Level 3
Giant Cybat
Level 4
Giant Roborganism
Level 5

Hand-to-hand combat

MovePower Meter Bar

A punch will be performed by pressing and releasing the fire button with the meter in the first quarter of the power meter bar.

High Kick

A high kick will be performed by pressing and releasing the fire button with the meter in the second and third quarters of the power meter bar.

Low Sweeping Kick

The strongest move, the low sweeping kick, will be performed by pressing and releasing the fire button with the meter in the final quarter of the power meter bar.


Symbol shown in "Weapon Indicator Display"Collectable
Fist Shield

By collecting the "Fist Shield" Hiro will fight in the hand-to-hand combat. The three moves Hiro can perform are described above.

Blade Shield

By collecting the "Blade Shield" Hiro's cyber arm may fire blades. The range of this weapon increases by pressing and holding down the fire button.

Dart Shield

Darts are of limited range - pressing and holding down the fire button has no effect on the range or power of this weapon.

Needle bolt Shield

The number of the needle bolts (from one up to three) fired by the cyber arm and with that the hit power can be increased by pressing and holding down the fire button.

Scorchball Shield

A scorchball will take a hit on every enemy that stands in its trajectory and will only stop when it hits a wall or exceeds its range.

Spinblade Shield

The speed at which the spinblades are fired can be increased by pressing and holding down the fire button.

Trispike Shield

Trispikes are of unlimited range - pressing and holding down the button has no effect on the range or power of this weapon.

Fireblade fragment

The most powerfull weapon in the game and the only one Havok can be beaten with. Hiro's cyber arm will automatically fire them after the 16 fragments of the scattered Fireblade have been collected.

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