Burning Rangers is a third-person action platformer developed by Sonic Team
and released in 1998 for the Sega Saturn
. Released at the end of the consoles lifespan, the game is considered to have the most advanced graphics for the Saturn platform, an improvement on what the development team learned from NiGHTS
, two years earlier. In the game, the player takes control of one of several firefighters, who using advanced exo-suits
and fire-extinguishers, navigate burning structures, putting out and avoiding fire and teleporting survivors to safety.
In Burning Rangers, the main threat to the player is fire. While there are rogue security bots and aliens later in the game, neither are as prominent as fire. The player must navigate the burning structure, sometimes moving underwater and even zero gravity, using their jetpack to move through the area and using an arm-cannon
to extinguish flames. The player must do this quickly, as a limit meter slowly rises the more fire there is. As the meter hits certain amounts like 50%, the area will explode around the player, giving them just seconds to react. A chime is played just before an explosion triggers, if the player is quick and jumps, they will do a backflip and avoid the explosion. If the player is lost at any point in the game, they can press the Z button, where the Team Navigator, Chris
, will give them directions on where to go. At the end of the level, they face a boss which require a certain strategy to defeat. The player is given their score, with a rank
ranging from F to S
depending on their time, amount of survivors rescued and what the limit meter was at various points in the level.
Extinguishing fires earns the player crystals. Crystals have two uses: Similar to rings in Sonic The Hedgehog
, these crystals protect the player from death. As long as the player has at least one crystal, they will be protected. Like the aforementioned game, contact with fire will cause the player's crystals to fly out from them, but can be recollected if the player is quick enough. If the player is burned without a crystal in their possession, they will die and lose a life, sending them back to the last checkpoint. The second use of the crystals is to rescue survivors from danger. Each survivor requires a certain amount of crystals in order to teleport them out of the building, if the player uses more crystals than the required amount they will earn additional lives. At the end of the mission, the player may receive fan-mail from survivors they have rescued. If the player manages to find and rescue a cameo member of the development team, they will receive a password to unlock some of the game's extras.
On completion of the game, the player unlocks a random level generator. In this mode, levels are generated randomly, adding to the game's longetivity.
Mission 1: Fallen Memory
The first mission takes place at a power plant, where fires have broken out due to a breach of the core reactor, trapping researchers and personnel inside. The team are tasked with containing the spread of the fire and rescuing survivors. After moving through the facility, they attempt to override the CPU of the reactor, only for it to be rejected. They discover that the main reactor is being controlled by a giant plant, which has mutated due to genetic experiments performed by a lead researcher, whose intended to discover the cure to a disease that took the life of his wife. The team manage to stop the plant by traveling to the 99th floor and severing the plant's connection to the reactor, deeming the mission a success.
Mission 2: Silent Blue
The second mission takes place at an underwater aquatic theme park called Ocean Park, located in New Zealand
. A fire of unknown origin has broken out and the automatic evacuation system has failed, reportedly trapping 30 maintenance crew inside. The team investigate the maintenance area, but Big and Lead report they have just found over 200 children, apparent special visitors for the park. Without enough crystals to rescue them all and water levels rising, the rookies are sent to detach the upper part of the park where the children are located. With the help of a Dolphin, they manage to travel through water passages and get to the joint area, where they discover a large aggressive fish and a transmitting device. After managing to destroy the fish, the successfully detach the upper part of the park, saving the children. When they return to their transport vessel they scan the transmitting device, learning that it received a signal from quadrant RK404. They leave immediately to discover the origin of the signal.
Mission 3: Gravity Zero
On arrival at quadrant they discover that a nearby space colony 'Firebird' has been hit by debris from a nearby spaceship, the origin of the signal. The Burning Rangers enter the colony to investigate and rescue any survivors. With some of the gravity control systems malfunctioning, they are forced to navigate some of the colony in zero gravity. They move through the colony extinguishing fires and acquiring keycards
from survivors to access further areas. When one of the rookies finds a young boy, the colony starts to deteriorate and due to a magnetic shield storm are the rookie and young boy are unable to be transported. The rookie carries the young boy on their back and without the use of their extinguishers, must escape the burning colony. They manage to find an escape pod, but when there is only room for one, the rookie puts the boy inside and promises they'll find another escape pod and give them their autograph when they get back, secretly unsure of whether they can keep their promise. The rookie sets off to find another escape pod when they stumble upon another transmitter. An unknown female voice warns them that the colony's defense system has been activated, summoning a hybrid robot forcing the rookie to deactivate it. When they think it's over, the nearby spaceship begins absorbing the colony and with the transporter still malfunctioning and communications cut, the rookie is trapped inside...
Mission 4: Winged Cradle
The rookie wakes up inside the derelict spaceship. With communications to the Burning Ship still blocked, they must employ the help from the mysterious voice to navigate the strange structure. When they manage to find and destroy the source of the magnetic shield, the mysterious voice reveals herself to be Iria Klein. At the age of 16, she developed an incurable desease, so her father put her into cryogenic statis aboard the space ship and programmed it to orbit around Earth, until a desease could be found. In order to protect her, he cloned his conciousness into the spaceship's main computer memory banks. After a while however, the computers artificial intelligence started to malfunction, obsorbing all floating material in space it came into contact with, creating a large shield. When the ship receieved a transmission that a cure had been found, it began carrying out it's final instructions to land back on earth. With it's vastly increased mass however, this would act a meteor on a collision with Earth. With it's outer shield nearly invincible, the only way to stop it is to destroy the main computer.
With the magnetic shield disabled, the Burning Man is able to enter the space ship and make contact with the rookie, transporting them onto the vessel. With their objective realised, they fly through the outside perimeter and head for the main computer at the core of the ship. There they are able to find Iria's statis pod and transport it to safety. The rookie then successfully destroys the main computer, with the team managing to transport the rookie back to the Burning Man moments before the entire spaceship explodes. In the epilogue, the doctor is again busy working on a cure, the dolphin from Ocean Park has returned safely, the child who was rescued is already planning to become a Burning Ranger and Iria has just become the most recent addition to the team.
Burning Rangers features a futuristic team of firefighters. At the beginning of the game the player has access to two characters, the most recent additions to the team, rookies Tillis
and Shou Amabane
, both whom lost their family in a fire which aspired them to become Burning Rangers themselves. Other members such as Big Landman
and Lead Phoenix
are unlockable via passwords. The team's navigator Chris Paron
provides vital information to the team from 'Burning Ship', their transporter vessel.
Burning Ranger's soundtrack was released in 1998 and composed by Naofumi Hataya
, who has composed several other titles for Sega
. Several songs feature vocal work from Takenobu Mitsuyoshi
, who also appeared on the soundtrack for Daytona USA
Burning Rangers Sound Track Total Length: 56:56
- "Burning Rangers ~ Burning Angel" (3:59)
- "Request For An Immediate Rescue" (1:50)
- "Darkness" (1:41)
- "Revelation" (0:48)
- "Rising Pressure" (1:16)
- "Anemoth" (3:05)
- "Unknown Alarm" (1:09)
- "Misty" (1:06)
- "Undulatus" (2:35)
- "Soothing Heat" (2:08)
- "Since The Day" (0:47)
- "Myriad Crisis" (2:01)
- "Argoyle G" (1:55)
- "We Are Burning Rangers" (4:36)
- "Judgement Path" (1:06)
- "Unvield Truth" (1:20)
- "Crescendo To Finale" (0:50)
- "Heartbreaking Encounter" (2:40)
- "Welcome Back!" (0:45)
- "I Just Smile" (4:18)
- "Burning Hearts ~Short Track~" (1:26)
- "Burning - Ship To Take Off" (2:46)
- "Angels With Burning Hearts" (3:59)
- "We Are Burning Rangers (English Version)" (4:36)
- "I Just Smile (English Version)" (4:14)
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