Overview & Gameplay
The player controls the hero Sky (Garuda in Japanese original) on his quest to defeat the Warlord Ashura and rescue the sorceress Ariana (Vishnu in Japanese original).
Skyblazer's basic structure is similar to many platformers of the era: he must pass through and conquer a series of stages, defeating the bosses along the way, on his quest to gain power and reach the last stage where Ashura and the dark god Raglan await. There is the occasional branching path as well, which allows the player try a different stage if they're having trouble with the current one. As well as jumping and attacking, Sky can also climb walls and leap off them as well as use several offensive and defensive spells, many of which also increase his ability to traverse a stage as well. Some aerial stages require that Sky take to the air with his wings, a few of which use the Super Nintendo's Mode 7 functionality - these stages play a lot more like a shoot 'em up.
Sky has several methods of attack which he gains by finding them spread around the levels. Sky's basic attack, a punch and kick combo, costs no magic points and he can perform it as often as he likes. He can also use the Dragon Slash from the offset, which is a powerful finishing attack that uses a little magic.
Additionally, by defeating certain bosses/stages he can acquire:
- The Comet Flash, which sends Sky flying horizontally. This is invaluable for passing by floor obstacles like spikes and lava.
- Lightning Strike, which clears the screen of enemies. It's a move best left for emergencies, when enemies threaten to overcome the hero.
- Star Fire, which fires bullets in eight directions away from Sky.
- Heal, which gives Sky some health back.
- Warrior Force, a helpful buff that turns Sky invincible and increases his attack power.
- Time Stop, a power that freezes all enemies. It can be used on one boss.
- Fiery Phoenix, the only magic that can destroy Ashura's shield.
All these attacks require magic power, which can be found throughout the stages and after defeating enemies. Along with magic power (represented as red potions) and health (represented as green potions), Sky can also collect diamonds. These diamonds will give Sky an extra life should he find 100 of the smaller ones or ten of the larger ones (which count as ten small diamonds each).