Switchblade II last edited by fiye on 08/09/21 04:15PM View full history

Overview

Switchblade II is a side-scrolling platformer-action game set in a dystopian sci-fi world with an art style that is partially based on manga and anime. It was released for the Atari ST and Amiga home computers and was later made available on the Atari Lynx handheld.

Slashing blade taken from Strider (Atari ST)
Slashing blade taken from Strider (Atari ST)

Unlike its 1989 predecessor Switchblade this game is not the work of Simon Phipps from Core Design who split from Gremlin in 1990. Instead the game has been designed by George Allan and Paul Gregory both of whom previously worked on Gremlin's shoot'em up Venus the Flytrap and took on the sequel to Switchblade. The work on the follow-up started in August 1990 and influences included games like Capcom's Strider or Shinobi. Some of the feel of Simon Phipps original game has been kept but great changes have been made along the way. The main sprites are larger, the levels are bigger and the graphics are richer in variety. So except of having the same graphical style for the first level this game differs from the prequel. There's also a hidden shoot'em up in the code of this game and it's activated by typing CHROME into the title screen.

Story

Centuries ago Hiro, the last of the Blade Knights, defeated Havok and saved the Cyberworld from his evil. Peace was restored and the Blade Knights, acting as the defenders of the people, were a revered and respected part of the community for a long time.

Many years went by and those who were born and raised in peace started to question the right of existence of the Blade Knights. They began to regard the Blade Knights as a bunch of wasters taking valueable food and shelter from the community and giving nothing in return since there were no threats or any villains to be protected from. The scorned Blade Knights decreased in their number until over time they completly disappeared.

But there came a day when a volcano on Cyberworld became active and its eruptions and earthquakes destroyed many villages and killed thousands of people.

Then they found a message from Havok in which he proclaims his return and calls the population to submit to him and accept him as their new leader and master. If they do not obey him then the volcanic eruptions and earthquakes will continue until all are destroyed.

The people noticed that Hiro didn't defeat Havok, who has been waiting the demise of the Black Knights before returning. Be defenseless to Havok they turned in the last hope to the descendants of Hiro who continued to bring up the young of their family in the ways of the Blade Knight. A young man with a cyberarm, also called Hiro, is the only living pearson brought up as a Blade Knight and the last resort for Cyberworld. He has now to cross many landscapes before he reaches the volcano where he can face Havok.

Gameplay

The player must guide Hiro through six levels before the final encounter with Havok. Each level is been made up of 80 to 130 screens(over 600 screens in all) and has an end-of-level boss who drops a piece of the sword Fireblade when defeated . After beating the five bosses and collecting the five fragments of the Fireblade the sword can be reassembled and like in the prequel Havok can be destroyed therewith once again.

The main protagonist can walk in two directions, jump, crouch and climb ladders. By pressing the fire button on the joystick Hiro's cyberarm will fire the current weapon. To reach higher located platforms Hiro can perform a superjump by holding the stick down and then flicking it up. The enemies Hiro will face can be killed in a close combat with a knife or with long-range weapons as soon as ammo is available.

Shop Screen (Atari Lynx)
Shop Screen (Atari Lynx)

Destroyed enemies will drop a round orb which should be collected, as these will increase the amount of money that Hiro is carrying. This money can be used to buy better weapons, extra lives, energy and other things available in the shops. The shops can be entered through white glowing doorways that appear at some points in the game. Walking into this will take the player to the shop screen where various extras and add ons for the weapons will be offered.

The energy bar displayed in the left bottom of the playing screen can be replenished either by collecting food (Hamburger, Hot Dog, Pizza) or in the shop in exchange for money. The second bar in the right bottom of the screen shows the remaining amount of the current weapon used. Fresh ammo can also be collected in the game or be bought in the shop. If Hiro runs out of ammo for the current weapon he has to combat with his knife which he carries with him at all times. But it can only be used in close combat.

Levels & Bosses

Level 1: Hiro's adventure starts on the surface of the cyber world Thraxx and goes on in the underground city which is entered through a vertical shaft. The environment is reminiscent of the original Switchblade with self-mapping screens but also new additions like elevators and wall-mounted lasers. After crossing the labyrinth of the underground city it goes back to the surface where Hiro will face the first villain, a forth and back moving missiles-firing robot.
No Caption Provided
Level 2: Out from the underground the quest continues with a rugged climb along the side of a cliff. Heavily guarded, the cliff face is home to mechanical eagles, hoverdroids and several large cannons. At the top of the ciff the endboss, an eye in a peephole surrounded by four cannons, waits for Hiro. The cannons must be destroyed first, only then the eye is vulnerable.
No Caption Provided
Level 3: Having scaled the cliff, Hiro next makes his way along the top, heading towards the waterfall. A new threat on this level comes in the form of the Tomcats, fast jets that drop a cluster of bombs all around the playing character. Having reached the end of the horizontal scrolling level the endboss must be beaten. This time a large robot mounted on a chain vehicle going back and forth and shooting with his large laser gun. The robot is only vulnerable to the eye so Hiro must perform a super jump first to hit the eye.
No Caption Provided
Level 4: Once the waterfall is reached, it's time to head downwards. Jumping from rock to rock, Hiro must avoid or destroy the rotating gun turretes that protrude from behind the cascading sheet of water. Arrived at the bottom of the waterfall a laser firing robot snake appears. Only hits on the head of the snake show effect and little by litte the rearmost parts explode away and the snake gets smaller until only the head remains.
No Caption Provided
Level 5: The final level before Havok's volcanic island is the dockside. As hiro progresses in this horizontal scrolling landscape , the underwater defences come into play. Large missiles launch from gaps in the docks and are almost impossible to destroy. A good choice is here the flamethrower, which is capable of destroying a large number of enemies at one time. The enboss is a flying vehicle that drops bombs and shoots with two side mounted laser cannons.
No Caption Provided

Level 6: Here Hiro moves within the volcano and has to avoid bubbling lava and little errupting volcanos and fight old known enemies from previous levels. When jumping from platform to platform, he must try not to fall into the lava filled gaps as this draws energy. Arrived at the end of the level only the arch-enemy Havok must be killed.

No Caption Provided

Weapons & Items in the Shop

Icon in the ShopItemCostDescription
No Caption Provided
Plasma Gun10$The weapon Hiro starts with. All foes will eventually be destroyed by the repeat fire of this weapon, but it's best for the more easily destroyed enemies.
No Caption Provided
Laser Beam30$A straight beam of incredible power spells instant desintegration for anything in its path.
No Caption Provided
Flame Thrower30$A powerfull weapon. Shoots a giant wave of flames towards anything in Hiro's path.
No Caption Provided
Spin Blades30$Spinning stars of high-tensile metal inflicting high damage on biological foes.
No Caption Provided
Homing Missiles30$This missile will zoom araound the screen , destroying everything that it encounters.
No Caption Provided
Dragon Weapon40$Will revolver around the player, smashing anything that comes too close to the player.
No Caption Provided
Extra Life50$Adds a life.
No Caption Provided
Full Ammo20$Restores all bullets.
No Caption Provided
Half Energy15$Restores half of Hiro's lost health.
No Caption Provided
Full Energy20$Restores all health.
No Caption Provided
Power Up20$Increases the strength of weapon.
No Caption Provided
Shield30$Impervious to hits.
No Caption Provided
Info10$The player can buy information about the upcoming levels.

Collectibles

Ammo
Ammo

Replenishes ammo

Big Blue Crystal
Big Blue Crystal

Gives 5000 points

Little Blue Crystal
Little Blue Crystal

Gives 500 points

1 UP
1 UP

Gives extra life

Big Grey Orb
Big Grey Orb

Gives 5$

Little Grey Orb
Little Grey Orb

Gives 1$

Big Orange Crystal
Big Orange Crystal

Gives 1000 points

Little Orange Crystal
Little Orange Crystal

Gives 100 points

Fireblade Fragment
Fireblade Fragment

Dropped by level bosses. Five must be collected.

Hamburger
Hamburger
Replenishes energy
Hot Dog
Hot Dog
Replenishes energy
Pizza
Pizza
Replenishes energy
Power Up
Power Up
Increases strength of weapon

Reviews

MagazineIssuePageSystemRating%ReviewerLanguage
Amiga Power03/199283,86Amiga5 out of 5100
-English
Zero09/199278,79LYNX93 out of 10093
-English
Raze07/199146,47Amiga91 out of 10091
Les EllisEnglish
CU Amiga04/199163,64Amiga90 out of 10090
Dan SlingsbyEnglish
The One04/199163,64Amiga90 out of 10090
Brian NesbittEnglish
Amiga Action05/199142,43Amiga90 out of 10090
-English
ACE (Advanced Computer Entertainment05/199150,51,52Amiga900 out of 100090Jim DouglasEnglish
Generation 405/199122,23Amiga, Atari ST90 out of 10090
Frank LadoireFrench
Atari ST User09/199152Atari ST90 out of 10090
-English
Amiga Mania11/199253Amiga90 out of 10090
Jeff DavyEnglish
Amiga Power11/199299,100Amiga90 out of 10090
Les EllisEnglish
Amiga Computing02/1993139Amiga90 out of 10090
Jonathan MaddockEnglish
ST Format12/1992100Atari ST88 out of 10088
-English
Amiga Power06/199132,33,34Amiga87 out of 10087
Stuart CampbellEnglish
Zero05/199164Amiga85 out of 10085
Paul LakinEnglish
Amiga Action11/199273Amiga82 out of 10082Brian SharpEnglish
ST Format09/199174,75Atari ST81 out of 10081
Ed RickettsEnglish
Amiga Format12/199288Amiga79 out of 10079
Andy NuttallEnglish
Amiga Games12/199252Amiga79 out of 10079
Lutz MahleGerman
ASM (Aktueller Software Markt)07/199146,47Amiga9.4 out of 12 78Manfred KleimannGerman
Power Play07/199132Amiga74 out of 10074
Heinrich Lenhardt, Martin GakschGerman
Amiga Format07/199169Amiga70 out of 10070
Maff EvansEnglish
The One10/1992105Amiga70 out of 10070
-English
Amiga Joker05/199142Amiga68 out of 10068
Manuel SeminoGerman
Play Time08+09/199146,47Atari ST65 out of 10065
Duncan EvansGerman
Video Games09/1992133LYNX64 out of 10064
Andreas KnaufGerman
Megablast04/1993104,105LYNX64 out of 10064
MonikaGerman
Power Play10/1992157LYNX63 out of 100 63Christian von DuisburgGerman
Play Time08+09/199261Atari ST47 out of 10047
Mathias RitzGerman
Amiga Force03/199328Amiga--
Phil King, James PriceEnglish
sizepositionchange
sizepositionchange
positionchange
positionchange
positionchange
bordersheaderpositiontable
positionchange

This edit will also create new pages on Giant Bomb for:

Beware, you are proposing to add brand new pages to the wiki along with your edits. Make sure this is what you intended. This will likely increase the time it takes for your changes to go live.

Comment and Save

Until you earn 1000 points all your submissions need to be vetted by other Giant Bomb users. This process takes no more than a few hours and we'll send you an email once approved.