Switchblade last edited by bobafettjm on 08/25/19 04:41PM View full history

Overview

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.

On August 22nd, 2019 the game was officially released on PC by Piko Interactive.

Story

Scenario (Amiga)
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.

Gameplay

Entering Undercity (Amiga)
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)
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
No Caption Provided
Giant Spikelouse
Level 2
No Caption Provided
Giant Scorpoid
Level 3
No Caption Provided
Giant Cybat
Level 4
No Caption Provided
Giant Roborganism
Level 5
No Caption Provided
Havok

Hand-to-hand combat

MovePower Meter Bar
Punch
Punch
No Caption Provided

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
High Kick
No Caption Provided

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
Low Sweeping Kick
No Caption Provided

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.

Weapons

Symbol shown in "Weapon Indicator Display"Collectible
No Caption Provided
Fist Shield
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.

No Caption Provided
Blade Shield
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.

No Caption Provided
Dart Shield
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.

No Caption Provided
Needle bolt Shield
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.

No Caption Provided

Scorchball Shield
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.

No Caption Provided
Spinblade Shield
Spinblade Shield

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

No Caption Provided
Trispike Shield
Trispike Shield

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

No Caption Provided
Fireblade fragment
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.

Reviews

MagazineIssuePageSystemRating%ReviewerLanguage
The One04/199181Amiga/Atari ST5 out of 5100
Paul PresleyEnglish
The One for Amiga/ST Games08/199180Amiga/Atari ST5 out of 5100
Laurence ScotfordEnglish
C+VG (Computer and Video Games)12/1989116,117Amiga93 out of 10093
Julian RignallEnglish
Your Sinclair02/199259ZX Spectrum93 out of 10093
JamesEnglish
Your Sinclair03/199173ZX Spectrum92 out of 10092
AndyEnglish
Mean Machines01/199162,63,64Amstrad GX 400091 out of 10091
Julian, MattEnglish
Amstrad Cent Pour Cent06/199116,17Amstrad CPC91 out of 10091
RobbyFrench
Generation 412/198940,42Amiga, Atari ST90 out of 10090
-French
Zero01/199052,53Amiga90 out of 10090
Sean Kelly, Duncan McDonaldEnglish
Games-X08/199135ZX Spectrum4.5 out of 590
-English
MicroHobby05/199129ZX Spectrum89 out of 10089
-Spanish
Zero07/199175Amiga89 out of 10089
David WilsonEnglish
The One12/1989113,114Atari ST88 out of 10088
Gary WhittaEnglish
Zero01/199052,53Atari ST88 out of 10088
Sean Kelly, Duncan McDonaldEnglish
Joystick11/1990117Amstrad GX 400087 out of 10087
J'm DestroyFrench
Amiga Format01/199046Amiga85 out of 10085
Andy SmithEnglish
Your Commodore08/199146, 47C6485 out of 10085
Richard TaylorEnglish
C+VG (Computer and Video Games)07/199177Amiga83 out of 10083
-English
ACE (Advanced Computer Entertainment)01/199051Amiga805 out of 100081Laurence ScotfordEnglish
Crash03/199145ZX Spectrum81 out of 10081
Nick, MarkEnglish
Amiga Action01/199094,95Amiga80 out of 10080

Steve Merrett, Doug Johns, Steve White

English
Joystick01/1990126Amiga80 out of 10080

Duy Minh

French
Amiga Computing02/199052Amiga79 out of 10079

Green

English
ST Action01/199074Atari ST79 out of 10079

-

English
Power Play02/199048Amiga79 out of 10079

Henrik Fisch

German
Power Play Sonderheft 21990102Amiga, Atari ST79 out of 10079

Volker Weitz

German
The Games Machine01/199082Amiga78 out of 10078

Mark Caswell

English
Commodore Format07/199132,33C6478 out of 10078

Andy

English
Zzap03/199137C6478 out of 10078

-

English
Raze03/199138Amstrad GX 400075 out of 10075

Julian Boardman

English
Power Play Sonderheft 21990102C6472 out of 10072

Volker Weitz

German
Zzap02/199074Amiga70 out of 10070

Robin Hogg, Phil King

English
Amiga Power06/199189Amiga70 out of 10070

Stuart Campbell

English
Amiga Joker02/199028Amiga69 out of 10069

Uwe Rönitz

German
Sinclair User03/199123ZX Spectrum69 out of 10069

Chris Jenkins

English
Zzap08/199118C6467 out of 10067

-

English
Amiga Power03/199183,86Amiga3 out of 560

-

English
ST Format08/199167Atari ST58 out of 10058

-

English
Power Play04/1990106Atari ST56 out of 10056

Henrik Fisch

German
ASM (Aktueller Software Markt)01/199039Amiga6.4 out of 1253

Bernd Zimmermann

German
ASM (Aktueller Software Markt)01/199039Atari ST6.2 out of 1252

Bernd Zimmermann

German
Amiga Force01/199314Amiga--

-

English
sizepositionchange
sizepositionchange
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.