Starfishman Video Game

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Super Starfishman 8-bit game

The cartridge for the Super Nintendo version of the Starfishman video game.

The Starfishman video game is a retro platformer created in the 8-bit style such as Super Nintendo and SEGA games of the late 80s.

Kino must start out building his lab. Rented from old Mr. Chin, who’s had to downsize his shellfish operation recently, the old fish processing plant hasn’t much for Kino to build his lab out of. He must explore the area to find equipment to build his lab... specifically a battery, plexiglass panels for aquariums, a microscope, medical equipment, and some bacterial samples.

He has only scalpels to throw at the start of the game. He’s also able to pick up other items and weapons to use. The game is 12 levels long, and some areas are impossible for Kino to complete until he becomes Starfishman. There is an above-ground map to help navigate the areas.

Levels

1) Kino’s Lab (Tutorial level)

Kino starts out in his own lab, where you learn the basic controls of the game. He must walk around, look into a small aquarium and grab a starfish. You then move to your work area and place it by your microscope. You pick up a scalpel and hit the “attack” button to cut off its arm. You then use your microscope to examine it.

2) Microscope

The game switches to a view under the microscope, with Kino trying to collect starfish stem cells with a syringe. It is very difficult and when time runs out he finds he’s collected very few. The lights go out, and Kino realizes he must get better equipment before doing more research. He determines that he needs a battery, a better microscope, special bacterial cultures, a better aquarium, and more starfish.

3) Junkyard

Protected by a man who’s crippled (missing a leg) named Sylvester, Kino must retrieve a battery from the junkyard. Enemies are rats, large cockroaches, crows, guard dogs and vagrants. Dogs can not be killed, but jumped over or lured away.

The end battle is Sylvester throwing tires and wrenches at Kino. Kino must knock him down off the roof of his building by destabilizing the supports. Once beaten, kino offers to build him a new wheelchair in exchange for parts, particular the battery.

4) Abandoned School

The old school shut down years ago as families moved into nicer neighborhoods. Kino must retrieve a microscope and other parts for his lab here. Enemies are rats, cockroaches, crazy old teachers, ex student bullies, and the main boss is the Head Janitor. He throws cleaning products and has a boomerang mop bucket attack which can knock Kino Down. Kino must throw books at him. Once defeated, the Janitor reveals the microscope. The janitor also gives him some chemicals which can be made into Molotov cocktails.

5) Waste Processing Plant

Kino needs some bacterial samples to help in his work. He goes to the old sewage plant and finds that it is in serious disrepair... raw sewage is being pumped into the water. Enemies here are rats, cockroaches, bats, crazed workers with pipes, security guards. The final enemy is a large poop creature which was formed in the slime. Kino must open up valves to clean the filth away, revealing a large alligator. It swims away and Kino is able to collect his samples.

6) Recycle Depot

Kino discovers large amounts of plastic in the waters around the recycling depot. It turns out the head of the depot is corrupt; he’s charging the city to do recycling but throwing most of the plastic away. Kino must infiltrate the depot to take him out, and once defeated he can make the sheets of plexiglass he needs for his aquariums. He gives the old janitor and other ex students and teachers from the school jobs here before he leaves. Enemies are guards, vagrants looking for cans, crows, rats, cockroaches. Main boss rolls huge paper rolls at kino which must be avoided. Kino can defeat him with Molotov cocktails.

7) Shellfish Farm

With all the equipment he needs, kino builds his lab but needs one more thing - starfish. He goes for a scuba dive and collects starfish, enemies underwater are barracuda, jellyfish, urchin, fishermen in boats overhead . Once Kino collects 50 starfish he reaches the end of the level and finds a shellfish farm. He realizes he’s gone in a circle and is back at Chin and Co.

8) Uni Chin (Story)

Kino comes up and meets Uni, the daughter of old Mr. Chin who hates working with her dad, but feels like she should help her family. Kino explains he’s cleaned off all the starfish from their shellfish baskets, so business should improve. She’s so happy as she can hire help and go back to her job at the Pacific Marine Institute as an engineer. She offers to introduce Kino to them to help him out. Kino wants to do his own research first.

9) Kino’s Lab

Kino starts to research with his bacteria and the starfish. Kino cuts a leg off the starfish then must use the bacteria to collect starfish stem cells. This level is played through the microscope. You only have 100 bacteria and they must catch 10 stem cells each. It’s a fun level, failure means the starfish dies, and you can win but ultimately the experiment is a failure. Kino must give up.

Starfishman enters the Pacific Marine Institute to search for survivors.

10) Travelling to the Pacific Marine Institute

Uni comes to visit and kino explains the trouble he’s having with his research. Uni invites him to the PMI, says they want to meet him after hearing about his research. They travel there in Uni’s submarine. They have to avoid whales and fishing trawlers, rocks and waves. Eventually they arrive at the Institute

11) Inside the Pacific Marine Institute

Kino is hired and given a lab. He hears about some strange stuff so decides to investigate. This is a stealth level, if you’re detected, game over. Kino sees what’s happening in the other labs and learns that the PMI is conducting research for the military, to make weapons armour and super soldier serum that allows soldiers to breathe underwater, the perfect weapon for a new generation of SEALs. He escapes back to his lab, but he was detected. Kino brings Uni into his office and tells her about what he’s seen. She agrees that they need to contact the authorities, but kino decides to try and finish his experiments while Uni Pierce overloads Kino’s equipment and causes an accident, which turns Kino into Starfishman. Thinking he’s dead, Pierce and the other scientists close off his lab and return to work.

12) Underwater Wreckage

Kino is trapped under wreckage and is transforming into Starfishman. He can breathe, but must absorb water in order to increase his strength so he can escape the wreckage. He travels through caves and along the ocean floor to return to the PMI. Obstacles like giant rocks get in his way, he uses his massive new strength to lift them away. He uses his new climb ability to climb up the ocean cliffs. He also has to excrete water to squeeze through cracks. Enemies include scuba guards, jellyfish, sharks and urchins.

13) Return to the PMI

It is guarded by guards, other scientists with special weapons and environmental traps and challenges. SFM must make his way upward. As he finds special mutagenic compounds, he can collect them and use them for upgrades. Anytime he finds a microscope, he can use it to play a mini-game which lets him upgrade his mutant powers genetically.

14) Dr. Selachi’s lab

Due to damage to the island’s internal structure, SFM must take detours through certain labs. Dr. Selachi was working on cloning sharks and adding cybernetic parts to them in use as military weapons. (shark mutants). After Dr. Selachi is defeated, some of the guards moving forward are cybernetic sharks.

15) Dr. Quatel’s lab

Dr. Quatel is working on special vision systems for submarines. He has focused special ionic frequencies to blast through water. He uses turrets and automated guns to fire blasts at Starfishman. Once Dr. Quatel is defeated, many of the guards have sonar beam guns, including the cybernetic sharks.

16) Dr. Pierce’s Lab

Dr. Pierce has been mutated by Kino’s mutagens and is very angry for the damage he’s caused to the PMI. He insults SFM and is out for revenge. He has created an army of mutated devil crabs as minions. Starfishman must use all his abilities to defeat the crabs and take on Lobstor. He can use his tentacles to pick up the crabs and throw them. He can use his water blasts to take out the sharks with lasers. If SFM can hold off the constant attacks and use the devil crabs to knock out energy conduits in the room, he can cook Lobstor alive, which helps him overcome his fear of crustaceans.

END: Starfishman cleans the island out of enemies but must try and find his friends... Uni, Rebecca Aster, and others... in Starfishman 64... coming soon!

Upgrades:

1. Tentacles I - allows SFM to grab bad guys and throw them 2. Tentacles II - allows SFM to whip out with an extended tentacle attack 3. Tentacles III - allows SFM to use a bi-directional tentacle attack

1. Water Vascular I - fire water shots 2. Water Vascular II - fire water in a concentrated stream 3. Water Vascular III - fire a targeted water blast from a distance

1. Healing I - increases total life 2. Healing II - increases healing rate 3. Healing III - allows SFM to regain health from fallen foes

1. Camouflage I - increases the chance of not being seen by 25% 2. Camouflage II - allows SFM to turn into a rock 3. Camouflage III - allows SFM to turn into enemies, allowing him to move forward for short distances without being noticed

Controls

A - Jump

B - Attack

LB - Absorb Water

RB - Excrete Water

X - Use item / pick up

Y - special attack (hold to switch)