Major Stryker

    Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.

    Major Stryker is a 2D vertical scrolling shooter game for IBM PC, released in 1993 by Apogee Software (now 3D Realms). Originally the first episode of the game distributed as shareware, and the rest were issued commercially. The game was re-released as freeware on March 14, 2006.

    Like most such games the story is basically an Excuse Plot: in the wake of World War III, Earth is invaded by aliens called the Kretons. The hero of the war, Major Stryker, is sent through the wormhole they came through to strike back at their homeworlds.

    Each planet consists of four zones, each consisting of two levels with a theme plus a boss. All the bosses in the game have different designs and the three end-of-episode bosses are all multi-stage.

    The game features PC Speaker and Sound Blaster sounds, and Ad Lib music similar in style to Bobby Prince's other songs; it was the first game published by Apogee to include the famous Apogee Fanfare. The game uses EGA graphics and draws three backgrounds ("triple-parallax scrolling").

    Tropes used in Major Stryker include:
    • Asteroids Monster: Each episode has a boss that splits into two smaller versions of itself when you've damaged it enough.
    • Excuse Plot: It's covered in about four screens of text and pictures, and considering the resolution of 320*200, you're not going to fit much text on one screen.
    • Invincibility Power-Up: The bubble, which makes you invincible and able to defeat enemies by ramming them.
    • One-Hit-Point Wonder: With no weapon upgrades, one shot and you're toast. With them, you can take one hit without dying, at the cost of the weapon upgrades.
    • Single Biome Planet: Strangely subverted. The three planets are named "Lava Planet", "Arctic Planet", and "Desert Planet", yet the planets have varied areas.
    • Recurring Boss Template: There are three such templates, each used once in each episode, though with differences. For instance, each episode has a boss which splits into two smaller copies of itself for its second phase.
    • Smart Bomb: Called "Zap Bombs", they deal 2 Hit Points of damage to all enemies on screen.
    • Your Princess Is in Another Castle: At the end of the first two episodes, Yoshira tells you that the planet you just defeated isn't the Kretons' "stronghold", so you should head to another planet.