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Sparkster (SNES) Walkthrough
~by tankMage (October 2017)
This walkthrough was written for Sparkster on the Super Nintendo. The purpose of this guide is to provide players with advice on how to pass through stages quickly and defeat bosses. As such, the information on each stage deals mostly with how to pass through obstacles and defeat enemies, rather than uncover secrets. Secondly, this guide was written for “Normal” difficulty and players may not get the same results using the strategies described below on a different difficulty setting.
1. Controls and Moves
a. Stage 1
b. Stage 2
c. Stage 3
d. Stage 4
e. Stage 5
f. Stage 6
g. Stage 7
h. Stage 8
i. Stage 9
1. Controls and Moves
The following is an explanation of the game’s basic controls and special moves. The names used in this guide likely differ from the actual move names as I did not have access to a Sparkster manual.
D-Pad Left: Moves Sparkster left.
D-Pad Right: Moves Sparkster right.
D-Pad Up: Makes Sparkster look up, scrolls screen upward a bit so you can see what is above you when held.
D-Pad Down: Makes Sparkster crouch, scrolls screen down when held.
Y Button: Attack with sword, charges rocket when held down.
B Button: Jump.
Left Bumper: Flaming Slash left
Right Bumper: Flaming Slash right
Flaming Slash: Sparkster performs a fiery attack that can pass through enemies when the left or right bumper is pressed. Performing more than a few consecutive flaming slashes will render the hero dazed and unable to move for a short while.
Spin Slash: Charge up the meter by holding Y. Release the Y Button while standing still to perform the Spin Slash. This powerful attack can heavily damage enemies and break walls.
Rocket Charge: Hold the Y Button to gather energy for this ability. Release the Y Button while pressing any direction on the D-pad to activate Sparkster’s rocket pack and fly a short distance. Any enemy hit by this move will be damaged or killed and certain walls can be broken by it. After a second of flight, the rocket will run out of power and Sparkster will fall to the ground uncontrollably (if you happen to be in the air when the rocket boost ends). Using the flaming slash will make Sparkster regain control.
Sword Beams: Pressing the Y Button will make Sparkster swing his sword and fire a beam from it. This attack deals extra damage if you hit an enemy with the sword itself.
Tail Hang: As a possum, Sparkster can use his tail to grab onto pipes, branches, and hooks. This ability activates automatically when Sparkster is airborne and he can move around freely while hanging from his tail, just look out for branches on an incline, which he will slide down unless the player pushes the D-pad in the opposite direction.
Collect gems: The red gems scattered around each stage will grant you an extra life if you find 100 of them.
Fruit heals Sparkster: You’ll find apples, bananas, and other foods that can replenish our hero’s life, so be on the lookout for these helpful items.
Proceed cautiously and plan ahead: Rushing blindly into action is tempting, because of the hero’s ability to rocket forward; it’s also a good way to take damage or die. Always try to have a specific target or destination in mind when you use Sparkster’s a rocket pack in order to avoid slamming into spiked shields, lava pits, or just plain losing momentum and falling into an enemy. Using Sparkster’s ability to look up or down and simply moving at a moderate pace can cut down on many mistakes.
Keep an eye out for hidden stuff: There are often goodies hidden behind breakable walls or just out of sight that can be reached using the rocket charge, just make sure the reward is worth the risk.
a. Stage 1
This is a good place to familiarize yourself with the controls. Sparkster can cling to tree branches with his tail and move around with ease, so make sure you use this skill to collect gems scattered around the stage. About halfway through the area you will encounter wolves, it is best to flaming slash through them or take to the trees to avoid damage here. You’ll eventually come to a depression in the ground with a lake in the foreground and two stone wolves flanking a vertical line of gems. Take the wolves out, then jump and perform a rocket charge straight up into the air to collect the gems and some fruit. Just beyond the depression is a tree with an apple in it. Cling to the highest branch on the right side of the tree, jump, and perform a horizontal rocket charge to the right. You should pass over all of the enemies and reach the mid boss.
This mechanical monkey is hard to avoid, but can’t endure much damage. Watch out for his belly flop attack and limbs, which have a long reach. Hit this miniboss in the torso or head with sword beams and charge up your rocket when he gets close. Use a diagonal rocket charge to blow past him just before he pins you, then begin pelting him with sword beams or use horizontal rocket charges if you have space. The flaming slash can make short work of this midboss, but it takes precise timing to pass through him unharmed. It’s also possible to grab the banana he holds for a life boost. The monkey will begin to flash and jump around wildly before exploding once you have inflicted enough damage.
Stage 1 (continued)
After beating the midboss, Sparkster will enter an airship. Proceed until you see some pipes and a turret that travels along them. Use a vertical rocket charge to destroy the turret and back off to avoid the wolf-bot behind it. Use a few rocket charges aimed at the center of the robot to take him out and repeat the process on the wolf-bot just after him. Another turret is positioned near second wolf-bot, cling onto the pipe and use a sword beam to dispatch this one. You’ll come to a wall with a turret just above it, destroy the turret then rocket charge the wall to reveal a hidden fruit stash. Climb up the shaft after getting the fruit and head left, be ready to attack a wolf that waits just ahead. You’ll come to a blockade made up of crates, smash through it with a rocket charge. Beyond the crates lies another shaft, rocket up this shaft, but be ready to transition into a flaming slash to take out the turrets and avoid damage. More crates are stacked up near this shaft, but you may want to skip smashing through these as an endless stream of wolves will emerge from the hole you create.
Take the platform above the crates , continue right, and destroy the turret on the pipe ahead with a rocket charge or sword beam. Drop down, slay the approaching wolf and rocket charge to grab onto the pipe. Use the sword beam to dispatch another wolf then drop down or rocket charge to take out a few more wolves. Keep right and you’ll come to a diagonal pipe, slide down it to collect some gems and walk a few paces left to the wall. Smash the wall for some fruit, there’s another piece of fruit in the upper right corner of the room with the diagonal pipe if you need more health. Continue on your way to the right and take out a couple of wolves, then drop down or rocket over this area (you’ll have to time it well to avoid damage). Be ready to deal with wolves who pop out of the floor here and a pair of shield wolves. Flaming slashes work well here as do sword beams. Also, you can just rocket over the shield wolves. You’ll come to the end of the line after heading right a bit more and a golden robot knight will burst through the floor. Get ready to fight.
Stage 1 Boss
This guy will punch through the floor with his fist, pushing Sparkster upwards. The punches come at random and don’t present much of a threat, but can push you into the tiny bots this boss spawns. The bots are a nuisance, but don’t let them distract you. Instead, aim a rocket charge at the boss’s eye. The boss will start firing a large laser aimed at Sparkster after about three hits, try to stay on the move and flaming slash or rocket charge to avoid it. He will also cover his eye with his visor from time to time, protecting himself from harm in the process. Three more hits will sink the boss and bring you victory.
b. Stage 2
Expect greater danger in the second stage, which is a factory filled with flaming pits, enemy soldiers, and rolling presses that can insta-kill Sparkster by squashing him flat. Take a few steps right, drop down (avoid riding the hook), and use a spin slash to bust the wall that stands in your way. Kill the wolf in the mine cart who appears after you take a few steps to the right. Next jump on the pipe to collect some gems. Go further right and take note of where the track ends; stand just where it tapers off (about an inch away from the wall), charge up your rocket and shoot straight upwards. If you positioned yourself properly, you’ll destroy the two flying robots near the top pipe in one shot. Drop from the pipe down the shaft on your right and be ready to kill another wolf in a cart; the spin slash seems to work best on these guys. You’ll come to a fire pit, rocket charge to latch onto the pipe and proceed right. Next, you’ll have to drop onto the floor, walk to the center of the shaft above you and use another vertical rocket charge to destroy a couple of flying bots on the pipe above you. Follow this pipe and drop down again, this time you’ll latch onto another pipe just above a fire pit. Take note of the mechanical arm just above the pit. Use a few rocket charges to destroy it, then creep forward a bit and handle the next two arms in the same manner. Jump onto the platform and ride the elevator up. You’ll see a flying robot waiting on the ledge to your right, take it out with a few sword beams.
A dubious looking bridge is on the other side of a pitfall to your right, stay on the high part of the ledge opposite the bridge, jump up, and use the rocket charge to collect some gems. You’ll bypass the bridge (which collapses if you touch it) and land safely on a pipe. Destroy the flying bot to your right with a spin slash and grab the gems. Go right and rocket up to the pipe above you, then drop down, and walk over to the lift on your right. Charge up and use a spin slash to destroy a couple of bots at the top of the lift and deal with the third one. You can collect the gems to your left if you wish, otherwise drop between the three lifts just past the platform that the bots were roosting on to latch onto another pipe just above a pit. Go right and you’ll come to a room with several sloped pipes. Rocket charge upwards and try to stay on the highest pipe while you charge the rocket again, then rocket up a second time and use a left flaming slash to land on the ledge. Go left and rocket upwards. You’ll grab onto a pipe. From there walk right and you’ll come to a track with a cart riding wolf on it, you know what to do. Jump over to the pipe just past the track and head right. Take out the wolf on the ledge with a sword beam and continue right.
Be cautious when walking on the conveyor belt and avoid using your rocket charge here, unless you want to accidentally fly into a roller press and die. Jump from conveyor to conveyor and hop on top of the roller, don’t worry: you won’t get squished if you stand on top of it. Hop onto a final conveyor and knock out the wolf on the ledge beyond. You’ll see a line of gems where the ledge drops off, use a rocket charge to collect them and fall straight down, bypassing another roller press. From here, hop into the pipe to the right and rocket upwards, using a flaming slash to reach the ledge above. Beware the presses and keep moving forward. Let yourself fall down and take a few steps to the right (you can also smash the wall to the left to find a banana), then use a diagonal rocket charge to go up the shaft above the roller press. Shimmy along the pipe and use a downward rocket charge to defeat the wolf below you, then drop down. Jump from conveyor to conveyor and be ready to take another wolf out with a sword beam. Next drop down the shaft and get ready to fight the midboss.
This guy is really easy, so easy in fact I’m not going to bother describing his attack patterns; he won’t survive long enough to attack if you deal with him properly. You’ll notice a red bubble of sorts on the ceiling above you. Start charging and hit him with a couple of vertical rocket charges right away. Then hit him with a spin slash when he is low enough. Two rocket charges and a couple of spin slashes should end this fight without Sparkster getting so much as a scratch.
Stage 2 (continued)
Just beyond the midboss’s a room, you’ll come to a shaft with sloped pipes, slide down them and go right. Next you’ll come to a huge white screen, make sure you take out the wolf prowling around it. Find the center of the screen, then rocket upwards, and flaming slash onto the ledge to reach a secret room with a one up bubble. You can collect the one up or pop it for a chance to get even more lives or food. Return to the lower chamber and go right to the conveyor belt. For some reason Sparkster will get a new paint job, don’t let this distract you from the roller press on the other side of the paint machine! Rocket up the shaft above the roller, cross the ledge, and drop down again. You’ll come to another screen with a wolf hanging out behind it. Rocket up from the center of this screen as well to find a gem stash. Beyond the screen lies a conveyor belt and yet another roller press. Carefully rocket upwards and use a flaming slash to land on the next belt, then jump on top of the roller to the right. Follow the belt to the right and drop down after taking a deep breath in preparation for the boss fight.
Stage 2 Boss
Getting to this boss is more of a challenge than the boss himself, but players should exercise caution when fighting it. The room it inhabits has a huge conveyor belt that will push you to the left in place of a floor and a pipe that is just out of regular jumping range (though you can rocket onto it). You’ll have to avoid pieces of scrap on the belt if you don’t want to take damage. The boss itself is a big cylinder with arms and a glowing orb on the top. It will pick up various pieces of junk with its arms and attack you with them before discarding the objects in favor of a new weapon. Here is a list of the weapons it picks up.
Spiked dumbbell: The boss will whirl this thing around in a dangerous fashion. It’s best to just stay away at a safe distance while it is using the spiked dumbbell and rocket to safety if necessary.
Laser gun: Not very dangerous, but the boss will aim it at you, so keep on the move.
Magnet orb: It’s hard to say what this is supposed to be, but it is a ball that has purple tendrils sticking out of it. The boss will try to poke the magnet orb in Sparkster’s face and it seems to be able to track him.
Missile Launcher: As the name implies, the missile launcher fires missiles that track you slightly. These can be destroyed, so it’s not a very dangerous weapon.
Spiked balls: The boss will pick these up and throw them at you.
As dangerous as this boss can be, it’s fairly easy to deal with once you figure a good attack pattern to use against it. You can stand on its body, just next to the yellow bulb and swipe away at it with your sword, (throwing in a spin slash or two for good measure) if it doesn’t happen to have any weapons. Once the boss picks something up, your best bet is to back off and rocket charge the yellow orb. This can be tough to line up, but about eleven good charges will end the battle. You can also destroy the junk on the conveyor belt to prevent it from getting weapons, but it takes several hits to destroy most objects and it’s better to simply focus on attacking the boss.
c. Stage 3
The third stage is an autoscroller that places Sparkster in command of a mechanical ostrich. For the most part, the controls will remain the same, except the ostrich runs forward rapidly (pushing the d-pad in the opposite direction will slow the bird down) and pressing Y will make the ostrich fire a beam, granted Sparkster is seated. It is still possible to use the rocket charge and other skills as well as jump out of the bird, but you cannot exit the vehicle until it ejects you. This portion of the guide will be kept brief, since this stage is rather simple.
Take time to familiarize yourself with the controls for the first few seconds of this stage. Get used to using sword beams, ostrich beams (well, there’s a term I never thought I’d use), and flaming slashes to deal with the flying enemies that harass you in this area. Eventually, the ostrich will come to a hill and begin running up it. Watch out for flying wolves that shoot down at you. The hill will start to slope downward and you will come to a flat runway. Avoid enemies, charge up your rocket pack, and be ready to rocket on a diagonal towards the far right of the screen the second the bird brakes and ejects Sparkster. If done correctly you will land on a narrow ledge just above a second ostrich. Use a well timed spin slash to destroy the bat and grab the banana, then rocket to the ledge above you to reach a short cut. If you miss this secret, the second ostrich will take you through a gauntlet of enemies. Either way you’ll come to the midboss.
A wolf in a goofy looking green robot will approach you and lob bombs your way. Hang back and rocket charge him. About five direct hits will scrap his machine and send him fleeing. Be aggressive with this boss or he’ll overwhelm you rather quickly. Once defeated, the wolf will flee and Sparkster will be thrown from the second ostrich into a third, make sure you let him fall so he can grab the fruit in his path of trajectory. Note: There will be no fruit waiting for you if you missed the shortcut.
Stage 3 (Continued)
You switch ostriches several times after this, stay low to avoid spiked balls that hang from the overhead cliffs here. Next you’ll be dumped into a long shaft, use flaming slashes to control your fall and hopefully destroy the bats in this shaft before they damage you. After landing in yet another bird, you’ll come to a bridge. Keep to the far right, because the bridge will start disintegrating. Soon afterwards, you will notice a vine overhead. Be ready to take out the creatures that move along this vine with rolling slashes and look out for their bombs. The boss waits just beyond the vines.
Stage 3 Boss
This caterpillar like machine crawls along the vine and will occasionally fire cannonballs at Sparkster. You will also have to be cautious if you go under him, because his segments sometimes emit fire. It’s best to jump up and use sword beams or rocket charges to hit the caterpillar. Your attacks will somehow pass through his head and damage his body. Once a segment of his body takes enough damage (roughly four rocket charges) it will break away and bounce around on the ground. Destroy each broken segment immediately, because they will follow you and can cause harm; a beam fired from the ostrich is best for destroying loose segments. After several segments are destroyed the caterpillar will leave the vine and float around on the right hand side of the screen. It will often block your attacks with its tail and fire at you more aggressively. Push up while sitting in the ostrich to get it to stand up straighter and fire ostrich beams at the boss’s head. About a dozen good hits will destroy the boss and grant passage to the next level.
Note: This boss randomly fires and apple instead of a cannon ball. The chances of this happening are roughly 1/5 (Special thanks to Skater43 for this piece of information and testing).
d. Stage 4
Walk to the ledge on the left and drop straight down to avoid the robotic snakes. Keep going left until you encounter a giant robotic snake controlled by a wolf. Use the rocket charge a few times to destroy the robo-snake and drop down the hole that opens up in the floor. Take a few steps right and drop down, be ready to deal with a wolf prowling around an indentation in the floor. Look out for the huge laser that fires every few seconds, standing in the room’s trenches is a good way to avoid taking damage here. Use sword beams to take out the wolves occupying the other trenches and keep moving right. You’ll come to a red lens, use sword beams to take it out quickly and open the way forward. Another series of trenches and a laser lens waits in the next room, use the same techniques to progress.
Grab the piece of fruit on the other side of the lens and rocket up, then proceed to the left. Be ready to fight a pair of wolves and rocket up to the next room. You’ll find a series of bunks to your right, push forward slowly, and handle the wolves as they awake. It’s also possible to rocket over the wolves here and reach the giant pipe at the end of the room. The pipe will suck you in and drop you in a room with a spiked ceiling. Note the plugs on the floor: once you approach them they will pop out of the floor and a spout of water will push you towards the ceiling if you step on it. Move forward slowly and wait for each gusher to subside or carefully flaming slash through them. Rocket upwards again, then head left. Watch out for the steam jets in the ceiling, which can harm you. Flaming slash can be used to pass through the steam jets quickly and get to the other side of this area.
Use the rocket charge to reach the next room and go right. Walk up the steps and slide down the pole. The floor here acts as a springboard, you can collect some fruit on the right side of the room by holding down the jump button and rocketing upwards to obtain the fruit. Go left and slide down the pole. A dangerous area lies ahead that requires the player to race ahead a torrent of water. Players are only given a small margin of error in the section and it may take several attempts to clear. Take few steps right to reach a large room filled with dials, approach the wall and charge up your rocket. The room will flood and the wall will crumble. Rocket forward, then up the shaft. Stay ahead of the torrent of water by using the rocket charge. Rocket charge up the next shaft. Repeat the process again in the next room and the one after it until you pass through a bulkhead. Once safe, you can rocket upwards and use a flaming slash to the left to reach a secret ledge just above the bulkhead. Take a few steps left to find a mechanical fish floating on a water spout. Hitting the fish will make it spit out items until it explodes. Drop back down and rocket past the spiked lined floor and ceiling. Use a vertical rocket charge and a flaming slash once you reach the wall to exit the sub.
Head left and spam rocket charge to pass through the planes that swoop into you. After some time you’ll come to a series of turrets, use sword beams to take them out. Attack just after a turret fires to avoid taking damage. Each turret will indicate that it is about to fire by a flashing ball that appears on its muzzle. Sparkster will be pushed to the left once all of the turrets have been destroyed and you will encounter a wolf seated in a large turret. The large turret is fixed and can only fire in a straight line, so stay low. Destroy the smaller turret under the large turret and back off, because the large turret is actually a robot that will stand up and begin swinging its arms around, once all the turrets are dealt with.
Stage 4 Boss
A good offense is the best defense in this battle. Use diagonal rocket charges to hit the boss’s body. Time your attacks so they hit when the boss’s arms are down when possible and rocket over him if he is about to pin you. About a dozen rocket charges should destroy the boss.
e. Stage 5
The fifth stage is complex and requires careful navigation. You’ll start out in a desert area, which is fairly linear. Proceed to the right and watch out for the mech riding wolves (a rocket charge or some sword beams from a safe platform will defeat them easily). Eventually you will reach the entrance to the pyramid. Enter and charge up your rocket to travel down the sloped hallway and avoid being squashed by one of the purple balls that come rolling down the hall. Charge up your rocket again and head right. Take out the two bats that appear in front of the stone door with a spin slash. Carefully step through the door and stop. A section of the pyramid will move and you will see a new hallway. Step back through the door again to get the hallway to shift a second time and head right. Keep moving through another door and drop down. Get ready to fight a midboss.
The midboss will materialize in the center of the room. Get ready to jump up and flaming slash his head, which is his only weak point. Keep using flaming slash until the boss explodes and begins flying. Use rocket charges to smash the midboss when he is in the air. Standing directly under the midboss and rocketing upwards is the best way to damage it while avoiding its arms.
Stage 5 (continued)
Past the boss room is a strange triangle shaped block (which is lined with spikes) with platforms passing under it. There are jets on each side of the triangle holding it up, use a rocket charge to destroy each jet, make sure you are not under the block when it drops or you will be killed. Hop on the platforms and rocket over to the ledge on the left, just above the triangle. Walk to the left and rocket up the shaft and use a flaming slash to reach a banana. A purple sphere sits atop some spikes in the next room. The ceiling of this room is lined with spears that thrust down at Sparkster. Hop on the ball and walk to the left to make it roll in the opposite direction, ducking intermittently to avoid the spears. You may have to jump to recenter Sparkster on the ball so he does not fall into the spikes. Rocket upwards once you reach the wall and rolling slash left to reach the next room.
Above the beginning of the ledge is a brittle ceiling that can be destroyed with a rocket charge. Enter the room above you after breaking the ceiling, walk left and destroy the bats that attack you. Rocket upwards once you hit the far left wall and use flaming slash to reach a another hidden room with a one up bubble in it. Drop back down to the ledge and take a few steps left. Jump on the ball, which will immediately roll on its own. Hop over the block, then back onto the ball and ride it to safety. A triangular platform of light waits ahead, jump on and ride it upwards. You can rocket upwards to kill the bats and avoid hitting the spikes when the triangle tilts. Rocket upwards and flaming slash right when you come to a choke point in the shaft to reach the exit. You can also ride the triangle up, but be careful as it speeds up near the end, sending you into the deadly spikes above. Head right and get ready to fight the boss.
Stage 5 Boss
A giant snake will rise up out of the ground and begin floating around the room. The snake will undulate around and occasionally breath fire at you. Use rocket slashes aimed at his head to defeat him. It’s especially easy to hit the snake’s head when he is directly above you. Try not to hit his body, because his head can break off from the body, potentially forming two snakes. If this happens, attack the head that is the pinkish color a few times to destroy it and cause the snake to reform. The snake will also burrow in the ground and burst back out occasionally. You can gauge where he will appear by the spray of dirt that comes out of the ground a second before he emerges.
f. Stage 6
Ah, a musically themed stage thrown into the game for some reason. At any rate, stage six is fairly straightforward. Head right as usual and you will come to a giant keyboard. A wolf riding a mechanical elephant with spiked balls on the ends of its arms will appear. Stand on the far right side of the screen and spam diagonal rocket charges at the machine. Try to time them so they hit when the elephant’s arms are down. After a few hits the wolf will begin throwing maracas rather erratically, but your rocket charges can destroy them, so spam away. About six hits will scrap the elephant and you can move on. Move right a little ways and you’ll come to some giant drums with strange creatures bouncing on them. Stepping on the drums will cause Sparkster to bounce, so push the D-pad very gently to avoid being catapulted into an enemy. Use sword beams to kill the creatures and press onwards. Enter the door that waits just past the drums.
Beyond the door lies a room with two trumpets on the right end that act like warp pipes from Super Mario Bros. Take the lower trumpet and run along a hallway filled with vertical trumpets. Wolves will pop out of these trumpets, so keep running right and take out any that pop up in front of you with a forward flaming slash. You can also rocket charge through this area, but stay low and be ready to transition to flaming slash to avoid colliding with a wolf after losing momentum. You may also have to occasionally use a backwards flaming slash to take out enemies behind you. After a while, you will come to a room filled with spikes and bubble pits, hop in a bubble and ride it over the spikes. The bubbles rise and speed up over time which can cause you to hit the spiked ceiling, so be ready to break free from a bubble by tapping the jump button rapidly to escape the spiked ceiling. The next area is filled with explosive musical notes that float down from above when you near them. Take a few steps forward to bait the notes into falling and destroy them with sword beams or a spin slash. This area takes patience since their are a lot of notes, so proceed slowly and pay attention. Jump in the horn beyond the notes and enter the door to the next area after grabbing the fruit in front of it.
Ride the pipe down and land on the drum, don’t drop off the pipe until you can reach the drum or you will land on spikes. You will come to a row of trumpets, try to land on the third trumpet which will take you to a room full of drums. Use the same tactics from earlier to defeat the bouncing creatures and enter another horn that will transport you to a gauntlet of wolves that pop out of trumpets like the one you passed earlier. Enter the horn beyond the gauntlet, grab the fruits, and step into the door.
Stage 6 Boss
Axel Gear awaits you patiently, playing a giant pipe organ. His moveset is similar to that of Sparkster and he is also able to hover. Axel’s sword beams and spin slashes do about one heart’s worth of damage. And his rocket charge inflicts one and a half heart of damage. Axel has no flaming slash ability, but performs a sliding kick instead. Use the height of the room to your advantage and jump or rocket up the platforms to make Axel Gear follow you. Hit him with a rocket charge (preferably from an angle) and drop down. Try to get a rhythm going where you move, attack, and move again, because this boss will have difficulty hitting you if you keep moving from platform to platform. Standing still will almost certainly prove deadly, so don’t get greedy and start spamming attacks. About ten hits will make Axel flee.
g. Stage 7
Sparkster leaps into a cannon and is blasted into space in pursuit of Axel Gear. The stage will turn into a vertically scrolling shooter type level and Sparkster will have some new moves. Hitting Y uses the usual sword beam, which is highly effective here since striking targets at close range so that both the sword and beam hit the enemy does extra damage. The B button makes Sparkster’s flight gear fire it’s guns and the L&R buttons cause Sparkster to roll, which causes the gun’s bullets scatter when firing. The stage itself is simple and does not bear much explaining, but it is wise to play defensively and conserve as much life as possible for the upcoming boss fight. The mini boss also merits a bit of explanation.
A big purple robot will enter the fray near the end of the level and while killing him is optional, he drops four apples that may be useful to injured players. The purple robot will strafe from side to side, firing a small laser or throwing punches at close range and will attempt to slam into Sparkster. Sometimes the mid boss will fire a volley of shots that spread out, but he will cross his arms before doing so, giving the player time to react. The arms of this robot are resistant to damage, so players will have to aim for the torso. Both sword beams and shots from Sparkster’s wings are helpful in this battle, so be aggressive. It’s best to try to kill the midboss when it is in the upper half of the screen, because the apples it drops upon death tend to fan out and drift away quickly. About twelve sword beams should be enough to kill this robot.
Stage 7 Boss
Ready for a cheap fight? Axel will crash through the cockpit of the spaceship you have been following throughout the stage and zip past Sparkster. Both characters will leave the screen and reenter in giant boxing mechs. Axel has a lot of life, is aggressive, and moves randomly. Couple that with the fact that most players will need some time to adjust to the mech’s controls and you have a rather unfair situation. Fortunately, this battle can end quickly (and in your favor) if you are really good at button mashing and perhaps a bit lucky. A full life reserve helps too. At any rate, here’s Sparkster’s move set while in the mech.
D-Pad: Moves mech left, right, back, and forward.
L & R Buttons: Makes the mech punch with the corresponding hand, holding both bumpers causes the mech to block.
Y Button: Fires the mech’s gun. Hold down to charge and release to make the mech dash.
So Axel will alternate between throwing jabs, charging into you, and punching wildly. Most seasoned gamers will be tempted to fight this battle strategically, but doing so is a death sentence unless you are really comfortable with the way the mech handles. Attacking without mercy is the key to victory here. It’s best to get as close to Axel as possible and tap the L or R button (use the one that is must most comfortable) as rapidly as you can. Aim for his body. Fire the cannon as well if you can tap Y while mashing L or R to do extra damage. Axel’s rather random behavior will determine the outcome of this battle to some degree, but being able to tap the bumper rapidly enough to overwhelm him as well as having full life helps. Try to pin him in the corner and focus on punching one of the boss’s arms of if he blocks. Getting enough shots in on the arm can destroy it, leaving Axel Gear at a major disadvantage, since he will have less offensive power and his body will be open to attack.
This is purely anecdotal and may not hold true for everyone, but I’ve found that Axel tends to go on the defensive if you can match his movement patterns and pound him with jabs at the same time. Rushing the boss at the very beginning of the fight and relentlessly punching him usually forces forced him into the corner rather quickly and can help secure victory.
h. Stage 8
Sparkster will begin this stage in what appears to be the barrel of a giant cannon. Beware the massive bullets that come flying through the corridor, they can damage sparkster or kill him if he gets pinned between a bullet and the uneven floor. Fortunately, there are indentations in the floor where you can take cover, just be sure to duck. Run to the next pit once the bullet passes over you and use your sword beams to take care of any wolves you may encounter. Use the rocket dash to reach a few hidden gems to your left after reaching the end of the corridor and rocket dash to the right to land on a bullet. Drop down from the bullet, kill the wolves waiting for you at the bottom and head left to get a banana. Follow the floor until you come to a shaft with a giant bullet sitting at the bottom.
A wolf robot will appear and make the bullet explode (or are these things missiles?). Sparkster will ride the blast up the shaft along with the robot. Use your sword beams to hit the robot and drift under him when he rises into the air to avoid taking contact damage. About eleven sword beams should destroy the wolf bot. Head right after leaving the shaft and fire off a sword beam every few steps to deal with the mech riding wolves that inhabit this area. You’ll come to a series of shafts with pipes running through them horizontally. Use your rocket dash to reach a piece of fruit placed at the top of the shaft. Hold down to make the screen scroll downwards and you should see insect like machine that fires electricity every few seconds, use the rocket dash to destroy it and take out the other one below the first bot using the same technique. If you can’t see any bots below you, drop down to the next pipe and look again. Cross over to the next shaft and hold up to look above you. Use the rocket dash to destroy any bots you see just like before. A bot waits on the top pipe, but it tends to stay to the right, so be ready to use a horizontal rocket dash to destroy it after grabbing the top pipe. Destroy a final gauntlet of bots below you using the same tactics and get ready to fight the mini boss after collecting a couple of apples.
You’ll come to a large room with a brain in the center that is hooked up to computers and orbited by crystals. Immediately run or rocket dash to the far right and stay in the corner. This is the safest area in the room and you can hit the crystals with sword beams from your hiding spot. Look out for the discs that come out to shield the crystals, though you should be safe if you are standing far enough to the right. Jump up and fire off beams as quickly as possible to hit the crystals. It will take a while to destroy them thanks to the discs that hover around, but be persistent and you will win. You can also rocket charge the crystals and flaming slash through them, but you risk taking damage this way. It should also be noted that the crystals fire lightning at the floor, but cannot hit sparkster if he is far enough to the right.
Stage 8 (continued)
Another shaft waits after the midboss, but it’s filled with fruit, so nothing to worry about. Beyond the shaft is a corridor filled with blue robots that crawl along the floor and ceiling. Inch forward and take them out with sword beams as soon as they appear on screen. Watch out for the green lasers they reflect. After destroying about four of the bots you’ll see a small laser turret that can only shoot at an angle below it. Destroy the turret with more beams and head left. Rocket up the far right side of the shaft you enter to get an idea of where the laser turret on the ceiling is positioned, then aim a couple of rocket charges at it to clear a path to the next corridor. Destroy some more blue bots as you go left and rocket up to the corridor above once you reach the next shaft. More bots and a final turret wait in this corridor, but taking them out is no problem if you proceed slowly and use sword beams to eliminate them from a distance.
Head right and you will come to yet another corridor. This one is filled with jetpack wolves who will fire rockets at you. Fun. Look up to spot the wolves and try to take them out with rocket charges. Sometimes you will have to jump to hit the wolf or use a flaming slash after charging to hit your foe. Use a flaming slash for good measure if you can’t see anything above you for safety’s sake while you climb from ledge to ledge. It’s safest to stand at the edge of a ledge and rocket into the one directly above you to get an idea of the enemy’s position before attempting to jump into the next platform. More mech riding wolves wait in the hallway beyond the shaft, so keep firing sword beams as you press right. After defeating a few mech riders, you will come to the final boss.
Stage 8 Boss
The Wolf King is a brutal opponent and there is no easy way to defeat him, but there are two fairly viable methods that can be used against him. Let’s have a look at his moveset and behavior first.
Lightning: The Wolf King will raise his arms and hurl two orbs into the air. These orbs will hover near the ceiling several body lengths apart and emit lighting that creates a barrier that will damage Sparkster. Next the orbs will move closer to each other before fizzling out. Sparkster can pass by the orbs with a rocket dash while the boss is throwing them or simply stand in between the lightning beams to avoid damage.
Fire Breath: The boss will open his mouth and breath fire that travels along the floor. Can be avoided with a rocket dash or a well timed jump.
Beam Slice: With a swipe of his paw, the Wolf King will create a blade that fires across the room and bounces back in the opposite direction after reaching the edge of the screen. These can be ducked under or leapt over. The blades fail to bounce back if you are positioned far from the edge of the screen.
Short Hop: The boss will sometimes hop into the air rather slowly, which is easy to avoid if you duck under him.
The primary issue with the Wolf King is not his attack set, since his moves are generally easy to deal with, but the fact that he deploys his attacks at random can result in a rather chaotic battle. In one encounter, he may only jump around and use his fire breath or beam slice here and there, while at other times he may use all of his attacks back to back making it nearly impossible to avoid damage. Unfortunately, this makes the final boss tough to predict, consequently strategies often fall short against him. There are two general strategies outlined below, that work fairly well, but it is up to the player to decide which suits his or her abilities.
The Brute Force Method
This is the simplest way to defeat the Wolf King and is only slightly less effective than the second technique, because it relies more on luck. Get right in the Wolf King’s a face and hit him with sword beams the second he teleports into the chamber. Try to position yourself so both your blade and the beams strike him, since they seem to do more damage together. Stay crouched and focus on hitting him as much as possible. When feasible, jump over his fire breath or back away from lighting, but be sure to charge back into the fray if you get hit in order to take advantage of Sparkster’s invincibility frames (flaming slash is a good way to close gaps from knock back). Crouch walk under the boss if he jumps, then pivot and resume striking him. Smack him enough and you should win.
The Finesse Method
As stated before, you’re basically at the game’s mercy in this fight, because the Wolf King can attack relentlessly at times. With that in mind, this method is more stable than the last, but it’s not a silver bullet. Use rocket charge to jump over the boss’s head when he raises his hands to throw the orbs or rocket over his fire breath. You’ll have to be careful and control the positioning of the boss in this fight, since you ideally want him near the center of the room. Keeping the Wolf King in the middle of the room should provide you with some leeway if he decides to spam attacks. Once again, sword beams will be your go-to attack, but you may be able to sneak in a rocket charge or two. This method will make the battle draw out longer, but you will win if you keep at it.
i. Stage 9 (Hard/Crazy Hard Modes Only)
Press forward carefully and destroy any wolves you encounter with sword beams. This stage isn’t long, but take care to avoid being hit, because full life is a must for the upcoming boss fight. You will come to the boss’s lair after defeating about four wolves.
Stage 9 Boss
The final boss is a wolf head in a tube attached to the right-hand side of the room. Hit the tube with sword beams or rocket charges to damage it. This boss does not move, but will cycle through a series of attacks that are quite dangerous.
Fireballs: The boss will spawn waves of fireballs that should be destroyed with sword beams. These fireballs tend to cover most of the screen and come at random. It’s best to stay on the ground and slash away with the sword to destroy any that come your way. Sometimes there will be a gap in the fireball waves, which is a good time to get a hit in on the boss with a rocket charge or sword beam.
Bombs: The screen will shake just before a barrage of bombs drops from the ceiling. It’s best to run to the far left of the screen and stand at the very edge where bombs do not drop. Destroy any bombs that fall in front of Sparkster, because they will explode and potentially cause damage. It’s also possible to move into gaps between the bombs and stay close to the boss in order to get some hits in, but you will need to use the spin slash to destroy any incoming bombs.
Laser Beam: A laser beam will fire from the wolf’s mouth. A brief flash of light indicates that this attack is incoming and it’s best to hit the boss with a sword beam or rocket charge, droppin down the moment you see the flash.
As the battle wears on the boss’s tube will crack and his attacks will come more quickly. While his attack pattern sometimes shifts, he’ll generally attack with fireballs, bombs, then laser beams. It’s best to choose clear openings for attacks in order to take as little damage as possible, because this boss has a massive amount of life, which makes it impossible to defeat him through sheer brute force. The safest way to fight him is to use sword beams while he is performing his laser attack and when there are gaps in his fire ball barrage, but this method is also time consuming. Well timed rocket charges during his beam attacks can speed things up a bit. At any rate, whittling away at this boss and playing defensively will eventually result in victory, just be ready for a long battle.
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