Comment of JV, french video game magazine, about the game in the Blizzard special issue.
A Cinematic Platform Game
from 1994, developed by Blizzard Entertainment
and published by Interplay Entertainment
, for the SNES
(later ported to the 32X
, and Game Boy Advance
). The gameplay is very similar to Prince of Persia
; the main differences are that combat is done with guns and bombs instead of swords, and there is an item inventory system (some levels require the use of these items to make progress).
The game begins with player character Kyle Vlaros (Also known as Blackthorne) being teleported from Earth to the world of Tuul by a magician called Galadril, who tells Blackthorne that he is the heir to the throne of the kingdom of Androth. However, Androth has been conquered by Ka'dra'suul, and it is up to Blackthorne to free the Androthi and defeat Ka'dra'suul.
This game contains examples of:
- Action Bomb: There are the spider-like walking bomb enemies, and there are also the "remote wasps" (flying bombs that you can control).
- Adaptation Expansion: The 32x version have one stage more, the Slippy-Slidey Ice World.
- Ambidextrous Sprite: Even though the left/right sprite is a mirror image, there is animation between the two directions, including adjusting the position of the weapon among the two hands.
- Authority Equals Asskicking: There's Blackthorne himself, and also the Final Boss (actually, the only boss) is Sarlac, the ruler of Ka'dra'suul.
- Bag of Spilling: You begin each level with a fixed selection of items, regardless of what items you had at the end of the previous level. This might have been done to allow for the password-based save system to use only four-characters-long passwords.
- Bloodless Carnage: Used in the SNES version. The PC version kept the blood.
- The Cameo: The Lost Vikings in The Forest of Onehand◊ only in 32X version.
- Cave Behind the Falls: Parts of levels in the first area (the mines) are located through doorways that are behind waterfalls.
- Changeling Fantasy
- Combat Tentacles: The "eekers" have them.
- Evil Laugh: The grag'ohr that you encounter earlier will laugh at you after shooting you, which gives you a chance to shoot them. Later ones don't do that, making them more difficult. The whar'orks also give you one if you try to shoot them.
- Friendly Fireproof: Both averted and played straight. You can shoot most friendly humans, unless they engage in combat (where they make for good shields) or have an upgrade for your gun.
- Idle Animation: Two of them.
- If Blackthorne has the gun out, he'll reload it.
- If not, he'll clean his sunglasses.
- Immune to Bullets: You need an explosive to take out a whar'ork.
- Infinite Ammo: You can't run out of bullets/shells. The amount of bombs, however, is limited (they occupy slots in your item inventory).
- Man-Eating Plant: The "eeker" enemies.
- Market-Based Title: It was called Blackhawk in some European countries.
- Not the Fall That Kills You: Unlike in Prince of Persia, you can grab a ledge no matter how far you've already fallen.
- Not Using the Z Word: The grag'ohr are basically orcs (they even resemble those from Warcraft, which was released the same year).
- Offhand Backhand: Blackthorne can shoot backwards. Doing so isn't useful, but it sure is cool.
- It actually can have a fair bit of use, especially in the later game. Running past enemies while they're in cover and forcing them to turn around before firing gives you a window to shoot them first. Of course, turning around also takes *you* time. Running past an enemy and putting a no-look explosive round into his face as he turns around can be almost necessary, but never anything short of awesome.
- Our Orcs Are Different: They are called grag'ohr and come in all colors of the rainbow.
- Password Save
- Punctuation Shaker: The Empire is called "Ka'dra'suul", and there are two types of enemies called "grag'ohr" and "whar'ork".
- Sequel Hook: The ending shows a single grag'ohr being teleported to the same place on Earth where Blackthorne was teleported away from in the opening cutscene, and then the grag'ohr laughs. However, no sequel has been made.
- Part of Blizzard's April Fools 2010 was said sequel.
- Sleeves Are for Wimps: Blackthorne.
- Updated Re-release: The 32X version has updated graphics and a new area.
- Video Game Cruelty Potential: You can shoot and kill the slaves and prisoners you're supposed to be saving. They'll drop any gear they would have given you, so you can't make the game Unwinnable this way. This was removed in the SNES version.
- Whip It Good: The whar'orks are armed with whips, presumably because they're slave-drivers.