* SugarWiki/AwesomeMusic: [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1tZuNvs-GC4&feature=related The dungeon theme from the first game]]
* BreatherLevel: Chapter 4 in the original, unless you were playing before the Internet exploded in popularity and were completely stumped with the final puzzle. Coming after the massive difficulty spike of Chapter 3, it is impossible to die in this part, there are no dungeons, and the bulk of the level is solving a maze. The snag is that this is the level where you need to dip a physical, real life letter in water, but nowadays, you can easily find the solution online or, in Virtual Console releases, in the digital manual.
* ContestedSequel: ''VideoGame/StarTropics II'' was about time travel rather than messing around in the tropics, and some fans of the first game didn't like the change.
* DemonicSpiders: Those freaking gas mask robot raygun alien things in the last two levels of the first game. Durable, damaging, long range attack... argh.
* EthnicScrappy: Baboo. The developers refrained from giving him a goofy accent, but appearance wise he's practically a caricature of a native islander. Fat, wild hair, grass skirt...
* FridgeLogic: If Dr. J is such a good friend to the villagers of C-Island, why is his lab on the other side of a cave full of monsters from their village?
** That cave wasn't always full of monsters. It's suggested that prior to Dr. Jones's kidnapping, it was just an ordinary cave with only tame creatures in it, and whatever kidnapped Dr. Jones also caused the monsters to appear in the cave.
* GoddamnedBats: A lot, especially in the sequel which has numerous flying enemies, enemies invulnerable to frontal attacks, and especially the damn slimes that jump diagonally.
* HilariousInHindsight: The friendly aliens' species? [[Franchise/TheElderScrolls Argonians]].
* NightmareFuel: If you get too greedy in the first treasure/potion room in the Island Tunnel, [[spoiler:you'll end up drowning in a room full of water with bones and skulls floating in it.]]
* ScrappyMechanic: The first game rather infamously has a point that you cannot pass until you enter a 3-digit code- a code that is only given to you in a letter that was attached to the game's instruction manual. ''There is no other hint in the game to tell you the code.'' These days you can just look up a walkthrough, but in the game's heyday your only options for getting further without the letter were to own the exact copy of Nintendo Power where it was given or to try every single one of the 1000 possible combinations until one works.
** Respawning with only 3 hearts and having your weapon get weaker when you're low on health is ''not'' a good combination.
* SequelDifficultyDrop: While some criticize the sequel due to the different control scheme (thanks to DamnYouMuscleMemory), there are others who find the game easier to handle for many of the same reasons.
* ShipTease: Mica tells Mike in a backwards message that she'll be thinking of him [[spoiler:just before she returns to her home planet with her people. Think she abducted Mike for their wedding?]]
* ThatOneAttack: Zoda-Y isn't particular difficult until he turns into his owl form, where his feather attack becomes an absolute nightmare to dodge (it doesn't help that it's also pushing you backwards into a nearby row of spikes at the same time ''and'' there might be bats to contend with if you haven't killed them all.) Needless to say, you'll probably be burning through most of your health potions in the BossRush on this segment alone.
** [[spoiler:Zoda-X]] at the end of the sequel's 4th chapter. You fight him on a floor that's ''solid'' conveyor belts sliding you everywhere and his primary attack is to completely circle you in four pillars of flame that deal ''massive'' damage due to the sequel's lack of MercyInvincibility.
** The Knight Rider, the boss of the first dungeon in chapter 8 of the sequel, is a major pain to fight. He moves quickly back and forth across the room while you're on a rapidly moving conveyor belt trying to shoot at him with limited range weapons.
** The Dragon, which you have to jump to hit, can fly around blanketing the room in flames, and has to be fought under a time limit.
** Chapter Three runs you through a series of five consecutive dungeons with few healing items. The longest and most difficult of these is the Ghost Village, which includes rooms of invisible enemies and several false exits to further vex the player.
** After leveling out a bit for a couple chapters following Ghost Village, the difficulty spikes once more in Chapter 7, with enemies suddenly dealing much more damage and able to hit you from a far greater range due to being equipped with ray guns and other such weaponry.
** The first dungeon of Chapter 8 in the sequel. There may be a lot of health potions, but you'll sure as hell need all of them because there's ''no'' checkpoints, and it's the home of the Knight Rider (see ThatOneBoss above.) Not to mention the section that sticks you on a fast-moving conveyor belt and forces you to speed your way through forks in the road to avoid running into giant spikes ''and'' get through fast enough before you have to take even more damage to get across expanding spiked floors.
* TheyChangedItNowItSucks: WebVideo/TheHappyVideoGameNerd makes the argument that the changes in the control scheme from ''[=StarTropics=]'' to ''Zoda's Revenge'' is one of the reasons the game is horrible (at least, in his opinion; he acknowledges in his ''Zoda's Revenge'' review that just as many people disagree with his opinion as agree with him).