Astal was a video game released for the Sega Saturn in 1995 as an in-house production by Sega to showcase the Saturn's 2D capabilities. It takes place in a very colorful crystal world called Quartilia, which was created by the goddess Antowas.
To inhabit Quartilia, Antowas created two humanoids: from a green crystal she made Leda, a girl who can give life to things on Quartilia; and from a red crystal she made Astal, a boy whose purpose is to protect Leda. Happy with what she has created, and exhausted from the endeavor, Antowas goes to sleep.
While Antowas is asleep, however, an evil god named Jerado decides to take over Quartilia by making a warrior, Geist, to kidnap Leda. Astal, who is not amused by this, ends up cracking the bottom of the ocean while trying to save Leda. Leda is safe, but the commotion wakes up Antowas and causes her to banish Astal to one of Quartilia's moons. Oh, crap...
Leda takes pity on Astal and gives him her jewel before he gets sent to the moon. Antowas then presumably visits the underworld, confronts Jerado and defeats him and cripples his army of monsters by destroying his physical form. This effort tires her again, and she embarks on a second great slumber. While on the moon, Astal witnesses Leda being kidnapped by Geist again, and ends up leaving the moon to pursue Leda. In Jerado's abscence, Quartilia has been molded into a ravaged hellscape, broken by his monsters, now stronger than ever. Astal takes it upon himself to defeat every creature, confront Geist and his master, and defeat them. Oh, and he also ends up rescuing and meeting a bird that for some reason just won't leave him alone...
TMS Entertainment animated the cutscenes in this game.
This work contains the following tropes:
- Adam and Eve Plot: Seems that way, as Astal and Leda are the first to populate Quartilia.
- Adjective Noun Fred: The game's original Japanese title is Kisuishou Densetsu Astal ("Bright Crystal Legend Astal").
- Amazing Technicolor World: The various levels are very brightly colored.
- Background Boss: Jerado attacks the player from the background.
- Badass Baritone: Jerado is given this type of boisterous, deep, menacing and mirthful voice in the Japanese release.
- Baleful Polymorph: Leda is transformed into the bird by Geist.
- The Beastmaster: Astal is aided by a bird throughout the game. Jerado has a hurdle of varying monstrosities at his command from goblins with gem bodies and helmets, to psychedelic bird monsters that charge into Astal from time to time, tremendous insects to a beastly tree that travels about from its basal cavities and boss monsters that are required and designed to be destroyed to restore his physical form and enhance his strength after his prior defeat by Antowas.
- Big Bad: Jerado is this game's villain, whose ultimate goal is to take over the world of Quartilia.
- Big Good: Antowas, Astal, Leda and the bird. The former created the latter beings and the planet they live on, the elements that give it life and power, but to do so easily exhausts her powers, which requires her to go into extensive periods of rest. She awakes when she realizes the damage Astal unwittingly caused to Quartilia and chains him to the moon, and destroy's Jerado's physical form by sealing him in a round gemstone and shattering it. She undergoes another deep sleep and is absent for most of the game. Leda's second kidnapping results in Geist transmogrifying her into the bird making Astal's attempts to locate and rescue her much more difficult.
- Big Ol' Eyebrows: Astal has long, forked eyebrows. Geist has a slender pair of eyebrows as well.
- Blackout Basement: The level "Into the Darkness".
- Boss-Only Level: Every boss battle takes place entirely in its own separate level.
- Chained by Fashion: Astal carries broken handcuffs on his wrists after escaping from imprisonment on the moon.
- Damsel in Distress: Leda is kidnapped by Geist, and Astal has to rescue her.
- Difficulty by Region: The Japanese version of the game gives the player five HP and unlimited continues, while the North American version only gives them three HP and one continue.
- The Dragon: Geist is Jerado's minion.
- Dramatic Necklace Removal: Leda takes pity on Astal when he nearly destroys Quartilia and unbalances the environment and elemental powers, and gave him her jewel as he was about to be banished.
- Duel Boss: Astal is immobilized in the boss fight with Frostbite, forcing the bird to fight it alone.
- Dumb Muscle: Astal seems to give this vibe, seeing as he nearly tears Quartilia apart and leaves a dent in the ocean floor all to rescue Leda from Geist in the introductory sequence, unbalancing the ecological, elemental, and physical balance of the planet in the process, resulting in his banishment to the moon.
- Dummied Out: An unused sprite of Mario is hidden in the game's coding. It's likely it's just meant to be a funny little Easter egg, but still.
- Everything's Sparkly with Jewelry: Quite.
- Every Episode Ending: Whenever Astal clears a level, he does a Fist Pump and yells "Yatta!"
- Expy: Leda looks kinda like Princess Leia, doesn't she?
- Gem Tissue: Implied with Jerado's minions. This is proven with Geist as well when he is killed.
- The Goomba: The purple crystal goblin-ant-things are the first enemies to appear, and they and their Palette Swapped cousins are the most common enemies in the game.
- Glowing Gem: Leda's jewel necklace glows in the intro animation, and glows at the end of a level. The gems on Astal's hands often glow when he performs a slam.
- Ground Punch: One of Astal's attacks is a ground punch.
- High-Altitude Battle: The boss battle with Geist takes place on a platform floating in the sky.
- I Let You Win: Astal has it explained to him by Geist that every boss he fought in the game was actually a part of Jerado, and defeating them made him stronger.
- It Was with You All Along: Leda turns out to be the bird that was following Astal around.
- Killed Off for Real: Geist is given this treatment by his maker when he fails to defeat Astal.
- Life Meter: Astal's hit points are represented by fruit.
- Lethal Lava Land: "Volcanic Valley" takes place in a volcanic area.
- Logo Joke: This game's Sega logo has Astal using his breath attack on four enemies, transforming them into the letters of Sega, then doing his signature Fist Pump as the bird flies in over the right part of the logo.
- Manly Tears: Astal devolves into these as he recollects how he nearly destroyed his homeworld with his bare hands. He cannot help but shed more and the bird keeps him company as this happens in the second-to-last sliding cutscene.
- Mook Maker: The indescribable horror boss calling itself Frostbite encases Astal in crystal and spawns gem-goblins in an effort to kill the bird, who has to defeat the monster by itself to free him.
- Non-Dubbed Grunts: Astal's original in-game grunts, including his "Yatta!" upon victory and "Kuso!" upon death, were left undubbed in the English version.
- One-Word Title/Protagonist Title: Astal has Only One Name.
- Only One Name: Astal, Leda, and others do not have any last names or similar.
- The Phoenix: The Fire Guardian boss resembles a phoenix.
- Platforming Pocket Pal: The bird, once freed by Astal, can be commanded to perform various actions. The bird's movement is directly controlled by the second player in Co-Op Multiplayer, and even in single-player mode during a certain Boss Battle where Astal is trapped.
- Sacrificial Lamb: The boss demons that Astal and his avian ally encounter on their journey appear to be divided segments of Jerado's body, whom, upon their destruction, will have their power and life energy absorbed by Geist to complete an implied ritual to restore the dark god's physical form and amplify his power.
- Stationary Boss: The Forest Fiend boss does not move from its spot.
- Super Drowning Skills: Landing on a surface of liquid will send Astal flying and leave him vulnerable to damage from flying creatures. If Astal hits the water on his last life point, however...
- Super Strength: Astal can pick up trees and boulders with utmost ease and throw them at enemies.
- We Hardly Knew Ye: Before his fated encounter with Geist on a floating platform in the heavens of Quartilia, Astal stumbles across the body of a monstrous blue-skinned titan with pink nails, blonde hair, and a horse head. Geist teleports in and nonchalantly absorbs the creature's life energy thus completing the implied ritual to restore Jerado's body and bolster his strength.
- Underground Level: "Into the Darkness" and "The Crystal Palace" are both underground levels.
- You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Astal has bright red hair while Leda has brown hair. Their eyes are of a similar hue. We assume the same can be said of Antowas, but the only one whose eyes and hair color don't match is Geist, who was created by Jerado.