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Video Game / Silver Surfer (1990)
aka: Silver Surfer

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Silver Surfer is an Auto Scrolling Shoot 'Em Up with Side View and Top-Down View levels, based on the comic book series. It was developed by Software Creations and released in 1990 for the Nintendo Entertainment System. It is considered one of the hardest games ever made.

You play the Surfer, shooting his way through five three-section levels. You can choose which level to play, just like Mega Man. At the end of each level, you fight a Boss Battle against a villain from the Silver Surfer comics universe, and gain one piece of a Dismantled MacGuffin, known in-game only as the "device". Once you have finished all five levels, Galactus sends you into the Magik Domain to retrieve the final piece of the device. After more shooting and a Final Boss (a giant purple guy with a huge pistol, despite the boss mugshot featuring a picture of what appears to be Mr. Sinister, who is neither a Silver Surfer villain or even actually appearing in the game beside the mugshot, and not the master of the Magik Domain either) you retrieve the final piece of the device. Galactus says "It's mine!", but the Surfer says "No, it's too dangerous" and hides it away. The end.


This videogame provides examples of:

  • A Winner Is You: You get a two sentence ending. It's an ending, but compared to the insanity that you have to go through to get it, it's more than likely not worth the trouble.
  • Adaptational Wimp: Silver Surfer himself, in the most blatant example possible; going from near-godlike powers to dying in one hit from the slightest tap from literally anything, including rubber ducks. The icing on the cake is this image of him that appears whenever the player fails a level.
  • Athletic Arena Level: Reptyl combines this with Jungle Japes.
  • Auto-Scrolling Level: It briefly stops at points till you clear the screen of enough enemies on some levels.
  • Big Boo's Haunt:
    • The magik domain, it may be an excuse plot but the game still does try and surprise you.
    • Also, Mephisto's first and second sections are filled with scary enemies.
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  • Big Fancy Castle: Mephisto's first two sections take place in a terrain similar to a haunted castle.
  • Boss Battle: At the end of every section, though they not very climatic they are still within the game's difficulty level for the most part.
  • Boss in Mook Clothing: Sometimes a regular enemy that simply takes more hits than normal will be a section boss. Though since every enemy takes more hits that you and sometimes have a tendency to fly off screen most players likely will not notice the difference.
  • Bullet Hell: Barely touches upon this even before the bullet hell genre really took off. However, it's less about the quantity of bullets (even though there are a lot) and more of the fast and abrupt nature of the bullets, giving players very little time to react to them.
  • Canon Foreigner: The purple alien Final Boss.
  • Cutscene: After the first five levels, you get some dialog about the Magik Domain.
  • Deadly Walls: If his board so much as touches anything not a power up Silver Surfer dies
  • Death Throws: Silver Surfer, most of everything else just explodes.
  • Denial of Diagonal Attack: In horizontal stages but you can shoot diagonally in vertical stages.
  • Every Bullet is a Tracer: This is the only way to tell what is a wall that will kill Silver Surfer and what he can fly over note  so keep shooting!
  • Every 10000 Points: That would be too easy apparently, so you must score 100,000 points to get an extra life.
  • Everything Trying to Kill You: Touching anything (except power ups, clear water and the air) will kill the Silver Surfer. Beware of the rubber ducks.
  • Excuse Plot: Galactus wants Silver Surfer to get six parts of a device. Forces of magik. Something something wrong hands.
  • Face–Heel Turn: Galactus, though this happens in a cutscene at the end, and you don't actually fight him.
  • Fake Difficulty: You have a huge hitbox, you can't change the direction your board is pointing, and the bullets can blend into the background.
  • Final Boss: Not that there is any real build up to it or explanation as to what it is.
  • Game Levels: Six, with three sections each, for a total of 18 distinct levels.
  • Hard Levels, Easy Bosses: The boss fights are a joke compared to the levels
  • Hitbox Dissonance: Averted. Shmups with as many obstacles as this game usually limit the player's vulnerable area to a small box in the center of the player. In this game, Silver Surfer's entire surfboard is part of his hitbox, which is especially large in the vertical sections.
  • Lethal Lava Land: This is Firelord's terrain, which combines with an Underground Level as a volcanic-like cavern for the first two sections of the area
  • Long Song, Short Scene: There's a ton of great 8-bit music in this game. The problem is that, with death so frequent, you'll inevitably only hear the first few bars on each life.
  • Shoot 'Em Up: Well, what else could do Silver Surfer justice? (not that comic fans thought it did)
  • Side View: Most of the sections are in side-scroller fashion, and the third sections will always be a side view.
  • Spikes of Doom: Also noted is that while everything kills Silver Surfer already, making spikes seem redundant, there is a section where a pumpkin can get impaled on a spike.
  • Top-Down View: At least one of the first two sections in each stage has a top-down view of the Surfer moving towards the top of the screen.
  • Underground Level: Firelord's level takes place in an underground Lethal Lava Land cave for its first two sections.
  • Unstable Equilibrium: The game gets much easier with a power up or three and some sections practically require it. If you are not good enough to get power ups and keep them, you are probably not good enough to beat the game.

Alternative Title(s): Silver Surfer