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Video Game / Skybolt Zack

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Skybolt Zack is stylish 2D Action Game, developed by DEVS MUST DIE, published by Green Man Gaming and released for PC through Steam and Nintendo Switch on November 7th, 2019.

The game is premised around a robot army of Dr. Kaz managing to swiftly take over the Earth and even partially shatter it for good measure. The titular protagonist is taken prisoner and experimented on, and given mechanical, rocket-powered fists for some reason. However, it's still judged a failure and he is discarded - big mistake. Now, Zack gets to smash and air-dash his way through an assortment of levels up until he can finally reckon with Dr. Kaz and liberate the Earth.

Tropes present in this game:

  • Air Jousting: The larger enemies that don't outright fall apart from Zack's dash will still be staggered by it, and can thus be juggled until they get tossed offscreen.
  • Background Boss: The Final Boss is a giant mecha piloted by Dr. Kaz that spends the entire stage in the background as you are navigating through obstacles and only occasionally tries to trip you up by throwing its ranged attacks into the mix as well. Once Zack reaches it, it's actually too large to do anything to stop him as you pummel away at the cockpit in a QTE.
  • Color-Coded for Your Convenience: The enemies are always done in primary colors (yellow, blue and red) which represent the button you need to be using for the right sort of punch to power through them.
  • Cyber Cyclops: Pretty much all the robots in the game are this. The game is too zoomed-out to really notice it, but it's made apparent in the intro cutscene artwork.
  • Combos: You can keep up a combo multiplier as long you keep on dashing straight into enemies.
  • Decapitated Army: Killing Dr. Kaz instantly deactivates all of the robots everywhere.
  • Earth-Shattering Kaboom: The game begins with one as some by-product of the robot army invasion. However, the Earth actually stays cracked into many pieces that are still held in roughly the same place by gravity throughout the entire game.
  • Excuse Plot: One entirely limited to an intro and ending cutscene. A mad doctor took over the whole Earth with an army of robots, but then felt the need to outfit a random guy named Zack with power fists that could defeat all the robots, and then just dumped him like a failure. Now it's time for you to roll the invasion back!
  • Giant Mook: The first levels have bulky, heavily armored walking robots that are much larger than than the basic enemies. They don't fall apart from Zack's punches, but will eventually be tossed offscreen from his repeated pummelling. There are similarly larger and bulkier versions of the helicopter drones as well.
  • Goggles Do Nothing: Zack joins the long line of characters who only ever wear goggles on their forehead, and never actually put them on.
  • Green Hill Zone: The first set of levels is simply set within green, wooded hills.
  • Mecha-Mooks: These are Zack's only opponents up until the final boss.
  • Power Fist: Zack has two of them, courtesy of the invaders' experiments on him, which is what allows him to crush basically everything in his path as he dashes.
  • Samus Is a Girl: A villainous version: as Zack finally gets up close to Dr. Kaz's cockpit, we finally get to see inside and see it's piloted by a middle-aged woman.
  • Spikes of Doom: The earliest terrain obstacle Zack will have to navigate around. They will often extend and retract as well. However, they are not insta-kill.
  • Video Game Dashing: Zack is capable of dashing through his enemies in mid-air pretty much indefinitely, as long as he doesn't mess up the color-related button combinations.
  • Weak Turret Gun: Downplayed; Zack can bash through the turrets pretty quickly, but they are still more durable than at least the basic enemies.