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Video Game / Super Star Wars

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A long time ago, in a 16-bit system...

Super Star Wars is a series of action-platformer games based on the original Star Wars trilogy, developed for the SNES by Sculptured Software and LucasArts.

The plot of the first game closely follows A New Hope, and consists of 14 levels. The player can control Luke Skywalker (later Han Solo and Chewbacca too), from the Dune Sea of Tatooine, through the Mos Eisley Cantina up until the trench of the first Death Star. The gameplay is essentially this: Luke & Co. are gunning down various Mooks on each level, while fighting their way to the end of the level, where the boss awaits them. In a few of the levels, the player can control vehicles (Luke's speeder, much later his X-Wing); these levels feature and showcase the capabilities of the SNES' then brand new MODE-7 chip, which provides a 3D-like experience. Then the very last level is like an FPS, where the player has to defeat an endless swarm of TIE Fighters by moving a crosshair with a D-Pad and shooting wildly.

The first game came out in 1992, followed by Super Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back in 1993, and Super Star Wars: Return of the Jedi in 1994. All three games were re-released on Virtual Console in 2009, and the first one was re-released on the PlayStation 4 and PlayStation Vita in November 2015.

This game provides examples of:

  • Actionized Adaptation: Setpieces visited only briefly in the films where only dialogue scenes took place become levels full of enemies to shoot up and slice up.
  • Action Girl: Leia is a playable character in Super Jedi, and even has a handy charge attack. Slave Leia on the Sail Barge level may actually have the most powerful weapon attack in the entire series.
  • Adaptation Distillation: Some plot points from the movies were either altered or removed altogether.
  • Adaptation Expansion: Some plot points from the movies become all-out action sequences, such as Luke and Obi-Wan meeting with Han at the Mos Eisley Cantina becoming a Bar Brawl and shootout. Or Luke having to attack the Jawa Sandcrawler to rescue Artoo (rather than...y'know, buying him).
  • Adaptational Badass:
    • In Super Star Wars, Luke is a far more capable fighter than he is in the movie, gunning down lots of hostile animals and a sandcrawler full of jawas before he even meets Ben Kenobi — when he does, he immediately starts swinging a lightsaber at enemies. Also, in Super Empire, he is able to use his Force powers to defeat Darth Vader, whereas in the movie he was completely outclassed by the Sith Lord, and in Super Return of the Jedi he defeats the Emperor in combat.
    • Luke's Tantaun gets to kick more ass in the second game, unlike his movie counterpart.
    • In Super Return of the Jedi, Palpatine is far more agile and destructive than in the film. Here - he Force-Flies around the room, and his Force Lightning destroys the (steel) floor.
    • Also in Super Return of the Jedi, Jabba appears as the final boss of the Tatooine Saga, although his attacks are limited to ramming you with his throne or barfing frogs at you.
  • Adaptational Early Appearance:
    • The Sarlacc monster from Return of the Jedi appears as the first boss in Super Star Wars.
    • The Mynocks from The Empire Strikes Back become enemies in the Tatooine levels of Super Star Wars.
  • Adaptational Villainy:
    • The tractor beam becomes a boss in Super Star Wars.
    • The Jawas are morally ambiguous scavengers who claim un-owned and stray pieces of technology like, technically, the stranded droids. Here they're outright stated to be capturing the stranded droids, are hostile at first sight to Luke, and keeping an extraterrestrial monster inside the sandcrawler.
    • Oola becomes a recurring enemy in Super Jedi.
  • Adapted Out:
    • The Trash Compactor sequence was dropped from Super Star Wars (but was originally planned to be included).
    • The Sarlacc monster doesn't appear in Super Jedi as it was already in the first game, instead Jabba tries to escape in his sail barge, and the heroes stop him.
    • Location-wise, the Dune Sea is the first level of the first game. While it was mentioned once in the first film, and first appeared in Return of the Jedi.
  • Ascended Extra:
    • Womprats were mentioned once in the first film. In Super Star Wars, they are recurring enemies.
    • The Kalhar Boss Monster is the Mantellian Savrip dejarik character from the first movie, which only had seconds of screentime.
  • Bag of Spilling: Luke in Return of the Jedi starts with only a handful of his Force powers from the previous game. This was most likely for balancing purposes.
  • Base on Wheels / Bigger on the Inside: The Sandcrawler in Super Star Wars. Already a juggernaut of a machine on the outside, its a downright labyrinth once you fight your way in.
  • Boss-Only Level: The Emperor's Chamber in Return of the Jedi.
  • Bottomless Pit: Frequently on Tatooine levels, but even the Death Star has some of them.
  • Broken Aesop: Like the movie, Luke refuses to kill Vader when the Emperor commands him to. Unlike the movie, this is after slaughtering everything in his path for the past 3 games, and he then goes on to kill the Emperor himself.
  • Classic Cheat Code: All of the games have some.
  • Continuing is Painful: With the games being Nintendo Hard, this trope is not surprising. Losing a life means any health extending items and blaster upgrades are all lost.
  • Continuity Snarl: A very notable one in Super Return of the Jedi. Luke is able to defeat Darth Vader rather easily, and he goes as far as to fight the Emperor by himself (and doesn't suffer the Force Lightning torture like in the film). As Palpatine is defeated, he simply falls down the shaft. And yet, the following scene still plays out like Vader actually did throw the Emperor down the shaft, complete with him taking off the mask and saying his last words to Luke.
  • Double Jump: In the sequels, replacing the first game's Super Jump.
  • Early-Installment Weirdness: The first game has a few examples.
    • The bosses didn't have a special theme song, and their health was represented by a health bar with the boss's name on it rather than a series of dots next to "BOSS".
    • There was no Password Save, and you had to complete the game in one sitting.
    • The game over screen was also simpler, featuring a still image of Darth Vader, without any voice clips.
    • The ships and vehicles you drive in the first game spin around after taking too many hits. In the latter two games, they fall to the ground.
    • There's no Double Jump. Instead you have a Super Jump which grants you extra height, but you have to start the Super Jump while already on the ground.
    • Han and Chewie's base weapon is the Flame Thrower, while in subsequent games they begin with the Blaster.
    • Special abilities (such as Han's grenades and Chewie's Spin Attack) are not present.
    • While the first game is still difficult overall, it does have a gradual learning curve, unlike Empire and Jedi which start difficult and don't let up.
  • Everything Is Trying to Kill You: The first level, where Sandscorpions, Womprats and Mynocks harass you endlessly. Also in the Cantina level, everyone in the bar is after you, not just Greedo.
  • Game-Over Man: Each game has a different character staring you down on the Game Over screen. In the first game, it's Darth Vader. In Empire, it's Yoda. And in Jedi, it's the Emperor.
    • Yoda in particular will actually react to the player deciding to quit or continue.
      Yoda (if the player chooses to quit): That is why you fail.
      Yoda (if the player chooses to continue): Do, or do not. There is no "try".
    • While the Emperor doesn't have any vocalised reactions to the player's decision, choosing to continue will make him smile with glee, while quitting will make him scowl at you.
  • Giant Space Flea from Nowhere: The first Super Star Wars game itself has, in order, Sarlacc (which wasn't even in the movie until the sixth), "Jawenko" (an original creation), a "Mutant Womprat" (an enlarged version of a pest animal without any proper appearance in the movies), "Kalhar Boss Monster" (which only appears as a board game piece, of all things, in the movies), and the three Empire war machines in Death Star.
  • Go-Go Enslavement: Leia's infamous slave bikini is one of her outfits, worn during the fight inside Jabba's sail barge.
  • Iconic Outfit: Leia has two in Jedi: Her Boushh disguise, and the slave bikini only available on the Sail Barge level. Both are primarily melee attackers, who also have a ranged Charge Attack.
  • Infinite 1-Ups: There is one on Level 5 (Land of the Sandpeople), where there is a chasm you could fall into, and by keeping left, you get to a secret area where you can pick up 7 lives. You're forced to kill yourself after that, but you can do it over and over again up until you reach 99 lives.
  • Informed Attribute: Luke kills the Emperor without Darth Vader's help, and Vader then says Luke was right about him being good deep down despite there being no evidence of it.
  • Instant Awesome: Just Add Mecha!: Imperial Defense Droid, the boss of the Death Star Hangar Bay level.
  • King Mook:
    • The Mutant Womprat in Super Star Wars. It's also a Flunky Boss, as it's accompanied by a swarm of regular enemy womprats.
    • The Giant Wampa Creature and Giant Probe Droid in Super Empire Strikes Back.
  • The Lava Caves of New York: Not just any lava, but sand lava inside the Sandcrawler of all places! And it's even right at the end of the level for an insta-kill threat when facing the Lava Beast Jawenko.
  • Life Meter: Pictured as a lightsaber. As Game Grumps pointed out, it's depicted as a lightsaber even before Luke knows he's a Jedi, creating a bit of a continuity snarl. Ditto for Luke's Force powers.
  • Mercy Invincibility: Averted. Instead your character turns red and is pushed back when taking a hit, so falling into a crowd of enemies sometimes can have unfortunate consequences...
  • Mini-Boss: Banthas in the Land of the Banthas level in Super Star Wars.
  • Mook Promotion: In Super Empire Strikes Back, Level 7: Hoth Battle has many enemy AT-STs. One shows up as the boss of Level 12: Echo Base 3.
  • Nintendo Hard: These games are notoriously difficult, with Super Empire frequently making Top Ten Lists of the most difficult games ever.
  • No OSHA Compliance: Bottomless pits in the Death Star Hangar Bay level without railings.
  • Outrun the Fireball: The final level in Return of the Jedi follows the same scene from the movie where you have to navigate through twisting tunnels and jutting walls while trying to avoid being caught by the fireball from the explosion of the Death Star II. The attack run even impressively recreates the layout of the tunnel as seen in the films. Right down to the narrow section where the Falcon loses her radar dish (complete with a digitized Lando commenting, "That was too close!")!
  • Painfully Slow Projectile: The regular Stormtroopers shoot laser-ball things which you can avoid by running in the opposite direction, since they are moving with the exact speed your character runs.
  • Password Save: Only the second and third game.
  • Permanently Missable Content: The Force power ups in The Empire Strikes Back game. Most are found on the main path of the level they're in, but the rest are either out of the way or hidden, so it's possible to miss out on these powers if you advance to the next level. Averted in the Return of the Jedi game where Luke starts with a set of Force powers and doesn't need to find more.
  • Power Up Mount: The Tantaun in Empire, which allows you a speed boost as you ride it while shooting up enemies on Hoth's surface.
  • Recurring Boss: Darth Vader (sans his TIE) returns in both Super Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back and Super Star Wars: Return of the Jedi.
  • Respawning Enemies: Especially prevalent on the 3rd level of the first game, where even the various guns on the side on the Sandcrawler are mysteriously repaired while you were not looking.
  • Required Party Member: Of a sort. While in Super Star Wars you can select any character you want from Luke, Han, and Chewie, in Empire each level is played from a particular character. Jedi mixes the two: Every level has a Character Select screen, however which characters are available will vary (for example, the Rancor Pit can be played as Luke, Han, or Chewie, while the Shield Generator swaps out Luke for Leia). Some levels only allow you a single choice (Leia on the Sail Barge, Wicket in the Ewok Village levels, and Luke on the Death Star).
  • Sand Worm: The Sarlacc, unlike it's film counterpart, is depicted in this manner, as a gigantic worm-monster sticking out of the sand attempting to chomp down Luke while lashing out with a series of tentacles. It could be a different breed of Sarlacc from the film though.
  • Scary Scorpions: The sandscorpions in the Tatoonie levels of the first game.
  • Smashing Hallway Traps of Doom: The first game's version of the detention block hall contains instant-death crushers that fit into some pits along the floor.
  • Spectacular Spinning: Super Empire gives Chewie a recharging spin attack, which he can use to mow through enemies, which he retains in Super Jedi. The latter gives the same attack to Slave Leia.
  • Spin Attack: Performing a superjump (up+jump) or a Double Jump in the sequels with the lightsaber has Luke spinning and slashing down everything in his way. Leia does the same until she gets a blaster.
  • Stuff Blowing Up: Every boss dies with a lot of explosions, even living ones, such as the Sarlacc at the first level. Naturally, the Death Stars in the first and third game go out in grand explosions.
  • Super Title 64 Advance: Every installment always has a "Super" in the titles.
  • Timed Power-Up: Blaster upgrades are lost if you die. The health extending power-ups not only go away if you die, but they also get removed when advancing to the next level.
  • Unnecessary Combat Roll: You can perform this with Han.
  • Underground Monkey:
    • Recurs throughout the series, (IE, Mynocks recur in various colors and environments in all three games) but is particularly noticeable in Empire, where Luke has to face some of the same enemies on both Hoth and Dagobah, just as palette swaps.
    • There's one example with the player character: Leia in Super Jedi appears as three different characters:
      • She's first available as Leia Boushh in her disguise from the beginning of the film, armed with a staff which plays sort of like Luke's lightsaber, (including attacking while using the Double Jump) while also possessing a ranged charge attack.
      • During the Sail Barge level she becomes Leia Slave, wearing her iconic bikini. Like Boushh, Leia Slave is primarily melee (using her chain as a whip) with a ranged charge attack. However she's also given her own version of Chewie's Spin Attack on top of this (Slave Leia also may have the highest attack power of any character in the entire game series).
      • Finally on Endor, she becomes Leia Rebel, who plays more like Luke in Super Star Wars before acquiring his lightsaber, armed only with a blaster.
  • Villain Decay: The final battle with Vader after he decides to stop toying with Luke in Super Empire is mercilessly difficult. The boss battle against him in Super Jedi is practically a cakewalk by comparison.
  • Whip It Good: Slave Leia wields her chain like a whip during the Sail Barge level of Super Jedi.