I recently bought this amazing shooter from FredJ, it’s called Twinkle Tale for Sega Mega Drive! It was released exclusively in Japan in 1992, developed by Zap Corporation and published by WAS (Wonder Amusement Studio). I’ve never heard of any one of these two, but they sure did a great job with this game!
Twinkle Tale is an overhead shmup, but it’s different since your character is walking around on the ground and you can walk in all directions. There are chests to open, narrow paths to follow and different roads to choose from (they all lead to the same end though). At first glance it looks like a fantasy RPG (and you all know how fond I am of RPG’s… >_<) but when you start shooting, feeling the fluent controls and experiencing the amazing graphics and sprites it all changes and you can’t do anything but love this game! ^_^
You can set the game to various difficult levels, I started on normal, but it was still pretty difficult.. The controls are pretty simple. You have a magic attack which is limited unless you pick up power-ups for it, but 3 is the maximum you can carry. You shoot with the B button and you can change between 3 various shots with C.
The first shot is straight forward and powerful, the second one spreads wider and is a bit less powerful, the third shot is a homing shot that aims directly towards any enemies but is pretty weak. This third one is the one I ended up using mostly during the stages since it took out all the smaller foes and medium foes quickly, but on the bosses I preferred the strong shot. You can level up all your shots to a maximum of lvl 3. If you get hit you loose one lvl of the shot you have equipped. You will quickly find power-ups though, since there are a lot of chests and stuff that carry items in all the stages.
You have three life bars, once you get hit three times it’s Game Over. However you have a couple of credits. You will encounter mobs of enemies coming at you, goblins throwing sticks, bats, mages, giant stone golems, skeletons, gargoyles and various other creatures. The enemies are very varied and well made and you encounter new ones on each stage.
I made it as far as to the second boss on my first couple of credits. I made a few stupid mistakes, like walking right up the path where the boss would come from, thinking that was the way out, and he killed me instantly >_< I bet my second attempt will go much better! I just had to stop to write about it first ^_^ I also took some picture from the manual. It looks like it’s torn all around the edges but that “rip” is actually printed on the paper, I guess to make it look old?
This game is pretty rare, and it wasn’t cheap, but I’m really happy I bought it. It’s an awesome addition to my collection and it has great replay value! I will continue my attempt to advance past the second boss after this post ;D