Hector ’87 and Starship Hector

From May 10th until May 17th HiscoreHeroes are hosting a competition on Instagram to celebrate Hudson’s 40th anniversary! This is the main reason why my interest and also frustration has grown for this game called Hector ’87, also known as Starship Hector in the US.
hector '87 start screen

The goal is to get the best score in the 2 minute score attack mode in either the Japanese version of Hector ´87 or the NTSC NES version Starship Hector. I had the Famicom version since before, never paid much attention to this game until I saw this competition, but I decided to give it a go!

Another very important rule to the competition is that you are not allowed to use any type of turbo fire, you must button mash! So, the right button fires bombs to hit ground targets and the left button fires shots to hit flying targets. After several evenings of button mashing until my entire arm was sore I managed to reach a score of 296.000. But other people have over 350.000!! I know how I could get at least 30.000 more, but the problem is THIS BASTARD:
midboss Hector '87

I’ve tried playing the game with turbo fire just to see if he’s even mortal, and yes he is, but he takes soooo many shots! I haven’t even been able to kill him a single time without turbo fire!! The second problem is the letters.. There are hidden letters under little mud piles that you can collect by bombing with a LOT of bombs, and the last letter will give you 100.000 points! Here’s where you will find them, what the piles looks like and what it looks like when the letters are revealed:
letter1
letter2
letter3
letter4
However, the last letter is located right next to the mid-boss-bastard, so without turbo fire, even if I would be able to kill the bastard, I would have no time to collect the last letter! >_< THIS GAME IS STUPID! IT MAKES ME SO ANGRY! I don’t understand how it would be possible to do both, unless you can button-mash in an incredibly stabile and super-fast-turbo-auto-fire speed! Can you???
I sure as hell can’t… :(

After seeing photos on instagram of all the people reaching scores way above 300k I realized they were all playing the NES NTSC version, Starship Hector. This made me wonder if there were any differences between these two games. Maybe I was playing the more difficult one?? :D So, when going to the Swedish retro gaming exhibition this saturday I only had one big objective, which was to find an NTSC version of Starship Hector. AND I DID! :D
Starship Hector NES_800

That evening me and my friend NinjaBrite played Starship Hector with big hopes of reaching even higher scores . but.. it was just the same. Just as hard, same enemies, same fire rate, same speed, same ship, same damn score, same everything! >_< I give up…

If you have a copy of Hector ’87 or Starship Hector and you want to compete, then you can read more about the competition on HiscoreHeroes instagram :) I hope there will be more competitions soon, this was great fun, even though it has been incredibly frustrating o_O

Some other advice for people trying to reach the high score (cause I’ve given up..)
Don’t kill the bunkers immediately, they will keep spawning flying spike-bombs that explode, however if you manage to shoot and kill one it gives 2.000 points!
There are hidden triggers in the ground that will make everything on screen on the ground explode if you reveal and destroy the triggers with 2 bombs. (You will still get the same score as if you would have shot the enemies) I have found 4 of them and they are in these locations:
secret spot 1
secret spot 2
secret spot 3
secret spot 4

And here’s the points you get for various enemies:

letters
1st letter 10.000
2nd letter 20.000
3rd letter 50.000
4th letter 100.000
enemies-midboss
Mid-boss 20.000
enemy-mr guy
This guy 10.000
enemy-mr guy's tiny friend
Mr. Guy’s tiny friend 5.000
enemy-big amoeba
Big Amoeba 5.000
enemy-bombs
Spike-bombs 2.000
enemy-squiddy
Squiddy 2.000
enemy-angry crabhead
Angry crab-head 2.000
enemy-boss cannon
Boss Cannon 2.000
enemy-bunker
Bunkers 1.000
enemy-blue amoeba
Tiny Amoeba 1.000
enemy-ship2
Ship thingy 500
enemy-ship
Round ship 500
enemy-cannon
Cannons 500
enemy-boss head
Boss 500 points (x4 for
each bomb-thingy)
enemy-health
Health bars (if you
have full health) 500
enemy-boss shot
Boss shots 0 points :(

At least this is what I could figure out when watching my replays. Feel free to correct me or fill in if I missed something ^_^

6 thoughts on “Hector ’87 and Starship Hector

  1. Ah, I seeeeee… I gave up o that the third time I tried it back in the day and never looked back. Hmmm… keep trying, I guess. Or look up some Japanese videos and see if you can emulate the tactics. I used to be a much bigger shmup fanatic, but my blood pressure was suffering from some of those bullet-hell games I was collecting. Once I sold off a chunk of them, it got MUCH better. Of course, you’re young, so you can take that stress (except for that bastard boss!)… Try being near the bottom of the screen and jam away on those buttons or maybe use a different (arcade-style) controller? I know I made it up to him, but yeah, as your video clip shows… *BOOM!* Scream! (controller goes sailing onto the carpet)…

    • Yeah, haha, I don’t usually have the patience, unless I have something to keep trying for.. like this damn competition! It has kept me going a whole week! I would be worthless with a joystick controller.. and I also don’t have one for the NES or Famicom.. >_<

      • Hmmm… the other (and less practical) solution would be to drink a gallon of coffee mixed with Red Bull. You’ll be so wired up that you’ll be uncontrollably tapping that NES pad, beat the score and they stay up all night and into next week because of all that caffeine…

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