Blaster Master was released in June of 1988 for Nintendo Entertainment System. It's a localization of the Japanese game Meta Fight, and was so popular here that it overshadowed the other series. The game is famous for it's inherent difficulty and lack of save points or a password system. It was supposed to have an Arcade version (hence "Authentic Arcade Edition!" appearing on the box art), but was cancelled because a skilled player could play for a very long time on a single quarter.
Changes from Meta Fight include the complete changeover of an opening and closing cinematic, the removal of Jennifer, and an entirely new storyline. Metal Attacker's name changed to the now-familiar "Sophia the 3rd, NORA MA-01".
Young, 19-year-old Jason chases his pet frog Fred outside, where the amphibian is exposed to a large amount of radiation, grows to monstrous size, and escapes down a hole in the ground. Jason follows him down, where he finds a tank called Sophia 3rd. Equipping the high-tech space suit and a Gun, he uses the vehicle to pursue his pet through eight areas swarming with radioactive mutants and hostile machines. Eventually, after traveling through 8 interconnected stages and the various chambers within, he encounters the leader of the mutants, the Plutonium Boss, and defeats him.
Though the next game released was Blaster Master 2, Blaster Master: Enemy Below proceeds chronologically. Blaster Master: Overdrive is a reimagining, though certain details of its plot suggest that it may be a prequel.
Blaster Master has two modes of play. One where Jason is piloting Sophia 3rd through the winding tunnels of the underworld, and another where Jason must venture into smaller chambers to find items and take out the bosses of each area. Both the tank and Jason have eight Power bars, which represent health. These bars can be reduced to 0 before a life is lost, but one more hit will be the last.
Sophia 3rd is more than capable to handle the dangers of the underworld. It's a tough tank, able to withstand plenty of damage, and agile enough to make most platforming easy. However, the tank cannot swim without a Dive Module, though it can still jump.
When in the tank, Jason is completely immune to harm; indeed, his health meter will be instantly restored should he enter the tank. However, Jason is terribly vulnerable outside the tank and most enemies will deal serious damage to him. Falls are equally dangerous, and Jason can't handle a long fall. Jason's gun is reduced to a simple peashooter regardless of his current Gun level and he should avoid a fight at all costs. One early advantage Jason has over Sophia is the ability to swim; whereas Sophia sinks like a rock, Jason is rather buoyant and can even fire while swimming.
Once the Hover Module has been attached, Sophia 3rd will be able to hover, rapidly consuming the bars of a Hover meter.
In the overhead view inside gate chambers, Jason can move in any of the eight directions. He can toss Grenades; his throw distance is very short while still, but moving in a direction increases the range a little. The grenades are much more powerful than the standard gun and can be thrown rapidly. Unlike in the sidescrolling mode, Jason cannot swim and will lose a life if he falls in water or lava.
Jason's Gun can be upgraded considerably; it has eight bars, much like his Power bar, and collecting Gun Spheres increase the level. Jason will lose a level of Gun power if he's hit.
Jason can collect a number of powerups for both Sophia 3rd and himself. Collecting Capsules recovers the Power bar, Hover bar, grants Gun upgrades, and increases secondary weapon usages.
|Blaster Master Series|
|Games||Meta Fight · Blaster Master · Boy · 2 · Enemy Below · Blasting Again · Overdrive|
|Media||Worlds of Power · Comic|
|Companies||Sunsoft · Aicom · Software Creations · Crave Entertainment|
|Areas||1 · 2 · 3 · 4 · 5 · 6 · 7 · 8|
|Upgrades||Hyper · Crusher · Hover · Key · Dive · Wall1 · Wall2|
|Subweapons||Gun · Grenade · Homing Missile · Multi-Warhead Missile · Thunder Break|
|Bosses||Mother Brain · Crabullus · Photophage · Fred · Hard Shell · Frozen Crabullus · Enhanced Fred · Plutonium Boss · Underworld Lord|