Posted on August 27th, 2009 2 comments
One of the two games that inspired SonSon II, which I covered last week. Yep, again.
For a 1987 arcade game, this one has a great deal of RPG elements. The setting is pure, hard, manly fantasy, with you bashing up enemies and opening treasure chests and all of those stereotypically RPG-y things. You can also buy weapons, armor and medicine at shops, something that it seemed like every video game in 1987 fell over themselves to implement somehow.
Remarkably, Black Dragon (the Japanese name for Black Tiger) and Sega’s Wonder Boy in Monster Land hit Japanese arcades on the same month, sharing a lot of the same RPG/action fusion elements. Sega’s game is a fair bit cutesier than this one, though, the game that served as the foundation for later titles like Magic Sword and the D&D series.
SonSon featured a few hidden characters, but Black Tiger is packed to the gills with ‘em — cows, Yashichi (and its cousin Sakichi), “Pow,” bamboo sprouts, barrels, dragonflies, the main character from Sidearms, and so on and so on and so on. There’s also a hidden octopus, which (rare for Capcom titles) made an appearance in this game and this game only. See if you can find it in the videos!
The music of Black Tiger is another Tamayo Kawamoto work — a very interesting soundtrack, one that takes a common theme and produces variations on it as you go through the levels. Very movie-like for 1987.