Sky Kid: Classic Arcade Game Video, History & Game Play Overview
Developed and produced by Namco in 1985, Sky Kid is one of the first arcade games that permitted two people to play at the same time. This title is a 2 dimensional, scrolling shooter based game.
Junko Ozawa served as the official composer for Sky Kid. Namco later released sequels Sky Kid Deluxe in 1986, and Vs. Super Sky Kid in the same year. As Sky Kid became a big success in the arcade, many ports were developed. The Japanese based Nintendo Famicon, the Nintendo Entertainment System, Sony PlayStation and Microsoft Xbox 360 are just some of the home gaming consoles that this title has appeared on.
Game Play Overview
Set during World War I, players can play as either Blue Max or Red Baron. While piloting typical World War I period biplanes, players must complete a series of 21 levels. Your opponent has a wide range of military equipment at their disposal. During each stage, there is a specific mission. There are a preset number of screens that each stage is comprised of. There are also a predetermined number of secondary enemies that will attack.
On each level, players need to take out a major military opponent, such as an enemy base or a battle ship. Opponents will come from the land, sea and air, so players must learn how to accurately shoot at all angles.
Being hit by enemy gunfire doesn’t necessarily mean that you will lose a turn. To avoid losing a life, you have to prevent your biplane from crashing into the ground. In order to do this, you will need to use the directional keys to move your plane upward. Do this fast enough and you can recover from what would have otherwise been a fatal hit.
Two different types of opposing air based enemies will shoot at you while dropping parachutes. Commanders have a 300 point value and standard enemy biplanes are worth 100. Enemy biplanes have greater maneuvering capabilities, but commanders have the ability to bomb you from above.
Enemy hot air balloons are also a dangerous foe. Worth a total of 500 points, you can disable them by shooting either the balloon or the basket portion. Taking out one of the two sections yields 200 points.
Small enemy hot air balloons have limited firing abilities, making them more of a nuisance than anything else. You can take them out the same way as their larger compatriots.
Besides mission targets, submarines yield the most points. At 1,000 points each, these water-based foes do not attack directly. Instead, these enemies act as spies by peering above the water to gain information on your current position. Boats are only worth 200 points, but they can fire their guns at you.
On land, there are canons and tanks. Standard tanks have one gun and attack tanks have two guns. They are both worth 200 points each. Canons cannot move, but they fire high powered projectiles at players. These enemies are also valued at 200 points.
The objective of each stage is simple enough, however, large number of enemies will try to prevent you from taking out your main target. Additionally, you will need locate and carry a single bomb to your destination in order to destroy it.
The first few stages will only be made up of a few screens while later rounds will have dozens of screens. On levels where there are many screens, it will be exceedingly difficult to find the bombs that you need to complete your missions.
Sky Kid also contains a unique feature that is similar to a save point. Instead of beginning the game or the level over from the beginning when a player loses a turn, there are ‘block points’ that can be used. Players must reach these block points prior to dying in order for them to become active.
Special flags will appear time to time, usually on water. They can be collected for bonus points. Bonus points are awarded for every second that the player’s biplane stays in motion. Players also receive a level completion bonus every time that they clear a stage.
Red Baron/Blue Max – These are the names of player one and player two’s characters. You can shoot, fly and loop while operating the player biplane.
Air enemies – Enemy biplanes, bombers and hot air balloons will attack on every level of Sky Kid. They can be shot down or evaded by flying to an adjacent screen.
Land enemies – Some land foes are stationary while others can travel to pursue you. Earn points by taking all land enemies down.
Mission targets – Consisting of battle ships, aircraft carriers and enemy bases, all mission targets have to be eliminated in order to move on in Sky Kid.
Sea enemies – Sea-based enemies generally aren’t much of a threat, but they should still be fired upon on sight.
How to Play Sky Kid
In Sky Kid, players shoot down land, air and sea based enemies while en route to a mission target. Prior to arriving at the mission target, a hidden bomb needs to be located. This bomb will later be used to eliminate the enemy base, air ship or air craft carrier.
While this premise seems simple enough, the fact that every stage in Sky Kid can be made up of as many as 70 screens will make this task seemingly impossible at times.
When a level has been completed, players are given a status report that records the number of enemies on the land and the air that have been eliminated as well as the total number of mission targets that have been decimated. This process will repeat until the players have reached the end of the 22nd stage.
This stage has only eight screens. There are 10 air enemies and 10 land based foes. There is also one block point where players that have been killed can restart the level from. The mission target is an enemy base.
Level two is a little harder to complete with 15 screens, but there are also three block points. Your mission target on this stage is a battle ship. You will need to fight 32 opponents in the air and 25 on land.
Stage three features 52 opponents in the air, 43 on land and a single enemy base mission target. The board is 22 screens long and there are three block points.
This is the first stage where you will have to eliminate two mission targets. Two aircraft carriers will appear at different points of this level. There are 24 screens on this level, 60 air-based opponents and 30 on land.
Level five also has two mission targets. It may take you awhile to fly through all 24 screens, but there will be fairly few enemies to defeat. In total, 45 enemies on land and 3 in the air will attack you. Thankfully, there are also three block points for you to restart if necessary.
This board is a little shorter at 16 screens, and there will only be one mission target to eliminate. Do battle with the 20 air-based enemies and 25 land foes in order to progress to the next level.
There are two enemy bases that have to be bombed. You will also have 24 screens to navigate through. There are 33 air and 25 land-based opponents.
There is special flag that you can easily pick up by keeping an eye out for the Statute of Liberty. If you need to, you can utilize one of the three block points on level eight. Additionally, there are 24 screens, 23 land enemies and 50 flying foes.
Stage nine is a little harder to complete even though it only has 23 screens. There will be a single mission target. A total of 42 air enemies and 25 land-based opponents will attempt to stop you from completing your mission.
With 30 screens to navigate, you will probably be on this stage for a long time. In addition, you will need to bomb three aircraft carriers. There are four block points on this level. While you are on your mission, 41 enemies in the air and 45 on the ground will launch attacks.
Level 11 is very short, with just 15 screens to fly through. Eliminate five enemies on the ground and 30 in the air in order to get to the mission target.
Your targets on this stage will consist of two factories. Your most difficult enemies will be eight small and standard sized enemy hot air balloons. Four block points will be scattered throughout level 12, giving you several opportunities to complete your mission if you are inadvertently defeated. Take out the 55 air enemies and 45 opponents on land in order to get a perfect score.
This is another lengthy stage that contains a total of 30 screens. You will need to fight 55 enemies on land and 50 in the air while you pursue the factory mission target.
For most, this stage is the easiest one to complete in Sky Kid. You will only need to pick up the bomb and navigate five screens in order to make it to your mission target, which is an enemy base. There aren’t any other foes to worry about.
On stage 15, players get access to the mission target bomb very early on. There will be 16 enemies on the ground as well as 32 in the air. Your ultimate goal will be reaching the single enemy base.
Three enemy bases must be individually bombed on stage 16. In total, 40 members of the Green Crow army will attack from land, and 60 will hunt you down in the air.
There will be a great deal of air-based opponents attacking you from the air on this level. In addition to 70 air enemies, there will be 30 opponents on the ground. You will also have to bomb two enemy bases. This stage contains 30 screens.
Battle 45 air foes and 30 on the ground across 31 screens as you make your way to the single enemy factory.
Stage 19 is a staggering 70 screens long. There are also 99 air and 99 land-based opponents. Players will be navigating their biplanes across all types of terrain, all the while bombing the three enemy bases found here. Get prepared for a trying and lengthy battle.
You may need to use one or more of the four block points on level 20 because there will be more than 120 opponents coming after you. There will be 60 on the ground and 60 in the air. Players also have two enemy bases that have to be blown up.
The final level in Sky Kid isn’t the hardest, but it does require a lot of skill. A huge air based mission target, named the Sky Kid Successor will appear after you have taken care of the majority of the 50 opponents in the air and 40 on the ground.
This mission target will actually come onto the screen well before you have an opportunity to collect the mission target bomb. Do not try to pursue the Sky Kid Successor. After the mission target has been destroyed, the game will end.
Hints and Tips
- Use the loop action if you think that you will not be able to evade an enemy or its bullets. Looping will cause the player’s biplane to fly in a perfect circle, and continue on in the same direction that it was previously flying in.
- Collecting the bomb that you need to take out each mission target is the hardest part of each stage. Make retrieving the bomb a top priority. Players cannot go to the next level until they have bombed all of their mission targets.
We hope you enjoyed the video and the information shared on this classic arcade game.
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