ⓘ Twinkle Star Sprites is a 1996 competitive scrolling shooter arcade game originally created by ADK. It was ADKs last production for the Neo-Geo platform. The ga ..

Twinkle Star Sprites

ⓘ Twinkle Star Sprites

Twinkle Star Sprites is a 1996 competitive scrolling shooter arcade game originally created by ADK. It was ADKs last production for the Neo-Geo platform. The gameplay, which can be characterized as a combination of a fixed shooter and a versus puzzle game, uses combinations of shots, as well as timed power-ups to attempt to damage the opponent. These attacks also serve as counters to the opponents attack.


1. Gameplay

There are two types of standard attacks: a normal shot and a charge-up shot. Each character starts with two bombs which enables him/her in the event of desperate plight, to clean with the screen while briefly acquiring a state of invincibility. The two players playfields are separated by a vertical bar, each one having its own independent of the other. Series of enemies arrive from the top of the screen. The player is to successfully destroy them in chains combos, which will send one or more fireball projectiles to the screen of his/her opponent Normal Attack. Shooting at Normal Attacks several times reflects them back as glowing Reverse Attacks. If Reverse Attacks are reflected again, a number of powerful counterattacks in the shape of one or more indestructible enemies appear Extra Attack. Reflecting many Reverse Attacks at once can instead summon a Boss Attack.

  • The match is over when either player loses all his/her life points.
  • If a round lasts longer than 100 seconds or the player does not fire a shot for more than 30 seconds, a Death enemy appears. If a player is hit by this enemy, he/she will lose immediately Death Attack. The Death can be destroyed as any other enemy, but always comes back, harder to kill. Additionally, if a player is successful in volleying the "death" character over to his/her opponents side, and the death character touches the opponent, the opponent dies instantly. This is a possible, though difficult, way to win. This, of course, would require the player to be skilled enough to avoid obstacles and not fire for more than 30 seconds.
  • The Extra Attacks and the Boss Attack vary from one character to another.
  • When a player takes damage, his/her opponent recovers life points equal to half of the damage taken.
  • 30–40 seconds into a round, a blue orb appears among a chain of enemies. If this orb is destroyed in a chain, the player achieves Fever status for the next several seconds. Chains created during Fever generate faster and more plentiful Normal Attacks per enemy destroyed, which can prove to be very dangerous to the opponent if large chains are made.
  • Both players are given five life points at the start of a round.
  • Getting hit by a Normal Attack, Reverse Attack, Extra Attack or the projectiles from a Boss cost 3 life points.
  • Colliding into an enemy costs 1 life point, but the player cannot be killed this way; if a player has one life point left, he/she will be left with one half of a life point. When this happens, his/her character is stunned for a short while and is reduced in speed and attack power for several seconds after recovery, all the while left more vulnerable to opponent attacks.
  • The power gauge fills as the player destroys enemies up to three levels. By holding down the fire button and releasing when a certain level is reached, the player can launch a character-specific charge shot to assist the player in clearing enemies from his/her screen. At Level 1, the charge shot is launched. At Level 2, the charge shot and three Extra Attacks against the opponent are launched. At Level 3 Max Level, the charge shot and a Boss Attack are launched. Firing charge shots at Level 2 and above will decrease the power gauge.

2. Ports and related releases

While Twinkle Star Sprites was initially published as an arcade game by SNK for the Neo Geo platform, SNK later ported it to the Neo-Geo AES home console on January 31, 1997, and the Neo-Geo CD on February 21, 1997. On December 7, 1997, ADK developed and published an updated version of it to the Sega Saturn, featuring an anime-style intro, tweaked gameplay, a new character and a bonus Fan Disc full of extra materials. After SNK ended up buying ADKs intellectual properties, SNK released another enhanced version of Twinkle Star Sprites for the Sega Dreamcast on March 23, 2000. To pay tribute to ADK, SNK included the Neo-Geo version along with four of ADKs other notable Neo-Geo titles in the compilation ADK Damashii, which was released for the PlayStation 2 exclusively in Japan on December 8, 2008. Twinkle Star Sprites later became available on the subscription service GameTap. It was released on the Wii Virtual Console for Japan on August 9, 2011.

A port developed by DotEmu for Microsoft Windows, OS X, Linux and asm.js was released as part of the Humble NEOGEO 25th Anniversary Bundle on December 8, 2015. It was released on Steam on May 26, 2016; and on on May 30, 2017.

Pony Canyon / Scitron released a limited-edition soundtrack album for this game on February 21, 1997.


3. Sequel

Twinkle Star Sprites - La Petite Princesse ティンクルスタースプライツ ~La Petite Princesse~ is a 2005 sequel to Twinkle Star Sprites originally created by SNK. At E3 2005, it was shown at the SNK Booth. It is an enhanced re-vamp of the Neo-Geo title featuring fully 3D environments and a host of new characters. Clearing the game opens up a perfectly emulated version of the original Neo-Geo title. There was a possibility that it would be released in North America, but after some consideration, at E3 2006, Ben Herman, president of SNK Playmore USA, stated that the game will not be published in North America The decision was that it will not be marketable for the North American audience. The sequel was released exclusively in Japan for the PlayStation 2 on July 28, 2005, and was re-released for the same platform on November 22, 2006, with the green-label SNK Best Collection added to the front cover. Content remains the same as the original print.

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