GBAtemp Recommends #95: Turrican II - The Final Fight

Discussion in 'GBAtemp & Scene News' started by Hadrian, Jan 22, 2014.

  1. Hadrian

    Hadrian Better than Craigslist

    Former Staff
    Oct 12, 2004
    Welcome to the 95th issue of the GBAtemp Recommends Revival Project! This is a weekly feature where we talk about some of our past favourites. Some may be famous, others have been ignored when released against larger titles but all are a worth your time.
    The Turrican series, one of my all time favourite action/shooters. There isn't a single bad entry in the five official games (Mega Turrican & Turrican III are the same game). The games were combinations of some of the best shooters going and had fantastic atmosphere and a great sci-fi tone that we just don't get. Ultimately it was a game of its time, if it was done now it'll probably look way too clean and shiny and would probably have some kind of pet mini robot dog to assist you...or like Super Turrican II which is a good game but nothing amazing and really doesn't fit in with the rest of the series.​
    It's hard to say which one is technically best in the series, they all have their merits and have enough additional elements for them to stand on their own but I prefer Turrican II, maybe as that was the one I played growing up but it feels more varied and balanced.​
    Going in the game I was expecting it to be not as good as I originally thought it was and with the first couple of levels, I was was better. I noticed things that I completely forgot about. The bleakness of the levels, the wind elements that helped and prevented you from getting to the end of the level and also how frantic it can be at times. I completely forgot how it mixed up various shooters and also how much a bitch was the side scrolling R-Type levels were!​
    Its 3025, there has been many many years of peace and everyone has been getting along with each other. Then some jerk Emperor called The Machine comes in, attacks the United Planets Ship with mean badass technology the likes the United Planets haven't come across before and they end up getting beaten to crap and peace is shattered. This really pisses of one of the Avalon 1 soldiers, a Bren Mcguire and he sets off to find this dickhead to defeat him.​
    Level design is really well made, platforms are seemingly placed not at random but in places that feel just right for the game. The five worlds are different to one another and the overall design of the parallax backgrounds, well animated sprites and nicely textured platforms and caverns fits a bleak late 70s/early 80s sci-fi setting. Also by the end you'll notice that they have ripped off the design of Aliens! But fuck it right? Personally I prefer the C64 version of the game for looks, it just has a more "dirty" look of it, and I like my sci-fi to look more dirty than clean.​
    Gameplay it's a big improvement over the first, while the run and gun elements are still there and the influence of the classic 1987 game Psycho-Nics Oscar is still shining through, there is more emphasis on platforming than before. In the first game you ran, jumped and shot your way to the end, in this game there is more exploring to do. While not as deep as exploring as Metroid, there is more to the game than just getting to the end. You also have more range in weaponry than before and many people who play this will have their own weapon of choice...and then bitch about losing it when they collect another by mistake. Taking inspiration from regular platformers there are secret rooms and hidden blocks that can help get you power ups. For the home computer owner, this was our Metroid and up until Super Metroid it was better. Once you've got to the end of each world you'll be faced against one big ass boss, like with most shooters all you have to do is find the sweet vulnerable spot and you'll be able to defeat the big bugger...well if you can dodge it and avoid the bullets.​
    The sounds are a delight. The sound effects have some cool blasty explosions noises and the odd vocal sample to add a little eeriness to the game. However its the music 1]in the game that is something special. The tunes aren't repetitive and really add to the overall theme of the 70s/80s the game has, just typing Turrican 2 in the Youtube search box will come up with many many videos that just showcase the excellent music that this game, and series has offered. I'll be honest, I do prefer the C64 version solely because of the music, while its crisper on the Amiga I'm just a sucker for the different C64 SID tunes, the Amiga music is good but I think the different music just suits the game far better.​
    Lifespan depends on the gameplay, its very easy to get into and hard to put down but some gamers may be put off by the fact that once you're dead and you have to start all over again, but those babies can always use save states. As I said, I was expecting to not enjoy this as much as I did before but I ended up liking it even more! While it is a game of its time, it is different to many console games of similar type and its very typical of the C64/Amiga etc platforming shooter but because of those reasons it still stands out well today and I recommend any fan of shooters, especially those who may want a more linear Metroid to give it a go.​
    There was a port of this to the Mega Drive however it was basically a re-branded as Universal Soldier and re-skinned...the devs screwed it over and took some of the best bits out of it but just ignore that version and grab this for either C64 or Amiga. There is a PC version but its a bit too clean for my liking.​
    If you want to submit a game, please let me know first and we'll discuss it.

    For a look at all the games we have covered, please visit our Wiki page for a complete list with links.
    EZ-Megaman likes this.
  2. RowanDDR

    RowanDDR SNES Lover

    Apr 13, 2006
    The awesome and highly evocative music by Chris Hülsbeck has been discussed, covered and remade many times. Here is a great orchestral arrangement from a 2008 concert called Symphonic Shades:

    The music absolutely colours the feelings of adventure despair and discovery as you journey through your solo battle, progressing the various levels.

    For some, like me, what made it extra awesome was the fact that it was probably the first time I'd ever heard stereo music, as my Amiga had separate stereo speakers (at a time when a mono 14" TV was the norm).


    But best of all in my opinion (spoiler...) is the music when you complete Turrican II ("Freedom"):

    p.s. Turrican Soundtrack Anthology was released recently (Nov 2013):
    It is basically all the Turrican music tracks, remade with high quality samples, but still sounding true to the originals (as I understand it). Sounds very good indeed.
  3. Foxi4

    Foxi4 On the hunt...

    pip Reporter
    Sep 13, 2009
    Gaming Grotto
    ...just came here to say that I adore Turrican's theme. Thank you. :)

    Don't mind me, I just like this version better - they're both great though! ;O;
  4. KidIce

    KidIce Smart Ass

    Dec 22, 2005
    United States
    You really missed out in Turrican 1, it seems. Many of its power-up blocks can be climbed to new areas if you don't empty/destroy them first... And I mean significant chunks of a few levels are hidden away w/ this method. A lot of those places you could see while running through a level that looked like out of reach platforms were places you jumped down to after accessing the hidden rest-of-the-level in the sky.​
    If you can't finish a Turrican (pretty much any of them) you have one of two problems. You are not exploring: there are copious extra lives and such in the not-so-obvious areas of any level, you just have to go looking for them. Ignore that timer, you have plenty of time. Or you seriously suck at video games and should quit playing them. :-p​
    Oh, and... I played Turrican and Turrican 2 on the C=64 first, and I'm quite partial to SID as well, but the Amiga music blows the C=64 music away in every way. This is not opinion, but fact. Hook both those computers up to a proper stereo, crank the volume, and you will see... Erm, hear I mean. :-) Although the C=64 version of T1 had "Hello and welcome to Turrican! Be my guest! Another day, another try, but remember: SHOOT! OR! DIE!!! HA HA HA HA HA HA HA!" and a loading track stolen from "The Transformers: The Movie" (track 7 - "Escape" on the movie sound track album).​
    Thanks for covering the Commodore hits, BTW. It's what I spent most my time on back then. And on that note, are you aware that the Amiga AGA version of Putty Squad has finally been released? And for free on System 3's own web site?​
  5. Hadrian

    Hadrian Better than Craigslist

    Former Staff
    Oct 12, 2004
    I've not really missed out, I've played that game countless of times and found all there is

    Well today's gamers may have problems but they were brought up on the 3D era, an era that calls Dark Souls "hard".

    I was going to for the Steam/XBLA/PSN/eShop remake but when I went back to it I didn't enjoy it as much as I did back then when the only full version of it was the SNES game. In fact, I don't think I enjoyed it at all, it felt too clunky. I hear the remake was pretty bad too.
  6. Nah3DS

    Nah3DS Madre de Dios! Es El POLLO DIABLO!!!

    Feb 9, 2010

    TurricaN is true Metal
    RowanDDR and Foxi4 like this.
  7. calmwaters

    calmwaters Cat's best friend

    May 27, 2013
    United States
    happy land
    I think I should try this out. I've been playing too many RPGs lately, I think. Diversity is good... :) I love the box cover for this; it's one of those types that stays with you, in a good sort of way.
  8. Cyan

    Cyan GBATemp's lurking knight

    Global Moderator
    Oct 27, 2002
    Engine room, learning
    I have the original Amiga's mod files (.mdat and .smpl) and I often listen to them in Deliplayer (only compatible player I know for that amiga sound file).

    It's a great game I played on amiga 20 years ago, I feel nostalgic about it but always had difficulty to start playing them again on Snes.
    I always stop on the first map now. I should play it seriously again one day!
    RowanDDR likes this.