Keith Courage in Alpha Zones (TG16)

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Keith Courage in Alpha Zones
Keith Courage in Alpha Zones - TG16.jpg
Platform: TG16
Year: 1988
Developer: Advance Communication Company

Keith Courage in Alpha Zones is an action-platformer game developed by Advance Communication and published by Hudson in Japan and NEC in North America. The game was released as a pack-in title for the TurboGrafx-16.

In the game, you play as the titular character. A giant meteor has struck the earth, and inside are what are known as the B.A.D. (Beastly Alien Dudes). It is up to Keith Courage to defeat the aliens and save the world.

The Japanese version of the game is based on the anime Mashin Eiyuuden Wataru. In this version, the player takes control of Wataru, and must restore peace to Mt. Sokai. The Japanese version's manual doesn't give any more detail to the story.

The game is a straightforward platformer. There are 7 stages, each with two sections; the town and the battle stages. In the towns, you are Wataru and must kill enemies, some of which drop money, in which you purchase weapon upgrades. When you use the rainbow teleporter at the end of the town, you change into the Nova Suit and are now Ryujinmaru in the battle stage. These are much tougher, as there are larger and stronger foes than what are found in the towns. At the end of each battle stage is a boss you must defeat to continue the game.

Like many other action games by the same developer, the game received mostly negative reviews from gamers and critics alike. However, like ACC's other action games, the game offers infinite continues.

Screenshots

Keith Courage in Alpha Zones - TG16 - Title Screen.png

The game's title screen.

Keith Courage in Alpha Zones - TG16 - Gameplay 1.png

Attacking an enemy in the town.

Keith Courage in Alpha Zones - TG16 - Gameplay 2.png

The weapons master can upgrade your weapons for the battle stages.

Keith Courage in Alpha Zones - TG16 - Gameplay 3.png

Getting into the Nova Suit for the battle stage.

Keith Courage in Alpha Zones - TG16 - Gameplay 4.png

Fighting an enemy in the battle stage called a Guerilla.

Keith Courage in Alpha Zones - TG16 - Gameplay 5.png

Fighting the first boss.

Music

The game's soundtrack contains 18 songs; some of which are jingles. There are two themes for the towns and battle stages, so it can take some time before they get annoying. The shops have a theme, as well as the bosses. The instrument design is a bit on the scratchy side though. Similar to some of ACC's NES games, the music is tuned a microtone sharp. It is also interesting to note that the frequency table in the game's sound driver is exactly the same of that of J.J. & Jeff (TG16), so it's possible Hudson gave them the frequency table to use in their sound engine. This same frequency table was used in some of ACC's NES games. However, this is the only version of the driver to use the frequency table.

Interestingly, the ending music is an arrangement of the Japanese anime's opening song, Step by the band a.chi-a.chi. The North American release actually keeps this song, and doesn't change it to something else.

The music was most likely written in 6502 assembly, as Michiharu said this was how he wrote music for the NES.

Recording

# Title ComposerArranger Length Listen Download
01 Title Michiharu Hasuya, Osamu KasaiMichiharu Hasuya, Osamu Kasai 0:12
Download
02 House Michiharu Hasuya, Osamu KasaiMichiharu Hasuya, Osamu Kasai 0:29
Download
03 Hospital Michiharu Hasuya, Osamu KasaiMichiharu Hasuya, Osamu Kasai 1:25
Download
04 Rainbow Michiharu Hasuya, Osamu KasaiMichiharu Hasuya, Osamu Kasai 0:18
Download
05 Town 1 Michiharu Hasuya, Osamu KasaiMichiharu Hasuya, Osamu Kasai 1:26
Download
06 Battle Stage 1 Michiharu Hasuya, Osamu KasaiMichiharu Hasuya, Osamu Kasai 2:10
Download
07 Town 2 Michiharu Hasuya, Osamu KasaiMichiharu Hasuya, Osamu Kasai 3:22
Download
08 Battle Stage 2 Michiharu Hasuya, Osamu KasaiMichiharu Hasuya, Osamu Kasai 3:20
Download
09 Nova Suit Michiharu Hasuya, Osamu KasaiMichiharu Hasuya, Osamu Kasai 0:03
Download
10 Boss Michiharu Hasuya, Osamu KasaiMichiharu Hasuya, Osamu Kasai 1:40
Download
11 Stage Clear Michiharu Hasuya, Osamu KasaiMichiharu Hasuya, Osamu Kasai 0:05
Download
12 Event 1 Michiharu Hasuya, Osamu KasaiMichiharu Hasuya, Osamu Kasai 0:02
Download
13 Event 2 Michiharu Hasuya, Osamu KasaiMichiharu Hasuya, Osamu Kasai 0:02
Download
14 Event 3 Michiharu Hasuya, Osamu KasaiMichiharu Hasuya, Osamu Kasai 0:03
Download
15 Event 4 Michiharu Hasuya, Osamu KasaiMichiharu Hasuya, Osamu Kasai 0:03
Download
16 Event 5 Michiharu Hasuya, Osamu KasaiMichiharu Hasuya, Osamu Kasai 0:04
Download
17 Game Over Michiharu Hasuya, Osamu KasaiMichiharu Hasuya, Osamu Kasai 0:04
Download
18 Ending Hitomi TachibanaMichiharu Hasuya, Osamu Kasai 2:30
Download

Credits

  • Ripper: sherpa (VGZ)
  • Recorder: Doommaster1994
  • Game Credits:
    • さうんど (Sound): Michiharu Hasuya credited as さうんどもにた いちごう (Sound Monitor No. 1)
    • さうんど (Sound): Osamu Kasai credited as さうんどもにた にごう (Sound Monitor No. 2)
    • さうんど (Sound): Masaaki Harada credited as えふぇくたー (Effector)
    • Not Credited Composer: Hitomi Tachibana

(Source)

When you beat the USA version, you are treated to an epilogue. However, the game stops at the ending screen, and there are no credits. However, the original Japanese release does have credits. However, this was the only ACC game for the platform that used aliases, so it's possible Hudson made the developers use aliases. We have deducted Michiharu Hasuya and Osamu Kasai as the composers, while Masaaki Harada did the sound effects. Most of the soundtrack resembles Hasuya's style. Also, in all other ACC games that credit the three composers, Hasuya is listed first, Kasai second, and Harada third.

The title music sounds similar to the title music from Combat (NES), a game that only Hasuya composed. The Town 2 music sounds a lot like one of the overworld themes in Last Armageddon (FC), a game that credits Hasuya, Kasai, Harada, and another composer. The Town 1 music has a similar style to the NES/FC games Kasai and Harada worked on, so it's most likely they wrote it.

The composers should be contacted to verify their positions.


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Releases

  Japan.svg   Japan
Mashin Eiyuuden Wataru - PCE.jpg
Title: 魔神英雄伝ワタル (Demon God Hero Wataru)
Platform: PCE
Released: 1988-08-30
Publisher: Hudson Soft
  USA.svg   USA
Keith Courage in Alpha Zones - TG16.jpg
Title: Keith Courage in Alpha Zones
Platform: NES
Released: 1989-??-??
Publisher: NEC