Black Tiger (1987)
A barbarian hero jumps and fights his way through a variety of colourful, enemy-packed levels. The sprawling, eight-way scrolling, two-dimensional levels are packed with hidden bonuses to encourage and reward exploration. Though a percentage of these bonuses consist of dubious and often self-evident „advice“, most come in the form of „Zenny coins“, currency that allows the player to buy such items as an upgrade to their weapons and armour, keys for treasure chests, and anti-poisoning potions. Special items that reveal coins, upgraded armour, full vitality, extra lives, extra time, or simply bonus points may be found by attacking certain walls. The player’s vitality bar will also increase up to three times as a reward for reaching score benchmarks.
The Japanese version has a few changes that makes it more challenging than its American counterpart. Several of the „falling rock“ obstacles were added in this version. Additionally, the prices of many of the items are higher and more points are needed to increase maximum vitality. But perhaps the biggest difference is related to fighting the later bosses (the three dragons and the dual sword-wielding foes at the end of stages 5 and 7). In the American version, it is possible to duck and avoid taking damage when the bosses touch the player’s character as long as one of their projectiles does not hit him. In the Japanese version, the player is not able to do this.