Characters, Monsters and items of Black Tiger.
Like all modern Capcom games, Black Tiger's sprites are exquisitely drawn and animated, not bad for 1987.
Black Tiger gave us a preview of the graphical greatness to come.
Black Tiger - The Hero of the piece, though it's not clear if his name is actually "Black Tiger" as he's neither very tanned, nor feline.
It could be a pseudonym and his real name is something embarrassing and un-heroic like Trevor Gherkin or something?
Trevor can have a variety of armor from none at all, to gold armor (above). Also, there are 5 weapon types ranging from the humble spiked ball to "the Mop".
Frozen Man - Walk up to him to unfreeze.
Will give you Zenny, Time, Vitality, Advice, Gratitude or even sell you stuff. Sometimes you even get some nice socks or a t-shirt.
Clay Pot - These can contain keys, coins, extra time or are boobytrapped with acid or worse.
Keys - Used to open chests, can be bought or found in pots.
Treasure Chest - These contain Zenny, Vitality or boobytraped with fire.
The illusive 1000 Zenny - Now you can get that gold armour you've had your eye on.
Zenny comes in a range of values from 1 to 1000 and the amount a certain creature drops can be quite random.
"Time is the fire in which we burn." ...apparently.
I've never been a fan of timers in games, but I suppose arcade games need to put a limit on dawdling.
Scattered throughout Black Tiger's levels are hidden items which can be found by attacking walls.
Hint: There is a Bambu item on the very first level to the left of where you start, hidden in the wall.
The pinwheel gives an extra life, others give you an extra vitality bar, armor, points. Collect 'em all!
Fire pillars - Often found in chests, four fire pillars flame up one at a time, when you hear the trap noise clear out.
Fire pillars also get used as enemy attacks by Witches and Bosses, different colours have different effects including Lose Direction.
Puff trap - A puff of fire from the wall, often right near a treasure chest.
Falling rock trap - The old falling rock trick, very good for removing unwanted armor.
Below is an incomplete list, in order of encounter of all the beasties in the game along with brief notes on how to deal with them.
Red Orc - The very first enemy you come across. Early on the Orcs are pretty easy to kill.
Hint: if you stand still (then attack) he wont actually walk close enough to harm you, I dont know if this is a bug or deliberate?
Blue Acid Drops - Hunch down to kill these.
Twin Bats - They like to pop out of the background when you least expect.
Giant Snake - Poisoning may occur.
Fire Demon - Has limited direction of fire.
Red Skeleton - Annoying and unprofitable.
Yellow Carnivorous Plant - Sprouts up and munches your knees.
1st Level Boss - Blockheads x2 - Take out the bottom one and both will die.
2nd Level Boss - Blockheads x4 - Daruma?
Purple Orc - Purple Orc hide is tougher than red.
Spinning Skull - Can't be destroyed. Seriously it can't, so stop trying.
Orange Mummy - Hunch down and hit them hard and fast.
Orange Skeleton - Throws his head.
Headless Orange Skeleton - Jumps around.
3rd Level Boss - Blue Dragon - If you have the right weapon he's a doddle.
Pink/Purple Witch - Pops into existence and casts flame pillars.
Brown(?) Orc - Yet another colour in the richly diverse races of Orc.
Pink Mummy - Shoots high and low so hit them hard and fast or run away.
Purple Carnivorous Plant - Contact has toxic effect.
4th Level Boss - Demon Archer - Very fast and agile, you better be good with the jump button.
5th Level Boss - Purple Samurai Dragon - Try to get him to stay put then jump+fire like mad.
Orange Orc - Orangy-red, Reddish-orange? I should've classified them based on the level.
6th Level Boss - Gold Dragon seems a bit more fired up.
Yellow Orc - The golden boy of the Orc family.
More Pink Skeletons
Ninja - Fast and jumpy but well worth the effort. Cha-ching!
7th Level Boss - Yellow/Gold Samurai Dragon, rinse repeat.
Blue Orc - New improved Blue Orc, now even tougher.
Red Acid Drops - Hunch down to kill these or get confused and lose direction in life.
Before you know it, your wife has left you and you're living in a broken down transit-van in hillbilly country.
Orange/Red Witch - Casts "lose direction" flame pillars, make sure you buy some potions.
Final Level Boss - Black Dragon
Ok now the Japanese name makes sense, but we still don't know where the "Tiger" fits in?
Like the previous two dragons, only sort of blackish with a sense of urgency.
Secret* Level Boss -
Trevor Gherkin - Gurk the Barbarian
Only found in the rare Javanese version - I hear tell he's a deceptively tough barzid who will steal your collective lunch monies.
*may contain traces of nuts.
Black Tiger sprite sheets.
There's not a lot floating around on the net, I found the following at: http://www.retrogamezone.co.uk/blacktiger.htm.
Full credits to Goemar, the original ripper. I'll try to rip some more sprites from the game myself when I learn how.
You can see just how much effort has gone into the character sprite animation in this sheet.
The death sequence above is particularly good, though not something you wanted to see too often during an actual game.
Likewise the enemy animation is just as detailed. Look at that little Orc bast'!
My mate Semps has started up his own online shop selling a large range of brandname Golf Balls. So, if you're an Aussie and into Golf give him a go. See the Just Golf Balls website.