Star Soldier is a deceptively simple vertically-scrolling shooter by Hudson Soft, filled with all manner of crazy hidden items, secret bonuses, and unused things.
Unused Sprite Tilemaps
A number of unused sprite tilemaps exist in the ROM, some of which hint at a slightly more ambitious game than what we ended up getting.
Unused frames for Caesar, which suggest that other powerup transformations were planned. Unfortunately, the original graphics were overwritten.
Unknown; stored immediately after the ship tilemaps. This sprite actually uses four unique tile numbers (D4, D5, E4, and E5), but their original graphics were overwritten with the copyright symbol.
Unknown; stored immediately after the ship tilemaps. Its original graphics were likely overwritten with the Sopra graphics seen here.
Unknown; stored immediately after the "S" powerup capsule. Perhaps other powerups were planned?
Unused frames for Pendo, which fit the sprite's movement pattern nicely. Probably just an oversight.
Alternate "creepy" versions.
Unused frame for Pling. Again, probably just an oversight.
Alternate "creepy" version.
Unknown enemy. Though it looks like Vita/Luke, these particular tiles are actually unused.
Swapping in the Star Brain sprite bank, we can see that it was originally a completely unique sprite! Why its graphics were replaced with duplicate Vita/Luke graphics in the main sprite bank is a mystery.
It even has an alternate "creepy" version!
An unused animation frame for Jericho. Neither of the glitched tiles are used anywhere else in the game.
Hidden ASCII Text
The game has
V4/11A stored at the beginning of the ROM.
NONTAMA. is used by the game to check for a soft or hard reset.
Two additional hidden ASCII messages exist within Star Soldier's character ROM. They appear as "corrupt" tiles in tile editors, and can only be read in a hex editor.
It's likely that the Megumi Akakura referred to here is the same MEGU that appeared in some early Hudson titles, such as Binary Land and Challenger. Note that in the Japanese version, modifying these tiles will cause the ROM to deliberately crash itself!
Unused Steria Design
Found at the end of the Star Brain sprite bank, in place of the Steria. It's probably just an old design that was never updated, since Sterias can't coexist with Star Brains anyway.
|The Star Soldier series|
|TurboGrafx-16||Super Star Soldier • Final Soldier • Soldier Blade|
|Arcade||Star Soldier: Vanishing Earth|
|Nintendo 64||Star Soldier: Vanishing Earth|
|The Caravan series|
|NES||Star Soldier (1986) • Hector 87 (1987)|
|SNES||Caravan Shooting Collection (1995)|
|TurboGrafx-16||Gunhed: Hudson Gunhed Taikai (1987) • Super Star Soldier (1990) • Soldier Blade Special: Caravan Stage (1992)|