Shock Troopers (ショックトルーパーズ) is an arcade game developed by Saurus. Gameplay involves taking command of one or three commandos in an 8-way shooter through 6 stages of opposing forces, weaponry, and power-ups.
The Bloody Scorpions have kidnapped a scientist and his granddaughter in order to gain the powerful drug, Alpha-301, which converts normal people into unbeatable superhuman soldiers. A special team must fight through their ranks in order to get to their leader and save the scientist's granddaughter and the world. The game received a semi-sequel in Shock Troopers: 2nd Squad. There is also believed to be a third game which became vaporware.
At the beginning of each session, players choose whether to go through the game in one of two modes, "Lonely Wolf" or "Team Battle". In "Lonely Wolf", you control one character throughout the game, while "Team Battle" lets you pick a band of three soldiers through their missions, switching between them on-the-fly. Choosing to go it alone gives you a higher starting life total, while proceeding as a team will give you a wider variety of special weapons as well as a higher starting total (ten for each of your three characters instead of twenty for one).
Each character has their own virtues over other selections. Some might start with higher life totals, while others could move faster. Regardless of your choice, the soldiers each possess a unique special weapon or "bomb", which varies in distance and range.
Controls consist of an 8-way joystick and four buttons. Players move in eight directions with the joystick and fire, dodge, use their special weapon, and switch characters with the A, B, C, and D buttons, respectively.
Players must progress through 6 stages, fighting against other soldiers, bosses, and finally, Commander. Your weapons can be fired in all 8 directions, but you can also strafe by holding down the fire button. Attacking within close range of an enemy will yield items, including point bonuses, weapon power-ups, and life. Enemy fire can be avoided with the dodge button. In "Team Battle" mode, you can cycle through your three selected soldiers, allowing you to utilize the traits and special weapons of each.
- Template:Country data USA Jackal - Special Weapon: Grenade
- Template:Country data France Milky - Special Weapon: Napalm
- Template:Country data Norway Loki - Special Weapon: Explosive Shell
- Template:Country data Australia Southern Cross - Special Weapon: Exploding Boomerang
- Template:Country data Russia Marie Bee - Special Weapon: Rocket Launcher
- Template:Country data Brazil Rio - Special Weapon: Exploding Arrow
- Template:Country data Japan Maru - Special Weapon: Gas Grenade
- Template:Country data Canada Big Mama - Special Weapon: Grenade Launcher
At the beginning of the game, you can choose to travel through the Mountain, Jungle, or Valley route. Halfway through the game, you can choose to switch to a different route or stay on your current path. Who you pick and what path you choose will determine how much life bonus you receive at the beginning of each level.
Each stage consists of standard "run and gun" tactics interspersed with boss battles (both in the middle and at the end of each stage). Until the very end, where you battle Commander, the leader of the Bloody Scorpions atop an aircraft.
There was a second game titled Shock Troopers: 2nd Squad. It is considered to be a standalone title since the plot has no connection with the first game.
The gameplay system has been drastically changed because only 4 characters are selectable and the team mode from the first game is not featured in this. Also, the graphics has a more cartoon-feel to it and the sprites are a combination of 2D and 3D, although the game is completely in 2D since the 3D graphics are pre-rendered. There is also the ability to ride some vehicles, as in the Metal Slug games.
The follow-up is more violent than its predecessor because the enemies die in unique ways despite their cartoon-like appearance.
A third title in the series, Shock Troopers 3, was also planned but never released.
PlayStation 2 and PSP Re-Release of Shock Troopers
This game was re-released by SNK in North America through SNK Arcade Classics Vol. 1. However there are minor differences of the game which could be spotted. The game consists of somewhat fairly long load times similar to the loading behavior in Metal Slug Anthology (even longer load on the PSP) and oddly enough, some Japanese Dialog has been stripped out of these versions. It is uncertain why this was done.