Sigma Star Saga is a game released in 2005 for the Game Boy Advance, developed by WayForward Technologies and published by Namco. I looked them up and WayForward has published a number of games in the past decade, most of which seem like they would be pretty mediocre but they're also the developer of Shantae and it's new DSiWare sequel Shantae: Risky's Revenge, along with A Boy and His Bomb Wii, Contra 4 for DS, and LIT for WiiWare. So they have a pretty decent track record.
Enough about the developer. Sigma Star Saga is a hybrid RPG/sidescrolling space shooter with slight Metroidvania elements in it. The game has two core gameplay modes, both of which you spend about equal time playing in. The story follows an Earth soldier named Ian Recker as he finds himself in the middle of a special operation against the Krill, an alien race that has been attacking Earth for decades.
Table of Contents
- Part 1: Time to Reck some aliens.
- Part 2: The Advent of Ensign Expendable
- Part 3: Forest Planetary Exploration
- Part 4a: Drilling the Point Home
- Part 4b: Scanning ... A new [Gun Data] has been added to your Weapon Select
- Part 5: Hot Lava! And More Unimaginative Naming Schemes.
- Part 6: The Fire Planet annoys me.
- Part 7: Worms with a side of plot dump.
- Part 8: ABC's newest hit soap opera
- Part 9: The Ice Planet Hustle
- Part 10: The Hired Gun.
- Part 11: The Metaphorical Fan Gets Dirtied.
- Part 12: In fact, I DID find the +1 dagger, thank you very much.
- Part 13: Metal Gear Levels of Convoluted Backstabbery.
- Part 14: Optional Krill Insight.
- Part 15: Sand in the Eyes, Probes in the...Caves
- Mini Update
- Part 16: Not My Fault I'm Illiterate...
- Part 17: Triple the Trouble.
- Part 18: Revelations and Running
- Part 19: Still Giving Metal Gear Solid a Run For its Money.
- Part 20: 6th Starbase: Anger, Soap, Throwing Knives.
- Part 21: The Universe Can Wait a Couple Hours, OCD is Kicking In.
- Part 22: A Higher Authority.
- Part NG+: Everything you didn't see, or "Sigma Star Saga in 5 Minutes".
Updates will come on as regular a basis as I can make them, college work and general offline stuff permitting. Most of the screens will be of the top-down RPG and its plot/exploration since the random space battles tend to get repetitive, but I'll be sure to show off as much space battling as I can, especially if I've gotten a new Gun Data I intend to make lots of use of, or can access a new planet and its new battles.
At the suggestion of the Sandcastle, I've decided to add short video clips of whatever I deem interesting enough to deserve a video. Such clips will always include boss missions, and I'll probably record some exploration and random battles as well to break up the monotony of only reading screenshots. Screens alone don't really do the random battles justice anyway. Despite the videos I'll also do screenshots for such scenes so I can explain things.
Explanations of game mechanics during updates will by denoted by an . During long dialogues, my comments will be bolded for clarity so they aren't confused with the game's dialogue. Just a heads up.
How is the game played?
First is the top-down RPG exploration mode. This is where 99% of the game's plot comes from. In this mode you'll explore whatever space station or planet you're situated at, using your various inventory items to progress. Space Stations are usually reserved solely for expositional purposes, whereas the Planets are both expositional and explorational. Exploring the planets advances the plot, as well as allows you to find new Gun Data for use in the second gameplay mode. Gun Data will be explained in full once I reach that point in the game. Not all areas of a planet will be open the first time you visit it, making backtracking for both plot and exploration possible. Ian's primary form of attack in this mode is a pistol he carries. Killing enemies will sometimes leave behind Health or Bombs for use in the second mode.
The second mode is the sidescrolling space shooter mode. You enter this mode the same way you enter a random battle in most other RPGs: randomly. As your explore the planet's surface, you'll get randomly called up into passing ships overhead (there are plot reasons for this we'll get to when I get there). To win this "random battle" you have to defeat a certain number of enemies. Each planet features about 5 or 6 different battle corridors for this mode. Battles can consist of killing a large number of enemies, a smaller number where the challenge comes from the terrain you must avoid, or one miniboss enemy. Also, the type of ship you get warped into is totally random as well, and there are again, 5 or 6 different ships you can be warped into, from standard fighters to fast, nimble ships, to huge, clunking bombers. Luckily, each ship has a certain percentage of being chosen randomly so you'll fly certain ships more often than others. Again, I will showcase each different ship as we find them. Getting hit by bullets does not destory your ship, it only depletes your health. Running into a wall will destory the ship but not give you a Game Over, instead it takes a much larger chunk out of your health. Interestingly, HP between the two modes is linked. If you are at low health because of the enemies on the planet and get called into a ship, the ship will have low health (again, plot). If your HP ever reaches 0, it's Game Over, no extra lives.
When you kill enemies in a ship battle it will leave behind a little blue sphere. These are experience spheres and getting enough of them (noted in the upper right corner of the HUD) will increase your level. Every level you go up increases your HP, Attack and Defense all at the same time and I'm pretty sure Leveling up mid-battle restores your HP to full, something very handy especially on later worlds where terrain navigation gets trickier and enemies hit for more damage.
Chapter ends are usually marked by long space battles consisting of no enemy kill counter, a long and often difficult terrain navigation and then a big boss battle. It's been a little while since I played last but I believe there might be one or two instances of a battle like this happening that isn't a chapter end.
Ian Recker: The protagonist of the game. He's the leader of the Sigma Team, a group of Earth space fighters within the military. He's now deep undercover in Krill territory in an attempt to undercover information about the Krill's new superweapon.
Psyme: The name rhymes with Rhyme. The Krill female lead in the game, she was demoted and transferred to Starbase 1 after her failed attack on Earth, the same one that killed Sigma Team. Recker shot her down but she doesn't know that.
Scarlet Keys: The human female lead in the game, Scarlet is a scientist found by Recker after he and Psyme were dropped onto the Ice Planet. Originally on the Ice Planet to create a Krill-destroying virus, is now the only survivor after a byproduct of the virus infected the food stores on the settlement.
Commander Tierney: The Commander of whatever division Recker is in. Recker receives mission orders from him. Kind of an asshole.
Commander Zelly: The female Krill Commander of Starbase 2. Zelly runs a tight ship and comes off as a bitch because of it.
Blune: Commander Zelly's right-hand (and only) man. Immediately distrusting of Recker.
The Tyrannical Overlord: The leader of the Krill. High Command follows his will. Is interested in the synchronization of six planets for some reason. Little else is known about him or his motivations at this time.
Gun Data Compendium
Here's a list of all the Gun Data in the game.
1 - Standard Cannon. Fires shots forward.
2 - Rapid Cannon. Fires shots at high frequency.
3 - Triple Cannon. Fires shots in a forward spread.
4 - Front/Back Cannon. Fires shots ahead and behind.
5 - Vertical Cannon. Fires shots above and below.
6 - V-Cannon. Fires forward split shots.
7 - Scatter Cannon. Alternates shots in a forward array.
8 - Sprinkler Cannon. Fires a downpour of shots.
9 - Cross Cannon. Shots fired in a plus pattern.
10 - Vertical Alternating Cannon. Fires shots above and below.
11 - Horizontal Alternating Cannon. Fires shots in front and behind.
12 - Rotating Cannon. Fires shots in a clockwise pattern.
13 - Max Spread Cannon. Fires shots in all directions at once.
14 - X Cannon. Fires shots in an X pattern.
15 - Angel Cannon. Fires shots in a wide forward array.
16 - Free Movement Cannon. Fires shots in the direction the ship is moving.
17 - Locked Movement Cannon. While firing, current direction is locked.
18 - Node Control Cannon. Auto fires. Steer the ship or the Helper Node.
19 - Free Aim Cannon. Auto fires. Control switches between ship and cannon.
20 - Twin Nodes. 2 Helper Nodes flank the ship.
21 - Node Orbit. 1 Helper Node orbits the ship.
22 - Double Node Orbit. 2 Helper Nodes orbit the ship.
23 - Triple Node Orbit. 3 Hepler Nodes orbit the ship.
24 - Sweeper. 1 Helper Node moves horizontally back and forth.
25 - Double Sweeper. 2 Helper Nodes move horizontally at varying ranges.
26 - Patrol Node. 1 Helper Node moves back and forth vertically.
27 - Double Patrol Node. 2 Helper Nodes moves back and forth vertically.
28 - Mirror Node. 1 Helper Node moves opposite to the ship.
1 - Short Shot. Limited range bullets.
2 - Normal Shot. Standard shots of average strength.
3 - Heavy Shot. A large projectile with a large hit area.
4 - Charge Shot. Hold down and release for 10x damage.
5 - Double Shot. A double laser with a wide hit area.
6 - Triple Shot. A triple laser with max hit area.
7 - Wave Shot. Energy that travels in a wavy pattern.
8 - Super Wave Shot. Energy patterns with superior range.
9 - Max Wave Shot. Energy patterns with maximum range.
10 - Seeker Missile. Seeks out enemy targets.
11 - Bomb. Falls with gravity.
12 - Steer Shot. Influenced by ship movement.
13 - Bubble Shot. Acidic floating suds.
14 - Mines. Explodes against enemies.
15 - Rocket. Slow but powerful. Adds +3 Damage to your current power.
16 - Bounce Shot. Bounces like a ball.
17 - Ricochet Shot. Shots bank off walls.
18 - Power Shot. Adds +1 DMG to your current power.
19 - Super Power Shot. Adds +5 DMG to your current power.
20 - Max Power Shot. Adds +10 DMG to your current power.
1 - Absorb. Shots are removed on impact.
2 - Splinter. Shots may burst into deadly shards.
3 - Barrier. Shots create vertical walls.
4 - Smoulder. Deadly explosion lingers in place.
5 - Boomerang. Shots reverse course on impact.
6 - Wave Crash. Wave shots are created on impact.
7 - Vertical Spray. Shots fire upwards or downwards on impact.
8 - Pass-Through. Bullets continue on to next target.
9 - Ignite. Bullets stop, gather strength, then blaze ahead in flame.
10 - Fork. Shots fork forwards.
11 - Bubble. Bubble is left behind that rises slowly.
12 - Totem. Stone chunk is created that falls and explodes on impact.
13 - Shield. On the 30th impact, the ship becomes invincible for a brief time.
14 - Super Shield. On the 30th impact, the ship becomes invincible for a few seconds.
15 - Bullet Eater. On the 30th impact, all bullets are removed from screen.
16 - EXP Leech. On the 30th impact, a large EXP container is dropped.
17 - Bomb Steal. On the 30th impact, a bomb item is dropped.
18 - Duo Counter. On impact, each enemy counts as 2.
19 - Trio Counter. On impact, each enemy counts as 3.
20 - Quad Counter. On impact, each enemy counts as 4.
21 - Ingest. Ship engines may malfunction, releasing bombs.
22 - Revenge. Ship guns may malfunction, releasing bombs.
23 - Air Quake. On the 20th impact, a quake damages all enemies.
24 - Curse. Ship loses health with each shot, but refills to max when victorious.
25 - Vampire. On the 10th impact, health is gained.
26 - Super Vampire. On the 10th impact, significant health is gained.
27 - EXP Miner. EXP pods are released from the ground.
28 - EXP Miner Plus. Higher EXP pods are released from the ground.
Art: (contains spoilers, view at own risk).
Thanks to Chev for finding these sites.
And there we are, that should be most if not all of the fansite kit: http://www.mediafire.com/?kriyo76091hht0q
As an addendum, Matt Bozon did the original character designs and concept and has a deviantart page with a few Sigma pieces: http://mattbozon.deviantart.com/
And Vuduberi is the studio that was commissioned to do all the promo art and illustrations, and they have a relevant page (don't forget to check the extra section): http://vuduberi.com/work/games/sigma