The NewZealand Story is a 1988 arcade-platform game developed and published by Taito for the coin-ops. It was so famous back then that converted to several home systems such as Nintendo Entertainment System, Amiga, Commodore 64, Amstrad CPC, Atari ST, Sega Master System, ZX Spectrum, Sega Mega Drive, PC Engine, and Virtual Console. The game was also converted for the Japanese FM Towns and Sharp X68000 systems in 1989, providing arcade-perfect conversions, but released exclusively in Japan since both computers were only available there.
STORY / GAMEPLAY You control a sneaker-wearing kiwi called Tiki and the goal of the game is to rescue your kiwi friends who have been kiwi-napped by Wally, a large blue walrus/leopard seal. You navigate in scrolling maze-like levels at the end of which they release a kiwi trapped in a cage. Your starting weapon is arrows but pickups can change these into bombs, lasers or bouncing fireballs. You may also find (or steal) and ride a variety of flying objects including balloons, blimps, and UFOs. These objects can be found ready to use or can be stolen from an enemy. Collect letters during your quest to complete the word "EXTEND" and it will instantly take you to the next stage (as in Bubble Bobble). The levels (and sub-levels) get progressively harder and the puzzles start creeping in (usually there is no obvious way of getting near the cages and rescue kiwis so you need to find a way with careful timing and appropriate shooting several foes and always having in mind the scattered spikes. There are even sub-aquatic sections in which Tiki must swim through tunnels (with limited oxygen) in order reach the cage. Time is actually a problem. Wander around on a stage for too long and a big "hurry up" notice will warn you. A few seconds later, a Devil appears and hits you with his trident and takes one of your lives (similarly situation as in Bubble Bobble as well)!"
GRAPHICS / SOUND The NES version is great in terms of graphics, although its colors are not that accurate due to its palette limitations. Other than that, the game is ultra-cool and simple, without offering any special graphics effects really, much like the original. Note that the colors used in the Master System version are way more accurate to the original when compared to the NES version. The sprites move smoothly and quite fast on the screen too. What is really impressive here is the music! It is one of the best arcade musics found on the NES games! Along with the great tune, there are several "arcadey" sound FX that offer an amusing and absolute fun gameplay.
In-game music sample:
Some videos belong to retroshowcase.com (indicated); others not
CPU: Ricoh 2A03 8-bit processor (MOS Technology 6502 based) at 1,79MHz MEMORY: Boot ROM: 64 kbit (8 KB) to 2048 kbit (256 KB) Main RAM: 64 kbit (8 KB), can be supplemented by game cartridges Video RAM: 128 kbit (16 KB) GRAPHICS: YPbPr 64-color palette supporting resolution of 256x240 with 32 colors at once and 64 hardware sprites. SOUND: five mono sound channels and PCM sound (7bit values)