Release: Sep 22, 2011 - Author: murtile - Translator: Roughale
The Super Nintendo game Assault Suits Valken, by Masaya (NCS Corp.), was released in Japan in 1992. A year later, Palcom Software and Konami, released the game in America and Europe under the name Cybernator.
Within the game, one of the war machines is called "Assault Suit". It was just the title, which had been changed to "Cybernator", probably because it was regarded to be better marketable. The new title sounds similar (on purpose?) to well-known robot-shooters like Terminator and Probotector.
The picture on the box, the manual and on the module of the international version shows a different robot with two red eyes.
We are dealing with a "run and gun" game, in which the main character "Jake" fights his missions within a war machine, which is shown in a side-view.
The machine, which is constructed human-like (head,arms/hands, legs/feet and body/chest), carries a heavy weapon which can shoot in various ways (this is not explained any further in the manual, but in the game, the same gun is shown).
Jake, or better, the machine is also carrying a shield, with which he can defend against enemy fire, but this only works, when Jake is on the ground.
side from the general moves (run, jump),the machine can also perform a ducked slide movement ("Dash"), fly for about 5 seconds after a jump with the help of the built in jet engine and shoot in all directions.
There are five different types of weapons and attacks, which can all be raised to level 3. Naturally, each level-up means more damage from the corresponding weapon. The available weapons/attacks are:
- Punch (fist punch - standard gear): hit with energy orb with a low distance.
- Vulcan (machine gun - standard gear): orbs are slightly bigger and recoil from walls .
- Missile (rocket): target-seeking.
- Laser : becomes stronger and wider.
- Napalm (explosive firepower): Levels 1 and 2 are unknown?... either they are very hard to find or do not exist at all.
(Napalm of the highest level can be obtained by a cheat/trick: During the first mission, attack no enemy, kill ONLY the Boss, the "energy entity" in the middle.
On the next level you get the new weapon, which will be lost again after spending one of the three Continues! The Napalm weapon kills almost all enemies instantly.)
There are seven missions with inside levels (e.g. base, cave), outside levels (e.g. snow landscapes, destroyed city) and in out space without gravity.
Some missions contain short flight/slide moments, when the picture automatically scrolls to the right.
The game features several enemies: "small" armed humans (unarmed humans who have jumped out of their destroyed Mechs can not be attacked), automatic, target-seeking weapons, cannons, mines, light planes, tanks, flying machines, robots enemy war machines and of course pretty huge bosses.
Power-Ups, which can be found in gray boxes, or which can be left by beaten enemies:
- [W] = New Weapon (actually, there are only two within boxes: Missile and Laser, after having picked up, the name of the weapon is displayed)
- [H] = Energy Chip (raises the "live counter" a bit)
- [P] = Power Chip (only the selected weapon gets the effect of this chip, it requires several of these chips to raise a weapon to the next level, e.g. to raise "Vulcan" to level 2 requires four Power Chips)
Story: In the future, there is a war for the territorial rights for the moon and for the last oil reserves.
Two parties are facing each other, The Axis against the "good" Federation, fighting each other with battle ships, war machines, etc. The fight takes place on Earth as well as in space.
Jake is a soldier and pilot of an "Assault Suit" on the Federation battle ship "Versis".
At the end of the game, there is an end scene, one for a "good" end and one for a "bad" end.
Die "bad" end scene will be shown, if the player could not destroy the engines of the enemy base cosing in on Earth in missions 3 and 5, or if the Space Shuttle is captured before it can escape.
Language: The international version is completely in English.
The Japanese version is not completely in Japanese. Title screen, menus, highscore screen and captures within the game are in English.
In 2004 a remake for the PS2 has been released, which mostly received bad reviews and ratings.
Part 2, Assault Suits Valken 2, has been released for the PS1 in Japan as strategy role playing game in 1999.
Censorship: he international version has been censored in many ways:
- Character pictures are missing within the missions.
- Almost all radio conversations during game play have been removed.
- One person and his suicide has been removed entirely from the game.
- A secret radio transmission at the end of the game is missing (probably hinting at a sequel?)
WHY all the cuts were necessary is unknown (the suicide scene excluded, as this might have caused problems) and it is impossible to find the reasons, due to the lack of knowledge of the Japanese language. There are also statements about the texts having been cut.
This cut report would have grown to a very long report, if all Japanese texts had been added as well, it was decided to only show a few examples.
Compared were the uncensored Japanese version (Assault Suits Valken) and the international version (Cybernator).
If not stated otherwise, the uncensored Japanese version is shown on the left and the censored international version on the right.
Title screen: Different name - "Assault Suits Valken" <> "Cybernator"
Main radio transmission: Missing character pictures
Game play is stopped and the radio messages are displayed at the bottom of the screen.
The international version only displays character names but no pictures.
Here is an example of Officer Crea, the Captain of the Versis and Jake in his "Assault Suit".
In between radio messages: Missing short messages
During game play there are radio messages coming in.
There are almost none of these messages in the international version, here is one example:
(Japanese version: A colleague and Jake can be seen.)
Missing character: The President
In the last level, there is an intermediate boss fight against the enemy Beldark within a big government building. Before the fight, Jake is talking with the enemy president and Beldark.
The president does not exist in the international version, therefore there is only a short talk with the enemy.
Missing intermediate scene: The way to the president
After the fight against Beldark, only the destroyed machine remains and Beldark escapes through a door on the right.
In the Japanese version, after Beldark's escape, Jake uses his jet engine and flies up to get to the president, breaking through several floors, before he reaches the top floor.
In the international version a lieutenant called "Duke" from Jake's camp, contacts Jake before Beldark escaped. This part of the game ends after this.
(Attention: The conversation lasts longer in the international version, but since no text censorship is known, only the first couple of radio messages are shown.)
The third picture of the Japanese version and the last picture of the international version show a zoomed picture inserted at the bottom on the right, to show the escaping Beldark a little better.
Missing scene: Suicide
When you have reached the top floor in the Japanese version, you only have to run to the right.
There will be a scene where Jake breaks through the wall of the president's office, where the president stands behind his desk.
A small dialogue takes place, in which Jake probably forces the president to give up and/or to cooperate.
During the last message of the president a picture is displayed showing him holding a gun to his head.
A plot scene follows: The president sits down, holds the gun to his head and pulls the trigger. He collapses onto the desk. After Jake said something, the lieutenant calls.
(This lieutenant calls before this removed scene in the international version. The conversation lasts longer, but only the first part is shown here.)
Attention: The following pictures only show the Japanese version!(look at it from left to right)
In pictures 10-16, a zoomed picture was inserted at the bottom right to show the president a little better.
Missing message: Secret Message
After the credits are over (the Japanese version displays: "NCS Corp.", the international version displays: "Cybernator Presented by Konami"), the highscore screen is displayed.
This is the last picture in the international version.
In the Japanese version there is an additional secret radio message. The character picture only shows noise and the message seems to be missing parts.
Attention: The pictures only show the Japanese version! (look at fro left to right)
The first and last message are not shown as it only contained "..."!