Fire Hawk: Thexder - The Second Contact

For: IBM PC/Compatibles, MSX, PC-8800 Series

Genres

Main Genre:
Action
Perspective:
3rd-Person
Setting:
Sci-Fi / Futuristic
Visual Presentation:
Scrolling (Horizontal or Vertical)
Gameplay Style:
Shooter

Overview

IBM PS/2 (MCGA) version of Fire Hawk
IBM PS/2 (MCGA) version of Fire Hawk
Fire Hawk: Thexder - The Second Contact is an action game originally released in Japan in 1989 by Game Arts for the MSX2 and PC-88 computers. It was later licensed by Sierra On-Line for release in the United States on IBM PC and compatible computers. It is the sequel to Thexder and features similar gameplay; players control a fighter robotic exoskeleton which is capable of transforming between jet and humanoid forms through 9 increasingly difficult levels.

Story and Gameplay

An alien race known as the Nediam inhabit a giant ship resembling an asteroid and are heading straight towards Earth! Following the events in Thexder, mankind has created an improved version of the armored exoskeleton to prepare for an attack on the Nediam asteroid. The goal of the game is to penetrate the asteroid, destroy its defenses, and finally destroy the nerve center to halt the attack.

As in Thexder, players control a robot-like exoskeleton known as the Fire Hawk. The Fire Hawk has capabilities similar to Thexder and can transform between a humanoid form and jet form. As a humanoid, it can fire auto-targetting lasers. In jet form, the Fire Hawk can only fire directly ahead, however it is capable of flying to reach areas that can't be jumped to in humanoid form as well as fit through narrow passages. In either form, Fire Hawk also has new secondary weapons; these are available in limited quantity and can only be used after locating the appropriate power-up somewhere in one of the levels.

The Fire Hawk has a limited amount of energy; coming into contact with enemies, enemy fire, and some other dangers as well as firing the lasers will deplete the energy supply. If all energy is lost, the Fire Hawk is destroyed and the game is over. To help, the Fire Hawk is equipped with shields. When activated, the shields protect against the various dangers. The shields remain active for a limited amount of time; also, the time is reduced (sometimes rapidly!) each time the Fire Hawk is hit. It takes some energy to activate the shields; if the Fire Hawk's energy is too low, the shields will not be available. It is possible to increase the Fire Hawks energy by locating certain types of objects and destroying them. There is a maximum amount of energy the Fire Hawk can hold; this can also be increased by locating energy generators which are hidden throughout the levels.

Fire Hawk Weapons and Power-Ups

In addition to lasers, the Fire Hawk is equipped the ability to fire homing missiles. The player begins the game with 30, and more can be acquired by collecting missile pods located throughout the game level. A maximum of 99 missiles can be carried at once. Additionally, the Fire Hawk can be equipped with up to 3 sub-weapons at a time; the Fire Hawk does not begin the game with any of the additional weapons, instead they need to be located throughout the game.

The items that can be located to power up the Fire Hawk are as follows:
  • [D] Dart Missile: Up to 8 at a time can be carried. Dart Missiles do not home in on a target and only fire straight. However they have 3 times the destructive power of the homing missiles.
  • [B] Napalm Bomb: Up to 10 at a time can be carried. Napalm Bombs explode on the ground and can destroy numerous ground based enemies simultaneously.
  • [E] ECM (Electronic Counter Measures): Up to 5 can be carried at a time. ECM's prevent all enemies on the screen from firing at you.
  • [S] Stopper: Up to 5 can be carried at a time. Stoppers temporarily freeze all enemies on the screen.
  • [F] Flasher: Up to 5 can be carried at a time. Flashers inflict damage to all enemies on the screen. Some enemies may have armour that prevents them from being destroyed by a single flasher.
  • [T] Energy Tank: Up to 1 energy tank can be carried to increase the Fire Hawk's energy reserves.
Different enemies have different defenses and armor; not all of the weapons will work (or work well) against all of the enemies.

Fire Hawk Missions

Fire Hawk includes 9 different levels to complete, each one featuring a different theme corresponding to part of the Nediam asteroid's defenses or weapons.
  • Mission 1: Entrance - Destroy a large object that is blocking the entrance to the Nediam.
  • Mission 2: Defense System I - Destroy part of the Nediams defenses. The defense system here has a weak central core that can be attacked.
  • Mission 3: Magnetic Field Generator - Creates a magnetic field around the asteroid used as defense. The generator will also repel objects near it.
  • Mission 4: Clone Factory - Manufactures alien beings that attack.
  • Mission 5: Engine - Powers the Nediam asteroid and propels it towards Earth. There are four valves connected to the engine which can be destroyed to stop it.
  • Mission 6: Defense System II - The second defense system of the asteroid fires numerous shells; it is weak against Dart Missiles.
  • Mission 7: Energy Tank - Destroying this tank will slow down the Nediam. Once destroyed, the Fire Hawk needs to evacuate the area rapidly before intense heat destroys it.
  • Mission 8: Defense System III - The final set of defenses guarded by a snake-like robot. Flying to avoid it will likely be the best tactic.
  • Mission 9: Central Block - The nerve center of the Nediam. It has extensive defenses and is difficult to destroy, but will finally stop the asteroid fully when the task is complete.
The levels in Fire Hawk are often maze-like and the path from the beginning to end may require some exploration. Additionally, there are sometimes hidden areas that can be found by shooting through otherwise solid looking walls (this is sometimes necessary to complete a level as well). While it's not required to visit every part of the level to complete it, exploring the full level is often desirable — weapon power-ups and energy replenishments are frequently hidden off of the main path. Later levels in the game can become difficult (if not impossible) if the Fire Hawk does not have sufficient energy reserves acquired in previous levels.

Marketing

Product catalogs, magazines, flyers, or other documentation Fire Hawk: Thexder - The Second Contact has appeared in.
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Product Catalogs
Sierra 1991 product catalog

Related Games

Thexder Series

  • Fire Hawk: Thexder - The Second Contact
  • Thexder

Game Features

This game has been tagged with the following features: