Castle Metropolis is the second stage in Strider II and all its ports. The name was first used starting with the Master System port, with the original home computer version simply referring to it as the "ruins of a city".
Castle Metropolis is what remains of a city that has been decimated by the Magentan's repeated attempts to rescue their leader. The ruins are still lurking with "terrorist artillery" ready to strike back. The whole area in-game consists of three separate sections: the stage starts at the bottom of a large, gray tower with large gears and stacks of ammo. The Warrior fights his way upwards until the top where he gains access to a second tower, which he has to descend. Standing next to the towers is an aircraft hangar site and then a short area filled with damaged buildings, likely the ruins mentioned before.
All the story details above were removed from the manual descriptions featured in the ports, probably due to the changed setting. The new descriptions, however, merely lists a number of enemies the player will face without giving any story context about the stage.
LayoutEditThe original stage starts inside the first tower's bottom floor, and the player must fight his way up to the top. The player can move up by either climbing the walls or using chains hanging over openings in the upper floor. Power Generators stand as the primary obstacle of the stage: circular purple prods scattered all across the ceiling of each floor, which periodically release a blast of electricity downwards. The generators are found alone or in groups of 2 or 3 where they activate at different intervals, forcing the player to stop and wait for a time to move. A bridge connects the two towers together at the top floor, and thus the player has to descend the second tower. The second tower has no new obstacles or enemies, but its layout is a bit more maze-like, with more dead-end paths. The area following the tower's exit is an aircraft hangar, a long stretch showing hangar buildings in the background. This area has wooden boxes and Power Generators serving as obstacles, and ends in a short section with ruined buildings in the background where the boss is found.
The Master System port altered path layout and areas, but kept its appearance and gameplay mostly unchanged. A new added element exists in the form of a lever at the end of both towers' top floors, which must be activated in order to open the closed doors added to the second tower. Instead of a bridge there's a descending rope the player must use to reach the second tower, requiring a jump to be performed at its end.
The Mega Drive version made a number of notable changes, primarily making more complex generator patterns: there are now sections where four generators emit electricity in a square pattern one side at a time, forcing the player to jump or climb to avoid damage. The second tower was redesigned and the following hangar/city area was removed entirely, the boss room being right next to it instead. The lever switch was also scrapped, and there's nothing connecting the two towers, the player needs to perform a tricky jump to reach a transport capsule standing in a small alcove to the right in order to continue.
Enemies present since the home computer originals include:
- Mutant Soldier
- Automated Sentry AM, AT, C64, MS
- Missiles HCO, MS
- Mecho Bird HCO, MS
- Boss: Helios-II AM, AT, C64, Helios C64, 2x Battletank ZX, CPC
Enemies introduced in the ports include:
- Genetically advanced plant MS
- Spinner MD
- Wall Crawler MS, GG
- Unnamed tank-like machine MD
- Mid-boss: Battletank
- Mid-boss: Helios-II GG
- Boss: Helios-II MS, The Master (or is it?) MD, "Flying Giraffe" GG
|Strider II / Returns|
| Equipment: Cypher • Climb Sickle • Gyro laser • Rotun shield • Shurikens|
Moves: Slide • Cypher Attack • Elite Mechanical Combat Unit
|Alien Terrorists • Automatons • Wall Crawler • Wolf • Aliens • Turbo Wasp|
| Helios • Energy discharging skulls • Alien Mother • Milsoma • Podulous • Inferno • Waspini • Anti-Gravity Device|
Terrorist Leader • The Master
|The Forbidden Forest • Castle Metropolis • The Hive • The Alien Depths • The Master's Prison Ship|
|Lexia • Striders|