The Ruins of El Dorado (エルドラド遺跡) is the special "Mission 00" stage introduced in the PlayStation port of Strider 2, unlocked after completing the original Strider and creating a clear file. The stage's official full name is "Investigate the Ancient Ruins" (超古代遺跡調査, lit. Investigate the Super-Ancient Ruins).
El Dorado is the name of a mysterious ruined temple found deep within a forest area beneath Guaiquinima Hill, in Venezuela's Guayana region. The ruins are extremely ancient and extend throughout the underground, but no information is known about their origin or purpose. Deep within, however, Grandmaster Meio is resting inside a strange coffin-like contraption, awaiting the time for his return to the "Unified Earth" he has crafted.
The Light Sword Cypher organization sent in a survey team in order to search the area and find the temple ruins. Hiryu arrives at the area to investigate and has to face the commando unit in his way to the ancient ruins. He eventually arrives at the burial chamber deep beneath the temple, but he instead finds an unexpected person. He arrives just after his former comrade Hien has released the Grandmaster from his coffin, being only able to witness as the Grandmaster teleports out.
Hiryu and Hien have a brief scuffle until Hien calls it off, stating there's no point since Meio has left the place. Hien tries to convince Hiryu to stop his foolish mission, standing against the Creator of everything and everyone on the world. But Hiryu rejects him, instead warning him that he's going to hunt Meio down and telling him to fight seriously next time they meet. He then departs, leaving behind a saddened Hien.
Guaiquinima Waterfalls (グアイキニマ滝)
Known as "South America - Guyana Guaykinima falls" in the English script.
A three-tiered, large area found on a cliffside with several flowing waterfalls. Hiryu has to contend with the Commando Troops send to survey the area as well as some of the strange local fauna living there. Falling rocks are also a hazard in the middle section of the cliff as well. At the top, there are two long waterfall cavities and a flamethrower-wielding soldier guarding the exit.
Unexplored Region El Dorado (秘境エルドラド)
Known as "Mysterious region - El Dorado" in the English script.
Hiryu starts in a swamp-like area in the middle of a deep crevice, and he must climb upwards by grabbing onto hanging vines while avoiding snakes and other animals. A large tree stands on the top of the rock wall, and jumping at the other side there's a small wooden pier. From there Hiryu must jump across a river by using several plants hanging above as foothold, while dodging the dangerous Flat Eels flying around, then jump off a rotten trunk at the waterfall in the end to reach the ruins' entrance.
Ruin Excavation Tunnel (遺跡発掘坑道)
Known as "Tunnel to the ruins" in the English script.
A large underground tunnel being drilled through by the massive Drill Cruiser. Hiryu pursues the large machine, confronting its several compartments or "tails" as he moves forward. Besides the tails' weapons, rocks falling at the far left side prevent him from standing idle.
Inside El Dorado Ruins (エルドラド遺跡内部)
Known as "Interior of the El Dorado ruins" in the English script.
Hiryu arrives at the head of the Drill Cruiser and attacks it as it continues drilling through the ancient temple and its large walls filled with mysterious markings.
El Dorado Ruins Burial Chamber (エルドラド遺跡玄室)
Known as "The bottom of the El Dorado ruins" in the English script.
Standing deep underground in the temple ruins, this room houses a strange technological-looking "coffin" housing Grandmaster Meio. Hiryu arrives too late as he sees the Grandmaster floating above his tomb and Hien ready to fight. The area is a single square-shaped room with no obstacles.
Enemies present in this stage include:
- Commando Troop (Scene 1)
- Flying Chameleon (Scenes 1 and 2)
- Poisonous Horned Frog (Scene 1)
- Mutant Mushroom (Scene 1)
- Snake (Scene 2)
- Crocodile Owl (Scene 2)
- Flat Eel (Scene 2)
- Boost Tail (Scene 3 Boss)
- Cannon Tail (Scene 3 Boss)
- Snake Tail (Scene 3 Boss)
- Carrier Tail (Scene 3 Boss)
- Drill Cruiser (Scene 4 Boss)
- Strider Hien (Scene 5 Boss)
A listing of locations for all known hidden Score Up items in this stage.
|Scene 1 Locations|
|#1||Reach the right-most rock wall and strike at it.|
|#2-5||Once at the top reach the last waterfall pit before the end of the stage, drop in and strike the left wall at different heights. There are a total of 4 items stacked one above the other floating next to the wall.|
|#6||Crouch at the bottom of the last waterfall pit from #2 and strike.|
|Scene 2 Locations|
|#1||Climb to the underside of the trunk Hiryu starts in and strike at the center.|
|#2||Reach the tree trunk with an Item Box and go right, where a smaller trunk can be seen. Stand on it and strike right.|
|#3||Climb all the way from the left wall until reaching a long tree trunk, move right until you find the Item Box floating there.|
|#4||Once at the top, stand on the roots of the large tree, perform a Double Jump upwards and strike at the area. Be careful not to trigger the cutscene by moving too far or this item will be lost.|
|#5||Stand on the first floating plant above the small wooden pier, double jump upwards and strike there.|
|#6||Reach the 4th floating plant (is right next to the red arrow pointing forward), perform a double jump upwards and strike there.|
|#7||Reach the final floating plant (the one before the red arrow pointing downwards), perform a double jump upwards and strike there.|
|#8||Once at the end of the waterfall, jump into the rotten tilted trunk, and without tipping it over strike at its center. The item appears inside the trunk, but can be picked up by walking over it.|
"El Dorado" is the name of a mythological city or kingdom located somewhere on South America, reputedly holding an immense treasure of gold and precious jewels. The term "el dorado" is Spanish and means "the golden one".
El Dorado was a planned stage since very early in development, briefly appearing as early as the reveal teaser video seen during the February 1999 AOU Show. According to one of the developers (nicknamed "Kappa"), one stage he was working on was scrapped for unknown reasons, likely speaking about this stage. The 3D models for the first two scenes, however, were salvaged and repurposed as the backgrounds in the "Score Ranking" and "Best Time" screens respectively.
Although scrapped, an unfinished and buggy version of the entire stage can be found buried in the Arcade game. The stage's internal listing places it as the 4th stage, right between the Antarctica Research Lab and the Flying Battleship Balrog, implying it may have been intended to be a normally selectable stage instead of a hidden or locked one.
El Dorado would later resurface as a secret hidden stage in the PlayStation port. In previews and the game's manual, the stage was described as having a "missing link" or secret that linked the two games together, possibly referencing its epilogue where Hien establish Grandmaster Meio as the Creator of the world and everything on it, indicating Meio's plan of repopulating Earth with his own created lifeforms in the original game eventually happened.
- Unlike all other stages in the game, El Dorado contains only 5 scenes instead of 6. As discovered in its unfishined Arcade version, there was actually a 6th scene planned, but for some reason not finished or included in the PlayStation port. This area is set between the final's 3rd and 4th areas.
- The stage is likely inspired in the original Arcade game's Amazon stage, being both dense jungle settings and sharing the same monicker of "unexplored region". In turn, El Dorado likely inspired the Buried Temple from the 2014 Strider, as both are ancient ruins deep underground with unknown origins and a connection to Grandmaster Meio.
- Capcom (February 22, 2014). Strider Hiryu Visual Chronicle (Japanese). Pg. 35
- Capcom (February 2000, PlayStation). Strider Hiryû 1&2 (Japanese). Mission 0: Investigate the Ancient Ruins; Scene 1: South America Guayana Region. Guaiquinima Waterfalls.
- Capcom (February 2000, PlayStation). Strider Hiryû 1&2 (Japanese). Stage 0 Briefing
- Capcom (1999). Capcom Secret File #26: Strider Hiryu 2 (Japanese). Pg. 11
- Capcom (February 2000, PlayStation). Strider Hiryû 1&2 (Japanese). Instruction Manual, Pg. 10
- Capcom (July 2000, PlayStation). Strider 2 (English). Instruction Manual, Pg. 13