Kazakh (カザフ) is one of the stages from the NES Strider. It is the very first stage unlocked from the start, as well as the most traveled: the player visits it a total of three times during the game's progress. The stage is seemingly inspired by two different locations from the original manga: the majority of the stage is based on the Kazakh Secret Police HQ from Chapter 2, while the underground dungeon bears a resemblance to the Kazakh Federation Mental Institute's own prison as seen in Chapter 3.
The Kazakh Federation has been in the middle of civil war between the government's Secret Police force and a Rebel Army created due to their leader's opressive regime. At one point the rebels seek out the help of the Striders, who assigns Strider Kain the mission. Kain's capture by the enemy is what leads to Hiryu being forced out of retirement with orders to find and kill him. Hiryu, however, decides he can't bring himself to kill him.
Hiryu infiltrates the Secret Police headquarters, a 3-stories building heavily defended by both human and machine guards, and eventually finds the Vice-Commander, who reveals that the Commander, the one who has Kain's cell key, is in Egypt. Hiryu tracks down the Commander, and eventually uncovers Kain's location and successfully rescues him. Later on, Hiryu discovers an underground prison which also houses one of the ZAIN Terminals, which he quickly takes care of.
Note: All area names are not official
The starting point is an area in front of the Secret Police HQ consisting of a 3-level structure apparently made of metal support beams. Kazakh soldiers and armed sentries attack Hiryu during its length. Below the structure there’s a large bed of spikes, with several platforms over it to cross over. On the end of the path lies a Transport Tube leading into the Level 3 door to the underground dungeon, and a second transport tube leading into the building proper.
Police HQ - 1st Floor
The first floor of the complex starts with a long descending path of platforms protected by Kazakh soldiers. The area is followed by a set of sloped edges that leads up into an upper section, with a transport tube reaching into the 2nd floor. Going right Hiryu finds a Level 1 Door that leads into a series of 4 chambers with transport tubes that deploy soldiers in large numbers, in an attempt to outnumber Hiryu. At the end of the path stands the Vice-Commander’s chamber and a magnetic wall, which can only be climbed with the Magnetic Boots.
Police HQ - 2nd Floor
Accessed through a transport tube, this one has a Level 2 Door that leads to a very spacious chamber, which precedes Kain’s confinement cell. Kodiak stands guard in this chamber, waiting for Hiryu to show up.
Police HQ - 3rd Floor
Accessed through the magnetic wall, this short area is a long hallway with a few Russian soldiers, which holds the Level 4 Key required to access the Chinese base, inside a room belonging to one of the Scientists. A transport tube at the end leads down into the 2nd floor.
Accessed through the Level 3 Door, this hidden section can only be entered by a long wide tunnel. The first sub-level is an underground storage area/garage guarded by armed sentries and flying soldiers. The second sub-level turns into an actual dungeon with holding cells. A slope leads up into a small 3-room passageway. On the other end, there’s a room with two transport tubes on its right extreme. The top one leads back to the outside, while the one on the ground leads into an empty solitary cell. A small path on the room's left side leads into a transport tube to the ZAIN Terminal’s chamber.
Enemies present in this stage include:
- Russian Infantryman
- Armored Sentry
- Sky Wing
- Giant Robot
- Mechanical Snail
- Mini-boss: Kodiak
- Boss: ZAIN Terminal
In the Manga
Kazakh is represented by a hi-tech metropolis, possibly the federation's capital city. The cityscape is shown in all its splendor, with high futuristic skyscrapers and suspended highways surrounding them. Further away from the city are the more humble areas that have suffered the brunt of the war, and are found in ruins. The city is going through a harsh winter, and most of the streets are covered in a deep layer of snow.
A Rebel Army's meeting is held in a secret hideout in one of the lower areas, which Kain and Sheena attend to. Midway through the discussion, the Secret Police raids the hideout, forcing the rebels to fight back. Kain and Sheena take care of the police's heavy hitters such as the T-48 and Stealth Chopper, but Kain ends up captured in the end. After Hiryu joins Sheena, they briefly infiltrate the Secret Police HQ and kidnap the police chief, in order to find Kain's location.
- Capcom (July 1989, NES). Strider (English). Instruction Manual, Pg. 4