The Options (オプション) are a set of three robots that appear in the original coin-op. These robots are found in Item Boxes scattered throughout the stages and, once opened by the player, provides specific backup attacks against stage enemies.
They return in Strider (2014) once again to assist Hiryu whenever he needs it. While their support action remain mostly in-line with how they were in the original game, the gameplay puts them to use in a different way. As opposed to Item Box finds, the player unlocks each of the Options by playing through the game and have access to them whenever they want, able to tap into any one they have at the time so long as they have Energy (the same bar that is also consumed for Kunai use).
A trio of support robots, the Options are reliable machines that fight alongside Hiryu and protect his life. They are stored in specific Item Boxes, or "Unit Boxes" (ユニットボックス), which Hiryu finds throughout his mission, either alone or carried by flying enemies.
Option A and B are manipulated with a control unit found in Hiryu's waist. He's able to hold two Options A at the same time or one Option B for a limited time, but can't control both options simultaneously. Option C, on the other hand, works independently and outside Hiryu's control, in a specific range stored in its memory.
Options A and B, once active, bond with the left-most life unit in Hiryu's health, marked by the unit changing colors. A life unit linked with Option A changes from green to yellow, and when an Option B is found, both the units linked to the Option A change from yellow to red. Hiryu loses the Option if he loses the specific life unit. Due to this, a good strategy is to reduce Hiryu's life to one unit before finding an Option, so it will bond to it and, once the health is restored to full, it will be safeguarded from being lost early.
Now powerful powered-up plasma forms, the Options are suport robots Hiryu employs in his mission. These Options are condensed into sophisticated metal spheres which Hiryu dropped into Kazakh City for reconnaisance previous to his infiltration by hang-glider. When found and activated, each Option's animal form is a projection of the plasma energy contained within the spheres. Hiryu keeps them stored in a specially-designed slot in his Climb Sickle.
Besides providing Hiryu with similar offensive maneuvers from their predecessors, each Option also has a secondary function that helps Hiryu either unlock or travel across areas: Option A can be used to activate certain lock interfaces, Option B allows Hiryu to quickly travel between the many districts in Kazakh City and Option C lets him reach different areas across marked perches.
- Main article: Option A
Option A, called "Dipodal Saucer" or the "Mushroom-Type Robot", is the smallest of the three offensive Options. A round-shaped robot with a circular top, it serves as protection to Hiryu, spinning around him in circles while shooting ring-shaped projectiles each time he swings the Cypher. It's the only Option Hiryu can call up and control in pairs. The 2014 version can also be used to hack electronically-locked doors.
- Main article: Option B
Option B, called "Tetrapodal Robo-Panther" or the "Saber Tiger-Type Option", is the strongest offensive Option. Taking the shape of a large saber-toothed tiger or Smilodon, the tiger Option lunges at enemies and uses its raw power to crush them with its claws. Hiryu also uses it as a transport, riding on top of it as the Option rushes across areas.
- Main article: Option C
Option C, called "Robot Hawk" or "Hawk-type Robot", is an Option designed for aerial combat. This Option dives from above and slashes apart any enemy in its path with its sharp wings. It can also serve as a means of transportation, carrying Hiryu across areas with ease.
A story-only Option introduced in Strider (2014).
Option-D, also called the "Pilot Option", is a simple non-combat oriented Option used for navigation. Active at all times, Hiryu uses it to receive directives and scout his surroundings, as well as to analyze locked doors and find the required upgrade to continue. It can also track down power sources (as it does with the locks in Meio's Tower) and determine the specific weakness of certain enemies that aren't affected by the regular Cypher.
This Option appears in the form of a small triangular machine which hovers over Hiryu when active.
The concept for the Options came to Isuke from shooting games of the time, which usually provide the player's ship with power-up mechas or "drones" that help with support fire. Even though they went on to become an iconic part of the series, Isuke sees them as a failure since he considers they didn't contribute much to the gameplay.
Option A was inspired by the bits from R-Type, while its circular pattern was chosen with Hiryu's jumping in mind: having it travel in a circular motion based off the jump's parabolic arc, Isuke considered they would be "geometrically intertwined and create an interesting visualization". They were given legs after considering that Hiryu was not a spaceship, but a human that walks through different geographic planes. Options B and C were inspired by the ninja-centric comics of the Sixties, specially Shirato Sanpei's The Legend of Kamui, whose protagonist employed animals such as dogs and birds as support and to attack enemies. Option B was created with the image of a beast with refined movements in mind, while Option C was to be a bird of prey that'd support Hiryu from above.
Marvel vs. Capcom series
The three Options are an integral part of Hiryu's moveset in his initial appearance in Marvel vs. Capcom: Clash of Super Heroes, kept mostly identical in his later incarnations in Marvel vs. Capcom 2, Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 and Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite. In the games, Hiryu uses all three Options as long-range projectile moves, either by sending them at enemies (all three) or by dropping bombs on them (Option C).
They are also part of two of his Hyper Combos: Option A forms part of the power-up "Ouroboros" Hyper, where they circle around Hiryu in a similar way to his original appearance; while several Options B and C rush at the enemy at Hiryu's command in "Legion".
SNK vs. Capcom: Card Fighters series
In the first two games of this crossover series, the Options appear together as a character card. In both instances, they are Rank "D" (common) cards of 400BP which serve mostly as backup to increase Hiryu's attack points.
Project X Zone 2
The Options appear as part of Hiryu's moveset in Project X Zone 2, performing the techniques from their Marvel vs. Capcom incarnations, and are also the names of three of Hiryu's skills.
The three Options in their 2014 design appear as Action Cards in TEPPEN. Each card provides an effect to one friendly unit, related to their abilities: Option A grants a protective "Shield" effect, Option B grants A 10-seconds "Agility" effect (for faster attack times) and Option C gives out the "Flight" effect (making one attack unblockable for units with no Flight). They are all summoned by the Hiryu Unit Card randomly each time he attacks, and as an effect of the Action Card "Mortal Enemies".
- Capcom (February 2000, PlayStation). Strider Hiryû 1&2 (Japanese). Instruction Manual, Pg. 07
- Capcom (July 2000, PlayStation). Strider 2 (English). Instruction Manual, Pg. 19
- Sega (September 1990, Mega Drive). Strider Hiryû (Japanese). Instruction manual, Pg. 16
- Staff (1993). "Capcom Illustration Gallery". Club Capcom (0). Pg. 11-12
- Capcom Unity (February 13, 2014). Strider Live View Producer Q&A. Page 9, Post #83. Retrived from archive.org. Accessed December 22, 2020.
- Scion; Dire 51. "Interview with Kouichi "Isuke" Yotsui". LSCM 4.0. April 24, 2010. Translated by Gaijin Punch. Accessed November 17, 2010.
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