- For other uses of the term, see Ouroboros (disambiguation)
Ouroboros (ウロボロス, usually mistranslated as Urobolos) is an enemy character from the original coin-op and all its ports. It appears as the stage boss in the first stage and as a sub-boss in the fifth and final one, having been ressurected by Grandmaster Meio's powers.
A mechanical centipede-like creature, Ouroboros is born from the merging of the 24 Kazakh officers. The leading officer, General Mikiel, takes on the form of its head and torso, while the other officers all jump behind him to transform into the various 2-legged segments that form part of its large body. It attacks by flying in circles around the chamber, trying to hit its target with its two main weapons: a three-way beam cannon found in its head, and a hammer and sickle combination held in its hands, both part of a known Communist symbol.
Hiryu starts his mission to stop Grandmaster Meio's plans by infiltrating Kazakh's capital, and eventually reaches the chambers of the city's government officers. Upon Hiryu's appearance, General Mikiel gives a hand gesture and all officers jump into the air, to combine and create Ouroboros. Despite its large size and strength, Ouroboros is eventually destroyed by Hiryu.
Later, during Hiryu's final assault on the Third Moon, Ouroboros is ressurected by Grandmaster Meio's power. However, it instead ends up helping Hiryu reach the final area where Meio is awaiting, before being destroyed a second time.
In the first fight, Ouroboros mostly follows Hiryu around the spacious area, moving in a circular snake-like pattern, while swinging his two weapons and shooting his three-way cannon. If Hiryu remains close to it, sometimes Ouroboros will start moving in circles on the spot. Hiryu can also ride atop Ouroboros and strike him from behind, but its constant circling movement makes it hard to stay in place. It can also start moving in reverse in order to shake Hiryu off.
During the second fight, Ouroboros is immune to damage at first, as it's impossible to reach the area of the final battle with Grandmaster Meio without it. Once a platform to stand on is reached, Ouroboros starts circling in place, now vulnerable to damage. Despite still attacking with all its weapons, it can be easily destroyed.
Ouroboros' concept was based off an old children's book Isuke used to enjoy, while its name and general serpentine appearance are taken from the ancient symbol representing eternity and immortality. The move in which Ouroboros flies around itself forming a perfect circle references the symbol's most recognizable representation: a snake biting its own tail.
This monster is well known as one of the most outlandish and unique designs in the original game, helping shape up its distinctive feel. It has served as inspiration to similar boss enemies in the series, being succeeded by the Emperor Dragon in Strider 2 and the Ouroboros Mk.III in the 2014 Strider.
Ouroboros makes an appearance in this board-styled quiz game for the Game Boy, in which he appears as the mid-boss of the Strider-themed board course. As a boss, he has 4 life units, which means the player needs 4 correct answers to defeat him.
He's shown being capable of talking in the pre-battle screen, presenting itself by name and repeating "Quiz!" two times.
Ouroboros makes minor cameos in all three stories featured in Gesen Owarae. In the first story Ouroboros ends up with a log for a head after a prank from the head officer. In the second story, Ouroboros appears with Strobaya as one of its body sections, done as a way to appease him after Hiryu skipped his boss battle and Strobaya took his frustration out on the officers; in the third story Ouroboros is shown just as Hiryu destroys it.
RYU-TMR no Retro Game Kaitai Gekijō
Ouroboros makes a brief cameo in this video game-centric manga, in the chapter where its two protagonists (Iria and Risetto) join Hiryu in his quest. Following the same gag as Strobaya before, Ouroboros confronts Hiryu at the end of stage 1 only to be quickly and unceremoniously taken down with little effort.
- Ouroboros was one of six Strider characters to rank in the "Best Characters" category of Gamest magazine's "3rd Gamest Grand Prix", ranking in 30th place, and also ranked in the "Best Groups" category at 7th place.
- Gamest staff unofficially called Ouroboros "Mechanical Centipede Yoshioka-kun" (メカニカル・ムカデの吉岡くん) during early coverage of the game. This is a reference to the character Centipede Yoshioka-kun from the 1988 bizarre black comedy manga Doctor Chichibuyama. The character is a group of people that dress up as centipedes and walk one behind the other everywhere, similar to how Ouroboros has the officers merge to form the centipede and become the legs trailing behind it.
- Sega (September 1990, Mega Drive). Strider Hiryû (Japanese). Instruction manual, Pg. 20
- Strider Development Staff (March 1989). "Strider Hiryu Characters Original Image Collection". Gamest (30). Pg. 98-99.
- Jones, Darran (April 24, 2010). "The Making of... Strider". Retro Gamer (76). Pg. 51.
- Staff (December 27, 1989). "3RD Gamest Grand Prix". Gamest (41). Pg. 68-79.
- Zuru (October 1, 1988). "Preview: Strider Hiryû". Gamest (25). Pg. 5