is a computer
A PC game, also known as a computer game, is a video game played on a personal computer, rather than on a video game console or arcade machine...
and video game, a cinematic platformer, that was developed by Blizzard Entertainment
Blizzard Entertainment, Inc. is an American video game developer and publisher founded on February 8, 1991 under the name Silicon & Synapse by three graduates of UCLA, Michael Morhaime, Allen Adham and Frank Pearce and currently owned by French company Activision Blizzard...
was released for the SNES
The Super Nintendo Entertainment System is a 16-bit video game console that was released by Nintendo in North America, Europe, Australasia , and South America between 1990 and 1993. In Japan and Southeast Asia, the system is called the , or SFC for short...
MS-DOS is an operating system for x86-based personal computers. It was the most commonly used member of the DOS family of operating systems, and was the main operating system for IBM PC compatible personal computers during the 1980s to the mid 1990s, until it was gradually superseded by operating...
in 1994, and with enhanced graphics and a higher color palette for the Sega 32X in 1995 and for Mac OS in 1996. In the SNES version of the game, some of the gore is removed, and you cannot shoot prisoners or slaves like you can in the DOS version. The version for the Game Boy Advance
The is a 32-bit handheld video game console developed, manufactured, and marketed by Nintendo. It is the successor to the Game Boy Color. It was released in Japan on March 21, 2001; in North America on June 11, 2001; in Australia and Europe on June 22, 2001; and in the People's Republic of China...
was released in 2003, also with a brighter palette than original versions. Because of GBA's lesser amount of buttons
A push-button or simply button is a simple switch mechanism for controlling some aspect of a machine or a process. Buttons are typically made out of hard material, usually plastic or metal. The surface is usually flat or shaped to accommodate the human finger or hand, so as to be easily depressed...
, some actions were set to combinations of buttons.
is set on the planet Tuul, which has existed for hundreds of years without human knowledge. All of this time, Tuul's people have been ruled over by a single shaman who "was blessed with all knowledge". Years before the game begins, Thoros, the latest ruler, finds it near impossible to choose between his two sons as the next ruler. Believing it will solve the dilemma, he leads them to the deserts and kills himself. His body becomes two stones, light and dark, and he gives one to each boy to rule their own kingdoms respectively.
The people of the lightstone form the kingdom of Androth, and the people of the Darkstone form Ka'dra'suul. But while Androth respects their stone, Ka'dra'suul reject theirs, and are eventually transformed into monsters by it. In this time, a ka'dra named Sarlac seizes power. He forms an army and leads them against Androth.
Knowing of his people's doom, the ruler of Androth, King Vlaros, with the aid of the Androth magician Galadril, sends his son Kyle to Earth
Earth is the third planet from the Sun, and the densest and fifth-largest of the eight planets in the Solar System. It is also the largest of the Solar System's four terrestrial planets...
to save his life. Vlaros also gives Kyle the lightstone for safe keeping. He wishes that Kyle can one day return and use it to save their people.
20 years later, Kyle has become a renowned military captain and mercenary
A mercenary, is a person who takes part in an armed conflict based on the promise of material compensation rather than having a direct interest in, or a legal obligation to, the conflict itself. A non-conscript professional member of a regular army is not considered to be a mercenary although he...
. After breaking out of prison facing court martial, Kyle begins having strange dreams, and eventually is reconfronted by Galadril. He is told that it is time to return to Tuul and save his people. The game begins here with Kyle setting out to kill Sarlac and reclaim his throne.
The game focuses around protagonist
A protagonist is the main character of a literary, theatrical, cinematic, or musical narrative, around whom the events of the narrative's plot revolve and with whom the audience is intended to most identify...
Kyle Vlaros who is known as the Blackthorne, out for revenge on Sarlac and his minions. The gameplay involves large platforming
A platform game is a video game characterized by requiring the player to jump to and from suspended platforms or over obstacles . It must be possible to control these jumps and to fall from platforms or miss jumps...
sequences, in which Kyle can run and climb around the environment, find keys and items and progress to the end of each maze
A maze is a tour puzzle in the form of a complex branching passage through which the solver must find a route. In everyday speech, both maze and labyrinth denote a complex and confusing series of pathways, but technically the maze is distinguished from the labyrinth, as the labyrinth has a single...
like level. Combat in Blackthorne takes the form of gunfights. Both Blackthorne and his enemies can press against walls to avoid incoming bullets. Blackthorne can also fire blindly behind himself.
The game has seventeen levels within four areas - the mines of Androth, the Karrellian forests/swamps, the Wasteland desert, and Shadow keep. The Sega 32X
The Sega 32X, codenamed Project Mars, is an add-on for the Mega Drive/Genesis video game console by Sega. Its aim was to increase the lifespan of the aging Mega Drive/Genesis system, which was facing stiff competition from the SNES...
version includes a fifth area, the snowy mountains, which is not found in the other versions of the game. As the game progresses through these areas, Kyle becomes stronger and better armed, but so do the enemies.
During the game, Kyle uses a Pump Action Shotgun
A shotgun is a firearm that is usually designed to be fired from the shoulder, which uses the energy of a fixed shell to fire a number of small spherical pellets called shot, or a solid projectile called a slug...
as his primary weapon. As the game progresses, Androthi allies will help him upgrade the weapon, increasing its speed and power. Kyle also finds many other useful items.
- Bridge Key - A gold key that activates a force field
A force field, sometimes known as an energy shield, force shield, or deflector shield is a concept of a field tightly bounded and of significant magnitude so that objects affected by the particular force relating to the field are unable to pass through the central axis of the field and reach the...
bridge at certain pedestals. Bridge keys can be removed from these pedestals and reused elsewhere as well.
- Iron Key - A key that deactivates laser fields that cannot be removed by destroying a generator. An iron key opens any lock, but can only be used once.
- Hover Bomb - When thrown, this bomb lights up and rolls along the ground and up walls until it reaches a target. It is useful for killing enemies, but in some levels it must be used for blowing open doors or destroying power generators. Some levels cannot be finished if the player uses a hover bomb at the wrong time.
- Fire bomb - These bombs explode the second they touch the ground and damage everything for a distance in the direction it is dropped. It does not necessarily destroy what it hits like the hover bomb. It will weaken enemies, but not kill them. It is most helpful against carnivorous plants that would do the player harm.
- Levitator - A collapsible platform that vertically extends to help the player get to an otherwise out of reach place. It is also useful for getting out of the line of enemy fire.
- Potion - A potion that restores the player's health to its maximum capacity. As the game progresses, they become more difficult to find.
- Remote Wasp - A wasp-shaped bomb that can be flown by remote control. Like the hover bomb, it is useful for killing enemies, but is often necessary to destroy out of reach generators that power laser fields. A purple goblin-like enemy creature uses remote wasps against the player; the player usually obtains wasps by killing one of those creatures.
, usually just called orcs or goblins, are the most common enemy Kyle encounters. They use rifles, purple ones use remote wasps as well. They can also punch Kyle if Kyle stands too close to them. They also withstand varying amounts of damage before dying, depending on the color of their skin.
are large blue demons who are usually found around slaves. They use a whip as their weapon, and are armored heavily to the point where only a hover bomb can defeat them.
are a hazardous enemy found across the entire game. Kyle has to jump over them as they approach, or hug the wall until they pass, or they will detonate.
are tentacled plants found in the last three areas. Usually, Kyle can just avoid them. If caught in one, however, he will either fight it off or be eaten (depending on the amount of health he has).
are Androthi traitors who work for Sarlac, appearing in the last three areas of the game. They carry pistols and attack Kyle or other Androthi on sight. They also can kick Kyle if Kyle stands too close to them. Much of the second chapter involves all out fighting between Androthi rebels and Andromedogs.
appear later in the last two worlds. They disguise themselves as rocky statues found in levels, and can roll into a ball-shaped boulder. Gold Golems are encountered first, then Silver Golems in Sarlac's castle.
, the villain of the game. He attacks in various ways such as stealth, strong punches, magical blasts, and orders his guard beasts to drop fire bombs. After Sarlac is defeated, Kyle takes his skull for a trophy as shown behind his throne at the end of the game.