You Are Hero Core. You Make Me – Er – Hero.

Yeah, I was getting freaked out by everyone else posting games with an actual art-budget.

Mr Perkins pointed me in the direction of the newly-released Hero Core, from Daniel Remar who you may know from Ilj from a couple of years back. It’s the sequel to Hero, and I loved it within seconds of starting. A sprawling, non-linear shooter which will recall either old-skool NES or old-skool Ultimate: Play The Game, depending which side of the Atlantic you’re on. If you’re from elsewhere… well, you tell me. Go gets! Trailer follows.


  1. hydra9 says:

    I really liked Hero and this sounds even better! Downloading now…

  2. Dominic White says:

    Hero Core is sexcellent. See that extra S? That’s how good it is. Normal mode, I beat in 19 minutes… with 5% completion. Then I beat it properly in around two hours, getting the real ending. Now I’m about halfway through Hard mode, which is an ENTIRELY DIFFERENT WORLD MAP, and every enemy and boss has different, much more menacing behaviour. After that, there’s Annihilation mode, which is a side-story campaign, and you’ve got boss-rush and a randomly generated infinite challenge mode as well.

    And it’s only 2.5mb so you should all play it. There’s a huge amount of game packed into that tiny filesize.

    Also, get Iji, because it’s even better, and the developers updates have made it into one of the best games you can get for free, period. As of the latest update, there’s a whole bunch of side-plots and a new ending for players gutsy enough to fight through the whole thing without killing anyone or anything. And that’s a hard temptation to resist, as there’s something like 20 guns to play with.

    Oh, and anyone getting Iji should download the high-quality music pack. The default music is hugely overcompressed and it sounds like it’s being played underwater. With the high-quality stuff, it’s a fantastic soundtrack.

  3. karthik says:

    You guys really need to do a write-up on Iji.

    For a side-scroller, it was very ambitious. Metroidesque gameplay, some Deus-Ex like freedom, and a plot, even.

    It even played out differently depending on how violent you were. Your enemies’ opinion of you (and dialogue choices) changed depending on how you were playing the game.

  4. Lim-Dul says:

    I really liked Hero Core – played through it yesterday. Not only is it Chrono-Triggerish in that you can beat the final boss pretty much at any point in the game but also do the different difficulty settings introduce COMPLETELY NEW maps (in addition to harder enemy patterns).
    The music is also very good.

    P.S. I didn’t like Iji. It was slow, boring, the combat was sluggish, the controls sucked and in my opinion it got lost in its own over-ambitiousness.

  5. HairCute says:

    Content: Mild fantasy violence

    Sign me up!

    • HairCute says:

      Still just have my little B.B. gun and the energy sword ability. My bullet hell shooter skills are paying off here in a BIG way.

  6. Louis F. says:

    I was just having a second little session and thinking it should be mentioned on RPS. I held off for a while because retro shooters aren’t my bag so much, but it really is a blast to play.

  7. Nero says:

    Ah, my memories are coming back for the C64 game H.E.R.O., though not really similar still one of my most treasured games.

    About this, I just watched the beginning of a Let’s Play for it and I think I’m gonna try it out myself.

  8. Army_of_None says:

    Wasn’t a fan of Iji, goddamned LOVED this one. Played it through on normal with 100% completion, then hard with 100%. Vastly enjoyable :D

  9. Wulf says:

    Played this a while back and linked it in the forums, too! I described it there as the bastard child of Dropzone and Turrican. It’s free, so if anyone has the time and liked Turrican or that kind of explorey-shooty thing (or “Metroidvania”, as the kids apparently say today) then it’s definitely worth a look. For as long as it lasts, it’s pretty solid and fun.

  10. FunkyBadger says:

    I’m digging that title.

  11. Player1 says:

    Well, Iji wasn’t my cup of tea because honestly I couldn’t cope with the visual style. Hero and Hero Core are a completely different story. So minimalist they hurt but at the same time so full of style they seem to explode any second. GO – PLAY – IT – NOW!!

    • Dominic White says:

      The irony here is that Iji was originally going to have more detailed art, but the sheer amount of time involved in doing detailed shaded sprites meant that he settled on the flat-shaded Another World-ish approach.

      So when he goes to the other extreme and makes the player character a monochrome 7×8 pixel blob, people love it.

  12. Mechtroid says:

    Open herocore.sav (the savefile) There’s a present for all of you at the bottom. ;)

  13. Stu says:

    Oh, here comes the Hero Core life.

    I like this a lot; as you say, it’s very reminiscent of the old Spectrum explore-em-ups (Underwurlde, Backpacker’s Guide to the Universe, Starquake etc.), melded with the Metroid power-up hunt mechanic and shot through with a 1-bit ultra-retro aesthetic.

    I also like that the save file has a rap in it which you can see if you open it in Notepad.

    • Stu says:

      Yes, what Mechtroid said. That’ll teach me to not refresh a long-opened tab before commenting.

  14. disperse says:

    OK, that does it. I’m making a 1-color game.

  15. Gpig says:

    What happens if you kill that elite. I never managed to get enough hits in on him before he flew away. The entire game.

    • Stu says:

      You level up but it doesn’t actually tell you WHAT improves like it normally does when you defeat a boss; I guess better shields/more life or something like that?

    • Dominic White says:

      You just get a straight level increase – more health/armor, rather than any weapon upgrades. You really have to unload on him to kill him within the time limit though.

  16. Flit says:

    Oh my gosh, GOTY 2010 right here. Pitch perfect gameplay, beautiful 1bit graphics, jammin’ tunes, engrish, and a whole gaggle of modes with unique level layouts. Damn!

  17. Saucy says:

    Remar is my favorite indie game designer. Iji was a lump of legendary and hero was awesome too.

    Downloading this right now.

  18. Dominic White says:

    I think what makes Remar such a good games designer is that even when everything is complete and finished, he keeps playtesting his games to destruction. Even Valve would probably be impressed with the amount of experimentation he’ll do in order to find and squash every possible bug or exploit.

    And the best thing is that when he finds an expoit that actually seems pretty cool, he’ll work it into the game-script. For instance, in Iji, if you very carefully min-max and exploit a respec function that you don’t know about until near the end of the game, you can give yourself a smartbomb weapon quite close to the beginning. You can use it to one-shot a boss, and they’ll react with shock and confusion that you’ve gotten your hands on a weapon so powerful already.

    I expect to see tweaks, tuning and even some new content added to Hero Core over the next year or so.

  19. Psychopomp says:

    This is one of the best Metroidvanias in recent memory.

  20. Pemptus says:

    Just played through normal mode and it was thoroughly satisfying. Hard mode – here I come. Excellent game.

  21. Bret says:

    Played. Made sure to get every computer first time through, and managed to beat every boss but the eliminator.

    Fun times.

  22. Julia Sacramed says:

    Superb posting, well crafted I have to admit.