Metal Walker, known as Bakusou Senki Metal Walker GB: Kotetsu no Yuujou (爆走戦記 メタルウォーカーGB 鋼鉄の友情?, lit. "Roaring Chronicle Metal Walker GB: Steel Friendship") in Japan, is a 1999 role-playing video game for the Game Boy Color, developed and published by Capcom. Many critics likened the game to Nintendo's Pokémon series, but praised the game's unique qualities.[1] In Japan, the game inspired merchandise based on the Metal Walker robots.[2]

At the time of it's release, Metal Walker's battles were unique from other games in the genre due to their billiard-style nature. Players move their Metal Walkers across the battlefield by hitting them into items, walls, or enemy Metal Walkers.

Gameplay[edit | edit source]

Although Metal Walker is a console RPG, battles are fought in a pinball or billiards-like atmosphere in a top-down perspective arena.[3] As each turn of the battle starts, players decide which direction a Metal Walker will move and how hard they will move. Players are encouraged to form strategies that allow Metal Walkers to hit a single enemy, bounce off a wall, and then hit another enemy, all in a single turn.[1] On the battlefield, players can throw several different types of items onto the field. The items are used when a Metal Walker hits them. Capsules and healing items strengthen and heal Metal Walkers, whereas attack items, such as Napalm, are only useful when the enemy hits them. There also exist Analyzers, which provide the player with Scan Data for any Metal Walker that is bounced into them. Scrap metal won after the battle can then be used with the Scan Data to create new Metal Walkers or purchase items. When an enemy is destroyed, the player's Metal Walker will gain experience points and an item might be obtained. If the player's Metal Walker runs out of Hit points, the player will lose half of the carried scraps and have to start from the last save point.

Outside of battle, players explore a top-down overworld where they can explore various towns and dungeons. Most battles occur as random encounters. The overworld has several interactable elements, such as water, which the player needs a certain number of Cores to cross. The player can only carry one Metal Walker at a time and it will follow the main character on the overworld.[2] By defeating the game's bosses, players earn Core Units, which allow Metal Walkers to evolve into new, stronger forms.

Plot[edit | edit source]

Promotional art.

Metal Walker takes place late in the 21st Century when a valuable and evolving metal known as Core is discovered on an island. Military leaders sought to use Core to develop weapons, but an accident turned the island into a ruined wasteland. The Rusted Land, as it is called, is where the game takes place. Because of the research, the island is scattered with malicious robots known as Metal Busters.[4] Fifty years after the accident, the main character and his father Tetsuo Kurama have devoted their lives to search for lost Core Units on the island, but the game opens as the father is separated from his son as a gang of Metal Busters attack. The main character and his Metal Walker, Meta Ball, must then search for his father on the island.[2] Professor Hawk, Tetsuo's employer tells the main character that his father will be found where there are Core Units, so he then goes to seek them out.

Characters[edit | edit source]

  • Tetto Kurama - The player's character. He searches for his father in Rusted Land by looking for Core Units.
  • Meta Ball - A Metal Walker model that accompanies Tetto and protects him. He was developed by Professor Hawk.
  • Tetsuo Kurama - Tetto's father and assistant of Professor Hawk. He went to Rusted Land with his son and Meta Ball to look for Core Units, but they got separated when they were attacked by Metal Busters.
  • Professor Hawk - The authority on research for the Core Units.
  • Emil Crowzer - The daughter of the president of Crowzer Corporations, which produces Metal Walkers. She is a novice Core Hunter that went to Rusted Land to search for Core Units. At one point of the game she is kidnapped and Tetto has to rescue her.
  • Badoh - A Core Hunter that becomes a friendly rival of Tetto.
  • Dolfi - Grandson of the deceased Professor Green.
  • Marina - Dolfi's sister. The first time she sees Tetto she thinks he is a Metal Master and fights against him, but later she realizes her mistake and befriends him.
  • Metal Masters - A mysterious group of villains that is searching for Core Units

Reception[edit | edit source]

Metal Walker found praise among its critics, particularly for the game's unique "science fiction spin" on the Pokémon series.[1] Gerald Valloria of said of the game that "Metal Walker is a more than worthwhile endeavor for anyone that is in between Pokémon games, and it can serve as an alternative for those fans of RPGs that might be too ashamed to look someone in the eye and say, "Yeah, I'm playing Pokémon, what of it?"[2] The game earned a three out of five in Nintendo Power.[5]

Although calling the game "fun" and "engaging", GamePro called the game a "shameless Pokémon rip-off."[6] A review by gave the game a lower than average score, calling it an RPG that's "more mathematical than magical."[3]

Trivia[edit | edit source]

  • The 2013 mobile game Monster Strike has a similar concept and gameplay mechanics but is otherwise unconnected to Metal Walker.

Gallery[edit | edit source]

Box Art and Merchandise[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3
  3. 3.0 3.1
  4. Tetsuo: Run! The Metal Busters are coming! They are evil robots who hurt humans!|cite video game|title=Metal Walker |developer=Capcom|publisher=Capcom|date=2009-11-11 |platform=Game Boy Color

External links[edit | edit source]

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