The Flash is an action video game based on the DC Comics superhero of the same name. It was developed and manufactured by Sega and Probe Entertainment for the Sega Master System in 1993. The game's release followed approximately two years after the cancellation of the Flash TV series on CBS.
From the instruction manual:
- "With the assistance of electronics wizard The Trachmann, your old enemy, The Trickster, has taken control of Central City. True to his warped sense of humor, he's made himself mayor and decided to get rid of you for good. Declaring you a common criminal, Mayor Trickster has put a price on your head so that every hoodlum and punk in the city is hunting for you in order to claim the reward for themselves. To make things even more interesting The Trickster has raided the city treasury and stolen five priceless gems which have been scattered around the city as bait in a madcap but deadly assortment of traps. And if that wasn't enough, The Trachmann has released an unstoppable K-FED (Kool Flying Electronic Droid) which has been programmed to search Central City and destroy you."
The game is played from the typical platform style of the scrolling side on, 2D
, 3rd person
viewpoint. The player controls Flash though the levels in which they must achieve 2 primary goals.
- A) Find the switch which opens the level exit and then:
- B) make it to the exit within the time limit.
There is also a secondary goal of collecting the gems that where stolen which increases the players score.
If the player fails to make it to the exit within the time limit the FED tracks Flash down and kills him upon contact. While the player can run from the FED (giving them a last gasp effort to make it to the end of the level) due to the FED's ability to move over the screen regardless of the physical restraints that the player must encounter (e.g. walls) the player is eventually doomed to losing a life.
The FED acts as a more realistic method for imposing a time limit rather than the player just suddenly dying like in many platform games of this era.
The levels in the game are given the title "Episode." Each Episode is split into two zones. At the beginning of zone 1, Tina from S.T.A.R. Labs
will report to Flash on the whereabouts and activities of the Trickster giving the player an intro to the Episode and to help advance the storyline. At the end of the second zone in each Episode, Flash must face Trickster in his Trickstermobile. While the boss
in the "boss stage" remains the same throughout the game, the Trickstermobile increases in difficulty with additional weapons and speed as the game progresses.
- Episode 1 - Trickster for Mayor
- Episode 2 - Roller Coaster Runner
- Episode 3 - Warehouse Antics
- Episode 4 - Trouble at Mega Corp
- Episode 5 - At Peace in the Park
- Episode 6 - The Trickster's Funhouse
Flash can use the following abilities: Vibrator : Sends shockwaves immediately in the direction Flash is facing. Destroys Trickster blocks and simple enemies. The amount this attack can be used is determined by the energy meter which can be refilled using Star Food Vendors. Spin : Flash's second primary attack. Can destroy flying enemies which can not be attacked via the vibrator. Whirlwind : Flash for a short time becomes a whirlwind which can destroy anything is his path. Can only be used once unless additional Whirlwind items are collected. SuperSpeed : Flash runs at a faster pace. The amount this attack can be used is determined by the energy meter which can be refilled using Star Food Vendors.
These items are obtained through Flash destroying "Trickster Blocks" which are scattered throughout the levels:
Pizza : A pizza made up of four slices. Depending on how many the specific pizza has decides how much of Flash's health is restored. Clock : Increases the time available to the maximum 99 seconds. Restart : Acts as a checkpoint as to where the player can restart the level if they die. Whirwind : Gives an extra Whirwind attack. Magnetic Field Protection Unit : Gives invincibility for a short period of time. 1 UP : Gives the player an extra life. Continue : Gives the player an extra continue if they lose all their lives. Gem : The gems stolen by Trickster
. Gives bonus points if the player managers to guide Flash through the remainder of the zone without losing a life.
These items are found by themselves in the open environment: Flash Symbol : adds to the players points tally. Are numerous throughout the levels. Similar to the "Rings" in the Sonic the Hedgehog games. Star Food Vendor : Replenish Flash's energy bar so he can continue to use SuperSpeed and vibrating attacks. Switch : this opens the exit to the end of the zone. If not found and activated the end of the zone will remain blocked off.
Critical reception to The Flash
was mixed. Some found the fast pace of the game too difficult to control while others appreciated the depth in graphics, level design, and the soundtrack
. However, by 1993, the Sega Master System
was no longer supported in the Japanese and United States markets. Thus, the game's existence in the worlds two biggest video game countries went relatively unnoticed and remains an obscure European release to this day. However, it is highly valued by some retro game collectors for this very reason.
An unrelated Flash game was released for Game Boy
in 1991 by THQ
. It was based on the TV series
. Unlike the Master System release, it was released in the US and had different gameplay and a password system.
In 2006, The Flash starred in Justice League Heroes: The Flash for the Game Boy Advance. It is a spin-off of the game Justice League Heroes.