Aftershock is a stealth/platforming game developed by TimeStrike and published by Sega for the Sega Genesis, being the last entry in the trilogy of Sega Genesis titles developed by TimeStrike. It was developed around the same time as BowieQuest and Crescent Kicker as part of a three-title deal with Sega. The fictional planet Zapka lost all its electricity in a fierce geomagnetic storm that severely damaged its power grid. With the origin being from the mysterious and uncharted Sukapec Diamond region, scientists quickly realized that something suspicious was occurring there, and dispatched a young man named Anthony Bell to search the region. He was chosen because a physics-defying lightning strike during the storm hit him head-on and gave him electricity powers- now a reluctant young hero, he's pushed along to investigate the ongoing storm's origins and figure out how to put it to rest.
Anthony Bell is a strange man that can power machines and devices with his own bare hands, zap through the air with an instant double jump, and attract and repel metallic objects around him as well as grapple through the air. He can also charge his body to utilize the Lightning Rod weapon, which he can use to paralyze enemies at minimal charge or straight-up knock them down at full charge. Anthony Bell must avoid detection and chart what he can of the Sukapec Diamond. Of TimeStrike's games of the era, Aftershock was thought by critics and fans to be the company's most forgiving title, with a relaxed control scheme and stronger focus on evasion than combat. With little emphasis on storytelling, the game was seen as the polar opposite to the company's own Crescent Kicker.
- Zapka is a strange world that's always been ahead of its time whenever it came to technological advancements and infrastructure, seen as the leader of the new society revolution sweeping the cosmos. Having ditched the by-hand ways of the old world, Zapka took huge strides to ensure that everything could be done by machine, whether it was something you could physically operate or simply watch do the work for you. It was a world that prohibited discrimination and judgment, with the power of society being in the hands of the people where it belonged. And things remained that way for eons, as planned by Zapka's top-notch government officials.
- Found across this eco-friendly sphere of steel, however, is the mysterious and uncharted "Sukapec Diamond". It's an area of Zapka that's believed to be its own world, with its own metropolis and atmosphere that defy the laws and culture of the world around it. The Sukapec Diamond has also become prone to suspicions by the government when a powerful geomagnetic storm brewed there, escaping the confines of the diamond and severely damaging the world's power grid! With blots of electricity still spotted in the diamond, reluctant hero Anthony Bell from capital city Kazaoplis is sent to investigate the area and zap up anyone in his way.
- Anthony Bell has little clue of what happens at the Sukapec Diamond, however- once a trespasser heads in, they are never seen or heard from again. When Bell takes his expedition into the harshest corners of Zapka, he sees why all too soon- it's an anarchic world littered with savages, with everyone in the region being blessed with the same powers as Anthony Bell! There's no time to waste, however- Anthony Bell's mother is risking death at the hands of a brain tumor, and he doesn't have much time to spare before she passes away. Can he overcome the restraints of his powers and find the solution to shutting down the geomagnetic storm without getting detected?
The player's ending depends largely on how much time they spend navigating the Sukapec Diamond.
- Ending A: If they finish the game with a time clocking over five hours,
- Ending B: If the player beats the game under five hours,
- Ending C: Should the player beat the game 100% under five hours,
- Ending D: If the player reaches the final boss under one hour, meaning skipping much of the game's bosses and diamond collectibles,
The game's endings, true final boss, and one character are all marked in spoilerhide tags. Read the rest of the article before reading them!
In Aftershock, the player must navigate the twisting and winding passages of the Sukapec Diamond, with their aim being to seek out the source of the geomagnetic storm. The layout of the Sukapec Diamond world is open-ended, ditching the linear style previous TimeStrike games BowieQuest and Crescent Kicker adapted. As Anthony Bell explores this strange world, he must gather powerups to enhance his abilities and scrolls that will stretch the limits of his electrical powers. Much of these enhancements are a necessity for reaching new places or overcoming threatening enemies. At the start of the game, Anthony will have only the Lightning Rod attack, which can't even kill any enemies at first. As the player explores this strange postmodern world, he will eventually come to boast all of his signature abilities, being capable of killing anything in sight.
What separates this game from the Metroidvania genre is the fact that Anthony must avoid being seen at all times. If Anthony is spotted, enemies will come chasing after him and overpower him within mere seconds. Thus, the player must stealthily navigate the Sukapec Diamond to the best of their ability, taking out enemies from a distance and taking alternative routes if necessary. He must also use electrical powers to spark up inactive machines and light up dark rooms, and use his magnetic powers to push and pull against steel, assuming he acquired these abilities. Aftershock also boasts a good number of puzzles for the player to try and solve, but some can be skipped if the player decides to risk getting caught and flee for their life with some hard-to-nail platforming instead. It's up to the player as for how they wish to beat the game... do you want to do time-consuming puzzles or play the chase game?
Throughout the game's world, the player will commonly find "angry chairs", which Anthony can sit upon to save his progress. By channeling his stress through the armrests, he will be able to meditate for long enough to receive full healing. Destroyed enemies or enemy projectiles will drop "energy pellets" that restore small chunks of health for Anthony while also empowering his Aftershock Meter, amplifying the power of his attacks briefly. This is especially true when many energy pellets are collected in quick succession. When Anthony damages bosses, they will occasionally drop energy pellets for him to absorb as well. The only other collectibles in the game are the powerups that Anthony can equip permanently, which he can only find by dispatching of bosses or by looking deep enough for them. These collectibles include brand-new weapons, ability-providing equipment, and muscle-boosting needles. He can also locate Diamonds, of which there are 120 spread across the game's ten levels.
The Sukapec Diamond is split into ten lands, each with their own environment and respective gimmicks to match, all taking place over one singular map that's split into several dozens of sub-areas. Many of these areas are gated off to the player until they obtain the means necessary to progress or they find the correct workaround to sneak inside. Backtracking is a common chore in Aftershock to navigate these areas, but high-speed transportation tubes can be taken to reach all the way around the map, with Anthony needing each destination's key to be able to access those respective places. These keys are obtained like collectibles, hidden in the toughest of spots. There is a map at the very top of the screen that tracks where the player is at all times, though it can only be updated every time the player saves the game. Any items that were located on the map but not collected will be denoted with red dots, and all save points that were found will be noted with yellow dots.
The HUD for Aftershock works as follows. The Stamina Gauge and Aftershock Meter are located in the upper-right corner, as is an icon of Anthony whose facial expression changes often to reflect the current situation. In the upper-left corner, the player can see how much time has elapsed since beginning the game's save file as well as their score counter. If the player pauses the game, they can see how much of the game's collectibles they've gathered, with unfound weapons and equipment being marked with question marks so to hide what they are. At the very bottom of the screen is a message bar, which will alert the player to events that are currently happening in the Sukapec Diamond. If the player remains idle or if there's not much going on, it will tell about the weather and about the region's politics.
The player uses the traditional Sega Genesis controller for Aftershock gameplay. The player uses the D-Pad to move left and right ( and ), and holding diagonally will keep the player's movement but allow Anthony to aim his gun respectively up and down. Run for long enough to really zoom at high velocities. Hold or to shoot directly up or down. The button allows the player to pause the game.
lets Anthony jump into the air, ascending and descending quickly. If is tapped again while the player is holding in any direction of their choice, he will zap jump. Should be tapped while Anthony is hugging a wall, he will wall jump from it. If he holds against a wall, he will stop sliding down it and stick in place. He can then move or to adjust his current position on the wall, though at a slouch's pace. Hold while within wind turbulence to drift along with it, and hold or to adjust Anthony's vertical position.
allows Anthony to unleash thunderbolts from his Lightning Rod weapon. Hold down to charge the strength and size of the beam. At maximum power, it can damage enemies rather than stun them. + will allow Anthony to zap a thunderbolt automatically towards electric pegs, coating him in electricity- he can swing and to manipulate the angle he gets released at. + will let Anthony do a parry to block and counter attacks. Pressing near circuits will let Anthony use light speed travel to navigate the Sukapec Diamond.
lets Anthony use his stun attack to briefly freeze enemies, locking in enemies in place very briefly but still being useful in emergencies. Holding + has Anthony do a power flash, lighting up dark rooms and empowering machines at will. Hold down to trigger Anthony's magnet powers, which allows him to drag steel objects back and forth by tugging backwards and forwards respectively. By holding while in magnet mode, he can stick himself to the undersides of steel.
Note that many of these abilities have to be acquired first. In the water, Anthony cannot use any of his electric abilities and he will be slowed down significantly. He has a 10-second time limit to escape the water before drowning, as well. Underwater, he can only wall jump, grip ledges, and do simple maneuvers like moving and jumping.
There are a total of twenty-one upgrades Anthony can equip himself with in Aftershock, including his default Lightning Rod weapon he receives at the beginning of the game. They each serve a vital role in Anthony's gameplay and give him many options to avoid detection from enemies and crawl around unseen. There are six weapons, six powers, six accessories, and six scrolls he may obtain.
The remaining upgrades are the Novice Scroll, Pro Scroll, and Master Scroll, which respectively let you use Level 1, Level 2, and Level 3 upgrades. Levels are represented by , with representing Level 0.
There are four ways the player can play Aftershock.
- Anthony Mode
When the player first selects a file in Aftershock, they will not be able to select their mode, being dropped into "Anthony Mode" straight away. This is the game's main mode and has Anthony Bell head on a quest to save his mother from her developing brain tumor, while shutting down the geomagnetic storm threatening his hometown of Kazapolis and trying to prove himself to be strong against all the odds.
- Antonia Mode
Upon clearing Aftershock 100%, the player can select "Antonia Mode". It's a much harder variation of the usual Aftershock quest, where collectibles are in much tougher-to-reach locations (including upgrades) and where needles only give half as much bulk to Antonia. Enemies and bosses take even more of a beating than before, and Antonia's increased weight makes her somewhat harder to move around.
- Lightning Mode
If the "Antonia Mode" of Aftershock is beaten 100%, the player will be allowed to play "Lightning Mode", where they'll be able to play as the Lightning Thief character. Unlike the previous mode, the Lightning Thief already has all his powers at the start of the adventure, and he doesn't have to face any bosses or enemies. However, hazards are much more all over the place, and platforming puzzles are much tighter.
- Boss Rush
When Aftershock gets beaten under five hours, the player can participate in the "Boss Rush" mode, where all of the game's bosses can be fought one after the other. The player will have all their upgrades for this series of fights, negating the need to collect them manually. The player will only receive minor healings after each boss fight, so it's wise to take as little damage as possible on the player's part.
- Options Mode
The player can adjust music/sound volume controller configuration here, and additionally select whichever music tracks or sound effects they wish to play from the Sound Test. Anthony will be resting underneath his desk, head buried in a magazine advertising grunge music (presumably Nirvana).
— Anthony Bell
“I didn't ask to be a superhero, especially through traumatic shock. Literally.”
Anthony Bell is a quiet and rather reserved person that was once known for his fine roof repairman duties before he involuntarily received his electrical powers through a massive geomagnetic storm. Before this acquisition of power, he was just an ordinary person, trying to scrape in as much money as possible to save his dying mother from her massive brain tumor. He was a loner that never liked attention much, staying out of group activities and listening to Fleetwood Mac when not working on his online school curriculum in his youth. Though his goofy parents had embarrassed him much during his years in public school outlets and soured his reputation enough to force him to stay home, he loved them and wanted to take care of them in his 20s and so on forth. He believes he is incapable of love or being loved, thus he is introverted.
When he accidentally managed to light up his household and make the whole neighborhood briefly flicker with electricity, he received the full attention of the authorities. Believing him to be a potential unit for them, the government enforced him to venture into the Sukapec Diamond and investigate the area as well as shut down the storm if possible. He was very reluctant to do so given he wanted to take care of his mother, but he caved in when they promised him they would give him all the money he would need to see his mother fully recover. This is just one instance where Anthony was thrust into situations beyond his control or current capabilities- he couldn't save his father from a flying car collision or convince his ex-girlfriend to ditch the serial killer she happened to be dating. Yet... he's doing this mission, for mother's sake.
— Rose Bell
“Ooh, Anthony dear... you can do it... it wouldn't shock me if you did. *weakly laughs*”
Rose Bell is the mother of Anthony Bell, currently resting at his home and laying facedown with a quickly worsening brain tumor attacking her. She's only seen at the beginning of the game, struggling in her bed and sniffling. If approached, it's clear she's trying to put up with recurring headaches and worsening hearing loss, and won't be able to respond well when Anthony approaches her. Pictures on the wall that can be zoomed in imply that Anthony and Rose shared a wonderful relationship together, displaying them having picnics on a grassy hill and walking through the streets of Kazapolis, Zapka's capital city and most populated region. According to the game's manual, it's implied that Rose used to be a hyper and goofy parent with strong protective tendencies, shielding Anthony as much as she could but unwittingly embarrassing him during his time in school.
As she is immobile and mostly incapable of speech, she does not say anything throughout much of the game, only gaining a surplus of dialogue in the game's good endings.
— Nick Brown, walkie-talkie
“What's up Anthony? I really miss you... my job as a roof repairman just isn't the same without your presence. Come back soon xoxoxo”
Nick Brown is Anthony Bell's best friend, with the two having been working together as roof repairmen prior to Anthony's shock incident. Before that, Nick was trying to assist Anthony in healing his mother by scraping up whatever excess cash he could to lend to his pal. Now that Anthony's been given the task to infiltrate the dangerous Sukapec Diamond region, Nick's been working twice as hard to help out Rose with her brain tumor so that Anthony didn't have to come home to a disaster. Nick remains in special contact with his best friend via walkie-talkie, telling him how much longer his mother has to live through days (every hour spent in-game counts as a day in Aftershock's lore) and giving him updates about what's going on in the area. He'll talk about the electricity situation in the rest of Zapka and inform Anthony about how everyone's doing, including his ex.
Nick is a talkative character who remains by Anthony's side throughout much of the game. He's seen physically in the beginning and good endings of the game, holding Anthony's hand.
— Elekta, describing the Lightning Rod
“The Lightning Rod stuns whatever your inexperienced ass zaps. What, did you expect me to tell you how it 100% works? I'M NOT YOUR MANUAL, ANTHONY!”
Elekta is a sentient spirit made wholly from electricity, assuming the physique of an adult human. She is known for her distorted cackling noises and her somewhat condescending attitude. Elekta is a resident of the Sukapec Diamond, worming around the area through riding circuits and wires crossing through the region. Every time Anthony receives a new upgrade, she will pop out from nowhere (usually startling him) to explain how the powerup works while belittling him the whole time for his inexperience. She is especially belittling against him if he doesn't have the scroll necessary to use said powerup, causing her to leave in disgust and leaving him to work it out. If the player checks back at the site they received that powerup, they will find a condescending note telling them how the powerup works. She'll eventually soften up just a little, especially when Anthony gets a strong grip on his powers.
Elekta only really pops up when the player receives upgrades or scrolls. She's usually rude, but will congratulate the power if they can successfully sequence break the game or if they appear in tip-top shape following a boss fight.
— Lightning Thief
“You couldn't possibly prevail over me, Anthony, you know that the queen wouldn't like that. She wouldn't like that, not even one bit...”
The Lightning Thief is one of the Sukapec Diamond's most prized individuals, being a secret agent for the Industrial Queen that's known for his unrelenting and heartless behavior, as well as his overtly cocky exterior. He works to assassinate any intruder that has a good reputation for survival and resistance in the Sukapec Diamond. Acknowledging the queen's passion for having Anthony Bell destroyed, he encounters his nemesis from time to time, occasionally giving him a tough fight. He's always depicted as being a step or two above Anthony each time, possessing powers that Anthony doesn't each time and usually claiming that he's holding back to test his real worth. He remains unseen for most of the adventure, but he cameos every so often to open up gates and passages, blowing them up so that Anthony must find alternative ways around those obstacles.
The Lightning Thief is one of two rival characters that Anthony has to deal with throughout his journey, seen and fought a total of three times throughout the game.
— Cherry Crusher
“When I've beaten you down to a bloody pulp, I will come back home with the child support I need to supply my husband with. SO DON'T RESIST ME!”
Another member of the Sukapec Diamond's elite forces is the Cherry Crusher, a muscular and feisty woman that destroys things through physical force and pure strength. Though lacking in electrical talents, she can easily kill anyone that lacks armor or good means of self defense by just clapping her enemies' heads between her hands. She's also gone much more rigorous training, displaying raw power at all times. Unlike the more popular Lightning Thief, she's a pessimistic and rather doubtful person that isn't so positive that the Industrial Queen's plans will work out, and never really prides herself. She never sounds too glum though, sounding as if excited to say such things when she's talking to Anthony. Her temper is wild and it can go out of control if she loses to Anthony, causing her to break open walls and structures that allow Anthony to progress further into the Sukapec Diamond.
The Cherry Crusher is one of two rivals that Anthony will have to square off against frequently, being fought three times over the course of the game.
— Industrial Queen
“Oh my, squabbling again, aren't we little children? It's okay, Mama Nimbus will return us all to the glory days of Zapka sooner or later...”
The Industrial Queen, or Virga Nimbus, is the cybernetic steampunk weapon responsible for the geomagnetic storm destroying Zapka's power grid and placing millions of people in needless peril. This weapon was constructed by the Sukapec Diamond's leading scientists so that the world could revert to its "old world" state and return to its religious ways, with the Industrial Queen intended as a vessel for God to assume. Wholly made of heavy metal and boasting Level 4 electric powers, she can create and spread storms across the world and supply the whole Sukapec Diamond with the electricity and resources it needs to run. All people in the Sukapec Diamond believe that Virga Nimbus is a sentient being that will bring them great fortune, but she's really a robot powered by an unlikely source. Out in public, the Industrial Queen appears to be friendly and reasonable, and lets people do whatever they want until the ways of the old world can be returned. Little is it known by Sukapec how futile these efforts will be...
The Industrial Queen, though not directly the main antagonist, is the source of the geomagnetic storm and is therefore Anthony Bell's main target throughout the course of Aftershock.
(link to full image)
— Michael Bundy, endgame
“Tehehehe~ Ooh, for just coming THIS close to ruining everything, I really need to find a splendid punishment for you!”
— Antonia Whistle
“Here's a real aftershock for ya- I exist! And I'm ready to rock 'n' roll!”
Upon clearing Aftershock with 100% of all items, no matter how long the player took, they unlock the option to play as Antonia Whistle! She's not really a serious or reserved type like her male Anthony counterpart, being a louder and happier person that just wants to rock and roll and have a great time! This is reflected in her animations, which look rather innocent and free of any worry or fear. In this alternate universe where Antonia's story takes place in, Antonia decides to venture into the Sukapec Diamond just because she wanted to, with her prejudice-holding father attempting stop her but falling unconscious upon getting blasted with electricity. Antonia Whistle plays almost identically to Anthony Bell, but her version of the game is much tougher than Anthony's and requires a lot of patience to complete. Don't worry about endings, though! She'll be drifting towards the sunset no matter how the player fares.
There is no dialogue to be seen in Antonia Whistle's playthrough, as there isn't a story she's tying herself to. The goal's to clear the game with the lowest time possible, which will be saved on the game's internal leaderboards.
The Sukapec Diamond is split into ten subareas, taking Anthony from its outskirts to its main base of operations in a somewhat linear fashion, like Metroid II: Return of Samus. Though these areas are visited in linear order, they must be thoroughly explored for their respective upgrades and have their bosses stricken down before Anthony can move on. However, if the player is observant enough, they can figure out how to skip some chunks of the game and thereby save plenty of time, at the cost of being less equipped for the dangers just ahead of them.
The outskirts of the Sukapec Diamond are dangerous territory for trespassers to be heading through, with how many searchlights and cameras there are seeking out intruders. The landscape is a bleak, desolate wasteland with black fog covering the sandy ground in a thick blanket, with many chasms and a large canyon visible in the distance. As Anthony ventures into the Sukapec Diamond, things will begin looking more and more mechanical by the minute, with groups of wires and running machines to be found everywhere. Though, the whole area carries a somewhat intimidating "rugged" and "aged" feel, with much of the ground and structures here being unstable. In the distance, one can see the Iron Castle landmark, surrounded by an electrically-powered city composed from diamond and seas of oil.
The pathway through the Sukapec Outskirts is rather straightforward, with Anthony simply having to head right through a simplistic obstacle course of cliffs and pits while avoiding contact with any enemies snooping around. Anthony has to avoid searchlight rays as he goes, electrocuting their sources to break them if he must, while stunning his enemies. There isn't much to look out for here until the player reaches an old tower, which is a vertical shaft that will take Anthony right into the honeycomb labyrinth waiting below. As the player is practically weaponless for most of this level, though, they need to avoid contact with as many enemies as possible. When they gain the Lightning Rod, they can fight the level's guardian boss- the Cam-Camera.
First impressions will leave one thinking that there isn't much to the Sukapec Outskirts- and that is true, as there's little of interest to the naked eye. However, much of the game's unstable floor and bottomless pits will take Anthony down to an underground chamber, which brings upon the look of a black dungeon. It is here where Anthony will meet Elekta and gain his Lightning Rod weapon for the first time, which is a necessity for striking switches and getting through the rest of the game. By navigating through this dungeon, he can also find his first needle (which gives him more health) and the Startling Stun power, which will become his main way of freezing his enemies in place. The dungeon doesn't have many hazards, with spikes and rolling boulders being the only obstacles.
Anthony will eventually wind up in the caverns leading below the surface of Zapka, a complicated maze of sticky subterranean passageways shaped and colored like honeycombs. It's a sticky, claustrophobic area with numerous hexagonal passageways, with several spots on the floor drenched with sticky honey that can be tough to escape if Anthony collapses into it. The Honeycombs show the occasional hint of wear and tear, with some crevices found within clearly leading towards nothing but pitch-black darkness. Cascades of honey will rush down long waxy tubes, which are tough to fight against but allow residents of the Sukapec Honeycombs to travel about. Surprisingly, the bee-like wildlife here is not aggressive and will not attack Anthony, but that's all because they're hiding from their greatest fear: the Killer Wasp.
The honeycombs are a very sticky labyrinth that's somewhat easy to get lost in if you're navigating through it for the first time. The pathway through isn't very clear, so Anthony does have to do some exploring to find his way through. Bees in the background will rearrange themselves into arrow shapes to try and guide Anthony to hidden goodies and passageways, encouraging the player to go off the beaten path now and then. Several walls of the honeycombs are unstable and can be broken with fully charged Energy Rods, while some rooms are so dark that the player needs a strong light source (like through Power Flash) to see what's ahead. Pools of honey will try to sink down Anthony if he falls into them, but they can be bypassed by simply hopping over them. Honey fountains will restore Anthony's health if he stands by one.
These honeycombs are packed with enemies lurking about, seeking Anthony's presence. As such, Anthony must make it through the area as stealthily as possible, crawling through vents or into sticky spaces to avoid being seen by scouts or troops. Besides the already-mentioned honey hazard, wax elevators will lift Anthony around and a sequence of numbered buttons can be hit to break open the path to the hidden Overgrowth location. Mounds of honey attached to surfaces can help Anthony navigate the area better than he already could, by simply sticking his body to them and leaping from mound to mound. Anthony can pick up the chargeable Energy Rod weapon here to have a better chance of fending off enemies and the Power Flash to light up dark spaces and power up machinery, though that's it.
Soon enough, Anthony will snap through an enormous spiderweb within the honeycomb labyrinths, dropping him into the overgrowth below. This humid, thriving region makes him sweat, with green plant life pulsating everywhere around him. Though it's breathing with natural life, many machines can be seen providing excess heat to the region, giving the whole area an unsettling artificial coat of paint. Many vines leading through the overgrowth serve as treadable ground for Anthony, with protruding leaves serving as platforms and overtly-thick spider threads hanging from above serving as ropes. Many carnivorous plants will be attempting to take a bite out of Anthony here and there as he comes by. By tampering with machines, Anthony can briefly kill the heat to freeze over the whole area, with some frozen-over plants capable of being destroyed and some bodies of water becoming crossable.
It can be tricky to navigate the overgrowth, but it's not necessarily as complicated as the six-directional honeycomb cells Anthony had to sneak through earlier. The Zap-Jump Boots and Gripper Gloves that can be found here, though, give Anthony an easier time navigating the tighter hazardous corridors that are frequently found in this jungle. He will need to make many tight jumps to avoid touching thorny platforms or bramble brushes. Many areas of the overgrowth are very poorly lit, requiring the Power Flash to allow Anthony to see what's ahead of him. There are some thick plant barriers that won't let Anthony pass on through easily, only capable of being destroyed if Anthony locates a heating device and tampers with it so that they become frozen over. Upon freezing over a region, Anthony has a 10 second time limit to break down barriers and cross over bodies of water before it all unfreezes.
Things can begin to get tricky here, with Sneaky Jacks and Bronze Chasers being particularly bothersome enemies to deal with. Lamp Boys and Look-Out Spies can also catch the player by surprise if they're not navigating the area stealthily enough. By shocking apart thick spiderwebs blocking little passageways, Anthony can sneak through crevices to navigate around irksome groups of enemies, though he must be quick or he may fall into the "deep overgrowth", where many carnivorous plants await to try and consume Anthony. Venus flytraps found throughout the jungly maze will either snap at Anthony if he comes by or breath fireballs in his direction. If Anthony manipulates where they toss the fireball, he can get them to burn down plants that can't be frozen over, giving him new places to head towards. Once Anthony's ready, he will confront the Pyrantula and Cherry Crusher enemies.
Upon cutting through the overgrowth, Anthony will arrive at the Thunder Harbor, having finally made it through the two layers of labyrinths protecting the populated core of the Sukapec Diamond. It's a metallic, freezing cold indoors harbor with a very salty black sea surrounding its rusted docks. The big steel cruisers in this harbor are destined to head out and blast the technological world of Zapka outside with many tonnes of nuclear weapons, much to Anthony's disgust and worry. These docks are loaded with gunmen and bronze chasers that will make it tricky for Anthony to make it around unseen, especially with the Gamma Troops waiting in reserve for when intruders like Anthony are discovered. Big blocks of steel, containing nuclear supplies, are being pushed around by muscular men and women, while "sparkworkers" ensure all operations are going about successfully.
When Anthony enters the harbor, he should find the Piercing Rod and Magnet Drag upgrades somewhere along this darkly-lit harbor, which are trapped within ships that Anthony can enter the doors of here and there. These upgrades are respectively useful for shooting up enemies and switches usually out of Anthony's reach and moving around enormous blocks of steel. Unlike the honeycombs and overgrowth Anthony had to cut through before, the Thunder Harbor is a straightforward area that requires Anthony to track down switches and use them to open up the drawbridges leading through the area. This is dangerous though, given how many searchlights are scanning the area and how almighty the Gamma Troops would be against a Level 1 Anthony. Furthermore, he needs to cut his way into the harbor's offices and take out rows of Sparkworkers with a Piercing Rod without getting caught.
Anthony's biggest issue with the Thunder Harbor will be navigating it. The wide open road that represents the main path through the Thunder Harbor is barricaded with drawbridges and there are many enemies watching over the area, and the buildings Anthony enters are usually claustrophobic and involve a lot of problem solving so that Anthony can work around the guarded doorways. Taking down enemies from behind or blasting them with a Piercing Rod out of nowhere will be the player's key to disposing of enemies. By shooting lamps hanging over the harbor, Anthony can light them up to see if there's any enemies waiting below them if the area they're in is particularly dark. As the player's lightning attacks will rebound off of steel boxes, even with the Piercing Rod in their possession, the player can head over to them and use their Magnet Drag to push enemies off of the docks.
Beyond the Thunder Harbor is the bizarre and unmonitored Diamond Square, the capital area of this anarchic region. But first, Anthony must cross the Black Bridge that leads him over there. This black steel bridge stretches for several miles and winds through several mountains before leading into the metropolis ahead. However, when Anthony brought down the electricity and communications systems in the Thunder Harbor, it also disrupted energy flows through the bridge and all the way in the Diamond Square, preventing many of the drawbridges and machines from functioning like they should. The whole area is also under construction, meaning that Anthony has to very carefully navigate from segment to segment of this divided structure while using cable lifts to carry himself between the different levels of the bridge. It's tricky to navigate, and to make matters worse, sudden death lurks below if Anthony slips and falls!
Though the route through the Black Bridge is straightforward, the way Anthony has to cross it is somewhat unorthodox. Sometimes he'll have to grind across the cables connecting the bridge towers together, other times he'll be having to climb along the underside of the deck while blasting at anything that could give away his presence. He can also electrocute suspension cables to free them of enemies and climb them to reach the top bits of the bridge. The towers of the bridge have lifts that can take Anthony to the very top or to the very bottom, also underneath the deck if necessary. Enemies like Golden Chasers and Lightning Prowlers can make it difficult to make it through undetected, while Magnet Crabs and Spark Suckers can and will easily slow Anthony down. If Anthony enters one of the mountains of the Sukapec Diamond, he has to climb it quickly in the shadows or he'll be detected by the Sparkworkers inside.
The only upgrade that Anthony really receives here is the Bolt Grapple, but he'll receive the Pro Scroll here too if he searches for it hard enough. This lets Anthony swing between electric pegs, which he can swing around to gain speed and release from to gain momentum through the air. This is essential for progression, as Anthony will be needing it alongside wall jumping and ledge gripping to navigate the looser areas of the bridge. To open up drawbridges, Anthony will need to seek out switches that will bring them down, though they'll be tough to reach and require some skill on the player's behalf. Several areas of the bridge will not let the drawbridge open, but if Anthony carefully guides himself below the bridge, he can bend the steel foundations below to slope the bridge and allow himself to pass through. Adjusting the bridge's slope lets Anthony reach higher, tougher-to-find spots.
Anthony Bell's finally arrived at the Diamond Square, having reached the heart of the Sukapec Diamond region. Undoubtedly the most expansive area of this forbidden world, its citizens are aggressive and the biggest threats (including the newly introduced Zeta Troops) are very intimidating. The Diamond Square appears to be a metropolis made from cyan crystal, with goldenrod pavement and flashing lights to evoke a pristine and gorgeous futuristic vibe. The Diamond Square is a huge place for Anthony to explore, with many winding paths taking Anthony up and down the multiple layers of streets and occasionally into the sewers. Depending on where Anthony's at precisely, the pathways he can take and decisions he can make can become very different. Luckily, not too many enemies are keeping an eye out for Anthony, so he has a bit more room to explore than he did before- since they think he's still on the bridge.
Introduced to the player here are the ever-handy Sonic Rod and Sticky Gloves, which respectively let him spam Piercing Rods rapidly and cling directly to walls without sliding up or down. This means that, for the first time, Anthony can actually hold his own in a fight against serious threats, at least against those at his current level. If Anthony charges up devices throughout the metropolis, he can activate electric rails that he can grind on to get across distances. He can also charge up devices to power up elevators, move around platforms with ease, and open up doors that he needs to slide underneath within a time limit. Much of the time, Anthony has to cross several of these hazards seamlessly or he will drop back down to square one. These sections make use of the player's many mobility options too, and sometimes rely on him to use his magnetic powers to pass on by.
Much of Diamond Square can be tricky to navigate, as it's a rather open-ended labyrinth that doesn't appear to have a main path cutting right through it. This is partially because that much of the metropolis can be traveled on both the foreground layer and the background layer, meaning that Anthony will be using these alternate paths to get around blockades and other typically unavoidable obstacles. The higher Anthony goes, the less connected structures will be to another, yet that's where all of the offices with the evil Sparkworkers reside and that's where most switches and triggers can be located. The lower he goes, the more open things are, but the more enemies that will be patrolling the streets in search of his presence. There is no real set way to make it through the Diamond Square- just nab the Sticky Gloves and choose whether you want to solve lots of puzzles or make a great escape.
Now that Anthony's past the labyrinth that Diamond Square proved itself to be, he has to climb its Power Tower as the first step towards reaching and infiltrating the Iron Castle that's seated way above the metropolis. Inside, Anthony figures out that the Power Tower happens to be spreading electricity across the Sukapec Diamond, keeping it running- if he can shut it down, he'll force the Industrial Queen's legion to rely on auxiliary power. Given the Power Tower is vertically massive, it's crucial that Anthony doesn't slip off at any point, as he'll wind up tumbling down below and possibly into grave danger. The Power Tower is a very steamy mechanical area with many electronically-powered lifts and devices, with much of the well-lit tower accompanied by some of the Industrial Queen's strongest troops. The Power Tower is actually incomplete, with several areas of the tower allowing Anthony to head outside and ride the winds to accompanying towers that ensure the main tower and the factory above are well-protected from assaults.
At this point in the game, Aftershock no longer pulls any punches, with a very challenging mix of platforming and evasion prominent in this tower. Anthony must use his electricity frequently to operate platforms, then time his jumps and movements well enough to take himself higher and higher. Steam valves can launch Anthony high, steel platforms can be ridden to set locations before quickly wheeling back, and enormous cogs will stop spinning to allow Anthony to pass through dangerous hazards. Though it's possible to go through the Power Tower without detection, it will be very difficult, as dangerous enemies can be found at nearly every ledge and the Zeta Troops can still prove to be an issue for Anthony to deal with. If Anthony gets detected, a huge horizontal steel door above him will close, forcing him to waste time and find another way up, and that door will open up again when he's reached a vertical position higher than it. Blockades above Anthony can be destroyed by triggering explosives, though he'll have to dodge the incoming debris afterwards.
Anthony locates both the Thunder Rod and Turbulence Glider upgrades here. The Thunder Rod will give Anthony an explosive amount of power, letting him rip through enemies with ease compared to before and allowing him to counter a wide variety of different threats. Meanwhile, the Turbulence Glider allows Anthony to flow with the wind, letting him ride gusts and updrafts and giving him even more versatility with his movement options. Many areas of the Power Tower, especially those right outside of it, will make Anthony use his Turbulence Glider in tandem with his wall jumping, zap-jumping, ledge climbing, and Bolt Grapple powers to navigate the wide open space. Though Anthony receives the Turbulence Glider early, he receives the Thunder Rod much later, which will become essential in the brawl that's going to soon ensue in the computer room resting on the tower's top. If Anthony's having trouble bringing enemies down, he can trigger explosives to kill them, but he must watch for the debris and evade it.
Anthony's finally managed to shut down the main power source keeping the Sukapec Diamond's electricity running, though they've switched to auxiliary power during the downtime. This downtime prevents the factory from running though, allowing Anthony to pass through safely- but he must do so within 15 minutes, or the hyper-fast dangerous factory speeds and camera systems will reactivate and either kill him or get him arrested in an instant! There's no time to waste in this rusty crimson-red factory, with Anthony having to rush through this linear obstacle course in record time to reach his next destination. Everything here is inanimate and pitch-black, making it hard to see and making Anthony reliant on his skills to make it on through in time. Some areas of the factory are loose and prone to falling or rolling out of place, which can take the player by surprise if they're not looking out for danger ahead. Many dozens of traps exist in the factory to make Anthony retrace his steps, which can waste precious time.
Anthony finds three essential tools here, which can't be missed as they're necessary for progression: the Sonic Boots, the Circuit Phaser, and the Master Scroll. The Sonic Boots allow Anthony to run at high speeds and burn through anything that can't resist high temperatures, and this charge can be stored up to let Anthony dash in any of eight directions, akin to the Shinespark function from Super Metroid but slightly more versatile. The Circuit Phaser allows Anthony to travel along currents in the floor and walls, letting him reach many places that he couldn't otherwise reach. This ability can be used to travel back to previous levels to seek out diamond collectibles with the player's new powers in tow, though it can't be used to navigate to previous levels until Anthony's factory mission has been finished first. Finally, the Master Scroll allows Anthony to use any ability he earns throughout the game, therefore making him just as powerful as anyone else in the game, including the super-strong Lightning Thief.
With these new abilities acquired fairly early on, Anthony must sprint through the factory and use all of his mobility tools to navigate the claustrophobic walls of the place, using his combined Thunder/Sonic/Piercing Rod to shoot down groups of enemies (including the almighty Zeta enemies) while using his electricity powers to empower machines and his magnetic talents to push things alone in a hurry. There are often many gears, crushing pistons, and platforms that won't move until Anthony manually activates them, giving him a brief amount of time to zoom past them if he can't find another way (i.e. by current riding). The whole time Anthony's doing this, he'll be chased down by the Lightning Thief and Cherry Crusher, who will be respectively giving chase by directly following Anthony and busting through the steel surfaces of the factory. It will be a narrow escape, no matter how the player hides. Luckily, if the player's response time is quick enough, they can slip underneath a surface and not get noticed by either character for a bit- then they can run!
|Old World Labs||
Upon the collapse of the Thunder Dragon, Anthony will drop down into the hidden Old World Labs, which are the last place Anthony has to visit prior to being able to enter the Iron Castle. These labs resemble a series of interconnected Mormon temples, just pastel-white in color with many priests and messiahs walking about conducting cruel and unusual experiments to humans and animals to determine how they can bring the world back to its older, highly religious state of affairs. Many series of wires can be found spread across the ground, which seem to be connecting to something at the end of the Old World Labs and thus should be followed as the main path. Many science tables can be found in Anthony's way, with disturbing religious experiments being built atop them, and many stacks of bibles can be ascended to gain a good amount of height in the ridiculous heights of the Old World Labs. If Anthony slipped under the labs, he'll discover a complicated series of rooms that are filled with guards, money, and early revealings of the Industrial Queen's true intents.
The Old World Labs offer little mechanically, but it's worth noting that Anthony can find his final weapon here: the destructive Atomic Strike. This weapon means that Anthony will always have a means of killing someone now and will be able to encounter practically everyone in his way. It's about time too- some of the game's most dangerous enemies are here, including Sonic Sharks, Zappy Devils, Nucleoldiers, and the newly introduced Omega Troops. The Industrial Queen has finally recognized Anthony as a real threat, and is willing to completely decimate him any way she can now, so she's sending out her best troops to stop him. If the player keeps moving along and keeping an eye on all sides, though, Anthony can annihliate all these soldiers without much effort and keep their focus on platforming and seeking the end of the labs. There are some very tricky segments Anthony will have to solve with his full arsenal of abilities, placing all the player's skills to the test without giving them too many obstacles to worry about.
Though it's the game's penultimate stage, the Old World Labs is an unusually short level that only has some groups of enemies for Anthony to face, some of the trickiest platforming bits in the game, and three boss battles. Given that Anthony has to climb the Old World Labs though, he will have to restart from a much earlier point in the level if he falls, and the only way he can get back up soon is by doing some really complicated tricks with the Sonic Boots. While the player's moving along, they can marvel at the many statues of God adorning the hallways and see people praying at churches sometimes found in the hallways. If Anthony stands in front of a doorway for long enough, the statue of God in the distance will wink at him, as if implying something immoral's happening here. If Anthony crawls into the basement, he can see several people dressed up like Satanists or Satan himself getting choked or tortured, with such things being broadcast on live television across the Sukapec Diamond. Find the exit to the labs and enter the Iron Castle.
At last, Anthony manages to arrive at the Iron Castle, the core of the Industrial Queen's base of operations and the final destination. Though it looks very rusted and filthy, looking more like a prison than a regal castle, there's no doubt in Anthony's mind that this is his last stop. Carrying on the look of the Old World Labs, only much more rusted and slightly overgrown with vegetation and looking almost like a centuries-old national park, there's many religious elements that form the core of this castle's aesthetic design. If Anthony ventures far enough, he will be within the underground chambers of the castle, which resemble a generic-looking metallic base colored gold and black and with the occasional portrait of God in the distance. The more Anthony moves throughout this perilous factory, the more the player can see that this portrait will change- it will change to the Industrial Queen, then to a strange man named Michael Bundy, giving an ominous hint as for what lies ahead for the player to see. There are no enemies down in the base, strangely.
The first half of the Iron Castle is an endless horde of Robo-Anthonys and Omega Troops, with numerous Elite Guards preventing Anthony from passing on by. Anthony can blast through all of them with the Atomic Strike and simply rush his way through, or he can find a hidden passage underneath the castle that bypasses all of these enemies and lets him take an elevator to the high castle floors. From there, he can get a great view of the Sukapec Outskirts and the Diamond Square, but must be careful to not slip and fall towards the many hordes of enemies waiting below. At the end of the Iron Castle's rusted vegetation area, Anthony will collect the Parry Gloves, his final upgrade and what will prove to be very useful against the game's final bosses. Some of the obstacles here that Anthony will have to overcome that aren't enemies are falling crushers lined with spikes on the bottom, fire-breathing statues that can hop around, and little electric spirits that can paralyze Anthony on sight and vanish as soon as their work is complete.
Before the player drops into the Iron Castle's mechanical base, Elekta will arrive to congratulate the player on making it so far, but will advise them to turn back now if they wish to find the rest of the game's Diamonds- there's no collectibles in the base. When the player's ready, they will drop down into the merciless metallic base waiting below the Iron Castle. A huge spiky wall will emerge from the left, slowly chasing the player down as they rush through a series of metallic hallways, using their Lightning Rod to trigger switches to open up doors and using their electrical abilities to activate platforms and bring up obstacles to slow down the horizontal crusher ready to squeeze the guts out of Anthony. There are no enemies in Anthony's way except at the very end, where Anthony will have to pluck the shield off an Elite Guard and kill it before being able to proceed. While going through these hallways, all of the player's powers will be put to the test. When the player makes it beyond the Elite Guard, they will reach the last angry chair and the final bosses...
There are twenty-eight enemies that will periodically try to stop Anthony throughout the game, divided into four classes. Somewhat like Anthony, the level they're at will determine how many abilities they can use on hand, with higher-level enemies encountered deeper into the game. Enemies at "Level 0" are the most common, while those at "Level 3" are the rarest and toughest to tackle. Most of these enemies are impossible to defeat without upgrading the Lightning Rod or some early improvisation of it, so it's wise to try and make it as strong as you can.
|Level 0 Troops||
|Level 1 Troops||
|Level 2 Troops||
|Level 3 Troops||
There are thirteen boss characters for Anthony to tear down, with eleven being major bosses and the other two being recurring rivals. They're just like oversized enemies, but with much wider pools of attacks and requiring much more strategy and memorization to be beaten. The major bosses are found at the core of every level while the minor ones are found as Anthony travels to them.
The Lightning Thief is one of two rivals that Anthony will be frequently encountering on his journey, with his battles respectively taking place in the Honeycombs, at the Diamond Square, and finally at the Old World Labs.
In his first battle, the Lightning Thief will show that he's well above Anthony's skill level, capable of using both the Thunder Rod and Zap-Jump Boots. Luckily, this rival is cocky enough to a degree where his moves become easy to keep track of over time, making him a rather predictable nemesis. However, he still packs quite the punch, and he can chase Anthony around with all of his Level 2 mobility upgrades, so Anthony has to watch his back. To earn a draw with the Lightning Thief, simply strike him with 20 standard Lightning Rod attacks. That'll make him surrender and force him to retreat, but not before insulting Anthony's skills.
When Anthony makes it to the Diamond Square, the Lightning Thief will show yet again that Anthony isn't at his skill level yet. Now taking Anthony seriously, he's capable of using the Atomic Strike (the strongest weapon) and the matter-destroying Sonic Boots, both of which can wear down the player quickly. He's also less reliant on patterns, making it a bit harder to take him down. Sometimes he'll also run away and force Anthony to chase them down, trying to blast him as he runs. When the Lightning Thief takes 40 fully-charged Lightning Rod attacks, he will go down and surrender at the player's own hand.
The Lightning Thief is encountered for the final time in the Old World labs, faced on the second floor. No longer holding anything back, he will attack Anthony with all his previously displayed skills as well as counter his attacks with the Parry Gloves, making it difficult to approach him. He'll also use a "Level 4" talent that Anthony cannot learn- Thunder. He will channel out all the electricity in his body to send waves of thunderbolts across the room, which can only be avoided by using the Sonic Boots to speed through them and tackle Anthony. After 20 fully-charged Atomic Strikes, the Lightning Thief falls.
The Cherry Crusher is part of a tiny pack of Anthony Bell rivals, frequently encountered over the course of his journey. She's respectively found in the Overgrowth, Power Tower, and Old World Labs.
Rather than being high-powered electrically, the Cherry Crusher displays way more physical techniques and the love for magneting things over to her. Thus, she'll try and drag Anthony over to her so she can flatten him with her thick body in their first bout in the Overgrowth. If she pounces Anthony with her body, she can deal an incredible amount of damage to him at one time. She can also throw cherry bombs behind Anthony to prevent him from escaping her grasp. To make the fight a draw with the Cherry Crusher, she must be taken down with 10 fully-charged Energy Rods. She will go down, but she will swear her revenge next time she sees the player.
Almost all the way through the Power Tower, the player will encounter the Cherry Crusher again, who's got new tricks up her sleeve. Not only can she tackle Anthony with body dives and cherry bombs, she can now stomp the floor to send shockwaves to knock Anthony around and sacrifice some of her health to veil herself in electricity before rushing at her rival like a speeding bullet. The Cherry Crusher's even thicker than before, so it will take 40 fully-charged Thunder Rod attacks to finish her off and force her to begin retreating. Before doing so, she'll whine about how Anthony's preventing her from being able to support her child.
The Cherry Crusher's encountered for the third and last time at the Old World Labs, where she's faced on the first floor. She's now possessing minor lightning powers, capable of using her Lightning Rod to blow up her bigger cherry bombs and using Power Flash to activate machines to generate shields. While she's standing still, she can extend her gauntlets out to reach the player, which can only be avoided by jumping and ducking when appropriate. Her shields can be destroyed with fully-charged Atomic Strikes, but she'll always retaliate with a sliding punch, so she must be evaded quick. With 20 fully-charged Atomic Strikes, the Cherry Crusher falls.
The Cam-Camera is the all-seeing security system of the Sukapec Outskirts, scanning for intruders via the searchlights and ensuring they don't make it to vital areas. When Anthony crashes into its room, it sounds the sirens and prepares for a fight. Manned by a silhouette in the distance referred to as "Cam", the Cam-Camera will detach from the wall and zoom around to locate the player. If its reticles line up at the player's position, it will blast a sea of low-damaging bullets. It can also spit lasers that rebound off of surfaces that can be a bit tricky to avoid. It can also summon minor enemies to stall the player as it tries to aim its ammo at them.
The key to destroying the Cam-Camera is to wait for it to use one of its two attacks, becoming open for attack after either scenario. Anthony must hit the camera lens with a shock from his Lightning Rod, which will electrocute it and force it to take damage. Every hit will make the camera go higher to make it harder for Anthony to aim, but if he uses his wall-jump boots, he can reach the boss' position. After five direct hits, the Cam-Camera will explode, destroying security systems all across the Sukapec Outskirts, thus enabling the gate to the Honeycombs.
Just when Anthony thought the Honeycombs couldn't get any worse, the Killer Wasp attacks! This thing's been scaring off the honeybees and wrecking the hive. The wasp will hover around the ceiling of the claustrophobic passageway, occasionally swooping down to try and hit Anthony with its harsh stinger. It can also sit down on a throne on either side of the room, blasting fully charged Energy Rods in Anthony's direction before flying back up. Though the room is already well-lit, the Killer Wasp will sometimes use the Power Flash attack to paralyze Anthony so it can swoop in and hurt him for free. By being able to bounce around on its stinger, it's a real threat.
Taking down the Killer Wasp means striking it head on with a fully charged Energy Rod attack now and then, with it capable of shrugging off anything less. Atop of its swooping mannerism and lightning rod attacks, it can also spew a ray of Lightning Bolts that can only be dodged by hiding behind a wall in the room. He has to be careful though, as the walls in this room aren't too stable and the Killer Wasp can still break them. After taking twelve fully charged Energy Rod attacks, the boss will explode into several gory pieces, ending its reign of terror.
As Anthony cuts through the Overgrowth, he encounters an enormous tarantula with blood-red markings! Who knows how it's gotten so big to the point where it can fit three Anthonys inside of it, but all those markings on its body indicate it's going to dish out some burns! The spider will crawl around the web in the background, damaging Anthony every time he comes in contact with it, occasionally opening up its mouth to spit fireballs at him. Sometimes, it will wait a bit before blasting a fully charged Piercing Rod, which can hit Anthony even if he's ducking underneath platforms. It can also Zap-Jump across the room to change its position in an instant.
To take down the Pyrantula, Anthony must wait for it to begin charging up a Piercing Rod attack. Anthony must then blast fully charged Energy Rod attacks into its open maw, then move out of the way before it falls to the floor. If Anthony gets atop a platform and blasts a bunch of Lightning Rods at its stomach, it will take an excessive beating before getting back up and resuming its cycle. When it's near the point of defeat, it will begin spitting blue fires that will spread around the room before disappearing, meaning Anthony has to be quick with navigating the room's safe terrain. After several dozens of blasts to the stomach, the Pyrantula will explode into bits.
When Anthony makes it though the majority of the harbor, he will arrive at a wooden bridge that will allow him to exit the harbor. But suddenly, bits of platform will collapse to his sides, trapping him on an isolated slab of wood that falls into the salty waters! And out pops Volt-Jaws, an electronically-powered robo shark! Anthony must move left and right across these floating rafts while avoiding Volt-Jaws, who will speed across the water to try and bite down and swallow our hero. Sometimes it'll whirl around the mechanical stuff in its mouth to send little waterspouts across the surface of the water that knock all the wooden slabs up into the air!
The scary thing about Volt-Jaws is that it can suddenly charge across the water at lightning speeds, rapidly glowing gold as it chomps its jaws up and down, foreshadowing the Sonic Boots upgrade Anthony gets far later. It can also leap out of the water to tackle the spot Anthony's at, taking that wooden plank down with it for good. To kill Volt-Jaws, Anthony must wait for it to do its tackling attack and aim up with a fully charged Piercing Rod. This will knock it over and beach it briefly, disabling its electrical currents. Anthony can then strike it with a fully-charged Piercing Rod, which he needs 20 of overall before the machine destructs.
As Anthony prepares to leave the Black Bridge, he hears a faint metallic screeching as a steel-winged eagle monstrocity attempts to carry him along from above! The player will be forced to fight on a somewhat limited stretch of steel as the eagle circles them, occasionally diving down to shoot almighty Thunder Rods from its throat! It can also charge up this rod to make it stronger and discourage Anthony from hiding, as its shots can pierce through anything. If it swoops in with its talons, it'll pick up Anthony and try to choke him hard!
The Steel Eagle has a lot of tricks up its sleeve, including being able to burst a bunch of feathers from its body that explode within seconds and being able to spin around to deflect any rod attacks from Anthony. To damage it, Anthony must grab it with the Bolt Grapple to make it screech, then use the Energy Rod attack and hold it steady to keep damaging it. Eventually it'll break free, blasting arrows of electricity in all directions as an emergency response. Once it's taken twelve fully-charged Piercing Rods, the Steel Eagle will crumble up.
When Anthony finally gets near the Power Tower, he receives an ambush by a particularly tough-looking knight in shining armor! Nicknamed the "Guardbreaker", he will beat his chest and pull out a massive axe, ready for a harsh fight. The player needs to be careful to avoid the boss' strong axe swings, especially if he hits a wall to make lots of nails and debris fall loose. Sometimes he'll leap on a wall, stick to it, then divebomb the player with a sonic dive that has him slam headfirst into the floor. He'll quickly get up following this attack, however.
The Guardbreaker got his name from his monstrous axe and strength, which can whittle down Anthony with just a few attacks even if he's neared maximum health! Possessing the Thunder Rod by striking his axe into the ground to send such powerful electric shocks across the ground, it's no wonder why he was chosen to guard the tower. This boss' weakness happens to be his rear- if it's magnetically dragged on after coming behind him, he'll fall over onto the floor, struggling to get up. His back can then be struck- the player needs to shock him a few dozen times to win.
Eventually, Anthony will reach the computer room that sits atop the Power Tower, only to see nobody in the room. However, the main computer screen in the background will show a virus with a very beetle-like humanoid appearance! Triggered by Anthony shutting down the layers of security the Power Tower had against such threats, it will summon numerous enemies to ambush Anthony and electrocute elements of the floor to limit Anthony's footing. It can also flip the platforms in the room to prevent Anthony from reaching high enough to attack the main computer, and force big guns to drop from the ceiling to litter the atmosphere with bullets.
It can be very tricky to reach the computer virus, as it has control over the whole Power Tower as well as everything electronically wired across the Sukapec Diamond. However, if too much is happening at once in the computer room, sirens will blare as much of the action paused, with powerful vents cooling down the room. Anthony has to ride these updrafts, climb some platforms, and strike the main computer with 90 Thunder Rods, which is much easier than it sounds with the sonic expansion the player acquired back in Diamond Square. When the main computer explodes, all the main electricity across the Sukapec Diamond gets shut off...
If Anthony blows up the one computer tower at the factory's final room, the factory's restart will become delayed for a very long time, but this will summon the Mad Factory's primary means of offense and defense- the Thunder Dragon! Rising from out of nowhere, this huge mechanical golden dragon will battle Anthony in this wide arena, displaying much strength that will need to be overcome successfully in this fight. Anthony must watch out for its Atomic Strike laser beams, its elongated mechanical claw swipes, its array of homing missiles, and its body tackles. Its tail can also swipe across the ground to knock Anthony off balance if he's not careful.
With so many abilities at the player's disposal, Anthony will need to use a good chunk of them as he battles the Thunder Dragon. Anthony must swing from electric pegs to climb the enormous elevator he's battling the Thunder Dragon in, wall jump and zap jump to make it up as high as he can. He must also trigger the Sonic Boots, running fast enough until he can build a charge- if Anthony stores it, he can wait for the dragon to come by and then tackle its body to pin it against a wall! It will slump to the floor with its mechanical jaw wide open, which Anthony can pump up with 30 fully charged Thunder Rods. Once defeated, it will explode and crack the floor below...
When Anthony reaches the end of the Old World Labs, he will discover a machine that the wires spread throughout the level were connecting to. It'll soon enough release a new target... Anti-Anthony! He not only boasts a great deal of self-confidence and a wicked grin, he also boasts all of Anthony's acquired abilities and battles him in a very similar way as to how Anthony would tackle most of his own threats. This includes being able to use the Atomic Strike, which he can fully charge and blast at Anthony to deal excessive amounts of damage to him if such blasts connect. He can also try to pin Anthony against a wall to try and make out with him, but he can be knocked back hard with a fully-charged Atomic Strike. He's essentially you, but way more annoying.
It would be almost impossible to take down Anti-Anthony if he had the Parry Gloves, but luckily, the player hasn't located them yet. Thus, he's completely vulnerable to any and all attacks at the player's disposal. The more he gets attacked, the slower and less responsive he will become, with his electricity skills degrading as time progresses. Though he's an extreme enemy to battle at first, he soon becomes just as weak as Anthony was at the start of the game, to the point where he'll be on his knees struggling to put up with the damage. It will take 25 fully-charged Atomic Strikes to take him down, with the first eight knocking him down to Level 2, the next eight bringing him to Level 1, and the last eight bringing him down to Level 0.
At long last, the player comes face-to-face with the Industrial Queen, the reason why Kazapolis is in danger and why everything's been turning south for him lately. The Industrial Queen will be sitting down on her throne on the right side of the room, her scepter clinking against the floor as she prepares to destroy Anthony Bell once and for all! Her Level 4 electrical powers come into play here, with powers like Ultrabolt, Heavy Thunder, Electrocyclone, Mushroom Blast, and Geomagnetic Storm in her possession. These are all new powers that Anthony has not yet gotten to witness, and won't as there's no time to learn new tricks. The Industrial Queen's weak spot is her head, which needs to take 50 fully-charged Atomic Strikes to be defeated. Between her attacks, she will belittle and insult Anthony, having only a very vague memory of who he was prior to her reincarnation as the Industrial Queen.
"Ultrabolt" is a stronger version of Atomic Strike that not only hits faster, but leaves behind a bigger explosion that will damage any walls, platforms, or floor that it connects with. If enough of the wall has been destroyed, the Industrial Queen's throne will crawl forward as the player's required to head to the left. "Heavy Thunder" has her cast a series of lightning bolts across the room- with the limited space, only a well-timed parry will be able to avoid them completely. "Electrocyclone" has her spin an electrically-powered tornado across the room, which will hover around and hinder the player from being able to hop around as they please. "Mushroom Blast" has her spit an explosive onto the ground, which will release a nuclear mushroom cloud that will spread waves of destruction across the floor. She can also claw with her extendable arms and attempt to grab Anthony.
Her signature attack is "Geomagnetic Storm", which is the same attack that she used at the beginning of the game to attack Kazapolis. She will spread a huge cloud across the top of the room, lighting it with a series of thunderbolts that can be only barely telegraphed. Because of their strength, they are impossible to parry, requiring Anthony to dodge left and right with as much precision as possible to avoid taking any damage from them. If she strikes Anthony, he will lose a good quarter of his health, so it's a priority to always have enough health to outlast an attack as ridiculously powerful as this one. Eventually, the storm will clear up, and she'll always fire an Ultrabolt in Anthony's direction that he needs to avoid. What makes this particular Ultrabolt deadly is that it will have more range and have a bigger explosion, so it's trickier to dodge in the limited space the player has to dodge attacks.
In the Steam and PlayStation ports of Aftershock, there exists numerous achievements and trophies for the player to gather up on their own time:
|PSN Trophy||Achievement Name||Requirements|
|The Best Ending||Beat the game and receive the best ending.|
|Lightning Quick||Beat the game under a time of three hours.|
|Master Sleuth||Beat the game without getting caught once.|
|Treasure Hunter||Beat "Antonia Mode" with all items collected.|
|Devoted Traveler||Beat "Lightning Mode" with all collectibles found.|
|The Good Ending||Beat the game and receive the good ending.|
|Long Way Through||Clear the game without using a single shortcut.|
|Real Madman||Beat Aftershock in just one sitting.|
|Speedrun Starter||Clear the Sukapec Outskirts in less than 90 seconds.|
|Showbiz Anthony||Take the toughest, trickiest path through the Mad Factory.|
|Invincible||Clear "Antonia Mode" for the first time.|
|Lightning Speed||Clear "Lightning Mode" for the first time.|
|Perfect Rampage||Clear the game's "Boss Rush" mode without taking damage.|
|How Unfortunate...||Beat the game and receive the bad ending.|
|All Weapons||Collect every weapon available.|
|All Powers||Collect every power available.|
|All Accessories||Collect every accessory available.|
|Big Mac||Get Anthony Bell to maximum strength.|
|Survivor||Survive for 15 minutes straight.|
|Survivor II||Survive for 30 minutes straight.|
|Survivor III||Survive for 60 minutes straight.|
The soundtrack for Aftershock was written and produced by TimeStrike's sound team, taking a dramatically different approach than the ones they took for BowieQuest or Crescent Kicker. The music mostly consists of dark and mystical melodies that lurk in the background, like Super Metroid, with a modern industrial flair that makes the music sound cold and mechanical. The tracks were layered with many different sounds, continuing TimeStrike's reputation for pushing the sound capabilities of the Genesis platform. Its soundtrack was compared to the likes of David Wise's scores for the Donkey Kong Country series, unlike the other two TimeStrike Genesis titles which had their soundtracks respectively based on and frequently compared to Western music and hip hop music.
The game's soundtrack was fully remastered in 2015 on the game's 20th anniversary, given an official release on Spotify, though TimeStrike stated there would not be plans to remaster the original game.
- Anthony Bell's character was greatly inspired by Unten's.