Crescent Kicker is a platforming/beat 'em up game developed by TimeStrike and published by Sega for the Sega Genesis, released on August 28th, 1995 worldwide. It was developed simultaneously with BowieQuest and Aftershock as part of a three-title deal with Sega, with the focus of all three games being to continue the legacy of the slowly dying Genesis platform. The game's setting takes place on the fictional Planet Kickaxe, which is slowly being overtaken by desertification and excessive oil mining, driving its residents down to the remaining fertile corners of the world. The world government in response secretly hires an unusually fit and sassy kickboxer known as the "Crescent Kicker", whom they direct to eliminate the greedy oil tycoons threatening the world's last remaining natural locations and save the lives of many N.I.C.E. soldiers (Nature Is Classy Elites) that had been wounded by their equally greedy associates and cohorts.
Though Crescent Kicker has been noted for its complex and expansive control scheme since its release, it has been lauded for its accessibility, levels of difficulty, and saving system. The Crescent Kicker can perform double jumps, wall kicks, floor slides, flutter flurries, air-to-ground dives, wall runs, downwards stomps, and especially strong special moves. These may aid her in either beating up waves of enemies or navigating the levels, and often more than not, it goes both ways. The player is tasked with taking down each area's local oil tycoon, all the while saving a percentage of N.I.C.E. soldiers as they go. Eating flashy sweets like chocolate kisses as the player goes along will temporarily power up the Crescent Kicker in various ways, such as limiting the lag between her attacks or giving all of her kicking attacks an easy parry function. The player travels all across Planet Kickaxe, going through a total of eight fully-fledged levels throughout their journey.
- Planet Kickaxe has always been known for its pristine beauty and signature curved geometry and was especially known for its dominance in kickboxing tournaments across the Milky Way Galaxy. The hydroelectric-powered cities across the planet were connected together through futuristic highways and pipelines, all of which had a role in nourishing nature and consistently providing Kickaxe with life following the urbanization it went under a few hundred years ago. Lately, however, Planet Kickaxe began seeing dramatic shifts for the worse in these kickboxing tournaments- over time, the planet's rivals trained their soldiers to outclass their enemies in every way. Over time, the cities of Kickaxe began to falter and crumble as they could no longer afford their own electric bills- this led to the organization and creation of seven oil tycoons, who are tasking themselves to drill within the planet to excavate its oil and burn it into fuel. This intense and careless mining would have negative impacts on the planet, with these greedy tycoons aiming to export oil across the galaxy in exchange for money. Little do they realize that the pollution would soon kill them all, however.
- In response to the increasingly strengthening destruction dominating the globe, the Kickaxe government secretly invited the unusually fit and sassy Crescent Kicker to their office, assigning her the task of eliminating the greedy oil tycoons threatening the world's last remaining natural locations. She had also been assigned to save the lives of the N.I.C.E. soldiers that had been wounded in their battle against these greedy corporate leaders. Though the impatient and on-your-heels woman initially refused to take on such a task, she gleefully gave in when she was promised a reward- and when she was promised her adventure would be filmed the whole way through and sold to rake in mounds of cash. They also gave the greedy protagonist her own assistant, the Axe Dancer, to help her out against the tycoons. Accepting what she has to do now, the Crescent Kicker and her assistant kick off outside the office, speeding into the slowly decaying landscape of Kickaxe! As she heads off, a big truck equipped with cameras and flashy equipment quickly follows, preparing to take many photos and videos of the Crescent Kicker as they ventures across the globe. Little does the Crescent Kicker know, however, that the money her film might earn may possibly bring the planet to stardom and earn it the revenue it needs...
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The Crescent Kicker and Axe Dancer initially arrive at the Autumn Meadows, where they will get their first "progress call" from President Fu. The heroine proudly exclaims she's in the area where the first tycoon's at, to which Fu responds by telling her to watch out for the tycoon loyalists and starved villagers and move quickly. The Crescent Kicker takes immediate notice of how the oil industry is already working its way into the meadows, covering up once fertile ground with improperly handled destructive towers. After briefly scanning the environment, the Axe Dancer confirms that the tycoon "Bunyan" can be found at a log factory found on the other side of the meadows. Upon reaching their way there, they're taunted at by the overly cocky Bunyan who underestimates the heroine's strength, who then proceeds to battle them. After being defeated, he runs away. The two then proceed to the next area, but not before coming in contact with "Gus Gibbous", an employee hired by Frank to shamelessly put down the Crescent Kicker, his rival from his youth. He's soon enough defeated, letting the duo continue.
Soon, they arrive at the Hazy Harbor, which is when the Crescent Kicker seizes the opportunity to tell President Fu about her success. She congratulates the two and tells them to find the Jones tycoon and get rid of him just as swiftly as they broke down Bunyan, before hanging up on them. The Axe Dancer says that navigating the area will be a bit trickier since the city's more densely populated than the meadows by a longshot, but the heroine merely laughs at this and proclaims it'll be a snitch. As they head into the oil industry-affected town and beat up a bunch of pirates along the way, they eventually find themselves entering a hydroelectrically powered factory, which hasn't really been running properly due to a lack of profits preventing it from functioning as it should. They eventually find Jones, whom was plotting to transform the area into an oil-producing tower, and scare him out of the harbor after destroying his valve-operated machine. They find the engine room and shut down the place for good, or at least until proper profits can let it run normally again.
As soon as the duo manage to shut down the malfunctioning hydroelectric factory, the two are quickly briefed by President Fu about a rogue oil tanker that's deliberately chasing down an innocent entertainment cruiser! The Axe Dancer quickly breaks open an equipment shed outside the factory doors and hurls a pair of water skis to the heroine, demanding she puts them on while he drives her over to the action. To accomplish this, he beats the life out of an innocent sailor, hurling him overboard as he manages to get the two strapped into the boat. As they begin giving chase, the tycoon "Stormalong" learns of the defeats of Bunyan and Jones and retaliates by transporting his strongest men their way, who are quickly overwhelmed with her strength even as she's skimming the seas. She eventually reaches the sabotaged cruiser and crosses over onto the tanker, soon enough swiftly eliminating Stormalong. Getting a N.I.C.E. soldier to steer both ships to a trustworthy port, she and the Axe Dancer exit by entering a cannon to launch themselves across the ocean and onto a shoreline.
The cruiser and tanker are eventually hauled over to a shore for specialized repairs, leaving the Crescent Kicker and Axe Dancer stranded ashore. It doesn't take long for Fu to call them up for a progress report, not even thanking them for performing their deed as she demands they head over to the nearby mall, for the next tycoon "Crockett" is located there and waiting for them to arrive. As he peels apart the mall and its associated properties so he may properly install the in-progress oil factory, he becomes increasingly aware of the heroine's strength, and hires Gus Gibbous to go stall her for the time being. Last time he chose to attempt murdering his rival in cold blood wordlessly, but this time he chooses to warn her that the tycoon team will do whatever it takes to shut her down now, for the oil industry is the planet's only means of powering its vital buildings and stations without means of the prize money and she's getting in their way. He scoffs her for her egotistic viewpoint whereas the world's problems don't matter for as long as she wins- only to be met with a beating, forcing Crockett to flee for his life.
Following the successful shutdown of the oil factory, the Crescent Kicker is hardly given a chance to breathe when she receives a call from the president, demanding her to board the baseball-themed airships in the sky. When asking for a break, she's reminded and taunted about the grand prize, forcing her to cave in and go for it when she's told one of the tycoons is found way high in the skies. The Axe Dancer felt cheated out of a chance to see one of his targets suffer pain, but in spite of his moodiness and strange wish to see Mister Frank choke, he willingly hijacks a jet plane and offers the heroine a ride, speeding them both up towards the action. After letting their plane plummet to the ground, they're immediately noticed by the baseball crew, surrounding the kickboxing protagonists as Magarac eyes them. The two find little trouble in navigating the airships and entering the boss' main ship, and have only slightly more trouble winning a victory over him. When the weakened Magarac attempts to flee for his life, however, the Axe Dancer crushes his head into the floor for a fatality, grinning.
As the hijacked cargo cruiser's sent plummeting dangerously towards a wasteland in the distance, the two leap out into the open waters, only to be swallowed up by an enormous kraken that's too fast to let them swim out to safe shores. The Crescent Kicker's radiant outfit lets her light up the insides of the beast, however, letting her and her partner see ahead. They have to be quick to move out, however, or they'll get swallowed up by the kraken's acidic juices. Zero contact with Fu thanks to disrupted signals means getting in a progress report is not possible at the moment, so the two are alone for a while. Just as they come near to escaping, however, they get swallowed up by an enormous mechanical whale, operated by a tycoon named Jane. Jane reportedly swallowed them up after having detected their signals underwater, not wanting them to escape knowing they would have found a way out no matter the odds. Though she attempted to flirt with the heroine and her angsty partner, she was no match for their talents and she was easily beaten, letting the two steer the robotic whale to shore.
President Fu is furious they weren't able to call her earlier, and demands them to storm the Wasteland immediately or all bets are off. These massively polluted lands are home to the world's largest oil company, and house the master "Frank" deep underground, with construction vehicles dominating the scenery. The only tycoon left besides Frank, "Bill" knows his time remaining in the world is limited and tries to construct his best mech possible- not necessarily to stop them, but stall them enough for Frank to come up with a plan. At this point, the player might notice the Axe Dancer's speech becoming less faltery and more sincere, and just how blunt and impatient the president is becoming. Though the Axe Dancer and President Fu do not fear the heroine whatsoever, the tycoons past Crockett have been, attempting to deliberately stop her even if it means heading in the face of death itself. Of course, the two manage to invade Bill's headquarters and slaughter him fairly easily, letting the two enter the underground. Gus Gibbous arrives to try and stop them for real this time, but he's easily cut up and beaten too.
It's at this point where the Crescent Kicker wonders whether or not it was worth doing everything she had to do to get here, and whether or not she'll get the prize. Frank tries to comply with the Crescent Kicker once she makes it to the core of his collapsing base, saying he'll willingly give up everything he's done in exchange for his life and for the prosperity of the world, but the "heroine" cannot because of the reward she's been promised. Realizing he cannot run away, he reluctantly battles the Crescent Kicker, grimacing as he does. When the oil flooding catches up to his soon-weakened body, Frank sacrifices his physical form and becomes one with the oil, now knowing the truth behind the errors his team had done and knowing there's no going back. In spite of his efforts, he is eventually destroyed by the flames the Axe Dancer set off, forcing him and the Crescent Kicker to escape as the underground base explodes. The cameramen that had been following them around also managed to make a successful escape, saying they'll return to the president's quarters with the filmed material.
At this point, the Axe Dancer decides enough's enough and performs a dashing slash at the heroine, critically injuring her as he says his work is done. He said that he only joined her so she could slay all the tycoons for him and help him get his hands on the full prize. And so he can get all of the money, he knows he'll have to kill the Crescent Kicker first, openly acknowledging he had a co-starring role in the film and that getting that money will be easy-peasy. In spite of her wounds, the Crescent Kicker is capable of overwhelming and beating her former assistant, leaving him crippled on the ground. Before she can do anything else to him, he then reveals the truth: President Fu plans on hoarding all of the money to herself, and actually sent him off with the Crescent Kicker so he can kill her after she's finished her duties. The player can choose to spare him or kill him, which can result in two different endings. Neither is necessarily overly strong and won't be considered "bad endings".
The Crescent Kicker will then return to the Autumn Meadows, with or without her assistant, to face off against President Fu. It's revealed that everything did the Crescent Kicker did along the way was simply for the president's own good; all the N.I.C.E. soldiers are defending her fortress, all the cash is being used to empower her, and the movie's been edited to exclusively feature Fu, with the Axe Dancer cut out of the image entirely. Eventually, the Crescent Kicker storms into the president's base, demanding the unedited film and script as well as demanding the cash she was promised to begin with. The president, overwhelmed with greed, doesn't comply and fights her instead. After a surprisingly lengthy fight, the Crescent Kicker takes her office by storm and kills President Fu, becoming the new leader of Planet Kickaxe in the process. After seizing her goods, she commands what remains of the N.I.C.E. soldiers to do a cleanup operation and use the spare cash to pay off the world's electric bills.
Ending 1 has the Crescent Kicker sit in her office, playing with the mounds of money around her and throwing it up into the air for herself to enjoy.
Ending 2 has the Crescent Kicker and Axe Dancer eating pizza together at a parlor, with an unnamed girl hugging the heroine around the neck as she slyly grins.
The key to surviving and winning Crescent Kicker is to get a strong grip on the game's control scheme and thoroughly learn it to the best of their ability. The player must venture through eight fully fledged levels, eliminating their respective local oil tycoons while saving whatever percentage of N.I.C.E. soldiers the game demands them to. With their plethora of abilities, the player should have little trouble sliding their way through the levels themselves, but they still need to put up the best fight they can against the many waves of enemies destined to head in their direction. The player is required to save the provided minimum of N.I.C.E. soldiers in any level before they can go fight its respective boss; they can warp between any checkpoint they've touched to press them forwards on their search. To top it all off, the player is always under a time limit to perform their tasks- if the player takes too long, the mission will be seen as a failure, and the player must restart the level all over again.
The gameplay of Crescent Kicker happens to be quite fast-paced, with the player being capable of dismantling and crushing down enemies rather quickly while rolling through levels at high speeds. This has largely to do with the convenience of the player's moves behaving snappily at the touch of a button and with just how fast the Crescent Kicker moves in general. Rather than the levels making up the main meat of the game's difficulty, like with BowieQuest, the enemies and bosses handle this instead, and the N.I.C.E. soldiers can prove to be challenging to search for from time to time. Platforming takes a backseat in Crescent Kicker, with much of the level footing designed with player-to-enemy scenarios in mind, with the presence of these threatening foes being what's supposed to keep the player on their toes. The player needs to be careful to not take too much damage or lose their footing- the player doesn't get too many chances to live, and resetting from the beginning of a level can be painful later on.
The player's moveset is very versatile, both when they're on the ground and when they're in the air. The Crescent Kicker can double jump, wall jump, and even run up walls for a short period of time like a ninja. She can also stomp down instantly from her position midair and perform a slide across the ground. These moves can be used together for sneaking around- it's key to stealth. She can also perform a variety of kicks that can damage the enemy and/or possibly kick them into the air. The Crescent Kicker can choose to perform a fluttering flurry of kicks horizontally or into the skies, or perform a damaging dive with her foot- these can both aid with platforming, as well. With all of these moves in the player's arsenal, moving through stages isn't all too challenging when the player finally learns what all of these moves do. The player can also perform especially strong special moves if they've dealt and/or taken enough damage, which can do a wipeout of all enemies on the screen or do massive damage.
Throughout the levels, the player will commonly find flashing treats and other assorted goodies. Blue Sardines are the most common, which the player can collect to restore health, while Health Vials are the rarest, giving the player more chances to survive in the game. The player can also frequently find 10G/25G money bags through these levels- if she's close enough, the Crescent Kicker will automatically gravitate towards them! Be sure to break down all enemies first before snagging 'em. Collecting these money bags is necessary for letting the player purchase items from shops, however. The player can purchase White Chocolates, for example, to make their kicks send off afterimage projectiles, or purchase Peppermint Chocolates to instantly fuel their Rage Meter. Eating any foods besides Blue Sardines will restore the player's health by a small amount.
The HUD for Crescent Kicker works as follows. Her icon will be found on the lower-left side of the screen, accompanied by a yellow bar representing her health and a red one right below it displaying her current rage. On the right side of the screen, the player can read the health meter(s) of the enemy or three they're currently attacking. The very top of the screen holds the player's time limit, with their accumulated score found right atop it. The current money the player has on hand can be found in the top right corner, and the number of soldiers they saved versus the number of ones they have to save can be found in the top left corner instead.
The player will usually be playing the game on NORMAL mode, but they can switch to EXPERT mode if they believe themselves to be experienced enough at the game or switch to BEGINNER mode if they're generally newer to video games. "EXPERT" sharpens the game's difficulty curve, strengthening enemies by boosting their health bars and making them more plentiful while introducing platforming even more tricky to endure. "BEGINNER" does the very opposite, weakening enemies and making the levels more accessible to all players alike.
For Crescent Kicker, the player uses the traditional Sega Genesis controller. The player uses the D-Pad to move left and right ( and ), and holding or on the ground will move the camera around in those specific directions. The button allows the player to pause the game.
lets the Crescent Kicker jump- pressing again will let her double jump. She can perform a quick drop if the player holds + midair, but if this move is done on the ground, she will instead slide across the ground. Holding against a wall will allow the Crescent Kicker to perform a wall run, and letting go will let her perform a wall kick off of it. If the player presses while performing a quick drop, the move will be canceled- this is referred to in-game as drop canceling. When locked in combat, the player can use their jumping techniques to carry their foe into the air and deal continuous damage to them without having to worry about them striking back.
lets the player perform a series of powerful kicking moves. Tapping rapidly will let her lock the enemy into a kickathon (infinite series of kicks), and letting go will let her do a finishing blow to knock the enemy away. On the ground, the player can hold + to perform a sky uppercut to launch an enemy high in the air, or hold + to perform a sweeping kick to space herself from enemies. Should the player use midair, she will perform a series of butterfly kicks in the player's specified direction, which keep her momentum and deal great damage. If the player holds , though, she'll do a heel piercer dive attack instead that lets her bounce off of enemies.
will trigger the Crescent Kicker's special moves, of which she has five overall. Should she give or take enough damage during battle, she will fill her Rage Meter, which has five stages- she can use up to five quickly-performed special attacks altogether if that meter is filled completely. Depending on the direction the player's holding in when they press the C button, the Special Move is different, and typically works to take care of the enemies in the player's held direction. Assuming the player is facing to the right, the special moves are as follows: Raging Twister (),Crescent Flame (+), Suplex Flip (+), Lunar Axe (+), and Zero Mercy Drop (+).
Here are the Crescent Kicker's Special Moves:
- RAGING TWISTER
The Crescent Kicker will perform an axe kick while beginning to rapidly spin around like a tornado, being capable of moving left and right to rip through helpless groups of enemies. The move deals rapid-hit damage, so she won't deal much damage if she whips right past an enemy, but staying right in front of one will accumulate damage against it insanely quickly. For the move's six-second duration, the Crescent Kicker can jump and move around.
- CRESCENT FLAME
This move has her perform a swift crescent kick, which sends a somewhat large crescent-shaped wave of fire horizontally. This flame can catch and drag many enemies at one time while dealing consistent damage to them- it serves the purpose of freeing room for the Crescent Kicker ahead of her. Against larger enemies, it will immediately dissipate, but not before leaving behind a highly damaging hurtbox that's great against bosses.
- SUPLEX FLIP
The Crescent Kicker will first grab an enemy from behind before flipping over them, still holding onto them as she slams them into the floor and potentially into any nearby enemies. This is perhaps the simplest of her specials and unusually forces her to use her well-toned arms, but the unique element of this move is that it can be used against larger enemies and even bosses- and their huge hitboxes mean they can flatten many enemies.
- LUNAR AXE
Lunar Axe might be really useful in a pinch, given how it can function as an especially high third jump if the player needs it. The Crescent Kicker will leap high into the air and come back down with a soaring axe kick, striking the heel of her foot into an enemy. The tip of her foot has a highly damaging hurtbox that can help her whittle down bosses quite fast. It can also be used to leap out of crowds and strike the leaders of gangs.
- ZERO MERCY DROP
Though "Zero Mercy Drop" is the hardest move of these to land and the player's only got one chance to use it, it deals the most damage to a single enemy and can save a lot of the player's precious time if it's used on bigger targets. Basically, the Crescent Kicker will perform a drop kick to push the enemy down to the ground. If the player catches up to them in time, they can perform a rewarding series of lethal foot stomps to crush them.
There are several available modes in Crescent Kicker.
- Shining Time
"Shining Time" serves as the story mode for Crescent Kicker and its main course, and the player can have up to three save files on it. They must steer their ass-kicking heroine through eight action-packed stages, beginning at the Autumn Meadows and finishing up at the Lockdown Shelter. Every level is played in order, but upon the game's completion, the player can choose to play any level at any time. For every level that's beaten, the game's progress will be saved, akin to Sonic the Hedgehog 3 (assuming the player didn't choose the "No Save" option). Once Shining Time is beaten, the rest of the game's modes will become available.
- Turbo Edition
"Turbo Edition" is a bonus mode that the player can unlock after finishing the game at least once. This mode removes the requirement to gather up N.I.C.E. soldiers and removes all of the game's dialogue, becoming a much more straightforward adventure. This mode also removes the time limit gimmick, instead keeping track of the player's time spent overall. By the time the final boss is beaten, all the player's level times will be counted up and added together. Then, the player will be able to see how long it takes for them to beat the game in both in-game time and real time. Note that the player cannot save their progress in this mode, only their times.
- In Reverse
"In Reverse" is a bonus mode that the player can unlock if they've found all of the N.I.C.E. soldiers on any file in Crescent Kicker. It is a strange retooling of the original "Shining Time" adventure, with the player facing levels and bosses in backwards order! Lockdown Shelter is hardly a hassle now, but Autumn Meadows has become an enemy-stocked nightmare. The player also has stricter time limits to deal with, especially in the later levels, but luckily there's no N.I.C.E. soldiers to collect on the way. Upon the completion of this mode, the player can "Turbo" through it in the game's "Turbo Edition" mode if they so desire.
- 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. The Crescent Kicker will be sitting at a desk, record scratching to the game's hip-hop/metal infused soundtrack.
The Crescent Kicker, aka Cassandra Kesecker, is an impatient and bossy kickboxer that's got loads of ass to kick on a regular basis! She's well-known across the globe for her unsatisfiable appetite for action, frequently challenging oversized foes and putting on dangerous but slickly done performances- and if she's not doing anything attention-grabbing, she quickly becomes really bored and really impatient. Demanding to be at the epicenter of attention at all times, she likes to throw on snazzy outfits for all occasions and frequently get on others' heels if they're actively ignoring her. She was kicked out of her home the second she turned 18 for her fierce self-independence and sassy behavior. Currently, she doubles as a soldier and a kickboxer, and is really skilled to boot.
You will never meet anyone as reckless or demanding as the Crescent Kicker, whose ego frequently soars high over the moon and back and whose temper can never be reasonably controlled. But with that all in mind, she isn't really a cruel or hateful person- hell, she has morals for who's worth kicking and who's not, and displays pity and sorrow for the weakened or injured. She's also very sweet around those she loves, especially towards her dedicated fans and towards her "secret lover", and will protect them over anything. Her biggest weakness, however, is her lust for money- it can overpower pretty much any of her emotions, since she wants to use that money to afford an infinite luxury. It's a hard lust to break, too!
The Axe Dancer is a rowdy, but cowardly assistant of the Crescent Kicker's, always fleeing from oversized foes and miscellaneous groups of enemies since he supposedly can't put up a good fight on his own. Knowing he cannot work alone against the greed-hungry oil tycoons dominating the world, he joins the Crescent Kicker to assist her on her travels and to support his cause of bringing down the tycoons. He seems to stutter and speak shyly at nearly every instance over the course of the game, and always leaves his partner to take care of the enemies he supposedly cannot. It's worth noting, however, that the Axe Dancer seems to know a professional series of axe kick maneuvers and holds a really versatile pool of kickboxing moves under his belt. So what's his deal?
Role: The Crescent Kicker's freaky and unusually gun-shy assistant.
President Fu manages the government of Planet Kickaxe and its people as well, trying to handle her responsibilities as clearly and effectively as possible. She's very formal, referring to the heroine and her assistant by their last names and calmly guiding them around the world. She likes to have a good laugh, though, and always appreciates someone with a good sense of humor. Fu prefers to solve her problems through non-violent means without consequence but personally believes that if the crisis is great enough to excuse it, then she'll initiate bloody wars if necessary. It should be noted that a robotic clone of Fu operates the government building from dusk to dawn, for Fu secretly goes out at night for reasons she leaves private... for what? Partying? Housekeeping?
Role: President of Planet Kickaxe and the assignee of the protagonist's tasks.
Mister Frank's the frontman of the oil mining industry, leading his cult of tycoons around to mine the world of its abundant oil supply, all of them working under his order of supplying the world's cities by means of fuel. He is blind to all the destruction and havoc he's causing to the world, believing his team has what it takes to prevent them from polluting and destroying the planet as they mine away at its core. Mister Frank's whereabouts are unknown, but it's implied he's shut off from the rest of the world, commanding his employees blindly to extract the world's oil. Though he's described by President Fu as malicious and willing to lock himself in combat, he's hiding away... for what purpose? Why does he choose to be blind as he is?
Role: Leader of the oil tycoons and responsible for the business growth.
Gus Gibbous isn't just the organizer and commander of the oil tycoons running the planet's quickly growing oil industry, but he's also the Crescent Kicker's rival! Since Mister Frank's choosing to safely manage his army from the inside of his own headquarters, Gus handles the outside-venturing expeditions for his master, training his minions on how to use his tricks while he's at it. In his youth, he was the Crescent Kicker's rival back in school, frequently challenging her ego with his smarts and repeatedly threatening to crush her under his heavy weight! He's the total mirror to her, never paying mind to anyone he meets and never caring for his fans, and doesn't care whatsoever for cash or money. Yet, he's usually calm and keeps his temper straightened out. His weakness is love- he's got none of it.
Role: The Crescent Kicker's rival who organizes and commands the tycoons.
Vendors & Items
The money bags the player regularly picks up throughout the levels can be used at the time-stopping vendors found in each stage, whereas they can purchase any items they desire. It is also at these vendors where the player's allowed to quicksave or quickly converse with the vendor owner. There are eight vendors overall, all reportedly made from DNA cloning, and thus it's hard to tell which one of these vendors is the real one. Nevertheless, they all have unique names and have slight differences in personality. If the player pauses the game, they can choose which item they wish to activate.
- Health Vials can be purchased for 2000G each, but can be rarely found across the levels. If the player doesn't have any of these upon Crescent Kicker's next death, they will receive the game over screen and will be forced to reset the level from the very beginning. It's recommended to stock up on them whenever possible.
- Blue Sardines can be purchased for 200G each, being the player's primary method of restoring their health to the max. They are found more commonly across the levels than any other item, so purchasing them from a vendor isn't entirely necessary. Fake ones called "Red Herrings" have a slight reddish tint- and hurt on contact!
- Milk Chocolates can be purchased with 500G each, which give the Crescent Kicker a temporary parrying ability. Whenever she kicks, she'll counter any blows delivered in her direction at the same time and deal high damage to the enemy. If the player takes damage while under the effects of a Milk Chocolate, they'll lose the power.
- Dark Chocolates can be purchased with 500G each, giving the Crescent Kicker the ability to release weak afterimage projectiles for every kick she performs. These can pass through enemies to hit a bunch at once, though they don't deal anywhere as much damage as her Crescent Flame special. Lost when she takes damage.
- White Chocolates limit the lag between the player's attacks, helping the Crescent Kicker's moves flow together sweeter and make her noticeably harder to counter. She can also unleash two specials instead of one. They can be purchased for 720G each, and the effects are lost whenever the player next takes damage.
- Caramel Chocolates are a rare breed of sweets, heightening the player's speed and letting them pass through enemies without taking damage for as long as she's dashing. She can also run up walls for much longer. She loses these effects the instant she collides with an enemy, reducing her speed back to normal. Sold for 720G each.
- Peppermint Chocolates instantly fuel the player's "Rage" meter to the maximum, and activate instantly upon collection. Little chunks of them can be found periodically, which always fill the Rage Meter by at least one stage. They're sold for 1000G each. Green varieties double the Rage Meter temporarily, but can't be found at vendors.
- Couverture Chocolates can be purchased for 5000G each, and can only be found at vendors. Using one, the player can transform into the Crescent Master! Her Rage Meter will be doubled, but will start rapidly decreasing- in the meanwhile, she can travel around twice as fast and be twice as strong while always hovering midair. She's also invincible.
- Chocolate Chips will fill the Crescent Kicker's belly with pure energy, powering her up by 1.2x to make her deal more damage to enemies if she's collected a minimum of 20. However, if the player goes a while without consuming any Chocolate Chips, her power will drop to 0.8x. A package of 20 can be purchased for 300G.
Crescent Kicker boasts eight full levels overall, with all taking place on the oil industry-run Planet Kickaxe. All levels feature their own assets and happen to be among the most complex ones shown in video games at the time, with all of them seamlessly split into thirds with their own unique gimmicks and features attached to them.
Welcome to one of the few remaining fertile corners of the world- the Autumn Meadows. These lush tangerine-colored fields spread on for miles, jagged and rugged from the tectonic plates having shifted underneath it for the past few thousand years, with densely-packed pine trees and numerous azure cascades dotting the mountainous terrain to the meadows' sides. Crumbling cliffs, rickety bridges, and treehouses provide the area with much scenery, as do the numerous bushes of flowers and overgrown vine complexes scurrying all over the place. Heavy winds brought upon by the seasonal monsoon bring brightly colored leaves to scatter across the skies, powering windmills secured throughout the meadows that control drawbridges and systems that keep the area's people together. Usually sunny, severe thunderstorms and log factory smoke have been darkening the skies of this now-dangerous area.
The precious Autumn Meadows surround the beloved capital of Planet Kickaxe, Axopolis, and have been the traveling grounds for locals and foreigners alike for as long as humans have lived. Many rural towns dominate the landscape, with many of their local residents resting in high-held treehouses near the crystal-clear Winter River and several others working within windmills to power the telephone lines stretching across the horizon. They are a popular destination for strangers and tourists alike, noted for its gorgeous scenery and friendly locals, as well as for its sunny weather. When the Crescent Kicker winds up reaching this area, however, she finds that the weather's gone bad and that the locals have gone mad. The decaying air quality and general lack of available food force these villagers to become savage- they will attack anyone that threatens their family or resources.
The Hazy Harbor happens to be the main attraction of the capital city Axopolis, affected tremendously by the pollution emerging from the unsanitary and poorly handled oil towers in the area. Submerged in heavy smog, the Hazy Harbor's gained a reputation lately for being unsafe to visit thanks to newfound poisonous atmosphere. The metropolis is tightly packed with futuristic buildings and heavy traffic navigating the half-pipe roads, with solar-powered cars hovering above the ground and moving at high speeds. As for the harbor itself, it's the oldest part of Axopolis and is in need of repairs, with its architecture and buildings having considerably weakened with time thanks to a lack of good budget. It's a dangerous place too, with the tides dipping up and down frequently and catching sailors by surprise and with numerous gangs hiding around the corners of this famous place.
This harbor's long been known for its importance as a trading center for the whole of Planet Kickaxe, shipping materials around the world and daily receiving items it requires to keep Axopolis running. It frequently ships off the minerals its workers carefully mine from the nearby Autumn Meadows, leaving Axopolis itself the duty of repairing the environment and recycling what's been returned to become new again. The Hazy Harbor benefits significantly from its well-handled fishing industry, usually drawing in thousands of tons of fish on a daily basis during the appropriate seasons and delivering the salted food in barrels across the planet. Thanks to the pollution swallowing up the waters, however, much of the seafood is poisoned, regularly intoxicating the residents of Axopolis and making the harbor vulnerable to being sued in the future.
There's a Nautical Clash overseas between an innocent entertainment cruiser and a heavily armed huge oil tanker, and the Crescent Kicker's required to go out there and take out the oil tycoon organizing the whole mess! Out on the open waters, one can get a picture-perfect glimpse of Axopolis and notice the wastelands in the far distance… the heroine will be getting there later. Until the moment it went under siege by the oil tanker, the cruiser's wooden decks had been swept clean and many adults were resting peacefully in their chairs. Now there's numerous holes in the deck, and the halls are now loaded with the soldiers that tycoon Stormalong brought out to stop the Crescent Kicker in her tracks! Some holes in the hull of the ship have brought water rushing through the cruiser, grounding it to the sea floor and making it vulnerable to any attack the cruiser blasts off.
The cruiser itself is your typical summer vacation cruiser, loaded with beach chairs and several tourism centers, and numerous shops and drinking bars rest aboard the deck. It frequently heads out from Axopolis to tour the residents and tourists of Planet Kickaxe around the areas, returning each season to drop them back off and earning Axopolis lots of much-needed revenue. Now that it's being attacked, it's suffering from the possibility of no longer being able to support Axopolis! On the other hand, the enemy ship's a rusty, seemingly old battleship of sorts that doubles as an oil tanker, carrying thousands of gallons of oil and keeping it all inside the numerous chambers of the thousand men-armed ship. Numerous weapons can be found aboard the tanker's deck, including cannons and mine spitters, and a specialized weapon on the battleship's head can release lasers that'll melt anything down in a jiffy.
The Crescent Kicker breaks into the Mystic Theater, ready to take down the oil tycoon and tear down his under-construction factory! Now across the ocean and quite distant from her home town of Axopolis, the Crescent Kicker's immediate surroundings are a decaying and peeling mall with shattered windows giving her a good view of the simmering wastelands ahead. As she dwells inside this place, the Crescent Kicker will find an enclosed darkly-lit opera theater with night guards and searchlights everywhere ensuring she can't foil the tycoon's plans. It's thought that this place used to be highly popular among the residents of Planet Kickaxe prior to Mister Frank seizing control of the area, judging by the thousands of products lining the shelves of the rotting mall and the immense size of the opera theater. It's time to shut the place down once and for all though, by taking down Tycoon Crockett and his cronies.
In the Mystic Theater, its two main attractions are its eponymously-named opera theater and its abandoned (and rotting) mall. The theater is still used even today and it's known for its many famous opera performances, with popular performers flocking in from all across the universe to deliver excellent shows. After show hours, the opera theater gets swallowed up in darkness and gets watched over by several hundred guards, trying to protect the entrance to the under-construction oil factory and prohibit access to any area in the Mystic Theater. Meanwhile, the mall got closed very recently to the general public for repairs, only to not be reopened on schedule when orders for a new factory to be built came through. It was acclaimed for its many venues and for its ease of access, with escalators and elevators found all around, though they no longer function because of how much damage the establishment has taken from weathering and neglectment.
For some strange and bizarre reason, one of the oil tycoons the Crescent Kicker's hunting down is way high in the skies, in the midst of a fleet of baseball-themed airships! Not only that, but Magarac has an oil factory of his own on the biggest and best-fortified of them all! We suppose Magarac's found some type of magic to make such aerial operations possible. From way high, the Crescent Kicker's given a good view of the rotting surface of Planet Kickaxe, including the slowly decaying Axopolis and the root of all this evil- the Wasteland. As for the airships themselves, they carry this nice white-green color to them and carry the logo of the "KICKAXE AXLES" on them, with their tops shaped like legitimate sports stadiums with all the fake grass and crowded seats you can expect. The skies are clear this evening, with lamps lit all across the stadiums to keep the level of visibility high. Blocking off any rain are the airships' sturdy glass domes.
The "KICKAXE AXLES" fleet is split into three parts- the minor league ships, the major league ships, and the sports cargo cruiser (or "tycoon ship", as Axe Kicker prefers to call it). Respectively, they're used to training local players against each other, testing local players against rival teams, and supplying the stadiums with endless hordes of sporting supplies. Members of the "KICKAXE AXLES" baseball team are known for their short temper and reputation for losing, being quick to turn on anyone that appears to have made them lost the game. Though their reputation is horrid, they do enjoy a decent amount of popularity across the planet and are always being rooted for, no matter how moody they're being. When the Crescent Kicker arrived by plane with her partner, they both underestimated just how bloody and dangerous this sport can be in the hands of angry, desperate players trying to fight for the reputation of their planet...
Neither the Crescent Kicker or her sidekick Axe Dancer were able to swim out to the shores of the nearby wastelands, getting dragged down and swallowed up by an enormous kraken! With contact with the outside world impossible inside of the creature's repulsive walls, the heroine and her partner must be quick to escape or they will succumb to the stomach acids lying within. Interestingly, the insides of the kraken appear to be occupied by several scuba divers swimming about tying prisoners to the walls of the creature so they can be dissolved alive. Little do they know that this kraken actually belongs to a series of ones just like it, who frequently flock to and fro from an enormous mechanical whale that serves as a cargo carrier for the oily wastelands. This mechanical whale sends these krakens out so they may drain oil inside of it, receiving food and nourishment in exchange as they frequently track down undiscovered sources of oil underneath the sea.
These krakens are well known for their size, greatly outsizing every single creature in the ocean, while the mechanical whale (considered an "unstoppable force" by tycoon Jane) outsizes a dozen blue whales. They dwell deep within the waters of Planet Kickaxe, so they are almost never seen in the public eye, but they are attracted to underwater sources of oil and may behave violently if disturbed from their mission. The Axe Dancer frequently implies that these krakens are bio-weapons developed by Frank's team of oil tycoons, but this information has yet to be confirmed. What is known, however, is that being so far undersea can be dangerous and place anyone dwelling so far down underneath lots of pressure. And with the fears of digestion and detection ranking high in the Crescent Kicker's mind, it won't be easy reaching the surface alive, let alone infiltrating the Wastelands and finally putting the oil tycoons' plans to rest once and for all.
With only one oil tycoon left working for Mr. Frank, the Crescent Kicker and Axe Dancer acknowledge they're beginning to approach the end of their journey. Kickaxe's wastelands are highly dangerous, with obsessive oil drilling strongly rocking the surface of this planet and making sand fall into the world's chasms at an alarming rate, potentially sweeping along workers down to their deaths. This isn't even mentioning the massive number of construction equipment recklessly roaming the shifting sand dunes, shakily collecting oil and delivering it underground. The sun simmers hard overhead, with many sandbaked bodies shriveling and dying in the merciless heat as the unsanitary work conditions overwhelm the atmosphere of the working zone. The person responsible for these unsafe working conditions is Tycoon Bill, who is Frank's second-in-command. His main motivation is stopping and killing the Crescent Kicker, who is going to spoil everything in the long run.
Everything here seems to carry a strong hint of malice, with everyone working here glaring in the Crescent Kicker's direction and preparing to bring her down. The pathway to the underground shelter is littered with dozens upon dozens of tricky obstacles, with the plan being to either kill her directly or push her down into the chasms to never recover. Bill believes that this is the ideal environment to bring down the heroine in, given the blistering heat and just how outnumbered she and her partner are. Furthermore, she has to navigate not just across the desert, but also through an oil housing environment and the headquarters of the world's leading oil company! Everything's just as dirty as it is malicious, with mud and oil commonly mixing together to really make the rusted steel buildings look as ugly as possible. Though a few dozen workers perish every day to the heat and hazards, these conditions are what's guarding this oil company from infiltration.
It's time to nail down Mr. Frank once and for all! The Crescent Kicker's managed to break her way into the underground shelter below the oil company's headquarters, ready to give Mister Frank a piece of her mind. Surprisingly the Lockdown Shelter isn't a very well fortified area, with the shabby infrastructure having so many design faults and letting thousands of gallons of oil from above sink in. Even if the Crescent Kicker didn't embark on this adventure to strike down Mister Frank, their operation would have been a complete failure... a plan pieced together far too quickly without much thought of the consequences. The shelter's design is very narrow and straightforward, yet populated with dozens of tough enemies and with many tight spaces that the Crescent Kicker will need to slide through very quickly. Loud sirens blare everywhere in the shelter, alarming the Crescent Kicker's targets that she's in the building.
The design of the Lockdown Shelter is divided into three parts: the barrier, the base, and the heart. These respectively prevent intruders from getting in, allow Frank's elites to communicate, and house Mister Frank himself. Frank, being something of an introvert, designed the shelter to have precisely 50 lockdown doors so that it would be impossible for most to reach him. In fact, he communicated with his employees only through walkie-talkies and didn't allow anyone but his girlfriend to come in... when he had one, that was. Somewhat surprising for a final level, if it weren't for the gushing oil and hardcore challenging enemies, one could see that the area was rather tranquil and peaceful before and devoid of any hints of malice. Run too deep into the shelter, and you'll find murals on the wall depicting him as a user of an unspecified drug (probably heroin) and as a loner who lost his girlfriend to the same fate.
A grand total of eighty enemies will face up against the Crescent Kicker during her travels, with ten unique enemies found per level. They form the basis of the game's challenge and usually take advantage of their environment and the Crescent Kicker's weaknesses. Most have average health bars that don't take much to deplete, but some enemies happen to be capable of withstanding a lot of damage, making them her greatest obstacle. The functionalities of these enemies vary on the level, usually taking advantage of stage-specific mechanics or obstacles.
There are eleven bosses for the Crescent Kicker to take down, with five mini-bosses being commonly encountered throughout the game. Bosses are basically oversized enemies, but with wider pools of attacks and requiring much more memorization to be beaten. There are bosses found at the end of every level. On the EXPERT difficulty setting, some bosses gain new attacks and become tougher to beat down overall.
In these boss battles, the Crescent Kicker will be accompanied by her sidekick, the Axe Dancer, whom she calls to battle. He will try to look for openings on the boss and seize them for the player, allowing them to strike their enemy for damage. Otherwise, he'll try distracting the boss or straight up attacking them. As he's vital to the player's success, he cannot be killed, but he can take "damage" and fall back if attacked, delaying progress.
Now you're facing off against the first of the tycoon bunch, Bunyan! After briefly taunting the Crescent Kicker by means of commenting on her inexperience with the business industry, Bunyan springs straight up before coming right back down with a huge limegreen tractor-like machine! Except for the fact it's equipped with a huge spiked roller at the front and that it carries a few huge tree-cutting limbs to its sides, it's pretty faithful to its inspiration. Bunyan will guffaw before enclosing his cockpit in steel armor, rolling backwards to begin the fight.
As Bunyan's machine rolls backwards, it will either do one of two things. The first thing it could do is puff out several clouds of smoke before performing a straightforward charge, and the second is that it could instead open up its hood to summon several maddened nomads. Should it go with the charge, it will go off the screen before returning, now attacking from the other side. Following either action, the machine will make its limbs reach out to chop up some trees, then chuck out the log discs from under the hood. These discs can roll across the ground, flying through the air, or bounce along the ground (hard mode).
As the first major boss battle in the game, Bunyan's not all too hard to defeat. Every time the tractor triggers its rolling log avalanche attack, the Axe Dancer will kick one of the discs if possible into the tractor's raised hood, paralyzing it. The player needs to seize the few seconds they have to perform a quick drop on the engine underneath the hood, which will short-circuit the mech and temporarily lower its steel defenses. The player then needs to strike Bunyan's cockpit as many times as possible before the machine reactivates to slap her away. With enough damage, Bunyan will flee as his machine explodes.
The second tycoon, Jones, happened to be baffled that you caught up to him so soon! No matter, he thinks, as he believes now's a good time to try out his new valve-operated platform! Once he's done boasting and wasting time, he will seal himself in a suddenly levitating glass pod as a labyrinth of pipes shoots out from its bottom, with the player standing atop one as shallow electrocuted water floods the factory! The player will be capable of moving between one of six pipes, each having a valve of its own that Jones can tamper with, all the while trying their hardest to not touch the dangerous waters found off to the sides. The Crescent Kicker will whistle in her partner as the battle begins.
Each of the four pipes the player can stand on is capable of emitting a harmless burst of steam, which warns the player that pipe will suddenly let off a huge blast of water- it'll launch them towards the spiked ceiling above! The valves will spin as the steam is released, and will dial back as soon as the water dissipates. A cannon on Jones' glass pod will occasionally launch spiked balls onto the playing field, which will roll in the player's direction before eventually exploding, sending harmful debris to its sides in the process. The Crescent Kicker needs to be careful when navigating the pipes, for up to three valves can blast water at once. On hard mode, five of the six pipes can blast at once.
The Axe Dancer will be needed frequently to turn around the valves of the pipes around, reversing their directional flow for a short period of time and preventing water from emerging from the pipe. When a spiked ball lands down onto the playing field, the player will need to lure the spiked ball into the tampered pipe, forcing it to roll down into Jones' pod and damage the machine. All pipes can take up to two spike balls before malfunctioning. Halfway into the fight, Jones will begin forcing the pipes to bend and blast water diagonally to knock the player around. Once the machine takes enough damage, Jones will fly out from it as the mech explodes, causing the factory to shut down.
Up to the third tycoon now, Stormalong quickly realizes how bafflingly strong the Crescent Kicker is and calmly states that no matter the odds, he will not allow the Crescent Kicker to crush their plans alive. Deciding that he'll let his men take on the player, he hops into a motorboat, taunting the Crescent Kicker as he zips away! The Axe Dancer quickly arrives on the scene with his partner's skis, prompting her to get aboard them! He then expertly ropes the skis together with the enemy's motorboat, allowing the Crescent Kicker to follow the tycoon out to the seas. The winds will breeze past the Crescent Kicker's face as the tycoon turns around, shocked at how his luck's been turning out!
Stormalong will always be on the right-hand side of the screen with his motorboat, keeping his head turned to face his nemesis' as he commands his men to lurch themselves overboard, attempting to knock the player off their balance. When the boat appears to bump above something, it will always be a boulder in the sea that the player needs to quickly jump over! Attempting to throw the player off, Stormalong will occasionally throw a bomb into the air- the Crescent Kicker has to stay away from the left edge from the screen, or else she'll hit the explosive blast that emerges from it when it lands in the sea! Should the player be on hard mode, these bombs will be tossed more regularly.
To beat Stormalong, the player does indeed have to take him down with the help of the Axe Dancer. He'll zoom along in the background on his own motorboat, focusing his reticle on the player's position. When the reticle turns from yellow to red, he'll blast off a huge cannonball into the air! The player needs to react by kicking it at just the correct timing in order to knock over the tycoon, damaging him. He'll briefly cease attacking the player, allowing the player to grind aboard his unexpectedly lengthy ship and properly kick him until he tips the player back into the seas. When Stormalong finally takes enough damage, the Crescent Kicker will stomp through the ship, shattering it into pieces and causing Stormalong to drown.
When the player first confronts Crockett, he cowers behind the likes of Gus Gibbous, who protects him briefly from the Crescent Kicker until his bulk's been knocked to the ground. Panicking, Crockett flees knowing just how powerful his nemesis is now, boasting a massive crane mech that spins around on a set of conveyors that can also rotate 360 degrees! The player battles Crockett on this massive, long concrete beam the crane's always carrying around, able to influence whether the beam is leaning towards the left or right depending on their standing. Knowing he can be rewarded if he captures the Crescent Kicker alive, he doesn't drop her into the toxic oil seas below, but threatens her with that if she tries to escape him.
Crockett will frequently move the concrete beam around, forcing the player to try and not move around recklessly or they might fall off of their beloved platform. Occasionally, he will shoot out razorblades from a slot on his crane, making them fall onto the steel beam and roll around, trying to hit the Crescent Kicker. The player should try to make them fall off towards the oil. When he's not doing that, he'll instead move along a secondary hook to try and pick up the Crescent Kicker, swinging her into walls to damage her if successful. Sometimes the machine will drop its beam into the oil below, allowing the player to use it (and other beams) as rafts while dodging the homing fireworms that can be released from the crane.
Once again, the player will need to rely on their good ol' pal: the Axe Dancer. If the crane spits out some razorblades, the player will need to make them roll in their partner's direction so he can kick them towards the background, damaging the cockpit. Sometimes the partner will be snatched up by a crane, requiring the player to try and save him as Crockett attempts to take advantage of the situation. Eventually, the cockpit will be replaced and renewed, with the player this time needing to attack the hook that attempts to grab her partner. If she strikes the hook before it goes up, it'll be paralyzed; the Axe Kicker will then pull down on the curve to electronically damage the crane. After taking enough damage, the crane explodes and Crockett flees.
The fifth tycoon, Magarac, is already well-aware that the player's tough and attempts to resolve the situation by making peace with them. As the Crescent Kicker steps forward instead, he'll sigh and exclaim he doesn't like doing things the hard way, suiting himself up in a big baseball batter battlesuit! He will pummel his fists together as he stomps the ground with his thick body, dropping the player and the Axe Kicker into a big baseball field. The lights will dim, so the player will be playing with a disadvantage as Magarac uneasily smiles, saying that it didn't have to be like this as the player prepares to deliver their beating to him. As the lights frickle and as and the audience cheers, the battle begins.
Magarac's surprisingly agile for his size, trampling around the battlefield in mad dashes as he attempts to bring the player down with his shoulders. He will occasionally spring across the ground in a diving tackle, attempting to crunch them against a wall. Occasionally baseballs will be hurled in his direction, either being flung clean across the skies or being bounced across the ground. Depending on which comes to him first, Magarac will send the ball back at the player the same direction. Sometimes, he'll instead grab the ball and aim it directly in the player's way! Magarac will also haphazardly jump around, shaking the floor and shocking the player for every landing he makes, damaging them on hard mode.
His armor's too thick to be properly penetrated by the player's attacks, so things are once again up to the Axe Dancer. The player needs to kick the baseballs hurled her way by Magarac way high into the skies, letting her partner get ahold of them. When he grabs enough, he'll come down from the bridge above to kick this collection of baseballs into Magarac, knocking him over! The player then needs to stomp his stomach to begin cracking at his armor, but he'll likely knock the Crescent Kicker over before she can even do it halfway. Once the player's damaged his stomach enough, he will howl as he falls down to the ground, with the Axe Dancer stepping on his head and crushing it wide open, grinning in victory.
Jane's not even close to oblivious to the fact that the Crescent Kicker's caught up to them, showcasing her calamari fortress and fleet of nematodes when the Crescent Kicker's opened up her hideout in the oil factory! Furious, she demands an explanation for why the Crescent Kicker's attempting to make the human race regress, and shows disappointment in her ways. The heroine's unfazed, however, and showcases a few kicks before saying she's here to settle the matters and stop the harm being done to the world. Jane's oblivious to the damage all the tycoons have done, and refuses to believe her, trapping her and the Axe Dancer in a gated arena so they may have a battle together!
Tycoon Jane will hide out in the background, with six mechanical tentacles attached to the floor of the arena, ready to make their move at any time. The Crescent Kicker must roll beneath enormous tentacles slaps and avoid getting rammed up into a wall by them, these tentacles rolling in to occasionally drop bombs all over the battleground! Occasionally, these tentacles will rise up and serve as staircase-like platforms as the tycoon's mech comes closer, ready to blast the battlefield with harmful ink. As the Crescent Kicker and Jane duke it out, the many numerous nematodes will be trying to leap around and damage the Crescent Kicker, trying to throw her off. The battlefield is somewhat flooded with water on hard mode- the Crescent Kicker has to keep jumping out to avoid drowning!
Once again, leave it to the Axe Dancer to find solutions to the player's problems. If the player kicks one of the tentacles enough, they'll become paralyzed, allowing the Axe Dancer to tie it down to the ground. When he's tied all over them down, Tycoon Jane will try to launch her mech onto the battlefield and right atop of the heroine! The player simply has to roll out of the way and damage the machine's cockpit; once it's sat on the floor for long enough, it'll return back into the water and retaliate with a full wave of missiles. Once the machine's taken enough damage, it will violently explode! The player must then steer the robotic whale out to the wastelands...
Tycoon Bill's the most conscious of the player's victories, well aware the Crescent Kicker's taken out the previous six friends of his and that there's no way he's going to prevail over her. Instead of combating her directly, he attempts to stall her instead, trying to buy Frank enough time to initiate the next phase of his plan even if it means selling his life for it. Breathing calmly, he tells the player they cannot progress past his point, and hops into this enormous crate-stacking mech, growling audibly as he locks the player down in the enormous elevator they're in together! Bill will slam the mech's arms around before hopping behind the line of ground the player's on, ready for business.
Bill will battle by hoisting crates up from the ground near him, throwing them really high into the sky! Arrows will appear where these crates fall, forcing the player to watch for where these crates land and make the best move. The elevator never ends, so the player can take their sweet time evading the crates. Some of these crates will explode when the player touches them, so be aware of your positioning. Sometimes he'll fire rockets out from his machine's torso and blast the arena with lasers, or he'll make his mech's arms swing from side to side to make many of the crates fall over and possibly smash the player on hard mode. As the player damages the boss, the arena becomes thinner and thinner, with less places to run to!
As per usual, the Axe Dancer is the player's key to victory. Instead of him merely helping the player out, he instead fights the boss himself, constantly blasting at the mech's head with a grappling hook in the background. To make him finish off the boss faster, the player must kick the boxes as they come down to return them to the mech's head, paralyzing it briefly and allowing the sidekick to get in some free hits. It will start taking more and more hits to paralyze his head as the boss takes damage, and it will only become more aggressive if the player tries to handle the boss this way, so they have to be careful. Once Bill's mech takes enough damage, the Axe Dancer will slice off his head. Now to Frank's place!
When the player finally catches up to Frank, with the Axe Dancer in tow, they might be surprised to find that Frank's not equipped with any mech. He is much calmer and sweeter than the other tycoons, and offers to spare the player mercy if they may spare him mercy. However, when the Crescent Kicker clearly displays her pleasure to put down the man, Frank unwillingly unfolds the fight, deciding to fight unarmed so he may fight fair against the player. In a twist of events, Frank really doesn't have anything besides his incredible bulk- no matter what attacks the player will throw towards him in the upcoming fight, he will be able to shrug the majority of them off, as if the player's not truly hurting him.
Though he may lack the machines and mechanics his comrades uniquely possessed, Frank is an exceptionally challenging foe to beat. This isn't just because he's incredibly bulky, it's also because of the blinding speed and surprising range of his attacks. Frank throws flurries of uppercuts and jams several punches into the Crescent Kicker's body, damaging her excessively and trapping her within his fists of fury until she's thrown out of his range. His attacks carry a lot of priority too, able to cancel out the player's and let him get some free hits in on him. Sometimes he will grab the player and drag them across the floor to slam them into a wall. Note Frank's sullen, guilty expression as he tackles the player.
The Axe Dancer will definitely come in handy for this fight. He'll occasionally spring to try and kick down Frank with an axe kick, only to get grabbed mid-way and hurled in his partner's direction. The player can actually seize the opportunity to strike Frank before he can throw the Axe Dancer, making him let go of her partner and preventing her from wasting any more time. It should be noted that though Frank has absurd defense, the player can pull four switches from the ceiling to trigger an immensely powerful electrical current that runs across the floor, which will massively shock Frank and alert him to where the player's at. These switches will break when he's almost down, so use them early.
When Frank looks to be finally over, he lets out a few parting words as the rushing-in oil begins to fill up the arena, swallowing his body whole in the process. He will then rise high into the air, letting out a loud roar of triumph in his new bestial form! Not only does he retain all of his previous attacks, but the player now has to ride four platforms atop rising seas of oil as they fight him! His new attacks include being able to vomit oil through the air, slicking up platforms to make them icy and unsafe to travel, and sparking flames underneath himself to form explosions that can catch the Crescent Kicker when she's bounded to the rafts. Sometimes he'll stomp down on a platform, temporarily sinking it down.
The Axe Dancer's new strategy is to be in the background now, on a boat that blasts fiery arrows through the skies. He will be aiming for not just Frank Einstein over here, but will turn the tables against the player as well, meaning that the player can do the most damage by standing near the boss and tricking the Axe Dancer's AI into whittling down Frank's health much faster. As the Axe Dancer does this, he does his fierce grin, laughing mockingly. When Frank Einstein's finally defeated, the player and the Axe Dancer escape the place alive after setting it aflame, burning the whole underground base and incinerating whatever remains of Frank and his cohorts. It's not the end of the game yet, however.
Whoa, looks like your best friend's become greedy for the gold! Boasting an incredible offensive assault, having skills that equally match yours at the exchange of being less powerful but capable of launching projectiles, the Axe Dancer's likely to become your worst nightmare if you're not prepared to fight him. He will frequently leap across the arena, kicking you around if you don't dodge and stomping to prevent you from hitting him while he's airborne, also kicking around whirlwinds for good measure to throw you off balance. Sometimes, he'll hold his arms up to defend himself from attacks, then rush at you with a series of high-powered kicks intended to send you flying across the stage.
The Axe Dancer's not without his weaknesses, however. He's very challenging to make vulnerable, but performing flutter kicks just after he's stomped on the ground will catch him off guard and throw him into a dizzy animation. Just kick the lights out of him until he can stand up and move about again. As he moves about, he will become faster and faster, significantly more irritated as he takes the beatings. Eventually, he will lose all his health and stumble, falling to the floor. It's your choice whether to spare him or kill him.
Now overpowered by the sudden greed influx, it's up to you to crush President Fu and everything she stands for! The final boss of the game, President Fu won't let you have access to the cash you so rightfully earned, and engage you in a… "fencing" match! The cabinets on both sides of the office will suddenly drop down, revealing two lava pits to the sides of the office as you and her balance on the steel platform! She will maniacally laugh as she tries to fence you into the lava with her rapier, hacking and slashing at you as she does and slicing waves of fire in your direction in an attempt to knock you back further. Sometimes President Fu will flip over you and knock you down with her hip, hoping to finish you off there and then. This is a quick, but claustrophobic battle.
Though it may be the final boss battle, it is a very short one at that, and all the stress you've been through to fight Frank will not go down in vain here. During her flipping move, kick her to send her down to the ground, which will paralyze her. Kick her enough to damage her, wait for her to get up and then get out of her way. Once she's taken enough damage, the fatal pools of lava to the room's sides will begin heading inwards, limiting your playing room. She will keep repeating her attacks, sometimes making debris fall from the ceiling. To beat her, simply knock her back with a kick while she's in her flip animation into the lava. If you succeed with this, her body will melt down! Congratulations- you won!
In the Steam and PlayStation ports of Crescent Kicker, there exists numerous achievements and trophies for the player to gather up on their own time:
|PSN Trophy||Achievement Name||Requirements|
|Full Moon Belt||Beat "Shining Time" mode on HARD with all soldiers rescued.|
|Black Hole Sun||Beat "In Reverse" mode on HARD for the first time.|
|Kickstart My Heart||Clear "Turbo Edition"'s reverse layout under 55 real-time minutes.|
|Gibbous Moon Belt||Beat "Shining Time" mode on HARD for the first time.|
|Solar Eclipse||Clear "In Reverse" mode on NORMAL for the first time.|
|Hypersonic Pace||Clear "Turbo Edition"'s initial layout under 45 real-time minutes.|
|Head Crusher||Land a 16-hit combo against any enemy in the game.|
|Couverture Obsession||Purchase three Couverture chocolates with 15000G.|
|Crescent Moon Belt||Conquer "Shining Time" mode on NORMAL for the first time.|
|Supersonic Pace||Beat "Turbo Edition"'s initial layout under 70 real-time minutes.|
|Morning Sprint||Clear "Autumn Meadows" under 4 minutes in "Turbo Edition".|
|Tooth and Nail||Clear Lockdown Shelter under 3 minutes in "Turbo Edition".|
|Stylish Knockout||Finish off an oil tycoon with any of the player's special moves.|
|Master of Style||Use each of the Crescent Kicker's specials at least 80 times.|
|One of Everything||Buy one of everything from any vendor desired in the game.|
|Thrill Seeker||Kill at least one of every enemy present in the game's bestiary.|
|No Save??||Beat the game once on a "No Save" file. Cheats disqualify run.|
|Some Kind of Monster||Destroy much of Frank's home as you barge through it.|
|It's Alright||Spare the Axe Dancer even after he tried to kill you.|
|Far Beyond Driven||Slay the Axe Dancer as revenge for his attempt to kill you.|
The soundtrack was written and produced by TimeStrike's own sound team in collaboration with Posdnuos of the American hip hop trio De La Soul, an arrangement made without Sega's knowledge. Initially the sound team had developed an 80's-inspired heavy metal soundtrack for Crescent Kicker, but felt it sounded somewhat empty, leading to the collaboration coming to fruition. Thus, the soundtrack meshes the sound of De La Soul (especially their first album, 3 Feet High and Rising) and standard heavy metal acts of the 80's (such as Iron Maiden and Judas Priest). It was designed to be catchy and make use of very rich samples that push the Genesis' sound capabilities to their limit. The guitar sound on Crescent Kicker carries a galloping, rhythmic stride.
Because of the expiring of the contract between TimeStrike and De La Soul, the game's soundtrack had to be majorly replaced in subsequent rereleases. However, rather than developing their own hip-hop sound, TimeStrike decided to record with numerous other hip-hop artists over the years. They would contribute their own sounds over the heavy metal instrumentals, giving most subsequent rereleases of Crescent Kicker their own unique taste. These soundtracks were costly to make on TimeStrike's behalf, however. The many variants of the game's soundtrack now circulate everywhere on YouTube.
In order, the artists that helped produce new Crescent Kicker soundtracks include De La Soul (1995-1999), Public Enemy (1999-2003), Eminem (2003-2007), Jay-Z (2007-2010), Snoop Dogg (2010-2013), OutKast (2014-2018), and Gorillaz (2018-present). The years represent when their contracts were signed and expired, respectively.
- Crescent Kicker originated from a concept pitched by one of TimeStrike's crew members, whom showed interest in programming a character with top-notch kicking abilities.