Updated: Dec 28, 2021
The Astyanax is an action adventure game that was originally released to arcades by Jaleco in 1989. The Arcade Archives version of The Astyanax was released on Nintendo Switch in May of this year. The game consists of five levels plus a secret, hidden sixth stage, All stages contain an end of level boss, apart from the fourth one, and these are what we're focusing on in this article. Just a few general things before we begin. First, there aren't any major differences between the Japanese and International versions, so the tactics used to defeat each boss remain largely the same, Secondly, the difficulty of the boss fights can be mitigated by collecting arrow heads (up to four in total) that give the player a magic attack; said magic attack unleashes a lightning strike. Thirdly, the player has a chance to collect shields; as long as you're not in the middle of attacking with the axe, the shield will block a few enemy hits before crumbling. With all that out of the way, let's take a look at the bosses. Spoilers abound, obviously...
STAGE 1 - THE FOREST
The first boss is demonic red centipede like creature that spits rocks from its mouth and shoots fireballs from the tip of its tail. Avoid or block the projectiles with your shield (assuming you have one) and hit its head to whittle down its health bar. You can also use the magic attack to damage it, again assuming you've collected one or more arrow heads.
STAGE 2 - THE CAVE
The second boss is inspired both by Eastern mythology and the classic Ray Harryhausen film, The Golden Voyage of Sinbad from 1974, as we fight a statue that looks exactly like Kali (or might even be Kali). She takes a while to wake up and become aggressive, so you have a few precious seconds to hit her with the axe while she readies herself for action. The order of the day is to again avoid or block her attacks using a shield. Alternatively, you can use the lighting force attack if you've collected the necessary arrow heads. Another note on this particular boss fight. When I fought Kali in the Japanese version, I was able to whittle away her entire health bar without her actually attacking me. In the International version, Kali was actually able to attack me and land a few blows. Not sure if this comes down to a slight difference between both versions (the International one does seem a tad more difficult overall, but that could just be me). It's just something that I noticed.
STAGE 3 - THE LAKE
The end of level boss for Stage 3 is a blue wyvern with two legs, two wings and two heads. The aim is to chop off each of the wyvern's heads while avoiding the fire projectiles it spits at you. It takes about five hits to chop off the first head and over twenty for the second head, even when using the lightning force magic attack to help whittle down its health bar. Quick tip: once the first head is gone, it's much easier to deal with the second. This is because if you stay relatively close to the wyvern, the majority of its fire attacks will go over your head; so you can focus on chopping off its final head.
STAGE 5 - THE CASTLE
The boss of the castle area is a giant, cloaked wizard that fires lighting from his hands. Who is this guy, Palpatine? The way to beat this wicked wizard is to crouch right next to him and swing away with the axe. The lighting attacks will go harmlessly over your head. You have to be crouched at just the right spot to pull this off successfully, however: if you're crouched close enough to touch his robes, you'll receive damage; if you're crouched too far away, you'll get hit by the lightning attack. To compound this, the boss will occasionally teleport to different parts of the screen, so be careful to be stood or crouched at a spot where the lightning won't touch you.
STAGE 6 - FINAL BATTLE
The final battle takes place in an alien environment that's very similar to one found in a certain chest bursting franchise. The boss itself looks very similar to a Xenomorph, while its minions look like Face huggers. Luckily for us, the boss does not bleed acid when hit. What it does try to do is smack you with its extending arm. The trick to crouch near the boss; the extending arm will pass harmlessly over your head, and you can then swing away with your axe. Occasionally, the boss will move around or jump across the screen. When this happens, a few minions will drop down and try to kill you as well. Get rid of them as soon as possible so you can go back to the main strategy of being crouched under the boss's arm and whacking away with the axe.
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