Sqoon is a video game for the Nintendo Entertainment System and published by Irem and developed by Home Data. It is a side scrolling style of game where a pink submarine must defend Earth from the evil aliens of Neptune. At the same time the player must attempt to rescue human survivors and drop them on an island. It had very little adoption in North American and thus was considered a flop.
Earth is being attacked by the Neptunians, an underwater race of alien beings. They do this by melting the polar ice caps, flooding every country across the world. The Neptunians did this because their source of food, man-ham, was depleting due to meteorites turning their world into a desert. So they moved to Earth because of its abundant source of man-ham.
While all of this was taking place, a pirate named Narikeen was mining gold under the oceans of the world using his submarine, named SQOON. When his SQOON was full of gold, he would go into port and trade his gold for grog. But when he tried to go to the port, he realized that it was gone. In fact, all the land was gone!
It was then when he received a message on the radio from the General of the Earth Defense Army warning Narikeen of the Neptunian invasion of the planet Earth. After refusing at first, Narikeen finally agrees to save the trapped humans underwater with his SQOON. He can only carry nine people at a time, transferring them from the underwater base to his motorized floating island.
Sqoon borrows plenty of ideas from Gradius, and lays out a lot of ground for Irem’s big shooter series, R-Type. The game is a classic example of the side-scrolling shooter genre. What separates Sqoon from the rest is its upgrade system, which requires the player release the captured humans, capture nine of them, and successfully stow them away on a motorized floating island in order to upgrade the SQOON’s guns. The main gun has two upgrades. The secondary gun is the classic “below fire” gun, which is used to break open ocean bottom domes, freeing humans.
Another unique gameplay feature found in Sqoon is the fuel meter. In order to keep moving forward, the player needs to constantly replenish the fuel meter, which starts out at sixty. Fuel is lost every second. In order to replenish fuel, the player is given a refill of fuel every time they rescue nine prisoners. They can also gain a full refill by killing one of the crabs on the ground, and exchanging what the crab leaves behind on the motorized floating island. Also on the top left, there is a score counter.
- Horizon Missile – Kills the Neptunians
- Ice Ball Gun – Destroys bio hot water factory and enemies. When the ocean bottom dome is broken with the iceball gun, the humans come swimming out. They need to be rescued quickly and transferred to the small motorized island to receive energy for SQOON.
- Bow-wow missile – The first power-up, the SQOON’s main weapon will be upgraded to the Bob-wow missile. It moves at the same speed as the horizon missile, but it goes through enemies, allowing it to hit any remaining enemies behind it.
- Adenoid missile – If the player has the Bow-wow missile and power-up again, they will receive this weapon. It is the most powerful missile available, giving the SQOON a spread-shot.
- Saudi Arabia
- United States
All information is from the games’ manual:
Sea Slug: Look for it around the cities. It picks up the magic necklace that the mermaid Kazumi has dropped. If you hit it with the ice ball a number of times, it will turn into a necklace. If you pick up this necklace and destroy the bio hot water factory the balance of ocean energy will be disturbed and you may be able to go to some other dimension of the world. This is a magical lifeform.
Crab: If you shoot it with the ice ball gun, the shell of the crab comes off and you can get the gold inside. Touch the gold to collect it. In a few seconds though, the shell will return and the crab will start walking again. Use your gold well. One gold and one person allows you to refuel from the small motorized island.
Flounder: This is the Neptunian scout. If you are killed by this, you’re not doing very well. The Pirame dance around the screen.
Ottotto: Baruban (the ruler of the Neptunians) asked someone to create a smart robot, but this is the result. This is a smart robot that needs more brains.
Turtle: Get away, get away! This turtle is coming! Try to steer clear of this enemy.
Neptunian Mine: Avoid the mines floating in the ocean. You can destroy them with the ice ball gun.
Kazumi: Baruban turned Miss Neptune into a mermaid when they reached Earth to confuse the Earth people. However, Kazumi is innocent Miss Neptune. What should you do?
Snail: It used to be a toy for Yarukisu, the son of Baruban. Don’t restrain your attack just because it’s a child’s toy.
Spear Shellfish: This is the guard for the Neptunians base. Its thick and hard shell is indestructible, even with horizon missles or ice balls. Avoid them.
Sunfish: It’s the only bio-fish that has a family. It spends all of its time looking for food for the mambouya (little mambo).
Child Mambo: Don’t restrain your attack just because this is a little mambo. It’s brave and quick.
Angler Fish: Look out! This fish swims extremely fast and straight.
Squid: This creature rushes forward suddenly and then stops when it moves. It doesn’t play fair-be careful!
Flying Fish: JUMP-JUMP-JUMP! If this is around, you can’t get close to the surface of the ocean.
Nautilus Shell: It takes three horizon missiles to kill this enemy. If something is spinning and coming, it must be Paachiki.
Frog: This amphibian is expressionless because it’s actually a statue of a sitting frog.
Shrimp: It looks strong, but it can be killed with the ice ball gun. It makes good sushi.
Sea Horse: This is a lost sea horse child, looking for its mother across the oceans.
Neptunian Ghosts: This is a strange ghost which followed Baruban from the planet Neptune.
Shellfish: If this sees an enemy, it wants to kill, Look out!
Shark: It’s the only Earth fish which has been conquered by the Neptunians. It knows that if it follows SQOON, it can get food. It’s a man-eating shark.
- Every time the player passes a church, touch a surfer, panda bear, etc., they receive a 1UP.
- Throughout the game’s quest, the player travels throughout many major countries in the world, including the USA and China.