Cyber Knight is an RPG by Tonkin House, released in 1990 in Japan for the PC Engine (TurboGrafx16). It was released as a “Hu Card” game (what cart-based PC Engine games are called). Cyber Knight is a science fiction RPG that combines sci-fi space exploration with strategic robot combat. It's a traditional turn-based RPG with random battles. I explain the battle system more further down this page.
The game takes place in the 24th century. Mankind has expanded into the reaches of outer space. The crew of the starship, Swordfish, are in an engagement with space pirates. Suddenly, the battle takes a turn for the worse and the crew activate their jump drive without a destination. They end up flung across the galaxy to the galactic core. The Swordfish, however, is badly damaged with many casualties. Even the captain was killed while en route to the mysterious destination. Only 26 of the crew survive, and only six of them are qualified for combat operations. They are responsible for using the six giant “Module” mechanized suits available for them after the fight with the space pirates. They discover a human colony that is under attack by a relentless mechanical aliens dubbed “Berserkers”. The crew must fight back against the new alien threat and explore the galaxy in order to find a way to return to Earth.
A year later after the PC Engine release, Cyber Knight was released for the Super Famicon (Super Nintendo) in Japan. It was one of the first RPGs to land on the system! The graphics and sound were overhauled and improved for this version. As shown above, you can see the PC Engine graphics were closer to NES quality while the improved SNES graphics are smoother with more colors.
A decade later in November of 2001, Cyber Knight saw the light of English day. Aeon Genesis Translations released the finished English fan translation for Cyber Knight, allowing us to finally play this game in English.
In August of 1994, Tonkin House released "Cyber Knight II: Chikyū Teikoku no Yabō" for the Super Famicon (Super Nintendo). In November of 2005, Aeon Genesis Translations graced us yet again with the release of the full English translation for Cyber Knight II. This wasn't easy for them to accomplish. Unlike the first Cyber Knight, Cyber Knight II's programming utilized a form of compression that made it difficult for Aeon Genesis Translations to hack into the game and translate it. It took them four years to do it!
Quite similar to Front Mission, you can equip various weapons on different parts of your module's body (the robots are called modules). The game's weapons include a variety of long range and close range weapons. There are machine guns, flame throwers, missile launchers, grenade launchers, laser swords, metal knuckles, and more!
There are three categories of things your modules can equip: weapons, options, and fields. Options are special, powerful weapons that have a limited use. Fields are cool! They protect you against enemy attacks. For example, one field can evade 50% of enemy laser attacks and one field helps jam enemy signals so that missiles can miss. Random battles take place on mini battlefields. You can move your modules around and execute your own strategic attacks.
View the video below of an early battle in Cyber Knight to give you an idea of what its battle system is like.
Long range and close range weapons have a weakness. If you choose to do a close range attack and your target moves away, then you lose your chance to attack it. If you choose to do a long range attack and an enemy stands right next to you, then he gets in your way and you can't attack.
This game doesn't have any shops. You gain new weapons and other items from enemies. Sometimes enemies leave you hefty scraps of themselves. Bring these scraps to your ship's lab and they can turn them into stronger weapons, power-ups, fields, etc.
The battle system in Cyber Knight II is generally the same. In addition to the usual battles with your modules, you also fight battles as humans (without wearing your modules). View the video below to get an idea of how the battle system is like.
For most of the game, you can easily beat battles by equipping everyone with long range weapons that attack multiple targets. Sometimes it's better to have just two modules with long range/multiple target weapons while your strongest module moves around attacking with close range weapons. In other words, winning battles is a matter of having a good blance of long range and short range weapons.
Cyber Knight isn't your normal SNES RPG. If you'd looked at the screenshots for the other SNES RPGs I cover, then look at these, you might be thinking, "Ew! The graphics suck!" Well, I might agree with you, hahaha. But yet, I think you should give Cyber Knight a chance.
Cyber Knight can grow on you. I find it to be strangely entertaining. The 'hybrid-strategy/RPG' style of its battle system is unique. Live-A-Live is similar where its random battles have you moving around a small battlfield. It's awkward at first, but you'll get used to it after a few battles and find some charm in it. The soundtrack is bleep and blop-ish like a NES game. There are some catchy tunes, though.
Would I recommend Cyber Knight? If you're a big fan of NES-era classic RPGs, I would recommend it. If you're the type of person who's only into popular RPGs such as Final Fantasy and Chrono Trigger, then Cyber Knight isn't for you. Cyber Knight II is really awesome. As expected from a sequel, it has better graphics, music, gameplay, story, etc.