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Quarth

Quarth (クオース) is a hybrid puzzle game with shoot 'em up developed by Konami which was released in 1989 as an arcade game, sold as Block Hole outside Japan. Besides the arcade version, there were also ports of the game to the MSX2, Famicom, and Game Boy—home releases used the Quarth name worldwide. In 2005 Konami also included the game in the Nintendo DS title Ganbare Goemon: Tōkai Dōchū Ōedo Tengu ri Kaeshi no Maki.

Gameplay

Quarth is a combination of Tetris-style gameplay and a fixed shooter in the Space Invaders tradition. The player's focus is on falling blocks, and the action is geometrical. Rather than arranging the blocks together to make a row of disappearing blocks, a spaceship positioned at the bottom of the screen shoots blocks upwards to make the falling block pattern into squares or rectangles. Once the blocks have been arranged properly, the shape is destroyed and the player is awarded points based on the shape's size. The blocks continue to drop from the top of the screen in various incomplete shapes. As each level progresses, the blocks drop at greater speed and frequency. There are also various power-ups which could be located to increase your ship's speed, among other bonuses.

The game continues until the blocks reach the dotted line at the bottom of the screen, whereupon the player's ship is "quarthed," crushed flat.

Multi-Player

Like most arcade games, the game featured a multi-player mode. In the arcade, this was demonstrated via a split screen with Player 1 on the left and Player 2 on the right. For the Game Boy, multiplayer required the Game Boy Link Cable with each player able to view only their fields on their own Game Boys.

The MSX2 and Famicom versions had two different 2-player modes: Mode A, where both players worked together on the same game, and Mode B which was the same as the arcade split-screen game.

Relation with Gradius

  • The main fighter of Quarth, the Block Shooter appeared in Airforce Delta Strike with other famous fighters of Konami like Vic Viper, Jerry Mouse, Twinbee or Axelay.
  • In early designs of Otomedius Excellent, Dark Force's RV was supposed to be a Quarth Viper.
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