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Starbuster demo

Project Overview

Welcome to the SAGE booth for the first demo of Starbuster

Starbuster is a fast-paced action platformer, inspired by the likes of the Mega Man Zero series, with a focus on faster paced combat, exploration, and weapon customisation. Rocket around, slap things, grab weapons and build your arsenal. After all, while you can't solve every problem with excessive firepower, you can sure as hell solve most of them.

You take control of the experimental android Alpha, the latest weapon built by the ruthless Grey Imperium. This demo focuses on Alpha's escape from the enigmatic Laboratory 19, there's only a small army of Imperial security forces in the way, how bad could it possibly be? Defy your creators, and shoot your way to freedom. Will you succumb to the iron grip of the empire, or will you make it to the stars?

Updated 30/9/2019:

-Fixed slowdown on stage boss

Updated 29/9/2019: V1.3

-Restored ability to use saber while charging gun
-Fixed issue with Line gun not damaging certain enemies
-Improved hit effects
-Added rudimentary hurt sound for Alpha (can't explain why this wasn't there to begin with)

-Fixed issue with knife missile
-Am still idiot

Updated 28/9/2019: V1.2
-Slight gravity increase

-Slowed wallsliding
-Hangbar prompts
-Rolling attack now default aerial attack, no longer consumes meter
-Thunder kick no longer requires diagonal input
-Restored double jump after dash, after jumppad, ect.
-Enemy damage particles
-Saber/Gun adjustments

(fully rebindable in-game)

Arrow keys: Movement
Space: Jump
Left Shift: Dash
Z: Melee
X: Gun
X: Special

Controller (Xbox 360/one):
Left stick: Move
A: Jump
Left Shoulder: Dash
X: Melee
B: Gun
Y: Special

Screenshots and media!

Bonus Content

Starbuster is set many, many thousands of years in the future. The second great galactic war is winding down, the Grey Imperium all but dominates the cosmos.

They've won the war, but they aren't going to stop yet. The empire has begun reviving the forbidden weapons from the last war, fearsome technologies deemed so unforgivable by the survivors that all knowledge was purged from the galaxy. In particular, the empire seeks to re-create starbusters, the legendary AI that planned and fought the closing battles of the first great war, ruthless machine gods who silenced countless civilisations with frightening efficiency. Starbusters were so feared, that the galaxy has used organic bio-computers for AI functions for centuries now, all to prevent their re-emergence.

It's taken the empire years of research, but they've finally produced a truly living AI. Unfortunately for them, it's not exactly obedient, and they've armed it to the teeth.

Extra abilities


Alpha can parry most attacks. Simply swing your sword right before a hit connects to parry it.
Yes you can parry the trains.

Rolling around, not quite at the speed of sound (rolling attack): (V1.2 specific)
Melee in the air, or Down + Melee while dashing. Consumes meter.

Thunder kick:
Down + Melee in the air. Useful for punting grunts off ledges.



Music by:

Andy Robison "Progfox" (also check out Ihlo's prog metal masterpiece)

Leilani Wilson "Woofle" (you've heard her music, but did you know she's an author, it's like a book and an album)

Cover art:
Imp (absolute madlad putting up with my nonsense)

Special thanks to everyone who helped playtest

Latest reviews

I really enjoyed this demo! Although ratter floaty compared to Mega Man Zero, the controls fell really good, the arsenal mechanic is so interesting and shows so much potencial, And I loved the spritework and character design!
I believe this project has a lot of potencial, really!
The game feels very Megaman Zero-esque, alright, to the point I had a very enjoyable experience~ I anticipate seeing where this goes, if anywhere, in the future~

High points:
-Controls felt natural and you've pretty much nailed the physics as a great echo to that series.
-The mod system you have in place encourages a lot of creativity (mostly with shot types, at least, in terms of this demo) which really feels nice and keeps the game fresh. The situations per stage each have a few different methods of circumvention thanks to the various mods, and I definitely anticipate playing with more of them as development goes on~
-On top of that, being able to just dig up these mods in stages really encourages not only exploration, like the source material, but also attention and provides a reward for learning your capabilities well~
-I got myself into a few different predicaments because of the jump kick, and I absolutely love that~ It helps make battles feel frenzied and exciting, knowing you can get yourself into and out of trouble so easily~

Tripping points
-I constantly had to fight muscle memory when playing; you can't fire or charge a shot and use the saber at the same time. So many times, I was charging a shot and found myself in the perfect range for a melee attack but couldn't without letting go of that charge first. Heck, the aforementioned DIVEKICK(!!!) is unusable, which doesn't make all too much sense, in my mind, from both a gameplay and realistic sense(i.e. "If my hands are busy, why can't I use my feet?"). I could get used to it, but it made things a bit... needlessly awkward in situations.
-I'm not sure if this is the case or not, but sometimes, the Line Shot mod didn't deal damage? I mean, I tried hitting those spinny-blade-orbs(Oh no, Gabyoalls that rotate vertically and not horizontally! :d) with it, but it... kinda did nothing. Is the hitbox on them just really specific and I happened to have the accuracy of a drunken space-ape or is it just the fact I have the split shot mod on as well? I'll prolly do a bit more testing myself to check that....
-Maybe a few of the sound effects in places were a bit on the soft side, but I can excuse that about as easily as the menu graphics. This is a demo after all, so of course there are going to be some graphics in (agh, pun) alpha.
Just uploaded a patch that fixes those first two issues
Wow, that's very prompt of you~ Nice work dude~
Really good demo and cool game. :) I especially liked the sprites and the character-design.


Loving the demo so far! I noticed some bugs that I'll try and pass on:
-An enemy dropped a health item that I could not collect no matter what. It eventually despawned
-I didn't jump on the elevator after the boss, so I just slid up the walls and found a wall-less part of the map before the transition...oops
-Died at the train part and respawned at the beginning of the level with the train sound still playing.
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Sonis this website full of oh I have a demo but then no download links? I want to support the work I've found here but I cant seem to find anyone competent enough to add an actual download link.
Sonis this website full of oh I have a demo but then no download links? I want to support the work I've found here but I cant seem to find anyone competent enough to add an actual download link.
I would like to direct your attention to the Downloads tab on the right-hand side of the screen~ Every SAGE page has that section complete with downloadable demos, and I do mean every one of them~ That IS the download link, until the creator decides to open another information hub such as a website, Youtube page/devlog or other~

If you're on mobile, then you may not be able to see it(I haven't exactly checked the site on mobile)... but by the same extent, you wouldn't be able to play the demos either, since, with one exception for the 2019 entries, they all are packed in securely vetted ZIP files that would need decompression and a working laptop/desktop. And yes, they are all secure and verified to be secure by the year's judges... and people like myself, or more competently MegaGWolf, that go out of their way to showcase these games~

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