The object of the airborne-based fighting game is to knock out the opponent in two out of three rounds (except the one round-only final boss fight). There are two modes in the original arcade version: “Story Mode” (1P-only) or “1P VS. 2P”. In “Story Mode”, at the beginning of each battle, the player must converse with the opponent by selecting one of three sentences. Depending on which sentence is selected, the CPU-controlled opponent will either “Heat Up” (become hard), “Cool Down” (become easy) or stay neutral before fighting (no difficulty change).
Depending on what is said, the player can encounter the Devil (based on bad judgment of character) or the Angel (based on good judgement of character) to fight before the final boss, though the Angel requires the player to judge their opponent well and not have any hiccups, or else the Devil will inevitably show up, should just one choice be bad.
Players control with an 8-way joystick and six buttons, similar to one of the two arcade cabinet versions of the 1987 Street Fighter and its sequel Street Fighter II. However, the six basic moves work differently compared to typical six-button layouts. The two heavy attack buttons usually send the opponent flying across the stage; however, sometimes the opponent can bounce off the side of the screen. Depending on how aggressively the combos are performed, sometimes the opponent bounces back and forth around the screen like in pinball (as indicated by the game). The player’s character can move briefly below or above the screen, which can be used for dodging attacks or chasing opponents above or below the screen. The energy bars below the screen are “Star Rank” bars, which are used for filling enough energy to perform one of two desperation moves per playable character called “Star Specials”.
Unlike most fighting games, Astra Superstars features the small basic moves and the large Star Special moves, but no medium-sized special moves. The player can summon a shield around the character. If the player constantly attacks an opponent that is guarding, the guard breaks, making the opponent briefly unable to move. When next to the opponent, the player can “turn behind” the opponent. If the player KOs the opponent the second time either with one of two heavy button basic moves or with a Star Special, the opponent will exit the screen. If the player aggressively attacks and KOs the dizzied opponent, it becomes a “Doctor Down” KO. Like in Data East’s 1984 Karate Champ arcade, when the time is up, the judge will determine who fought the best. Depending on how the player or opponent wins a round, the winner will have a certain letter placed below his or her lifebar. The “V” means the winner KO’d the opponent with a basic move, the “S” means the winner KO’d the opponent with a Star Special, the “D” means the winner aggressively KO’d the dizzied opponent, and “J” means the winner was chosen by the judge.
|Dimensions||12 × 12 × 1 cm|