Flash Hiders: Safety First

Flash Hiders and Battle Tycoon rarely draw notice in the history of fighting games. The two titles were the now-defunct Right Stuff’s attempts at snatching a piece of the genre’s sugary and super-saturated pie in the 1990s. Neither succeeded, but I suspect they were ahead of the curve. Every modern fighting game has a console-oriented story mode with RPG-ish customization, and Right Stuff explored that territory with the original Flash Hiders in 1993. More can be read in this GameSetWatch piece I wrote years ago, even though I now see some typos and at least one factual error: Patchet is a were-polar-bear, not a werewolf.

I like Flash Hiders, and I also like its manual. Game instructions usually include guidelines for handling a cartridge or CD, and every so often the publisher might add little comics of the game’s characters failing to heed such advice. This is a lost art today, but it was common in the Japanese market of the early 1990s, when CDs were a new technology and there was always the chance that some consumers would try to play a game by breaking the disc apart and picking their noses with the shards.

My favorite game-safety guides are the ones from Phantasy Star III and IV, but the last page of the Flash Hiders manual is also very helpful. It offers plenty of illustrated advice for first-time CD-ROM owners.