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SWAT Kats – The Radical Squadron is a classic 2D platformer game for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System video game console.

Summary

Mr. Goodkat’s in-depth overview of the Super Nintendo SWAT Kats: The Radical Squadron game including detailed background information, informative commentary about aspects of the gameplay, videos, tips, codes and more.

Game Opening

About "SWAT Kats - The Radical Squadron" for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System

Contributed By
Mr. GoodkatMr. Goodkat
  • SWAT Kats – The Radical Squadron is a classic 2D platformer game for the SNES console.
  • The game provides five different worlds with each of them consisting of multiple sections and having its own environmental setting.
  • Each world is dedicated to a villain of the show (Dr. Viper, Madkat, the Pastmaster, the Metallikats and Dark Kat).
  • While world 1, 3 and 5 are loosely based on one or more of the show’s first season’s episodes, world 2 and 4 are rather following their own storylines (please check the world sections of this article for more information).
  • Each of the worlds 1, 3 and 5 also includes a section where the player is in control of the Turbokat and its weapon system. The player has to shoot rockets at the enemies while evading them and the shots being fired at the jet. Having in mind that the show is about two kats in a fighter jet, it’s a bit ironic that these sections are considered to be the weakest feature of the game by many players. Moreover, the Turbokat sections are a challenge for players who tend to get motion sick rather quickly.
  • Before entering a world, the player can choose between T-Bone and Razor as playable character. It is not possible to switch between the characters during gameplay.
  • The game includes a feature which is being rather uncommon for classic plattformer games – experience points and levels. Each time an enemy is beaten, the SWAT Kats get a few experience points and level up when a specific amount of them has been collected. This affects the SWAT Kats in two ways. First, they get a bit more life force (which is also completely restored when leveling up) and second, the shots fired from the Glovatrix will get a bit more effective and it’s range will also be increased a little. All of these effects are especially important for the final boss battle against Dark Kat and become even more important when trying to beat the game on hard difficulty.
  • The Glovatrix also uses various kinds of ammunition depending on the experience level of the SWAT Kats. In detail: Level 0-4: Normal Missile Level 5-9: Spider Web Missile Level 10-14: Cement Machine Gun Level 15-19: Octopus Missile Level 20-24: Pincer Missile Level 25-99: Slicer Disc
  • One of T-Bone’s specialties is his bazooka which can be used to get destructible blocks out of the way. Note, that it cannot be used as a weapon against opponents. It may feel weird that the projectiles of the bazooka are just bouncing off the enemies when hitting them, but from a gameplay point of view this actually makes sense when taking a closer look at the Glovatrix which is used by both SWAT Kats to attack enemies. As the range and the damage of the Glovatrix is increased with each level up, it slowly becomes a long range weapon. Being able to shoot the enemies with the bazooka would ruin the balance of this game mechanic.
  • Furthermore, T-Bone deals more damage than Razor when using the Glovatrix and he takes a little less damage when being hit. This makes him the perfect candidate to gather experience points rather quickly.
  • Razor’s specialty is the jetpack which allows him to reach every part of a level segment quite easily, except for the parts being blocked by destructible blocks which he cannot destroy. The player has to take care that the jetpack doesn’t overheat which is indicated by a small flame coming out of the jetpack after a short while. When the jetpack overheats it explodes, thus hurting Razor. The jetpack makes Razor the perfect candidate for picking up 1UPs that T-Bone can only hardly reach or cannot reach at all.
  • As the sections of the worlds have to respect that T-Bone cannot fly, some of them are easier and quicker to complete when playing them as Razor.
  • The game also includes a funny, but rather useless posing feature. When hitting both shoulder buttons (L + R) at the same time, the SWAT Kat starts to pose and shouts his catch-phrase. He also does this automatically after defeating a boss.
  • Not surprisingly, Razor’s catchphrase is “Bingo!”.
  • Although T-Bone doesn’t have a specific catchphrase in the show, he shouts “Gotcha!” in the game.

Razor's jetpack

The following two videos down below demonstrate the advantage of Razor’s jetpack.

While you have to get to the top of this section the classical way with T-Bone by jumping and climbing up, this is a lot easier for Razor using his jetpack. The only things you have to take care of are that you don’t overheat it and Razor doesn’t land on a unstable platform.

When you have reached the last part of this section you need to jump quickly from wall to wall as this is way faster than just climbing up. If you don’t do this, the giant carnivorous plant will catch the SWAT Kat for sure at this point. Also, Razor’s jetpack won’t help you there as the way to the top is longer than Razor can actually fly without the jetpack being overheating.

T-Bone's bazooka

This video shows how T-Bone’s bazooka works. It can be used to get destructible blocks out of the way, but it’s ineffective against any kind of enemy. In order to hit an enemy the Glovatrix has to be used like being demonstrated at the end of the video.

Running and special moves

It’s possible for T-Bone and Razor to run and also to perform a special move, but the way these features are implemented into the game isn’t quite intuitive as they are triggered by an unnecessarily complex button pattern. It’s also a bit weird that the Glovatrix is fired in the process. Fortunately, the use of these features isn’t mandatory to play and to beat the game.

So in order to run you first need to press and hold the FIRE button (Y). Then you press one of the direction buttons (LEFT or RIGHT) twice and hold it as long as you want T-Bone or Razor to be running. When running it’s no longer necessary to hold the FIRE button.

While running (and only while running!) you can perform T-Bone’s or Razor’s special move by pressing the JUMP button (B) and then pressing the FIRE button (Y) again.

Please also check out the excerpt from the instruction booklet of the game and the example videos down below.

Super Nintendo Game Overview

A way to beat the game without using cheat codes

  • Before entering the worlds 2, 3 or 4 make sure that you’ve collected enough 1UPs in order to have nine lives.
  • The first video down below shows how you can get nine lives, no matter what difficulty you’ve selected and this trick works in every section of a world that includes more than one 1UP. The footage has been captured from the second section of world 1 where it’s especially easy when you’ve selected Razor as player character, because his jetpack allows him to pick up the 1UP at the top of the tower right at the beginning rather easily. There is another 1UP near the end of this level such that this trick also works for T-Bone, but it will take a little longer when you’ve selected him for playing.
  • There is also a section in world 4 that allows you to get nine lives (see the second video down below), but it’s a bit more tricky than it is in world 1.
  • Best (re-)play world 1 as long as you haven’t reached about level 15.
  • Then select T-Bone and go right to world 4 and make your way through the second train ride section (see the third video for more details). Like in the video, you can also select Razor for this, but the next steps will take longer for him as he deals less damage than T-Bone.
  • Shoot all of the robots on your way to the 1UP. Once you’ve picked that up, go back to continue shooting the respawning robots until time runs out. Don’t go any further to the right once you got the 1UP, as this section is going to end there and you’d have to replay the world in order to get back there again.
  • Since you’re picking up a 1UP on each run you can repeat this procedure as long as you like which is probably the dullest part of this approach. But it will get easier with each level up as the Glovatrix becomes more and more powerful.
  • You should repeat this until you’ve reached at least level 35 (on hard difficulty) in order not to have any problems beating the Metallikats in the boss battle.
  • As you get most experience points for an enemy in this world (with the exception of world 5) this is probably the best way to level up quickly
  • The last video in this section demonstrates the increased damage dealt by the SWAT Kat once having reached a higher level.
  • Don’t enter world 5 until you’ve reached about level 75 (on hard difficulty) as the boss battle against Dark Kat is way harder than all the others.

Password-based savegame system

The game features a savegame system based on passwords which are generated depending on the player’s settings (rank and time) and progress (completed worlds and experience level). These passwords are displayed after successfully completing a world or when loosing the game. As the amount of lives are not included, the player starts with the same amount as when starting a new game.

Here are some examples of passwords that commonly show up when searching the web for them.

Completed worlds Experience level Rank & Time Password
1 18 Normal 6B-88-40-H4
1, 4 28 Normal 2H-02-72-H8
1, 2, 4 31 Normal C9-7F-72-13
1, 2, 3, 4 42 Normal B4-89-B2-1H
All 49 Normal J5-B7-FB-84

When looking at the order in which the worlds have been completed it seems like that the original provider of these codes has beaten the game with a strategy similar to the one described in the previous section. The last password is often labeled as the Bonus Level, although it just seems to have world 5 unlocked which is already available using the previous code. So the author of this article assumes that this password has been generated after world 5 had been successfully completed and then just given an deceptive label.

And if you want to know how it feels playing the game being at level 99 on hard difficulty then here is the code you’re looking for: J3-BK-8K-37 😉

Cheat codes for Pro Action Replay and Game Genie

You can use the following cheat codes when playing the game on your SNES console with the corresponding cheat cartridge. Please note that many SNES emulators are also able to handle these codes.

Effect Pro Action Replay Game Genie
Always have nine lives 7E19F009 DBFE-9A7C
Infinite time 7E1B653B 78F1-225C
Infinite life force 7E1A3641 0FF7-B28C
Life force stays near the maximum (alternative to the previous cheat) C0CC5A34 70A9-7467
Get level 99 rapidly C13D6069 1B71-5DD5
Turbokat can take an unlimited number of hits (World 1+5 outside) C1F5946B 18EB-5FD9
Turbokat can take an unlimited number of hits (World 1+3 inside) C1F5D76B 18E2-5FA9
Turbokat can take an unlimited number of hits (World 3 outside) C1F60B6B 18ED-84A9
SWAT Kat stays invincible after first hit C05313BD 829F-EDAD
Enable access to world 5 C0ECD605 D932-7F67

A few words about SNES-emulators and ROMs

  • In order to play the game outside of a SNES environment you will need an emulator for this, e.g. ZSNES (Windows + Linux) and SNES9x (Windows).
  • There are also emulators available for mobile devices (e.g. Snes9x EX+ for Android), but the Turbokat sections are probably impossible to play on such a device without cheating when not having a game controller attached to it or integrated into it.
  • There are also some webpages allowing to play the game online in an embedded emulator. Be aware that most of these embedded emulators based on Adobe Flash are performing not as good as an offline emulator, hence requiring a better hardware in order for the game to run smooth.
  • When playing the game in an emulator on a computer you should play it with a gamepad for best gameplay experience. You can use a joystick-to-keyboard-tool in order to convert your gamepad’s signals into keyboard signals if your emulator doesn’t support your gamepad (searching for the term JoyToKey is a good starting point to find one).
  • Be aware that there are modified ROMs available for download. You can recognize them by looking at the checksum status that most emulators display when a ROM has been loaded. Those ROMs probably still work, with some of them having a level-99-hack integrated. But if you want to make sure that your game is fully functional then you should try to find a ROM having a valid checksum.

Some background information on the game, the developer and the publisher

  • The game was developed by AIM, a Japanese game development company that was later renamed into Fortyfive Co., Ltd.
  • Fortyfive Co., Ltd. probably ceased to exist as the company’s website (http://www.xlv.co.jp) is no longer available and the company hasn’t released any games in the recent years.
  • The game was published by Hudson Soft USA, Inc., located in San Francisco, California, which was the North American publishing division for Japan’s Hudson Soft Company Ltd.
  • The game was published in the year 1995. At this time, the production of the show had already been canceled.
  • Hudson Soft USA, Inc. was closed down in the same year.
  • According to mobygames.com the game was released in the United States, Canada and Mexico.
  • For more information on AIM please check this article on mobygames.com.
  • For more information on Hudson Soft USA please check this article on mobygames.com.

Who owns the rights on this game?

The following information cannot guaranteed to be 100% accurate, but should still be able to provide a quick overview about the licensing rights of the game.

As Warner Brothers has taken over the intellectual properties of Hanna-Barbera including SWAT Kats – The Radical Squadron, it can be assumed that this company holds at least some of the most important rights on this game.

Some of the game specific rights (e.g. the game assets or the game code) are likely being held by the developer (AIM) and/or the publisher (Hudson Soft). As the developer’s website isn’t available anymore and there are also no recent game releases from that company, it can be assumed that it doesn’t exist anymore. If that company did hold some rights on the game, it’s unclear if the publisher or someone else holds them now or if they just simply evaporated. As Hudson Soft USA, Inc. was closed too, their rights have probably been held by its parent company Hudson Soft Company, Ltd. since then.

As Konami has taken over Hudson Soft about 15 years later, there is a possibility that Konami now has some rights on the game. As the author of this article didn’t receive a response from Konami, this assumption unfortunately can neither be confirmed nor negated.

Since every game being released on a Nintendo game console has to be licensed by Nintendo, this company holds the rights on the ROM of the game.

Credits Scroll

Contributed By
Mr. GoodkatMr. Goodkat

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SWATKATS.info // A constant work in-progress 1999 - 2018 // SWAT Kats: The Radical Squadron was created by Christian and Yvon Tremblay for Hanna-Barbera Cartoons Inc.

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