( Metal Mech - Man & Machine )
Game Cover
©1990 Sculptured Software Inc.
©1990 K.K DCE
Release: 1990-12-14 (¥5900)
Cartridge DEC-QM
Action game

American Version
Released in America as
( NES-J8-USA )
Metal Flame Psy Buster is a side scrolling action game by Sculptured Software and published by Jaleco. In the year AD20XX, a malicious race of half-alien, half-machines, suddenly appears and attacks the Earth. The Metal Mechs, as they are called, have now successfully taken control of the human world. But a small group of scientists decides to counter attack the enemy - they manage to capture a large three-legged Metal Mech vehicle, and they plan to launch a desperate offensive to destroy the alien mothership and save humanity. The player takes control of the captured Metal Mech codenamed Metal Flame OMO III, and more precisely, its human pilot Tonī Seibasutā (aka Tony Psybuster). This is what distinguishes Metal Flame Psy Buster apart from other action games at the time - although the player starts inside the three-legged vehicle, he can jump out of the war machine at anytime, scout the surroundings on foot, collect items and explore areas the mech can't reach (in a way very similar to Sunsoft's excellent Meta Fight). The goal of each level is to recover the Level Key (symbolized by a red "K" icon) hidden somewhere around the vicinity, and to reach the exit (usually located at the right-most part of a level). Other special items are also scattered around each area and can be collected to enhance the survivability, mobility and firepower of the mech. They range from armor upgrades, radioactive fuel, life upgrades, bombs to extra weapons (the player can switch from on to the other by pressing 'Select', and they range from Rotary Gun to Missiles or Rapid Fire). Metal Flame Psy Buster consists of six levels.
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Metal Mech Man & Machine There are a couple of notable differences between the American NES version of the game and the Japanese version. The game's title is completely different and shows Tony and the OMO III mech (picture on the right), whereas the Japanese version features the game's title over a blue background. The screen that follows, where Tony runs towards his mech has some added text that says "Let's do it mech!". Interestingly, although the game is credited to Sculptured Software, a development company originally based in Salt Lake City (Utah, USA), if was first released in December 1990 in Japan, and in march 1991 in the USA (was the game originally commissioned by Jaleco Japan ?). Additionally, on his game design and art work page, Joe Hitchens (game artist at Sculptured Software in 1990 and Metal Flame's game designer) has some artwork showing Tony as seen in the American version's title. It is anyone's guess as to why these graphics were removed (or never included) from the Japanese version. Joe Hitchens also mentions a Game Boy version of Mech Metal which, as far as we can tell, was never released (it was announced in the Official 1990 World of Nintendo Buyers Guide for a 1990 release). Finally, an early game promotional flyer shows that Metal Mech Man & Machine was first announced under the name Mechanoids Man & Machine (which was also the name of the unreleased Game Boy game).

Teaser text copied from the American version:
It can save mankind, but beware... this machine has a mind of it's own! You Can beat'em into the ground... or blast'em underground! ... or fight 'em alone! Welcome to the all-terrain attach vehicle of the future! It's what you need in a world gone to the dogs!

Teaser text copied from the American Mechanoids promotional flyer:
We want the world and we want if now! That's not just the player's mission in his struggle to wrest the fate of Earth back from the invading aliens of MECHANOIDS. It's also the goal of every dedicated video game player who's looking for the hottest new challenge on the NES horizon. Today, players expect the world of every game they play. Torrid action and complex strategy. Dynamite graphics and super-powered weapons. Mind-boggling fantasy and downright dangerous realism... all wrapped up in an' intricate, engrossing story. And finally, they can have it all. MECHANOIDS blows the roof off the "doomsday" genre of video games with a truly breathless battle for survival matched only by the complexities of its video landscape. With six distinct, scrolling battlefields connected by an intercontinental subway, a lumbering, leg-driven, terrain-crushing vehicle, plus the ability to leave the MECH and explore on foot, MECHANOIDS draws the player into a perilous world where everything is alien: the enemies... the terrain... even your own weapons. If you stock just one new game this year, make it MECHANOIDS. Because, for today's most demanding players, nothing less will do!

Game Staff (Copied from the pause menu) :

Programmed by
Ken Grant
Designed by
Joe Hitchens
Artwork by
Lorin Nelson
Joe Hitchens
Soundtrack by
Paul Webb


Metal Flame Psy Buster manual
Click on picture to enlarge


Add your Pov here !

Metal Flame Psy Buster definitively looks like Meta Fight (aka Blaster Master), smells like it, tastes like it, but it definitively doesn't play like it. Granted, they checked off the "man riding a cool vehicle" and the "man jumping out of cool vehicle" boxes. But they somewhat forgot to check off any of the others. The game is incredibly boring and the task at hand is daunting and strenuous to say the least. Listen to this - you have to find a key, that same key can be hidden anywhere within the level (usually inside something that you have to blast with your gun), and the levels are massive and enemies respawn like crazy. Believe me, the second level alone is enough to destroy anyone's sanity - I can't express how long it took me to find that stupid key! It is a shame, because the rest of the game is somewhat decent (except for the terrible music), the mech looks pretty cool (it is surprisingly large on screen, but this comes at a price and it is very clunky to control) and the last level where you only control Tony certainly came as a pleasant surprise (despite horrible controls). All in all, the poor level design and the messy gameplay are what killed the game for me, and made the whole experience a lot more difficult (and frustrating) than it could and should have been. A mess of a game.

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