AI SENSHI NICOL
Game Cover
Game Disk
愛戦士ニコル
©Konami 1987
Release: 1987-04-24 (¥2980)
DiskCard KDS-AIN
Action game

Ai Senshi Nicol is a top-view action game by Konami. Nicol is a 14 year old prodigy scientist living in Neo Tokyo but his recent research on dimension travelling suddenly takes a turn for the worse. A powerful and evil alien from the Dairasu star system decides to steal his work in order to conquer the universe and sends one of his bio-monster to kidnap Stella, Nicol's beloved girlfriend. The young scientist has no choice - he must now embark on a long journey on-board his hovercraft to rescue his damsel. The ultimate goal in each level is to find each one of the three hidden diamonds that the alien demon has hidden there and to rush to the next stage. Although Nicol starts his journey with a fairly basic Cannon-Gun, he will eventually be able to upgrade his main weapon in all sorts of ways, such as its fire rate (increases the amount of shots he can fire on the screen at one time), range enhancements (the weapon's effective range distance) and power enhancements (increase the Cannon-Gun power from energy-bullets to energy-crosses and energy-orbs). Nicol can also improve his health by collecting energy-tanks which will allow him to store a lot more life than the initial twelve points. Additionally, Nicol can collect Cosmo Balls that will damage all enemies on screen, including bosses. Finally, Nicol can dramatically improve his equipment - his Astro-Wear and Astro-Pants provide him with some protection and can absorb enemy hits, whereas his Power-Shoes allow him to increase his speed and jumping abilities. Ai Senshi Nicol consists of seven large stages and is single-player only.
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Konami re-released Ai Senshi Nicol in 2006 on mobile phone in Japan as part of the Konami Masterpiece series.

Ai Senshi Nicol Konami Cards
Japanese Konami Card Japanese Konami Card Japanese Konami Card Japanese Konami Card
Japanese Konami Card Japanese Konami Card

Konami Cards Like several other early Konami games released in the 1980s/1990s, Ai Senshi Nicol included a numbered collector card also known in Japan as コナミ キャラカード (aka 'Konami Chara Cards' or 'Konami Character Cards'). Each card featured an illustration or a snapshot from the game (picture on the right), and the back of each card showed a serial number as well as the game's title. They were randomly included with the games and Konami produced several variations of each card. That's it, each game included a card from a series related to the game, it is however not known how many different card variations were made for each game. Apparently six cards (on average) were produced for each game, except for Doremikko (1 card), Exciting Boxing (1 card) and Meikyujin Dababa (which, curiously, only seem to feature five cards). The list of Konami games to include such cards are believed to be : Ai Senshi Nicol (FDS), Dracula II Noroi no Fuin (FDS), Arumana no Kiseki (FDS), Contra (FC), Doremikko (FDS), Dragon Scroll (FC), Exciting Baseball (FDS), Exciting Basketball (FDS), Exciting Billard (FDS), Exciting Boxing (FDS), Exciting Soccer (FDS), Falsion (FDS), Getsu Fūma Den (FC), Majō Densetsu II Daimashikyō Galious (FC), Meikyujin Dababa (FDS), Metal Gear (FC), Salamander (FC), Tetsuwan Atom (FC), Top Gun (FC) and Wai Wai World (FC).


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Japanese Guidebook
Japanese Guidebook


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Ai Senshi Nicol - manual
Click on picture to enlarge

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Stage select:
At the title screen, press and hold Right, A, B and press Start to start the game at the second stage. Additionally, if you press and hold Left, A, B and press Start, you will start the game at the third stage.

Underground levels:
Each stage (except for stage 5) has an underground level that can be accessed by falling into gaps or holes in the ground. Don't forget to visit them!
Hidden tiles and power-ups:
Don't rush through the game! To make the most out of Ai Senshi Nicol, it is advised to spend a little time exploring the various stages. Most of the power enhancements in the game are hidden beneath tiles scattered throughout the levels, and these tiles can only be revealed by shooting at them. Therefore it is highly recommended to shoot your gun around each screen in order to find them! (although the last stage allows you to fully upgrade Nicol before the final boss battle).

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Ai Senshi Nicol is a delightful game with incredibly tight controls and witty level design. As you would expect of a Konami game from that era, it is a fantastic title with gorgeous sprite work and each level has a distinct feel and unique aesthetic and, I must say, they all look stinkingly beautiful. The soundtrack is also incredible and majestically fits the game. Additionally, there is not language barrier whatsoever, so it is anyone's guess as to why Ai Senshi Nicol was never released outside of Japan, or in cartridge form. The difficulty level is also pretty well balanced but be aware that there are a few nasty spikes (such as some of the sub-bosses or the last boss), but nothing that really prevents you to enjoy the game in any ways. Well, I initially didn't realize that power-ups (such as health tanks) were hidden in each stage, so don't hesitate to explore your surrounding! All in all Ai Senshi Nicol is a pure classic and every moment feels like it has been lavished with attention and care. Definitively one of the best Famicom Disk System game in my book!




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