[ Retro Scan Special Edition ] Keith Courage in Alpha Zones Mini Comic

September 17th, 2007 by Benj Edwards

Keith Courage in Alpha Zones Mini Comic - Page 1In 1989, the TurboGrafx-16 made its American debut with a lackluster pack-in title, Keith Courage in Alpha Zones. Included within the Keith Courage game was an approximately 4.5″ x 4.5″, eight page mini comic book setting the story for the game.

Keith Courage was originally based on a Japanese cartoon called Spirit Hero Wataru, but, in line with conventional thinking of the day, NEC felt that the crazy Japanese story needed to be dumbed down for American audiences. Let’s take a look.

Keith Courage in Alpha Zones Mini Comic - Page 2

It’s 2004, and a huge meteor strikes the surface of the earth. A scientist and his son, Keith, run for cover.

Keith Courage in Alpha Zones Mini Comic - Page 3

Instead of annihilating everything, the meteor settles gently to the ground in one nice, spherical piece. Its surface cracks open, and out swarm thousands of freaky creatures, all members of the nation of Beastly Alien Dudes (BAD). One of them has a gaping metallic mouth for a codpiece. They burrow into the ground in an attempt to “capture the earth.” Little do they know that most of its inhabitants live on the surface of the planet.

Keith Courage in Alpha Zones Mini Comic - Page 4

Concerned surface humans form NICE, a Utopian world governing body that simultaneously “eliminates poverty” and declares war on BAD. Significantly lacking foresight, the nation of BAD constructs a treacherous seven-level labyrinthine base, each level having a distinctive theme based on a first grade conception of climatology. Surface runs for coffee and necessities become a significant chore and are subsequently handed off to the lowest-ranking alien interns.

Keith Courage in Alpha Zones Mini Comic - Page 5

Years of “war” go by as NICE employs liberal use of the impotent alien threat as a strawman to enforce its restrictive and power-concentrating policies on the hoodwinked populace. A top nuclear scientist for NICE formulates a generally useless token weapon — which includes, among other features, a sword — to appear as if progress has been made in the never-ending war. The Japanese rejoice.

Keith Courage in Alpha Zones Mini Comic - Page 6

In a carefully planned operation, the scientist, cloaked in the Nova Suit, easily infiltrates the lightly-guarded alien base and begins a merciless rampage against the incompetent, coffee-swilling aliens of BAD. Thousands of innocent, gigantic-headed beings are killed in the massacre.

Keith Courage in Alpha Zones Mini Comic - Page 7
After sustaining massive casualties during their attempt at peaceful resistance, the aliens decide to fight back. The worthless Nova Suit — made of cardboard and fiberglass all along — fails to protect the misguided mass-murderer. NICE conveniently uses the fall of its top scientist at the hands of BAD as potent propaganda to further concentrate its power.

Keith Courage in Alpha Zones Mini Comic - Page 8

With the death of the scientist, humanity’s deep racial hatred of the aliens is passed to a new generation. The scientist’s son, Keith Courage, takes up the cause for peace by wielding a massive sword and vowing to systematically hunt down and destroy each and every alien on the planet. Keith rallies the populace and becomes the poster boy for NICE propaganda. The war continues. Will you join them in their fight?

16 Responses to “[ Retro Scan Special Edition ] Keith Courage in Alpha Zones Mini Comic”

  1. extrarice Says:

    So hilarious it’s practically embarrassing! I’m glad that localization teams don’t butcher plots this badly anymore…

    Years of “war” go by as NICE employs liberal use of the impotent alien threat as a strawman to enforce its restrictive and power-concentrating policies on the hoodwinked populace.

    I lol’d

  2. Kitsunexus Says:

    Say what you will about the quality of the comic, at least they still put comics in the manuals back then!

    Awesome article as always, RedWolf! I have the F-Zero manual in storage somewhere, if I can be arsed to find it (when I say “storage” I mean “abyss”) and also find my scanner (which is missing for some reason) I will scan the F-Zero comic for you. It sucks as well. 🙂

  3. Benj Edwards Says:

    I’m glad you guys liked it. And I’d love to see that F-Zero comic, Kitsune.

  4. Kitsunexus Says:

    Hey RedWolf, I found it for you on the net (beats dragging the scanner out! 😉 ):


  5. Kitsunexus Says:

    nvm busted link

  6. Geoff V. Says:

    What’s the deal with the seagull/man/alien in the background of the final page? Whatever he is, he’s got a nice hat.

  7. Nick L. Says:

    Eh, Geoff. The Bird Man is a character from the original Japanese show, although he never appears in the game. So why they bothered with him in the American comic is anyone’s guess.

  8. Citizen Parker Says:

    The inexplicable angry-as-hell bird man that appears on the final page just to utter one word (“Yes”) really is too funny.

    Like Kitsunexus, it takes me back to the days when we’d get real manuals with our games, not little 10-page glossies with 5 pages of EULA, or (shudder) PDF manuals…

  9. Andrew Says:

    Hahaha, had me in fits of laughter, the captions are brilliant.

    I can’t believe I didn’t know of this site (or if I knew, I forgot) since it’s great. Thanks Benj for the laugh in this case 🙂

  10. Benj Edwards Says:

    Glad you liked it, Andrew. Thanks for the comment.

  11. Jon Says:

    i know this thread is a week old but whatever…

    You can find that f-zero manual (w/comic in it) here:

    click on “The Manual Project” and navigate to F-zero.

  12. Benj Edwards Says:


    Thanks for the link. It doesn’t matter if the posts are old; anyone is welcome to comment on any entry at any time.

  13. Ben Says:

    I own a Turbo-Grafx 16. I got it in 1989(christmas, so a few days before 1990). Keith Courage in Alpha Zones was a free game included w/the system (ala Super MArio Bros.). Remember when systems came w/games? Anyway, as w/90%of the TG16 games, it had awesome music, and was a side-scroll platformer.

  14. Cody Says:

    Actually I feel the comic was pretty cool, especially how they made the “levels” of the game part of the story and artwork (I haven’t played it, I’m assuming that’s why they did it).

    I googled screenshots and the game looks pretty cool.

  15. Paulwall Says:

    Thank you for this article Mr. Edwards. This brought back some fond Christmas memories and fun with the TG16. I remember this comic, especially the purple Frankenstein-headed monster with no torso, just green limbs. The game itself wasn’t too bad, even though we beat it within a day or two. We were the only folks in the neighborhood with a TG16…most of the rest had the Super Nintendo and a few had the Genesis. Great site.

  16. "STITCH" Says:

    ….. Kieth Finally Defeats Dongoro, the sixth zone underworld boss then is teleported with the rainbow transport to the seventh and final zone the “RoBo-Zone”.

    With a Difficult and treacherous journey in the overworld , keith finally arrives to the Rainbow Kiosk
    and is then teleported Into the Mighty Nova-Suit and then quickly teleported to the Robo-Zone Underworld
    For the Final Assault against the Remaining Beastly Alien Dudes, and the Ultimate Confrontation with their
    Demon Ruler and Ultimate weapon, the Titan Warrior.

    [Terrifying Nearly Invincible Flying and Running Duel War Machine “Titan Warrior” armed with plasma bolt canons and a Powerful Fast moving ground assault counter-part that is United then
    disengages to wreak-havoc upon its unsuspecting foe.]

    Finally keith fights all the previous Bosses and Arrives Face to Face With the Titan Warrior,
    In a Fearsome Battle Keith Narrowly defeats his Enemy, Almost being Destroyed by the Titanic monster only
    does he realise that he can only Damage The Dividing Enemy while they are Joined as one.
    Finding the B.A.D Leaders weakness keith finally strikes the critical and fatal blow destroying the
    Titan Warrior and saving the planet Earth and its inhabitants and creatures from the invaders.
    Instantly Teleported by the Rainbow-Transport keith arrives Victorious at the Very top of The Alpha-zones
    to see thousands celebrating the defeat of B.A.D.

    … Meanwhile as the Earth rejoices, The Demon ruler barely survives, pulled out of the wreckage of the Titanic war machine by Stitch who Fled from the Reverse World after being defeated himself by Keith.

    Now He Vows Revenge, as He escapes into Night sky Unseen as the celebration and fireworks dance in the sky, To return someday Far, Far, In the distant future.


    We’ll Be Back…. Sooner or later, we will have OUR ReVeNGE….

    Someday WE Will Return and Conquer Earth….

    Then Enslave ALL of ManKind!!!!!………

    Yeah!! uRgLE, uRgLE !!!!

Leave a Reply