New Zealand Story is a platform game which was written by Taito. You are a kiwi bird, called Tiki, and a walrus has kiwi-napped all of your friends. At the end of each level, you find one of your friends in a cage. Like Bubble Bobble, you can collect letters to spell out "EXTEND" for a bonus. Unlike it, levels scroll rather than are fixed to one screen.
Screenshot from an early level of TNZS.
Your weaponry starts out as arrows, but pickups can change these to bombs or lasers. These act a little differently, and what's useful depends on where you are. A distinctive, almost unique feature of this game is the ability to ride a variety of flying vehicles, ranging from balloons to laser or guided-missile armed UFOs. Vehicles can be found ready for use or can be stolen from any enemy.
Other features are the many secret areas and shortcuts hidden throughout the game, as well as a special "Heaven" round where you go after losing your last life, actually having a chance of escaping(!) and continuing the game "on earth". Very unusual was the fact that most enemies could not kill you by collision. This was not a bug, since it was replicated correctly in every conversion of the game.
The game has been converted for most game consoles and most 8-bit and 16-bit home computers. The original arcade game was released in 1988, whereas most home computer conversions were done in 1989, with some game console versions coming in 1990 and 1991. The game was also converted for the Fujitsu FM Towns and X68000 systems in Japan.
The game had no official sequel, but several clones and modified versions, usually called New Zealand Story 2 or New Zealand Story Extra. The only Taito game which bears a faint resemblance to it, is Liquid Kids or Mizubaku Adventure, released in 1990, which uses the same screen font, reuses some gameplay elements and has a similar plot, though there are important differences between the two.