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Steel Piston is an overhead military action-adventure game developed by Snonami. It revolves around a special forces operative named Firm Cobra on a mission to travel to Johnfrum Island to destroy the Steel Piston, an amphibious superweapon originating from Ed Island capable of firing Deletion Missiles to anywhere, no matter where it is.
The gameplay revolves entirely on Stealthily exploring a Metroidvania Ruscan military base. The facility is heavily guarded by patrols and cameras. Should one spot the player, one of two things can occur. If the player is caught only slightly, they can escape being caught by running to another room. However, if they are fully exposed, they will have to eliminate the enemy who saw them and the off-screen reinforcements.
At first, the player starts off unarmed, but will gain weapons as the game progresses. He can get things from a simple Snowball Gun to a Pancake Launcher to a Flamethrower. One of the most popular weapons in the game was the Bacon Bits SMG which is infamous for actually being made in real life due solely to its reception from the game. The player can also pick up a packet of Green Doom Weed. However, using it will cause the player to become extremely slow and have blurry vision.
Cobra can use his bare fists to fight Patrols, even though they're weak. Weapons such as the Pancake Launcher can also be used to clear obstacles. Speaking of fighting, there are mercenaries roaming the buildings that will challenge Cobra to combat upon contact. These encounters are unavoidable and serve as the boss fights of the game. Cobra also has a transceiver that he can use to communicate with his boss, "Huge Commander". He will give the player hints, but in some areas, the signal will be cut, forcing the player to find their own way.
There are three buildings in the interconnected map, each having 5 floors (basement included). Some parts will be sealed off until Cobra can find the right weapon to bypass an obstacle. There are three different types of rooms in the game: Stealth, Puzzle, and Break. The Stealth rooms are the most common in the game and require Cobra to sneak past the guards, undetected. Puzzle rooms are rooms that require logic to get through and often feature, well, a puzzle. There are little to no guards in these rooms. Break rooms are the exact opposite of puzzle rooms, as they are more focused on combat and absolutely overflowing with enemies. As mentioned before, certain areas will cut the signal to Huge Commander. These are mostly puzzle and break rooms.
Also patrolling the facilities are rabid Monopuffles. They are very fast and explode on impact, but they have a tendency to not go the right direction.
Cobra starts at the outskirts of the three buildings in a tundra area with few trees to provide him cover. Should the player die in this area, they will have to start from the beginning. Also of note is that guards who fall asleep are very rare in the rest of the game, but in the outskirts, they are very common. One wrong turn could spell certain doom even this early in the game, however.