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Sky Serpents

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Rating: 4.2/5 (149 votes)
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MikeSky SerpentsAh, the majestic sky serpent. Such a splendorous mystery! No one can fathom why these aloof, graceful creatures patrol the skies in their enigmatic, serpentine way. But what of it? What does a young hotshot sky-serpent-slayer like yourself care for the peculiarities of mythological ecology? You've got a couple of swords, a swashbuckling, garishly magenta cape and cowl, and the need to prove yourself the aerial master of slaying these beautiful creatures. Sky Serpents, from popular developer Nitrome, casts you as a quasi-Norse hero on a sky-borne, gravity-defying quest to kill as many sky-serpents as you can to beat all records.

Control the little sky-Viking upstart with the [arrow] keys. Slash your sword with the [spacebar]. Key to successful sky-serpent-slaying is latching onto vulnerable spots and other areas, using the [arrow] keys in the direction you need to stab. That way you can hold on while your prey bucks and weaves and slithers about. You don't need to continue holding the [arrow] key to stay latched on, and you can detach yourself by using the [arrow] keys in the opposite direction. By sufficiently crushing every vulnerable spot, you defeat your snaky quarry and move onto the next level.

Because it's all about fighting and killing one gigantic magical creature per level, some players may recognize similarities between Sky Serpents and the PlayStation title Shadow of the Colossus. Indeed, Sky Serpents even manages to present some of the same majesty and tragic pathos in killing such creatures, even if the hero of Sky Serpents comes across as more of a twerp. The big difference is that Sky Serpents is airborne, and while the sticky de-latching controls can often frustrate, in general the game evokes the feeling of thrill-seeking recklessness that one must experience when one wrestles giant flying beasts with nothing but a pair of blades and a bold sense of derring-do. It's a rare game that makes playing such an amoral rake quite as fun. Play Sky Serpents, not to save the kingdom or fulfill the prophecy, but to prove that you are the best.

Play Sky Serpents


What is the game asking me to do on the second serpent? I can't tell what that little pop-up hint is saying.


Ah, I needed to attack the segments in the right order.


I got through the first 8 without any problems, but at 9 it got really difficult.

I'm currently stuck on 12, its a red serpent with holes that release fireballs when you kill one of the joints, and the joints randomly open and close.


@Ezra I think the pop-up's trying to tell you to "use the arrow keys to stab with the knife". You can use the knife in the little guys off-hand to anchor him in the serpent's skin, allowing him to hold on during some of the more acrobatic aerial manoeuvres and to freely swing his sword against exposed weak spots. The order in which you take them out shouldn't really matter.


I'd like this game better if I knew why I had to kill the sky serpents. They seem harmless, even peaceful, and beautiful, and the only time they get dangerous is when you attack them. Why must they be slain? :'(

But for some reason it's fun anyway. :D


Great game, the only problem I had was lag during the later levels, which made it difficult to play. Still, I enjoyed the Shadow of the Colossus nostalgia it brought with it.


Fun game, but the controls for jumping off the serpents while hanging to latch onto another part are indeed a bit sticky. Also, am I the only one who finds it a bit odd that the hero is harmed when he falls off the serpent, but not when he plummets down after it's dead?

Also, it's "daring-do", not "derring-do".


Awesome, loved it <3 I love how it gives you an epic feeling, like you're really fighting something very big and monstrous. Also, I love how there's so little explained. Some levels may seem hard or even impossible at first, but after trying multiple times, you'll find a tactic to deal with it pretty easily. That's a great thing, even more because almost every single level is different... you need a new tactic every time. Not that much time spent on the story etc. but the gameplay is really great and it's on of the few nitrome games I completed TWICE :3 5/5


This game is too easy. A few of the later levels were challenging, but not to hard once you develop a strategy. The final boss was a major let down.

The ending makes me hate the protagonist but feel slightly less sorry for the sky serpents.


Also Rygar, you fall onto another Sky Serpent, no? :D At the beginning of each level you're falling on to it ^ ^

I'm also stuck at level 12, lol. I was fine, doing everything first go until 10, which took me a while, then 11 was easy and did it in one go, and now I'm stuck at 12 again. Ah well, I'm sure to get it eventually :D It'll be be ninth completed Nitrome game eventually, I hope :D


For #12:

Stab your knife into the serpent and just watch its pattern. At one time, at the very top, there's a place where the serpent goes down, right, up, and right again. It looks like a U. When you stab here, the fire will come out on the other side. You can get about half like this. For the other half, get on the other side of the serpent.

Stuck on #13.


I love it!

It's like the snake pit level from Battletoads mixed with Shadow of the Colossus - two great tastes together at last.

Brilliantly done, Nitrome!


@Xylozex, for 13

I only attacked the segment when it was turning right after going up and then as it turned down afterwards, that way I was at no risk of hitting the smoke.

Number 15 hates me.


Level 14, with the explosive scales and constant climbing up, is a pain in the arse.

And I couldn't find ANY videos or even hints!


@SkylerF - for 14,

Don't feel the need to hang on to the sides when you're going upwards. You can jump between the coils whenever you want, despite how high it looks. Also do a quick left-right tap whenever the red appears and take it slowly.


Thanks, Dom.


Aaaaand 15 is fine until those two horns come out.

Billy Nitro October 25, 2010 7:18 PM

Remind me again why Nitrome games get full reviews? Not that they're bad, necessarily, but they usually have one gimmick, an exponential difficulty curve they throw in to try to extend gameplay, and waaaaaaay too many levels to sustain the one neat thing they do. Their games would be so much better if they were 5-10 levels.


@Billy Nitro: because most of them are actually fun to play. Of course, there's no such thing as a one-size-fits-all game.

See last Friday's link dump for 2 Nitrome games that did not get full reviews (although we are currently reevaluating Temple Glider).

And why are more levels a bad thing? If you only want to play 5-10, then only play 5-10. :)


LOVE IT! I think it's the best one they've had in some time. I <3 Nitrome.
@Billy Nitro: Heh, I think they're not long enough and should explore the theme more. Then again, that's just me. Also, I love a good challenge. Once again, different people have different tastes.


@SkylerF - Horns are the thing stopping me finishing the game woo.

@Jay - Oh god, I'm an absolutely huge fan of Nitrome but Temple Glider was awful. (As was Squawk - took me a good five minutes of playing to realise it was a minigame, and a 'new level' wasn't appearing any time soon.)

[Thanks for the feedback about that one. :) -Jay]


I'm usually a huge Nitrome enthusiast. About 1 in 4 of their games are totally fantastic for me. This is utterly baffling and bizarre and not interesting.


My thoughts are that while it was a tad awkward (and I honestly would be more accepting of this as a Link Dump game than Temple Gilder, glad to know you guys are reevaluating it,) it WAS a somewhat fun experience in the meantime.

That being said, I resonate with the length complaints. As a veteran Nitrome player who has only not beaten Bomba, Nanobots, and Hot Air 1, this game was WAY too short. And a bit repetitive. The ice dragon WAS interesting, though.

That being said, I've never played Shadow of the Colossus (first console was a Wii,) so I MIGHT not be as appreciative as you guys.


Help for 15

My strategy was to do everything as fast as possible. Learn the path that the serpent takes, and at the beginning, try to have the front piece done before he goes down for the second time (as in he goes right-up-right-down-right-down-zigzag-up-repeat), and after each time you destroy one, the number one priority is to dodge the orbs and smog, then get to the next one asap. Speed is critical. I was able to finish the first two in the before the zigzag, and I jumped off to avoid the orbs and make it back to the top quickly so I could go for the third.

Its really lather rinse repeat for the first 4 and the fifth one you should try to do fast, but try to get it before or after the zigzag. If you try while its zigzagging, you get a face full of smoke and a back full of spikes.

Hope it helped. Try to be super heroic and dynamic. It helps you get in the mood. I like how he like, flies in and stuff.

pwnanator October 25, 2010 8:30 PM

On level 10

get the second segment from the back before the snake starts moving, then get the one closest to the tail. After this, go back to the tail and get under the snake for the last two segments, so you don't have to worry about spikes.

maybe this isn't necessary, but it made things a lot easier.



maybe this isn't necessary, but it made things a "lot" easier.

That level was irritating until I figured that out.


On level 15:

If your attack causes those pink energy balls to fire and chase you, wait. Get it so your next hit destroys that scale and then smack it as the dragon quits zig-zagging at the bottom of the screen and begins to climb. Time it right (don't even have to be that exact) and the balls will chase you when you have a good stretch of dragon horizontal to run around on.


Jumping tip:

If you hold the "up" key, you can jump off the snake at any time by pressing left or right. This makes levels like level 14 a lot easier

Level 13:

The fireballs come out in a specific, alternating pattern. If you start from the head, or the tail, watch which side the fireballs first come out.

Every alternating segment will come out on the same side. The other segments will come out on the opposite side.

Alkalannar October 26, 2010 12:17 AM

Ok....number 7 is stumping me. There appears to be no way to get a purchase with the knife, and so I can't use the swords.


The one where you can't really latch on (7?) seems to have glitched, I got the first 2 weak points and died, then redid the level and very quickly got the first weak points. After that, the 2nd weak point never seemed to pop out. Decided to stop playing after that. Nice game, though.

repairmanman October 26, 2010 3:10 AM

i find it unfair that you couldn't fight the rest to beat his record


Horrible little game. At least SOTC had a real motive, and that was the key to making you guilty, but not actively self-hating. Mostly.

This.. Is just savage, nomatter how cartoony. Perhaps Nitrome games aren't made for people with enough imagination to empathise with sky serpents :(


Aha, the famous power of posting. Beat the game! For #15, just keep jumping and leaping. You'll get it in the end. Oh, and try to stab the purple parts on the horizontal segments. Otherwise, the energy things will hit you.

Alkalannar October 26, 2010 11:25 AM

For number seven, you have to jump, and attack on your way down it appears. Grrrr.


I don't see why all recent Nitrome games get low ratings ;o

This game was really amazing and so was Temple Glider!

Temple Glider really deserved its own review in my opinion ^_^

5/5 for both of them!


@Reibear - level 7 is annoying because of that armor. While you wait for a scale to pop out, ride on the creature's head. It often helps.

Level 4 has got to be the ugliest serpent. It even attacks with groty slime balls.

Level 5 is cute.


@Tobie: Maybe because they're either stupidly hard, boring, or (rarely) both simultaneously?

Heck, though, I have to give Nitrome credit for this one. It only took me 15 seconds to see it was too frustrating to be fun, and give up. That's less than half the time it usually takes me to give up on Nitrome's so-called "games".

Before everyone flames me, I'll be fair: even more rarely, they're awesome. See: Dirk Valentine, the first Final Ninja, and the first half of Double Edge before the bosses become completely impossible. Almost everything else in their entire catalog is a yawn-fest or (much more often) simply has execrable controls, difficulty, or gameplay.



I love all the real challenging nitrome games better than the 3 games you like the most. It's just personal taste... but I can't see why you would give up immediatly after you don't succeed once.
I think it's a great thing you need to find the right tactic, and that this tactic often requires patience... you'll have to wait for the sky serpent to be in the right place before you can attack him properly without getting (too much) hurt.
Awesome right... it requires real tactic and patience, how real do you want it


Maybe you just lack the skills to properly play Nitrome games :o

I never understood why people find them too hard!



Savage? They're massive dragony-things, for crying out loud. They'll probably come and eat your women and children if you don't kill them. No worse than eating meat, or killing hordes of orcs, but I guess if you don't like those two things, then I can see your viewpoint.

Also, great game. Great mechanics, great music, great little ninja dude. Though why do the comments on Nitrome game reviews always devolve into Nitrome hating. Heck, if you hate their games, don't play them!

Oh, and Nitrome themselves have said that they'll take a concept and develop a game around that concept, e.g. continually changing level (Sky Serpents, Cave Chaos), a character with bombs (Toxic 1&2), etc. Personally, I'd like to see more 'character with' concepts, like Final Ninja, etc.


IUHoosiersFan (Cheesemeister) October 27, 2010 5:54 PM


You need to realize that Nitrome games are not meant for people who don't how to play a computer game. Honestly, if you thought this game was hard before level 9, it obviously means that you do not have too much skill. In this case, it's not Nitrome at fault.

Well anyway, I thought this game was decent, no levels became frustrating, though some got challenging.

some dude October 29, 2010 8:45 AM

For 12 just stick onto the right side of the head, and any time your close enough and not dangling you'll slice the other side of his body. SUPER LONG but efficient.



If you give up that easily (15 seconds will probably get you to level 2), then you're not fit for most things in life. This game started getting the smallest bit harder than too easy at level 7. I found it to be really fun, challenging, and at times frustrating, but games like this must not be for you.

Anyhoo, stuck at level 10. I can manage almost every weak spot before the two at the front of the head, by the time I've cleared the first, I'm down to one health.


having problems with level 10. I can't go underneath the serpent because I can't move sideways there, but I can't follow video walkthroughs because the character refuses to hit as fast as shown in the walkthrough. I know it's about timing, but timing is difficult when the required rate slows down every time you hit the serpent (particles are cpu intensive). Any better solutions? I think my best bet is to give up...I don't have the money to buy a decent computer

Anonymous November 4, 2010 9:13 AM

Not a bad game at all..
I loved the artwork, each snake looked so regal and the background work was breathtaking.....like in Final Ninja and Zero.

It wasn't really hard, though...some levels needed two or three tries but you always got it in the end.

What a relief this was after Temple Glider and Squawk!

Chilly the Kid November 5, 2010 7:51 PM

I loved the game. Felt so cool climbing on a giant dragon thousands of feet in the air. Would've liked two things though:
1. Falling off should have killed you completely.
2. Ending was cliche. Normally, Nitrome comes up with much wittier endings. A twist like in Tiny Castle would have been welcome.


I can get past level 7!


this game would be easier with a minimap like in icebreaker


I dont get level 7 i attack it but i cant latch on to it TO attack its weak point ...see theres no angle i can directly slash at its weak point is there a trick to it or something cant seem to find an angle to attack :( can someone like tell me this trick its not really bothering me but its still a little aoyying sense i dont know what the hell to do :(

kirby402 July 24, 2011 10:14 AM

I'm onto skyserpent 14 :D how do you beat it?

for skyserpent 7 when you jump and slash you do a spin attack so you can attack the weak points


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