The Return: StarTropcs III is a video game released in North America, Europe and Australia in 2010. It was developed by Vined Inc. for the Nintendo Wii system as a sequel to 1994's Zoda's Revenge: StarTropics II and 1990's StarTropics making it the first entry in the series in over sixteen years. It much like the previous entries in the series before it was not released in Japan nor was it intended to be.
After defeating Zoda and his three clones Mike Jones had settled into island life on C-Island living with his Uncle J however he has missed Mica the Argonian princess, so when Mike hears that she is in danger on their new planet of Argon he is quick to volunteer to rescue her. Dr J has invented a spaceship and recommisioned NAV-COM to follow Mike to Argon along with Peter the talking parrot. Armed with a slew of baseball themed mechanical weaponry from his Uncle Mike set out to save Mica and all of Argon.
Upon getting to Argon, Mike discovers that there was more than just Zoda-X Zoda-Y and Zoda-Z he'd made dozens of clones of himself, as he traversed across the moons and the planets of Argon with Peter and NAV-Com to destroy all of the Zoda replicants who had taken hostage the six other Argonian children Mike had previously saved. As he eventually found his way to Mica and and her father Hirocon Mike destroys Zoda once more, but he's left to wonder is it for good?
The game is a 3D sidescroller and takes place in various land forms and moons across Argon, there are seven levels and they are all in different places and within each level there is seven different missions with a mini boss and a level boss. At the end of each level when each Argonian child is saved Mike recieves a Tetrad which is used as a beacon towards the princess when they are all reunited.
The game uses the motion sensor for hitting enemies with the baseball bat by swinging the wiimote, similar to baseball in Wii Sports. Throwing a shurikan or ball can be done by bowling with the wii remote similar to the bowling segment of Wii sports baseball. Mike can use several combos by holding down the A and B on the Wii remote and he is move with the joystick on the nunchuck. The directional pad is used to open up the root menu and the c button is used to change the direction in which somebody looks.
Mike has two default weapons the baseball bat and the baseball ball, he can upgrade them throughout the game the baseball bat upgrades can include spikes to increase damage, swapping the material to make it lighter to make it swing faster which will do less damage. The Baseball can be set on fire, turned into an ice ball, swapped with a shurikun or electrically charged. These all have different effects throughout the game.
After using Mike Jones in the Captain N series Vined Inc. decided to revive the series after a sixteen year hiatus and begun progress on the mysterious project-W, a reference to Zoda-X the first Zoda clone seen in StarTropics II. After a year the game was finally revealed to much critical acclaim. Vined Inc made sure to include many easter eggs throughout the game including a hint that Mike Jones will again appear in the Captain N games soon and a brief apperance from Kris of Vined Inc's first game as a background character in a mission on the third moon of Argos.
The credits end with the words The End, followed with until StarTropics IV coming 2027, in 16 years. Vined Inc has stated while there is currently no plans to create another StarTropics it is not off the table.