Monster Party (There is no party…)

Name: Monster Party

System: NES

Release Date: June 1989

Status: DEFEATED! January 17, 2017

What’s the worst party you’ve ever been to? An aged relative’s birthday who insists on calling you Trevor regardless of your protests? A Smirnoff Ice chug-a-thon in a friend’s unfinished basement? The Republican Party? Well, step aside, because literally the worst party is Monster Party for the NES.

fullsizjhjkerender

Look at all these Universal Studio Monster copyright infringements! They can’t wait to start partying! The Creature from the Black Lagoon is about to tell you about all the different types of dip he got on sale at Costco! Dracula is just smirking like a dick, and look! It’s that plant from Little Shop of Horrors! SO RETRO! But don’t be fooled! Let me explain:

The story begins with a boy named Mark walking home late one night after a baseball game, when he looks up and sees a star getting bigger and bigger! This causes him to become moist….

fullsizerender

MOIST

Turns out the star is actually an alien monster named Bert! Bert tells Mark that he needs his help to save his planet from evil monsters! Satisfied that the first person he met is obviously the right choice, Bert flies away with Mark to his planet. This is also known as kidnapping. Mark has put a bit more thought into this however. “I’m afraid to fight the Monsters!” he tells Bert. Bert reassures Mark by saying, “My planet is dangerous, so we must act together!”

img_3414

LITERALLY?????

And so your adventure begins right after Bert enters Mark! You control Mark through 8 stages; each stage has a surprising variety of monsters for you to beat to death with your baseball bat.

fullsizerender1

Is Ringo on FIRE??

These enemies can drop either health, points, or a pill that turns you into Bert for a limited time, allowing you to fly and shoot lasers which get more powerful as the game goes on! The enemies have a predictable respawn rate so if you find one that drops an item, just leave, come back and grind away!

fullsizerender3

Pills are the only way you’ll get Bert to come out and party!

The true highlight of the game are the bosses. There are 3 in each stage (except stage 7 which has one) and you need to defeat them to get a key that unlocks the exit at the end of the level. These are probably some of the most unique boss designs I’ve seen on the NES. The difficulty ranges from a cool Dinosaur…who is dead so you don’t have to fight him…

fullsizerender2

To my favourite battle in the game against, The Chameleon!

fullsizerender4

6 camouflaged heads float around a camouflaged surface, only one is real, and if you’re not careful it will sneak up and deal serious damage! The only downside is that the majority of the bosses can be fought by standing still and hitting their projectiles back at them, which can make them a little boring.

Though all of these pale in comparison to the FINAL BOSS:

fullsizereerefnder

What in the actual fuck is that???? His only weak spot is when his nose opens up to release eyeballs, because of course it does. I was lucky enough to be in Bert Mode while fighting him, so I beat him easily by hovering near his nose and firing like crazy.

So I won! Huzzah! Now to relax and watch the epilogue! Mark goes home and…what’s this? Bert gave him a present! Beeerrrrt!! You didn’t have to…there’s a Princess inside…not very PC nowadays but human trafficking was legal in 1989, so let’s move on…wait, the Princess is really a monster!?

img_3418img_3419

She attacks Mark! And…

img_3421

What the…

img_3422

AAAAAAAAAHHHHHH!!!!

img_3424

WHATINTHEHELL?!?!?! HE’S DEAD!!

img_3425

Stop GOD stop he’s dead!! AAAHHHHHH!!!!!!

img_3426

But…it was a dream!! Suddenly there’s a knock at the door! It’s…Bert???

fullsizerender1

“Let’s go again”? Ummmmmmm, I’m good, thanks…

This has to be one of the stranger games that I’ve played on the NES. Some of the enemies are just plain weird! It makes me wish that they put as much time into designing Mark as they did everything else. The Music isn’t anything special; one labyrinth level (which was impossible to navigate without a walkthrough) I had to play with the sound off.

Another great feature is the inclusion of a password system. Maybe it’s just me getting older or getting used to saving whenever I want on modern games, but it made the game a lot more doable, because trust me, after sitting though some of these trippy bosses, you’ll need a break!

The main story is really out there, and I feel is a product of translating Japanese to English a bit too literally (MOIST), some classic copyright infringement and A LOT of drugs! Should you get this? Well, I managed to nab this for $20, and honestly I wouldn’t pay any more than that, and I think it was money well spent for 2 evenings of game play.

So I guess the point I’m trying to make is that this is a really fun game, but a TERRIBLE party! Why is it called Monster Party??? THERE IS NO PARTY!!! Why not call it “Monster Planet”, or “Monster Battle”, even “Monster Get-Together”? It’s like saying, “Have you seen that new party movie? Star Wars???” Great movie, terrible party! Millions of people die, Muppets are everywhere…you get the idea.

But you can never go wrong with surprise face melting!

Till next time, PARTY ON!

Adamus Prime Rating: 4 / 5

Prime Thumbs up

Written by: Adam McNamara

Edited by: Jamie O’Connor

Advertisements

Snoopy’s Silly Sports Spectacular! (Good Grief…..)

Name: Snoopy’s Silly Sports Spectacular!

System: NES

Release Date: April 1990

Status: DEFEATED! October 1, 2016

*
Nothing says innocent family fun like everyone’s favourite Peanuts character, Snoopy!

snoopy-8

I’ve always been a Peanuts fan, both the nut and the comic. So when a friend of mine lent me this game, I was intrigued, though based on the picture and title on the cartridge, I wasn’t expecting anything “Spectacular”…

snoopy-cart

Prove me wrong…PLEASE!!

I did some digging before sitting down and giving it a go; turns out this game was originally released overseas as a Donald Duck game!

donald

It’s $1 on ebay!!

The developer, Kemco, replaced Donald with Snoopy when it hit North America due to Capcom USA holding the rights at the time to create games of Disney properties. Mayhaps you’ve heard of such classic gems as “Chip and Dale’s Rescue Rangers”, “Darkwing Duck”, and the flawless “Ducktales”! But we’re not playing genre defining NES masterpieces…we’re playing Snoopy….The “Story” as depicted in the opening scene, depicts Snoopy flying from America to Italy because “why not”!? Also, America and Italy both now sit on clouds in the sky:

snoopy-5
I’m going to guess that this is meant to represent Snoopy’s imagination? Makes sense to me; my dog probably thinks our 30th floor condo floats on a cloud too! I can’t even guess what he thinks elevators are! The meat and bones of the game consists of 6 different “Olympic” sports:

A Sack Race against Snoopy’s derelict cousin Spike…

snoopy-4

Boot throwing…

snoopy-9

A pogo stick obstacle course…

snoopy-10

A shoving match between Snoopy and Spike on a boat…

snoopy-1

A pizza carrying contest…

snoopy-2

And pole vaulting over a river.

snoopy-3

You can play these games individually for practice, or one after the other in the attempt to win a gold medal! There are 3 rounds where you play the same 6 games, each round requiring you to earn a certain amount of points to move on; 2000 pts for round 1, 5000 pts for round 2, and 10 000 pts for round 3. Getting above 10 000 will nab you a bronze medal at least, but you’ll need over 15 000 points to get gold!

This game would be a fun romp for any kid (or 33 year old married man) if it weren’t for one thing…THE CONTROLS. The controls completely ruin this game; It’s not even “Silly” bad, it’s a “Spectacular” nerve shredding rage contraption. What I think is the most frustrating aspect is that the games consist of pressing 1 MAYBE 2 buttons, and they still managed to make it difficult.

There is a lot of trial and error when approaching the games: the sack race for example has you pressing “A” to jump; though mashing buttons accomplishes nothing. You need to press it in a steady rhythm to have Snoopy jump in a timely fashion. The same goes for the boot toss; press down until your swing builds up speed and then press “A” to let go, but good luck finding the right moment to send the boot flying a good distance! My advice: don’t blink!!

snoopy-14

Then you have games that rely on mashing the controls. I’m still not 100% sure how the boat shoving mechanics work. Sometimes my mashing sends Spike flying instantly off the boat, other times, it did the same to me. I found it’s really just up to chance. The pole vault game sent me into more than one rage! I had to look up the controls on how to get over the freaking river!! (Seen here: http://strategywiki.org/wiki/Snoopy’s_Silly_Sports_Spectacular! ) The Pogo level is no better, the slightest touch will send Snoopy flying into a wall; you need to find the delicate balance between subtle approach and out of control crazy jumps!

But the worst has got to be the Pizza carrying game. Just like in the Pogo game, any fast movement will make Snoopy start power-walking and send your pizzas crashing to the ground. The more pizzas you have by the finish line, the higher your score…but your score also depends on speed. You could have all 40 (40!!!!) Pizzas at the finish, but if you have less than 10 seconds remaining, then you’ll get a measly 200 pts. I found you need at least 20 seconds remaining to get the max 1000 pts. To do this, I had to hold the controller at a 45 degree angle and press the right button in half second beats. If your hand isn’t raw by the end of this level, then congratulations on having well-padded meat hands! This may have been easier if I had the metronome peripheral I assume was originally packaged with the game.

man-hands

Just a side note: is it ever a good idea to have a game that relies on you going slow? It’s just so agonizing watching Snoopy painstakingly shuffle along the screen. I honestly couldn’t think of a game that benefits from that…please feel free to enlighten me!

The music isn’t anything fantastic or memorable. Many of the games (the Boot Toss, Boat Pushing and Pole Jump in particular) are so short that you never really get to hear what the music has to offer. One thing that surprised me was the graphics. Though there is the odd moment where part of Snoopy’s body might disappear if he gets too close to another object on screen, the animation was fluid, for an NES game. The sprites are big enough to see facial expressions, and the backgrounds nicely depict famous Italian landmarks in all their 8-bit glory.

Should you play this? Well, you’d REALLY have to like Snoopy in order to sit through this one. I’m going to go as far as to say that I wouldn’t recommend this for kids…unless you want to have their confidence smashed over and over again. It took me WEEKS to master the awkward controls to get a gold medal, and I’ve beaten some of the hardest games the NES has to offer!

snoopy-13

snoopy-6

snoopy-7
It seems that the lesson this game is trying to teach you is that you’ll most likely be second best at what you do in life….unless you spend hours and hours and hours honing your skills, fighting off headaches and the urge to blink all while improving your library of vulgar catch phrases! So, it’s a lot like the actual Olympics, except after winning gold you’re too ashamed to tell anybody. Also, you haven’t experienced Italy until you’ve thrown a boot as far as you can in front of the coliseum!

Even after playing this garbage, it’s hard to stay mad at Snoopy; I just watched The Peanuts Movie and let me tell ya, that Beagle’s still got it! But like many games that slap a popular character on the cover, the selling point is the name, not the game.

 

Adamus Prime Rating: 1.5 / 5

charlie-brown

Written by: Adam McNamara

Edited by: Jamie O’Connor

 

 

Total Recall (Quaid’s Quazy Day!)

Name: Total Recall

System: NES

Release Date: 1990 (?)

Status: DEFEATED!

*
I can’t think of a movie that has spawned a great video game. They seem to have a difficult time capturing the fun and excitement from the big screen. Total Recall is no exception…though it is “fun” for other strange reasons…Since it’s based on the awesome film of the same name, you play as Arnold Schwarzenegger aka Douglas Quaid aka Carl Hauser aka Man in a Green Onesie…

recall3

Much like the real Arnold, Quaid can walk and jump and punch and shoot once he gets a gun. Right away you notice that the hit detection is out of whack; taking a hit can cause no damage or it could cost you a whole bar of health. You can replenish this by picking up green soda cans that enemies drop, but these will either give you a full bar of health, or do nothing until you collect at least 3, it’s completely random! Just like Arnold!

The game very loosely touches on the main events of the movie, the first level being Quaid on the run after his “memories” are re-activated after visiting Total Recall. Quaid needs to get to his apartment which is conveniently at the top of a building with no stairs; forcing Quaid to walk all the way down the street and hop across roof tops in order to get to his front door. Though along the way you can pop into a movie theatre to watch the games credits. If you sit through all of them you get an extra life!

From there you experience levels based off of Quaid’s fight scene with his incredibly hot fake wife Sharon Stone, to a fun x-ray level where everyone is a skeleton to his escape through the subway. The cut scenes are poorly animated yet entertaining, my favourite being where Quaid needs to put a wet towel on his head and just having it instantly appear!

recall4

“Oh my God! He’s actually doing it…what!? Oh, that’s no one Quaid…now stick this up your nose!”

From here, the game takes a big step away from the plot of the film. The scene where Arnold walks to a phone booth to pick up a brief case is replaced with a level of Quaid massacring a building full of homeless men.

recall5

Homeless Odd-Job isn’t going to stand for that Quaid!

The Mars levels are just as confusing, mainly because there are absolutely no mutants, which was kind of prominent in the film in case you didn’t notice. What replaced the mutants? Australians with boomerangs and cats…

recall6

Are the cats for the Biker Mice problem…?

The worst level by far is a driving level which I guess takes place in the “Red Light District” on Mars. How you can screw up something like that is beyond me, but the car either goes incredibly slow or insanely fast and backing up into anything equals instant death. Your adventure eventually leads to the climactic battle with your nemesis Vilos Cohaagen!

recall7

Who is an incredible jumper!

Basically I just hugged the left side of the screen and shot him till he died, which isn’t the adrenalin filled finale of the film, but at least this strange game is over.

recall8    recall9

Speaking of strange, when you inevitably lose a life, this lovely picture of Arnold pops up telling you to get ready to try again. But, wait, what’s that say on the bottom…?

recall2

“I’ll Be Back”…that’s from The Terminator! Surely that’s just a coincidence…until you see the Game Over screen…

recall1

“Your Game has been Terminated”!?! Why are there Terminator references in Total Recall??? I actually watched the movie again thinking that maybe I missed something and there were some fun Easter Eggs hidden throughout the film but, nope, that’s just the game developers really liking The Terminator.

The music consists of two songs, which are not present in the film and are very upbeat and catchy in a “What the hell am I listening too” kind of way. Also, when you get to a new screen, this weird “DodododoDOOO” sound plays…no clue what they were trying to do there…

Should you play this game? Sure it’s good for a laugh, but don’t play this if you are looking for a fun and challenging platformer. I honestly think they missed out on plot points that would have made for a great level, like one where you have to try to get the homing device out of Quaid’s nose, or having to fight the vacuum of the Mars environment to get to the Alien switch, or even a mini game to pick the mutant whose face looks most like a vagina!

recall1

WINNER!!!

Prime Time Rating: 5/10

Prime Thumbs up

 

Musashi no Ken – Tadaima Shugyō Chū (The story of a boy and his dog…and monsters…)

Name: Musashi No Ken – Tadaima Shugyō Chū!

Translation: Sword of Musashi – Now in the Middle of Training!

System: Famicom (Japan Release Only)

Release Date: August 8, 1986

Status: DEFEATED!

I’m the proud owner of a 110 in 1 game cartridge for my NES, which is chalk full of untranslated Japanese Nintendo games! As a kid, I had an odd delight in trying to figure out what the heck was going on, and this game was one of my favourites!

Musashi7

Ultimate Dog Walker: Fist of Furry! Bark! Bark!

It wasn’t until recently that I decided to do some digging and see if I can find out exactly what this game was. As it turns out, it’s based on a popular Japanese Sports Magna (and later a cartoon series) that debuted in the 80’s called “Musashi no Ken”. The Sport? KENDO.

musashi1

“Foolish! Now we sea who are gooder!!”

 Fun Fact: Kendo is a martial arts sport similar to fencing, though in my opinion it looks way cooler! (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kendo)

Musashi no Ken follows the adventures of Musashi, the son of two Kendo Champions, who you control in the game. The game is fairly straight forward; head right till you reach the goal, killing monsters and dodging obstacles along the way. I have never read the magna, but based on images I’ve seen, I’m not sure how monsters fit into the story of training for Kendo tournaments, or why his parents would allow him to train in such a deadly place…

Musashi5

Only a True Kendo Master can Defeat the Snot Monsters!

The controls are very simple, “B” is jump and “A” to attack with your sword; you can strike up, down or straight in front. Throughout each stage, there are sword items you collect which appear in different angles: up, down or straight; these can be found floating in the air or hidden in various objects like poles or tree branches. Collecting 50 allows you to perform faster/continuous strikes of whatever angle you collected. But these swords serve a much greater purpose later on in the game, which I shall touch on in just a moment.

Other items you can collect are Rice Patties and Egg Rolls which restore health, a Frog Face which makes you jump higher; a Shoe which makes you run faster, a Ball which gives you an extra life (these are very rare, I was only able to find one!), a Key which allows you to skip ahead in the level, and a Kendo Mask which makes you invincible for a short period of time. My issue with these items is that they are incredibly difficult to find! Some are hidden in clouds, others just in a random space on the screen which I discovered by just constantly swinging my sword around. It would have been great if they had enemies drop items or had “Question Block” like objects that you could get them from.

The running power up is very hard to control; the slightest touch will send you flying, often into a bottomless pit (Why is he training here?!?!) It takes some practise to get used to, but pairing it with the Frog jump allows for better control on where you land.

In place of a your typical countdown time limit, Musashi’s dog runs at the bottom of the screen towards the Goal; if he gets there before you do, then you lose a life! (Man’s best friend indeed!) At the levels end, there is a “G” floating in the air. It took me a couple of tries to realize that I needed to grab it in order to exit the stage, which was kind of annoying.

There are 3 levels: Forrest, Mountain and Dojo, after which you face off against 5 fighters in an impressive side view Kendo match!

Musashi2

It’s hard to tell, but I’m winning!

Remember those swords you pick up throughout the game? This is where they pay off big time. There is no jumping in these fights, so while “A” is still your regular attack, “B” becomes a Power Strike, which is much faster than your usual attacks. Also, if you still have the Shoe Power Up, then you move quicker. When combined with Power Strikes, I was able to finish my opponents in under 10 seconds! To win a match you need to score 2 points; if you lose, you not only lose a life but have to start the tournament over again. And your swords don’t replenish themselves, so strike quickly and strike true! The upper and lower strikes are the easiest to score points, so aim to collect as many of those as you can throughout the game!

Once you defeat the final opponent you get a huge trophy!!!

Musashi3

…and then you start from the beginning of the game; but THIS TIME, the enemies are faster and the environments are a different colour.

Musashi6

Again…WHERE THE HELL IS HE TRAINING!?!?

To officially beat the game, you need to pass all three levels again and win the tournament, thereby becoming THE TIGER OF IWATE!

Musashi4

Thanks?

Overall this game is a solid platformer. Though lacking in story, the environments are detailed for a 30 year old Famicom exclusive. The enemy sprites aren’t too exciting, and I couldn’t figure out what some of them were…I think one was a bucket???…but they get the job done. The music is catchy, but there is only one song for all the platform levels, and one song for the tournament level, so more variety would have been nice.

By far the best part of the game is the Kendo Tournament, which has fluid animation and more importantly is easy to control. I only wish you didn’t have to collect 99 swords in order to perform 9 Power Moves! The impossible to find items hold this game back, and the Shoe Power Up is far to fidgety to be useful unless you’ve memorized where the platforms are in the level, so you can just zip past everything.

In 2-Player mode, you can face off against a friend in a Kendo tournament, pitting 5 randomly selected fighters against one another, which is surprisingly a lot of fun!

If you are somehow able to find this game, I would definitely pick it up, though prepare to get frustrated with the 3rd level, as the rapid enemy spawning rate is one of the most ridiculous I’ve ever seen.

And it’s got a dog! A DOG!!

Prime Time Rating: 7/10

Prime Thumbs up

BANANA (I play terrible games, so you don’t have to!)

Name: BANANA

System: Famicom (Japan)

Release Date: September 8, 1986

Status: DEFEATED

Banana1
What could a game called “Banana” be about? If you said a puzzle game where a mole needs to navigate a maze to find the exit with his Daughter In-Law while eating nuts and fruits then…wow! Good guess! Some translations say that you are saving your wife, but Daughter In-Law implies that your deadbeat son/her husband just does not care that his wife is stuck in a fruit themed labyrinth, which makes for a much more interesting story!

And that’s pretty much the game…just go through 105 mazes which increase in difficulty and size as you go on. Stage 1 is one screen and stage 105 is something like 18 screens, which can make it easy to forget where fruit is or how you are going to line up your path. The load time between screens is also cumbersome, especially when you have to move left and right repeatedly near the edge of the screen! You also deal with some pretty odd restrictions: you can only move left, right and down through green dirt, which creates a path. The only way you can go up is with the help of ladders so it is very easy to get stuck.

Banana2

From Go…

Banana3

…to NOOO!!!

Bananas, which oddly enough are in very limited supply throughout the game, give you items that help you out, such as a ladder piece, a rock, a bomb and a rope for climbing. A peeled banana gives you an extra life, because eating a peeled banana is much better for you than an un-peeled one (I tell you this from experience). If you eat enough bananas and fruit in a level you turn into a mole wearing a disco suit which allows you to smash through five rocks…and then sometimes a kid appears with your Daughter In- Law…I’m still trying to figure out how I did that and who the hell that kid is!

photo

This is why disco died.

I was able to get through maybe 90% of this game walkthrough free (this is what I used http://www.gamefaqs.com/nes/578312-banana/faqs/44186 ) The challenge of many of the level designs require you to create rock platforms or shift a rock in order to complete a move that you won’t need to do until five minutes into the level, so you WILL make a wrong move and you WILL need to start over many many times. No offence to the person who created the walkthrough, but near the end many mistakes were made which prevented me from finishing the level using the directions provided, so I ended up just figuring it out myself, which I guess you could see as a positive. I can’t blame him though, I could only play for a certain amount of time before Banana fatigue kicked in…symptoms which include headaches, blurred vision, loss of appetite, inability to concentrate and screaming.

At the title screen there is an option that allows you to start at any fifth stage (stage 1, 6, 11, etc.) as well as an option to design your own levels, but since I played this on my 110 in 1 game cartridge which has no saving abilities, all you can create is a never ending loading screen.

The music is terrible, and to make matters worse, your mole makes his own squeaky music when he walks…so you basically have two high pitch soundtracks blaring at the same time!

Despite the lack of story and the music and the lacklustre environments, this is a challenging puzzle game. But you REALLY have to like puzzles in order to sit through 105 levels…to get an ending that makes as much sense as a game about a Banana obsessed mole can be.

 Banana4

A Helicopter brings them to the house and then they just stare at you…and slowly burn away your soul.

 

Prime Time Rating: 5/10

 

Prime Thumbs up

 

 

# 1 – The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past (It’s dangerous to go alone…READ THIS!)

System: Super Nintendo Entertainment System

Release Date: November 21, 1991

First Played: 2007….on Wii Virtual Console

Status: DEFEATED – March 3, 2015

The Legend of Zelda is one of the most celebrated franchises in the history of Video Gaming. It is praised for its compelling characters, provocative story lines, its vast (and sometimes confusing) continuity, and especially its beautiful and even chilling soundtracks. Debuting in 1986, The Legend of Zelda is the definition of the QUEST; a person of humble beginnings tasked to take on impossible odds, helping the world and improving on him or herself in the process. It also is one of the first games to actually make you a part of the action by letting you name your character…the sprite you play as is literally your LINK to the world of Hyrule! A Link to the Past, the 3rd game in the series, was a massive success; praised for bringing back the “Top/Down Perspective” of the original while adding elements that became mainstays throughout the series, such as the Light/Dark worlds, the Ocarina and The Master Sword. But it’s been over 20 years since this game was released…can this game prove to be a “Hero of Time”…?

When First We Met

I had played the original Legend of Zelda and its sequel The Adventure of Link, but the first Zelda game I owned in the series was The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening (DX) for the Game Boy Color…

 link8
YOINK!!

I loved everything about this game, and I made it mandatory to do and collect EVERYTHING! This trend continued in Oracle of Ages and Seasons, in the flawless Ocarina of Time and later in Twilight Princess, Skyward Sword and A Link Between Worlds (and soon to happen in Majora’s Mask 3D!!). I had to collect the heart pieces, the weapons and complete any side missions…but my true vice? The BOTTLES!!!!!!! I NEEDED TO COLLECT THE BOTTLES!!!! I could never fully enjoy the game until I had them and filled them with fairies and potions…

 link1
…Actually, I’m the Hero of Lyme Disease!

I loved all these games…but there was one game that I could never find…The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past…if I was able to stumble upon someone selling it, it would be at a ridiculous price, and no one I knew owned it! And so, I never played it…that is until the advent of the Nintendo Wii and the Virtual Console! So, using a Wii Points Card I received for my birthday, I finally was the proud owner of this legendary game which I had heard so much about and desperately wanted to play!!!

photo 1
…Which is the end of my journey; I downloaded it so I could finally have it, but at the time I was obsessing over Twilight Princess…and after that, whatever newer Wii games or classic games that I managed to find at my local flea market. So, much like an unexploded cracked wall, this game stayed hidden within my Wii, only to be forgotten as time went on…

Meanwhile in the Present

When I was putting together my QUEST list, I tried to include some Wii games. I hadn’t played my Wii in quite a while, since I was enjoying the Wii U, so I was surprised when I looked at the main menu and saw that I had some downloaded games! Gunstar Heroes?? F-Zero!? Toe Jam and Earl: Panic on Funk-a-tron!?!?! I totally forgot that I downloaded these! What else did I download? Logging onto the Wii Shop channel, I looked at everything I had previously purchased…which is when I saw The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past! Oh yeah, I bought this! Oh wait…I NEVER PLAYED IT??? So that settled it, this would be the final game on my QUEST. To make the experience more authentic, I tried to get the actual SNES cartridge…but surprise surprise this game is stupid expensive, and as I lack the necessary finances, I settled for the Virtual Console version, which is the exact same game only it’s digital. So, without further adieu, I started the final chapter of Adamus Prime’s Video Game Quest…

After creating a save file, going by Adamus, my grand adventure BEGINS……in bed…My Uncle is sitting at a nearby table…I only see the one bed so I guess we share it? I don’t remember agreeing to that! Suddenly, I receive a telepathic message from Princess Zelda! She’s locked in the dungeon within Hyrule Castle by the Evil Wizard Agahnim (AH-GAH-NIM? AGA-NIM? Carl?) and needs me to come and rescue her! Before I do anything, my Uncle is all geared up and heads out, telling me to stay in bed…I guess he got the message too?

 photo 2
Just heading out to do some stabbing; don’t wait up!

Naturally; I ignore my Uncle, pick up a lamp in a nearby chest and heading out after him. Let’s go save us some Zelda!! But…I don’t have a sword…a minor setback to be sure. While trying to find the castle, I go about figuring out the controls; I’m using the Wii Classic controller, but it is basically the same as an original SNES one. The “A” button is mostly used to talk to people or read signs, to push and pull things, and to lift and throw objects like pots and bushes and later on rocks! “A” also is used for running once you get the “Pegasus Boots”. “B” will be used to swing your sword; holding “B” powers up your sword for a big swing that can take out surrounding enemies. The “X” button lets you view a map of Hyrule; it starts as a zoomed in look at you immediate location; pressing “X” again zooms out to show all of Hyrule. Dungeon locations appear here or any location that demands your immediate attention.

photo 3
“Y” uses one of the many many many items that can be found in the game; you can see all your items by pressing “Start” (or “+” in my case). “Select (for me “-“) opens the save option. The left and right triggers slide the screen left or right…this doesn’t really add anything to the game and I never used it.

So off I go to the Castle…which proves to be quite difficult to get into since a guard tells me to beat it…Poking around the outside leads me to a secret passage…I love the tune that plays when you find a secret, and I use it often in real life scenarios! Don’t believe me? Lose something and then have me find it…you’ll see! The dungeons are filled with guards…and the body of my mortally wounded Uncle!!!

photo 4
Uncle Jimmy!

You can’t name the Uncle in the game, so I’m going to call him Jimmy. Jimmy struggles to talk, he’s in bad shape and before he dies, he gives me his sword and shield, telling me that only I can save Princess Zelda now! Hell yeah!!! I mean…Uncie JimJim, No! Immediately accepting his death, I eventually find Zelda in prison…and guarded by…A GUARD!!

 link35
I’ve seen your ilk before Ass-Bastard!

I remember these “Ball and Chain” guys from previous Zelda games, so I easily defeat him…though dying here would have been hilariously tragic. (Mornin’ Boss! Who, the green guy? Yeah I killed him…yup, the Hero of Legend…yeah the Princess is still locked up…man, he was really bad…yeah, no worries, see ya at lunch!) With Zelda free, we make our way through more dungeon to a secret passage that leads to a sanctuary where Zelda will apparently be safe.

I feel like so much has already happened in this game…and I just started playing 20 minutes ago! The Priest at the Sanctuary fills me in on what the hell is going on. Aga…Agahiminnnn…Agahaminahaminahamina…..….Aggy, a powerful wizard, has taken over Hyrule and wishes to break the seal to the “Dark World” to free the powerful demon king GANON!! To do this, he wants to kidnap the descendants of the Sages who trapped Ganon in the first place and send them to the Dark World, which would resurrect Ganon so he can take over the Light World (Hyrule)! Naturally, Zelda is one of these descendants, so she needs to hide out while I stop him. But what can stop the insane schemes of this dastardly wizard??? A sword that can only be wielded by the chosen Hero of Hyrule…The Blade of Evil’s Bane…THE MASTER SWORD.

 link2
Nice.

I’m fine with that! So…where is it? Only one man knows where to find it and he’s in the nearby Kakariko Village; a descendant of the original forgers of the Master Sword known as…….*sigh*………. Sa….Saharsa…Sahasrahla…….what’s with these names???? Can’t I find someone named Sage Steve or Sage Rick?

 link3
Or Tim?

So off I go to the village…..but he’s not there….after asking around, I’m eventually told that he’s near the Eastern Palace…I consult my map and off I go again! After some fun filled monster slaying, I finally find him!

link21
Ok Sassy, where’s the sword?

Since just giving me the sword would be too easy and save too much time, Sassafras says I first must PROVE myself worthy by attaining 3 pendants guarded by monsters. OR I can prove I’m worthy by stabbing the wizard with the sword! How about that? No? Fine…so now my quest is to get pendants so I can have some street-cred to show off to the Sass-Man. The pendants are located in the Eastern Palace (which is near Sasso), The Desert Palace (not Dessert Palace as I first thought…) and finally the tower of Hera. As you progress through the dungeons you pick up several items such as the Bow and Arrow, the Moon Pearl and my favourite THE POWER GLOVE, which lets you lift rocks!

One of my favourite things about Zelda games are the items and how seamlessly they are worked into the dungeon puzzles. The dungeons always start the same; you trudging through the labyrinthine enemy filled passageways, having to take the scenic route as you don’t have that item to make things easier for you. But once you get it, it seems like an entirely different level! I love the feeling of getting past that one obstacle that was standing between me and the Boss! Speaking of Boss battles, you’re up against some doozies, like the one for the Eastern Palace

link4
The Desert Palace:

link18
And the Tower of Hera!

link5

My favourite of these has to be the Eastern Palace boss. The last two are too similar, being long insect like creatures, while the first one is six massive dudes with swords trying to kill you! I found it much more intimidating, especially when they line up across the room and charge at you, there’s no going around them…only through them!!! Though the bosses here were a lot of fun, I felt it lacked difficulty…but this is just the beginning of the game, and Zelda games are known for very gradually upping the difficulty.

With the Pendants in hand, I have proved myself worthy, and now I can head over to the Lost Woods and within its depths, claim the ultimate prize…THE MASTER SWORD!!!!!!!!!!
link16

(Ba Da Da DAAAA!!!!) You Found the Master Sword! Your Bad-Assery has Increased by 10,000%!!

HOOYA!!! Time to stab some evil! Suddenly, Zelda contacts me telepathically, soldiers under the control of the evil wizard Aghagrapaga are approaching the Sanctuary where she’s been hiding! I Pegasus Boot my ass over…but I’m too late…the Priest has been stabbed! With his dying breath (there’s been A LOT of death so far!!) the Priest tells me that Zelda has been kidnapped (again) and brought to Hyrule Castle to be used along with the 6 other descendants of the Sages to break the seal to the Dark World! So off I go to Hyrule Castle; a protective barrier crumbles at the touch of my blade and the guards within are dispatched like a hot knife cutting through so many pieces of evil butter! One fun thing about the Master Sword besides the increase in attack power is the ability to shoot a laser when you are at full health! This just makes the palace guards that much easier to dispose of. Up and up the castle I go until finally I am face to face with Agahnim…but again I’M TOO LATE!

link22
Before my very eyes, Zelda and the Sage Descendants are sent to the Dark World! I need to get them back; maybe a gut full of steel will convince the wizard! Following him to a balcony, I strike…but my sword does nothing!! Sassafras you jackass! That’s when I remember the final boss fight in “Link’s Awakening”; I need to hit his magic back at him! It works like a charm he’s down, but before I can deal the final blow, he flings me into the Dark World!! While in the Tower of Hera, I picked up something called a Moon Pearl, which allows me to be myself in the Dark World. You need this in order to play the second half of the game or else you are going to be stuck as…

link17
…a Pink Bunny……. Apparently the Dark World brings out your true nature…which is why Ganon is a monstrous beast…but a Bunny? Bunnies are helpless fluffy creatures…not really the symbol of the Triforce of Courage. I would have liked a transformation more along the lines of “Twilight Princess” where he turns into a wolf!

 link6
http://kaialone.deviantart.com/art/Bunny-and-Wolf-395685162

So now I must free the 7 Sage Descendants! The only thing I found trickier than the dungeons themselves was trying to get to them! The Dark World is separated into sections, and many times, you have to use the Magic Mirror to jump back and forth between Hyrule and the Dark World in order to proceed…though to get back to the Dark world you need to find a hidden portal. I liked the puzzle aspect of this, but at times I felt it slowed down the action, but not by a lot. I guess I was always just anxious to get to the next dungeon! Just like before, the Seven Dungeons give you new items and really up the difficulty. As it would take far too long to discuss each in length, I’ll just mention my two favourites: Blind’s Hideout and Turtle Rock!

Blind’s Hideout is set up like your typical dungeon…except for one detail…her…

link24
While going through the Dungeon, you discover one of the 7 descendants locked in a cage! She asked to be set free so she can go home…except, if you try to leave the dungeon with her she’ll tell you not to go that way….ok where then? Looking at my map I look at where I haven’t been and figure out our destination. This stage has a heavy influence on bomb usage; many times you have to bomb the floor in order to get to hard to reach places. Eventually I get to a room with a single patch of light on the floor, caused by me bombing the floor above. I wait for the maiden to reveal a stair case or something for us to exit from, but when she steps into the light she yells, “GYAAAH! Too BRIGHT!!” and turns into…

link23
The boss!?!? It was a trap! I waste no time and attack; after dealing enough damage, its HEAD WILL COME OFF and start to fly around the room trying to kill you…then he grows another head and so on until you’re fighting 2 flying heads and a bed sheet monster!! A bottle of red potion and a mighty slash later and he’s done for. This boss wasn’t the hardest or best looking in the game but what I liked most was the surprise element! I’ll admit, I was legitimately fooled…I expected the maiden to be kidnapped and I’d have to save her again…not for her to be the actual monster!

Turtle Rock’s dungeon was the most interesting as it relies on you using tubes that shoot you through the dungeon in order to proceed…

link15
It also makes use of the Cane of Somaria (obtained from the Mystery Mire) which at first I thought was the most useless item in the game as its sole purpose is to create a block…

 link19
…woo…

But in this dungeon it creates moving platforms!
link14

Woo!!

My favourite has to be the boss of Turtle Rock, which as you could probably guess is a turtle…with three heads…

 link12
It’s actually a Tortoise! What a twist!!

His colour scheme pretty much spells out how to attack him: Attack the “Ice” head with the Fire Rod and the “Fire” head with the Ice Rod! After the colourful heads explode, his shell cracks open to reveal a snake body!!

 link13
Turtles ARE secretly Snakes!!! Not so smart now are you Zookeeper at the Reptile House?!?!?

Defeating him releases the final Sage Descendant…Zelda!! She and the other sages open the path to the final battle in Ganon’s Tower!

link11
…But before I confront the Ultimate Evil, I now begin my favourite part of Zelda games…COLLECTING EVERYTHING!! I want to face Ganon at 100%, which includes full hearts, ALL BOTTLES, and one of the stranger side quests, tempering the Master Sword to make it even more powerful! To increase the Master Sword’s power, you have to find a frog in the Dark World, bring him back to the Light World (which turns him back into a dwarf smithy) and then reunite him with his blacksmith partner.

link9link10

I was able to find the majority of the heart pieces by myself, and 3 out of the four bottles, but at a loss of what else to do, I consulted the website Zeldadungeon (www.zeldadungeon.net) for some help. Finally at 100% I was ready to face Ganon……or so I thought…There was another item I got in Ganon’s tower, Red Mail, which made my defence even stronger and what I thought was the final battle was actually a second Agahnim fight!!
link30

Oh no you didn’t!!!!

Agatha Christy talks some smack before attacking, which is the same as our first encounter except this time he splits into 3 versions of himself!! To beat him, you have to deflect his dark magic back and hit the correct one! Fully stalked with fairies and red potion, I’m able to easily deal the killing blow…
link31

As Agragragragra dies, a bat emerges from his body and flies away…was that Ganon?? He was possessing the wizard the whole time? I blow my Ocarina and give chase to the Golden Pyramid (which houses the Triforce) in the middle of the Dark World where Ganon has crashed through the roof!

link32

I run off to refill my bottles…and then I enter the actual FINAL BATTLE!

link33
It was more difficult than I expected. I guess I was a bit cocky going in with everything upgraded. Ganon moves around the stage throwing his Trident like a boomerang. After dealing enough damage, he changes his attack, creating rings of fire and shooting fire bats at you. After more damage he changes tactics once again, making the outer boarder of the room collapse, limiting my space even further. Eventually he turns out the lights and becomes invisible! The only way to see him to attack is to light the flames at the bottom of the screen, all while dodging his invisible attacks!! I keep attacking but nothing works! Eventually I’m overwhelmed and pushed over the side into the abyss…Well, Game Over…except instead of meeting my demise I land in a room below! Nearby is a panel (one of many spread throughout the game) which allows me to communicate with Sasasarasarasa …Sassy gives me some really great advice!

link25
Silver Arrows!?!? Oh yeah!! I got those from that Fat Fairy!

link20
She’s located in a cracked wall outside the Golden Pyramid. Throwing the Bow and Arrow into the pool changed them to the Silver Arrows! That’s when I remember that in other Zelda games, Ganon is weak against Silver or Light Arrows. Blast! My forgetfulness almost got me killed! So, refilling my bottles with potion (this is getting expensive!) I face Ganon once more…
link34

Not The Secret Technique of Darkness!!!

Knowing his attacks, I fare better in round two, and I’m ready for him when he turns out the lights. I dance between lighting fires and striking blows until Ganon freezes! This is it! The moment Sassy told me to look for! I fire my arrows which brings forth an SNES grunt form Ganon. I go again and again, using a fairy and my last red potion! Then with a final shot, I send Ganon aflame in a massive explosion, sending him burning and screaming to whatever hell will have him! I stand, alone, sword raised…….VICTORIOUS!!!

link26
A doorway appears and I enter, to find…

link27
The Triforce! It tells me that I have completely destroyed Ganon (that’s what you think!) and that I can make a wish! Having no control over the wishing process, I watch as everything is set back as it should be!

The King is alive!

 link28
The Priest is alive!

link29

Even Uncle Jimmy is alive again!!

link36

Jim Jim!!!

 Hyrule is saved…

 link37 photo 5

My QUEST…is over…

link39

Judgement

I’m glad I waited this long to play this game. Though it isn’t the best Zelda game in my opinion (top honours go to Ocarina of Time and Twilight Princess) it is still an incredible game! At first I felt that the final boss battle was a bit of a letdown, what with the more epic cinematic filled battles of more recent titles, but for what the SNES was capable of, I think this is the best ending we could ask for.

The dungeons are all unique and never repetitive and the amount of side quests is ridiculous. There is always something to do and I can definitely see myself replaying this in the future. The music is fantastic and the story, though nothing overly complicated, still adds the necessary suspense that makes every battle that much more important and every victory that much more sweet.

The only problem I had was having to teleport back and forth between Hyrule and the Dark World. It slowed down my progress to the dungeons, but on the plus side it did add an extra puzzle element.

So, what do you think? Are you going to track down an original copy and play it or cheap out like me and just download it? Does this make you want to play the remaining games of the series? Are you as excited as I am about the New Wii U Zelda game? Or even better, the possibility of the Live Action Legend of Zelda TV show on Netflix??? Sound off in the comments below!!!

Well, I guess there’s only one more question to ask…

Now What……?

As I watched Hyrule return to its peaceful state, I realized that this was really it. I had done what at first seemed to be an impossible journey. I played 25 games that I had never defeated in the hopes of succeeding where I had failed so many times before. Each game brought me memories of my childhood, my teen years and even my immature adulthood. I remembered Christmas’ gone by; friendships formed and lost, games I would play to impress, to relax, and to forget. It really showed me just how much video games have been a part of my life.

I know it sounds odd, these “Time Wasters” making an impact on me, but it’s true. I’ve always been one for pretending, which I guess is why I like acting so much. Like video games, I find acting is a release; a chance for me to not be Adam McNamara: Contract Accounting Clerk 2 in Cluster B in the Tenders and Payments Unit. I can be a hero, a villain, a giant monkey throwing barrels, a plumber. I can be Adamus Prime.

So now what? Well, writing this blog has been a lot of fun. I felt it gave a voice and an opinion that was outside the usual game review, and hopefully it allowed the reader (the awesome you who is currently reading) a change to reminisce as well. Hopefully you agreed and even disagreed with what I had to say over this 8 month Odyssey. But most importantly I hope you had as much fun as I have. The QUEST is defeated, but in the words of one famous princess…

link7
There are other games I can write about…that have yet to be DEFEATED…

But that’s another story.

Till then, thank you for reading.

Tah tah!

Adamus Prime

Prime Thumbs up

# 2 – Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (The FINAL Ninja Turtles Adventure…?)

System: Nintendo Entertainment System

Release Date: May 12, 1989

First Played: 1995

Status: DEFEATED – January 11, 2015

Often imitated, never duplicated, nothing says action, fun and excitement like the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles! tmnt2
Debuting in 1984 under the independent comic book banner “Mirage Studios”, creators Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird’s parody of popular 1980’s comic book trends (mainly mutants and ninjas) created a set of characters that would become a worldwide phenomenon! Spawning cartoon shows, movies, comic books and an insane amount of toys and merchandise, these “Heroes in a Half Shell” continue to entertain children and adults to this very day. As with any popular franchise, a video game about it would be a sure fire hit. Many of the Ninja Turtles video games are considered to be some of the greatest games ever created (Turtles in Time!!). But there was one TMNT game that came out…the very first one in fact…that is denounced by many as being unfairly tough, frustrating and just plain garbage! But can we look back and find the charm of this classic NES game, or do we still want to beat the living shell out of it…?

When First We Met

I grew up watching the original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cartoon; I had no clue that there was an ORIGINAL comic book that inspired it! So, in blissful ignorance, I watched this show thinking it was the best thing since…well…ever! It was no surprise that I picked up any Turtle game I could find. My first adventure with the Turtles was in 1990 with the NES game “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Arcade Game”.

photo 1

As time went on, I picked up more games, some for the Game Boy, a couple of board games, and far too many action figures…then came that fateful day in 1995 when I went to my local flea market and found this…

photo 5
Cool! I don’t recognize this Turtles game! I really like the picture! There’s Raphael with his Sai, Raphael with his Bo, Raphael with his Nuchu….wait a minute…WHY ARE THEY ALL RAPHAEL!?!? This is obviously some kind of rip off, everyone knows that only Raphael has a red mask! But it’s only $5…..curious as to what this game is all about, I hand over Sir Wilfrid and head home to give it a go…

I’m greeted to the standard Ninja Turtles title…

photo 4
Well, that’s a good sign, so I guess this isn’t a boot leg! Some cool funky music that I can only describe as “Ninja Turtlely” starts to play. I leave it alone and I’m soon shown a couple of fun cut scenes showing the Turtles changing from tiny turtle to Big Ninja Turtle! And they get the colours right for each Turtle…so why was everyone wearing red on the cartridge?? (That’s because they used the cover of issue # 4 of the Mirage Comic book where the Turtles originally wore all red masks…even though the game takes inspiration from the cartoon show…) Let’s take a look at our heroes, shall we?

 photo 1
Leads.

photo 4

“Does Machine”.

photo 2

Cool, but Rude.

photo 3

Slightly Mentally Handicapped.

Next is a scene showing Splinter sending the Turtles after The Shredder and his Foot Clan to rescue (once again) a captured April O’Neil.

photo 5   photo 1

Well, that sums things up very nicely, let’s get started! Having played the later games in the series first, I’m taken aback by what I see in the “First Level”…

photo 2
The hell…why am I so small!?! And which Turtle am I? You start in an over world map, where you access different “Levels” by going into sewers or buildings, this gives you a bit of choice as to where you want to go and what levels you can avoid which is actually a nice touch. I’m standing next to a hole, which I’m guessing is a sewer and walk toward it…which brings me to this…

photo 3
There we go!! This is the side scrolling action I know and love!! The sewer is packed with Mousers! Baxter Stockman, you tricky bastard! I can now make out the blue mask, meaning I’m Leonardo, so let’s see what he can do! “A” is your standard attack; pressing up or down with “A” makes you attack in that direction. That’s cool, in the others games I’ve played, you can’t really control the direction of your weapon! “B” is jump…the jumps are very slow, and landing on some of the smaller platforms can be tricky. But what I found even worse was that YOU CAN’T DROP KICK! That was my go to move in boss fights! Your jump attack is the exact same as your ground attack…only you’re in the air.

There is a slot beside your main weapon that can hold a throwing weapon. Enemies drop them (though very rarely) and you access it by pressing select. You can pick up single ninja stars, TRIPLE ninja stars, some kind of scroll that shoots out a powerful wave of energy and a boomerang…because nothing says ninjutsu more than a boomerang…

tmnt3
You call that a Ninja? THIS is a Ninja!

Pressing Start brings you to a menu where you can switch between playing as each of the Turtles!

photo 4
It also shows you a very crude map of where you are and a dialogue box which tells you what your mission is. It is here where I discover anaother problem…Raphael…his Sai is terrible! You basically have to be directly beside whatever you want to hit, which leaves plenty of time for a baddy to hit you! Leo and Mike have medium range attacks, with Leo just a bit longer; also Leo’s Katana blades reach slightly behind him, so he can deal damage in front and behind at the same time. By far the greatest of the Turtles is Donatello; his attacks are slower, but his range is incredible and he is the most powerful of all the Turtles!! So, as I would find out, if you want any kind of success with this game, keep Donny alive at all costs!! So I stick mostly to Donatello and smack around some Foot Soldiers and mousers as I go. Very soon I meet my first boss fight…BEBOP!!

photo 5
Rocksteady stays above with a tide-up April. Bebop just runs back and forth and occasionally stops to punch you; it’s easy to get trapped in the narrow space to the right, so I try to stay as much to the left as possible. I’m shocked at how quickly Donatello beats Bebop! I think I hit him maybe 8 times? The boss battles from the other games I’ve played are much more epic; the typical “Red Flashing” that happens when the boss is almost finished is nonexistent. When they are defeated, they just blow up! No dramatic pose as they fade away, they are just destroyed and wiped out from existence! Harsh!

(Just remember, I didn’t realize at the time that this was the first game, so I know it seems odd  to say this game lacks something which at the time of its creation, hadn’t been put into any other game yet.)

Rocksteady runs away with April and I give chase. As I move forward, I’m startled at what I find…

photo 1
Whoa! That guys on fire!! And he makes tiny fire babies to attack me! This wasn’t anything that I had seen on the show before, and I liked how weird it was! It was a fun twist from just level after level of foot soldiers. Eventually I track Rocksteady to a warehouse to fight FACE TO FACE…well not really…

 photo 3
CHEAP!!!!

Poor Rocksteady, he never had a chance. I discovered this by accident and all you do is just keep down attacking till Rocksteady becomes Rock-DEAD-y. Yes! I rescued April!! This doesn’t usually happen till the end of the game…No time for questions because April tells me that the Foot Clan is going to blow up the damn and we need to stop it!!

 photo 4
“You Have My Support” and nothing else.

The Dam level is pretty straight forward; fight through hordes of enemies until you get to the top. Your biggest problem isn’t the enemies though…it’s this…

 photo 2
Damn Dam!

What, that guy on the bottom??? Nope, it’s the space you are supposed to jump across. Instinct tells us to do a tiny jump, but because the jumping is all wonky, you’ll just fall to the floor below and have to trek all the way back. Trying to do a high jump will end in the same result UNLESS you hit the ceiling in the middle of the space. You’ll hit your head, which will slow you down and then float to the other side…I died a lot from messing this jump up and having the room full of re-spawned bad guys slowly hack away at me! Eventually I make it to the top…

photo 3
Two tiny Foot Soldiers are disposed of easily…but where’s this bomb? I see a ledge on the Dam…jump? I do…and land in quite possibly the wettest most frustrating level imaginable!

photo 5
At first this is a lot of fun! In all the Turtle games I’ve played, I don’t think I’ve ever seen them swim! I mean, they’re turtles so they can swim right?? But then I notice the controls…the turtles are terrible swimmers and there is an unseen current that constantly pushes the turtles towards all the many dangers in this underwater labyrinth! Kudos to Shredder for setting up these traps though! Not only did he set up bombs, but he installed killer sea weed everywhere (which must have taken YEARS to grow) spinning wheels of death and creating a device that can produce electrical force-fields UNDER WATER without killing everything! At least disarming the bombs is easy, just swim up to them! This took many, many frustrating days to get through, but eventually the Turtles save the day!

photo 1
The turtles decide to head home instead of going after Shredder who almost destroyed a Dam which would have killed hundreds if not thousands of people.

photo 4
Raphael knocks on the secret entrance to their base (you know it’s the secret entrance because it has the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles LOGO BESIDE THE DOOR!!) and says the super secret password “Here”. Suddenly…

photo 5
Someone trashed their house!! But who and how did they find it??? (See sarcastic remarks above) Then the TV turns on to reveal…

photo 1
THE SHREDDER!!!!! He’s taken Master Splinter and the only way to get him back is to defeat the Foot Clan! Then I notice something…

photo 3
Shredder’s hand is moving back and forth as he talks, but it actually moves OUTSIDE the screen! It’s a trick!! He’s in the busted TV! Get em!!!! The Turtles don’t catch on and instead go to the next level to save Splinter…

 photo 2
This town of NEW YORK????

…which was the end of my journey. To make a long story short, I couldn’t figure out where to go! This map is huge and the red square design is absolutely no help. And if my terrible sense of direction didn’t kill me, the absolutely insane amount of enemies would!

photo 2
This left me no choice…I had to use desperate measures. And so, much like my previous QUEST entry, I resorted to using a Game Genie to skip to the last level, become invincible and beat Shredder…it was a cheap move, but I just wanted to beat this game so badly!! For the time, I was happy and actual convinced myself that I had done the right thing, “Well, the controls are crappy so that justifies my using it!” I was content to live the lie of having “Beaten” Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles…

Meanwhile in the Present…

Just like before, this game NEEDED to be a part of my QUEST. I needed to know that I could beat one of the hardest Nintendo games around, what kind of a QUEST would this be if I didn’t have to pass a seemly unbeatable game?? So I put it at #2 and got ready to go prematurely bald from stress.

My first impressions on my second look all these years later…it’s a pretty crudely built game. The enemies are all twitchy and sometimes just randomly appear. Also, I forgot just how terrible the jumping was and it took me a while to get the hang of it. But despite these lacklustre qualities, I actually found myself enjoying it…

The first 2 levels have been permanently melded to my brain, and I plough through them, especially the underwater dam level which no longer proved a challenge (not to brag) and soon it was onto finding Splinter. The over-world map lets you drive around in the Turtles Party Wagon!!

 photo 3
I don’t need a license, I have Turtle Power!

As you drive around, Foot Clan Steam Rollers try to run you over. To take them out, the Party Wagon fires bullets and missiles that you find hidden in buildings and sewers. The missiles are primarily for blasting through barriers that block of parts of the road but they can also take out Steam Rollers in one hit! The building you start in front of has missiles located on the top floor, and it’s full of pizza, every time you leave and then re-enter the building, all the pizza and missiles return, so you can get an unlimited supply of them! I took some time at the beginning of the level to heal my Turtles and get 30 missiles. So now I can just drive around and blast road blocks and Steam Rollers without having to stop and search every building!

Here’s the kicker: The Party Wagon doesn’t have an independent life bar, it shares the health of which ever Turtle is selected! So I suggest getting Raphael to drive as he mostly serves as a punching bag in this game! I’m able to get the centre of the map fairly quickly, and after collecting some rope to walk between some buildings, I find Splinter tied up and hanging from a pole!! And he’s guarded by…

photo 2

…ANOTHER TURTLE??? Who is this guy? Is he also named after an Italian artist…?

tmnt1

Carpaccio: I Also “Does Machine”!

He’s not Carpaccio; he’s the less artsy sounding Mechaturtle, according to Turtlepedia… http://turtlepedia.wikia.com/wiki/Mechaturtle . He jumps around and attacks you with Katana Blades! Now, if you’re like me and have Triple Ninja Stars, or even better, the Boomerang, he’s a piece of cake, attack him from a distance and he soon blows up…only to reveal his TRUE FORM!!!

photo 3

I would have started with this form…

 Now he has swords AND ROCKETS!! But, I have still boomerangs and he soon meets his demise. I saved Splinter! Suddenly…

photo 2
I guess Shredder was nearby and is now escaping in that helicopter! Splinter says we need to find the Turtle Blimp (YES!) and give chase; which brings us to the worst Airport in the world!

photo 4

This level is long, and unlike previous levels, there are fewer areas you can skip over. If you’re not careful, you can end up in a deadend or taking an unnecessary longer route, it took me many tries to find the quickest path. The only instant kills up to this point had been the Steam Rollers (if they roll over you while walking around, you’re dead!) but this level introduces another “FUN” instant death: PITS OF FIRE!

photo 5

Remember, this is an airport in New York…

 The Turtles can get electrocuted in water, fall feet first on spikes, even fall off the top of a building and walk away, but they can NOT take the heat! On one play through, I lost Donatello, “Well, I’m screwed! Might as well die so I can continue with all the Turtles again” but then I find…

photo 3
DON!?!? I can get back the Turtles I lost??? I guess this is the equivalent of a “Free-Man”. With my spirits renewed, I continue my search for the blimp. Eventually I find the boss, a Giant Mouser!

photo 5
CHRIST!! On first glance, this guy looks terrible! One would think that it would mimic what the regular sized mousers do in the game, mainly chase you and try to rip you apart! But it just stands there…it doesn’t even move side to side. It fires lasers out of its eyes and pops tiny mousers out of its mouth. When its mouth opens, it reveals an orb which is its weak spot. Again, if you got Donatello, get ready for some cheapness. Don can just stand right underneath its mouth and hit up, which allows him to dodge the lasers, hit any falling mousers and hit the weak spot without moving…way to fuck up the design Stockman! This would be tremendous battle ends quickly with its head blowing up.

photo 4
The turtles get in the Blimp…

 photo 1
Shot Gun!

… and go to Shredders “Super Secret Base”…

photo 1

Your mission here is to find the Technodrome, Shredder’s main base of operations and where he keeps all his stuff. But just to make this game even more difficult, there are 4 possible locations to find the Technodrome…and the location randomly moves around every time you play this game. This level is short (if you find the correct sewer first try that is) but the enemies are AWFUL!! AND TERRIFYING!!!

photo 1
WHAT THE HELL IS THAT?!?!?

I found that the Technodrome usually hides in the lower left sewer, though again, its location randomly moves around. When you eventually find the entrance you battle…

photo 4
THE TECHNODROME!!!! Usually you battle IN the Technodrome, but never the actual Technodrome itself! Also, I love saying Technodrome, you can sound smart to people who don’t follow TMNT and you sound cool to the people that do! Win Win! Technodrome!! The first thing that hits me is its size. Yes, it’s as big as the screen, the biggest boss in the game, but, why are the Turtles 1/3 the size of it? How can The Shedders army fit into something the size of an above average condo?

The only way to defeat it is to destroy the Eye of the Technodrome, but it is very well protected. First you need to take out the front electric barrier, the side guns and a portal at the top where Foot Soldiers pop out for good measure. If you’re lucky you’ll have some ninja stars, and if you time it right, you can damage the front barrier and the side guns at the same time! This will make the fight go much faster. Once again, Donatello is a must have; his Bo easily destroys the foot soldiers and the portal they jump out of. The Eye is destroyed just as easily…

photo 4

…and Don jumps into the Technodrome…and to the final battle!

 photo 2
I love our conversations April…

The levels leading up to this have been difficult, mostly because the enemies decide to appear where ever they feel like it and the hit detection is atrocious…this level makes everything else seem like a cake walk…

photo 5
My screen started to glitch out!

When you start the level, there is an enemy right beside you that immediately attacks!! Depending on which enemies the game decides to render, it’s either an easy Foot Soldier or an incredibly tough Neon Blue Jetpack Laser Firing Soldier!! If you start as a Turtle with low health, you can be dead within seconds of playing this level. My advice: take it slow and steady, if you have the boomerang use it all you can (as it is reusable…since boomerangs come back to you!), and for the love of everything holy KEEP DONATELLO ALIVE AT ALL COSTS!!!

There are multiple paths to take to the levels end, one contains an unavoidable pit of spikes, but for the most part, I found that I could dodge my way around the tougher enemies…that is until you get to the home stretch…

photo 2

The path narrows to a point where you can’t jump and you’re constantly surrounded by those Neon Jetpack Guys and these robot bugs! Boomerang the hell out of everyone if you can, or use Donatello’s downward strike to (oddly enough) hit enemies above and in front of you! This is where I died the most; you get 2 continues, but you don’t keep any of the secondary weapons you collected…so with every failure, my outlook became more and more hopeless. I spent days trying to get through that fucking tunnel…until it happened…I felt the ZONE kick in…my surroundings faded away and I was in the tunnel! I moved slowly, mechanically down the hall, a reptilian mechanism of Bad Guy Destruction…until I was through! YES!!! But then…

photo 3

A mid Boss Battle with one of those God awful Neon Guys! I switch out Don and rotate between Leo and Mike until he’s dead. In packs they are vicious, but they can be easily out manoeuvred one on one. I proceed cautiously…until I see the door. For the first time in over 20 years, I made it to the Door of Shredder cheat free!

photo 3
I switch to Donatello…….and enter…I’m standing on a platform…no Shredder…hmmm…I move to the platform beside me just as a lightning strike hits where I was standing!! From it materializes the man himself, the personification of the Boss Battle…Oroku Saki…THE SHREDDER!!!

photo 4
Shitshitshitshitshitshitshitshitshitshit!!!!!

I remember from when I first fought him that he has a Mutation Gun that can change the Turtles back to regular turtles, killing them instantly! I expect him to fire but he jumps at me, Don strikes which sends him back. He dives again! Don sends him back. What’s he doing? Why isn’t he…you know…killing me? This repeats until with a final slow thrust forward, Donatello causes Shredder to EXPLODE AND COLLAPSE INTO A PUDDLE OF GORE!!!

 photo 5
The Shredder has been shredded!

I would like to point out that I had the camera in my left hand and the controller in my right…so I beat Shredder one handed! Holy crap!! That was an epic death!! That was a graphic death! That was…..really, really easy. Donatello jumps out of the level and we see…

photo 1
Splinter! He congratulates you and then says that he can turn back to normal….wait, what? Then Splinter changes from rat…

 photo 2
To Chuck Norris???

…to his Human Form…

photo 3

I guess the Turtles took the Mutation Gun from the pile of goo that was Shredder, but then…why is he still a rat in all the other games??? Then April chimes in.

photo 4
THEN……fin.

photo 5
I did it! I won!! CHEAT FREE!!! AHAHAHA!! While dancing around my condo like a lunatic, I suddenly realized something…out of all the video games based off of the 1987 animated series, chronologically; THIS IS THE LAST NINJA TURTLES GAME…and let me explain why…

When this game was released, the Ninja Turtles cartoon was already into its 3rd season, at which time series mainstays like Bebop, Rocksteady, Krang, Shredder, Baxter Stockman, General Traag and his Rock Soldiers, Leatherhead and many others were already introduced. These characters play a significant role as bosses in almost all of the Turtle games, especially Krang who has served as the penultimate or even final boss. Yet, this game is missing the vast majority of them; the only ones returning are Bebop, Rocksteady and naturally Shredder. The only “NEW” boss character is Mechaturtle; not to be confused with Metalhead…another robotic turtle seen in the cartoon and games.

 tmnt4
Why was I programmed to feel pain!!!???

Now why are these characters absent? The answer is simple: They have either been killed/permanently banished by the Turtles or have retired from evil doing after years of failure! Another big difference in this game is the enemies; all other Turtle games make use of Foot Soldiers, Rock Soldiers, and the various machines of Baxter Stockman; this game creates a hodgepodge of nightmarish mutations and common street thugs with a sprinkling of Foot Soldiers. Why? Because A) in the case of human Foot Soldiers, they were either killed or lost faith in Shredders leadership after so many defeats and left or B) in the case of robot Foot Soldiers, the Turtles just kept destroying them and it became impossible to keep up with the replacement demand or the machines to make them had been destroyed. So, in his desperation, Shredder creates a “Mutation Gun” and turns willing or non willing people into the monsters you see in this game to carry on his never ending quest to defeat the Turtles.

photo 2
The Boss battles themselves hint at this being the final chapter in the Turtles story. While other games simply show a boss flash red and then fade away once beaten, this game shows them violently blow up! This is most definitely true in the case of Shredder who actually collapses into himself after being defeated. After his defeat, the Turtles take the Mutation Gun and change Splinter into a human again. In no other game is Splinter anything but a rat, and once regaining his humanity, I doubt he would want to change back into a rat again, so this has to happen after all the other games where he appears as a rat…which is all of them.

The most obvious clue comes from the message on the final screen of this game: “The Adventure of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is Concluded”. It’s not “Thanks for Playing!” or “See you Next Time!” or even “THIS Adventure”, it’s “THE Adventure” as in the entire story of the Turtles is over, there is no other story to tell because they have defeated all of their enemies.

Or maybe this is just my mind trying to convince itself that I had a great time playing this game; ignoring the glitch filled levels and unfair enemies by creating this elaborate thesis which changes this game from a frustratingly poor adaptation of the Turtles to an amazing work of art!

Judgement

This game is totally worth playing. It’s hard, it’s unfair, but would you expect anything less from The Shredder? It is one of the toughest gaming experiences I have ever had, but despite the terrible hit detection, awful jumping and so-so graphics, I actually had a lot of fun playing it! The music is great and the ending is definitely unique compared to the other entries in the franchise.

It would have been awesome if they made the Technodrome battle to scale; Make it 5 screens tall and you have to take out different weapons and finally the giant eye to defeat it! Or better yet, have the Turtles control the Turtle Blimp and they can fly around and fight it that way!!

Despite everything I’ve talked about, I think this video from Dorkly says it all…

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8oNuGxz_ykc

So what do you think? Are you going to search high and low for this game? Does this make you want to play the other fantastic games in the series like Turtles in Time!?!? Did the new Turtles movie destroy your childhood as well? Sound off in the comments below!

I never thought it would happen but here we are…my next post is the FINAL ENTRY OF THE ADAMUS PRIME VIDEO GAME QUEST!!! I listed this title at number one not only because it is considered one of the greatest SNES games ever, but because much like the purpose of this entire QUEST, it serves as a link to my past…

Technodrome!!!

Adamus Prime

Prime Thumbs up