Release Date: February 1989
First Played: 2002
Status: DEFEATED, August 17, 2014
(A full moon reflects peacefully on the surface of Crystal Lake. Sexy Teenagers Brad and Tiffany set up camp in a forest clearing nearby.)
Geeze! It’s getting cold out!
Yeah, I can tell!
(Tiffany realizes where Brad is looking and quickly folds her arms over her chest.)
Cut it out Brad! You’re such a pig!
Isn’t that why you love me baby?
Geeze baby what gives? You’re not…scared are you?
I still don’t think we should be camping here. That sign said this camp was condemned…
Which means that we’ll be…alone…and we can be as loud as we want…
The locals at the Gas Station told us to stay away from…what did they call this place?
I think it was…”CAMP BLOOD”!! MUHAHAHAHA!!!
Cut it out Brad! You’re lucky I think you’re cute.
There, tents up!
Is that the only thing that’s…up?
(They make out – A LOT. Suddenly, they hear a twig snap in the forest.)
What was that??
Don’t know. I’m going to take my shirt off and look around in the forest.
Ok, I’ll get into my underwear, turn on the lamp in our tent and create a sexy silhouette of myself.
Be right back baby. You better be ready for me!
I’ll be waiting…
(Tiffany seductively undresses and waits in the tent as she listens to Brad enter the forest. There is the crunching of grass and twigs, followed by an odd sounding “Thunk”; as if a butcher’s knife was slashed into a thick steak.)
Brad? BRAD? Hurry up would you? Or, do I have to start the party without you…?
(Brad’s head pops in through the flap of the tent.)
There you are! I thought you…!!!!!!!!!
(Tiffany sees the machete which has replaced Brad’s neck; and the large, foul smelling jacket arm that holds it. Brad’s head oozes off the blade, landing in Tiffany’s lap.)
(Jason Voorhees, now in plain view, stares menacingly with his good eye at Tiffany through his battered hockey mask as he raises his machete.)
(Tiffany’s screams are stopped by a sound similar to that of a bat smashing into a rotten pumpkin. Her screams echo throughout the lake, mingling with those of so many others. A full moon reflects peacefully on the surface of Crystal Lake.)
(SPOILER ALERT!) That is basically 90 percent of what your typical Friday the 13th movie consists of (END SPOILER ALERT!). I’m a huge fan of slasher/horror movies; From A Nightmare on Elm Street to Halloween and all the others in between. But my favourite has to be by far the Friday the 13th franchise and it’s all because of Jason Voorhees. Sure there’s Freddy Kruger, the burnt psycho who kills sexy teenagers in their dreams, or even Michael Myers (Yeah Baby!) who really hates Jamie Lee Curtis. But there’s something about Jason that, for a split second, makes my blood run cold.
Maybe it’s the mask…
…or maybe it’s an underlining fear I have for the game of hockey. At any rate, he’s a horror icon, killing more helpless victims than Freddy and Michael combined (according to this link http://www.heyuguys.com/the-result-freddy-krueger-vs-jason-voorhees-vs-michael-myers/ )! So, naturally, in this brilliant age of video games that we currently live in, you’d think that a game based off of these slasher flicks would be a sure win right?
When First We Met…
Jason X, the “X” being the Roman Numeral 10 (as this is the 10th film) and also because it sounds cool and X-treme!!! Whoaoaoaaa!! Anyway, when I heard that there was a movie about Jason in space, I had to see it. As you might guess, it’s ridiculous, and so-so, but there are some fun kills and come on people, HE’S IN SPACE!!! Needless to say, after seeing this I was in the mood for some classic Friday the 13th, so I headed over to the local flea market to look for some cheap copies of the previous films. As I perused the stalls I swung by my favourite video game spot and found this…
WHAAAAT?!?!? Are you kidding me? There’s a NES game of Friday the 13th!?!? Done and done! Look at the cover! There’s Jason ready to hack some poor unfortunate sexy person to death with the words “Destroy Jason…IF YOU CAN!!!” So, I guess that means I play as one of his potential sexy victims, eh? Interesting…those rainbow colours in the back ground are kind of out of place though…whatever I’m buying it. So, $10 later, I went home and tried this bad boy out. Now, obviously, I wasn’t expecting ground breaking graphics or anything, seeing as this is for the NES, but I was very optimistic that the films could be properly represented in video game form.
You are greeted with this as soon as the power turns on.
A knife is stabbed into Jason’s Hockey Mask followed by the title. Ok, not bad. Pressing start brings you to a map of the Crystal Lake camp grounds and the faces of 6 Camp Counsellors who you can play as: George, Mark, Paul, Laura, Debbie and Crissy. Ok…George, he looks like a happy fellow.
After you pick who ever you want to play as, a shot of a fire place appears and tells you that you need to light all of them in the camp….ok, why? Shouldn’t I, you know, get to a phone, phone the police?? No? Light some cosy fires instead? Yup, this sounds like something I’d see in the movie. At least it’s staying true to the source material so far. You’re brought to a side scrolling view and are attacked by zombies…
…wait, ZOMBIES??? Where the hell did zombies come from!?!? I attack it with…A ROCK?? I’m throwing rocks at zombies??? Suddenly an alarm goes off and a 1 minute timer starts to count down beside the word children. I have one minute to get to the children before…hold on, is Jason going to kill the children!?!? Not cool Jason, not cool! Stick to the sexy teenagers! I press start and the map pops up, a house is flashing which tells me I have to get there in less than a minute. I’m terrible with directions so, naturally, I go the wrong way first. It takes 3 rocks to kill a zombie so I find it faster to just jump over them. Despite George being so freaking slow, I get to the house with seconds to spare and go inside.
The game turns to I guess you could call it an “Over the shoulder” perspective. The children are lined up against the wall when I enter and say “Thank You!” But…where’s Jason? You navigate the house and its different rooms by moving forward, left and right. I get to an empty side room; I look in front of me, then to the right, then left, then back, then to the left…A high pitch scream comes out of the TV and Jason appears!!!!
Ummmm……Why is he wearing a purple jump suit? And why does he have matching blue shoes, gloves and mask? I’m more horrified by his fashion sense than anything else right now. Jason comes up to me and punches me in the face! I’m down a third of my life bar! CHRIST!! I start throwing rocks, some land AND DO NO DAMAGE. AAAHHH!!! I try to dodge as best I can but George ends up being the first victim to fall before Jason.
I’m able to pick another counsellor; (You’re up Laura!) the alarm starts again and I have to go to the same cabin and fight Jason! All I have are rocks to save the children from a giant mutated homicidal maniac! Needless to say, George, Laura and Paul fall just as quickly. Then I remember that I have to light the fire places. I ignore the alarms (sorry kids!) and try to find a house with a fire place. Once I do, I realize I have no way of lighting it! How the hell do I light these things?? The number of children has dropped in half; I head outside and start killing zombies, maybe they have a lighter? They do!! I guess they all used to smoke or something…so, still ignoring the alarms, I start lighting the fire places….but once the alarm stops, I notice that the number beside children is 0…then this appears.
Oh GOD!! There’s no way the camp is going to re-hired me next year! Starting over, I go all out with my rocks against Jason…needless to say all the counsellors die noble but terrible deaths, which brings up this…
It’s to the point, I’ll give it that. I give it a few more tries, exploring the cave and forests; sometimes, Jason appears while you’re walking around where he, you guessed it, murders the hell out of you. No matter what I did it was always the same. Jason Kills; Jason Lives. So, realizing that I had once again made a poor financial investment, I gave up on this game. Keeping it more for the sake of a conversation starter than an actual playable game…
Meanwhile in the Present…
When I thought back to my first time playing this game, even though I wasn’t able to beat it (or make any kind of progress with it for that matter) I still thought it was fun. Not “Good Game” fun, but fun like a bad slasher flick. The acting is terrible, the monster and props are extremely shoddy, but it’s so bad it’s great! I couldn’t wait to take another…STAB…at it! HA!……….sorry…
I played a few times and was met with the same bluntly funny game over messages. So, I decided I needed to find a walkthrough, as I truly had no clue how to “Destroy Jason”. I ended up finding this short and to the point video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mcq9YGG6vVA) which explained a lot of details that would help me later on; like the fact that there are actually other weapons than rocks you can get as well as potions to increase health and that each counsellor has different skills; some are better at jumping or are faster or can throw weapons a greater distance than others. One factoid that was an amazing help was that during Jason confrontations, your character can quickly dodge Jason’s attacks ala PunchOut!! Also, the point of the game is to defeat Jason 3 times over 3 days…so the last level is Sunday the 15th??? Or do you start fighting him on Wednesday the 11th? It also answered one very important question: the purpose of lighting the fire places is to get a flash light, which you use in the cave to find a secret path, which leads you to getting a torch, which is apparently the most powerful weapon to use against Jason, each hit taking away one bar of Jason’s health.
BUT, there is a much simpler route of getting this torch. It involves getting a lighter (by killing 3 or 4 zombies) then a knife and a key (which you get by randomly jumping around the side scrolling parts until they appear, which isn’t very often. This is also the case for potions.) and then going into a cottage near the forest. Inside, you find a note; when picked up (I had no clue you could pick up things) it reads “Go into the forest”…Who wrote this? That’s a terrible idea!! Well, I go in, and eventually find a cabin with another note that tells me that Fire hurts Jason…..great, thanks…..then, when I go back to the cabin where I found the first note, there is a torch, fully lit, lying on the ground! And I can do this with all the counsellors! This sure beats running around the camp lighting fire places while Jason kills my friends and the children!!
I was surprised to find that there’s actually quite a bit of strategy to this game. While off getting torches, Jason is still on a rampage, so I have to switch to another counsellor to deal with Jason while the other gets the torch. The dodging technique works like a charm, and I discover that Jason will go away after you hit him 8 or 10 times with rocks, where you’ll get this ominous message…
So, I get the torch; have several Jason run-ins and DEFEAT HIM! But then…
Dun Dun DUN!!! “But I threw, like, 50 torches at him!!” The video tells me that on day 2, I can get a sweater which cuts damage I take in HALF (That’s some quality knitting right there!) located in the cave. I apparently don’t need a flashlight because all secret paths are marked by chipped rocks. So, what, the game is just screwing with me? Making me do unnecessary tasks which will give Jason more time to kill!?!? Fool me once…But whose sweater is it you ask? It’s Jason’s mothers, and to get it you have to defeat…Jason’s mother…but isn’t she dead you ask? You’re correct! Her head was cut off in an act of self defence in the very first movie (since she is the killer, NOT Jason). And if you think defeating a headless corps is a walk in the park, then maybe this will explain things…
YOU MUST FIGHT HER HEAD. It flies around the screen and dive bombs you (and it’s about half the size of you…how big was Jason’s mom!?!?) but with the torches as weapons and carful dodging, she’s not that hard. You can face her once each day, but really the only day that she gives you anything worthwhile is the second one, so why bother? You put on the sweater and you start flashing. Just what I need to hide from the murderer!
In the mean time I keep up my strategy of distracting Jason while I equip the other counsellors, but Jason is faster now and switches between an axe and a machete for a weapon! I lose Debbie but in the end, my torch bearers defeat him once again! Then…
Aw for Christ… fine! DAY 3: Jason is even more aggressive! He’s next to impossible to fight in a cabin thanks to his enhanced speed, I lost Paul but not before he took a chunk out of his health with torches! I decide the best place it to take this fight outside, where Jason’s fighting style is him just throwing machetes at you, which are easier to dodge. The video explains that Jason moves counter clockwise around the camp; stopping in every house along the way; so I manage to set up an ambush.
I send in Mark with his flashing shirt and torches and do some serious damage…but Jason gets the upper hand at the last minute and I’m dead. I’m down to 2 counsellors, George with rocks and Laura the incredibly slow girl with a torch. She gets a beating like nothing else, but my superior fire power wins in the end and I FINALLY DEFEAT JASON!!!………………..or did I…………….
…………….Huh?????? That’s the end. In less than an hour, I’m able to witness the terrible ending for this terrible game. “We’re not telling!” Shut up you smug bastards! It’s bad enough I had to sit through this, now you rob me of a proper ending? 8 CHILDREN AND 4 SEXY TEENAGERS DIED!!! Have you no shame????!!!
Once I was able to get an understanding of the controls and, you know, what I was supposed to do in the game, it wasn’t as terrible as I remembered. It’s still bad, don’t get me wrong, but I found that having to divide your attention between different counsellors to fight Jason and gather power ups, was a unique idea, it just could have been executed a hell of a lot better. The music is repetitive and a little too upbeat for a game based off of a slasher flick, but it never over shadowed the awful game play. Should you get it, sure, it’s fun for a while, and it’s one of those things that you can tell people you have it and how bad it is, but don’t pay over $10 for it.
I’m actually surprised someone hasn’t created a new game of Friday the 13th. You could play as Jason and have to stalk your victims throughout Crystal Lake, much like how you can sneak up on people in Assassins Creed, or even include outlandishly brutal ways to kill people and scoring bonus points for how over the top you can make it, like in “MadWorld”, or the “Manhunt” series. Plus with today’s graphics, you could actually make something legitimately scary.
So what do you think? Are you going down to beautiful Crystal Lake anytime soon? Does this want to make you try other slasher flick games like the Nightmare on Elm Street one?? How do you like my script? Sound off in the comments below!
Well, that’s the last of my NES game for now. Next time I dust off my Sega Genesis and play number #18 on my list! It’s the one time proclaimed “Mario Killer” himself, he’s rude, blue and he’s got attitude, but will he stand the test of time? Stay tuned to find out! Thanks for reading!