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Up from (Super) Obscurity

Last week, in our two-part look at Crappy Winter Sports Games on the Super Nintendo, we examined Tommy Moe's Winter Extreme: Skiing & Snowboarding, but this week we've got a treat another game for you! Not satisfied to limit ourselves to JUST SKIING (and a little bit of snowboarding, which functions identically to skiing) today we're looking at an entire Winter Olympics Of Events! But don't worry -- as required by law for all winter videogames, you'll have a pair of skis on almost all the time.
So, on to Lillehammer!
Yeah, we're going to The XVII Olympic Winter Games Lillehammer like it's 1994! And you know what an Olympics game means, don't you? That's right! MANY DIFFERENT MINIGAMES! My copy of NES Track and Field II (which the dude at the pawn shop gave me for free because they had too many copies of it) is crying now because I spent money on a SNES game that does basically the same thing...except instead of Track and Field this is going to be Skiing and Skiing!
Or is it? Well, let's fire up the menu and see what we've got...and more importantly, can I customize my olympic ski-dude? That Tommy Moe Howard game from last week lost a lot of points for lack of character customization!
Let's see...there's "Training Session", but that doesn't let me name my character. How about...huh, "Mini Olympics"? Oh, cool, that lets me pick any or all of the 10 events I care about, but doesn't force me to play the others. And more importantly...
I can totally customize my character!
Ok, here we are, Player 1 has been re-named "Weft Snvusto," the home-town boy from Finland (or wherever that off-centered blue cross on a white background is). He comes from the small village of Maeidouppengrad and has skiied for 17 years on the Maeidouppengrad Ski Bowling team.
Ok, great; now what kind of wintery mischief can Weft Snvusto get up to? Let's see the list of events!
Ooo, there's quite a few of them...and only 7 out of 10 of them involve skiing!
It looks like there's some tobogganing or bobsledding or ice skating, then those 7 different flavors of skiing and...
Wait a minute. Is that a skier with a gun?
Second-to-last row, far right? Above the ice skater?
It's TOTALLY a skier with a gun!
Oh, this is going to be the BEST WINTER OLYMPICS EVER!
Wefty's Got a Gun
Alright! Evidently the gun event is called the "Biathlon," because it contains two events: the skiing part and the shooting part. I can't wait to see what Weft Snvusto looks like!
Um, huh.
Well, the gun's cool, the blowing snow is cool...the all-white outfit? Not so cool.
The XVII Olympic Winter Games Lillehammer 1994 Fun Fact: your character name isn't saved after you press the reset button!
Ok, so I'm back and to change nationality, I have to enter a whole new name and...wait a minute, I hit a button at random and the little "scrappy little boy with a winter hat" logo turned into a "goofy little girl with a really long braid" logo...does that mean what I think it means?
I can customize my character's GENDER as well as name and nationality! Even Brunswick World didn't have that much programming power, and there I could choose what shirt I wanted to wear!
This calls for a celebration intensely stupid character! And that's just what we got:
meet "Ventrical Xbo"
Ventrical's last name is pronounced "Crossbow;" because her first name is so long, the official XVII Olympic Winter Games Lillehammer 1994 entry form didn't have space for her full family name!
Ventrical's family was the inventer of the anti-vampire crossbow, which fires a bolt thick enough to pierce Dracula's heart. Her great-great-great-great grand-auntie sold some of them to either Simon Belmont or Hugh Jackman's Van Helsing or [I'm not paying attention and didn't complete this sentence]!
Anyway, the Xbo family has fallen on hard times, and had to move to...uh, whatever nation has the flag with the red and white peppermint stripes and a little birdy like the weapon power-up from Contra in the middle. Their only hope of moving back to their ancestral lands in Transylvania involves winning 10 gold medals in the 1994 Winter Olympic Games XVII, which happen to be happening in Lillehammer during this SNES cartridge! What are the odds of that happening!
I'm doubly excited to see what the fashionable contestants from Peppermint-Contra-Spreadgun-land are wearing, AND to see how the svelt lady-skiers differ from their brawny male counterparts!
Oh. Huh. Well, I guess everyone pretty much looks the same in those little ski get-ups. But more importantly, Ventrical's adopted nation of Peppermint-Contra-Spreadgun-land has a sharp sense of style, fashioning their olympic garb after the X-Wing Fighter Pilot's jumpsuits!
It is now acceptable to play the Biathlon!
...and actually, it's one of the best minigame sports games I've ever played in all of Track and Field II and this game. Gone is the moronic "mash the B button to simulate the sporting endeavor!" Instead for the cross-country skiing half of this event, you have to press "left" then "right" then "left, all in rhythm with the little pointer which slides across the "green YELLOW green" bar above your skier. As you repeat the rhythm successfully, you/Weft/Ventrical builds up speed; miss the change-over point and you lose momentum.
And then you get to shoot stuff! That's no guitar on Ventrical's back, it's a 30-aught-6 (or something else gun-sounding), and after each third of the course is over, you flop down on the ground, or crouch ackwardly or just stand there, and blaze away at 5 "connect-four"-like targets in the distance!
You see the general area from behind your skier/assassin, and a close-up view of the crosshairs down-range. In true Golgo 13 fashion, the crosshair wobbles and drifts based on the imprecision of putting a slug through a 1994 Lillehammerian olympic target/defecting Russian anti-satelite scientist at 100 yards, but with nerves of steel and a little luck, you'll be knocking down two or three of those five targets with your five shots every time!
Then, of course, its back to more cross-country skiing.
But if your marks(wo)manship is good enough, you may be seeing THIS at the Lillehammer Olympics After Party!
The Ancestral home of the Xbo Family is as good as ours!
Also there's 9 other games on this cartridge
Unfortunately I don't have time to talk about them, but some of them were kind of okay. Here's a summary!
After a promising start on the Slalom, Ventrical crashes into the woods or is mauled by a yeti or something.

When Luge-ing, it's important not to tip over onto your face.

Another try at the slalom; veering too hard to the left is also not a good solution.

Bobsledding tip: see Luge-ing tip. Also, Ventrical's co-pilot has a shapely bottom!

If you get too good a start in the speed-skating (like before they've blown the whistle), they'll probably disqualify you. Don't worry though, they're just jealous.

Ventrical Xbo vomits in shame at doing poorly on the ski jump*


*: Not pictured: Skeletor; he's too busy watchin' Tommy Moe Ski and/or Snowboard!
— carlmarksguy, 2012-02-17
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