So here we are in the final week of October 2015's Ignominous Mummy Month
, where I vowed to present the NES and SNES's least-exalted living dead princes of Egypt. So far we've seen them relegated to:
- Pirate Ship Cabin-Boys,
- the Pre-Mutation Forms of lobsters and parrots
- and Chain-Gang Ducks
But one thing we haven't seen? 16-Bit Mummies!
I knew there was a reason I said NES and SNES mummies...
I say this from a biased position of great fondness, but Zombies Ate My Neighbors is a damn fine game:
It's a run-and-gun, but it has lots of fun equipment and enemies. There's lots of different weapons and enemies, but each enemy's vulnerabilities are easy to learn and remember. It's a hostage-rescue-game, but there's a fair margin for error built in. There are a lot of levels, but there are enough combinations of themes and enemies that it seldom seems repetitive.
And most importantly,
It all takes place in a goofy B-Movie Monster wonderland
(mundane or exotic in turn)
where you rescue dopey neighbors from campy monsters!
It's like Maniac Mansion meets Gauntlet: a great treat.
Of course, the game does have some flaws: the passwords don't store any of your gear (making the late-game passwords somewhat useless), and the bigger and bigger boss-type enemies soak up more and more ridiculous amounts of damage, making for boring boss-fights. But all the same, these flaws mainly drag down the final 1/3rd of the levels, so there's a lot of game to enjoy before that.
And did I mention that it supports two-player simultaneous play?
Anyway, having achieved my long-standing goal of summarizing my love for this game, we can turn to the task at hand: looking at the way in which it gives mummies short shrift:
And perhaps they're the Least Ignominius of the Bunch:
Pyramid of Fear!
They first appear in level 6; not bad, considering the game consists of about 36 levels (give or take, for optional bonus levels).
Mummy Combat Abilities: Chasing you down, messing you up.
There's several different "toughnesses" of enemies: the spindly ones (the ubiquitous zombies, and a few other less common dudes) die in one hit from almost any weapon.
Then there's the mid-level monsters: they may be weak to one or two of the rarer armaments, but they can still be taken down with repeated shots from common gear (though you better run between shots, because if you stand your ground you'll get hit at least once).
Like about half of the game's menagerie, the Mummies are mid-level monsters. As such, they're about as hardy as the evil dolls, gill-men and werewolves; not too bad.
Mummy Weakness: Heavy Weapons, or repeated small weapons.
As described above, mummies can be taken down with any weapon in at most 5 or 6 shots, but can be stopped quickly with some of the game's more high-powered equipment: the Protective Cross or Bazooka, for example.
The Mummy Guards... Their tombs!
(Oh, also Tourists and Explorers)
They're here to assemble pyramids and strangle doughy Americans -- and they're all out of giant limestone blocks!
Like all enemies in the game, they're hunting for the neighbor/victims and you. And in the Egyptian-Tomb-Themed levels, the neighbors that tend to show up are predominantly Tourists and Explorers (egyptologists?).
Well, that's the end of my Ignominious Mummies Month...
...AND I got at least one article done on time!
Have a happy Halloween, see you next October for another goofily convoluted theme-month; and tune in next week for more (un-themed) video game babble!
— carlmarksguy, 2015-10-26