Super Nintendo, NES & GameBoy tomfoolery;

(back to article list)

NES Obscurity Quicky!

As we wrap up 2015, here's my last article on games I sold long ago and bought again recently...though unlike the others on this list, this time "recently" equates to, oh, 3-4 years ago.
Also, unlike the others, this is a game that needs little introduction; almost everyone knows this late-in-the-system's-life attempted masterpiece, the game that SEEMS like it must have been made by someone else (Capcom or Konami), but was a return to the early days of the NES, when Nintendo ruled the roost of software for their own hardware...I am of course talking about:
What's this game about?
Young boy is dropped off on an island,
talk to the locals,
And sets out on a great adventure into the cave of monsters!
But how can he triumph?!
Yo-Yos! And slugs! Why did it have to be slugs?!
What did I remember about it?
Well, I mainly remember when I was trying to beat the game in about 1997, and I got to the part where you had to "SOAK THE MAP IN WATER TO GET THE CODE." That wasn't an in-game action...they were telling you to take one of the pieces of paper which came in the original game's box, and expose its invisible/moisture-appearing ink by putting water on it.
This was late enough that I had a second-hand copy of the game (and no manual or map), but early enough that I didn't have the internet to turn to, complete with its 5,000 webpages that would tell me the proper 3-digit number to enter. So what did we do? Well, over the course of the next week, Player 2 and I tried EVERY combination until we got it right, marking each series-of-10-s as we tried them:
C-c-c-combo Breaker! (click for a larger view)
...and the sad thing was, we jumped around a bit: the number was about 3/4ths of the way from the end, but we jumped to the end and worked we tried over 90% of the combinations!
Generally though, I remember it being NEAR the gold standard of Nintendo-produced Action/Adventure games -- the Zelda series. The towns were fun (and more fun than Zelda II), but the Legend of Zelda-like action gameplay was less fun.
What impression did it make this time?
The Overworld and Towns elements were fun:
the Overwold-exploring stuff was better than Zelda II, even though they were mainly just there to be the brief connectors between dungeons.
The Towns and NPCs were also more fun than Zelda II; a better sense of setting, but again, it's a much smaller/more linear world.
So, they were fun but relatively small and linear, leaving the bulk of the game to the Legend of Zelda-like dungeon fights. And as for these dungeons -- the only action part of the game, and most of the game by bulk -- the Block-based movement got old pretty quickly.
Your character is bigger than Link, it combines a slow-moving square 'grid'. Each time you tap the d-pad in a different direction, you first CHANGE direction, THEN you start moving.
Also, combat is kind of lame:
Your primary weapon (and the only one with unlimited uses) is kind of lame: it's a yo-yo that has a decent two-square reach and can be thrown quickly...but to do so you have to press the attack button rapid-fire like you're in a shoot-em-up. Combine that with even small enemies requiring 3-5 hits (and not bouncing-back when struck), and it makes Legend of Zelda's carefully-timed sword-stabs seem inspired.
You'll find mediocre alternate weapons in various dungeons,
but they come with relatively few charges (10-25 per pick-up). This may only be enough to kill a few enemies (even if you never miss), but you'll probably end up saving them for the bosses...again, it does little to make combat more interesting, compared to Legend of Zelda's Boomerang, Arrows, Bombs and Wands. While switching between alternate weapons is easy enough, there's also some magic items which are activated in an unnecessarily complex way; again, they are probably meant to be hoarded for boss fights.
Then there's the jumping, jumping, jumping. I think I've decided that nothing kills the "Adventure" side of an Action/Adventure game like needlessly grafting platformer-jumping onto it. To Star Tropics's credit, it generally doesn't let you wander off the platforms into the water, and it uses jumping for a lot of "step on a specific pressure plate to unlock stuff" puzzle elements.
But since much of the dungeons require you to use your 1-block-spanning jump to leap over water, there are plenty of opportunities to launch a fatal jump in the wrong direction and lose a life.
So, all in all...thumbs down (8 of them?)
I remember I played all the way through it back in the day, but this time around I gave up when I lost to Boss 2.
...I failed the test :(
— carlmarksguy, 2015-12-28
I had the same problem finding that number without the letter! Thanks, Funcoland. I just started at the bottom and worked up so I did do the majority of numbers, but unfortunately I didn't have anyone to delegate the work to, and I sat there for far too long, doing 100-200 a day until I hit the jackpot. I will never forget that number.
Ahh, Funcoland, good times. Yeah, and the actual number itself being one that is shorthand for something's name, so, being one of the 10 or 20 numbers between 100 and 999 that's almost a proper name? Even more galling.
(back to article list)

more me!

latest comments

6/26/23: Get Legendary, get lucky...and go to the DANGER ZONE! by CarlMarksGuy
6/23/23: Get Legendary, get lucky...and go to the DANGER ZONE! by Marla Singer
12/2/22: By the Programming of Grey Skull! by CarlMarksGuy
12/2/22: Faux American BADA$$ by CarlMarksGuy


Super Nintendo


Up from (Super) Obscurity (87)
NES Obscurity Quicky! (49)
Smorgasbored! (30)
Boy in Gray (24)
Cover Art Theatre (24)
killer Vaniller filler (14)
Four Reflections for Filler (7)

Short + Sweet
New Ancient Wisdom (383)
Shenanigans &/or Shinola (33)
Picture-in-Picture (22)
Miscquoted (21)
Pointless Point Pointers (11)
Made Up Facts! (6)


Bats/Cats/Rats/Gnats (33)
Beat-em-ups (44)
Bees Will End You (11)
Button Zone Defense (7)
CarlMarksGiger (5)
Censors on Maximum! (6)
Character DeCreation (7)
CHOPPAH (get to da) (8)
Cover Art...yeah. (9)
CRAZYGRAMPS-Approved (10)
Cross Hairs (14)
CTRL-ALT-Sports (39)
Cut the Cut Scenes! (50)
Delicious Power-Ups! (19)
Digitized Photos=Bad (34)
Dojo Mojo (15)
e-Pistolary Whipped (2)
Faces in the Crowd (8)
Fighty-Fight-Fight (39)
Foreground Peekaboo (3)
Form of: Plat! (86)
Fun with Cybernetics (28)
Glitched Pictures (12)
Go for the Gold! (19)
GOLF!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (4)
Grappling Hook-y (5)
Gritty Urbs & Spices (37)
Haberdasher Galaxy (19)
Haiku You! (11)
Hellish Moppet (24)
Hi, Explosives! (16)
High Fashion (43)
I Give Up! (59)
I have bad taste (18)
Ice is Nice (14)
Informative Info! (46)
It's a Holiday! (12)
Jumpy-Stabby (43)
Keep on Truckin' (12)
Kids today! :P (15)
Laser-Powered Fist (10)
LevHELL Select (14)
Melting Flooring (6)
Mini(scule) Games (12)
Mission: Implausible (26)
Moto-cross/-cycle (14)
Movie Cash-In! (59)
Muscles n' Mullets (20)
no pants (19)
Not the BOSS of me! (21)
Oh, Aliens did it. (25)
Paid Celeb Spokesman (31)
Pigging Out (8)
Pirates &/or Ninjas (47)
Player 2 I <3 You (17)
Port-a-Porty (29)
Prehistoria Euphoria (18)
Puzzling, yes? (27)
Racing a La Mode 7 (11)
Random Spotlight! (15)
Rasslin'!!! (7)
Recursive Recursion (7)
Rushing Beat-ings (8)
Scan Th Funny Manual (3)
Scoot or Die (7)
Shabby Olive Drabby (20)
Shoot-em-U/D/L/R (62)
Shpiiidah! (10)
Snap th Game's a Job (13)
Spiky Apocalypse! (22)
Stupor Heroes! (16)
Sum-Sum-Summertime! (9)
Swords, Elves, Etc (32)
THAT'S how you win? (3)
The Grating Outdoors (24)
The InterNOT (2)
The Name Game! (18)
The Time Warp Excuse (18)
Toon In! (31)
Top 10 or so! (23)
U Stink But I <3 U (9)
Un-licensed to kill (22)
Uneven Challenge (18)
Unwieldly Projectile (33)
Warp Door Mazes (5)
Weird Animals (67)
What a scoop! (10)
What's the Password? (20)
Wheels + Feet = Go (7)
Whirled Tour! (13)
Woebegotten Sequels (21)
X marks the XTREME! (9)


elsewhere on the web...
Flying Omelette
Rage Quitter 87
Random Hoo Haas