Saturday, 24 September 2011

Alex Kidd in Miracle World (Master System)

This was the first of the Alex Kidd games, and apparently the best selling game on the Sega Master System. Possibly because it actually came built into a lot of Master Systems.

My console came with Sonic the Hedgehog though, and I know virtual nothing about this game.

I guess we're starting off on a forest level then.

Whoa, not a tree in sight, and the level doesn't want to scroll to the right. It seems that I'm actually going down into this cave.

Super Mario Bros. (NES)
Alex Kidd's arch rival Super Mario Bros. was released a year earlier, and graphically they're almost on the same level. Alex Kidd has more colours for each character, but Mario has a nicer palette and I prefer the art style.

Musically though, Mario 1 destroys Alex Kidd's level one theme. It's tolerable enough so far, but I can imagine this short loop getting unbearable pretty fast.

Star blocks can be punched with Alex's giant hands for cash. Boulders contain nothing but disappointment.

I wonder what's in that question mark block though.

Some kind of treasure! Seems nice, I'll take it. If the owner previous owner had really wanted to hold onto it so badly they wouldn't have sealed it in a star block and dumped it in a cave.

I tried jumping back up, but it seems that this is a one way cave. It only scrolls down.

Enemies can be punched too! Excellent.

Oh, I've screwed this one up, he can't crawl. By the time I'd punched away the boulders underneath, the money had vanished. I guess whatever they use for currency here vaporises when exposed to the air for too long.

It seems that enemies can't be jumped on. So now I know. Fortunately I reappear just before where I died.

Hey, another question mark box! I'm checking that out.

You're not treasure.

Okay, it turns out that the thing was an enemy. So that's another thing I've learned.

A quick game over screen, and a replay of the first section and I'm back.

Damn, another one just sprang up from the miserable block.

I don't like these guys much. The rest of the enemies so far have just patrolled back and forth horizontally, but this creature chases me around until I can get him off screen. Or he manages to kill me.

I'm still on the same level but the music has changed! Alex Kidd is not entirely without mercy.

It won't let me jump up to grab the cash, and it won't let me swim off screen. What am I supposed to do?

Oh I see, I just have to swim closer to the ground, and then it lets me swim to the right. Mario never had to deal with this crap.

The frog spat out lethal bubble bullets at me! That's not just impossible, it's downright rude.

Though I should be able to avoid them next time by staying below the frog until I'm close enough to beat it to death with my fists.

Another mystery block. So far I've had one give me treasure and one send a monster out to chase me down and kill me... I've got to take the chance and open it up. I'm too curious.

It was a killer monster! Again.

I guess I've learned my lesson about breaking mystery blocks.

Okay now that's done with I'm onto level 2, the green hill zone.

But first, shopping!

But I don't know what I like! I've already found some mysterious treasure and it hasn't done much to help, how can I be sure this will be any different? Wait, is that thing on the left a motorbike? Okay yeah I'll take that.

Fine, I'll take everything, I've got the cash. For all I know I'll need it.

The bike is awesome, just cutting through enemies and obstacles alike. I'll be able to slice through this level on this thing provided my bike doesn't come across a bottomless pit and decides to leap down it.

Okay, it turns out that floating red balls actually aren't power ups or collectables. Their true purpose is to knock me off my bike so I fall on a scorpion and die.

No continues, that's all I get. I'm tempted to give up here, but fuck it... let's try this again one more time from the start.


AFTER REPLAYING TWO LEVELS.


He looks more like "FIST HEAD". I guess this is a boss fight then?

...or a rock, paper scissors fight? Seriously?

Ew, freaky giant hands. Do I really have to beat this guy at rock, paper, scissors to continue the game? That's pretty amazingly bad game design, making a boss fight entirely luck based.

Stone Head wins, and Alex is turned to stone and dies. The end.


I can't believe I just lost a platformer because of rock, paper, scissors. That's just amazing. Well, uh, onto the next game then I suppose.

3 comments:

  1. There is some kind of pattern to the rock-paper-scissors game, but I can't recall what it is right now...I think they will never use the same choice twice in a row, or something like that.

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  2. This was one of my favourite games and kept me up for a few nights... classic platformer :)

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