Tuesday, March 30, 2010


What the hell is up with these guys?? Let me start by saying I loved the game Alfred Chicken. In fact, I even wrote a guide for it.

Now let's look at the list of NES games released by them in 1990:

-Miracle Piano Teaching System
-The Last Starfighter
-Mad Max
-Gauntlet II
-Days of Thunder
-Dirty Harry

Now if you remove the best game of the bunch (arguably RoadBlasters) and the worst game of the bunch (arguably Days of Thunder) you still have some pretty shitty games here.

RoadBlasters is fun for awhile, but gets extremely repetitive. This is one of the few games my sister would actually play back in the day, so I have somewhat fond memories of it. And this is the best game of the bunch.

I wrote a guide for The Last Starfighter, but for a game that looks like a shooter, it's more like a strategy game. One that isn't very fun. One hit deaths and not really having control of your ship make for one hell of a rocky experience.

Dirty Harry has one of the coolest endings in any NES game, as it is a completely digitized vocal monologue from Dirty Harry himself. However the other 99% of the game is just dreadful.

Gauntlet II has no ending to speak of, as the game just randomly starts generating levels after awhile. How the hell can a quest game that came out in 1990 just keep you endlessly looping??

Mad Max...I rented this several times back in the day and it gave me fits. You can't even use the final password, as you need the crossbow from the previous fucking level to beat the final boss.

Infiltrator isn't that bad...unless you are in the flying segments. I had to use one of Zach Meston's NES strategy guides to even have a clue to how to navigate these areas of the game and even then I was almost clueless.

Loopz is a decent puzzle game, though it gets nearly impossible as you go on. M.U.L.E. is an old computer simulation game. I've never really heard anyone talk about this game in NES circles, so I guess it falls into a niche category, kind of like the Koei games.

Don't even get me started on Miracle Piano.

Has any company ever had a worse lineup than this for a whole calendar year of releases???

At least they redeemed themselves in '91.

Oh wait. No they didn't.

Monday, March 22, 2010


I suppose you'd look like you were squeezing out the biggest turd of your life too if you were shot out of a Mayan temple all the way up to an island in the sky.

Can anyone think of an older main character in an NES game other than Stanley?

Monday, March 15, 2010

Game endings

So as most of you know, my main reason for beating games is to document the endings. If you haven't seen my NES game endings guide, it is here.

I don't think you can direct link to a particular FAQ on that site, but you'll find it there regardless.

I started working on that guide almost 10 years ago. It was first submitted to gamefaqs in November 2003. I beat a ton of NES games before that time and unfortunately only wrote down the endings in a notebook, but I've been enjoying going through a lot of them again and for a couple of them, like Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde, there were actually multiple endings, some of which I didn't get the first time through.

Also, some of the games I put endings for when I first started the guide are really skimpy, so I've been going through several games a 3rd time just so I can rewrite those endings and flesh them out a bit.

There are also a ton of Famicom endings, as well as endings for the Famicom Disk System, PAL NES games, pirates, homebrews and those wily Sachen games, that nobody seems to be able to concretely categorize. If anybody doesn't see an ending in the guide that you would like to know about, please let me know. My ultimate goal is to get EVERY NES ending documented. It will get done, assuming I don't perish in the next 10 years or so.

Anyway, here's a sneak peak at some of the games that will be included in my next update:

-Advanced Dungeons & Dragons: Dragons of Flame (J)
-Advanced Dungeons & Dragons: Pool of Radiance
-Bandit Kings of Ancient China
-Bonk's Adventure
-Captain Comic, The Adventures of
-Castle of Deceit
-Cobra Triangle
-Deep Dungeon (FDS)
-George Foreman's KO Boxing
-Kalin no Tsurugi (FDS)
-Legacy of the Wizard
-Locksmith (Sachen)
-Lutter (FDS)
-Orb 3-D
-Pipe 5 (Sachen)
-Panda World (Pirate)
-Penguin & Seal, The (Sachen)
-Rock 'n' Ball
-Roger Clemens MVP Baseball
-Rollerblade Racer
-Terminator, The
-Terminator 2 - Judgment Day
-Thunderbolt 2 (Pirate)
-Ultima: Warriors of Destiny
-Valkyrie no Bouken (J)
-Ys (J)
-Ys II - Ancient Ys Vanished - The Final Chapter (J)

I usually update twice a year: once in June and once in December. If I get another 10 games beaten in the next month I may update it in sometime before June, but then again I always want to keep beating "one more game" before I update and just keep pushing back the date.

If you are an ending freak like myself, I suggest you check out this page:


ReyVGM supplied most of those visual ending pics, which are much more stimulating to look at than my crappy descriptions. He hasn't updated since the Patriots won their last Super Bowl, but he has assured me he has one monster update left in him at some point down the line.

If anyone knows what this says, I'd love to know.

Thursday, March 11, 2010


...to my blog that is.

ArnoldRimmer83 recommended this FDS game Lutter to me in the comments section of my last blog, so I figured I'd give this a try tonight. I played through Castlequest for the NES a few months back so I could record the ending for my endings guide on gamefaqs...actually, shit, I think that was more like a year ago. Someone asked me the other day if I ever skied...skiied...how the hell is that spelled?? Anyway, I replied "I went about 10 years ago, my freshman year in college." They looked at me funny and then I thought about it for a second: my freshman year in college was '91-'92. Let's try 19 years ago! Am I losing my mind?? Has time really gone by this Fu**ing fast?? So yeah, keep this in mind the next time I tell you that I played through a game a year or so ago, in case you know it was more like 5 or 6 years ago. Just don't want you to think I'm lying.

Back to Lutter. Mix Castlequest with Lode Runner and add a pinch of Hydlide's battle system to the concoction, then sprinkle in some Gradius/Silkworm style bosses and you have Lutter. When I played through Castlequest last week (???) I wondered how I had the patience to beat this back in the late 80s. I ended up using codes for infinite keys and stuff to get through the game so I could record the ending. That was last month (!!!). Tonight I felt the same inadequacies trying to play Lutter. The first castle wasn't too bad and I got through it in a decent amount of time, but the 2nd castle kicked my ass. Like in Lode Runner, you cannot jump and if you get stuck in a hole you are fizucked with no way out. I tried to play through this legitimately, I really did, but these puzzle games just require hours of concentration, memorizing and experimenting, something I just can't dedicate to such a game.

That being said, the game is really good for an old FDS game. The boss battles let you move anywhere on the screen to fight the bosses, hence the comparison to the 2 shooters above. There are a total of 6 boss fights. You fight 2 of them in Level 1, 1 each in Levels 2 & 3, then 2 more boss fights in Level 4. The boss fights in Level 4 are technically the same boss, just two different forms.

Beeton's fiery dragon form, the final boss of the game.

Along the way you can actually beat enemies Hydlide-style (running into them and hoping you make the damage instead of taking it) to get experience points and gold. Get enough exp points and you will level up, increasing your strength, speed and several other attributes. There are also sword, shield and armor upgrades to be found in chests scattered throughout the game's mazelike levels. Seriously, if you have the time and like this sort of game, the game really has a ton of good features. A translation patch by Mute was made for the game, which lets you understand what the random people scattered throughout the game are telling you.

Now that I'm playing through FDS and Famicom games for their endings again, I don't really feel like going back to trying to beat those 8 NES games that are dogging me. Valkyrie and Kalin, you tempted me with your 8-bit goodnes. Labyrinth and Herakles, you taunt me with pleasant quests and the promise of a good time. I shoulda just kept grinding at those other games while I was in the mood. Now it might be awhile before I try to deflower Gemfire or Silent Service.

No, this is not from Lutter!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Kalin no Tsurugi

Quick write up on a really cool game nobody knows about, Kalin no Tsurugi for the Famicom Disk System. The title means 'Sword of Kalin' I believe, which is the weapon you must find to battle the final boss.

I really enjoyed Valkyrie no Bouken for the Famicom, but Kalin was actually more enjoyable for me because it felt like an old school 8-bit NES game, like a mix between Zelda and Hydlide...well, if Hydlide didn't suck.

There is a decent sized world to explore with several towns and castles and people to talk to, who will give you items and clues on where to find them. You go from place to place looking for things, trying to collect the 5 idols along the way. Eventually you will collect an amulet, that lets you visit the World of Len, where there are several caves you have to go through to find stuff, including the Sword of Kalin. Get the sword, get the crystal which freezes the lava flow so you can walk across it to the final cave and defeat your foe to get what was a really, really surprisingly good ending for an FDS game that was released in 1986.

The game has leveling up through experience points, as monsters defeated give you gold and EXP points. You actually have to do this, as you cannot get the Book of Spells unless you are at least up to Level 30. There are several sword, armor and shield upgrades, as well as items and potions that help your HP and MP. The game had pretty much everything you could expect from an adventure RPG and I'm actually very surprised I've heard so little of this game over the years.

There is a translation patch done by KingMike, so you don't have to worry about any language barrier here (unless you don't speak English or Japanese...but then you wouldn't be reading this shitty blog then, would you?). I highly recommend this game to any 8-bit enthusiast looking for a good roll in the hay with a poor man's version of Zelda.

Glad I could keep my head out of the slums long enough to get this one under my belt.

"I'm coming for you asshole, these guy's ain't gonna stop me"

"Did I not tell you I was coming for ya, beyotch?!?"

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Valkyrie no Bouken

Ahh, nothing like taking a break from that nasty batch of games I need to finish and delving into a nice, Zeldary-type game that not too many people know about.

Valkyrie no Bouken was released by Namcot in 1986 and is like a poor man's version of Zelda, but is fun nonetheless. I will post a couple ending pics below, so if you don't want the ending spoiled, stop reading.

Anyway, there are great Zelda clones, like the 2 Neutopia games on the Turbografx and Golden Axe Warrior for the Sega Master System and a really cool one for the Genesis called Crusader of Centy, that I really enjoyed for some reason.

There are also shitty Zelda clones. Not sure if Hydlide is considered Zelda-like, but if it is, it's definitely shitty.

Valkyrie no Bouken falls somewhere in the middle. Because of it's age you can't really expect too much for it, but Namcot grinded out some early Famicom games with a ton of hidden stuff in them (Tower of Druaga menacingly pops to mind).

There is a fan translation patch for the game available, which I happened to play through, but it garbled the ending message. I finished the real version of the game and got the ending message, which was actually in English. Hmmmm.

Anyway, I do recommend this game to anyone who likes Zelda, but I'll warn you that there are several areas in the game that, unless you are using a guide like the one I used (found here: http://strategywiki.org/wiki/Valkyrie_no_Bouken ), you might have no clue as to what the hell you need to do, kind of like kneeling down with a crystal selected in your inventory in Simon's Quest. One of these areas in Valkyrie involves you chopping down a tree to stand on a weird looking patch of grass and staying there until it changes to night and then back to morning (which is pretty cool for a 1986 game to have night and day). If you do this while fending off enemies and also happen to have the Magic Ship in your inventory, a rainbow bridge will magically appear and carry you over to the final continent in the game. Not sure I would have discovered that in a million years.

Anyway, this game had a couple things in common with Ultima: Warriors of Destiny. The whole night and day thing was present in both games, but played more of a role in Ultima, as you needed to reach the Shrine of Spirituality by taking a moongate anytime between 11pm and 2am and also people you talked to in that game where in different places at night than they were during the day.

The other thing the 2 games had in common was being able to hold a limited amount of items, hence having to juggle items and try to figure out what you really needed to advance. Ultima let you carry 36 items and I never really ran into a problem with item management until the end of the game, but was saved when fighting the Shadowlords took away 3 gem shards and 3 horns out of my pack, freeing up 6 spaces. In Valkyrie you only have 8 spaces to play with and you absolutely need items like the Blue Mantle, Blue Helmet, a Sword and Marco the Whale to beat the game, but also need Keys, Axes, a Ship and several other items along the way. At one point I read ahead in the walkthrough and thought I was finished with the axe, only to find out I needed the fucking thing in the last castle...needed it to get to another item I thought I was done with, the Sandra's Soul item. Juggling definitely came into play in Valkyrie no Bouken more than it did in Ultima: WoD. Improper juggling meant having to leave the last castle, going back to a merchant and selling off what you no longer needed, like your old sword when you got a new one.

Anyway, I'm glad to get the opportunity to play these rare Japanese 8-bit Famicom games that never got released in the States. It was cool when I got my first one, Konami World, in rec.games.video.classics about 15 years ago (those of you born before 1980 might know what that is) and it is still cool now, finding great games like this, Super Star Force, Aigiina no Yogen, Don Doko Don, Getsufuu Maden and the countless others that have happily kept me from my real quest of beating the US NES library.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Ultima: Warriors of Destiny

The shit stain is gone!

I posted this morning saying how I thought I was past the halfway point in the game. It was more like 75%. Luckily I got more time to play than I thought I would and even with an anxious moment at the sparkly wall, I was able to plow through the final dungeon, Doom, and get the ending.

Just like the previous 2 Ultima NES games, there was no final boss. Use the sandalwood box on the mirror in the final room and you magically get the ending.

If anyone decides to play through this game, I gotta tell you, it's not nearly as bad as it seems at the beginning. Once you know what the hell is going on and what you are supposed to do (thanks again Schultz for that great guide!), the game actually has a certain charm that I never thought it would have.

You can actually avoid 95% of the fights in this game and don't really even need to use the spell book. I don't want to say the game is easy, as there are still a lot of areas that will kill you instantly, like if you aren't quick enough using the shards on the Shadowlords, but if you can get used to the shitty controls, you might actually end up liking it like I did.

Towards the end of the game, after slogging through the dungeon Shame and coming out in the Underworld, I ran into this sparkly wall. The guide says to use the Amulet on it. I did, but nothing happened. I walked along the whole length of the wall, using the Amulet often, but nothing happened. I even took time out to kill monsters and raise my level to 8, as you must do in the pc version to access Doom, but this didn't work. So what was the problem? After you use the Amulet on the wall, GET ON THE CARPET! I got on the carpet and rode right through the wall and down to the entrance of Doom.

This game actually has a satisfying end, unlike Ultima: Exodus. Quest of the Avatar is still the best Ultima game for the NES by a long shot, but Warriors of Destiny deserves a little love. It falls into the same category as Super Pitfall. VERY HARD to get into because it just seems like you are in a large world with no clear cut idea on what to do, but if you can get past some of this crappy stuff at the beginning, you might actually like what is underneath. Guys with fat girlfriends probably use that analogy a lot, but it really does apply to these games.

8 games left, but 5 of them are Koei. Will probably take aim at Nobunaga 2 next...once I get the stomach for it.

Progress on the battlefront!

Thanks to Andrew Schultz's guide, I'm plowing my way through Ultima: Warriors of Destiny now. Once you get used to the controls and the general layout of the land, this game isn't so bad. I dreaded it for years, but now that I've gotten into it pretty far, most of that fear is gone. It also helps to have a great guide written for it that lets you know where stuff is, otherwise I would probably still be clueless.

So I'd say I'm over half way through this right now. I've collected almost, if not all, of the mantras and words of power. I've gotten 2 of the gem shards that help you defeat the Shadowlords. The bulk of this I have done between last night and this morning. This is not your typical RPG, where you need to constantly defeat monsters and level-up. In fact, it is more of a scavenger hunt, where you have to talk to people to open up other conversations elsewhere. You just need to know who to talk to and where to find them.

Also, you don't need to keep upgrading your weapons, as there is one place in the Underworld where you just come upon this huge stash of the most powerful weapons in the game. If you know where this is, it helps save you a ton of Gold, since you can just pick these up and equip your characters with them. Gold is another story, as you do not get it from defeating enemies, but must find it lying around, mostly in dungeons.

Not your typical RPG at all. I can see why I never read reviews or anything about this game, as it is so hard to get in to, but once you have a sense of what the hell to do, thanks to Schultz's guide, the whole world opens up to you. I remember feeling this sense of being lost in the game Super Pitfall, which is why I decided to write a guide for that years ago, but that game was an action platformer and was 10x easier to FAQ than Ultima: Warriors of Destiny must have been.

If I continue to get time to play this, it could go down in the next couple days...I usually jinx my ass when I say something like that, but looking ahead in the guide it looks like I only have to worry about which gem shard to use on a particular shadowlord (they are all titled 'gem shard' even though they look different from one another, but you have to use the right one on the right shadowlord) and also have to worry about which items to drop from my inventory, as you can only carry 36 items (non-equipped items), which seems like a lot, but there are a ton of different items in the game that are useful. I figure if I carry enough reagents to make spells, I can get rid of some of the potions, but I guess I'll cross that bridge when I come to it.

With any luck, I will be down to 8 games left very soon.....