Sunday, May 6, 2012

Retroulette #13: The Jetsons: Cogswell's Caper

To cleanse my palate of that horrifying Barbie game, I was given the extra manly The Jetsons: Cogswell's Caper for the Nintendo Entertainment System.

This game...

I'm actually not too familiar with The Jetsons. I remember they had a robot maid, but that's about it. The game helpfully catches me up on all the characters though.

 Ugh. Actually I don't care. Let's get on with the game. The story is set up thus:

So the ever socially conscious Mr. Spacely sends George off to a mining factory to save a planet and stand up for alien rights. George decides "Fuck that" and goes to a packing factory instead. It is here the game begins. You begin in front of a massive pill and Rosie tells you to collect a whole bunch of them because they're super great.

Where is that thing going?

First of all, this is just the first of many little tutorials in the game. And it was quite shocking to see. It's common now, but most games back in the day just threw you into the action with little more than a "Good luck loser". But this novelty wears off quickly, and after a few of them pop up I'm yelling "I can figure out how to press a switch you robot bitch!"

Secondly, I never figure out what these pills do. After a vague "Just keep collecting these things. Trust me, I'm Rosie." they're never spoken of again.

"Ahh now I get it, thanks Rose." - Me, never, because that didn't happen.

But I can't really fault the game for that, because I didn't beat this game. I didn't even get very far, so those pills may have been very important on stage 4 or whatever.

This game is fucking hard.

So I grab that pill and continue on my way. Right away I notice that George jumps like an idiot. In fact, George does everything like an idiot. Evey single frame of animation was perfectly designed to make George look like an asshole.

Jumping like an asshole.
Falling like an asshole.
Pressing a switch, like an asshole.
Crouching, in the manner of an asshole.
Taking damage, in an asshole-ish fashion.
Sinking into the fiery depths of an asshole.

But that won't stop me! I come to a switch that reverses the gravity, and now I'm walking on the ceiling. Wacky right? But I die by jumping off the ceiling and falling up to my death.

The first of so so many.
And so I get back to that point again but this time I don't die. And do you see that robot carrying boxes? Yeah, fuck that robot. These douchbags just walk back and forth until you get close to them, and when you are they trip and throw all the boxes at you.

"Sorry". He even says it like that, with the quotation marks and everything.

 Once, I could excuse. Accidents happen, robot. I'll even help you up. There you go little buddy. You gotta watch where you're going. But every fucking time!? And they do hit me every time. I never avoid it.
"Damn it Model 45-B3, let us get to 1 just once."
After a ride up to some floating platforms I run into some gopher alien thing.

Sorry gopher alien thing, George is on an important quest. And I'm sure once he's done farting around this place, he's going to the mining factory to help those aliens. After this I come to an elevator. After pressing a switch (like an asshole of course) it begins to rise. There's a lot of crap you have to avoid. I die here a whole bunch of times. But I learn something very important here. All those orange box things you see in all the screenshots? You can pick those up. And you can throw them. Before, I didn't have any way to attack all these enemies, so now I'm going to be blasting my way through these levels. Well, throwing boxes is slow and shitty. It saves me in some spots I would be hit otherwise, but not many.

Woooo, who needs a Mega Buster?

Next, I take another elevator down, and I end up in front of some machine.

This one, specifically.

Of course I'm walking through that shit. It turns me into...well, this.

Pictured: ???

But I fall of the edge of the platform and into a room. Cogswell set me up! This was a trap! He's going to kill me! How is he going to do it? Will he blow me up? Gas me? Grind me up into some cogs or something?

Oh. I can handle that.
No, he sends his robot dog Sentro after me. And let me tell you, this dog is a fucking jerk. He jumps around on those three platforms and either spits a gear at you, or spawns a smaller robot puppy from his chest.

Boxes come from the conveyer belt on the right and you have to throw them at them. Like I said, the boxes are super slow, and he jumps all over the fucking place. You have a very small chance to hit him. And I found I could only hit him if he was on the platform on the right. So I was usually just avoiding his attacks and killing puppies until he jumped over there. It took me quite a few deaths and some game overs before I beat him, requiring me to do the whole level over again. But eventually I boxed that bastards face in and got the hell out of there. Time to go save a planet!

Are you serious George?! You're gonna go hang out with that dumb ass gopher alien thing? We've got shit to do!

So this level is a garden. There's annoying bees, annoying spiders, annoying killer plants, and annoying whatever the hell this thing is supposed to be:

But worse than any of them, worse than anything, is this evil pond.

You have to jump on those little white plants, and they spring you up, but it's very inconsistent. Sometimes you'll jump to the top of the level, sometimes you'll jump straight into the water. I spent so much time just dying and retrying this thing. Luckily it's at the beginning of the stage, because if I had to redo the whole stage before dying on this fucking jump at the end I would have quit right here. Somehow I make it through this and continue on. There's another one later, and I die there as well.

It's sort of my fault, because I thought those lamp things were platforms. But it's also sort of the developer's fault because those lamp things look like platforms. This level also has a ride on a water spout:

Because that's how water works.
And a Raiders of the Lost Ark style giant apple chase.

I die on both of these things, because this game is fucking hard and I'm terrible at it.

After redoing the level all over again I make it to the boss. It's a giant spider thing holding some alien I don't care about hostage. It spits out web all over the place and drops down on you. It seems really easy at first, but nope, it's hard and I die a whole bunch of times.

Haha, it's so great that George does a little dance every time he's hit though.
After killing him I free the alien and it gives me a glider, but tells me it won't work with a remote control. Thanks jackass. So now I'm going to save the plan--

George, you lazy son of a bitch.
This "level" is only like 30 seconds long and I'm just here to get the remote control, which Astro has for some reason.

Also he sounds like a Bond villain.

 The next level is another place that's not where I'm supposed to be going. Then, this happens.

So he nonchalantly walks away from the explosion and enters the next level. It's another factory level, and it's just Metalman's stage from Mega Man 2. Nothing to see here. Until! You run into Dr. Farout (yes) and he tells you you're about to enter a place where your dreams can be stolen.

Ok, you lost me Jetsons game. This sounds like it could be sort of cool. But what he really means is "This is a place where the enemies throw the boxes you throw at them back at you".

And that's bullshit, so I quit.


To accurately portray my experience with the game, it would have to be George jumping into a pond 100 times.

Seriously, fuck that pond.

This game isn't bad. It's just hard as hell. You have infinite continues, but there's no saving so you have to want to continue. And every death drains your will to carry on.


  1. Hahaha, that's awesome. All the people on my bus to work were looking at me like a loon as I was giggling at the various arsehole poses.

    Keep it up, mate. This is golden stuff.

  2. Dude this is the best one yet. I especially liked the Rosie commentary.