Thursday, October 31, 2013

Retroulette Spooktober Spookstravaganza - Part 2

Welcome back. Last time, we battled the forces of Frankenstein and the demon "Y". And in both cases we failed miserably.

But not even unmitigated defeat can stop the Spookstravaganza!

Our third game is Nosferatu, for the SNES.

I'm going to be honest. Max Schreck's portrayal of Count Orlok in 1922's Nosferatu terrifies me to this day. It's so otherworldly a performance, so eerie a portrayal, that I'm not surprised they made a movie about Schreck possibly being a real vampire. It is very likely the best horror movie performance I've ever seen.

You don't even have to see that dude for him to scare the hell out of you.

All this to say that the game isn't anything like that.

The game begins with a gentle fairy lightly caressing a game logo into being.

You'll recognize that previous sentence as being extraordinarily non-terrifying.

Next, the set up begins.


So, a lengthy exposition via well animated scenes to say that you are a man on a quest to rescue a woman, AKA, every video game story prior to 1998 or so.

So this unnamed man enters the castle, again via a well animated scene:

Only to immediately fail as hard as possible.

How the hell do you even get from the front door to a jail cell!? How do you fuck up that badly? The Frankenstein guy had to fight an army of dogs and dragons before he got to his castle, and I'll bet he didn't walk directly into a pit of spikes when he got there.

So, you begin the game in a jail cell. For a while it seems like I'm destined to stay there, as my list of moves is noticeably absent a lockpicking option. I can run, and punch, and I can do a sweet-ass Van Damme style jump kick. None of that seems to help my unfortunate situation. In fact, I manage to hurt myself on a box somehow.

"Inanimate objects! My only weakness!"

As you can see, you are timed in this adventure. As you can also see, if you are well versed in video games, this game resembles the original Prince of Persia a great deal. So, with that in mind, you understand the assitude in which this man controls. Moves are sluggish and delayed. Animations are long. After wasting entirely too much of my time, I discover I can push those massive crates, revealing a hole in the floor.

As soon as I escape the cell, gargoyle monsters jump in.

These, like the troll monsters in Frankenstein, care little about my existence. Though I can and do kick their ass, they don't even do damage as they casually stroll by.


Further on, there's a treasure chest guarded by a giant centipede.

Inside is a red crystal that does I-don't-know-what. The wasted time, plus a centipede bite, ensure that this was a detour worth taking.

After sashaying by some more nonchalant gargoyles and jumping over some pits, I come to a decision:

Do you A) Go up the irresistibly intriguing staircase? Or B) Continue on through this boring hallway?

If you're like me, you decided to ascend the sexy staircase. If so, like me, you are fucked.

At the top of these stairs is a walkway leading to a dead end.

Try as he might, Jimmy could not manifest his Morph Ball powers.

Even better, the door back down has locked itself. Nothing to do then but curl up and wait for the time to expire.

Wh.....huh? This game takes place in modern day (well, 1990)? Who the hells rides up to a castle on horseback in 1990?

And it is there our story ends. Our hero in the fetal position lost somewhere in a castle, and his lady love the meal of some dapper vampire.

Oh well. Next up we have The Mummy, for the Gameboy Color.

This game, as you can no doubt imagine, is based on the Brendan Fraser vehicle from 1999.

It begins by essentially reading the entire screenplay of the movie, accompanied by the Gameboy doing its darnedest to provide stills.

If you've seen the movie, you know what's up. If you haven't seen the movie, what's up is there's a mummy and shit.

Naturally, the game begins in an ancient tomb with you fighting scarabs and mummy cats and whatnot.

Wait, did I say something interesting happens? What I meant to say its you begin in a library looking for books.

Yes, that very early and unimportant scene where Rachel Weisz flails around in a library is stunningly recreated.


To put something in perspective, the game simply glosses over an actual action scene with a single text screen, while this one is deserved of The Mummy's Greatest Hits.

But more importantly, where are those damn books!?

Not to put too fine a point on it, but I think this could have been handled better.

So, the library is a labyrinth of sorts. It goes on to infinity in every direction. There's 9 or so rooms altogether, but they repeat if you keep going. You need to use this to your advantage to solve the puzzles in order to reach some of the books. Press a switch, door opens above you, go down until you get up. That sort of thing.

On your adventures through the never ending nightmare you encounter Johnathan, your brother, waiting in the dark for someone to come and get him like a child.

Rescuing Johnathan adds him to your team, whatever good that does.

So there's four books and finding them all opens a door bla bla bla.

The next stage opens with the set up that Rick is in jail, and Johnathan needs to rescue him from jail. You will note that this is also uninteresting.

Meanwhile, just off-screen, cool shit is happening.

In this stage, you must find dynamite to blow up blocks to find money to free Rick to find the city of Hamunaptra. That sounds boring, so I do this instead.

And it is there our story ends. Rick, with no one to spring him from jail, executed. Johnathan, blown to bits in the bowels of god knows where. Evelyn, sure to be alone for the rest of her life. And a mummy, free to wreak havok on the world.

Oh well.

I will rate these four games based on their spooky factor.


  1. Gorilla Using Rosetta Stone: Russian EditionOctober 31, 2013 at 7:49 PM

    >>All this to say that the game isn't anything like that.<<

    Haha I knew this was coming, I knew it.

    If nothing else, I want to check out that 1922's Nosferatu movie, now.

    1. Gorilla Twirling Loaf Of Bread At NinjasNovember 1, 2013 at 7:47 PM

      That's what you told me about that movie "Gone Fishin"

  2. He tried to tell me that "The Good Son" was the scariest movie ever made, too.

  3. Really loved these Luch! Finally got the internet activate at work again (no more silly errors)... So, can finally post... To say that I loved these... Which I did.

  4. If you're not riding up to the castle on horseback, you're doing it wrong.