March 20, 2011

On the subject of Don K. Kong…

Guess what happens next:
A: D. Kong grabs Pauline and climbs to the next stage, like in the real game
B: The ad loops over from the beginning
3: Mario installs some pipes so that the building can be finished since he’s supposed to be a plumber or something, right?
IV: I actually click the ad

The correct answer is W:

Donkey kong jumps in the air, spins 180 degrees and FALLS for NO REASON. Pauline continues to call for help. Kong remains emotionless despite the massive brain trauma certain to occur once he lands. I wouldn’t even mind this so much if Kong fell while upright or adopted an expression that acknowledged how horrible it is to suddenly be falling and rotated for NO REASON.

The vertical version is even worse because the graphic dork put as much effort into formatting the layout as you’d expect, so you don’t even see Mario reach his destination, and thus there’s even less than no reason. He scampers beyond the image boundary and a few seconds later kong falls for ever no-er reason than before! The amount of reason that there is cannot exist in physical space and requires hypothetical mathematics to express.

The proper D. Kong DOES inexplicably fall on his head, but only after the platform he’s standing on collapses and in any event we get to see that he acts surprised when this happens. I’d like to imagine that the kong in the ad jumped off deliberately, and he’s diving into a pool of pudding just below the image edge that was prepared specifically for such an occasion, but that possibility only occurred to me now and I don’t presume that’s what the ad designer had in mind.

This sort of thing has always bothered me. Like when

Roger Rabbit in the NES game gets stolen by an object meant to resemble a bird and then the detective guy just DROPS DEAD because he failed in whatever his task was.

The filename of the picture I started this with is kongarrrrrrrrrrrrrrgh.png I wondered why I insisted on putting an H at the end, the old Garfield way of spelling arrrgh, which then reminded me of how the Roger Rabbit game reminded me of a specific garfield cartoon.

I was TERRIFIED of this. I could not look at this page. I had no friends so I would re-read those little books all the time, memorized which strips came before this one and I’d worry when I saw them, not sure just how close I was. I would have to only look at the left side of the page and if I saw that clock oh oh oh! (It’s magic)

Oh, here’s the problem. The Roger Rabbit game was developed by the Battletoads people before they hired the person who could draw nice. I talk a mean trash about Battle Toads but it is one of very few Rare games I’ve seen that I consider to have any legitimate aesthetic appeal. This includes the Battle Toad sequels and Kong Country and actually I haven’t seen most of their games. But

the battletoads, featuring the most superfluous life bar since Rolling Thunder.

And SPEAKING of stuff happening for no reason

MAME DEMANDS TRIBUTE. I hadn’t used it in a while so it decided that I needed to pay it in new roms for old games that used to work.

Also, in trying to get pictures of the rabbit kidnapping; I didn’t realize the bird only starts chasing you down after a few minutes, so I had to also be reminded that there is an 8-bit police siren (that’s a .wav, watch out) that sounds anytime you’re outside of a building scene for longer than a few seconds, after which some cartoon rats appear and make you lose.

This is scary. If the rats just appeared it wouldn’t be so bad, but the noise announcing their presence speaks to my psychological errors. I have a deep fear of being arrested for a crime I committed accidentally or without realizing was a crime.

Such as standing really close to the highway. (although I was merely searched and escorted back to the road this time) Oops, you were in the wrong place! You have to go to jail forever.

Which I meant to imply was a bad thing, even if this is a poor example.

I also recall being scared of certain graphics and musical cues in the Roger Rabbit game. I wouldn’t be surprised if a lot of my disorders had their roots somewhere in there. Hidden timers, mystery crimes, terrifying noises, unexplainable voodoo deaths. It is an astounding feat to upset me in so many ways without any mirrored letters, vanish deaths or horizontally moving bosses that look at the player rather than their target. It doesn’t have a life bar either, which I mentioned earlier and have also decided are kind of creepy. Yes, and I saw the movie once when I was six or so years old and have no recollection as to how anything in the game relates to that. It seems possible that up to 13% of it could make sense in context.

Which is pretty good for the 1980s.

Or ever.

7 Responses
  1. 1
    12:41 am, March 21, 2011

    Grimbling sez:

    I once came across a strange CD of bootlegged NES roms. Without any context or instructions a lot of them were pretty dang creepy. Like Roger Rabbit with the vulture and the riddles. It almost scarred me for life. :(

  2. 2
    10:25 am, March 21, 2011

    PurpleSpace sez:

    Oh dear, Nemitz is in jail and he looks so sad! Undoubtedly he ignored one of those “No Nemitzes” signs designed to keep out nemitzes. Things that may have scarred me in video games are from gameboy versions of NES games, one being Castlevania and those impolite moving spike walls with the moving spike wall music.

  3. 3
    3:19 pm, March 21, 2011

    Zinkugel sez:

    Imbli: The riddle part wouldn’t be a bad idea if the way in which you selected an answer was made at all clear. You have to hold select and press up or down. Not select and left or right, and not any direction on its own. Both A and B confirm the answer. Even if you do it properly I seem to recall that you can only use each answer once but the same question can be repeated.

    It puzzles me the lack of discretion about choosing the games for bootleg multitudes, even six years after writing that (and I think that remark about “race select” was a reference to some form I had been made to fill out then-recently and is not meant to constitute my own condemnation of vague races).

    Nemitz needs to to SO much jail.

    I owned a cartridge of the Ninja Turtle “Fall of the Foot Clan” game and I am afraid to seek out a rom and replay it. I am even more afraid of the first Game Gear Sonic Hedgehog game. Primarily for how I remember Robotnik being depicted and secondarily for the creepy low-fidelity versions of the original Mega Drive tunes.

    I agree that Castlevania Adventure is not good, but thankfully I was able to elude being scared of it. I was, however, for a time afraid of Castlevania 2 on the NES, primarily due to the horizontal lines along the top of the screen in the outside areas. I think the Gameboy game may have had them also, but I had somehow subdued the specific, relevant fear by the time I got around to experimenting with the ROM.

  4. 4
    8:54 am, March 22, 2011

    PurpleSpace sez:

    Sadly, said Ninja Turtle game was one of the cartridges I managed to beat. The same cannot be said for Castlevania Adventure, but I did get far enough to see that it did at least have a Dracula that looked like a Dracula (the same cannot be said for many others). I played Game Gear Sonic (via emulator) long enough to find it involved bad-controls hang-gliders.

  5. 5
    9:02 pm, March 22, 2011

    The Louvre sez:

    You would lock up a hapless Nemitz in an excessively labeled jail, but allow the bow tie fool to run free and continue to terrorize the land? You really need to get your priorities straight.

  6. 6
    11:29 pm, March 22, 2011

    Garfield sez:

    Of course you found it terrifying. That’s the entire point of that comic: to convey in the most viscerally piercing manner possible the terrors of Monday. You know what they say about the Mondays, don’t you? (Hint: it involves them sucking.)

  7. 7
    12:19 pm, March 23, 2011

    Zinkugel sez:

    I did reach the end, also! Some aspect of it festered in my mind through the years and grew gradually more unpleasant, and it is possible I have exaggerated it, but I am afraid that I might not have. The same is true of the Sonic game, though I think the hang-glider was in the second one, which from my brief experience did not seem quite so visually or audibly horrifying.

    I think I gave up trying to play Castlevania Adventure remotely properly (where I use save states to give myself unlimited “lives” but am not making them every few steps) in the fourth level so you have my congratulations and condolences if you could reach the end, even without winning, on the intended hardware.

    I think I know what you’re saying about Dracula’s appearance, but the more I think about it, the less sense it makes that a vampire in the 16th-or-so century should dress like a butler from the 20th. Because the game about skeletons that throw bones and magical heart shapes trapped inside candles is above all else concerned with historical accuracy.

    That nemitz was not hapless until they were confiscated upon the fiend’s imprisonment for the crime of hap-theft.

    I admit it. You’ve bested me again. How cruel of you to not implement any measure to prevent that image from being seen on non-mondays! I did not expect that you might do such a thing deliberately, but now I see I was mistaken.

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