Missile Command (Various, 1980-2001. Part 1 of the War Games series)

Missile-Command-WarheadOne night politics and video games attended the same party. They got very drunk and had triplets (known as “Rockman Zero 2”, “Rockman Zero 3”, and “Rockman Zero 4”. Those will be addressed when/if I decide to play them again). But politics and video games met again, in a sleazy bar near downtown Detroit, and this article and any I can think of to follow in this series were born from that second drunken tryst. (Their third tryst, which is memorialized by stains of Old Crow and bodily fluids on the Corinthian Leather of a 1980 Cordoba, gave us Mass Effect 3 and a generation of SJW games.) 

As we watch the Democrats peddle their warmongering interventionist and laissez-faire let’s-wait-for-war attitudes, ie as they play their war games on their way to the fall brawl known as the midterm elections, where voters will probably vote Democrat to bring us nookular annihilation, I’ll take a look at some literal war games. Cold War video games, anyway.

wcw-fall-brawl-war-games

Image from WWE.com

Today, we address the Left’s push for World War III or at least a new Cold War- by looking at the Cold War thriller “Missile Command”.

Alias “Warheads(Not to be confused with Warhead 2000)

Depending on the version you play, you have between one and three missile defense platforms. You aim their salvos with a helpful cursor. You fire your anti-missile missile at incoming enemy missiles. And smart bombs. And these Sputnik/flying mine things that fly by. And enemy bombers (that oddly look like B-52s in some releases, making me wonder just which side you’re on in this game, especially given the modern leanings of game developers). Once all of your cities are destroyed, your game is over. The same effect might also be achieved if your missile platform(s) is(are) destroyed early on in a round, because that means the rest of the missiles will come in unopposed and flatten your cities. It looks something like this (a scene from the big blockbuster of 1977 that Fox had to delay releasing until Fall, releasing some obscure flick called Star Wars to whet the audience’s summer appetite instead).

You have a finite amount of missiles too, by the way. In later rounds as the action gets faster and incoming missiles become more numerous, you’ll start running out.

Missile-Command-Sega-Genesis-2

To defend against Fake News, one has to be able to counter the overwhelming number of claims. While distracted by one, another comes raining down, then another. Sometimes you can take down multiple claims in one shot. But eventually you’re not fast enough and are overwhelmed. What game does that sound like to you?

Strategy for stopping the smart bombs varies game-to-game. As far as I can tell, I think in the Genesis or 5200 version, the best strategy is to direct them (via detonating your missiles in front of them) into a city that’s already destroyed, or that you don’t like. The cities represent real American cities, so send the smart bombs to the second city from the left (San Francisco) or second city from the right (Los Angeles). They’re the liberal cities that most voted for nuclear war; let ’em have it. As for the other releases, smart bombs can be destroyed.

This Time, The Game Is Real

Nike-Hercules-SAM-Danville-Tank-Museum

Nike-Hercules missiles were armed with nuclear warheads and deployed across the country to defend against incoming Soviet bombers. This example is from the Tank Museum in Danville, VA. This picture was taken before I was kicked out, because SOME people just don’t like it when you repeatedly hit a nuclear warhead with a hammer! Typical nanny-state BS.

The game is grounded in reality, sort of. We had such missile platforms all over the country, but they were designed to take out squadrons of Soviet bombers  (we tried to upgrade them to take out some short to long-range missiles, but that just kind of stopped when the Soviets started focusing on massive ICBM strikes with hundreds of warheads instead of bombers). ICBMs of course are faster. A faster interception system was needed, and although we never got any such projects off the ground this game depicts what appears to be the Nike-X project (it was downgraded to Sentinel, which gave less coverage and could repel far fewer missiles, and then became Safeguard. Sentinel was both met with heavy protest, from the Left of course who found missile defense to be too belligerent. Ironic how the Soviets called it “imperialist warmongering“, just the sort of thing the Left (sources like Common Dreams,

Missile-Command-Atari-2600-Manual

Noo-cue-lar combat toe-to-toe with the Ruskies is a man’s job, that’s why he gets the helmet deary

Marxists.org, counterpunch.org, globalresearch.ca, londonprogressivejournal.com, houstoncommunistparty.com, monthlyreview.org, leftvoice.org, Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez who is the future of the party) refers to any U.S. overseas action or military buildup as today (globalpolicy.org and monthlyreview.org had examples of this belief, globalpolicy even linking missile defense to imperialism) (the Left also thinks colonizing Mars is imperialist and an example of “male entitlement”, so congratulations Democrat, this is the allegedly pro-science pro-truth group you are supporting. By the way, I have a bridge in Brooklyn for sale if you believe that the Left is pro-science), the same anti-Imperialist-anti-US-warmingering Left that wants war with Russia (note that after a century of brutalizing its own people and others worldwide, the only thing that made Democrats stop loving Russia was allegedly helping Hillary lose, not that whole “Soviets killed tens of millions of people” thing, so remember that when Dems say they’re compassionate and care about others) and celebrated Obama’s hawkishexcept-against-Islamic-terror-foreign-policy… and wanted Hillary The Hawk to win).

Hippie liberals, who now run the colleges and to an extent the DNC via the radical protesters they are producing, protested heavily against Safeguard being installed because they were afraid it would trigger an arms race or a pre-emptive attack or some such rot. And now these same hippies and their progeny (both ideological and biological no doubt) want to piss off Russia enough that they’d send nukes our way, right into the country they left undefended. In fact, their radical President wanted to disarm the U.S. entirely, their President who said Russia was our friend. If we are to assume that your side of the aisle is as intelligent as you claim, that means you KNOW that your decades of protesting the military and disarmament talk left America weak, your protests against missile defense left us defenseless, thus you must know that your demands for war with Russia mean the destruction of this country that you left undefended. Therefore, if you’re as smart as you claim to be, you’ve deliberately disarmed America to make it easy for Russia to destroy it. That fits with your antiAmerican procommunist proRussian rhetoric, which was the norm until your almost-century old position on Russia changed with Hillary. So unless you admit to gross incompetence, admit that your side is not particularly intelligent, we can only assume that you want America to be destroyed. For those who think I’m being a little hyperbolic and exclusionary, keep in mind that the Left for decades has believed anyone who doesn’t vote Democrat is a racist. ANYONE.

peace-symbol

“Peace!… n-no wait WAR! Uh… I NEED MORE TIME TO ANSWER!”

So tell me, liberal, just what the hell are we supposed to do to Russia when they “hack our elections” and make your candidate lose? If we have no nuclear weapons as you want, what do we do? We saw in the aftermath of Hawaii’s accidental missile alert that you liberals have no stomach for confrontation if you think it’ll actually hurt you. You began screaming at Trump to tone down his rhetoric against North Korea (all the while you still were very vocal against the much more heavily-armed Russians). So let’s say you decide to sanction Russia- they just have to threaten a nuclear launch and you’ll shut up and impeach your President for endangering you, unless you mean to tell me that all your rhetoric against Trump over his North Korea talk was just a bunch of garbage. No, I guess you won’t.

Speaking of that Hawaii incident, and blaming Trump for inflaming the situation, remember how Obama was ready to go to war with North Korea without even seeking negotiation? No, I guess you don’t. Definitely not your Senator who went after Trump after the false alert (then again even when combined with Kamala Harris’ vast intellect we find that both Senators have just enough brain activity to show that even people not in comas can be vegetables. Throw in Maxine Waters and you might have the same amount of activity as in tomato sauce. And no, liberal, it isn’t racist or sexist to say a minority or a woman or some combination thereof is an idiot. Plus, I think white male Adam Schiff and white female Sally Boynton Brown are similarly impaired, while white male Joe Biden is slightly above them because I’m pretty sure he just babbles to himself rather than deliberately lies, and I have a low opinion in general of the predominantly white anchorage at CNN. Or are you going to say I’m racist against whites, because last I heard from you liberal that was impossible). Actually, the Left is still ready for a war with North Korea, at least those liberals on the mainland who wouldn’t have to face an attack. 71% of liberals polled don’t want peace with North Korea if it means Trump gets credit for it.

Meanwhile, the creator of Missile Command found nuclear war to quite literally be a nightmarish scenario. Unlike the Left today, which would rather we have a nuclear war with Russia because they can’t admit to themselves that Hillary was a terrible candidate, and want a war with North Korea too if it means Trump’s reputation is hurt by it.

A Quick Aside On The Russia Warmongering

We the public don’t know that Russia leaked the DNC emails. Mueller’s charges mean nothing, and most of what was in his indictments of the Russian hackers was two years old at least, and reported in mainstream outlets as far back as June 2016, meaning that Mueller’s timing was rather suspicious given that he released the indictments around the time Trump had a major summit with Putin, apparently sitting on this info for his entire first year as Special Counsel. As for the indictments, Mueller knows damn well those Russians will never see a day in court so he doesn’t have to prove anything, doesn’t even have to be able to prove anything. Remember: Clinton associate and strategist James Carville said grand juries can indict a ham sandwich, meaning indictments flow fast and free through them.

Deep-State-Robert-Mueller

Mueller looks like he could be John Kerry’s brother.

Mueller himself has a history of pursuing innocent men and burying evidence showing innocence (he was head of the FBI during the anthrax case when prosecutors buried exculpatory evidence, and Mueller personally led that case), so his credibility is further diminished. Mueller was also very good friends with Former FBI Director James Comey (who helped Mueller prosecute innocent people) so we have in that a certain motive of retribution against Trump on Mueller’s part, which also explains the good timing that even the liberal media admits to in regards to Mueller’s indictments.

Wikileaks denies it was the Russians; there is evidence to suggest it was an inside job. Not that it even had to be, John Podesta’s password could’ve been cracked by a ten year old. Besides, if the server hack was such a damning thing, why did you liberals destroy anything that could provide evidence for your complaint? The only reason you would is that examining the servers would prove that no hack took place. Just like the only reason you would oppose a deal that would allow Mueller to question the indicted Russians is because you are afraid Mueller would have to prove his case.

You also contend that Russians colluded with Trump to get him elected. This lumped with the email hacking constitutes your sole reasoning for wanting war with Russia. There has been an army of bureaucrats and elected (Adam Schiff) leakers in the government complimented by a nation of journalists, all with a strong hatred of Trump. Yet in the two years since Trump obtained the votes needed to be the Republican nominee, not one shred of proof has surfaced. Now how about that, the best you can do is assume debunked and implausible documents like the Steele Dossier are true or say that US Intel Plant Halper giving a story to George Papadopolous who talked about it to the Australian Ambassador/Clinton Donor was somehow collusion.

The hardest evidence you have, the only items you’ve been referring to when asked for solid evidence aside from vaguely circumstantial stuff, are the debunked Steele Dossier and the intelligence assessment that you all kept touting as confirmation from 17 agencies that Russia interfered. I’ll write it here for your convenience- it did not involve 17 agencies, and was an intelligence ASSESSMENT. That means political hack and confirmed liar John Brennan assembled a team of yes-men who came up with the THEORY that Russia interfered, that is what an assessment is, it’s what that little committee theorizes, NOT what really happened (but to a liberal I guess the difference is only semantic, because what they think and feel are the only realities they acknowledge, as I’ve established in other items). And the debunked Steele Dossier was used in drafting the Intel Community Assessment in question. Oh, and Obama of course ordered this Assessment to be done.

Let’s Look At Some Quantities

journalists-wiki-tw

I’m getting a lot of mileage out of this chart C-Gaymer found.

Given that most of those in the Journalism industry are leftwingers, it’s safe to say that at least 22,241 reporters have motive and opportunity to research Trump and any connections to Russia. Now let’s add in every Democrat in Congress (193 Congressmen and 49 Senators), every member of those 242 Congressmen and Senators’ staff, every sympathetic contact in the private and public sector that they have, every leaker and anonymous source the liberal media uses, every Democrat in the bureaucracy, every liberal blogger, every liberal hacker, every liberal professor who might have academic means of research, private investigators these groups might employ (like Fusion GPS), every liberal in the DOJ (who tried to fabricate evidence against Trump, the Steele Dossier, which wouldn’t be needed if there was anything really there), every millionaire and celebrity in Hollywood plus billionaires like Tom Steyer and George Soros with their massive networks of personnel and followers nationwide, most of the tech industry which easily has access to all of Donald Trump’s tweets and Google searches and things like that, and it’s easy to assume that we’re talking about a group of people larger than the population of Iceland (maybe even larger than England), with more money than the GDP of Russia at their disposal, with a cyber army on par with the NSA and as capable of hacking elections as any Russian group, and the backing of multiple parts of the U.S. government from Congressional offices to departments in the DOJ to state-level offices and attorney generals. This massive ball of hatred has had two years now to work on this.

DESPITE all of this at their disposal, enough raw power to destroy whole countries, DESPITE all of the time that they’ve had to research, they can’t find ONE SHRED OF EVIDENCE that Trump colluded with Russia, nor can they provide solid evidence that Russia hacked the DNC servers, even though they have Russian oligarchs with access (as we know from when Clinton cash made its way to Russians, maybe even oligarchs close to Putin to loosen their lips and make this whole “we’ll reveal Putin’s evil plan while risking our lives for some guy we haven’t seen in 7 years” thing credible, through Steele in exchange for the debunked Steele Dossier), even though they have access to SPIES in the Kremlin as the New York Times leaked (which probably means we HAD a spy in the Kremlin, thanks to our intrepid reporters who just threw a life away even though they seemed scared to death that this very consequence would happen if someone leaked the identity of  Stefan Halper as the informant from the Trump Campaign- notice that NOT ONE of the folks like Senator Warner who said Congressmen could be charged for trying to unmask Halper or the folks in the media who said intelligence would be irreparably damaged from the ‘Halper reveal’ SAID WORD ONE about the Times’ leak that we have a spy in the Kremlin). Maybe you understand NOW why your Russian collusion claims seem so ridiculous? If your side brought that same power to bear against Russia itself or China, you could probably bring those countries to their knees both in cyber and economic zones. Instead, you focused all of it on Trump, and have come up with nothing after two years.

Alright, I think that about covers why the Russian warmongering is just another “U.S.S. Maine” (the press exploited the incidental explosion of a battleship to drive America to war with Spain, just like the press is exploiting the incidental leaking of emails to drive America to war with Russia, except this time the enemy has teeth and will ironically incinerate liberals by the millions. The only time I’d ever want to be at ground zero for a nuclear attack is at NBC, ABC, CBS, or CNN headquarters (or in Senator Hirono’s office, I’m lumping her in here because she never condemned Hillary demanding missile strikes on Syria and a no-fly zone where we’d shoot down Russian jets, nor did Hirono condemn the media and her colleagues demanding war with Russia) and see the look on the face of one of these warmongerers as Russia responds to their threats in much the manner they kept saying North Korea would respond to Trump’s heated rhetoric).

Uhhhhm… You Mentioned Different Versions?

Oh right! Well, I said this mixes politics and the game, so I became a skosh sidetracked.

Atari Ports

Missile-Command-Atari-2600

Naturally, we get one for the Atari 2600. One of the selling points of that console was having arcade games at home. As you can see this is a version where you get only one launcher to shoot down enemy missiles from. In later ports with 3 missile launchers, 3 buttons are used to differentiate them. The Atari 2600’s standard controller had only one button.

Missile-Command-Atari-5200

Yet another port where you have only one tower with which to shoot down missiles. Sure the 5200’s controller had a dial pad like a telephone, but it’d be kinda hard to use the joystick and the dial pad as would be needed to control three towers. The original arcade version used a trackball, so unless you got the trackball for your Atari 5200 you’ll be hard-pressed to emulate that experience with other ports. Not that you need it, the 5200’s joystick worked well enough. It was my favorite control setup, very responsive and swift. As you can see in the upper right, on the 5200 the incoming bombers are American B-52s.

B-52-Atari-5200

During a marketing campaign to prove the Atari 5200’s rugged durability despite its large size, Atari executives arranged for the U.S. Air Force to land a B-52 on one.

I was surprised to learn, but to the best of my knowledge, there was not a Missile Command port for the Atari 7800. You’d think they would’ve put their hit game on that console, but you’d think wrong I guess.

Sega Ports

Missile-Command-Master-System-TangelaMissile-Command-Master-System

 

 

 

 

 

The Sega Master System version (from “Arcade Smash Hits”) sort of plays like the real thing. You get multiple launchers too. As you can see, this is not about you defending American… or Soviet… cities. It’s about a race of Tangelas protecting themselves during an interplanetary war.

Missile-Command-Game-Gear

The cursor on the Game Gear version (part of “Arcade Classics”) moves like a sleepy Hutt, but the incoming missiles are slow as well. Feeling like you’re trying to move a heavy bookcase by pushing it across carpet is not conducive to a good gaming experience.

Arcade-Classics-Missile-Command-Sega-Genesis

The Sega Genesis port (part of “Arcade Classics”) does not particularly stand out in my mind. As you can see they took some liberties with the designs, and apparently made commercial airliners into nuclear bombers (a reversal of what was actually done), but there isn’t much more to talk about here.

Missile-Command-Sega-Saturn

With the Sega Saturn version (part of “Arcade’s Greatest Hits”, the gold version, also released for SNES and PlayStation) we get into the realm of arcade-accurate ports. Or emulations. Probably emulations.

Missile-Command-Dreamcast

The Dreamcast version (part of “Atari Anniversary Edition”, also released for PlayStation) takes this arcade-accurate emulation to its logical conclusion by simulating an arcade machine’s monitor. This also shrinks the amount of space your game takes up on the TV screen, and the shrinkage is very noticeable in the graphics. You can see the difference for yourself if you have this copy because you can play it in either arcade cabinet or fullscreen mode.

Nintendo

There is a Super Nintendo port, on the gold “Arcade’s Greatest Hits” cartridge. But clearly I do not have it. Same goes for the Game Boy Color version, which I did not know existed until just now.

Missile-Command-Super-Game-Boy

I do have the Game Boy version. It’s lumped in the same cartridge as Asteroids, titled “Arcade Classic 1” (there were more, at least 2 more, in the “Arcade Classic” series on Game Boy). The game is obviously enhanced not just beyond the original story, but beyond the Game Boy’s capabilities. If you plug it into the Super Gameboy you get some colors and an arcade cabinet around your screen.

Missile-Command-Game-Boy-Advance

Controls on the Game Boy Advance version (on the “Atari Anniversary Edition” cartridge) aren’t that good, it’s like your cursor is sliding on ice. It’s otherwise a great port, and even manages to give you three missile launchers. Looks like it’s more or less an emulation, like the Saturn and Dreamcast versions.

PlayStation

Missile-Command-PlayStation

The PlayStation had a remake, with a different plot than the Cold War terror and graphics altered to suit (just like the Master System and Genesis versions. The Atari 2600 release had a different story, but it was clearly just a port with no extra touches). Same with the Atari Jaguar’s Missile Command 3D. The PlayStation remake offers a 3D, first-person perspective as you man a missile-shooting aircraft. This version also offers a more familiar mode of gameplay, pictured left.

Warhead(s)

Warhead-Warheads-Windows-Fun-Pack

In the game it’s “Warheads”, on the CD label it’s “Warhead”. Released on the FunPack CD with clones of other games (like Pac Man, Asteroids, Tetris, and Super Breakout), we get the Missile Command clone Warhead. Yes, it’s legitimate. I think. My parents bought it in the early 90s from a store, probably a big chain store since they don’t seek out small used video game shops and there certainly weren’t many around, so it must be. The FunPack version has tiny explosions and the missiles move kind of slow, so your aim needs to be more precise than the original. This works on Windows 3.1 through Windows 98. I don’t know if it’d run on anything stronger than that, even with Windows 98 the Pac Man and Tetris clones do not function right.

What Do You Think?

Looks like such a fun game, vote Democrat and make it happen! Much as Trump undid Obama’s legacy, I suspect Democrats, if given the majority in Congress, would work to undo Trump’s. And then in 2020 we’d get President Kamala Harris or President Elizabeth Warren, who’d bring back tensions with North Korea and become such hawks against Russia that Queen Hawk Hillary would tell them to take a chill pill. Because nuclear war with Russia and North Korea is what their base wants these days. Obviously, otherwise they’d vote these warmongerers out of office or at least support the peaceful foreign policy initiatives Trump has pursued, right?

Trump killed 200 Russians with his missile strikes in Syria, that’s 200 more than the past two Presidents combined. Democrats think that killing only 200 Russians, expelling diplomats, and increasing sanctions means Trump is too soft on Russia, a treasonous collaborator and a Russian puppet. That’s the bar Democrats set- meaning their idea of cordial relations with Russia under Trump would be if we nuked only Moscow. So who will YOU vote for? Or maybe just sit this one out…

Missile-Command-Game-Boy-Advance-End-Screen

Advertisements

Mario Bros. (Various, 1983-2001)

Mario-Bros-Arcade-Miami-Vice

You know you’ve hit it big when your 1983 arcade game appears on Miami Vice in 1986. (Season 2, Episode 21 “Trust Fund Pirates”)

The Story

As I slog my way through the quagmire known as Donkey Kong Country on the Game Boy Color, I wanted to take a break from the political articles I’ve been marking time with until the DKC review is through (that would be the last 4 to 6 articles, depending on the order these get posted). Seems fitting that I’d focus on DK’s original foe for the piece I write while trying to finish off one of his games.

We Wanted The Game’s Story, Not Yours!

Here it is, set to the theme tune from the always funny “Car 54 Where Are You?”. Sadly the humor (and humors) of the show are not involved in our 8 bit subject of today. And yes, the Atari 2600 was 8 bits. Its processor is a cheap version of what the NES would later use.

Mario Bros. has a simple story- Mario and Luigi are plumbers in New York City. They are trying to clean the pipes out, and must also collect the coins because that is how they get paid. Welcome to De Blasio’s New York.

The objective is to kill all of the monsters that come out of the pipes. You don’t have to kill the fireballs, but they give you points if you do (at least in the Super Mario Advance version, I can’t remember if I ever managed to kill a fireball in the other ones). You achieve fatalities by smashing your head onto the platform beneath the monster you wish to liquidate (literally, your goal is to knock it into the water) and then running directly into the monster whilst it is disabled.

There are 99 different “phases”. Not quite 99 different stages, because several phases take place on a stage. In almost every phase, your goal is to kill the enemies to advance as stated above. However, in phase 4, 8, 16, 24, and presumably the rest of the multiples of 8, you are given the challenge of collecting 10 coins before a timer runs out. If you do, you get an extra life.

Mario-Bros-Cartridges

Different Versions

Look, there isn’t much to the game. That last paragraph would’ve been the end of this piece if I didn’t pad it out with a comparison between different versions. Besides, I rarely get to see side-by-side screenshots like this detailing different releases.

Mario-Bros-Atari-5200-Copyright

Mario-Bros-Atari-5200

Atari 5200 gives a big Mario sprite that reminds me of the one in Super Mario Bros. Platforms animate when bumped. There is still only one stage design.

Mario-Bros-Atari-2600

The Atari 2600 version looks pretty simplistic. You only see one stage design. You can’t walk on the POW block in the middle. When you bump your head on the platform above, it does not show an animation indicating where you bumped (this is the only version I played that didn’t). You start with A LOT more fireballs here I think than in other versions.

Mario-Bros-Atari-7800

Atari 7800 gives a very detailed stage… but it’s the only one. At least Mario handled well, his movements were tight relative to the controller commands. And no, I played it on a standard 4:3 TV, not a widescreen 16:9 one. I don’t know why they chose to stretch Mario and the platform graphics.

Nintendo’s Entries

Mario-Bros-Arcade

Here is the original arcade version. I did not play it. Image from mariowiki.com

Mario-Bros-NES

Now we get to the NES, which I assume is the closest port of the arcade version out of the ones I played. The stages actually change after a certain number of phases pass. but Mario handles very poorly, skids like he’s on ice even when he isn’t.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mario-Bros-Super-Mario-Advance

On the Game Boy Advance, we have what appears to be a remake sort of (from the Super Mario Advance games). HD upgrade maybe? In keeping with a tradition started in a minigame in Super Mario Bros. 3, the turtles you initially get are replaced by ambulatory spiky shells. All graphics for the player and enemies are on par with the Mario games from the Super Nintendo. Backgrounds and stages have also received a visual upgrade. Mario can now duck, and can throw the POW blocks.

Super-Mario-Bros-3_Battle_Mode_strategywiki

There’s also this variant- a minigame from Super Mario Bros. 3. On the NES version, it only appears if you challenge the other player to a duel. The winner is either the one that isn’t clobbered by an enemy or the first to kill 5 enemies. If my NES were able to read SMB3 properly, I’d have had no need to take this image from strategywiki

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Super-Mario-All-Stars-Battle-Mode

The two-player only variant also appears on Super Mario All-Stars on the SNES, via the Super Mario Bros. 3 entry. This time though you need two controllers to ever be able to access it, unlike on the NES where I got everything done with just one controller. On the main menu for SMB3, a “Battle Mode” option is presented so that you can take on your friend immediately instead of waiting for an encounter in the main game.

Believe it or not, there are releases not covered here. Mario Bros. found its way onto the GBA again in the form of a port of the NES title. It also popped up on Nintendo’s Virtual Console, Apple II, Commodore 64, FM-7, NEC PC88, Amstrad CPC, Atari 8-bit home computers, an arcade compilation for the Nintendo Switch, Game Boy Advance e-Reader cards, and on the NES Classic. And maybe even somewhere else I didn’t name. A sort of sequel appeared on the Virtual Boy in the form of “Mario Clash”.

So… How Did You Do?

In case you were wondering, here are the scores from the best run-throughs I had this time around, plus how many lives each game gives you to start with:

  • Atari 2600- 5 lives, Phase 6, 34400 points
  • Atari 5200- 5 lives, Phase 6, 43370 points
  • Atari 7800- 3 lives, Phase 12, 71990 points
  • NES- 3 lives, Phase 9, 69670
  • Game Boy Advance (Super Mario Advance)– 3 lives, Phase 28, 245950 points

Mario-Bros-NES-Game-Over

Zelda II: The Adventure Of Link (GBA)

Zelda-II-NES-GBA

Why would you pay $9.99 to get Zelda II on the GBA when you could be paying $9.99 for one month of the WWE Network?

It’s in the Zelda series, and Link is there, and he has an adventure. The end.

You’re off to a running start with Princess Zelda napping in the background. Link must retrieve a piece of the Triforce in order to wake her up, by uniting all pieces of the Triforce. Remember: these games took place a long time ago, a real long time ago, way before Levi Hutchins invented alarm clocks. They had to do some complicated Rube Goldberg Machine stuff in order to wake up, made even more complicated by the fact that Goldberg hadn’t debuted yet.

WCW_Goldberg_WWE

As evidenced in the picture, this conspiracy involves your state troopers and your local Police Department. Image of Goldberg from wwe.com

Hmmmm… Goldberg… Zelda 2 came in a gold cartridge… the opening notes for the music when you enter a village sound like notes from the song “Goldfinger”… the Triforce is golden… the final castle has a golden hue to it… all of the pieces fit Robin! Ganon plans to steal the Triforce from Fort Knox!

Speaking of Bat-Logic

I just want to point out that I cheated a little and used an online strategy guide. In my defense, there is no way that some of these puzzles could have been solved without one, unless there was something in the instruction manual (which I don’t have). Seriously- to get to a vital town you need to hack a forest to bits. Except in this game, the only hackable trees are the ones in that small area surrounding the hidden village, and at no point are you told or even given a hint that you even can hack trees, let alone that particular grouping.

Same goes for a monster sitting in the middle of the road. If this weren’t a carbon copy of waking Snorlax, complete with Pokeflute, I’d have had no idea about what I needed to do. I guess eventually I’d figure it out, by standing there and mashing buttons after obtaining the flute.

I Need Guidance, Great One

As I was reviewing the palace 6 section of the guide, I noticed that it was saying the

knights on horseback you face there are repeats of an earlier boss. I didn’t remember it, but attributed that to the 2 year gap between now and when I last put the game down. Turns out that I didn’t remember it because it was the boss of palace 3, the only boss that I skipped, probably because I wandered into the palace, grabbed the raft, then left thinking I could skip the boss. Or died and was curious about where the raft would take me and forgot all about beating the boss. If you get to palace 7 and the shield refuses to lower, then check how many crystals you have left (the blue circle icon on the start menu, you lose one after beating a palace).

My point is- make sure you get the required item from the palace AND defeat the boss. I don’t know what happens if you skip the item and beat the boss, but having to restart the game is not a risk worth taking.

You are also best served by using the guide to locate vital items like the 4 magic containers and the 4 heart containers. And level all the way up as soon as you can. It helps. You max out at level 8, by the way. Leveling up after that just gives you an extra life. There are also extra lives to be found throughout the overworld, but they can only be grabbed once. Come to think of it… while writing this I just solved a 2 year old mystery. I grabbed one of the extra lives and had no idea I had done so, because it was absolutely useless to me.

Also, be skeptical of any boss strategies the guides give you. For example, the one I used

said that the final battle (spoiler alert: it was against The Enemy Within) could easily be won by standing in a corner. I had no health and no magic left, but I thought it’d be a piece of cake since all I had to do was stand in the corner. The first thing the opponent did was jump up and stab me from above. So much for the guide’s credibility. Plus if you stay crouched in the corner, eventually that boss will just stand in the middle of the screen and do nothing for long periods.

Morty_Gengar_bulbapedia

I considered making like this blog’s venerable creator and posting a sexy pic of The Enemy Within (lots of them out there), but when I realized he was only 16 discretion and fear of the SVU prevailed. But I reached an epiphany- in this game, this so-called Enemy Within is in fact a Gengar. Pictured here is Morty’s Gengar. Image from Bulbapedia

Fortunately for the final palace, which I found rather difficult to get to, unlike with the other palaces once you enter it if you run out of lives you can just select “continue” and you will start out at the entrance to it. Be advised: any of the red magic potions you pickup will still be gone after you lose all your lives and hit “continue”. They only come back if you restart the game. Luckily the fairy stays. Since I found a way to budget lives and magic, you should be able to too. I say this with full confidence in the certainty that I am terrible at video games. Another convenience is that when you beat the first of the two bosses at the final palace it stays dead even if you run out of lives. I know because when The Enemy Within killed me it was my last life. It took the last health of my last life.

Problems

Everything mentioned above as such, of course.

The version I played fixed the following issue: on the NES release, the only way to save is to lose all of your lives. On the Game Boy Advance version you just pause the game on the overworld and press up plus either a or b. Or just buy the Famicom Disk version.

Zelda-II-second-quest-menu

Ready for round two?

I won’t mention the lack of a second quest. I mean, there is one, but unlike the first Zelda game everything this time around is exactly the same as it was before. The only difference is you start with all of the spells and fully levelled up. You will still have to hunt for the 4 magic extenders and 4 life extenders. So aside from that it’s pretty much what happens in Super Mario 64 once you get all the stars- no new quests, but you can play the old ones over again with a fancy skill you didn’t have the first go-around.

I guess I ended up mentioning the lack of a second quest anyway, but I don’t see that as a

Zelda-II-Zelda-Overworld-VGMaps

So tiny that Zelda 1 felt compelled to buy a Ferrari and spend all of its spare time at the gym. Original image from VGMaps.

problem since the game’s big enough for just one playthrough to feel sufficient (I think, my playthrough took 2 years… technically, 22 years given that I first played the game in the 90s), leading into another nitpicking- the entirety of the map for the first game, that you spend hours wandering through, is scaled down and displayed as a few tiles towards the bottom of Zelda 2’s expansive overworld. Part of me likes the reference, but part of me thinks that sort of trivializes everything from the first game. That adventure seems so small now. No… the adventure is big, it’s the overworld that got small.

But in-universe, in Zelda 2, how did Link so easily work his Peter Pan/Legolas-lovechild-twink self through the Zelda 1 overworld when in Zelda 1 you couldn’t go beyond that area? Hyrulean magic and technology were not up to the task of building a path! Either that or one of the cave shopkeepers or palaces was blocking the route, and Hyrulean officials decided to exercise their eminent domain powers to seize those areas and open them up for public travel.

You might expect me to rip on the change in format from the first and third game (and the Game Boy games) like everyone else does. Battles fought in a sidescroller style, leveling up, stuff like that. Nope. I had no problem with this.

“I had no problem with this.” – Mr. Flagg

Zelda-II-End-Screen

Mobile Suit Gundam Seed: Battle Assault

I’m not a huge fan of RPG Brawlers but I have to admit there are a few out there I enjoy. And since I am a fan of Giant Mecha I do have to say this is one of the good ones if you have strong thumbs and a hatred of Z.A.F.T. Mobile Suit Gundam Seed: Battle Assault is an excellent title for Gundam fans whose wet dreams consist of kicking ass in one of these iconic machines. Following the story of the Anime series, you get to fight as one of 12 playable characters and relive the storyline of the show. It’s a pretty wild ride

wp-1475032631454.jpeg

Now as I stated before this is pretty much the typical brawler style game just with Giant Mecha involved. You fight your mecha through 12 stages reliving a story line. And like most brawlers, there is a 2 player mode and special attacks.

There are a few subtle differences though. First off there are two control modes, Manual and Automatic. In manual mode, a player has to do an extended sequence of button presses to activate a special move. Automatic as the name applies simplifies this by executing a special move with a shorter method. Also in battle jump time is extended by using the thruster gauge. You can also choose to adjust points between a larger HP reserve, stronger Phase Shift Armor, or more Thrust Time.

wp-1475032754764.png

As I said earlier the game follows the story of the Gundam Seed Anime. As you Brawl through the 12 stages you relive the anime series through the perspective of each mobile suit pilot. Some story lines are completed in two parts like Kira’s story line (this is split between Strike Gundam and Freedom Gundam). This makes it an enjoyable experience playing as or against your favorite characters.

And at the end of each storyline or when you quit a storyline you get a special password. This unlocks more playable characters or special modes. There are a lot of other fun features to discover and some hidden and most likely pointless Mini-Games to discover.

wp-1475032728149.png

Mobile Suit Gundam Seed: Battle Assault can be purchased for the Gameboy Advanced if you boys and girls still own one. And if you don’t you can always emulate it but it’s better on the GBA.

Happy Gaming!! 🙂