Friday, May 25, 2012

Throwing the Controller: Electric, Poisonous Seaweed

In Throwing the Controller, we look back at the most infuriating enemies, levels and screwovers in NES history.

Few games excited the youth of 1989 as much as the NES adaptation of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Upon popping the game into their consoles, gamers thrilled at being able to play as any of the four turtles, dropping into the sewers and battling Bebop and Rocksteady in order to rescue woman reporter April O'Neil.

Then came Stage 2.

April shows a solid grasp of the inverted pyramid reporting style.
Channel 4 News is going to need to make a correction for April's shoddy reporting, because those bombs were actually set up in the Hudson River, according to both Shredder's own TV report and the most unimpeachable source of all: the game's manual. Also, there are literally zero lakes in New York City. April should know this.

Looking at the situation here, you'd think that those electricity fields would be the most obvious danger to the turtles. That assumption couldn't be more wrong. The seaweed itself is either poisonous or electric. It's hard to tell which, because when you touch it you simply die, almost instantly.

TMNT may have been a dream game when it came out, but it's certainly not known for its great play control. It's very tough to make precise jumps and attacks. At first, I chalked that up to the natural difficulty that amphibious creatures like turtles would have on dry land. But they fare even worse in the river, which is supposedly their natural habitat. It's almost like they want to taste sweet seaweed death.

And don't think you can just take it slow and steady, inching through the danger. If you let that timer run out, it's game over completely.

Despite their excitement for this game, so many of my friends were so badly beaten into submission by this terrible level that they quit the game entirely.

At least the bombs weren't in a lake.

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