Who am I you ask? Well I guess my story starts some time around the early eighties. As my apartment had strangely gotten a lot smaller over the last months, I thought it would be a good idea to redecorate it. I was leaning back in my sofa, going through the new Ikea catalog when I was suddenly hit by a massive earthquake. As much as I tried to hold my ground, I was propelled head first into that strange tunnel at my front door. I had been wondering where that leads but never had the courage to check it out.
After a long and bumpy ride, I finally stuck my head out the other end and saw daylight. Before I had a chance to adjust to my new environment, a big man wearing some kind of a lab coat and face mask grabbed hold of me. He was a despicable man really. Not only did he cut my food supply line, he also held me upside down in the air and slapped me right on the butt! What did I ever do to him?! Just when I was about to stick it to him, my attention was averted to this tired looking lady lying on a bed nearby.
It was very strange. Do you know that feeling when you meet somebody for the first time, yet you feel like you have known each other all along? I had this feeling when I saw her. That's when it occurred to me. This woman must be my landlady and I had been neglecting my rent for a few months after all. I could understand that she was upset but still... She had no right to turn me over to that sadistic bull in his white coat! I thought that me and her were going to have a long and personal conversation but right now, I just wanted to take a shower. That tunnel I had just been through wasn't all that clean after all.
Fortunately this other lady dressed in white was a lot nicer than her butt-slapping friend. She most kindly helped me clean myself and then handed me some warm, although not very fashionable garments. She carried me over to my landlady and I prepared to negotiate the rent but instead, my landlady threw me a warm smile and pressed me against her breast so lovingly that I melted like snow to the sun. She and her equally loving husband took me to their home where they had a room prepared with a bed in exactly my size and all kinds of lovely little things to play with. It's like they had been planning to take me in all along.
I didn't quite understand the strange language both of them spoke but yet I figured out that her name was Mom and crying meant "Food please", "Hug me" and "Clean me" all at the same time. The temperature wasn't as constant as my previous home but still, this was some service! Anyway, I would wander around this place for the time being while gradually learning to speak their language. It would take seven years before I really found out what my purpose here was.
One fine morning, Mom brought me to a supermarket and I saw a little mustached guy jumping around on a TV. That was my first encounter with the Nintendo Entertainment System! This thing blew my mind in so many ways! I had heard of princesses being kidnapped by dragons before but where's the prince to save her? No, there is no prince! This time it's a fat Italian plumber with a mustache who gets to be the hero! Yeah, that's what I'm talking about! Power to the common man! Not only that but rather than simply hear his tale, I could actually help him in his quest. Though Mom seemed quite unimpressed, I knew I had witnessed a miracle and it would leave a mark on my life for years to come.
I'd often get into fights with Mom after that. She wanted me to go outside and play with my friends but what did she know? After all, all of my friends were living in similar warm nests, receiving the same service from two other persons who were somehow all named Mom and Dad. No, my purpose in life was bigger than that. As much fun as playing with my friends was, If I did that then who would save princess Peach, liberate the kingdom of Hyrule and smite the evil king Dedede? I just couldn't ignore the sorrow of the weak!
It wasn't until another seven years or so that I would see what a fool I had been. Up until now, I had been carrying the weight of the world on my own shoulders while completely ignoring the help others could have offered. I was determined to never close my eyes to the value of friendship again! Especially in these dark times. I was barely finished helping Dr. Freeman escape the resonance cascade alive when bands of terrorists attacked and dragged his scientist colleagues off to cs_assault. This was too much for just me to handle. This time I needed help!
Anyone who doesn't believe in the kindness of strangers is a moron. I mean sure, strangers aren't always nice. I've been told that I SuX0rz and have been called a n00b a million times but even then, it's worth it. As it so happens, it were these very strangers that padded me on the back and reassuringly shouted "Lock and Load!" before we stormed the big garage and got every single scientist out while making a fair buck in the process. Unfortunately our happiness was short lived as a new batch of terrorists arrived and we were right back where we started. Rather than sigh over the shortness of our victory, we bought ourselves a new pack of heavy guns and rushed in once more. No matter how many times the terrorists came back, we'd bring them to justice!
Time went on and the terrorists got more and more violent. Now they didn't only take hostages any more but also planted bombs and tried to assassinate seemingly random VIPs. Our combined efforts were no longer enough. We needed more coordination. We needed a plan! We had to Look at the map and devise a clever strategy. As much as I tried this, people were joining and leaving our counter-terrorist squad with every tick of the clock. Some of them even switched sides to join the terrorists. I engaged in conversation with several of the better fighters. We decided to join together regularly and learn how to fight as one. You could even go as far as to call us a counter-strike clan! For years we battled the forces of evil and shed much blood until I finally left the front as I heard of another land in need.
So many years ago I had liberated the town of Tristram from Diablo, the lord of terror. The hero I helped out at the time had drilled the dark lord's soul stone right into his own forehead. What an idiot! Needless to say, Diablo soon overpowered this weak excuse for a savior and continued to live on, inhabiting the former hero's body. "Man", I thought. "I've gone through all of this before, I'm not doing it again or at least... Not alone!" Fortunately my plea for help didn't leave me waiting as several friends showed up and we entered a new clan to smite that demon once and for all! After taking care of business in the chaos sanctuary, laying waste to Baal, the lord of destruction and even single handedly obliterating several acres of murderous cows, it was time to put my swords and bows to rest once more.
Since that time, my clan based activity has settled down and I remain to fight on the side of good with smaller bands of friends while every now and then fondly remembering those good old days. Most of all, I tend to leave the real action up to others as I watch from the sidelines. Especially a Korean man named Jaedong shows particular excellence in leading the Zerg to victory against the evil Protoss at general Bisu's command and admiral Flash' corrupted Terran whom I wish all to be infested for greater good.
I thank you for taking the time to read about my life. Perhaps our paths may once cross in the endless online battlefields and until then, luck be with you.
Hello there, fine people. My name is Metallion and I write about games. Last week I read this blog on Destructoid. Not particularly well written. He should have used a spell checker and probably brushed up on his grammar a bit too. Nevertheless there was a definite feel of enthusiasm to his write-up and rightfully so.
I mean, did you ever play Kirby's Dream Land on the original Gameboy? Nowadays when you talk Kirby, you talk stealing enemies' powers but back then there was no such mechanic. The game was
so simple. A jumped, up made you fly and B sucked up an enemy. Then there were a few powerups lying about. A plate of curry rice made you breathe fire for a short time, a mic had Kirby sing his favourite song once and a leaf let you fly while shooting air bubbles indefinitely. The ability to fly effectively erases any difficulty from the game and it doesn't exactly boast a big amount of levels but you know what? That doesn't matter!
I'm not saying that a game can get away with being ridiculously easy and short. I'm saying that Kirby can! I mean, look at the little fellow. He's just adorable! I mean, he's so round and pink and... Ugh even a merciless terminator would just want to give him a big squeezy hug. Seriously though, there's just a certain charm to this game that keeps you coming back for more. As Winged Kraby stated in the blog I mentioned earlier, a big part of this is thanks to the music. Let's take a look at a few of my favourite levels of this game.
This explanation's going to be brief. This level's my favourite for one reason and one reason only. The music. Knighty enough to fit a castle level and cutesy enough to fit a Kirby game. This tune'll be stuck in your head for a while after watching the video above. Also does anyone recognize those boss characters? ;)
Coming fresh off of Castle Lololo, Kirby's now headed seaside. The music just makes you feel like you're right there under a palm tree with a cocktail in your hand. Kirby heads out to sea, crawls through a cave and then boards a ship. At the end of the level he launches himself towards a whale, gets stuck in its breathing whole and is then launched to the sky. The boss battle that follows there effectively turns the game into an arcade shmup. Although the whale scene adds nothing to the gameplay, it's just adorable to watch and I'm happy it's in the game.
This level takes place in the clouds and yes, the music fits really well but that's not why I like it. When I first played this game, I was in 4th grade elementary school and I had just learned where babies come from. My explanation for this level's title screen is that there was a little lady kirby waiting in that cloud.
As I said before, the game is incredibly easy but actually once you beat it, it shows you the code to unlock hard mode. In this mode we're no longer playing around. Enemies are way more abundant and have ridiculous patterns. Some of the more fearsome ones even take away half your health bar in one hit. I can still beat the game but in this mode, it does give me a run for my money. Kirby's Dream Land would have been just fine even without this mode but with it, it's a true retro classic that every self-respecting gamer should play at least once.
This has been Metallion and thank you for reading River City Retro.
Ps: I actually intended to write about Kirby's Dream Land 2 but during the introduction, I got so excited about the first game that I decided to write a whole feature on that. Keep an eye on my blog for Dream Land 2 is soon to follow.