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Old School Games: Karnov - Destructoid




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"I am hoping that I can be known as a great writer and actor some day, rather than a sex symbol." - Words of wisdom from the deity Steven Seagal

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In Karnov, you play as a genie. He shoots magic. The enemies you fight confuse even myself.


Genies are cool. Arabian theme is cool. I've always loved the middle eastern genie type of stories. Besides this very few games really roll with that. Dark Cloud on Playstation 2. Both Aladdin games do. Magic of Scheherazade does, but you've never played that. Chances are you never played Karnov either, have you?

Karnov is a shooter, much like Contra. You run and gun your way around, but that's not all. Besides the usual upgrades, you've an inventory that I don't understand. Sometimes you get ladders or bombs and they seem useful. Other than that jumping from platforms and shooting enemies, not too strange really. You collect one orb to get an extra shot or if you've taken a hit it heals you.

Like most games I enjoy, Karnov is brutal. You'll die in a few hits. Two hits actually. Enemies don't. Several hits. What's stranger still is the design of enemies. I don't know what's going on with it, I can't really describe it. I'll just show you.

Cloud


Knife guys


Bats! Six of them for NO REASON.


Gold guy


Laughing bastard


And this.


I don't know what this guy is, so I zoomed in close.


Then this.


I have to write about the sound. Seriously, I love bleeps and bloops so very much. My favorite sound effect ever from Werewolf is in this, assuming because Data East also made that. The greatest of all the sound effects is when you pause the game. A punching sound and a loud ringing bell sound when you pause and unpause the game. Musically the same song played on one and two, so I don't know if that changes or what.

I'm replaying it now as I'm writing this. I only got to level two before my I couldn't take it anymore. I keep dying. Enemies show up and murder me and that's it. Game Over or Continue, I'll take Game Over today. Some other time Karnov I'll beat your face in. I've only made it to level three before, so much like every good game its all about the first few levels enjoying them.

Karnov was originally an arcade game ported to the nintendo and several other systems like the Commadore and even the ZX Spectrum. Having played the Arcade a little, I like the nintendo one more. It looks better at the arcade, but it's just not the same Karnov. As for a sequel, no. Karnov is the mascot of Data East, or was, and appeared in several games like Bad Dudes as a boss. He's also the boss of a Neo Geo game, Fighters History, and even got his name on the sequel Karnov's Revenge.

Videos!

Karnov Arcade


Nintendo


ZX


One last bonus item, Cave Deli, Shmorky, or Dave Kelly built a tool set like his Mario set and turned people loose with it. All the Karnov you could want contained in here. I'm a big fan of his artwork and animation style, and anytime he turns people loose with a playset things are usuall all over the place. You'll get one like this that is creepily funny and then some like this one. Anyway there are two collections of this stuff on there. Collection one and a second. A few other internet humor things exist such as a song called Kathy Can't Play Karnov and a film trailer someone made, even features that damn ladder, and I'm sure more content out there. For some reason Karnov is a funny game that exists in my memory and I like playing it.

How about you? Ever played it?
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