It feels like it was just yesterday since I last wrote something regarding super rare NES games. It's actually been a long-ass time in Internet terms but that hasn't stopped me from scouring the globe in search of more wonderful games that don't exist. In fact, I just found some so why don't you sit a spell and take a gander at all these wonderfully rare NES games and wish you could play them. I know I will.
Kevin Keene was just an ordinary teenager. He was smart, athletic and popular amongst everyone, plus he even kicked ass at video games just like every other ordinary teenager until the day he was pulled into Videoland via the Ultimate Warp Zone. There he became Captain N: The Game Master and fought to save the world from the threat of the evil Mother Brain whose recent plan is to collect 8 legendary artifacts called the Tomes of Dawn (they're NES cartridges) from several worlds throughout Videoland. Not wanting to put herself into harm's way and knowing her lackeys will screw it up, she instead kidnaps Lana, princess of Videoland, and holds her for ransom forcing Kevin to collect the Tomes in exchange for her freedom.
This was a pretty straightforward platformer based on the cartoon and comic book of the same name. You simply picked a level from the map and then ran, jumped and shot your way to the bosses at the end. All the worlds were based on Nintendo games (Zelda, Kid Icarus, Metroid, Donkey Kong and others) and feature enemies and locations familiar to people who've played them although some choices for levels were strange on Nintendo's part; such is the case with the Punch-Out stage.
Before going into a level you were asked to select one of three partners to take along. Because of licensing issues, Megaman and Simon Belmont were replaced with Samus Aran; the remaining characters were Pit (Kid Icarus) and Kevin's dog, Duke. While you couldn't play as them, they served as a form of special attack that could be called at anytime, however, once you call them, they're gone until you finish the level. That is unless you find the mothafuckin' Power Glove at which point you get your partner back to use again but, if you still have your partner, then the glove will refill your life and power meters instead.
Captain N's arsenal consisted of his Zapper and Power Pad, one of which is just a gun but the other is where the real fun in this game came from. By pressing the Select button players would activate the Power Pad and while it was on you could run faster and jump higher. The power of your Zapper was also increased but, best of all, if the Start button was pressed while the pad was on, you could stop time just like in the show. Of course the down side is that the Power Pad's power is used up doing this and so you had to search out NES controller power-ups to refill it.
Unreleased: The game was cancelled after a publicity stunt involving a guy dressed up like Captain N ended in several arrests. Apparently a 20 to 30 year old man walking up to kids and asking them if they want to play some video games is against the law in some states.
Developer: LTM Interactive
Senator Byron Cobb was having a great time celebrating his 64th birthday until the escort he hired dropped dead. Because this is an election year and he can't afford a scandal, he enlists his 2 interns, Eddy and Sean, with the task of taking the dead hooker, Denise, to the morgue before the end of the night. Unfortunately for them, it just so happens to be the 4th of July and so the place is crawling with tourists and heavy security, meaning that they'll have to work together to get out of this mess without getting caught.
This game was to feature 5 levels spread across Washington D.C. with the object of each being to get Denise to the exit before time ran out while avoiding the police and tourists. Cooperation was the name of the game as the player or players had to use the strengths and weaknesses of our two heroes to overcome the obstacles laid before them. Eddy's the all-around athlete of the two; he's faster, jumps higher and even fits into small areas, but his abilities suffer when he's carrying Denise. Sean is the opposite; his athletic skills are terrible but he can lift and move heavy objects (including Denise) without any side effects.
As players moved through a level, they'd run the risk of filling the Alert Meter by doing things like dropping Denise or running around carrying her in plain sight of other people. Filling the meter brings about a group of cops that will search the area for any signs of trouble which can lead to the end of the game if the boys are found out. To lower the meter, you had to find a way to hide Denise by placing her in/on something (dumpsters, garbage cans, chairs and so on) or make her seem alive using whatever power-ups you could find. These included puppet strings for moving her through crowded buildings; roller skates for zipping past crowds and Voodoo dolls that let players take control of her for a brief time.
Unreleased: This title was cancelled after the company was threatened with a lawsuit claiming that it violated the copyright on the movie, Weekend at Bernie's and really violated the copyright on Weekend at Bernie's II.
Developer: Absolute Entertainment
It's been three years since the events from the last two games and, since then, the people of Earth and the inhabitants of Blobolonia have established a galactic partnership for the betterment of both. Biogenetic engineering was probably the last thing either had in mind but rogue scientists from both planets have begun experiments combining the DNA of the Blob's with that of Earth's inhabitants and unleashing them across the planet using machines called "Splicers". The job of destroying these machines lands squarely on the Boy and Blobert (the Blob) because sending a kid and an alien to save the world is much more fun then the military doing it.
For the most part, this game played just like the original. Feed the Blob a jellybean and he'll transform into something that the boy can use. Then, when you're done, whistle to change him back. What is different is just about everything else. The game world is larger, giving you 8 locations to explore (each roughly the size of the first game's cavern area) filled with puzzles, treasure and enemies. These areas were selectable from a map screen showing the world and two other locations called "Home" and "Candy Store." Going Home let you save your game and talk to the other characters for clues about treasure and jellybean combinations, while the candy store is where you could either spend your treasure on more jellybeans or create new ones.
Most of the Jellybeans were brought back from the previous games and still had the same effects, but now you could create your own by mixing two different beans together leading to new transformations like a Jetpack, a Sword or a Diving Helmet. Most of these were simple to figure out such as Strawberry (Bridge) and Banana (Monkey Wrench) combined into S. Banana (Grappling Hook). Of course, not every combination worked and those that didn't would have negative results like Blobert exploding (resulting in death) or becoming temporarily liquefied and useless.
Unreleased: The only existing copy of this game was traded by a former Absolute employee to a hooker in exchange for a handy behind a Burger King. When asked to describe the woman whom he gave the cartridge to he said she, "Smelled like fries if that helps".
Developer: LTM Interactive
Grim Jim McKlintok, the greatest grave robber that ever lived, has passed away leaving both a rich legacy and a tomb loaded with all the treasures he's ever taken. However, the time for mourning the legend has passed and, at his request, a competition has begun to see who has what it takes to be his replacement as the #1 Grave Robber. Before Jim died, he went back to 6 of his greatest "jobs" and hid a piece of a Medallion along with some other riches in each one. The first to get all 6 Medallion pieces will prove his worth and get a crack at raiding Jim's final resting place and taking as much as they can carry. This is just the opportunity that Robin, a down on his luck gravedigger, has been waiting for.
Grave Robin was to be an Action/Adventure game in which you, as Robin, explored several tombs and graveyards looking for treasure and pieces of Jim's Medallion. Gameplay was reminiscent of Zelda in which you'd move from room to room solving puzzles or fighting enemies to open the door to the next room, ultimately facing a boss at the end. Robin's arsenal consisted of his trusty shovel and a rusty old lamp, both of which could be upgraded allowing for new uses and special abilities. Upgrades for the shovel allowed Robin to perform new moves with it such as pole-vaulting, a javelin throw and hovering, while the lamp's upgrades would reveal things such as invisible objects and secret passages and would even decipher ancient text.
At any part in the game, Robin could travel to the Weeping Widow, a small pub placed atop a large, odd-looking hill. The Widow served as the game's hub where you can buy upgrades, chat with the locals and choose your destination among the places you've discovered. This is also where most of the games story takes place as a number of its patrons are your competition and talking with others was key to learning their weaknesses.
Unreleased: The market for this game didn't exist at the time of its development. However, with the advent of the store, Hot Topic, this game finally has the market it needed...sixteen years ago so don't hold your breath on seeing this one.
Developer: LTM Interactive
Welcome to the fast-paced and exciting world of urban renovation! You are Larcen Swindler and you, along with your twin brother Conner, have just purchased the historic Litome Heights apartment complex in hopes of restoring the once great landmark into the famous hot spot of its heyday. All the paper work has been filled out, the permits issued and a construction crew is ready to go but there's just one problem: the building's current residents are refusing to leave. So now it's up to the Swindler Bros. to make their way through each and every apartment while evicting the defiant squatters by any means necessary. Thus begins the game that is Resident Upheaval.
Presented in an overhead view, players were tasked with entering every apartment and throwing the residents out via the front door, window, etc. However, the tenants are not going to just stand there and take it so you'll need to find a way to knock them out first, then take them to the exit before they regain consciousness by either picking them up or dragging them. Knocking them out is as easy as punching them in the head but the further you got, the more hits it would take to bring them down, so throwing furniture and using weapons such as baseballs, frying pans, bats, irons and so forth was encouraged.
Of course you could also use the environment to your advantage and take out the freeloaders by pulling rugs out from underneath them or, with the help of a saw, creating holes for them to fall into. Once an apartment is cleared, players moved to the next and on and on until reaching the boss of that floor (7 floors in all). These boss battles involved residents that could not be dealt with the usual way and so had to be defeated and evicted with some thought.
For example, the boss of floor 4 is an overweight woman who is immune to all attacks so you had to damage the floor around her to take her down. Another battle involved shorting out a nerd's homemade mech by first breaking a water pipe and then using a bucket to fill and spill water on him. After a boss was defeated, players were treated to the song "We're in the Money" while Larcen and Conner celebrated before going onto the next floor.
Unreleased: The founder of LTM Interactive, Anthony "Mutton Chops" Lacelli, refused to release this game under the notion that it was just too "goddamn awesome" for the market place. Our loss I guess.
So there you go, another handful of wonderful NES games that just never came to be. I think we can learn a lesson from all of this and I'll be damned if I know what it is but it's there, just sittin' alone watching the world go by waiting for someone to pull up a chair and say "Hey, how's it going, nice place you have here." Perhaps this will be the last anyone sees of some of these super rare games for awhile unless I find something amazing like a picture of Luigi from Super Mario RPG but I don't think that's gonna happen.
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