The Dragon by Rinco

So I went and got this bootleg cartridge called The Dragon. And here it is:

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By all appearances, it is not The Dragon. It appears to be a bootleg Super Mortal Kombat 3 cartridge. In fact, there was a bootleg copy of Super Mortal Kombat 3 that was made with this exact same label and cartridge shell by a company called NT.

I do not know for sure why my copy of The Dragon is in a Mortal Kombat 3 cartridge shell. I suspect that at some point somebody opened up their The Dragon cartridge and their Mortal Kombat 3 cartridge and swapped the circuitboards.

But the game on this cartridge is The Dragon, whatever the label says. And it is completely different from Mortal Kombat.

Mostly.

I say “mostly” because the sprites for the bosses and the main character are taken from Mortal Kombat 1. (Or at least people say they are—I haven’t played any of the Mortal Kombat games.)

Well let’s turn it on and play.

Here is what you will get when you first power on the game:

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Alright, so here’s a copyright. It was published by Rinco, which is short for Ramar International Co.

It was programmed by Tony Tech, which was a group of programmers who used to work at Sachen. Sachen is another bootleg game company, and I will probably write about some of their games at some point.

But I am not writing about Sachen, I am writing about The Dragon.

And the title screen for that aforementioned video game looks like this:

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As you can see, it has a title in English and also in Arabic, which is uncommon in bootleg Famicom games. There are very few that have Arabic in them.

Also on the title screen is what is supposed to be Bruce Lee.

Bootleg game makers have a problem when it comes to being consistent on names, and The Dragon is no exception. The English title is “The Dragon”, and the (translated) Arabic title is “Bruce Lee”, and some cartridge labels say “Lee Dragon”.

(I’m not even counting that my cartridge label says “Super Mortal Kombat 3”)

Anyway, let’s press start, like the title screen is telling us to.

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English and Arabic. I am going to pick English, because I don’t speak Arabic, and if I select Arabic as the language then I will not be able to read it.

On the other hand, I can select English, which I can read (and write, for that matter), and thus I will be able to understand the game’s text.

One way or the other, you will get a menu, the English version of which is pictured below:

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I will be going through these options in reverse order, because they are in their unmodified form arranged from most complicated to least complicated. As such, the first menu selection that I will be covering is OPTION.

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“Life” let’s you change the number of lives you have. It’s basically a difficulty selector.

And “Menu” shows you the controls. These controls, of course, I completely ignored and played the game without knowing them.

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And “Exit” takes you back out of the menu. Pretty self explanatory.

Anyway, back to that first menu, the option in the middle is “Battle”. If you select that, then this will happen:

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There are two different game modes in The Dragon. The first one is Battle, and the other one is Game. If this was an official cartridge, it would probably be called Story mode.

Battle mode is just all of the boss fights from Game mode put together into a fighting game.

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And that’s basically it for Battle mode. What about the other fighters, you ask? I will get to (some of) them in my summary of Game mode, in which they are the bosses.

So without any further delay let us start up Game mode.

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“About the Bruce Lee”? This definitely is not to those good grammar.

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The grammar is getting worse and worse.

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Yes, for some reason you fight one of the bosses right at the beginning of the game. And the boss fights are basically a bad 2D fighting game.

When I initially played this game on an emulator, I thought it was just a fighting game and stopped playing it after losing a few times.

But, as I later found out, The Dragon is more than just a fighting game.

And if you have the patience to keep playing it, you will find out that by using low kicks you can avoid some of the enemy attacks as well as attack the enemy. In which case you will defeat “Suzuki (Ninja)” and you will (after a couple of screens) see what else The Dragon is.

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“You won’t get away”, huh? Well I just did and there is nothing that Suzuki (Ninja) is going to do about it.

Anyway, this will happen next.

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And…

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The Dragon is also a side-scrolling beat-’em-up.

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And it is also a platforming game.

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See that box? Well, those boxes are stupid. You smash them open to get bonus items. BUT, they will also a lot of the time just explode in your face and eliminate half of your health. If you smash two exploding ones, you are dead. ):

On the other hand, you CAN get some other stuff out of them. But they explode so often that it isn’t really worth it.

One of these is an item that refills around 1/5 to 1/4 of your health.

Also, much less frequently you can get this whip thing:

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It gives you more attack power, and a little bit more range of attack. But it isn’t really all that much help, because the majority of the enemies can be killed in just a couple hits anyway.

Moving on, here is the second boss fight:

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Alright, the next guy is Ram (King Fighter). He is a little harder to beat than Suzuki (Ninja) but it’s still pretty tricky.

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Sorry the picture is blurry but I am not going to do anything about it.

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What??? I just did, didn’t I?? Whatever.

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Uh-huh.

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Come on Rinco why do you have to put a sign that says “Rinco” two times on it? And how many “Rinco” signs to you see in real life? None? That’s what I thought. Count on Tony Tech to make a realistic game. And also a game that has signs that don’t have redundant extra words on them.

**sigh** whatever.

When you die, this happens:

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The screen gets all black and white and you die.

Why did I die? It’s because of these guys:

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See the really short pink guy? Those guys are the worst because you aren’t protected from their attacks by crouching. ): They are mean. They also come in some other colors too, besides pink. Like red and blue.

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And we have reached the next bad guy, Tat (Chevalier Of The East).

This guy is REALLY hard, because his attacks are really strong and also he does these stupid rapid-fire low kick attacks which take out a big chunk of your health.

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If you lose all of your lives, you will be given the option to continue.

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Again, I am not going to do anything about the blurry picture.

And if you eventually beat Tat (Chevalier Of The East) then this will happen:

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What? I just beat you!

Ahh this is stupid. I can’t tell if you are the one saying this stuff or if it is the bad guy.

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Grammar usual, as bad.

Then after some more beat-’em-upping there is this really stupid unfair part where you have to jump over some saw blades, which I tried to do over and over again and was only able to get across the first jump once.

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And then I got a game over.

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I quit.

Super Mario pirate cart

The majority of single-game pirate carts of licensed cartridge games are boring. Just a normal game with nothing special about it. Typically with unoriginal or generic label art, too. And since most of the ones I have found are overpriced, I don’t have very many.

Here are the ones I do have (other than the one mentioned in this post’s title):

A few days ago, I got a Super Mario Bros. pirate cartridge, even though it was overpriced, because it looks like this.

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LOL. That’s ridiculous. When you power it on, you get this fairly common title screen hack of Super Mario Bros.:

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Hacked Super Mario Bros. Title Screen

I believe this cartridge was made in Argentina, because I got from there. Also I got this other very similar bootleg game from Argentina also:

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Weird artwork.

If anyone has any information about these cartridges or what company made them I would like to know. (:

Anyway I thought the label for this game was pretty funny. So hopefully you will too.

Oh by the way here is the back of the cartridge:

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That’s it for now. Bye guys!

UPDATE: Also it has the level select enabled by default

The Power Joy Navigator, Part 3

Hello everyone.

I have finally stopped being lazy and I am FINALLY writing more about the Power Joy navigator.

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I’m REALLY sorry I took forever to do this, but I’m writing about it now. Unfortunately, my player 2 controller seems to be malfunctioning on the Power Joy Navigator. ):

But meh here you go.

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First off is Pulverization. It is a hack of Battle City with new levels and vertical scrolling. In my last post, I accidentally referred to it as Alienis, because they are very similar. It also changes sounds and graphics.

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Next up is Alienis.

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Like the other games on the Navigator, the copyright is changed to say © Power Joy Ltd. instead of what it was supposed to say.

But whatever. What is Alienis?

Alienis is an advanced hack of Battle City developed by Inventor. Inventor is the same company that made that Pandamar hack of Super Mario Bros. that replaces Mario with a panda.

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Well, what is changed from Battle City to Alienis?

The biggest difference is that Inventor added vertical scrolling. Pretty neat, huh? Also they changed the sprites and background. I am not entirely sure what it is supposed to be, but the background is blue, and you play as weird looking vehicle things. Instead of just dying when you are hit, you have two HP. After the first hit, your ship is split in two. After a second hit, you lose a life. But instead of going back to the beginning, you just get the ship you are using replaced with a new one.IMG_8014

In the original Battle City, you had to kill all the enemy tanks in order to move on to the next level. In this game, the levels are harder and I have been so far unable to complete the first level. I haven’t really played it very much yet though, so I’m no one to judge.

Oh, and instead of guarding an eagle statue like the original Battle City, you are guarding a little house.IMG_8013IMG_8012

Well that’s that. The next game I will write about is Polar Bat.

Polar Bat? What’s that?

It is a NiceCode game.

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NiceCode Software’s logo.

And it features a guy who runs around at the bottom of the screen throwing snowballs up to attack the bats at the top of the screen, while dodging enormous snow-boulders and snow-icicles that will kill you if you don’t get out of the way.

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That’s about it for Polar Bat. Moving on to Diamond.

It is a either a knockoff or a hack of Breakout. Not much new, gameplaywise.

The last one I will write about today is Snowball. A simple but challenging puzzle game thing.

You control a snowman, and you have to push all of the snowballs into holes in the level. If you mess up, you have a once-per-level thing where you can take back the move you just made. And you can also reset the level.

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As you can see, that one is pretty easy. That’s because it’s the first level. The levels get more difficult as you progress through the game.

I’ve made it to level three in the few minutes I have played this game.

That’s it for today, guys. I will write more later.

Famicom Bootleg Competition?

Hey guys! So I am maybe going to start a competition for playing Famicom bootlegs.

I say “maybe” because I’m not sure how much interest there is going to be in this and if only 2 people are in the competition won’t happen.

Assuming people want to be in, here’s the plan: Every month (or other unit of time) there will be a new task that you have to do in a bootleg Famicom game, and you have to do the task and email your entry to an email that I will set up. Depending on how well you did the task, you will get points, which are added to your total. Whoever has the most points at the  end of the competition is the winner.

Not all the details have been sorted out yet (is TAS allowed? etc.) so (maybe) for more information go to this forum page because that is currently where the discussion about this possibly upcoming competition is going to be, as well as any updates or whatever. If you are interested let me know so I will know to get it set up.:)

NiceCode’s Greedy

I don’t mean that NiceCode is greedy (although they are, putting out games like Egg Contest), I mean that NiceCode made a game called Greedy.

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NiceCode Software’s logo.

I am playing it on the CoolBoy 400 in 1 multicart.

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Huh. It has a Snake. I wonder what this game has to do with snakes.

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It’s a Snake clone.

Snake is a pretty good game though, right? Doesn’t that mean this game is good too?

No. Why? Because NiceCode went and NiceCode-ified up Snake, and now we have this.

They made it so that after your snake gets big enough, it goes to the next level and resets your snake. That basically ruins the game.

I think maybe you have to make your snake bigger every level, but I’m not sure. That would make it a tiny bit better. It still isn’t very much fun compared to actual Snake.

Count on NiceCode to mess up what could have been a pretty good game.

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THE END

“Super Gmae” 4-in-1

Hello everyone, I recently got this 4-in-1 cartridge from 2005, pictured in the below picture:

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Hm. In addition to the misspelling of “Super Gmae” it claims to have the following games:

  1. Shudu
  2. Road Fighter
  3. Tetris
  4. Tank

Well. Before we start up the game and see which games are included, I’m going to point out a few things about the artwork.

“Shudu” features Dash from The Incredibles standing on a Sudoku board. And Tetris on here has artwork stolen from Tetris Worlds.

As for those other games I really have no idea where the art came from. I suspect it to be stolen and if anyone who reads this knows what it is, please let me know.

Let’s start it!

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It appears that the game list has changed a bit.

  1. Shudu
  2. Tank
  3. Square
  4. Highway Racing

Well let’s start up Shudu.

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Ehh I dunno I can’t read Japanese/Chinese/Whatever this is. They changed the copyright to say 2005 and they also garbled the company name.

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It’s Sudoku. I don’t know what this is a hack of but it’s a hack of some sort. The person who sold me this game says it was a hack.

And it doesn’t have anything to do with The Incredibles.

Let’s try out Tank.

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Again, they didn’t change the copyright very well. But the title screen artwork is very good. Let’s press start.

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And this is a hack of Battle City. I haven’t really played the original Battle City, but I’ve played some hacks of it so I can tell.

So, yeah. They changed a lot of the graphics. I suspect the level layouts are changed too but I can’t check because I’m too lazy to try out the original Battle City right at the moment.

OK let’s play Square.

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Hm… I suspect Tetris.

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Yes I was right. Tetris. A hack of Tengen’s Tetris, to be precise.

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In this hack, they changed the title screen and removed the all the difficulty/music/handicap options. Now it’s just a simple 1 player/2 player selection.

Also, like you saw, they changed a lot of the graphics, too.

Onto the last game, Highway Racing.

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OK now it’s Highway Racing I.

Let’s play!

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It’s a racing game. It is seems familiar but I can’t remember what it is. Also, there’s a typo on it. In the game it says “Feul” instead of “Fuel”.

Anyway, that’s it for Super Gmae 4-in-1.

Bye guys!

Super Mario Bros. 256 Worlds

Hello, everybody. Today I’m going to write about this cartridge I got recently.

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As you can see, the label claims to be Super Mario Bros: The Lost Levels. Known in Japan as Super Mario Bros. 2.

I mean, I can’t read Japanese, but you can compare this to the official Lost Levels label and I think you’ll agree it is quite similar.

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Super Mario Bros: The Lost Levels was only officially released on the Famicom on disk format for the Famicom Disk System. Maybe this cartridge is a copy of the disk game onto a cartridge. (They make those).

Well let’s power it on and see what it is:

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Hm. Just regular Super Mario Bros.

…wait.

World Y-1?

Why does it say that?

Because this is Super Mario Bros. 256 Worlds Version.

What’s that mean?

Well, you may know that the original Super Mario Bros. had a bonus where after you completed the game, you could use a level select to pick which world you were started on. 256 Worlds lets you have that level select right from the start. But that’s not all. The counter doesn’t stop at World 8, which is supposed to be the last world. It keeps going up from there. In fact, you can select 256 different worlds. All the worlds have one-character numbers though, so it displays some of them as World Y-1 or World !-1. And most of the times it just picks a random tile, like part of the ? block or part of a bullet bill block.

Of course, these aren’t actually secret levels that were left in the code. It just makes the game read garbage data and display weird levels like never-ending bonus levels, underwater castles, etc. Here are some pictures of the more interesting ones. (some of them are just duplicates of the normal levels)

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So, that’s basically it for now. Bye guys!

“Elrond”

Hello everybody I got this game.

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Well, let’s look at it.

I can’t read most of it because I can only read English, and only a little bit is in English. Some of it is Japanese, and some of it seems to be Chinese maybe.

But I can read the little bit. The front of the cartridge says “Toito”, which maybe is a misspelling of “Taito”. Maybe the bootleggers were pretending to be Taito.

And on the back it says “TV Game Cartridge.”

And on the label it says Elrond. Like in Lord of the Rings? I dunno. Well let’s put it in a Famiclone and see what it is.

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And here is “Elrond”:

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Wizards and Warriors. That doesn’t seem much like Elrond apart from the medieval times sort of setting.:\

Ah well. Still kinda interesting.

Bye! I’ll write more later.

 

 

Q&A for the Cool Shark 64

Q: What’s the Cool Shark 64?
A: It’s this thing, obviously:

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Q: What’s that? Is that a PS1?
A: No of course not it’s a famiclone. Duh. I don’t write about anything else on this blog.

Q: I dunno, it looks a lot like a PS1 to me.
A: To prove it’s not a PlayStation, let’s open up that “disk tray”.

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Q: ***GASP!!!!*** It’s lying! There are no disk trays to be found!
A: No of course there aren’t. It’s a famiclone, like I told you already.

Q: I suspect trickery. You are making that up. That’s not a real famiclone it is a PS1 that you glued a cartridge slot onto and taped a “Cool Shark 64” label onto.
A: No it’s not. Here are some more pictures of the ports, which are obviously not PS1 ports.

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Q: That’s obviously fake. It doesn’t have any controllers. A real Cool Shark 64 would have controllers, which this does not.
A: Here are your controllers.

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Q: Those are obviously fake. They are 3rd party PS1 controllers or something. As you can see, there are triangle buttons, square buttons, cross buttons, and circle buttons. The Famicom only had two buttons.
A: Those two extra buttons are autofire A and autofire B.

Q: Oh yeah dummy then how do you explain the shoulder buttons? Those would have no use on a Famicom.
A: There are no shoulder buttons.

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Q: I call photoshop. This is fake. I demand another picture so I can point out the flaws in it.
A: Here is another picture. You can see that power LED that lights up when you turn it on.

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Q: LALALALALALA I CAN’T HERE YOU FAKE FAKE PHOTOSHOP FAKE FAKE PS1
A: Go away.

That’s it for now guys. I’ll write more soon. I have a lot more games now that I can write about. Including that game in the picture.

Little Red Hood

Hello everybody! Today I’m going to write about Little Red Hood, a pirate original developed by Sachen. It was released on the Famicom by Sachen themselves, and it was later released on the NES by HES Interactive.

Unfortunately, these single-game versions are very expensive. Despite the game’s very low-quality gameplay (which I will get to soon), people gladly pay hundreds of dollars for it. Thus, I have to play it on a multicart. To be specific, I’m using this CoolBoy 400-in-1.

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CoolBoy 400-in-1 Real Game cartridge

So! Let’s get to the game. There are two different versions. One with a Taiwanese title screen, and another with an English one. I have the English one on that multicart.

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Little Red Hood title screen

Little Red Hood is (in)famous for its low quality. And yeah, it’s not super good. But it isn’t, as some people call it, the worst NES/Famicom game of all time. Out of all the ones I’ve played, that title would go to Egg Contest.

Yeah, generally speaking, if people say a game is the worst video game ever, or even just on a certain system, they’re usually wrong. E.T. on the Atari 2600? Not really super bad. Pac-Man on the Atari 2600? Same there. Although to be fair Little Red Hood is in my opinion worse than both of those games.

Unfortunately (or maybe to your relief) I can’t get any more screenshots of this game on my CRT TV, because right now my Famicom isn’t hooked up to it right now, and everybody else is watching a movie on the other TV, and it’s really late, so I will be forced to use an emulator to take these screenshots.😦

Oh and while I’m on an emulator I may as well show you the Taiwanese title screen.

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Well, whatever. When you press start, you will be taken to the first level.

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As you can see, there are are a bunch of trees, a door, bad guys, and rocks. Plus there is “Little Red Hood” herself. No, not Little Red Riding Hood. Little Red Hood. Although the ending cutscene seems to imply it was supposed to be Little Red Riding Hood. I haven’t ever beaten this game though so I can’t show you a picture. Plus, you may not want spoilers.

Well, what’s the point of this game?

Well, first you have to avoid the zombie things, snakes, and other enemies. Also at random times a staircase will appear in the ground. There is literally nothing you can do to trigger this. It’s pretty random.

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Normally when you go in you can just find some money, plus some health replenishers, and sometimes a key.

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So! How do you go to the next level?

Well, Little Red Hood has to first enter the staircase and find the key. Sometimes it isn’t there though, so if you don’t find it you have to come back out and wait for the staircase to show up again and see if it shows up then. It’s just random.

When you acquire the keys, kick the trees over and over again until fruit falls out of them. Whether the fruit falls out is (again) totally random.

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If you get a random unspecified amount of fruit, then the next time you go down the staircase you will advance to the next level.

Well, most of the levels are like that. One or two have slightly different ways to get the key, and some require you to go and get things from the store before the key shows up.

The store! What’s that? Shouldn’t I have mentioned that by now? No? Why not? Because it’s basically pointless. You go into them by going in those doors. All the stores have the same items, even the ones that are right next to each other. All the items you can get from the store you can find underneath rocks.

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Oh, and yeah, you can get things from under rocks. What stuff? Well, potions that replenish your health, a weapon that attacks the zombies, and some other item I forget. You can get this in the stores too.

The stuff you can’t get in the stores that you can get under rocks are extra bad guys, and you can find money, and a dog that will attack enemies for you.

And that’s about it.

Oh, and did I mention that enemies respawn IMMEDIATELY after they are killed? There’s literally no time before they respawn. So it’s not as much killing them as teleporting them to another part of the screen.

…And that’s it. The end. Bye! I’ll write more later.

P.S. there’s also a bonus game sort of where you fly with a balloon and collect money, but I’m not sure exactly what triggers it. It seems to be totally random.

 

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