May 2nd, 2007, 02:03 PM
...I beat Battletoads. On NES.
Last night, I went on a mission. I loaded up NNNesterJ, put in a Game Genie code for infinite lives and got ready for MASSIVE quicksaves and quickloads.
For me, it was a matter of closure. As a kid, I had never seen anything past the ice level. I'd be able to do the turbo tunnel section about one out of every five times, and then would get utterly bludgeoned by snowmen in the caves. This time through was no different...in every single level, hell, in every single SECTION of a level, I had to have died at least 20 times.
Special honors goes out to the water level. Because I've always hated water levels in every game ever made since I was three, except maybe for Ecco. In it, there are fish and sharks that you can knock away, but you can't really kill them and they won't hesitate to bite you in the ass while you're preparing for a jump. Oh yeah, and these fish are magical, and they can float through walls. And they're best friends with the rubber duck brigade, a group of impetuous little fuckers that will quite literally disembowel you.
I'd heard some TERRIBLE things about Clinger Winger from a few people before playing, an area where you're on a speed bike being chased by a hypnotic orb. Fully prepared to die hundreds and hundreds of times, I braced myself and dove into it. I only died three times before completing it, which really surprised me. Maybe it's because I had the advice of the elders, I don't know, but it really wasn't that tough.
What REALLY stressed me was Rat Race, a vertical version of the final scene in Earthworm Jim where you're racing a rat down a looooong chute to get to a time bomb and kick it off the level. The first two weren't too bad, and I beat them in one or two tries. The third rat, however, has been endowed with the determination of John Henry and won't hesitate to steel-drive you right down the pipe. After about thirty or forty tries, thirty or forty failures and a terrible terrible hand cramp (i actually had to go to bed for the night because it hurt so bad), I ended up cheating him by smacking him right above the next hole and forcing him to bounce a nearby wall and run the other way.
I never realized just how many things kill you in just one hit later on in the game, and how abruptly they're introduced. For example, in the end stretch you're going up a tower to get to the final boss. As you climb a section, a large red face starts crawling up the right side of your screen. Instinctively, I run and jump at it, hoping to strike it down before it can do anything. Turns out, you can't hurt it. Turns out, he blows you clean off the level. It took me about two or three lives before figuring out what I was supposed to do. This isn't the only example, by the way, the game is FULL of these type of things.
The victory is bittersweet. On the one hand, I feel like I've really accomplished something, and I'll never have to do it again. On the other...this game, is bullshit. Play through it, please. Try to count how many times you would've been fucked the fuck over if you didn't have the benefit of an emulator. I've never seen a game that fights this dirty, to the point where it's literally unbeatable. I really honestly truly can't imagine anyone ever beating this game fair and square.
Also, no-one will ever, ever believe me.