At a Glance: Being a masochist can sometimes be hard on people. You have the willpower to withstand stabbing yourself multiple times with a screwdriver to impress your friends, but what do you do to keep that razor's edge sharp when no one is looking? Taxan, the company that brought you the famous game ________, inserted the painfully anal-retentive 8 Eyes into our time stream to usurp the balance and thwart the Time Lords. Pain lovers, rejoice.
Platform: NES (Download Emulator here - 192k)
Download: Download ROM here - 64k
Game Plot: Your character, Orin, searches the world on a quest to stab people taller than him and steals their jewelry for his Thanksgiving Parade. Orin is so determined that he is willing to travel to such mysterious countries as Spain, Italy, or Jimmy's Chicken Shack with only his pet Cutrus the hawk. Cutrus, besides being an excellent name for my Nintendo/TurboDuo/Virtual Boy cover band, aids you somehow. His skills are invaluable when you are in dire need of something to swoop in, confuse you, and cause you to plummet to your death down a bottomless pit that is actually bottomfull. It's full of my tears.
You arrive at these countries with your bowling buddy/hawk and enter the only house that exists there. After you complete your stabbing and gem transaction, you sit down and have a nice spot of tea with your recently defeated boss foe and a skeleton. Then you move on to the next stage. At this point I will remind my single reader that I am in no way responsible for this plot. I went over to get a few drinks from the bar and came back, and just found it like this. Talk to Hammering Harry, he was there.
Your character, Captain Idiot O'Flair, for some reason decides to sip down this obviously poison tea. This causes you to start each stage with the same stats, a terrible sword, and no extra weapons after you get beaten, mugged, and forced to vote (this was put here to fulfill my "political joke" requirement). In fact this game deals so much more with tea-drinking than plot that I'm officially renaming this game "Tea Cozy of Time: Battle for the Ultimate Biscotti".
The most cohesive element in this game that could be mistaken for a plot is pain. Even the simple task of moving from one screen into another is painful, placing you directly into an unavoidable enemy with absolutely no chance of dodging. This game provides quick-fix situations for those children that want to torture themselves, but lack the get up and go to stick their tongues in a pneumatic drill.
You can't even defeat another boss unless you have chosen the right stage to start with. When you finish the game, you have to arrange the gems you have in the correct order to save the world using clues that were hidden in the walls. Did you play the game through and not realize there were things hidden in the walls? 8 Eyes just keeps giving and giving.
Enemies: Your villains include creatures like jawas, large mosquitoes, guys without pants, fat men, skeletons, and bats. Here's how to construct your very own RomPit joke using this short list: First take one item from the list, such as "bats". Insert a reference to genitals. Include a passing reference to another item, like "jawas". Mix. Fold in violence. Use enough detail to make yourself sound like you weren't up all night crying. Example: "So naturally I used a bat on the naked guy, mangling his genitals like a grape crusher, 'persuading' the jawas to give me their Sand Crawler." Try it out yourself. Enjoy.
Your foes are extremely cunning in this game thanks to space-age AI technology that was developed in the center of the Sun by the US Department of Agriculture. The enemies figured out (with their US patented corn-fed Gigabrains) that your character is indeed made of oxygen molecules. In order to combat a man made of oxygen molecules, the enemy deployed incredibly advanced countermeasures: swinging weapons at every oxygen molecule they find. In order to defend against people who fling their weapons around in every direction, your attack strategy consists of "hit them and run away." This very same strategy was used by military masterminds such as General Stonewall Jackson and Sir Puss VanCry-Cry.
Some enemies, although visible and therefore stabbable, are unaffected by everything except one single weapon. That means every enemy has their own individual weakness. This is a shortcoming of the game and could have been improved upon. Everyone has their own individual weakness. For example, take my only fan Vince Smith. He can only be harmed when I stab him, like I just did. Shooting him, dropping spiked balls on him while riding a cloud, throwing him and his family into a vat of acid, or burning his flesh with radiation does not work. Believe me, I tried.
Weapons: You start with nothing. Much like Castlevania (MUCH MUCH MUCH like Castlevania), you are given an assortment of little weapons that require special energy to use. These weapons include a round white thing, a round red thing with a "p" in it, a dagger, a molotov cocktail, and a gun. Which one of these is the most effective? That's right, the round white thing because it freezes people. This is why every major protest has dissolved into chaos: someone pulls a gun but there is no one to pull out a white ball and freeze them.
Your hawk Cutrus is also one of your weapons, able to be called upon to fly around and swoop down upon your enemies. You have to press up and attack to make him fly around then down and attack to make him swoop down. Can you tell where I'm going with this? Screw you if you can't.
This "new feature" basically boils down to keeping Cutrus alive as fat men and bats fly into the screen at breakneck speeds because they need to know where you got your pants from. His usefulness increases tenfold when you stab him, stuff him full of sand, and use him as club. Note that you can have a second player act as Cutrus and play with you. Stab them, stuff them full of sand, and use them as a club.
Levels: Each level is a place where you can find someone tall to beat up: Italy, Germany, Spain, India, Arabia, Africa, Egypt, my workplace. Each level is a self-contained hell. Germany and Africa are both mazes, returning you to screens unless you go a specific route. What's more fun than being constantly attacked by creatures while attempting to keep your hawk from slamming its head against a stone wall in an suicidal fury? Walking up the stairs to find yourself back at the start. Once you complete these stages you end up at the final location, the House of Ruth, which is right between the House of Pain and the Parliament of Funk.
Bosses: All levels end with some sort of boss. Each of these bosses are tall and angry, sitting in a room by themselves practicing their monologues for their local state finals. You interrupt. This angers them so that they challenge you to a duel using telepathy. They indicate that if you defeat them they will invite you to tea. You accept. (These are the lengths I need to go to so I can excuse what happens. Don't judge me.).
As soon as you defeat all of these bosses you get to fight them over again in the House of Babe Ruth. Upon defeat they explode into giant crosses that heal you with friendly rays, confirming what shotgunning Surge, Tab Energy, and cat urine can finally do when it reaches your cerebral cortex.
Defining Moment: Finally finding definitive proof that Spain consists entirely of men wearing blue shirts and no pants.
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"Oh, look, it's me from the future! And there's another me, made of anti-matter! All three of us are reaching out towards the exact same point in space, our fingertips on a collision course."
The Rom Pit is dedicated to reviewing the most bizarre and screwed up classic console games from the 1980's, the ones that made you wonder what kind of illegal substances the programmers were smoking when they worked on them. Strangely enough, the same illegal substances are often necessary to enjoy or make sense of most of these titles. No horrible Nintendo game is safe from the justice of the ROM Pit.