At a Glance: Color Dreams, the proud publisher of Master Chu and the Drunkard Hu, has struck again with an exciting platform game filled with enemies who all really want to rub up against you. When he’s not being molested by various woodland creatures, Captain Comic enjoys writing apologetic letters to the family of the goldfish he had to evict to make his stupid fucking costume.
Platform: NES (Download Emulator here - 192k)
Download: Download ROM here - 48k
Game Plot: The Adventures of Captain Comic takes place in a magical land known as Tambi. I don’t know where that’s supposed to be, but I’m guessing it’s in the middle east because the inhabitants of Tambi are all determined to blow themselves up in any way possible. Birds, bats, slugs, little floating spaceships – it doesn’t matter what it is, if it’s alive and it’s on Tambi, it’s going to try to hump your leg and detonate. But why? And who the hell is Captain Comic and what did he venture into this awful platformer to do? The game doesn’t explain a damn thing, but with the help of my trusty sidekick “the internet” I was able to procure a copy of the game’s instruction manual.
It's good to know the Japanese developers respect the fine art of kamikaze.
Well, you're on the job now. Using you keen wits and well honed reflexes, you must traverse the ever-changing and treacherous environs of Tambi and return the treasures of Osmic in time for the Trimillenil celebrations. Succeed, and you will be gonored as a hero once more; fail, and three thousand years of galactic peace and prosperity crumble to comic-uh-cosmic dust.
Uh oh! Clearly this is an important mission, so the people of Tambi hired the best man they could find for the job – a skinny, sunburned janitor with his head stuck in a fish bowl. Our mildly retarded hero doesn’t really feel the need to load his gun before heading off into battle, so you get to spend the first part of the game running happily around with a gun that doesn’t work while using your other hand to slap yourself in the ass. And if you have trouble with this, the manual can offer you some very detailed advice on the tag-team of game concepts known as “moving left” and “moving right.”
Control pad left determines the direction Captain Comic faces. When pressed continuosly, it causes our hero to walk left.
Control Pad right operates similarly but movies Captain Comic to the right.
As it turns out, your gun isn’t really broken. The only reason it won’t fire is that the number of bullets you can have on the screen at any one time is determined by how many “Blastola Colas” you drink. At the beginning you haven’t drunk any, so while you can still technically shoot and deplete the weapon meter, nothing comes out of your stupid cola-powered gun, so all you can do is jump around and try to avoid the hordes of angry suicidal birds and earthworms. Once you find your first Blastola Cola, you’ll be able to kill almost every enemy by simply walking to the right and constantly firing, since the enemies spawn on the right side of the screen directly in the path of your shots. There’s a weapon meter that’s supposed to discourage this kind of behavior, but all that does is force you to occasionally stop for two seconds to recharge.
The pointiest level in the game.
Once you get your gun working, the game becomes the blandest, most boring platformer in the known universe. The entire game consists of a loosely connected series of platforms, populated by large groups of native creatures who hate you and want you to die. Just about every enemy in the game attacks by flying at you, giving you a hug and blowing itself up. If you shoot them before they reach you they’ll explode by themselves, and sometimes they’ll just randomly explode for no reason. Once you make your way past all the exploding you’ll realize that the game is “non-linear”, which is exactly like a linear game only you don’t know what order you have to do the levels in. So if you happen to go through the wrong door, you’ll get to trudge all the way through a level only to get stuck at the end and have to go back because you didn’t collect the high-jump boots from a previous level.
Once the constant exploding noises die down you’ll get to experience the game’s lovely soundtrack, which tries to incoporate lots of well-known classical songs like Lemmings did, but fails miserably. If you’ve ever wanted to hear Mozart’s Rondo Alla Turka played with whiny, tinny synthesized noises that sound like a drunk composer pounding on a harpsichord with a hammer, here’s your chance! It also doesn’t help that due to memory constraints, or more likely the short attention span of the game’s one developer, each song just has the first 20 seconds looped over and over again.
Enemies: Captain Comic will experience a wide variety of animal-shaped walking bombs on his journey. At first you’ll encounter birds, worms that move as fast as you, and a number of nondescript floating lines and shapes. Later on they’ll be replaced by ghosts, floating fireballs and tiny UFOs. All of them selflessly dedicate themselves to the noble task of explosion-induced suicide.
I don't know how to react to this screenshot.
Weapons: The only weapon you get in the entire game is the gun that you need cola to fire. You’ll also get powerups that unlock doors, let you jump higher and make your shots travel in a spiral pattern, which is actually pretty useful since a lot of enemies are shorter than you are and there’s no way to crouch.
Number of Levels: The whole game is one big level with sections interconnected by doors, so instead of trying to count levels, I counted the number of doors I had to go through and ended up with eleven. A couple times I took the wrong door and went all the way through a level only to have to turn around and come back because I didn’t have a powerup from an earlier level, and I could hear the game screaming “Ha ha, shoes of the high jump are not been collected! We say tough titties to you, stupid American!”
Number of Bosses: None. There isn’t a single boss anywhere in the entire game. I was hoping there would be an ending boss just so I could fight someone who didn’t blow himself up, but when you get the final piece of treasure the game just shows you a quick ending page and kicks you back to the title screen.
Defining Moment: There wasn’t any one moment that really stood out for me, since my entire memory of the game is a blur of platform hopping, explosions and boredom. The manual is a lot more fun than the game.
Trisplnnian Dervish - Another genetically engineered creature, once the puied janitors of Tambi, a broom in each pseudopod, they are now deadly dealers of destuction.
Mosfets - Massive, static electrical charges formed by the Tambian ritual of simultaneous hair combing, they have formed a community of sorts in that silent but pulsating world found within the Tambian master computer.
Blind Cave Frog - They evolved blindness as a protective mechanism ot ensure continuation of the species as cave frogs are made violently ill by the sight of other cave frogs. The males are red and the females are green, but, of course, blind caves frogs do not know this.
Their game is the worst thing to come out of Japan since anime, pocky and that other game they published, but Color Dreams sure knows how to make a kickass instruction manual.
Each category in the rating system is based out of a possible -10 score (-10 being the worst). The overall score is based out of a possible -50 score (-50 being the worst).
Do you wish to know what computers will be doing in the year to come? With a sigh I shall exert the minimal effort it takes to reveal all. Feel free to print out these predictions and share them with your friends via fax.
Old mixed signals feeling a little stale? Try some new ones!
day 2: still working on the car
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.