At a Glance: Back when I was nothing but a smelly little child, way before I ever touched a Nintendo, I had what I thought at the time was the greatest invention mankind had ever produced – a Sega Master System. I spent countless hours as a kid playing Kenseiden, The Ninja, Zillion, Wonder Boy in Monster Land, and several other forgotten classics that have been trampled into the dust by the unstoppable march of time. Until a couple of days ago, I believed the Master System could do no wrong…and then I played Captain Silver, an NES port of the first shitty Master System game I’ve ever played. I remember playing a couple mediocre games like Time Soldiers and Global Defense, but never a broken, godawful sidescroller like Captain Silver. I suppose it’s good I was never exposed to this depressingly bad game as a child, or I wouldn’t have had the will to duck and let the wall take the blow on that fateful day when my dad broke my Master System by flinging it at my head.
Platform: NES (Download Emulator here - 192k)
Download: Download ROM here - 104k
Game Plot: I hate to sound like I don’t know what the fuck is going on, but sometimes a man’s gotta admit when he doesn’t know what the fuck is going on, so I’ll just come right out and say it – I don’t know what the fuck is going on. I think you’re supposed to be looking for a pirate’s buried treasure, or maybe you’re just a retired fencer who enjoys stepping outside and getting attacked by werewolves and exploding watermelons. Whatever your motivation is, you spend all your time in this game happily hopping through the forest, dressed in a fruity outfit that kind of makes you look like a pixellated version of Raphael from Soul Calibur 2. Since the original Captain Silver was made by Data East, the company responsible for Bad Dudes and therefore for the greatest intro sequence in the history of video games, I was hoping for a half-coherent overview of what this vest-wearing fairy is trying to do, but sadly they didn’t even try to give the game a plot.
But don’t worry, your fearlessly effeminate adventurer won’t let something like utter pointlessness stop him! Instead he bravely heads out into the forest, valiantly resolving to travel to wherever he’s trying to go and presumably find the buried pirate treasure. At least this story is full of interesting and fun characters.
You - I wish they had bothered to give this guy a name, because I have no idea what to call him. This is the heroic adventurer you have to control on this stupid little journey, a task which is made a lot easier by the game’s untalented programmers. See, normally you would have to keep an eye out for the hordes of tall zombies and pink cats that want to rip off your peanut-shaped head, but if you feel like it, you can simply tap the B button repeatedly while slowly shuffling to the right a millimeter at a time. It’s incredibly slow, but any enemy that approaches you from the front will die instantly due to your uncanny ability to swing your sword 30 times per second. This will work perfectly and make you feel very clever until the time runs out and your guy spontaneously explodes.
Skinny Werewolf – Fortunately, you never have to worry about the werewolves in this game biting your face off like werewolves typically do. This one is the awkward, skinny one that all the other werewolves used to pick on and beat up, which explains why his nose is crooked and he walks with a limp. But at least his hunter-gatherer instincts are still good, since where most werewolves would have claws, this one clutches fistfuls of bananas. They’re so preoccupied with their bananas that they don’t notice you or react to you in any way – even if you walk right into one, he’ll just brush you aside and merrily go about his way.
Retarded Pink Cheshire Cat – The RPCC only shows up in the first level, but you’re never going to make it past the first stage with this bucktoothed bastard constantly annoying you into quitting. He attacks by jumping down from the trees and randomly bouncing all over the place while staring directly into your soul with his wide, insane eyes. He’s the only enemy in the game that’s smart enough to jump in above your sword instead of walking straight into it, and you usually can’t hit him because for some reason you can only stab upwards when you’re in midair. And if you happen to kill the RPCC, it’ll take five seconds for another one to grow on the tree in front of you, creating an endless cycle of frustration that leads to the highly recommended act of “not playing this game."
Tall Frankenstein-Looking Pirate Guy - This enemy will never ever be able to kill you, despite his 15’2” height, stylish tie and a healthy dose of purple. This guy is three times as tall as your character, and he attacks by frantically hopping all over the place waving his stubby little arms around. Sounds like a challenging enemy, right? Well, he would be tough if it weren’t for two small details – there are invisible boundaries at each edge of the screen that he never crosses, and he has to touch you to hurt you. Once you figure this out, which even I was able to do in about 20 seconds, all you have to do is stand just outside his invisible boundary and whack him with your sword when he comes near you. There’s no way at all for him to hit you if you do this, and you can sit there happily whacking away while he stumbles around the stage cursing the name of the programmer who doomed him by giving him such shitty AI.
Enemies: The above enemies, or slight variations on them, make up the majority of the enemies in Captain Silver. You also have evil suicidal watermelons that drop out of trees and try to blow up your head, strangely intelligent coconuts, plants that spit at you and pirates who hide in holes and try to stab you in the ankles.
I hope I don't sound gay when I say that guy has such a hot ass.
Weapons: The only weapon I found was your tiny little starting sword. It’s actually a pretty powerful weapon if you know how to stand in one spot, pound on the B button and hit an enemy 30 times in a second.
Number of Levels: I thought I wasn’t going to be able to tell you this, because the rom glitched out and died on me around the end of level three. I almost decided not to review this game because I couldn’t get all the way through it, but then I checked an FAQ and saw that I had gotten three quarters of the way through the game. Yes, that’s right, Captain Silver contains a whopping four levels. I wish more developers of bad games had the decency to make their games really short.
Number of Bosses: The boss of the first level was some weird Pied Piper guy who shot music notes at me and made a bunch of rats crawl all over the ground and attack me. The second was the aforementioned Tall Frankenstein-Looking Pirate Guy, and I don’t know who the third one is because when I got to him the entire game mercifully transformed into a deformed, glitchy mess.
Defining Moment: Well, as much as I hate Captain Silver, I must commend him for strategically placing bugs in the rom to ensure no one would ever find his buried treasure.
|Overall:||- (34 + ?)|
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).
As the 19th century diver approaches a giant clam, a flash of brilliant golden light flares from within the shell. I emerge in a swirl of bubbles and do the timeless universal underwater hand signals for the following: ZODIAC KILLER, KKK, BLOOD OF YOUTH
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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.