At a Glance: Survivors of the attack on Pearl Harbor thought they were alone in their unbridled hatred of Japan, but they now have a kindred spirit in me and anybody else who’s played Master Chu and the Drunkard Hu. A Japanese company named Joy Van, bitter at all the people who made fun of them for sounding like a car company for pedophiles, struck back in the late 80’s by unleashing this waste of plastic upon the unsuspecting world. Supposedly this was done without authorization from Nintendo, meaning they never ended up getting the coveted Nintendo Seal of Quality. However, if it makes them feel better, they have now won the equally prestigious “Worst NES game Taylor “Psychosis” Bell has ever played” award.
Platform: NES (Download Emulator here - 192k)
Download: Download ROM here - 32k
Game Plot: Master Chu and the Drunkard Hu is essentially a second-rate knockoff of Kenseiden, an excellent Sega Master System game that would have become a classic if the Master System had been bought by more than four people. It follows the quest of some sober dumbass named Chu and some drunk dumbass named Hu as they live out their dumbass lives in an ugly side-scrolling world full of invisible platforms and flying dentures. This game is so fucked up that I spent the first half-hour of my playtime trying to figure out whether or not I’d gotten a buggy rom, but it looks like the rom is fine and the glitches are there because the programmers coded the game by standing in a circle and taking turns hitting the keyboard with a chair.
...No, I don't know either.
Since Hu only appears in two-player games (he’s fat, so it’s no big loss) I had to make my way through the game with Chu’s limited arsenal of attacks. The B button makes you pull out a fan emblazoned with the glorious symbol of Japan (a red dot) and slowly wave it around. This doesn’t hurt enemies at all, but your magical red dot powers can sometimes stop projectile attacks. This would be useful if it worked on any enemies beyond level two. The A button lets you fling tiny red frisbees, which sometimes disappear before touching anything but still somehow do damage.
Since the A and B buttons are taken up by a semi-useless attack and a useless attack respectively, you have to press up to jump. Not only that, but no matter how lightly you tap it, you will launch into the air and sail all the way to the top of the screen, which is very helpful when you’re trying to avoid hitting the spiders and bats with ADD that swarm all over the ceiling.
Weapons: It’s hard to imagine what other weapons you would need when you have a fan with a dot on it, but the game gives you a few powerups anyway. There’s one that makes you shoot two frisbees at once (which is useless because it doesn’t let you fire them forward and it goes away when you take a hit), a necklace that gives you a short period of invinicibility while a horrible screeching sound pierces your skull, and a fat naked midget you can step on to regain your health.
Enemies: When I said this game was fucked up, I didn’t mean in a good Monster Party kind of way - I meant that the game contains tons of glitches and strange enemies, three quarters of which are purple.
These spiders are everywhere in the early levels. Some of them hang from spiderweb strands and some just float through the air while their legs randomly disappear. But don’t get cocky and think you can just walk underneath him, or this brave Spider of Allah will drop onto you and blow himself up.
The purple diaper-wearing bats are the toughest enemies in the game, since they zip around the screen in random zigzag patterns and they’re impossible to hit. They really enhance the Master Chu and the Drunkard Hu experience, particularly in the later levels when they start materializing in front of your face every three seconds.
The purple flowers simply sit on the ground spitting purple flashing christmas tree lights into the air. However, if you get hit by one the lights will glitch out and start randomly blinking out of existence.
I have no idea what the fuck this is.
Number of Levels: Ten. But all you need to do to beat each level is collect eight yin-yang symbols, which fall out of random objects when you frisbee them, so you should get through each level within a minute if you just jump around randomly and shoot everything.
Bosses: There are eight total bosses, none of whom are remotely difficult or challenging in any way. Every single one can be beaten by standing in front of him/it and pounding on the A button until it dies, taking advantage of the really long invinicibility period you have after you get hit. This makes you feel like a very clever man who has outwitted a team of talented programmers, until you look at the bosses and realize they were designed by the one-man art team and his twelve-year-old nephew after staying up all night drinking opium smoothies.
This is the boss of the first and third levels, and I can’t tell if he’s supposed to be a living tree or an angry waffle that recently survived a scissor attack. He strikes fear into the hearts of masters and drunkards alike by hopping around randomly and shooting baseballs from his nose.
The boss of level two and level four is some kind of short fat blue Roman gladiator guy who stumbles around stroking a lump in his belly and launching dentures from his pants.
As if the creation of this game wasn’t a heinous enough crime, Joy Van also kidnapped Dr. Wily and painted him orange.
I think this is supposed to be the second form of the short fat blue Roman gladiator guy after someone pounded his helmet flat and performed a belly-lumpectomy. And instead of chomping dentures, he now launches arrow-shaped fishbones and miniature airplanes.
Defining Moment: I hate this game. I hate it more than I have ever hated anything before in my life. I hate the endlessly looping ten seconds of music, I hate the way Chu can stand on thin air and fall through solid objects, and I hate that such a cool name was wasted on a game like this. Most of all, I hate that I can’t give this game the score it deserves because the SA rating system won’t let me use scientific notation.
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).
‘Toad coin?’ wondered the traveler as he examined the pebble. It did not look all that different from any other pebble, and certainly nothing like a coin. ‘What manner of coin has no head or tail, and bears no seal or flag? Who backs this toad coin, the toad bank? The toad treasury!?’ The traveler laughed, but the toads croaked sternly back at him.
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No lifeguard on duty. Maze run at your own risk.
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.