At a Glance: Do you care about your health? The ouija board that I glued to a magic eight ball has informed me that some people do not. Screw 'em. Fortunately for the sake of the human race, there are people out there willing to shrink themselves down to a molecule and force good health upon us. Rex Ronan is this sort of person and in this game he will talk to us about smoking. We should not forget about the other famous anti-smoking experimental surgeons as we honor this game. Let's not forget about Billy Barty, the experimental dentist - who died when someone rinsed a little too early (and smoking). Nor should we forget Linda Lane, experimental finger surgeon who lost her life for a kid who played "Time of our Lives" one too many times in a dorm room (and smoking). And finally, we give our respects to the recently deceased Gilda Gardner, experimental gynecologist.
The pictures are all on the left today in honor of these brave astronauts of cigarette freedom.
Platform: SNES (Download Emulator here - 192k)
Download: Download ROM here - 64k
Game Plot: Rex Ronan is a young surgeon with a devil may care attitude and nothing to lose. Educated from Harvard, he's the first one to think "Hey, how about I get real tiny and just jump in their bodies instead of using scalpels and stuff?" Rex Ronan then used his ties to the KGB and a brain the density of a small black hole to take this miraculous epiphany and make it into reality. If you actually believed a word of this I advise you to back away from the computer and take a deep breath. Perhaps a short walk.
With controls better suited for piloting an autistic seesaw, you are sent about your task of improving the health of one Jack Westbero, sales associate for Blacklung tobacco company. He has come to you in desperate need of surgery. Looking into his eyes you see the plight of every modern man, caught between a desperate desire to fit in and the quest for personal identity. It is in this moment of weakness you bend over and whisper gently into his ear.
"It's alright. I'm going to shrink down and enter you."
Naturally, he agrees. You shrink yourself down along with your aerodynamic plane and fly into your patient's body. I may not be a person dying of cancer due to the negligence of a cigarette company, but I think I would demand a few tests before I let someone fly a plane through my body. Is this plane made of digestible materials if the operation goes awry? Has the Food and Drug Administration had a chance to gander at this inter-body aircraft? I would think that it would only take a cursory glance from a medical official to provide a few points of criticism towards Dr. Ronan "shoot disease away with a flame thrower" ideology.
Then again I am a cynical man and have been known to thwart progress on many occasions.
Weapons: When venturing into someone's jungle of a body, you have to be armed to the teeth in order to fight the tooth decay, heart disease, and the gum that you swallowed that one time even though your mother told you it stays in your body forever. If only they would learn.
You are armed to the teeth like a true body commando in a purple jumpsuit would need to be. You have a little laser gun backpack. A little plane that can fly in a manner that completely baffles the person controls it. "True or False" statement bombs litter the parts of the body you inhabit, exploding and hurting you if they are false or killing everything around you if they are true. The parallels to my own school life are bizarrely similar.
Enemies: Unfortunately for you, Blacklung cigarette fooled your patient into signing a contractual agreement with the all-too common "put robotic defenses in your body so no one can operate on you" clause. This has caused numerous other mini surgeons to get obliterated by enemies that resemble those little dish guns the rebels used on the AT-ATs in "The Empire Strikes Back".
Levels: Your first (and only) patient suffers from lung disease caused by a company of pure vile evil. Blackburn will stop at nothing to make sure he does tell the world that cigarettes are bad for you. It's unfortunate that this companies' efforts in nanotechnology will be useless against commercials put on by "just say no" campaigns. That and the sheer annoyance of every single person you meet being a fully qualified health inspector when they notice you lighting up a cigarette.
Traveling from level to level gives you access to the realistic travel missions. Little did I know that traveling through any passage in the human body would equate to flying around a big tube with little rotating discs of varying color. I heard Craig Conder, the man who programmed this game, is currently on the run from the military. Not for crimes against humanity, but for the secrets of "visible stealth" or the ability to come right at you but give you no clue as to their orientation. Every single little globe that flies around in the tubes has this ability and the US must obtain this secret before anyone else does.
Condor, in an effort to explain his reasoning behind making such brilliant visual environments said, "Basically imagine if you were flying with your feet, but your feet are tied. And you can use your hands, but they are tied down to the steering wheel under your feet. Now all you have to deal with is the fact that your eyeballs are tied to your elbows and you'll be ready for this experience."
Bosses: The only boss is your manager who will shrink down and kick bust your chops if you go into overtime working on this patient.
Defining Moment: Thanks to this game I now fully understand what it looks like to have a nicotine addiction. Let me tell you, it's pretty cool.
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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.