At a Glance: I hate the ocean. I keep all my garbage saved up in the corner of my backyard for the day when I can dump it all into the ocean. To make sure my rage is burning white hot at all time for things that can swim better than me I decided to play the NES title "King Neptune's Adventure", aiding my campaign for the invention of underwater fire for the purpose of destroying every subaquatic creature (or the "dirty undies" as I like to call them).
Platform: NES (Download Emulator here - 192k)
Download: Download ROM here - 64k
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Game Plot: King Neptune, while taking a snooze, managed to get all of his precious treasures stolen by a tentacle creature. Waking up, you decide it would be a good thing to put locks on your doors, especially to your precious treasure room. Then you remember that you have absolutely no mer-servants or mer-soldiers or a mer-wife or a court jesterfish or even a marching band made of little tuna fish. In fact, you never run into anyone like you throughout the entire game. The only person who is willing to even talk to you is the King of all Dolphins, King Puddles, who says a quick sentence and starts breathing really heavy. This is the universal dolphin sign of wanting to end a conversation.
The game provides you with three sentences to describe what has happened to the great King of Wet Willies: "A dark tentacled creature has stolen the orb and eight precious treasures. Some believe its lair is in the inner chamber of the lost city of Atlantis. Help King Neptune find the orb and the eight lost treasures." Now, now, don't judge this title too harshly. Game developers Color Dreams are capable of such choices as deciding "Master Chu and the Drunken Hu" was an excellent title for a game. Any criticism of a game is like trying to steal the top hat from a wild bear: fun to entertain the concept, ugly when put into practice.
Enemies: Ocean creatures of all types have brought themselves together in order to keep you from laying your hand on your orbs. All ocean creatures are capable of turning into smaller ocean creatures whenever they come into contact with your royal justice. Unfortunately the call for your death was made collect and not everyone wanted to say yes to the charges because only green manta rays, jellyfish, starfish, killer seaweed, and some clams show up instead of sharks with lava teeth. As expected, enemy moral is not high.
Weapons: Since you now have lost the power of your magic ball, your only weapons are lightning and bubbles that bounce around and explode when you hit the A button. Using weapons of such a brutal caliber on a living being is essential to the environmental message of King Neptune's Adventure. The graphics only add to the intense rush of adrenaline you get from murdering a sea creature. How does it feel to be possibly ruining the only food source of another living being by zapping it to death underwater? How about causing an explosion that might have killed off the last living green manta ray?
I'll tell you how it feels. It feels good.
Levels: The game operates sort of like one gigantic levels branched off into different sections, each containing a place for you to slowly die a miserable death by way of tiny fish. Every level contains a treasure you must find and covet like your grandmother's cookies, or perhaps sell on the black market for an underwater uzi&like your grandmother's cookies. After a treasure is found you have to exit the stage and continue your quest to find anything that remotely looks like a level.
Bosses: Before a treasure can be had, a creature of some variety appears to challenge your ability to snatchify your treasures back. The underwater mafia has a price on your head and what is the only thing a lone king can do to stop them? Bounce lightning off the walls and blow up bubbles in their face. This tactic will subdue any possible kind of threat you could experience in the wild, including a mountain lion and wild hyenas. Ever seen a hyena pursue a man who knows how to blow bubbles? I doubt it, because he's already back at the base camp sippin' on some cherry kool-aid.
Defining Moment: The exact second I realized that "The Orb of Goodness" makes a perfectly good testicle reference.
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