Author Archives: Marcus Duchow

Star Fox

Star Fox was a groundbreaking game for the SNES for it’s time, using the Super FX Chip it to

simulate 3D graphics when the SNES was dominated by 2D games.

After being banished to the planet Venom for his evil experiments, the scientist Andross

declared war on the entire Lylat System.  General Pepper of Corneria sent three of his top

pilots, James McCloud, Peppy Hare, and Pigma Dengar to investigate the strange activities on

Venom.  When they arrived, Pigma betrays his teammates, captures James and Peppy, and allies

with Andross.  Peppy managed to escape but James McCloud was presumed to have died.

Peppy returns to Corneria to tell James’s son Fox about what had happened.  A few years pass

and General Pepper has assembled a new team consisting of Peppy Hare, Falco Lombardi,

Slippy Toad, and Fox McCloud.  The team’s name, Star Fox.

Star Fox is an on-rail space shooter,  It starts out as most rail shooters do, but it picks up fast as

find out the various things you can do with your Arwing, which is the ship you pilot in the game.

You can barrel roll to deflect incoming projectiles, collect rings to recover health, Brake and

Boost to get through opening doors,  you can also launch Smart Bombs to destroy multiple

enemies.  You can also get a Double Laser power up to increase damage.  You’re to choose the

course you want to travel, Level 1 being the easiest, Level 2 being moderate difficulty, and Level

3 being the Hardest. If you want to most of the game, hope you’re skilled enough.  Levels vary

from either fighting on a planet’s surface, flying through asteroids, or fighting an armada of

ships from the inside.  After making your way through, you finally get to Venom and have to

fight through Andross’s forces and it’s guardian, after that you’ll face off against Andross.

Andross himself can be challenging.  He launches panels from his eyes that will rotate towards

you, you’ll attempt to suck you in then spit out a lot of panels at you.  Once you shoot out both

of his eyes, his true face will be revealed and you’ll have to shoot it quickly before it reforms.

After defeating him, you escape and save the day.


I didn’t start playing this until 2004, 2005ish.  I found it at my local game store at the time and

figured it was time to start building my collection.  I still enjoy it even though it’s aged.

Personally I like the next game better.


DreamMix TV World Fighters

So while Super Smash Bros. Melee kept Gamecube owners busy, Konami, Takara, and Hudson came together with Bitstep and made their fighting game, DreamMix TV World Fighters.


DreamMix TV is a 2D arena brawler where up to four fighters compete to be the last person standing.  Each character has different special attacks using the B-Button and a direction, they also can block, throw and use a normal attack..  While fighting is the majority of each match, you’ll also need to collect hearts.  At the start of each match the characters are free to roam around the arena, and while your walking around, hearts will shoot out of the background, the more you collect, the better advantage you’ll have.  At the bottom of the screen is a bar with the characters little portarit, the bar will keep depleting the more damage that’s been dealt, and if you’re on the far left you’ll enter Pinch Mode where the next big hit will make lose your Heart.  You can get it back though, but the way to win is to collect all your oppents’s hearts.  You’re not out of the match, but you can’t win either, the only thing you can do is damage the other characters.


The Characters representing Konami are Solid Snake from Metal Gear, Simon Belmont from Castlevania, TwinBee, Power Pro-kun, from Power Pro, and Moai from Gradius.  Hudson has Bomberman, Yugo from Bloody Roar, Takahashi Meijin from Adventure Island, Momotaro    and Binbogami from Momotaro Densetsu, and Manjimaru from Far East of Eden.  Finally Takara has Optimis Prime and Megatron from Transfomers, Takao from Beyblade, Microman from Micronauts, Aska from Cy Girls, a Licca from the Licca-chan toy line.

This was only available in Japan, it’s available on PS2 and Gamecube.  It’s a nice alternative to Smash Bros.  There’s a lot of people that wanted Simon Belmont in Smash, this is about as close as it gets.  It’s very Import friendly besides navigating the menus.


Cave Story

It’s no surprise that I’m a fan of Metroidvania games, whether it’s Castlevania :Sotn or romhacks like Metroid:Rogue Dawn, I love exploring to finding new weapons or items, listening to the area music, and taking on challenging bosses. I recently purchased Cave Story+ for the Switch. It’s great to have another Metroidvania for the system.
You start out as a silent protagonist named Quote. After stumbling through the first cave you come across your first weapon, the Polar Star. Each weapon you acquire can level up, you level up by defeating enemies and collecting Energy Crystals. Taking damage will deduct EXP from the weapon you have currently equipped. Some weapons, like the Missile Launcher, have limited ammo, they’ll regenerate ammo over time or you can collect ammo drops from enemies. They’re plenty of Save and Restoration Points in the game. You can find Life Capsules and Missile Expansions to permanently increase your life and missile count. After making it through the cave, you’ll land in the Mimiga Village. The Mimiga are a dog/rabbit hybrid. They’re being harassed by mad doctor being possessed by an ancient artifact called the Demon Crown. He’s assisted by a goth witch named Misery and a giant brick-looking thing named Balrog. The trio are trying to turn the Mimiga into weapons by forcing them to eat flowers, which turns into monsters. One of the Mimiga you’ll meet is Sue Sakamoto, she’s an assistant to Professor Booster and Her brother King. She was turned into a Mimiga because of Misery. It’s up you to help Sue, Booster and King to stop the the mad doctor from hatching his plan. Continuing on we meet Kazuma Sakamoto, who is Sue’s brother. He got himself locked up in a room and keeps in contact with Sue via IM (Instant Messaging). Curly Brace, (who after finding her hidden panties(not making that up), can become playable in her own Mode), is a guardian of a small pack of Mimiga, suffers from memory loss and attacks Quote. After exchanging gunfire she realizes that you’re not after the Mimiga after all and will assist you from time to time.
Depending on your actions during certain parts of the game, she can either die horribly or assist you at the True final dungeon. After making it through the Labyrinth, you’ll see an injured Professor Booster fall to the ground. So here’s one of those important actions I just talked about, if you go down and talk to the Professor he’ll give you the Booster V0.8 and will die. However, if ignore him completely, you’ll see him later, alive and well and give you the Booster V2.0. (Hits head) Makes sense to me. After Quote and Curly make their way to the Dark Palace and have a fight with the Core, The room fills with water and Quote drowns, or so it seems. Curly gives Quote her Air Tank. If you acquired the Booster 0.8, Curly dies here, however if you ignored the Prof., you can find a Tow Rope and carry Curly to saftey. After making it halfway through the Waterway, you’ll come to a cabin with a safe point. By examining the computer and reading some books, you can pump the water out off Curly. You’re then given the option of leaving her there or taking her with you. TAKE HER WITH YOU. After a boss fight with Ironhead, the two will become separated. You’ll encounter the questionably alive Prof. Booster and he’ll give you the Booster V2.0. After heading back to the Egg Chamber, you’ll find Kazuma hiding out again. He pretty much gives up and he’ll offer you a ride on a Dragon, If you do you get the Bad Ending. By ignoring him, you can head up the Outer Wall and pick up the 290 Counter and get into the Plantation. Here we meet with Momorin Sakamoto, the mother of Kazuma and Sue. Also, Curly gets washed up here and needs a special mushroom in order to regain her memories. You’ll need to head back to the Mimiga village and head to the graveyard, up above you’ll meet Ma Pignon. After answering some questions, she gives you a fake mushroom and then fights you. After beating her she gives you the real one. After giving it to Curly, she’ll regain her memories about her and about you, and she’ll give you the Iron Bond. Back to Momorin, she’s making a robot that can get into the Last Cave. She needs to borrow your booster, but also needs a sprinkler and a controller. After requiring your booster, you head up to the top.
The Last Cave you enter will change depending on which booster you have. If you have 0.8 It won’t have as many spikes and Red Pools, plus you’ll skip a boss fight. If you have 2.0, best of luck, not only do you have a boss fight, but there are so many Red Pools that do 10 Damage, but Spikes are everywhere and your weapons go back to Level 1. After making your way through, you’ll come to the Balcony and Throne Room where you have a boss gauntlet. You’ll finally fight Misery, the Doctor himself, and after that Misery will transport in Sue and threat you to leave now or else. The defeated doctor under the Red Crystal’s power, turns Misery and Sue into monsters, and fuses it the Core. After a grueling fight, Quote and Sue will either escape together (Normal Ending), or if you did everything right, you’ll enter the Sacred Ground and find Curly. The Sacred Ground is basically HELL. Spikes everywhere, Bricks falling all the time, enemies that will home in on you, and five boss fights. If you die at any point, it’s back to your last save and have to do it all over again. GOOD LUCK. The Death Crown that was possessing is called Ballos.
The game isn’t that long, it can take a few hours to beat. You can still get the original free version, but it’s also on the Wii, the 3DS eshop, a remake in 3D for the 3DS, Steam, and The Nintendo Switch. If you get a physical version of the Switch version it actually comes with a Mini CD with the soundtrack and also an Instruction Booklet. I can recommend it to anyone that likes Metroidvania games and want a great challenge.

1943 Kai

If anyone were to ask me what my favorite NES game is, I’d gladly answer 1943. The music is fantastic, flying your P-38 to shoot down hostiles is very satisfying, and being able to upgrade your ship’s offense and defense power, what weapons you can use and how much of it, was something not seen to often in games. Of course I’d play the Arcade version over it since it has co-op better music, but the NES version was a gem that shouldn’t be missed for shoot-em-up fans.
In 1987 and later in 1991, a spinoff called 1943 Kai was made for Japanese Arcade and later for the PC Engine. It’s a dream come true. It was half Arcade port and half Original. It brought the co-op that I wanted, When you collect a power-up, it becomes maxed out, in the original 1943 you need to collect the same one twice so it could have more range and power.
The “story” to this is pretty much similar to 1943. Instead of flying a P-38, you fly a Biplane. You play as a pilot and your goal is take down the Japanese Air Fleet that bombed an American aircraft carrier. Most of the stages are air-to-sea battles where you’ll face off against either a giant battleship or an aircraft carrier. Some stages you’ll either fight against a large squad of Japanese bombers or a Mother Bomber.
Like I said before, this is half Arcade port and half Original. Halfway into the game your ship gets an upgrade, making it look similar to the P-38 from the first game. Not only does your plane change, but so does the music and the difficulty, enemies are more aggressive. Not only are you still fighting aircraft carriers, but also an enemy fortress and armored convoy called the Battle Train.
I would love to own the PC Engine version, I own the Arcade version on the Capcom Classic Collection. It’s also available on the Capcom Generations 1. If you love shooters, the 1943 games are worth looking into.


Radia Senki – Famicom

I love RPGs and I love my NES. I always wished there was RPG that played like a Zelda game, have multiple characters that I could give orders too, and have Ninja Gaiden like cut-scenes. My wish came true in the form of Radia Senki:Reimmeihen or Chronicles of the Radia War made by Tecmo.

The characters you’ll meet are Darus, a mage that will shoot projectiles and accompanies you through the whole game. Baru, the leader of a band of thieves and uses a boomerang. Haman, is pretty much the Tank and can take out obstacles that block the road and is loyal to the princess. Saria, another mage but uses stronger magic. Leorina, who was imprisoned in her town of Guandia. And last is Medea, Darus’s sister and another mage, she’s the final 5th member of your party.

The story isn’t too much to go on, It’s as basic as you must find the mysterious princess and stop the Big Bad Evil from taking over the world. You play as an amnesiac person who you name, who journeys out to find answers. A person named Darus, a mage, finds and befriends you after your plane crashed. The two venture out and find Princess Lefis. She reveals that her stepbrother Gadiss is looking for the keys to the sacred Radia Tower. Meanwhile Nova, a lackey of Gadiss, as begun destroying forests in search of the princess. Along your journey you’ll run into Baru, Haman, and Saria. The leader of Zenobia, Duke Necrude, was the one ordered to kidnap Lefis. After rescuing Lefis, the heroes find out that Gadiss has finished his airship, the Fitzcarraido. The party finds Lefis but Nova appears tells the party that Saria she’s his daughter and a spy. He suggests that the Hero is the key to opening the Tower, but the Hero won’t help them. To open the Tower, eight magical items are needed, some which the party already have. They collect the rest but Nova and Saria steal them and open the Tower. Nova explains that opening the Tower is only half of it, the real Radia is revealed when both the Tower of the Moon and Gate of the Sun are opened. Nova nearly kills the party but Saria steps in and stops him and send the party to Elfas, where you began your journey. The heroes make their way to the Gate and defeat Gadiss and open Radia Tower. Lefis gets kidnapped again by someone claiming to be the Master of Dreams. The heroes confront him and it’s revealed that he created the world they live on called, Lemuria. After that, The heroes make their way to the Nightmare Monster and destroy it. The Hero saves the day and remembers that he’s from the real world and this is only a dream. Lefis begs him to stay but teleported out.

The gameplay is like a combination of Zelda and Final Fantasy. You have a party maximum of five and characters will join and leave your party, similar to Final Fantasy 4. Though the game seems open ended, it’s very linear. There aren’t any “random” encounters but enemy encounters are on predetermined locations. The battle system is one of my favorites, at the start of each battle, you can tell everyone to fight and they’ll act on their own accord, you can tell them to regroup to move to a single spot, or you can Trick the enemy, which is like running from a fight, but it’s funny because everyone will look like they dropped dead. When engaged in battle, you attack with the B Button and the A Button brings up the Menu. You can tell an single character to Rush, making them fight an enemy of your choice, Move, which is like the Regroup command, Defend, where they’ll avoid combat, and Fight, self explanatory. You don’t get money after each fight but you get “Prizes” which can be Meat, Bones, or Tusks. Meat is a weak healing item, Bones which can make enemies run, and Tusks that can poison an enemy, all of these can be sold. There many towns where you can buy weapons and armor. Each character has four slots to hang onto weapons and armor like Final Fantasy 1. You’ll want to check every pot and bookshelf in every town to find items as well, more importantly for Scrolls which can teach a character a spell, provided they have a charge ready, yup just like FF1 again, Spells have charges. The game doesn’t really tell you what the spells do, some can heal, some do massive damage to enemies. The only way to find out is to look at a guide. Save points are plentiful as any bed you get into will recover your health and magic charges.

This is one of my top favorite RPGs for the Famicom, next to Final Fantasy III (I really need to do a write up on that). One complaint is being on the NES/Famicom, depending on how many characters are on screen, the game can lag.