Category Archives: I Remember

I just beat Metal Gear, for real this time!

There was always one particular part of the original NES Metal Gear that always bothered me. About a quarter of the way into the game, you purposely get captured in order to rescue Grey Fox. Shortly after leaving his cell, you enter a room where you can either head to the right or attempt to go through a door on the north side of the room. The door on the north seemingly wouldn’t  open no matter what key card you attempted to open it with. I would later chock this up to being a door put in the game that never opens and leave it at that.

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“This door doesn’t open, It just must have been put in there!”  – A young Mike Mertes.

If you’ve actually completed Metal Gear yourself though, you know that the door does open and it leads you from one of the most important plot elements of the game. Now I thought I completed Metal Gear as well, but upon thinking about it; there were several things that didn’t add up. One was the door of course, but the major element I never remember doing in the game was destroying the master computer that controlled Metal Gear. Doing so requires you to place plastic explosives in a certain order on the computer to shut it down and begin the self-destruct sequence on the base. I never remember doing that, but instead I figured out that there was a way to get into the next room by discovering a hidden door on the right side of the room. I couldn’t  remember what was exactly involved to make it appear, but for whatever reason I was able to bypass that sequence and fight the final boss. It become clear to me at this point that I must of reached a point in the game that I couldn’t progress any further and some how used a password to progress or I simply managed to break the game some how by trying everything else. Checking speed runs on the game, it seems I discovered how to utilize a bug that would allow you to glitch into the next room and finish the game. Even as a young kid I was figuring out how to exploit bugs in games, apparently!

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Saving the good Doctor and his daughter. This portion can be skipped if you check speed runs!

Just a few weeks ago, I decided to fire up the game on my Retron 5 and these mysteries from the past suddenly revealed itself from my memory. Little did my 8 year old self know back in the day that there was a maze sequence you encountered towards the end of the game that would lead you to a secret prison building in the game. This building contained the actual designer of the Metal Gear, the man’s daughter and the sequence needed to destroy the computer controlling Metal Gear. The final shocking revelation was that this building was connected to the mystery door that I assumed never opened nor went anywhere! With this portion of the game completed and the info collected to destroy the computer; I finished the game properly. What a strange feeling to have though, thinking that you finished a game in its entirety; only to find out years later that you finished it by breaking the game with a bug!

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Operation “INTRUDE N313” completed in its entirety.

I Remember: SONIC BLAST MAN

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I first remember seeing Sonic Blast Man reviewed in a issue of Nintendo Power. It was a game that attracted my attention due to the weird character and also for the fact that it looked a lot like another beat-em-up game that was available at the time: Final Fight. Sonic Blast Man’s origin actually started with an arcade release and funny enough had nothing to do with the side scrolling action featured in the SNES version of the game. Instead, the arcade game featured multiple scenarios where you wore a boxing glove in order to punch a target to cause as much damage as possible to a single enemy. Taito, the company that made this game decided to take those elements from the arcade version and make them bonus stages in the SNES version; making new side-scrolling portions for the main game.

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Shortly after the release Sonic Blast Man, I had the opportunity to rent it at my local video store. I played it multiple times, getting better at the main stages as well as the bonus stages. The game also featured some pretty catchy music tunes, my favorite being on stage 4. I certainly must’ve enjoyed the game as I do remember beating it. I acquired a boxed copy of it a few years ago and today I finally decided to sit down and play through it again. I was curious to see how well the game had held up since my last time playing it in 1993.

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Playing it again, I definitely could see resemblances from Final Fight! Sonic Blast Man’s first level looks like it was obviously ripped off from the first stage of Final Fight; only much longer. The length of the levels seem to be the main problem with this game, being overly long with not much change to the level background. It also doesn’t help that Sonic Blast Man himself moves as slow as a turtle, yet regular enemies seem move at a superfast pace. This is especially frustrating in the later parts of the game as enemies can just keep nailing you with cheap hits, taking away your energy and eventually getting you a game over. Despite these annoyances, Sonic Blast Man does have a variety of moves that show he can really dish out the pain when he finally gets his hands on his enemies. One of the most dynamic being his dynamite punch that knocks out everyone onscreen.

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The bonus games from the arcade version are still pretty fun. You have five different bonus stages to choose from: Ranging from saving a woman from being kidnapped, to stopping a giant asteroid from colliding with the earth. Stopping your opponent requires you beating on the D Pad as fast as possible and then timing your punch by pressing any one of the face buttons. The end result if you succeed is just another way to get extra lives but it’s a nice break from the main game.

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While Sonic Blast Man definitely isn’t one of the best beat-em-ups on the SNES, it’s still worth checking out. For those of you looking for a copy, the average price for the game runs around 20 bucks.

I Remember: Fester’s Quest.

I remember two distinct things about Fester’s Quest. The first being surprised that Sunsoft actually slapped its label on such a broken game and the second being how frustrated I was playing the damn thing. Fester’s quest could have actually been a decent game, following in the footsteps of Blaster Master with the overhead sections in that game. Rather then improving upon the mechanics in those sections though, Fester’s Quest makes them worse.

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There were a few points in Blaster Master that enemies seemingly wouldn’t die no matter how many shots your put into them. Increase those amount of hit points times three in Fester’s Quest and you have one of the biggest issues in the game. Almost every enemy in the game won’t go down easily! Worse yet, gun upgrades get gimped half the time with bullets that either miss the enemies completely due to odd patterns or because the shots are hitting the wall next to you. These two elements are enough to break the game by itself, but there are more broken aspects thrown in at random just to jab the knife into the player even more.

So while the revisit of this game was barely worth my time, I wisely used a Game Genie to power through it quickly to see if there were any elements of the game worth experiencing. Honestly, there was nothing very redeeming about the game at all. More so, it seems the difficulty may have been purposely raised in order to make up for the fact that the game is very short. Throw this game under the “bad translation from a form of media to video game” category, because it fits in VERY well.