Our adventures in videogameland begin the way they usually do: with a title screen.
This game, if you didn't read the introduction, is made by Sunsoft. I gotta say; I kinda like Sunsoft. They also made Eternal Eyes,
one of my favorite PS1
games. I also find it amusing that their logo hasn't changed in 20 years.
Here at Ye Olde Menu, we've got two options: Start, and Password. Oh, I'm sorry, excuse me: "Pass Word." We don't got no password just yet, so we're startin' anew, baby.
This game doesn't mince words. Right away, we are dumped into an empty field whose only inhabitants are Bop-Louie (the game's main character) and a single textbox of exposition. He has friends. These are their names. Go find them. This is a game that's all about the story,
There's not a whole lot to see on this starting screen, so Bop-Louie takes an anachronistic cue from Captain Falcon and SHOWS YOU HIS MOVES!
He can jump, and he can slink around on his stomach a little, but that's about it for now.
There's not much to see here, so onward, ho! This is one of those fancy
platformers, so we can go any direction we please to start off! Since the original Metroid
had you go left first, leftward ho we go!
A few steps to the left, and we find ourselves in the company of our first enemy! These guys are found all throughout the game world. They're about as threatening as a mini-round of Baby Swiss cheese. He gets quickly stomped. (Remember, you have to hold Down on the D-pad during your jump to stomp; just falling on an enemy's head won't work.)
Would you look at that! A cave, right off the bat! Clearly, we're on to something!
...If by "something," you mean an impasse. A large, blinky white "GO BACK" arrow even shows up at the top of the screen, making a fantastically
irritating noise while...
Wait a minute...
Are... are those... walking lips?
Am I being assaulted by giant, animate mouths that are 90% tongue?
...Eww. Louie, make like your name and bop 'em.
For unspeakable tongue-beasts, though, they're very obliging. They drop one of each of two possible enemy drops: A ball (which we can pick up and use as ammo) and a circular health bead (which will be very helpful, as we only start out with 10 health).
That was a bust. Let's try the other direction.
More enemies, so this is probably the right way.
Also, hey—remember how I said those little guys were harmless? Well, I lied. Except I lied about lying. I just suck.
So I harvest the corpses of their fallen countrymen (by pressing B, natch) and chuck their stunned-looking skulls at their still-living comrades (also B). I get them both in one hit! That'll teach you to walk to the left!
Oh joy. Water.
This is always fun.
Thankfully, Bop-Louie is not
the Wicked Witch of the West, and does not vaporize immediately on contact with water
. He just kinda... flounders around a bit if he falls in. If you navigate him toward that ledge, he can jump out, but he won't get across to that upper platform without riding on that sleepy face.
By the way, as you might've noticed, the blinky arrow noise shows up here, too. Don't worry; this game doesn't hold your hand (or assault your ears) that
badly. It just does this in the early stages. Until the point we get to at the end of this installment, pretty much.
Once you get on, though, it's quite happy to carry you.
Hey, look! Someone saw us coming, and lowered a convenient—
I feel... Unclean.
:( Does everything in this creepy place want to slobber
all over me? Ugh. Let's find your friends and get home, Louie—I need a shower already.
West didn't work for us so well last time, so let's keep pushing eastward!
And east immediately provides two new enemies: Little hopping balls of slime, and crows that throw weights at you, that... explode? Yeah, I don't get it eith—
—Oh jeez! Don't interrupt me like that, Louie! You half gave me a heart attack! Yeah, yeah, you miss your bros. I get it.
We stumble upon another cave...
Treasure treasure treasure treasure treasure treasure treasure...
You got the thiiiing!
We can save the game now! Cool! Let's check it out!
This is our menu screen. Right now, it's got a whole lot of nothin' in it. You could probably guess that the top four boxes are where your characters go after you've saved them, and you'd be right. But what goes in all those other spaces? Ahh; that we'll find out later. For now, we select the crystal and...
...Oh, for Pete's sake. "What?" you say? "A series of letters and numbers makes a good password," you say? Pfft! That's too logical!
Instead, our passwords must be a huge grid of difficult-to-remember and difficult-to-transcribe colored spheres! In fact, come to think of it, you can't really call that a password,
can you? It's more like a passgrid.
Thankfully, those playing on the VC or an emulator (such as myself) need not worry, since those allow for either Home-suspending, or save states.
Forget this. Let's go explore that cave.
Already, I see water, and I don't see a platform. We're not goin' that way yet. The "DON'T GO HERE GIRLFRIEND" arrow makes a "helpful
" reappearance, so this probably isn't the right way, but let's investigate just to be sure...
The righthand passage leads to a little doorway! Cool! Let's see what's in here...
Oh goodie. Ice.
Which we promptly slip and fall on. (Humorously, I managed to take out that little waddler during my fall animation, since I was still holding Down.) Any attempt to walk here just results in Louie backplanting, so let's leave for now.
Let's find out what's over this ridge past where we got the crystal ball, shall we?
Looks like we're bordered on all sides but one by impassable hazards. Looks like the only way to go is northwest!
Thankfully, just to the left of the floating purple head that lent us a drool-rope (eeww), there is another cave, and this one's part of the same area. No ice here!
But thanks to the low ceiling, that jump is tricker than it looks.
Oh? What have we here?
Well, this is a platformer. When in doubt, hop about!
We end up in a high-ceilinged room. Only a single Slime here? This doesn't look so bad...
Wait, no, I lied again. Because I don't know about you people, but I see a floor covered in needly things with a hovering face you can stand on above it, moving back and forth, and that always
means bad news.
Steady as she goes, Platform-O. You can fly. You're lucky. You don't have to worry about getting skewered.
We quickly dodge an obvious pit trap (not deadly but progress-destroying anyway)...
...And enter the long, ominous hallway!
Big, square room with one exit. This can't be good.
Wild FREEON appeared! Bop-Louie used ENTHUSIASM! Too bad it's obviously not very effective... The door locked behind us. Doors never lock on problems that can be solved with words alone.
PLOT TWIST! This wall-eyed lizard is having none of it; have at you!
The fight against Freeon (and indeed, all of your friends, since they've all
gone amnesiac on you) is fought entirely by means of a head-ball. The two of you can't deal Collision Damage
to one another, so you vie for control of a single ball in order to chuck it at each other. It deals damage to your opponent and to you. Bizarrely, these minibosses also do away with your standard life meter, instead replacing them with a fight-only bar of more distinct pips—no matter how much health you come in with, you can only take eight hits.
bob! We weave! We create sprite flicker!
"After that beating I gave you, you'll be remembering me for a long time coming! OOOOH!" (By the way, did the game catch my sprite in exactly the right pose, or what?)
"Your name is Freeon-Leon, and my name is Cluebat."
Luckily, Percussive Maintenance
works just as well on derpfaced lizards as it does on cars, so our semiaquatic buddy is as good as new!
The same can't be said about the nonexistant plot, though.
With Freeon added to our party, this seems like a good place to check our password and stop. (OK, so I'm not technically using passwords here. I'm using savestates. But let's maintain the illusion.)
Next time, on Let's Play Ufouria: We explore the states of matter with Freeon-Leon, as her mastery of H 2 O
allows us to bypass water and ice! See you then!