Video Game: Donald In Maui Mallard
Donald in Maui Mallard
, also known as Maui Mallard in Cold Shadow
is one of the lesser known Donald Duck
action games. It was originally released in 1995 for the Sega Genesis
in Europe and Brazil and later ported to the SNES
(with different level designs and mechanics), Game Boy
) and PC (based on the brazilian Sega Genesis
version and featuring a orchestrated soundtrack
It isn't known if Maui Mallard, the detective who is also a ninja, is an Alternate Universe
version of Donald, his past self or somebody completely unrelated - but surely he'd like to quit his danguerous supernatural job and live a simpler life. However, he's called for one last mission: to search and find the missing idol statue of Shabuhm Shabuhm before the island it protects explodes. That won't be easy since everyone in the island wants him dead for whatever reason...
Gameplay is divided between Maui's two forms. Normally he's equipped with a "1935 Westchester Bug Gun", a gun that shoots bugs. Besides the normal shot, there are three other types that can be mixed into more powerful attacks. And when Maui finds obstacles he can't get through, he can turn into Cold Shadow, a ninja who uses a staff to attack enemies with combos, swing over pits and move at high speeds over lava surfaces.
Although a sequel and a cartoon were planned, the game didn't do well at market. Poor advertising and being exclusive to the SNES in america only made it worse. They even removed Donald's name from the game in later versions, likely due to unease over associating a "kid friendly" character with a sinister tropical scenario of ninjas, pirates and zombies.
Back in 2011, BigMex at 1UP wrote a series
on the story
of Maui Mallard that is a must-read for fans of the game.
This game contains examples of:
- Abnormal Ammo: Bugs.
- Advancing Wall of Doom: In the Genesis version, there are TNT barrels in the second part of stage 6. When they explode, they start destroying the ship's hull and will suck Maui into the background if he doesn't run away. In the SNES version, the explosion happens automatically when the level starts and is slower.
- Agony of the Feet: In the Game Over screen of the SNES version, the Game Over letters drop on Maui's foot, and he jumps around in pain.
- All There in the Manual: The manual describes the story, controls, items and levels from Maui's point of view. In fact, many things Maui says in the manual were supposed to be explained in other games. It's rather sad to read the manual and learn, among other things, that this game is supposed to be chapter 35 of the story.
- Anti-Frustration Features: Ying Yang coins respawn once your Ying Yang power runs low and are often set close to Checkpoints. Puzzles or bosses that require specific ammo to beat will have it respawn nearby.
- Badass: Being an edgier Donald Duck, Maui is one.
- Bag of Spilling: Once you clear an act in the SNES version, you'll lose every special weapon you had. This forces the players to battle the bosses with the normal gun.
- Behind a Stick: Cold Shadow's crouch pose invokes this with his staff.
- Blindfolded Vision: Cold Shadow wears a blindfold, which he only pulls off for comical effect in his crouching animation.
- Bonus Stage: Babaluau Baby. In the Genesis version, it is a rather hard Death Course where Maui is on a unicycle and must avoid losing his powerups. There are no dangers in the SNES version, but he has to do a lot of exploring to find some fireworks and beat the level.
- Boss Battle: Averted in stage 7. You'll get a Nintendo Hard Escort Mission + Rise to the Challenge level instead!
- Chekhov's Volcano: A volcano appears in the background of the first level. Maui is thrown inside it for the fourth level, which ends with an eruption.
- Combos: Cold Shadow can peform combos. In the Genesis version he needs to collect red yin yang coins to accumulate them and in the SNES version, they use his normal yin yang meter.
- Continuing Is Painful: You lose all of your collected ammo and Zombie Powder upon a single death.
- Darker and Edgier: Let's see... in this game Donald has a gun, can turn into a ninja, fights monsters in creepy levels, gets dragged to Hell when he dies...
- Defeat Means Friendship: After Maui defeats the muddrake army, an alliance between them is forged. Not. He must escape from a volcano and kill their frog god to earn their respect.
- Dragged Off to Hell: In this game's Black Screen of Death, a big green hand comes from underground and quickly drags Maui to hell. He is shown escaping from there in the continue screen, but will be killed for real in the game over sequence.
- Duel Boss: You fight a bunch of ninja clones in stage 2, an army of muddrakes in stage 3 and the final boss in this way.
- Escort Mission: Happens in the second part of Realm of the Dead and in one part of stage 5 in the SNES version.
- Expy: Maui Mallard is one of Thomas Magnum.
- Flying Dutchman: Duckman, actually. It's the boss of stage 6, a sunken pirate ship... Where you don't get to pit ninja Cold Shadow against it. What a waste of a "Ninjas Vs. Pirates" opportunity!
- Gotta Catch Them All: In the Genesis version, get most of the treasure in a level to get the password to the next one. In the SNES version, doing this unlocks a bonus level so then you can try to get the password.
- Guide Dang It: In the Genesis version, Cold Shadow can run really fast if you hold A and double-tap to his front. This is only mentioned in a footnote in the manual. Remember this well because you'll really need it in stage 2...
- Haunted House: The Mojo Mansion.
- Heart Container: A bag of... Zombie Powder is hidden in each level (and bonus levels) of the Genesis version and increases Maui's HP by 50 points. In the SNES version it appears various times through the levels, but you don't get to keep the effects through the game.
- The Hero Dies: Played for Laughs at the end. Maui doesn't actually die, but is crushed and half-buried by the sacred idol. Hernae shows up and says he'll be posthumously remembered as a hero and get a constellation of himself in the sky, all while Maui is clearly alive and struggling to pull himself out of the floor.
- Heroic Mime: Maui has no dialogue in-game, but he does talk in the manual.
- Idle Animation: Maui looks around while pointing his gun or checks a map/scroll, but sometimes it's a chicken instead. Cold Shadow just turns around twice, or starts spinning his Bo Staff to use it as a hula hoop.
- Instant Awesome, Just Add Ninja: Donald is pretty awesome as he is. With a gun and a ninja transformation, then...
- Lethal Lava Land: Stage 4, The Sacrifice Of Maui, takes place in a volcano.
- Let's Fight Like Gentlemen: In the second part of the final boss fight, the Witch Doctor will steal all of Maui's weapons and force him into his ninja form.
- Lighter and Softer: Thanks to the color pallete, a couple of levels in the SNES version feel less morbid. The creepy Game Over screen is changed to something funny.
- Naked People Are Funny: In the battle against the Muddrake Gladiator, you can knock off the other muddrakes' loincloths. They will bashfully shuffle over, pull them back on, and continue fighting.
- The Name Is Bond, James Bond: Done in the manual.
- Ninja: Cold Shadow and his clones.
- Nintendo Hard
- No Name Given: Although you'd think the "Cold Shadow" part of the title in the SNES version refers to Maui in ninja garb, he actually isn't ever named in-game and both versions of the manual simply refer to him as "Ninja Maui". Some other characters are also unnamed.
- Noodle Incident: The people of the island distrust Maui because of something he's done in the past, but we're never told what it is. Peharps the cancelled sequel would have explained those events.
- Outside-the-Box Tactic: The first boss in the Genesis version is vulnerable in his startup animation, so you can kill it before the battle starts with the homing + lightning attack. There's also the third form of the fourth boss: just drop a Smart Bomb to kill it. In the SNES version, while the final boss has powerful, hard to dodge attacks, you can simply let yourself be hit by Collision Damage (which does only 1 HP of damage) and then abuse the Mercy Invincibility.
- Password Save: Used by the Genesis, SNES and PC versions. The two releases of the Genesis version use different sets of passwords (only ININJA is the same on both) and the PC version uses the brazilian set.
- Recurring Riff
- Regional Bonus: The Brazilian release of the Mega Drive version had a few little things the European version didn't, such as some tutorials that played when the played died in stage 1 or 2. Those features were later used in the PC version.
- Rise to the Challenge: Rising volcano lava in stage 4 and rising sea of acid in stage 7.
- Secret A.I. Moves: The ninja clones Boss in stage 2 can use various moves that Cold Shadow can't, like a harmful version of the running move and sliding. The SNES version adds projectiles to their arsenal and lets them dodge your attacks.
- Sequel Hook: "Watch for Maui's next adventure", they said...
- Sequential Boss
- In the SNES version, the Giant Spider goes One-Winged Angel, Dracula-style.
- In stage 2, Cold Shadow has to fight a pack of ninja clones. By the end of the battle he'll be fighting two at once and they'll be using unique attacks. In the Game Boy version, the clones have no extra moves, but they do get more HP.
- The boss of stage 4 starts as a skull with a tail of ribs. After it loses it, it gets a shield of rocks, which it later uses as projectiles.
- In the Genesis version, the Giant Frog in stage 5 has to be fought twice.
- To defeat the final boss, Maui must destroy the barrier around him, then fight him directly as Cold Shadow.
- Simple Staff: Cold Shadow's weapon of choice.
- Smart Bomb: What you get by mixing all three weapon types.
- Sound Test: The Genesis version has it. The SNES seems to have one, but it only has 8 sounds, none of them being music.
- Spared by the Adaptation: In the Genesis version, Maui kills the Muddrakes' giant frog deity. In the SNES version he just sacrifices a bunch of muddrakes to it.
- Spin Attack: Cold Shadow has one in the SNES version, but it's not very useful.
- Super Not-Drowning Skills: In Stage 6.
- Suspicious Video Game Generosity: The bungee-jumping levels give you several bags of Zombie Powder right away. You'll need them.
- Title of the Dead: Stage 7, The Realm of the Dead.
- Took a Level in Badass: The normally ill-tempered, Butt Monkey stuck with bad luck is now a gun toting, ghost busting, island saving, sea diving, bungee jumping, ninja detective who even makes his way Like a Badass out of Hell!
- Toothy Bird: Everyone.
- Under the Sea: Stage 6, The Flying Duckman.
- Video Game Dashing: Cold Shadow has a dash move in the Mega Drive version, which is named "Teleport" in the game even though it doesn't look like teleportation at all. Over the course of the game, you're supposed to use it to outrun a One-Hit Kill giant fire ball in Stage 2 and to run over lava floors on Stage 4. Thing is, you'll likely not know how to perform the move or even know it exists. The game actually expects you to not know, so even if you don't understand what that "TELEPORT!" writing in the wall is supposed to mean, it is still possible to dodge the fire ball and to endure the lava damage without the dash move.
- Wheel o' Feet: Cold Shadow's ninja dash.