Video Game / Donald In Maui Mallard

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Donald Duck like you've never seen him before.

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 (Porting Disaster) and PC (based on the Brazilian Sega Genesis version and featured an 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. 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 of articles on the story and legacy of Maui Mallard that is a must-read for fans of the game.

This game contains examples of:

  • Abnormal Ammo: Maui's gun is loaded with what look like magical beetles or roaches.
  • 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.
  • Asteroids Monster: Fire Spirits will produce small fiery bats when they're hit. Luckily, if you strike them down with the staff they'll only releaese one bat before vanishing.
  • 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.
  • Big Bad: The Mojo Witch Doctor, the one who stole the idol in the first place.
  • Big Good: Supposedly Hernae, since despite her initial hostility she eventually accepts Maui and helps him out.
  • Blindfolded Vision: Cold Shadow wears a blindfold, which he only pulls off for comical effect in his crouching animation.
  • Brought Down to Normal: In the 5th and 6th stages you're unable to transform into a ninja. Reversed for the Final Boss fight, where you're stripped of all your bugs and pistol.
  • 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!
    • Boss-Only Level: The final stage, the Mojo Stronghold, is essentially one big arena where you have to reach the Final Boss and confront him.
  • 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.
  • Color-Coded for Your Convenience: The Ninja Clones in the boss battle of stage 2 wear different colors, depending on their powers.
  • 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.
  • Defrosting Ice Queen: At first, Hernae doesn't want Maui's help and even tries to kill him near the end of the second stage (the part with the fireball chase). By the finale, she's fully supportive of him and gives him the power to become a ninja without Yin-Yang coins.
  • 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.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: In some versions, the Witch Doctor will appear in the beginning of the 2nd stage and use his powers on Maui to create an army of Ninja clones.
  • Escaped from Hell: Everyone's favorite hothead, Donald Duck (oh, sorry, Maui Mallard), gets Dragged Off to Hell when a life is lost. When out of lives, he uses his pistol to blast his way out to the continue screen.
  • 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.
  • Feed It a Bomb: How you defeat the Frog God. It's tricky both because you're not on solid ground and because the Boss will release damaging belch clouds after every succesful hit. In the SNES version this is subverted, you just have to feed it Muddrakes until he's full.
  • Final Boss, New Dimension: The final battle takes place on some floating stone platforms adorned with pearls in the heart of a storm over the island. In the PC version the storm is even red-colored.
  • 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!
  • Flying Face: The bosses of level 4 and 6. The former is a stone-idol thing that infests a volcano, the latter is the ghost captain of the Flying Duckman.
  • Gainaxing: Before Donald gets into the "Sea Hag" boat to go to the boss fight in stage 6, a a female duck appears on the boat with wiggling breasts. Also Hernae the apprentice shamaness, quite clearly so since she's always turning around and making motions with her arms in her appearences.
  • Game-Breaking Bug: In the Genesis version, there are cases of the flash effect from using a Smart Bomb getting stuck on the screen, rendering the game unplayable.
  • Gasshole: Both the fire spirits and the Frog God can damage Maui by belching at him.
  • Giant Spider: Several spiders show up in the first level, with their boss being a large metallic spider living in the attic.
  • 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.
  • Gratuitous Ninja: Donald is pretty awesome as he is. With a gun and a ninja transformation, then...
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Lohengrin and Mendelssohn: For some reason, this tune plays during the ending cutscene in the SNES version.
  • Luckily, My Shield Will Protect Me: The Witch Doctor will use his mask as a shield during the final clash.
  • Malevolent Masked Men: The Witch Doctor wears a creepy mask. And there's no head under it!
  • Ms. Fanservice: Hernae, the apprentice shamaness who appears to Maui several times during the course of the story.
  • 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.
  • Night of the Living Mooks: From the 6th stage on we have Ghost Pirates, Will'o the Wisps and zombies as enemies.
  • 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.
  • Piranha Problem: Piranha fish will often try to bite at Maui as they jump from the water. If Maui falls into piranha-infested waters, a series of biting sounds will be heard and he'll fly out of it, screaming in pain and with less life.
  • Posthumous Character: Quackoo, the former Muddrake shaman and likely Hernea's master, is already dead when you find him, but you still have to recover his soul in a jar from the Flying Duckman and bring it back to the Realm of the Dead where it belongs.
  • 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.
  • Seashell Bra: Hard to notice in game (both because of the graphics and because she moves around a lot) but Hernae wears one, as better seen in the manual (It looks like a normal bra in the SNES version, at least).
  • 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.
  • Shock and Awe: The Witch Doctor's powers, when he's not trying to bash Maui with his scepter.
  • 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.
  • Stuff Blowing Up: The boss of the Flying Duckman level attacks by tossing sea mines at you.
  • 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 out of Hell!
  • Toothy Bird: Everyone.
  • Under the Sea: Stage 6, The Flying Duckman.
  • Ungrateful Bastard: After defeating the Witch Doctor, Maui ends up buried in the ground after the Shabhum Shabuhm idol falls on him. The Muddrakes are too busy drinking to pay him any attention and leave him struck into the floor.
  • 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.
  • Wolfpack Boss: Technically, the Muddrake masked champion you fight in the 3rd stage is actually a gang of Muddrakes hiding behind a big mask.

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