Video Game: Silver Surfer

"Imagine if I were to draw a maze on a sheet of paper. I'm asking you to draw a line from the beginning of this maze to the end. You can't run into any dead ends, and you can't touch any of the lines. Now, while you're trying to do this, I'm moving the maze to the left. It would drive you fuckin' nuts. And if that's a bit too theoretical to accept, then let me explain it this way. Imagine playing Mega Man 2. Imagine you have no health bar. Imagine if you get one single fucking time, you're dead. And is that fair? It's challenging, yes. But, it's not to say that unless you're a hardcore expert, you're gonna take a few hits sooner or later. Now, I'm not done. Imagine on top of that, multiply the number of enemies on the screen and give them more hit points. Imagine if you were playing Zelda and you weren't allowed to get hit once, or touch any of the walls or blocks."

Silver Surfer is an auto scrolling Shoot 'em Up with Side View and Top-Down View levels, based on the comic book series. It was developed by Software Creations and released in 1990 for the Nintendo Entertainment System. It is considered one of the hardest games ever made.

You play the Surfer, shooting his way through five three-section levels. You can choose which level to play, just like Mega Man. At the end of each level, you fight a Boss Battle against a villain from the Silver Surfer comics universe, and gain one piece of a Dismantled MacGuffin, known in-game only as the "device". Once you have finished all five levels, Galactus sends you into the Magik Domain to retrieve the final piece of the device. After more shooting and a Final Boss (a giant purple guy with a huge pistol, despite the boss mugshot featuring a picture of what appears to be Mr. Sinister, who is neither a Silver Surfer villain or even actually appearing in the game beside the mugshot, and not the master of the Magik Domain either) you retrieve the final piece of the device. Galactus says "It's mine!", but the Surfer says "No, it's too dangerous" and hides it away. The end.

This videogame provides examples of:

  • A Winner Is You: You get a two sentence ending
  • Adaptational Wimp: Silver Surfer himself, in the most blatant example possible; going from near-godlike powers to dying in one hit from the slightest tap from literally anything, including rubber ducks.
  • Athletic Arena Level: Reptyl combines this with Jungle Japes
  • Auto-Scrolling Level: It briefly stops at points till you clear the screen of enough enemies on some levels
  • Battleship Raid: Emperor
  • Big Boo's Haunt: The magik domain, it may be an excuse plot but the game still does try and surprise you.
  • Big Fancy Castle: Mephisto
  • Boss Battle: At the end of every section, though they not very climatic they are still within the game's difficulty level for the most part.
    • Boss In Mooks Clothing: Sometimes a regular enemy that simply takes more hits than normal will be a section boss. Though since every enemy takes more hits that you and sometimes have a tendency to fly off screen most players likely will not notice the difference.
  • Check Point: The sections.
  • Cutscene: After the first five levels you get some dialog about the magik domain
  • Deadly Walls: If his board so much as touches anything not a power up Silver Surfer dies
    • Spikes of Doom: Also noted is that while everything kills Silver Surfer already, making spikes seem redundant, there is a section where a pumpkin can get impaled on a spike.
  • Death Throws: Silver Surfer, most of everything else just explodes.
  • Denial of Diagonal Attack: In horizontal stages but you can shoot diagonally in vertical stages.
  • Dismantled MacGuffin: The dubious device
  • Every Bullet Is a Tracer: This is the only way to tell what is a wall that will kill Silver Surfer and what he can fly over so keep shooting!
  • Every 10000 Points: That would be too easy apparently, so you must score 100,000 points to get an extra life.
  • Excuse Plot: Galactus wants Silver Surfer to get six parts of a device. Forces of magik. Something something wrong hands.
  • Face-Heel Turn: Galactus, though this happens in a cutscene at the end, and you don't actually fight him.
  • Final Boss: Not that there is any real build up to it or explanation as to what it is.
  • Flash of Pain: The enemies, Silver Surfer just dies
  • Game Levels: Six, with three sections each, for a total of 18 distinct levels.
  • Long Song, Short Scene: There's a ton of great 8-bit music in this game. The problem is that, with death so frequent, you'll inevitably only hear the first few bars on each life.
  • Mission Control: Galactus.
  • Nintendo Hard: One of the hardest games ever made.
  • One-Hit-Point Wonder: The Surfer.
  • Ruins for Ruins' Sake: Possessor
  • Shoot 'em Up: Well, what else could do Silver Surfer justice? (not that comic fans thought it did)
  • Side View: Most of the sections
  • Top-Down View: The minority of the sections
  • Underground Level: Firelord
  • Unstable Equilibrium: The game gets much easier with a power up or three and some sections practically require it. If you are not good enough to get power ups you are probably not good enough to beat the game.