Video Game / The Smurfs (1994)

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The Smurfs is a European 2D platform game based on The Smurfs that was developed by Infogrames. There are two base versions - 8-bit and 16-bit. The 8-bit version was originally released in 1993 for the Game Boy, then released in 1994 for the NES, Master System, and Game Gear. The 16-bit bit version was first released for the SNES in 1994, Mega Drive / Mega-CD in 1995, Windows/DOS in 1997, and Game Boy Advance in 2002 (as The Revenge of the Smurfs). Only the initial Game Boy version was given a 1994 release in North America with quickly-made Super Game Boy support.

In the game, Gargamel has dinner plans for the Smurfs and has already locked away at least three of their own in scattered cages. It's your job as Hefty Smurf to bravely travel through the dangerous forest and rescue them.


This game provides examples of:

  • Apathetic Citizens: The Smurfs at the very first act of the 16-bit version. Not only do they not seem to care that their fellow Smurfs are captured by Gargamel and you're the only Smurf that needs to rescue them, they're also inadvertently trying to kill you with their daily activities!
  • Bigfoot, Sasquatch and Yeti: A snowboarding yeti appears in Act 13: The Descent in the 16-bit version (except the Game Boy Advance port, which is instead based on the side-scrolling Act 8: The Sledge Race from the 8-bit version).
  • Bonus Stage: Collecting enough stars in all but the Game Boy Advance port will take you into a bonus level.
  • Check Point: Golden Smurf hats provide this function in the Game Boy Advance port, due to Check Point Starvation in the previous versions.
  • Damsel in Distress: Last but not least, Smurfette is found in Gargamel's Manor House.
  • Difficulty Levels: Three.
  • Difficulty Spike: The final two acts go from "hard" to "insane":
    • The penultimate act is a single stage with omnipresent instant death (when the tree trunk bridge starts rotating under your feet, you have a split-second to jump or fall to your death).
    • The last act has a frustrating first level (16-bit only), a long and and dangerous second level (with flies that have The Virus), a short and dangerous third level and a Final Boss with One-Hit Kill Collision Damage. You'll lose so many lives here that the only way to survive is to start the game from the beginning and collect Extra Lives on the way. Fortunately, this has been somewhat toned down in the Game Boy Advance port, where at least you have infinite lives.
  • Distressed Dude: Brainy Smurf, Jokey Smurf, and (in the 16-bit version) Greedy Smurf need to be saved from Gargamel.
  • Edible Ammunition: In the 16-bit version, Greedy Smurf can use his cakes to destroy enemies.
  • Everything Trying to Kill You: Even your fellow Smurfs are out to stop your progress in the game in the very first act of the 16-bit version, in an Apathetic Citizens sort of way!
  • Feathered Fiend: The Howlibird makes an appearance in this game. It also becomes instrumental in defeating the Final Boss.
  • Final Boss: Gargamel.
  • Floating in a Bubble: Hefty Smurf can float in a bubble. This is merely a bonus level in the 8-bit version, but this is required to navigate through a maze of thorny vines in the 16-bit version.
  • Goomba Stomp: The primary means of attack.
  • Idle Animation: Leave your Smurf standing around in the 16-bit version, and you'll see him either shaking his butt from side to side or just yawning.
  • Lethal Lava Land: The Inside the Volcano (8-bit) / Volcano (16-bit) act.
  • Life Meter: The player can take up to four hits (displayed as hearts) before he loses a life. But watch out for the Bzz Fly or the Black Smurf in the 16-bit version, for running into them is a One-Hit Kill.
  • Lily Pad Platform: In The Swamps (8-bit) / The Swamp (16-bit) act.
  • Minecart Madness: This game has such a level late in the game (Act 8 in 8-bit and Act 11 in 16-bit) where you must control a minecart to get it safely across the tracks. In the 8-bit version and the Game Boy Advance port, the player moves from left to right and needs to make the minecart jump from track to track in order to avoid falling to their death. In the other 16-bit versions, the action shifts from top to bottom and jumping is not possible, so the hero has to crouch under obstacles and activate all switches under the penalty of reaching an insta-kill dead-end.
  • Mini-Game: The Game Boy Advance port has five mini-games, four of which need to be unlocked through the main game.
  • Nintendo Hard: The 16-bit version is infamous for Fake Difficulty.
  • Obvious Beta: The NES version feels incomplete next to the other 8-bit renditions, with certain missing tracks and instruments, a lack of the intro scene, an alternate enemy arrangement in Gargamel's Manor House in place of Azrael, and no stairway and celebration sequence for rescuing Smurfette (among other things).
  • One-Hit Kill: Getting hit by a Bzz Fly or a Black Smurf in the 16-bit version immediately turns you into a Black Smurf, resulting in an instant loss of one life.
  • 1-Up: Smurf dolls provide the player with extra lives in all versions except the Game Boy Advance port, where the player has unlimited lives.
  • Password Save: Level passwords are provided as a set of four letters in the 8-bit version and matching Smurf character portraits in the 16-bit version. Using them was usually a bad idea, though, because playing from the start allowed to collect more Extra Lives for the very difficult endgame.
  • Reformulated Game: While the 16-bit version is presented as a broader adventure with enough added content for one more boss, it overhauls much of the existing level layout from the 8-bit version (although there are some strong similarities). It also makes the rescued Smurfs playable in place of Hefty for certain acts, each with their own special ability.
  • Revenge of the Sequel: A non-sequel example, the Game Boy Advance port is titled The Revenge of the Smurfs (which is based on the name of one episode of the cartoon show).
  • Smooch of Victory: Hefty Smurf gets one from Smurfette at the end.
  • Smurf-Eating Plant: The first boss, which was inserted in the 16-bit version. It's pretty much the same plant from the Howlibird story.
  • The Spiny: Porcupines are dangerous to touch even when jumping.
  • Springs, Springs Everywhere: Certain plants act as springs that the Smurf can jump from to reach high ledges or to escape from underground passages.
  • Title Theme Drop: The Smurfs theme tune plays as part of its soundtrack in all versions of the game.
  • Video Game Flight: There is one 16-bit level (not counting the bonus stage) where the Smurf could fly... in a soap bubble. And said level is a rosebush labyrinth.
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