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Video Game / Amagon

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The title screen.
A 1989 Platform Game for the Nintendo Entertainment System, developed by Aicom.

Amagon is a run-of-the-mill Marine who has the unfortunate luck of landing on a deserted island, armed with only his trusty machine gun and 300 bullets. Said deserted island is overloaded with spiders, scorpions... and anthropomorphic beasts? Who are, sure enough, all out to get Amagon. The good news is, Amagon spies a boat on the crescent-shaped island, which could lead to his escape. The bad news, of course, is that it's on the complete opposite end of the island from where he lands. Though one more bit of good news for him - there's an item to be found on the island called the Mega-Key (well, Mega-Ki is more likely, since the icon isn't actually a key...), and by getting it, he can turn into a musclebound-behemoth whose punches pack a wallop well beyond what his gun can do.

This game has examples of:

  • Angry, Angry Hippos: The Hippo Demon is the boss of the third Zone. You attack its eyes first before it reveals its true face.
  • Big Boo's Haunt: Zone 4. If it's creepy music and dark colors didn't give off enough of a vibe, it has weird ghost things, spooky owls, ghostly flames, and disembodied heads. The boss is a skeleton monster.
  • Book Ends: Since the island is crescent-shaped, you can see the opposite shoreline at the beginning of the first stage and the end of the last.
  • Cast from Hit Points: The most powerful attack in the game is a laser arc that Megagon can shoot from his body, at the cost of one of your hit points.
  • Death Mountain: Zone 5.
  • Death Throws: Turning towards the screen and throwing his hands up, Mario-style.
  • Dem Bones: The Boss of Zone 4, The Skeleton Monster.
  • Drought Level of Doom: Zone 4-2 plays out like this until the very end. There's plenty of enemies, and nothing will drop a Mega-Key until very shortly before the boss, plus ammo drops are on the scarce side. Getting through this level involves knowing all of Amagon's limitations and carefully playing around them.
  • Dub-Induced Plotline Change: The original Japanese game was called Totsuzen! Macho Man. In that game the protagonist is a scientist named Jackson, capable of transforming into a strong man using the Macho Max drug he invented. Said drug was stolen by the enemies of Monster Island (and may explain the number of Half-Human Hybrids running about). The North American release changed the main character into a Marine named Amagon and dropped the rest of the plot.
  • Early Game Hell: Getting out of the first zone is probably the game's biggest challenge, primarily due to two reasons. One, you won't have the number of foes you need to really build up your supply of bullets or points, which means Amagon can be at risk of running out of ammo and Megagon won't have a full stock of hit points once you get a Mega-Key. Two, the Half-Human Hybrid of the first zone, Lion Man, has twice as many hit points as any other mini-boss, and its AI has no exploits, meaning that it's nigh impossible for Amagon to nail it with the 32(!) machine gun shots required to be able to take it down, and Megagon is almost certain to take damage in the attempt (combined with the above, this means that there's precious little room for error when fighting as Megagon). The second zone, however, has much easier enemies, more opportunity for both points and ammo (including an enemy that can be farmed for both), and the mini-boss, Elephant Man, has an easily exploited AI that even Amagon can easily bring down, along with only half of the health of Lion Man.
  • Empowered Badass Normal: Amagon as Megagon; Amagon is a trained Marine who can mow down an army of hostile animals and beast-men with enough bullets. Megagon is the same Marine given a super-strong super-tough super-body.
  • The Flatwoods Monster: Appears as the final boss. It floats around and shoots energy orbs.
  • Green Hill Zone: Zone 1.
  • Guns Are Worthless: Amagon's machine gun is rather weak, whereas Megagon's punches are eight times as powerful (and the laser is sixteen times as powerful). Moreover, the machine gun's range is fairly small (about 5 character widths), so the expected range advantage is not nearly as large as one would hope.
  • Half-Human Hybrid: Each level has a Mini-Boss that's a mashup of a person and a large, powerful animal.
  • Jungle Japes: Zone 2.
  • The Lost Woods: Zone 4.
  • Magic Pants: Amagon's loose shorts turn into a tight-fitting set of briefs (or maybe a loincloth; hard to tell with the 8-bit sprite) when he turns into Megagon, and his shirt disappears. However, once he turns back (either by running out of hit points or by the level ending), his normal outfit magically returns.
  • Nintendo Hard: You die in one hit, you have limited means to defend yourself, and enemies love to come in swarms. Yeah, this game isn't easy.
  • No Plot? No Problem!: You're stranded on a deserted island and your rescue ship is on the other end. Everything along the way is trying to kill you. Go!
  • One-Hit-Point Wonder: Amagon. One of the reasons that Megagon form is so useful.
  • Palmtree Panic: Zone 6.
  • Pistol-Whipping: Amagon's attack when he runs out of bullets.
  • Power Up Motif: Megagon has his own theme, which will usually override the current music. (Zone 4 is the exception: its spooky music continues to play even when Amagon turns into Megagon)
  • Ratchet Scrolling: Notable for being one of the last console games (outside of deliberate Genre Throwback titles) to feature it in all levels (Battletoads was released later and has it on some levels, but not all).
  • River of Insanity: Zone 3.
  • Scoring Points: Valuable for once, because each 5000 points you have when activating the Mega-Key results in an additional hit point for Megagon, up to a maximum of 70,000 points to convert into 14 hit points.
  • So Near, Yet So Far: The ship to take Amagon to safety is clearly visible in the distance right at the start of the game, but you have to fight your way all the way across the island to get to it— presumably the open water is even more hazardous to swim across, seeing how the rivers are filled with deadly fish.
  • Super Mode: Megagon.
  • Transformation Trinket: The Mega-Key.
  • Wham Line: "Watch out for outer space invaders."
  • When Trees Attack: Devil Tree, boss of Zone 2.
  • A Wizard Did It: The game implies that the island's strangeness is due to the influence of an alien that is the Final Boss.