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Video Game / Rod Land

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Rod Land (known in Japan as Yousei Monogatari Rod Land, lit. "Rod Land: A Fairy Tale") is a 1990 arcade Elimination Platformer by Jaleco. Rit and Tam must save their kidnapped mother.

The gameplay is fairly simple. On each screen, there is a set amount of enemies, and you must kill all of them to advance to the next screen. Your weapon is a magic rod that can immobilize enemies. You use the rod to beat enemies against the floor, or each other, until they poof. There are also magic shoes capable of creating ladders, since your character cannot jump — since they never appear or get mentioned again outside the intro, this ability is sometimes attributed to the rods.

The game received ports to several systems, such as Atari ST, Commodore 64, Game Boy, Nintendo Entertainment System, and ZX Spectrum.

This game provides examples of:

  • A.I. Roulette: Sometimes the enemies swarm you and kill you to death immediately. Other times they just wander around at the tops of ladders and stare into space.
  • Ambidextrous Sprite: There's no difference in the wand Rit and Tam hold depending on direction.
  • Attack Its Weak Point: The whale's weak point is its eye, but it can be attacked easily thanks to the large hitbox and there can be two eyes if it's facing from the front.
  • Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: All the bosses are much larger than you. That said, Minotaur's final form takes the cake in this department - it's as high as the screen.
  • Black Bead Eyes: Both player characters have eyes which are small and black like this.
  • Badass Adorable: Rit and Tam beat up sharks with magic wands.
  • Bittersweet Ending: The second quest. You defeat the villain, but Rit and Tam's father is dead.
  • "Blind Idiot" Translation: "Mom! We will rescue." And other such gems.
  • Collision Damage: Each enemy can kill your character just by touching them.
  • Combining Mecha: The third boss in the second campaign is two robots, an orange one and a blue one, that fly around and combine to one tall robot for a shockwave attack.
  • Co-Op Multiplayer: You can play by yourself, or cooperate with a partner.
  • Cruel Elephant: An elephant is the third boss that drops on the player character. There are also some nasty elephant statues in the background.
  • Damsel in Distress: Rit and Tam's mom is kidnapped and thrown into jail and it's up to them to rescue her.
  • Disappeared Dad: In the arcade version you find out Rit and Tam's father disappeared 5 years ago when he went to investigate a pyramid.
  • Epileptic Flashing Lights: The cutscene that introduces Sequiro has several flashes from blue to white before eventually giving a painful wave of white flashes. It's not pleasant to look at.
  • Everything Trying to Kill You: Kind of a given, with random animals and robots in both campaigns.
  • Excuse Plot: Mom is kidnapped! The second campaign and last boss try to have a little more than that, though.
  • Fairy Sexy: The fairies that show up after the bonus stages. One looks standard but it still rather pretty, while the other has a leotard-ish outfit with cleavage and a good figure.
  • Flunky Boss: Most bosses spawn miniscule versions of themselves and orange blobs with power-ups as enemies.
  • Hitbox Dissonance: The whale's eyes have a hitbox so large that it registers hits even if the attack hits slightly above/below it.
  • Kaizo Trap: Small versions of foes can still kill you even after you finish off the bosses.
  • Mercy Invincibility: When killed and respawned or transported to a new level, you are temporarily invulnerable.
  • Metronomic Man Mashing: The basic attack.
  • One-Hit-Point Wonder: Getting hit will cost you a life every time. This is basically the only thing that makes the game hard.
  • New Game Plus: Complete the arcade version and you'll get a code for the second quest.
  • Scoring Points: Points are your reward for picking up flowers and killing enemies.
  • Sequel Hook: In the arcade version there is a message saying "See you again" at the end of the credits, but there never was a sequel.
  • Sequential Boss: Minotaur has four forms, each one larger and with a new pattern. He's also the only boss in the game to do this.
  • Shapeshifter Swan Song: Minotaur goes through its forms as its dying, turning into the tiny first form at the end.
  • Spelling Bonus: If you collect all the flowers in a level before you kill all the enemies, the enemies transform into Kaburas. When Kaburas are killed, they drop letters. If you collect enough to spell the word "EXTRA," you get an extra life.
  • Spin-Off: Soldam, a Falling Blocks puzzle game that stars Rit and Tam. It released to arcades in 1992, saw a Japan-exclusive Game Boy port in 1993, and was rebooted for the Nintendo Switch in 2017.
  • Stalked by the Bell: If you take too long to complete a level, the game yells at you to hurry up.
  • Sugar Bowl: The game's world is colorful and fairy tale-ish, even in the later levels.
  • Super-Deformed: All characters are fairly small with large heads.
  • Tanks for Nothing: The first boss of the second campaign is a tank, but its attacks aren't too effective and easy to dodge. It can spawn cute little tanks from the sky, though.
  • The Tower: The high tower (or towers) where you must rescue Mom.
  • True Final Boss: Sequiro. You can only fight it in a separate level after beating both stories and beating it shows you the special ending.
  • Victory Pose: At the end of every level, Rit/Tam winks and lifts the wand.
  • Warm-Up Boss: The six crocodiles have a predictable pattern and don't take long to kill, fitting for the first boss encounter.
  • Wolfpack Boss: The first boss battle has six crocodiles who spit baby crocs on their lane. The main concern in the fight is when they're on both sides, but otherwise they pose little threat, especially by themselves.
  • Your Princess Is in Another Castle!: Subverted. Mom is in every tower. The giant bird keeps kidnapping her and carrying her to the next one.