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Video Game / Snake Rattle 'n' Roll

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Snake Rattle 'n' Roll is a video game by Rare for the NES (there was also a Genesis version, but it was pretty hard-to-find even then since it was only released in Europe) in which you control snakes through geographically diverse levels with the hopes of eating enough balls (called Nibbley-Pibbleys) to open the gate to the next level.

In each level, you have to avoid obstacles, traps, giant feet, fish, anvils, spikes, etc. on your quest to eat balls and become fat. Once you're heavy enough (or, in a two-player game, you and your friend are heavy enough combined), you can continue on to the scale, trip it to open the level gate, and go inside, only to repeat the process on the next level. Along the way you can collect power-ups that increase your speed or the length of your tongue.


All in all, the game went over pretty well with critics and most reviews drew similar comparisons to Rare's other big-ticket NES title, Battletoads; namely, it's a well-done game with nice graphics, great music, innovative gameplay and very, extremely, stupidly high difficulty.

A somewhat obscure sequel of sorts was released on the Game Boy called Sneaky Snakes. Aside from being on a strict 2D plane rather than isometric 3D, the game plays very similarly to its predecessor.


This game contains examples of:

  • Adaptation Name Change: For no apparent reason, the Pibballs and Pibbleboings are renamed Pibbleballs and Pibblesprings in the Genesis version.
  • Added Alliterative Appeal: Four the names given to the levels for the Genesis version — Grassy Greens (Level 1), Razor Ravine (Level 3), Anvil Alley (Level 4), and Slippery Slopes (Level 9).
  • American Kirby Is Hardcore: Compare the NES boxart which shows Rattle and Roll as cartoon snakes looking goofy and cheery to the Genesis boxart, where both Rattle and Roll resemble real snakes about to snack on some frightened Nibbley Pibbleys.
  • Astral Finale: The final level is on the moon. With an appropriate change in gravity, which doesn't exactly make it easier, since it's a Boss Battle. The additional level added in the Genesis version also counts, considering it's an alien planet also with low gravity.
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  • Brutal Bonus Level: The extra level in the Genesis version, although you don't have to do anything special to get to it (besides beat the game, although some would argue that's pretty damn special by itself).
  • Butt-Monkey: At the end of each level in the Genesis version, you get to watch the snake that grabbed the fewer Nibbley Pibbleys get attacked by a gadget from the winning snake. Since Roll is always present on the results screen even in single-player where no one is there to collect Nibbley Pibbleys as him...
  • Contemptible Cover: This is the boxart for the NES release. It's worth noting that that's pretty much exactly what the game looks like in action, however.
  • Depth Perplexion: The level design and drop shadows do a pretty good job of making it obvious how enemies relate to one another, but this can still happen, most infamously on level 5 where the balls sprout wings and fly freely around.
  • Developers' Foresight: On Level 4, you can lead an anvil onto the switch, allowing you to complete the level without eating a single ball.
  • Difficulty Spike: Levels 7 and up make the first half of the game look like cake.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Your snakes go on a rampage through many different lands, killing everything in sight. Why? Ice Foot stole your flag.
  • Easter Egg: In Level 7, the ground in the first half of the level forms the word "Nintendo", while the second half forms the words "Game Boy". In the Sega Genesis version, these were changed to "Snake R+R" and "Go Sega", respectively. Strangely, this was not changed in the Rare Replay rerelease, despite all other mentions of Nintendo being removed.
  • Fake Difficulty: Precision platforming + lack of depth perception = Platform Hell.
  • Goomba Stomp: You can do it to some enemies, but more commonly it's being done to you.
  • Invincible Minor Minion: The Christmas tree monsters in Level 7 can technically be killed, but they require so many hits it's usually not worth it unless you can't get past them otherwise.
  • Isometric Projection
  • Nintendo Hard: Just read down the list of attributes on that page. They're all present in some way.
  • One-Hit Kill: Being Goomba Stomped.
  • Poison Mushroom: The wind-up key. In theory: a helpful speed boost. In practice: an amusing way to kill yourself.
  • Punny Name: Bigfoot. Not Sasquatch, he's just a big foot.
  • Recycled INSPACE: The ending of the NES game alludes to a sequel, Snakes in Space. The final level in the Genesis version, "The Great Rocket Race," shared the theme of snakes in space.
  • Rhymes on a Dime: Two of the level names in the Genesis version are the Fountain Mountain (Level 7) and Snake Lakes (Level 8).
  • Sequel Hook: The NES ending alludes to Rattle and Roll's further adventures in Snakes in Space. This showed up not as a separate game, but as the final level in the Genesis version, "The Great Rocket Race".
  • Slippy-Slidey Ice World: Levels 9 and 10.
  • Spikes of Doom
  • Unexpected Gameplay Change: A few minor examples.
    • Levels 6 and 7 do not have any Nibbley Pibbleys. Level 6 simply requires you to get to the end gate; level 7 does have a scale, but you don't need any weight to trip it, you just have to get to it.
    • Level 8 goes through four underwater pools, each one requiring you to grab enough Nibbley Pibbleys to open a door and escape each pool.
    • And level 11 is a straight-up Boss Battle, something the previous levels had lacked (Bigfoot is more of a miniboss).
  • Victory Fakeout: A variant. If you defeat the final boss of the Genesis version, at first you appear to have won the game as in the NES version, but then some meteorites strike the Snake's UFO, forcing it to crash land on Level 12.

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