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Video Game / The Lion King

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A Platform Game based on Disney's The Lion King, developed by Westwood Studios and released by Virgin Interactive in 1994. The game has ten levels loosely following the plot (and the soundtrack) of the movie, the first six with Simba as a cub and the other four with the adult Simba.

The game appeared on a variety of platforms, including both the Sega Genesis and the Super Nintendo Entertainment System; unlike with Aladdin, the two rival 16-bit consoles got what was essentially the same game, and telling which version was better could be a very close call. Other versions tended to leave stages out. Interestingly enough, this game received a PAL-exclusive port for the Nintendo Entertainment System of all platforms in 1995, with this port being the final game officially licensed and released for the system.

In August 2019, it was announced that Nighthawk Interactive and Digital Eclipse would be re-releasing the SNES, Genesis, and Game Boy versions of the game alongside Aladdin (the Genesis, Game Boy, and Super Game Boy versions) as part of an HD compilation called Disney Classic Games: Aladdin and The Lion King, to be released in autumn 2019 for Microsoft Windows (via Steam), PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch. Notably, this announcement comes just a few months after the widely successful 2019 remakes of both films.


Tropes occurring in the game:

  • Absentee Actor:
    • Of the main cast, Nala is no where to be found in the game. Oddly her and Simba's romantic song "Can You Feel the Love Tonight" is still used in the end credits. note 
    • Even though Timon and Pumbaa appear, Zazu doesn't show up at all.
    • While there are generic hyena mooks as enemies in the game, Shenzi, Banzai and Ed do not actually show up. Banzai only gets his "If you ever come back, we'll kill ya" line in a cutscene.
  • Acrophobic Bird: Zigzagged with the vultures in "Elephant Graveyard", which come in two variations: those that only walk back and forth on the ground, never taking flight, and those that do fly.
  • A.I. Roulette: The hyenas in the Master System and Game Gear versions of the game, as well as prototypes of the 16-bit versions. This can make them rather difficult to kill, since their random behavior can cause them not to become vulnerable for long periods of time.
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  • Ambiguous Species: The enemy cats in the adult Simba levels. They are based on the cheetah from the beginning of the film, and the manual refers to them as cheetahs, but they are in a jungle instead of the savanna, are not shown to be particularly fast, and due to the color palette of the level they are first introduced in (Simba's Destiny) they are pale to the point of resembling snow leopards. This causes many players to be confused as to whether these enemies are cheetahs or not.
  • Animal Stampede: "The Stampede", in which Simba has to dodge the wildebeests and the rocks on the floor.
  • Bonus Stage: Two types, featuring Timon, Pumbaa and bugs to collect.
  • Bottomless Pits: There's a lot of these.
  • Cheat Code: There is a code that lets you play the entire game upside down. Explained around 14:40
  • Collision Damage
  • Copy Protection:
    • The DOS port will ask for a random word on a random page of the manual each time it's run.
    • Playing an improperly cracked copy of the game that you found on some abandonware sites? Either your roar meter won't refill or the health and roar meter upgrade bugs won't do a thing.
  • Darker and Edgier: Adult Simba's levels when compared to the rest of the game. They lack the lighthearted elements that were in young Simba's levels, and every single one of them involves a lot of Family-Unfriendly Violence where you maul large packs of enemies to death.
  • Disney Villain Death: Invoked. In order to beat Scar in the final level, you have to toss him off of Pride Rock.
  • Double Jump: Used in the second level, during the two Ostrich rides. The ostrich can jump, and while he is airborn Simba himself can likewise jump up from the ostrich' back.
  • Dummied Out: The monkeys in "Simba's Destiny" originally threw feces, but after Disney execs objected, their ammo was changed to rocks.
  • Everything's Better with Monkeys: Horribly, horribly subverted by the second level, "Can't Wait to Be King". Figuring out just which way the pink monkeys have to be facing in order to get flung into the right direction is an exercise in patience. Also, (while technically not a monkey) the gorilla boss in "Hakuna Matata" is abusively difficult. And then there are those stone-throwing monkeys in the level Simba' s Destiny...
  • Feathered Fiend: Besides hyenas, "The Elephant Graveyard" has vultures as enemies. Some stationed on the ground, others flying.
  • Game-Over Man: Rafiki in the SNES and Genesis versions; the 8-bit versions have Scar instead.
  • Goomba Stomp: Young Simba's main method to defeat enemies is to jump over them. Adult Simba's version is different; it knocks him back, but it allows to do multiple damage to its target.
  • Green Hill Zone: Pride Lands.
  • Heart Container: African red bugs.
  • Indy Escape: There are several instances where you have to escape a Rolling Boulder, and they can be oh so frustrating if you haven't mastered roll by then.
  • Instantly Defeathered Bird: The vultures from Elephant Graveyard are rendered completely bald when Simba pounces on them.
  • Jungle Japes: "Hakuna Matata."
  • Killer Gorilla: The boss in the "Hakuna Matata" level is a gorilla. He's a Downplayed example: he's not actively attacking Simba, only throwing coconuts at Simba because apparently he wants to be left alone. It doesn't stop him from being the toughest boss in the game.
  • Lava Surfing: Done in the "Be Prepared" level by Simba on a stalactite.
  • Ledge Bats: These appear in the "Be Prepared" lava level: at one point you have to ride a river of lava on a floating rock. A very small rock. Any wrong move, and you fall in the lava. As you float further across the river, several bats awaken and try to hurt you. Being hurt pushes Simba back by about a meter, which is more than enough to make him fall into the lava.
  • Lethal Lava Land: Level 8, "Be Prepared". Somewhat odd as the level is not based on any scene in the actual movie, although it shares its name with one. Instead, it was apparently based on storyboards for a scene that was cut from the movie (wherein Simba dodged geysers on his way back to the Pridelands), due to the game being developed concurrently with the film. Regardless, it is a tough stage.
  • Luck-Based Mission: In the DOS version, the fountain of acid that Simba needs to escape (by climbing), seems to be bugged. It either doesn't rise, or rises too fast to escape even by frantically mashing the jump button.
  • Made of Explodium: Be careful when killing the rhino beetles or you could get hurt. Yes, the rhino beetles explode upon dying.
  • Magical Mystery Doors: "Simba's Return" is a maze full of passages. Every way is full of confrontation with hyenas and Simba may not enter another passage until he defeats all hyenas.
  • Minecart Madness: Or, rather, ostrich madness.
  • Misplaced Wildlife: Why are there a bunch of cheetahs in the jungle?
  • Mood Whiplash: Mirroring the film, going from the Somber "Simba's Exile" stage to the lush bright jungle and music of "Hakuna Matata". Or the bonus levels between the Adult Simba levels.
  • Never Say "Die": Notably averted twice; this is even the case in the SNES port, in what is a very rare occurrence for a Nintendo game of that era:
    • A brief cutscene has Scar ordering Simba's death, like he does in the movie: "Kill him."
    • Banzai yells "if you ever come back, we'll kill ya!" in another cutscene.
  • Nintendo Hard: Infamously so, to the point where the creators of the game were delighted when two people in the audience had actually beaten the second level. Years later, one of the developers apologized on reddit. On the bright side, pressing B+A+R+R+Y and 'Start' on the SNES controller (or Right+A+A+B and 'Start' on the Genesis controller) opens up a hidden menu that allows to toggle invulnerability on (as well as selecting the level).
  • Numerical Hard: Easy modes get more lives and continues. Hard modes give enemies more health. That pretty much covers it.
  • Ring-Out Boss: When Scar is at the highest of the Pride Rock, the only way to defeat him is to throw him off the rock.
  • Shout-Out: The gorilla boss at the end of the "Hakuna Matata" level, climbing higher and higher while throwing coconuts Simba has to dodge, might be a Donkey Kong homage. A developer also said it was based on storyboarded character that was cut from the movie.
  • Super Drowning Skills: Some levels have water serving the purpose of Bottomless Pits.
  • The Spiny: Porcupines cannot be jumped over unless Young Simba rolls on them or roars at them.
  • Tactical Suicide Boss: A way to defeat the gorilla of "Hakuna Matata" is to deflect his coconuts at him by rolling and then jumping over him. Alternatively, time your jump so that you land on top of the coconut (which will deflect you and cause no damage) and then go for the boss mid-jump, which won't hit you if you do that.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Adult Simba, with harder-hitting attacks and having a more effective roar.
  • Unexpected Gameplay Change: "The Stampede" is not the traditional platformer, but a race that requires avoiding wildebeests and uneven terrain.


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