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Video Game / The Lucky Dime Caper

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As they developed Quackshot in 1991, Sega realized that simply porting the game to the Sega Master System, even with heavy changes, would not do justice to Donald Duck. And so the similar yet different The Lucky Dime Caper was created.

The game begins as Scrooge McDuck gives a dime to each of his nephews not named Donald. He once again talks about how his Number One Dime triggered his quest for fortune and explains that they too could become rich if they worked hard for it. Then Huey, Dewey and Louie are suddenly kidnapped and Scrooge gets a dive kick from Magica De Spell, who takes his dime away. Donald is sent on a mission to save his nephews and recover the four dimes.

This platformer has 7 levels and is divided in three parts: the search for the nephews, their dimes and the #1 Dime. Much like in its Sega Genesis counterpart, the player can enter the available levels in any order. Donald is armed with a hammer for close combat, which he'll lose if he gets hurt. The hammer can be recovered or exchanged for a disc by collecting items from defeated enemies.

The Game Gear version has different level designs and some minor gameplay changes. In 1993, Deep Duck Trouble was released as a sequel. Also worth noting is that two decades later, after a long drought of Donald games, he brought the hammer back for his playable appearance in Disney Infinity!

Tropes whacked by Donald's hammer into the horizon include:

  • 1-Up: A block with Donald's face in it.
  • Adaptational Villainy: Baloo and Lambert the Sheepish Lion were both good guys in their respective works. In this game, they're both bosses that Donald has to fight.
  • American Kirby Is Hardcore: While the original cover is mainly that illustration above, the Japanese cover for the Game Gear version looks way happier, showing a smiling Donald with Magica already in his grasp.
  • Animated Armor: An obstacle in Magica's castle. They don't move but Donald must walk under the spears they hold.
  • Anti-Frustration Features: Weapons are more likely to fall from enemies when Donald is unarmed.
  • Antlion Monster: Seen in the Egypt level. Antlions are invincible enemies who drag Donald under sand pits to bite him.
  • Bears Are Bad News: As seen in the cover above. The bear is the boss of The Northern Woods.
  • Bee Afraid: There are three types of bee enemies in the Northern Woods. The bear boss is also followed by one, but it's just for decoration.
  • Big Bad: Magica De Spell. She steals Scrooge's #1 dime, captures Huey, Dewey, Louie, and steals their dimes, hiding them in different parts of the world to stall Donald.
  • Big Boo's Haunt: The seventh and final level takes place in Magica's castle, where Magica is in possession of Scrooge's #1 dime. Enemies include ghosts, skeletons, knights, and paintings of Magica. The final boss is Magica herself.
  • Book Ends: The game begins with Scrooge giving dimes to Huey, Dewey and Louie to encourage them to work for their dreams and such. In the end of the game, he does the same to Donald.
  • Bragging Rights Reward: Scrooge gives a simple dime as a reward to Donald at the end. One wonders what Donald did with it, or what he learned from this.
  • Breakable Weapons: A core mechanic is that Donald loses his current weapon if he's hurt, requiring the player to get another from item drops. The Game Gear port leaves this out.
  • Build Like an Egyptian: Egypt and its pyramid dungeon full of scorpions and arrows.
  • The Cameo: Baloo appears as the boss of the Northern Woods, and Lambert the Sheepish Lion appears as the boss of the Great American Forest.
  • Chest Monster: They appear in the pyramid level. The level has some treasure rooms where lots of chests spawn. They may or may not be monsters.
  • Convection, Schmonvection: In the Tropical Islands level, though Donald doesn't look confortable at all near the lava pools.
  • Deadly Disc: The other weapon Donald can get. It's weaker than the hammer, but reaches distant enemies.
  • Death Throws: Accompained by a silly jingle.
  • Descending Ceiling: The pyramid stage involves trap rooms where Donald must beat respawning mimic chests while the ceiling lowers. After a while, Donald will be warped out of the room before the ceiling can become an actual threat. However, a specific room is strangely set to last for such a massive amount of time after the ceiling has reached its lowest height that it's easy to think the game has glitched out.
  • Dual Boss: The statues at the Andes Mountains. In the Game Gear version, the left statue was removed.
  • Edge Gravity: Donald slows down when near edges. This tends to ruin jump precision, as best seen when trying to hop across a few small platforms right before the final boss.
  • Facepalm: In the Sega Master System version, Donald does this when he finds out that the reward Scrooge promised him is a dime.
  • Game-Over Man: Donald throws a temper tantrum at the continue screen. If you give up, he shrugs with a defeated expression.
  • The Goomba: Mushrooms are featured as the basic enemies in The Northern Woods, likely as a call back to Castle of Illusion. Oddly enough, despite their simplicity they'll dodge your hammer strikes and are the only ones who do so.
  • Glass Cannon: Bears and lions are no match for Donald Duck, but he has only two HP and loses his weapon if struck in the Sega Master System version.
  • Goomba Stomp: Even when Donald is unarmed, he can still attack with this. It is set up so enemies die by touching Donald from below, even when he's currently not jumping.
  • Have a Nice Death: Donald's Death Throws animation shows him being burned or frozen if he falls on a lava or cold Bottomless Pit.
  • Hit Points: In the Sega Master System version, Donald has two: When damaged, he loses his weapon. If he is damaged again, he dies. The Game Gear version is easier because the stars become Donald's health for a max of 4 HP and he can never lose his weapons.
  • Hyperactive Sprite: Donald has a particularly cheerful animation for when he's standing still.
  • Idle Animation: If left still for a while, normally Donald will look at us and complain, but in the volcano level he'll start sweating in exhaustion and in the ice level he'll shiver. What's strange is that in the Game Gear version, the idle animation seems to appear at random and have a random duration!
  • In Case of Boss Fight, Break Glass: To defeat Magica, Donald must break open the crystal ball housing Scrooge's #1 dime, as it is the source of Magica's powers.
  • Invincibility Power-Up: The star powerup increases the speed of Donald's attacks. With 5, Donald becomes invincible for a while, but loses his stat buffs. This doesn't apply to the Game Gear version.
  • Lethal Lava Land: Most of the Tropical Islands level takes place in a cave full of lava pools and traps that release fire in some way.
  • The Maze: The final section of the Egypt level has you figure out which door out of a group leads to the key that unlocks the Boss' door. There are two correct options that lead to different challenges. As for the Game Gear version, you must enter the next-to-last door in the corridor. Thanks to the Ratchet Scrolling in this version, it's easy to miss the correct door.
  • Mook Maker: One hazard at the Andes Mountains is a magic plate that spawns enemies. At two points you have to destroy a whole barrier of them to go on, which is easily done with the hammer.
  • Nintendo Hard: Thanks to the health system, you can't ever let your guard down.
  • Non-Lethal Bottomless Pits: In the Game Gear version, the pits in the first part of the Great American Forest level become this. Donald just goes on an underwater section if he falls on them.
  • #1 Dime: The story begins with Scrooge giving three dimes for his nephews before they're stolen along with his Number One. Rather than simply call them lucky charms, he states that "what kind of luck it brings depends on how hard you work".
  • Only in It for the Money: Donald only goes after the four dimes because Scrooge offers him a reward. Interestingly, both the prototype and the Game Gear versions differ in his characterization. The first has him afraid to go at all until Scrooge promises the reward and the latter has Donald doing the whole job without objections.
  • Piranha Problem: Piranhas serve as common enemies in the Great American Forest. They come in two types. The first jump out of the water in a vertical fashion, but Donald can bounce off of them to reach higher places. The second are underwater, and move either horizontally or in diagonal zig-zags. As Donald cannot attack underwater, he has to avoid these ones.
  • Poltergeist: In Magica's Castle, knives and forks lunge at Donald when he's near.
  • Primitive Clubs: The Andes Mountains feature pig enemies who either rush towards Donald with a club or toss it at him. There are at least three variants of this enemy that have set locations but look all the same, requiring memorization to react properly to each one.
  • Randomly Drops: For every two enemies knocked out, a random item appears. Weapons tend to be rare unless Donald is unarmed. In the Game Gear version, One Ups and Stars also appear by themselves in levels.
  • Ratchet Scrolling: The Game Gear version suffers from this.
  • Respawning Enemies: Enemies return to their original spots once you're far enough. Use this to grind for lives or to rearm Donald in a safe area.
  • Ruins for Ruins' Sake: Peru takes place in a temple filled with natives, vultures, shifting blocks, and arrows that shoot from the ceiling. At the end of the stage, Donald fights two statues in the Master System version, and one in the Game Gear version.
  • Scary Scorpions: The pyramid level is full of them. They're quite fast and drop by the dozens from baskets hanging from the ceiling.
  • Scoring Points: The game has a score counter you can see in a level's title card and when a level ends. Sometimes you get jewels from random drops, which is inconvenient if you're looking for anything really useful.
  • Slippy-Slidey Ice World: The South Pole has slippery surfaces, strong winds and mean yetis roaming around.
  • Snake Charmer: The crow boss of the Egypt stage calls a large serpent that breathes fire at Donald. It goes away once he's defeated.
  • Snakes Are Sinister: A giant snake moving between a series of baskets supports the Egypt boss. Ride it to get on the boss' level, but jump before the snake sticks its tongue at you.
  • Spikes of Doom: Some rooms in the final level are full of them.
  • Spooky Painting: A portait of Magica that falls when Donald is close to it.
  • Stationary Boss: The statues at Andes Mountains, which make for pathetically easy foes if Donald is armed. The same, sadly, goes for the Final Boss, a mere crystal ball containing the #1 Dime.
  • Super Drowning Skills: If Donald is over water, water is basically a Bottomless Pit.
  • Tactical Suicide Boss: The twin statues throw bouncing rocks that Donald can ride on to jump at their heads. Similarly, The Egypt boss has a giant snake that Donald can use to get at him.
  • Timed Mission: The Master System version has a time limit, represented by a bar at the bottom of the screen that slowly decreases. The bar first starts out blue, then turns yellow, then turns red. If the red time limit runs out, you lose a life. The time limit disappears once Donald starts fighting the stage's boss. The Game Gear version omits this gimmick.
  • Vile Vulture: Vultures serve as enemies in Peru. They swoop down at Donald, attacking by tossing either cacti or boulders at him.
  • Wake-Up Call Boss: The Lion boss not only has bottomless pits in his arena, but unlike every other boss he instantly counterattacks upon being hurt. You can't just cheese the fight with a couple quick hammer hits. In the Game Gear version, the tree branches are removed, meaning you can no longer easily evade his charge attacks.
  • World Tour: Through the game, Donald travels to Canada, USA, Peru, Hawaii, Egypt, Antarctica and Italy.
  • Zero-Effort Boss: A lot of the bosses have blatant weaknesses that allow players to defeat them easily with either the hammer or the disc.
    • The rightmost tree branch in the battle against the bear boss in the Master System version is a safe spot where the boss can be defeated without any further moves. The bear will repeatedly get his head struck at Donald's feet during its movement pattern.
    • The statue boss in the Game Gear version actually has attacks designed to prevent you from camping under it, but if you stand still under it from the beginning it will glitch up and never attack.
    • The final boss is no more than a sitting crystal ball. In the Master System version you can simply hop on the table it stands, slam it a couple of times and that's it. End of game.