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Video Game / The Simpsons: Bart vs. the World

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The Simpsons: Bart vs. the World is the second of two Platform Games released by Acclaim in 1991 based on characters from The Simpsons. Originally developed by Imagineering (who also developed the game's predecessor, Bart vs. the Space Mutants) for the Nintendo Entertainment System, it was ported to the Amiga, Atari ST, Sega Master System and Game Gear.

The game sends Bart on a tour of three continents, ostensibly for winning first prize in a dubious art contest hosted by Krusty the Clown, but really as a plan for the contest's judge and sponsor, Mr. Montgomery Burns, to fulfill his vendetta against Bart and his family.

Tropes appearing in this game:

  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: The four places of the world that Bart goes to are China, the North Pole, Ancient Egypt, and Hollywood.
  • Bar Slide: One Mini-Game includes jumping over drinks that Moe slides down his bar while catching the power-ups.
  • Bigfoot, Sasquatch, and Yeti: The Abominable Snow Burns is a humanoid monster living in the North Pole.
  • Build Like an Egyptian: Egypt includes the obligatory Great Pyramid level. There's a Sphinx that has Krusty's face.
  • Characterization Marches On: Understandable, considering that the game was released during the show's third season:
    • In the game's storyline, Krusty is bewildered that Bart is chosen as the winner of the contest and seems totally oblivious as to what Burns's plan is, which is consistent with his early portrayal as a grouchy but ultimately kind-hearted clown. Had the game been made later in the decade, odds are Krusty would be shown as willingly helping out Burns in exchange for a suitably large bribe.
    • Smithers is, if anything, even more gung-ho about getting the Simpsons killed than Mr. Burns is. While it's not as massively out of character as robbing a jeweller's store, it's hard to imagine the more kind-hearted Smithers of later episodes being so eager to even get Homer bumped off, much less his wife and children.
  • Combat Hand Fan: Fu Manchu Burns uses one of these to deflect Bart's attacks back at him.
  • Dem Bones: The final Hollywood level contains skeletons that throw their skulls.
  • Disproportionate Restitution: Should you collect all the Krusty items, what punishment is Bart allowed to inflict on Burns and Smithers for trying to kill him? He gets to throw pies at them. Hardly appropriate punishment for attempted child murder by proxy.
  • Do Not Touch the Funnel Cloud: Hopping mini-tornadoes appear as enemies in Egypt.
  • Exposed to the Elements: Bart spends the North Pole stage in his usual attire with no protection from the cold.
  • 15 Puzzle: 4x4 sliding around pictures of the Simpsons cast, as a Mini-Game. They depict Marge, Bart, and Homer, each one with its own caption and the character saying a phrase.
  • Generation Xerox: All of Mr. Burns's evil relatives are his spitting image despite being ridiculously distantly related (third cousin removed, grand uncle, etc.)
  • Goomba Stomp: Oddly, Bart defeats the Abominable Snow Burns this way, but that's the only time in the game he can make use of it.
  • Guide Dang It!:
    • Some of the unique Krusty items can be pretty difficult to find, one of these being in the first level, the Chinese Junk, where Maggie is hidden at the bottom of the ship by the rudder, which you'd have no reason to know is even there.
    • The Krusty Snowman in the North Pole is a pain too, its clearly visible but locked behind two stalactites. To reach it, you have to knock it loose with snowballs that Marge throws at you.
  • 100% Completion: To get the Good ending as well as an extra level of the game, you must collect all the unique Krusty souvenirs in each level. To do that, you must touch the Simpson family members who are spread out across the levels, which will cause the items to spawn elsewhere.
  • Improbable Weapon User: Eric Von Burns throws old-timey Hollywood director megaphones.
  • Karma Houdini: Burns and Smithers become this if you don't collect all the Krusty items, getting off scot-free for their attempted proxy murder of a child.
  • Level Goal: Most levels end at an exit door near a "MAP" sign.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: The secret final level takes place in an animation studio where you're attacked by Itchy And Scratchy and The Happy Little Elves, but it could easily be seen as a Duck-Amuck style setting for the Simpsons themselves.
  • Luck-Based Mission: The "Find the bat in the coffins" minigame. Just three coffins and you have to pick the right one.
  • Magic Carpet: Ramses Burns is fought while he's flying on a magic carpet. Unlike the other bosses, there's no way to damage him personally, instead, you have to unravel the carpet by pulling on a loose thread until he falls off.
  • Magical Mystery Doors: The coffin maze in the penultimate level has Bart going through one coffin and magically ending up somewhere else.
  • Misplaced Wildlife: The Abominable Snow Burns is based on the Abominable Snow Man, which is not from the North Pole but rather the Himalayas.
  • Non-Action Big Bad: Burns and Smithers don't actually fight Bart themselves, they just contact Burns's relatives around the world to enlist their help.
  • Optional Boss: If you collect all the Krusty items, you get to fight Itchy and Scratchy.
  • Pie in the Face: Burns's and Smithers's comeuppance should you collect all the Krusty items.
  • Pop Quiz: One Mini-Game is a three-question Simpsons trivia quiz, asking things like what Homer's favorite food (donuts) is and what the Simpsons' family dog is named (Santa's Little Helper).
  • Shout-Out: For the trivia question, "Who is the Simpsons' family doctor?", the wrong answers are "Dr. Huxtable" and "Dr. J".
  • Stalactite Spite: The North Pole Ice Cave begins by deluging Bart with icicles.
  • Studiopolis: The fourth and final stage is Hollywood. The first act of the stage takes place on a pirate ship where Bart has to dodge pirates and cannonballs. The second act takes place on the stage of a horror film, where Bart has to dodge bats, gargoyles, zombies, spiders, skeletons, and ghosts that resemble Mr. Smithers. The third part takes place on a giant animator's table, where Bart has to dodge ink blobs, drafting compasses, pens, erasers, The Happy Little Elves, Itchy, Scratchy, sandbags, and clapper boards. The Final Boss is Eric Von Burns, a film director who is also one of Mr. Burns's relatives. Bart has to attack Eric Von Burns, who is riding a movie camera, and dodge the megaphones he tosses.
  • Super Drowning Skills: If Bart falls into the water, he won't even try to get out, he will just stand there and drown.
  • Video Game Flight: Bart can become Bartman and fly for a limited time. Power-up only available in certain levels.
  • The Unfought: Burns and Smithers are the ones behind the entire scheme, but you don't get a boss fight with them. At least not a proper one.
  • Whack-a-Monster: The Abominable Snow Burns pops out of three holes. You damage him by jumping on top of him.
  • A Winner Is You:
    • If you beat the game without collecting all the special Krusty items you just get Krusty telling you "Great work there, Barto... But it's too bad you didn't find all the unique Krusty items. We had a special surprise planned for you. Oh, well. Don't blame me — You didn't do it!"
    • If you do complete the game with all the special items, you just get a cheap (albeit interactive) animation of Bart throwing cream pies at Burns and Smithers on Krusty's show. It didn't age well, but it was pretty cool back in the days when "A Winner Is You" was your standard reward for winning.
    • Exaggerated by the Master System and Game Gear ports of the game, where all you get after defeating the final boss is a screen reading "Well done. You have defeated the evil Mr. Burns."
  • World Tour: Bart goes to China, the North Pole, Egypt and Hollywood, California.
  • Would Hurt a Child: Mr. Burns and Smithers have no qualms about sending enemies to kill Bart, a ten-year-old boy.
  • Yellow Peril: Mr. Burns's third cousin in China, Fu Manchu Burns.