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Video Game / The Twisted Tales of Spike McFang

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The Twisted Tales of Spike McFang is an obscure 1993 Action-Adventure/Action RPG game for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System, produced by Naxat Soft. It's a sequel to the equally obscure Japanese-only TurboGrafx-16 game Makai Prince Dobrabochan.

You play as Vegetarian Vampire Spike McFang of Vladamasco, who battles the evil General Von Hessler, a zombie who attempts to invade Spike's parents' and his friend Camelia's kingdoms. Camelia herself is playable, as is Rudy, Von Hessler's repentant son.

Gameplay is an overhead view similar to 2D The Legend of Zelda games. However, instead of a sword, Spike uses his trusty cape and magical hat to attack foes. The cape functions as an omnidirectional melee attack, while the hat works like a boomerang.

Playing cards are also used to attack, and higher levels means more damage. Spike can restore his health by drinking tomato juice and using tomato cards, but must beware of garlic cloves and other monsters that lurk about.

This game contains examples of:

  • The Atoner: Rudy, son of Von Hessler, is certain something has changed with his father and intends to bring him back to his senses.
  • Barrage of Bats: With the Bat Card, Spike can summon on screen a circle of four bats (two yellow ones, two dark blue ones) that gyrate across the area to hit enemies.
  • Badass Cape: Spike's main attack is his cape, which he spins around to whack enemies. If he spins too much at once, he starts to spin out of control and creates a massively damaging vortex - although it leaves him dizzy and vulnerable for a few seconds.
  • Cat Girl: As her name implies (being the feminine word for 'pertaining to cat' in Latin), Felina is one.
  • Charged Attack: Spike's hat throw needs to be charged before it can execute.
  • Damsel out of Distress: Camelia's leg is injured after the landing into the jungle, which makes easy pickings for Owasa after Von Hessler's defeat(!). Luckily, she has disposed of him by the time Spike and Rudy get back to save her.
  • Dark Action Girl: Felina and Hydra, who also happen to be daughter and mother (respectively); Hydra trusts her daughter enough to put her in charge of Dracuman's castle, making her the first major opponent.
  • Death Dealer: Cards are used to attack.
  • Demonic Possession: Von Hessler is possessed by the demon Owasa.
  • Difficulty by Region: The US version makes enemies so strong that you have to do a lot of level grinding to be able to substantially damage bosses.
  • The Man Behind the Man: Owasa, a demon, is possessing Von Hessler.
  • Money for Nothing: 10G and 50G coins are dropped more frequently by enemies the further you are in the game. It becomes really easy to grind for money in the final area. Unfortunately, there are no shops in the final area for you to spend your money in.
  • Money Grinding: The largest gold sinks in the game are the upgraded hats and possibly the tomato juice cards. While your main source of steady gold comes from defeating enemies, the game tries to help speed up the process throughout:
    • In Batland Castle, Professor Steam gives you 100G right off the bat. Also, after defeating Felina, you get to keep the giant gold token she baits you with.
    • In Ratville and Kalala Desert, you can find several Mystery Flowers that give you tomatoes, gold coins or a swarm of bugs. As long as you collect the items or defeat the bugs as they are spawned, it will provide an endless supply. If you accidentally "kill" one, you can always just leave and return to respawn another.
    • By the time you arrive in Vampra, 10G and 50G coins will have become much more common. In addition, just two screens away from town there is an area where an endless supply of enemies falls from the sky.
  • Obviously Evil: Von Hessler. Dracuman and Vampra look human; Von Hessler decidedly does not.
  • PAL Bonus: In the US version, you're allowed to set your currently equipped card to a blank space, so you don't use any by accident.
  • Pet Monstrosity: Cid, Spike's friendly pet lake monster.
  • Precision-Guided Boomerang: Spike's magic hats. The strongest version will actively track down and attack enemies before returning.
  • Pre-Mortem One-Liner: Before finishing Felina in a cutscene with your Hat Attack, you say "Eat Hat, Cat!"
  • Some Call Me "Tim": Spike's trainer, Ching Cao Qiang, Clarence for short.
  • Spin Attack: Spike's main means of offense is spinning his cape around. When done repeatedly, it becomes a stronger version that lasts a while and does good damage, but leaves him dizzy for a few dangerous seconds.
  • Stupidity Is the Only Option: After you defeat Felina in battle, she tries to ensnare you in a painfully obvious trap. The game can't continue until you fall for it.
  • Turns Red: Every boss, when near defeat, refills their life bar and gains new attack patterns.
  • Vegetarian Vampire: Spike eats tomatoes rather than drinking blood.
  • Voice Grunting: Every character talks with different-pitched beeps.
  • Waddling Head: Garlic cloves are none more than just that—only with feet.
  • Weaksauce Weakness: The Freezer is completely invincible, unless exposed to his one weakness, chicken noodle soup.
  • Weaponized Headgear: Spike's hat behaves like a boomerang.
  • When Trees Attack: After defeating the Croc in Kalala Desert pyramid, Spike faces Root, the protector of the Kalala water.
  • Worthy Opponent: The Freezer may be one of the top officers of an evil army, but he refuses to finish a fight with Spike when he has an unfair advantage.
  • Youkai: The shopkeeper in the Japanese version is a female Oni. She got changed into a mummy for the localization.