The Retro Games Thread

Professor Irony

CYBER FUNKER
Moderator
Working through some of my old Megadrive games again, but sticking to the Disney theme, I decided to play through World of Illusion. The slightly lesser known follow-up to much loved Mickey Mouse simulator, Castle of Illusion, it sees Mickey and Donald whisked off to a perilous fantasy realm by a nefarious magician, as they prepare for their own stage magic act.

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As with a lot of the Disney titles on the MD, it was developed in house by Sega, and it's very interesting to see how it compares with Capcom's approach. Unfortunately in this case, it feels like a bit of a triumph for style over substance. The game is extremely well presented, with richly detailed levels that pack in a lot of references to classic Disney films (particularly Alice in Wonderland) and great sprite animation on the characters. I think the MD (at least with its early carts) couldn't handle the same variety of colours on screen at once as the SNES, so tends not to do the very vibrant, saturday morning cartoon look as effectively, but here leans into a slightly more muted palette that helps accentuate the more filmic, big-screen feature atmosphere.

mickey-donald-world-illusion-techmynd-3.jpg


Sadly, the gameplay is not on the same level. It's not bad by any means, but Mickey and Donald feel heavy to control, and their elaborate running animation often makes it difficult to judge larger leaps as the game progresses. Enemy projectiles are often tiny and difficult to avoid, while some traps and pitfalls are so untelegraphed that the only way to know they're coming is through trial and error. It's often just not as much fun as it ought to be, or at least that is the case in single player mode. The game does have a simultaneous two player mode and I remember that being a more entertaining experience altogether, as these things so often are (it's certainly telling that the top hits on google images for screenshots are of the 2P mode).

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With only five stages, the game is also quite short and, with the possible exception of one boss whose pattern I initially found hard to grasp, I think an average player could still reasonably expect to finish a playthrough in around an hour, on their first try. To its credit however, the game does have alternative levels for both Mickey and Donald, as well as alternative content exclusive to the 2P mode (I think), so there is some replay value to be had.

So there it is. World of Illusion is a solid enough platformer that's sure to go down well with classic Disney buffs, but with so many others to choose from on the system, this isn't something I'd recommend with any urgency, and certainly not a game I'd recommend paying a great deal of money for.
 

Neil.T

Titan
So... I've been playing a fair chunk of Super Mario Bros. lately.

You see, I recently bought the Super Mario Bros. Game & Watch that Nintendo released last year, and it also includes the original Japanese Super Mario Bros. 2, which Western players might know better as The Lost Levels on the SNES compilation cart Super Mario All-Stars.

The SNES version is a hard game, but the 1986 original is... 😵❗

So I decided I had to improve, starting with going back to the first SMB, since that runs off basically the same game engine. I revisited a site called MarioUniverse.com in order to use the maps to properly learn all the level layouts as best as I could, including the placement of all the power-ups, hidden 1-ups and coin rooms. (I didn't even know before that there was a stipulation to whether or not a hidden 1-up block in the first level of each new world: it turns out that you have to collect a minimum number of coins in the preceding world's third level. 😯)

Well, after a bit of practice, I managed to make it through all 32 levels of Super Mario Bros. without losing a single life, for the very first time. In fact I ended the game with 22 in reserve (displayed as 👑C because of a quirk in the game's coding).

Next, after refamiliarising myself with the SNES version of SMB (whose physics are much more forgiving) and again using maps, I began practicing world 8 only of The Lost Levels, since that was the only stage I had left to clear on the Game & Watch version. After a bit of practice, I got to a point where I could clear those four levels with one life.

Finally switching back to the Game & Watch, I got to the last level after only a few attempts, only to find that the original ROM's less-forgiving physics meant that my usual technique for two particularly difficult jumps didn't work here, so now I had more practicing to do! 😅

This involved repeated game-overs on 8-4 and having to make it back there again from 8-1 as I tried to find a workaround. On one attempt, after battling through the first three levels and even managing to grab the hidden 1-up, I lost all four lives on the first screen of the final. F**k. 😅

After eventually clearing the second difficult jump, I managed the rest on my first attempt, thanks to the practice runs on the SNES version. And, as a bonus for not skipping ahead using any warp zones, I got to play the "fantasy world" of world 9 in all its bizarre glory, weird original colour palettes and all.

So there you go: at age 39, I'm playing the Super Mario Bros. games the best I ever have. Now all I have to do is beat SMB2 a further seven times to unlock worlds A to D, the bonus second (half-)quest, which I know from the SNES is even bloody harder! 😅

But first, some more practice might be in order...
 
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Professor Irony

CYBER FUNKER
Moderator
That’s interesting - I remember the Lost Levels release being... challenging, to put it mildly, but I didn’t know it had been toned down compared to the original.
 

Neil.T

Titan
I remember the Lost Levels release being... challenging, to put it mildly, but I didn’t know it had been toned down compared to the original.
It's down to the physics more than anything. At the moment, I can really only comment on Luigi's play style because I've tended to use him for the game. His inertia is more of problem than Mario's, but he's good for giving you an easier time with the longer jumps.

So, given that, Luigi feels "floatier" in the SNES version compared to the original that's on the Game & Watch. That's why those two difficult jumps in 8-4 that I mentioned before are much more difficult in the original: they both involve accessing a low platform from the one above through a narrow gap, and Luigi drops like a brick in freefall. (More often than not straight off the bottom of the screen in my hands. 😅👎)

Then there's the PAL physics. The NES Super Mario Bros. runs differently on PAL (UK) and NTSC (Japan, US) systems. The PAL version runs at 50 frames per second, versus the NTSC's 60fps, so it's slower. To compensate for this, the developers increased Mario's acceleration and boosted his running speed to match the NTSC in real time, with the side effect is that it gives you far more leeway when it comes to avoiding enemies. Another example of this difference between versions would be the highest row of bricks in world 1-1; in the PAL version, you can smash them as Super Mario from ground level with a running jump, but in the NTSC you can't reach them because Mario's top speed is presumably a lower value at code level. Another odd difference between the versions is that the music has been sped up artificially fast in the PAL game. Listen to the background percussion tracks in this YouTube comparison video and you'll really hear the difference:

Anyway, getting back to the point, the only version of All-Stars that I've played is the PAL version, and that actually has the same physics as the PAL NES for SMB and The Lost Levels. (The same is probably true for the other two games on the cartridge, but I couldn't verify that yet.)

Lastly, when I play The Lost Levels on the SNES, I'll do the 128-lives trick on world 1-1 to make sure I've got plenty to get through the game, but I've never been able to get it to work in the NES versions, be it PAL or NTSC. There's an infinite lives cheat on the Game & Watch, but I don't want to have to resort to that yet. 😛

What's your own experience with The Lost Levels/the early Mario games in general, Prof? The same question goes out to anyone else reading, too. 🙂
 
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Professor Irony

CYBER FUNKER
Moderator
Afraid I‘ve never owned All Stars, so I only spent a little while playing Lost Levels on a friend’s copy to see what it was like. At the time, I thought it was a bit merciless and probably gave up rather quickly, although I don’t know if I might appreciate the challenge more now. Of the 8-bit titles, I think it‘s the second and third games that left more impression on me though.

Two, being as we now know a reskin of an unrelated game, felt like such an oddity with its magic carpet rides, potions you drink to visit the shadow world (!) and weird little masked enemies, but there was something about it that always caught my imagination. The way you go in and out of caves or buildings and can choose alternative routes through the levels almost feels RPG-like. I think it repeats itself too much, you fight the same two or three bosses every time until the end, but it’s something I still like to go back to every now and again.

Three, I think, really feels like the beginning of the the modern Mario game though. The levels are more diverse in terms of gameplay. there’s more emphasis on finding big secrets, and there’s a far more definite sense of each world having a distinctive theme. I think it’s just a real shame there’s no battery backup or password system on the original cart and it would have been nice to have the option of replaying levels after you’ve completed them, if only to see some of the quirkier ideas that only pop up maybe once or twice in the whole game. As a kid, I always liked the huge boot with the wind-up key that you could use to pass over spikes, for example, but it’s a tiny section of maybe a couple of levels that you can easily skip past. Or the suit that makes you into a hammer brother, it’s such a cool power up, but the game only gives you it once!
 

Neil.T

Titan
I only spent a little while playing Lost Levels on a friend’s copy to see what it was like. At the time, I thought it was a bit merciless
Hahh, and you were right. 😅

It's interesting, because the more I've practiced world 8 on the SNES version, the less difficult it's become. I can get through it using only one life reasonably consistently now, and if you'd told me only a couple of weeks ago that I'd be able to do that, I wouldn't have believed you.

It'll be interesting to see if the same holds true for worlds 1–7. Something I've realised from looking at the level maps, though, is that the game is actually quite generous with power-ups; they're just very well hidden.

Two, being as we now know a reskin of an unrelated game
Don't know if you've already seen it, Prof, or whether it'd interest you, but this 20-minute YouTube video delves into the details of the event that that game, Doki Doki Panic, was created to help promote. It explains things like why the game so prominently features masks.

Three . . . I think it’s just a real shame there’s no battery backup or password system on the original cart
I have to agree with you there, Prof; Mario 3 is a big game and certainly not something I've ever played through in a single sitting. Playing devil's advocate for a moment, though, I guess that's why Nintendo put two of the three warp whistles in world 1; that means that you can skip ahead as far as world 4 from as early as 1-3, and straight to world 8 if you grab the second whistle only one level later. Of course, you'd be skipping ahead without the chance to amass lives and inventory items but, hey, the option's there.

I think I've always found Mario 3 kind of a bit intimidatingly big. I'd like to learn it in more detail, though, so perhaps I can tackle that after The Lost Levels, using those maps for reference again.

As a kid, I always liked the huge boot with the wind-up key that you could use to pass over spikes, for example, but it’s a tiny section of maybe a couple of levels that you can easily skip past. Or the suit that makes you into a hammer brother, it’s such a cool power up
Goomba's shoe, yes! 😆
Or Kuribo's shoe if you're playing an early NES copy or the All-Stars version. Kuribō is that enemy's Japanese name.

I like that idea a lot too. And the Tanooki suit as well. I never used to understand the statue transformation thing as a kid, but I get it now, now I understand more about Japanese mythology.

Did you know, by the way, that the "powering down" mechanics from getting hit by an enemy are different in the West compared to the Japanese game? Over here, when Fire, Raccoon, Tanooki, Frog or Hammer Mario get hit, they revert to Super Mario. In the Japanese version, though, they revert to small Mario, in line with how the original SMB and The Lost Levels plays. That makes our version significantly easier to get through because it allows you an extra "layer" of protection.

What about Super Mario World, Prof? Have you played much of that? That's possibly my favourite video game of all time.
 

Professor Irony

CYBER FUNKER
Moderator
Ah nice! I'll have a proper look at the video on Doki Doki Panic later.

It seems a bit odd to me that games the size and length of Mario 3 wouldn't have a password system by that point in time. The warp whistles are certainly in keeping with the series's tradition of finding in-game shortcuts to progress, but I think because it encourages you to skip past several levels at a time, I feel now like it's making it too easy to skip over the fun you can have actually playing the levels in order.

Mario 3 isn't the worst culprit for that though. There must be plenty of other games of that era with similar problems, but Kid Chameleon on the Mega Drive springs to my mind. It was a quirky platformer with 50-ish levels, multiple paths through the game, no ingame means of tracking your route or progress, and the only shortcut provided being one that takes you from level 2 straight to the last boss, thus negating the entire rest of the game, basically.

But yeah, Super Mario World is something I wouldn't mind going back to actually. I think I finished it (or at least came very close) when I was a kid, but the battery backup definitely makes it feel a lot more manageable. I remember it being a fun game to play through, although it always upset me whenever I lost yoshi and had to watch him running away into a pit... Trying to control the cape while you were flying was a bit fiddly as well, I did miss the racoon tail which seemed more straightforward by comparison.
 

Professor Irony

CYBER FUNKER
Moderator
I will get back to Mario soon, but in the meantime, I'm still going through my old Mega Drive collection, so thought I should probably report in on the blue hedgehog simulators I've been working on.

Sonic 1 still feels oddly perfect, to the point where I actually question if the sequels ever really bettered it. It's the formula in its purest form; it suffers a little bit from not allowing you to see far enough ahead into the level if you're running at full tilt, but everything else is hard to fault. There may be an element of 'the first one you played is the best one' in my thinking here, but the music and level design are still iconic to me, and I feel the game really catches something of that very early part of the 1990s in its use of colour and graphic motifs, giving it a more unique identity compared to the later games.

Sonic 2, I'm more conflicted about. As a kid, this is probably the one I spent the most time playing, largely because of its two-player options, but there's a certain spark that just seems to be missing somehow. There's a lot of technical innovation; the game is faster, brighter looking, has a new quasi-3D effect for the racetrack special stages, was the first to add Super Sonic, and can be a proper laugh with a second person, but I think if you play through it on your own (especially coming straight from the first game), the levels just don't feel as interesting or distinctive, particularly in the second half of the game. The game apparently had a problematic production cycle and I think that shows through - it feels like the devs were so focused on pushing the technical envelope to compete with the SNES that the core experience suffered.

Sonic 3 is largely an improvement. The levels are bigger, better looking and more challenging in meaningful ways; there are lots of interesting set-pieces that makes it feel more like genuine care and creativity went into crafting the player's experience. Even the odd, spherical special stage has an appreciably gentle learning curve, compared to the needlessly punishing experience of Sonic 2. The only downside is that, despite the large levels, the game feels (and is) noticeably shorter than either of the previous games, famously due to the another difficult production that ended in the game being split into two, with the remaining levels being released later as Sonic & Knuckles.

Sonic & Knuckles on its own constitues another game of roughly the same length as Sonic 3, although it seems to become suddenly difficult after the first couple of levels - presumably as this would have originally been the second half. It is, of course, possible to link the two cartridges together and play through both 3 and S&K as one continuous experience. This makes all the difference, producing a massive 12-stage supercut of all the best ideas the Mega Drive Sonic games could muster and presenting a real challenge for long time fans (thankfully supported by battery backup). I'm still working through the combined game now - I'm not sure it'll replace the original game in my affections, but the challenge makes it a very satisfying game to play, especially as I can't remember ever having completed S&K as a kid.
 

Dai

Hunter
This week's addition to the Arcade Archives series is the original Raiden, a personal favourite thanks to my local video rental place having the cabinet back in the day. I've always prefered the original two Raiden games over the more recent sequels. The attention to detail was lost in the transition to polygons, and you just can't beat that music in the first game.

As with all the Arcade Archives games, it's on PS4 and Switch, though you'll have to pay a pound extra for the Nintendo tax on the latter.
 

Neil.T

Titan
A reply so belated that the pair of posts these quotes are from are almost retro themselves. 😛

Super Mario World is something I wouldn't mind going back to actually. I think I finished it (or at least came very close) when I was a kid, but the battery backup definitely makes it feel a lot more manageable. I remember it being a fun game to play through, although it always upset me whenever I lost yoshi and had to watch him running away into a pit... Trying to control the cape while you were flying was a bit fiddly as well, I did miss the racoon tail which seemed more straightforward by comparison.
Super Mario World has long been to my mind the greatest video game of all time, but what with getting so heavily into the original Super Mario Bros. of late, partly as a much-needed bit of back-to-basics practice for The Lost Levels, that distinction's become a lot less clear-cut to me now.

From a pure fun-factor angle, though, in terms of just playing the game without adding objectives to it like playing through on only one life, which I've certainly never done in Super Mario World (Special Zone, I'm looking at you! 🤬), then I think my long-held view still holds up for me. I've got three copies of the game: Super Mario World itself and Super Mario All-Stars + Super Mario World, both for the PAL SNES, and then the US NTSC ROM on the SNES Mini. (I've started noticing the differences in how the original Super Mario Bros. plays between versions now; Mario accelerates much faster in the PAL version in an attempt to make the 50hz conversation seem like it runs as quick as the 60hz NTSC original.)

I'm glad to have Super Mario World on the SNES Mini now, because now I have my 96-goals clearance back up on non-volatile flash memory. At last check, though, both SNES cartridges still have still-functioning battery backups. (🤞)

As for the cape... I like the cape. Mario 3's racoon tail only allows you to fly until your power metre drops and to then slow your fall, whereas the more versatile cape actually allows you to maintain your altitude over a very long distance.

I'm no expert with the cape either, mind. In fact, rather than dipping underneath the end-of-level goal with a well-timed dive to get to the hidden exit of Cheese Bridge Area, I just use the cheap method where you sacrifice Yoshi. 😬
Sorry, Prof!

Kid Chameleon on the Mega Drive springs to my mind. It was a quirky platformer with 50-ish levels, multiple paths through the game, no ingame means of tracking your route or progress, and the only shortcut provided being one that takes you from level 2 straight to the last boss, thus negating the entire rest of the game, basically.
I remember Kid Chameleon, but I've played it only briefly.

There was this games magazine that I sometimes used to get as a kid that did full level maps, and in the letters page of one issue, a reader asked for maps for Kid Chameleon. The reply was something akin to "Are you kidding?! The game's over 1,000 screens!"

That shortcut you mentioned seems a pretty poorly implemented thing, though. The way Mario 3 on the NES does it allows you to, say, play worlds 1, 2 and 3 in one sitting, then next time get one of the warp whistles to skip to world 4. If you want to pick up with worlds 5 to 7 from a new game, then you would want both of the whistles in world 1, use one of them to jump to world 2, 3 or 4, then immediately blow the other to move on to where you want to resume. For world 8, you just use one whistle in world 1 and then the second one while on the warp zone screen itself.

Of course, you don't get the benefit of collecting the lives and inventory power-ups that you otherwise would from playing all the way through. 🤷‍♂️

Sonic & Knuckles ... I'm still working through the combined game now
How's progress with that, Prof? I love the idea of the backwards-compatible lock-on cartridge, but I must say that I never really gelled with the Sonic games in general. I found the bosses horribly unforgiving with the lack of available rings in the levels they appear, and I've never liked how, unless you get all the chaos emeralds on the way, Robotnik essentially wins anyway even if you beat him.

I used to collect UK publisher Fleetway's Sonic the Comic as a kid, though. Master scriptwriter Nigel Kitching and artist Richard Elson were a formidable combination and created some really memorable storylines based off of what was contained in the games.
 

serpantino

Thousand Master
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Professor Irony

CYBER FUNKER
Moderator
How's progress with that, Prof? I love the idea of the backwards-compatible lock-on cartridge, but I must say that I never really gelled with the Sonic games in general. I found the bosses horribly unforgiving with the lack of available rings in the levels they appear, and I've never liked how, unless you get all the chaos emeralds on the way, Robotnik essentially wins anyway even if you beat him.

It's a funny thing that; Sonic seems to have always had a very different design philosophy from Mario, in that it's asking you to play it through (at least) twice to get the full effect. Once to learn the levels, then a second time, but faster so that you can experience the game's famous speed - I suppose adding the chaos emeralds and the promise of a better ending is there to try and encourage you.

Playing it now, I don't think the bosses are too bad once you can spot their patterns, although I do get where you're coming from - the boss for Chemical Plant in the second game always creeped me out as a kid due to the rotating floor that would drop you into the poisoned water below. The only one that still fills me with dread now is in the original game's Labyrinth Zone; you're not fighting Robotnik directly, just chasing him through a vertical shaft that is rapidly filling with water from below you. The chances are you'll have rings and/or a shield on your first attempt, but if you mess up the first time, you don't have the opportunity to collect anything before the boss, thus making it even harder...

But yeah, I've made a little progress with S3&K (reading the title screen, I still want to call it Sonic 3: The Hedgehog and Knuckles), but &K is hard. Most notably, like 3, it asks you to access the special stages to look for the emeralds by finding one or more giant rings hidden in the levels - I don't have all the emeralds and haven't seen a single one of those in about four levels now, so yeah... ain't getting Hyper Sonic on this playthrough :/
 

Neil.T

Titan
I collected them too, till my mum sold them at a car boot without telling me - _-.

Edit: I still remember the utterly epic issue 100's main storyline
Ah, yikes. You're kidding. 😬
I knowingly donated mine a good few years ago now.

That link brings up a blast from the past, though. I collected the comic up until issue 113 or thereabouts, including the summer specials and such; though I somehow missed issue 18, which always annoyed me. I've read it now, actually: I managed to find a scan somewhere online only a couple of years back.

But yeah, issue 100, you say... Was that the one where the electromagnetic pulse released by Super Sonic escaping knocked out all of Robotnik's tech and he was finally toppled? 🤔

My own all-time favourite storyline was the whole Chaotix/Brotherhood of Metallix thing. That was epic in the truest sense of the word.

Playing it now, I don't think the bosses are too bad once you can spot their patterns, although I do get where you're coming from - the boss for Chemical Plant in the second game always creeped me out as a kid due to the rotating floor that would drop you into the poisoned water below.
Ah. 😬
You see, I've always been rubbish at bosses, unfortunately. I think my pattern recognition is poor or something, which is doubtless also why I'm unable to improve at chess and partly why I'm so bad at puzzle games like Panel de Pon. My short-term memory's crap as well, which certainly doesn't help with trying to learn stuff on the fly. 😅

It was quite a revelation to me when I learned that Sonic can negate Robotnik's chemical dump by just crouching, though. His spikes repel it!


I can't say I've ever noticed that particular difference in design philosophy you mention, though, Prof... 🤔
It's a funny thing that; Sonic seems to have always had a very different design philosophy from Mario, in that it's asking you to play it through (at least) twice to get the full effect. Once to learn the levels, then a second time, but faster so that you can experience the game's famous speed

I know that, for my own part, certainly, I've played through the Mario games multiple times to unearth new things I've become aware of, so to me they have the most replayability of anything I've ever tried my hand at.
 

Professor Irony

CYBER FUNKER
Moderator
Yeah, I'm not trying to be critical of the Mario games or suggest they don't have replayability, I think the Sonic games are just more overt about wanting you to play through more than once. To me, a Mario level (at least in one of the classic 2D games) is like a puzzle that you need to solve against the clock, whereas a Sonic level is more like a racetrack with a lap timer (notably the time counts up, not down). In sending you back to look for chaos emeralds, I feel the game is trying to encourage you to keep playing until the lap time is what you're focused on. Whether or not it's successful in doing that is another question, but that's what I feel the intent was.

Should also add that it's the impression I get from the original Sonic. In the first game, getting into the special stages is just a case of finding enough rings and hanging onto them until the end of a level, so you're kind of already looking for an optimum route, and probably trying to do it faster if you've already played through once. As time goes on, I think the series starts to borrow more elements from both Mario and other games that put more emphasis on exploration and finding hidden things, so the levels become more complicated, so doing them at speed feels a lot harder and maybe less appealing?
 
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Neil.T

Titan
Oh no, totally, Prof. I'm really likewise just tossing thoughts around about different game design philosophies rather than thinking in terms of criticism. It's just interesting to be able to get into depth with this. 🙂

On that front, this observation of yours really made me think:
a Sonic level is more like a racetrack with a lap timer (notably the time counts up, not down)

I'd never thought of it like that before. 🤔

Now that you mention it, the 10-minute time limit does seem rather arbitrary and doesn't ever really come into play, unlike, say, the deliberate shortage of time to complete the very long world 8–1 of Super Mario Bros.

Sega must have viewed the race against the clock in Sonic just as you do, because when we got to Sonic CD for the Mega CD hardware add-on, the "lap timer", to pinch your phrasing, is every bit like a stopwatch, even measuring down to hundredths of seconds:
06-sonic_cd-peel-out.png



Meanwhile, Japanese Super Mario Bros. 2/The Lost Levels finds a different way to keep players coming back. I've completed the game twice now, even managing so many loops through the "minus world"-style world 9 that I just had to call it quits.

But unlike the SNES remake, the original ROM is programmed to only grant you access to the second quest of worlds A to D once you've finished the main game a total of eight times, each one recorded as a star on the title screen's logo.

Having played those extra worlds already on the much easier SNES version, I'm gonna need the practice first anyway before attempting them! 😅

Artist's impression of the phycological journey of a Lost Levels player:
😲🤯😵😩😠🤨🤬😤😒😡🙄😳😦😧😨😱💀
 
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Neil.T

Titan
I liked that some of the more obscure games got strips too like decap attack
I loved the Decap Attack strips too! 😀

That was Nigel Kitching's work again, both script and art this time. The humour was genius.

Head: "Say, Prof, why do you talk like that [with a German accent]? Everyone knows you come from Cardiff."

😂👍
 

Professor Irony

CYBER FUNKER
Moderator
Now that you mention it, the 10-minute time limit does seem rather arbitrary and doesn't ever really come into play

Funnily enough, while that's definitely the case with the first couple of games, the ten minute limit can become a very real problem in Sonic 3. Mainly, I think it's because you have to find the hidden giant ring(s) to enter the special stage, I was taking it much more slowly to look for secret rooms by that point, but the levels are also much larger, and getting lost or doubled back on yourself can be a real problem. The penultimate level of &K is also quite long, requiring you to fight a boss with multiple stages after you've already spent potentially a good six of your ten minutes just getting there...
 
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