Hey hey, folks! Lumpz the Clown here, and I’m about to spin you a tale most fearful. A yarn that will leave your very soul so aghast that it shall never be spoken of again after today. What is the inspiration for such unspeakable horror?
Social media, of course. Specifically, as tweeted by retro game guru and Social Friends Wrestling Federation alumnus, Retr0Joe:
Beauty may be in the eye of the beholder, and we’re all aware that personal enjoyment is highly objective. However, the three games that have crossed my own haunted path are irredeemable, broken shells of pixelated madness, all of which will surely send you into the black abyss of gamer hell.
So gather around, huddled masses, as your clowny Uncle Lumpz tells you all about the unholy damnation that is…
Mystery Quest (NES)
For those unfamiliar with Gaming Rebellion lore, a list was compiled that attempted to explain how some of the worst games in video game history are secretly good. Included in that list was speculation that Mystery Quest would be getting an HD remake, for which I may have even appeared ecstatic.
However, nothing could be further from the truth, as it’s far too late to save myself…
In an effort to spare your untainted souls from this unholy abomination, it is time that I reveal the horrible truth: Mystery Quest is an 8-bit abomination seeded straight out of Satan’s peehole.
For ages, an ongoing tenet of video game history dictates that an engaging attract mode that displays a preview of gameplay is an excellent way to encourage viewers to play. In this vein, Mystery Quest has failed not only by not providing one, but by looping one of the most diabolical chiptunes ever spawned, played over a static title screen.
If the music isn’t enough to scare the devil clean out of your quivering rectum, take a look at the visuals that greet you after pressing Start. If you were expecting tower castles, menacing enemies, and epic power-ups, prepare to be sorely disappointed. Rather, Mystery Quest looks much like a first grader’s Paint project displayed on a flickering screen, filled to the unholy brim with generic enemies such as snakes and scorpions, some of which may even be represented by more than one color.
And as for the mechanics? How about:
- Possessing vomitus-green bubbles as your only means of attack,
- Performing floaty jumps that tend to gravitate you towards the danger instead of away from it, and
- Due to said shitty bubbles, the player has no choice but to run or tank right through danger and hope that they survive.
Finally, the lack of an attract mode or another screen provides zero exposition to the player. Without proper motivation and interesting characters, Mystery Quest is condemned to burn forever in the fiery pits of 8-bit hell. Rest in Piss, indeed.
Dragon Power (NES)
In what can only be described as a miracle of modern engineering, Dragon Power is able to disappoint those who aren’t even Dragon Ball Z fans. In fact, my long-time associate, shitty game defender, and Dragon Ball Z dork Cygnus Destroyer wasn’t able to save Dragon Power from the fire and brimstone that it has forever been destined for.
The terrifying abortion of a localization gone horribly wrong, Dragon Power starts of with abysmal graphics, uninspiring characters, and a soundtrack that’s actually way better than the rest of the game. The silver lining here is that a small amount of exposition is provided that features a kidnapping, prompting (not) Goku to spring into action.
So what tricks can this supposed karate master perform, you may ask? How about jump kicks that ineffectually fly over enemies, punches that are so strong that they require multiple landings to fell every encountered opponent, and a confusing life bar that inexplicably drops while traversing what appears to be a grassy field.
Until you run into the level boss that is, at which point the player’s perspective is switched from a bird’s eye view to a horizontal one, surely to help our celebrated warrior win the fight, correct? Wrong. (Not) Goku’s legendary abilities are again stunted, forcing him to battle an enemy with a forward-facing sword head-on, ensuring a more than certain loss at the hands of a murderous panda.
And if the horror of unspeakable abominations performed against beloved franchises still isn’t enough to sate your bloodlust for self-harm, it is time to put the final nail in the coffin of your endless suffering…
Wayne’s World (SNES)
In the bygone era of 1992, Wayne’s World was able to inspire a whole generation of party animals who enjoy vlogging as much as they do dancing provocatively in their girlfriend’s undergarments to follow suit. With Wayne’s World being a runaway hit, it would only make sense to create a game around the franchise, one that would perfectly encapsulate Wayne and Garth’s rockstar vibe in an engaging and interactive environment.
So what was it that came to pass in the year of Our Lord 1993?
If you were hoping for a hard-rocking soundtrack, there is none to be found here. A generic background track pairs perfectly with the characters’ bobblehead appearance, tiny bodies, and cartoonish enemies. I had previously been unaware that accordions, saxophones, and amplifiers would possess such a frenzied bloodlust, but Wayne’s World was able to capture their secret rage with Shakesperian poise.
Fans of the movie may have been pleased with the addition of an actual gelatinous cube as a final boss, but that is where the fun ends. Either way, Wayne is ill-equipped to meet him in battle, as his guitar’s soundwaves will hardly produce a dent in the flimsiest of aforementioned air-powered instruments.
Even if he were able to slip past the threats, Wayne will have to navigate one of the most confusing, labyrinthine level designs ever created. With Garth’s life on the line, it is merely up to the game itself to generate the interest of the player themselves, who will be more than likely to throw this horrific 16-bit atrocity into the nearest waste receptacle, only to burn it in holy fire immediately after, then scattering its ashes over a haunted Indian burial ground in the hopes that it’s resurrected as a better game.
It is now time for me to retire back to the Clown Cave, where I will continue cleansing the evil spirits that have invaded my beloved consoles.
If you can muster the courage, are you able to mutter the names of the demonic pixel lords that have burned your very soul? One can only hope, if not for the self, but for the unwitting gamers who only need a simple warning to avoid a life-altering disaster.
Lumpz the Clown out…
Lumpz the Clown, owner of Lumpz Media, makes warning his Twitter buddies of the terrifying horrors that lie in the shadows of video game history a personal hobby.