Monday, 4 April 2011

Plok! (SNES)

I had no plans to play this one, mostly because I've had it for years and I've played it enough already, but it was requested. The public demands to see me fail at Plok.

Poor Plok wakes up one morning to find that his flag has been STOLEN! He's so furious that he doesn't even notice that someone has also bent his lamppost and dumped a statue of an old guy in his garden.

His home island's already covered in Plok flags, presumably making him the ruler of everything there, but none of them are his favourite square flag.

Eventually he figures out that his flag has been stolen and taken to nearby Cotton Island, so he sails over there on his little boat to retrieve it.

It's a platformer! And it doesn't start on a forest level! I can't even see a single tree.

Plok is apparently made of fabric, with his arms and legs stuck on with velcro, meaning he can launch them at enemies as a weapon. When they're all in the air Plok is left bouncing on his ass, which always throws me off when I'm trying to manoeuvre him around in combat.

It might look like a generic cute platformer, but jumping on enemies heads only hurts poor Plok.

There's a somersault jump button which puts him into a Sonic style spin to jump higher. But even though it makes him look like a spinning blade of destruction, it's just as harmless as a regular jump. And now I've lost half my health. Despite having that huge health bar on the bottom left, it seems Plok can only take four hits before dying.

I make it to the end of the level with a single slither of health remaining, but all I get is pants.

Man this is a creepy looking island, it looks like we're on an alien planet. I have no clue what those giant things with pink leaves are supposed to be.

Son of a bitch! Right at the start of the next level I'm immediately assaulted by logs. I wasn't paying attention so I lose a chunk of my precious hit points.

Fortunately the next stage seems to play fair. I like how each level has a slightly darker background. It's pretty nice looking art, though there's no clever parallax scrolling going on with it.

Uh, I spoke too soon. I manage two steps before this guy jumps out of the ground and attacks me. I hate these things so much, they keep spitting rocks at me and forcing me to jump around or take damage.

Hey, it's one of those tree things from the world map, and there's a berry on it. A magic berry that leads you into an alternate dimension if you throw your limbs at it!

A BONUS dimension. Where you ride a motorbike...

... right into the fucking sea. Bonus FAILED.

But it's okay, because shortly afterwards I ran out of lives and got a game over screen. Meaning that after I replayed the entire game so far I got a second chance on the bonus stage to do SLIGHTLY BETTER.

I still failed, but at least I grabbed enough shells this time to get a Bonus Plok. Why shells anyway? They don't seem to fit in with the fabric theme the rest of the game has, and we're a long way from the beach now.

Yes, yes you have.

Next level, and another instant enemy attack. Why is the game so impatiently trying to kill me? It's not like I wasn't going to rush head first into danger anyway.

Awesome, I found a box and inside the box... was a music change! Also it gave Plok a new outfit and a blunderbuss. On a level with next to no enemies. Thanks game!

Now (for a limited time only) I'm Flamethrower Plok... stuck down on an island far from any enemies I can kill, waiting for a damn platform to arrive. Thanks game!

And when the platform does arrive, it brings me over to a wall of spikeballs and drops me on them before I can even mentally register that there is a wall of spikeballs, and that I should probably get out of the way of them. THANKS GAME!

Hmmmmmm, should I jump off the moving platform travelling diagonally upwards over a vast sea of certain death to grab a couple shells? HMMMMMM.

Actually in retrospect I probably could have gotten them by firing off my limbs at them. D'oh!

This level kindly only had a flower shooting me at the start, which is far less of a worry than a big pile of logs falling from the sky. Then when I take a couple of steps to the right a big pile of logs falls on me from the sky, too quickly for me to dodge.

I had to keep inching forwards slowly for the rest of the level, trying to trigger the next set with enough time to jump out of the way.

And then I slipped off a platform and lost my final life. GAME OVER.


Miraculously I'd gotten myself a continue (uh, Plokontinue) along the way, though it set me back several levels. And now I get to fight those Bobbins Brothers that have been jumping at the bottom of the world map all this time.

I hate the Bobbins Brothers! I'm sure there's a trick to beating them, because I've beaten them before, but they totally burned through all my lives on this playthrough.

You know, this isn't the worst looking SNES game I've played, and the music is pretty good. But it's so incredibly cruel. There's no saves, no passwords, you start off with no continues and when you find one you don't continue on the level you died on. It's often easier to ignore enemies than to try attacking them, it's rare to find a way to get health back, and you're often given a split second to react to a threat before taking damage. But it's just way too... likeable for me to ever hate it. Much.

Next game.


  1. Hey, cool writeup! I found this yesterday after playing Plok for the first time in a while on SNES9x Ex for Android :) I had the cart on SNES and I agree that it is unforgivingly hard. ONCE I got to some kind of cave levels. That must be the 4th island though, because after the first island is "Acrylic" where you have to kill all the fleas, then there is a set of levels that are Sepia toned and you play as Plok's grandfather. Funny!

    Even though I don't usually do this, I'm replaying it now and using Save-states before each level so I can maybe actually see the end of this game :)

    Thanks for the awesome site, but you'll NEVER play every game ever.

    P.S... You ever considered trying Android games? I got a Sony Xperia play recently, solely for the purpose of gaming. There is an app which lets you map any hardware button to any touch location on the screen, so you no longer have to be in the "touchscreen ghetto". There are some surprisingly great games on Android, what I call "nu-retro".... New games with retro style and spirit.

    Just a few of my favorites:

    In fact, I officially challenge you to try Rico, even if you don't have an android device. Try "Genymotion" or "Bluestacks" emulators. :)

    1. Great, now I've got Plok music stuck in my head again.

      I like how you point out that it's impossible to play every game ever made... and then immediately afterwards ask if I'd play Android games as well, to make the impossible just that little bit more improbable!

      But you've gotten me curious about them now, so I may well check Rico out. My list of requested games is looking pretty immense right now itself though, so it could take a while for me to get around to it.

  2. I have beaten this game
    If you think Cotton Island/Akrylic is hard
    wait until you get to the FLEA PIT, then the final boss
    Anybody who has played through this game that far knows what I'm talking about
    : (


Semi-Random Game Box