Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Rocky Rodent (SNES) - Replay

Super Adventures in Gaming Replay - Game 2

I didn't get very far first time around in Rocky Rodent (aka Nitro Punks: Might Heads in Japan... damn that is an awesome name). In fact I got stuck at the very start of the first level and decided I didn't like the game enough to even check youtube to see what to do. I figured it'd be funnier just to leave it there and move on to something else instead.

But now I know what I'm doing, so I'm going to take another look at the game, and hopefully make enough progress to do it justice this time around.

A restaurant owner's daughter called Melody is kidnapped by the Mafia. So he asks Rocky to rescue her in exchange for free food.

Rocky learns from some random guy in the street that using hairspray can transform his hair into a magical weapon. Wearing magic hair also lets him survive a single attack, though he's left bald and powerless again afterwards.

And then I took a couple of steps down the street and got hopelessly stuck because someone thought it'd be a good idea to put a wall there.


While I was swinging around from ledges in Kabuki: Quantum Fighter, (another game about using long red hair as a dangerous weapon) I was reminded of Rocky Rodent, and it occurred to me that maybe Rocky could grab ledges too. I'd tried jumping at the ledges on my first play with no luck, but it turns out that's because he can only grab the brown bricks.

And now from here I can simply swing up and onto the platform.

Oh right, yeah, I need to be facing the right way first.

Well you can imagine what an anthropomorphic rodent swinging onto a ledge using his hair looks like, you don't need a screenshot of that.

I've found some food lying around, but I don't know what the point of it is. It's not like I have a score.

A little number floats up to show how many I've eaten, so perhaps I'll get an extra life at 100. But I won't be going out of my way to collect them.

Ew, did that hydrant just spit yellow gunk on me? That's, like, really gross.

The hydrant actually managed to kill me in the end, so I decided to try taking a different route... which led to the sewers. I hate sewers.

Still, on the plus side, the game has alternate routes. That's a definite point in its favour. Also I just totally killed two rats with one jump just then.

Crap, it seems that all routes lead to the hydrant, and I can't even jump on the thing. He just shredded my magic haircut!

That is one sinister fucking hydrant. Rocky's floating off to rodent heaven, and the thing is reaching up to GRAB HIS SOUL.

The funny thing is, it's not even a boss or whatever. I saw another one of these things on the way here. I'm being humiliated by a regular enemy.


I decided to leave the hydrant alone this time, and just took a running leap over it. The level exit wasn't actually much further down the road.

And now I've already caught up to Melody, just as she's being kicked into the back of a Volkswagon by the kidnappers. This must have been the closest place they could park to wherever they grabbed her from, as the roads in this city are a deathtrap.

They drive off, but fortunately Rocky can run fast enough to keep up with cars. He's also fairly good at dodging Molotov cocktails, fortunately.

Hey I'm doing pretty well so far, which surprises me seeing as I keep getting distracted looking at the pixel art on those cars. This really is a nice looking game.

It does have a very 'tiled' and flat look to it at times, but the characters really stand out from the background. There's never any mystery to what's actually happening on screen.

Fantastic. I took a hit and lost my magic hair, so I had to find hairspray to regrow it. I found some on a car roof, but when I tried jumping for it I overshot the target. So I decided it was no big problem, I'd just slow down a little and jump back onto the roof from in front.

And that's when the car hit me. Another life lost.

Hey, I caught up to the kidnappers! I could end this story right here and then I'll be free to go play something else instead!

I jumped on the guy's head a few times as he popped up to shoot me, and that sorted out that problem. And then Rocky got his dumb ass knocked off the roof by a traffic light.

Well I'll never be able to catch up to them now, so I guess that ends this story right here. I'm free to go play something else instead!

Sadly a helpful taxi driver shows up and offers his assistance. Okay fine, follow that van!
"I can take you to Melody's apartment. We may find a clue to where she is"
Wait, what? Unless the woman conspired to kidnap herself I doubt we'll find many clues there. Oh oh, maybe the kidnappers dropped a matchbook near the apartment with the name of their hotel on it.

No clues so far, though I did find a new razor sharp hairstyle to wear!

Not only can my new hair be thrown as a deadly boomerang weapon, but it can also be jammed in a wall and jumped on to bounce me to high up areas. Don't worry, it'll come back on its own.

Hey, it's Slimer! It seems that Melody's apartment has a ghost problem. They've even set up their own spooky music to add atmosphere.

I tried jumping around the room and throwing my hair at him for a while, until I realised I could just ignore him and walk out of the door. There really is no benefit to killing enemies in this. They don't drop anything, and they'll probably only reappear anyway. Takes all the satisfaction away.

I skilfully avoided the rats and ghosts, then managed to run headfirst into a can of... Hot.

I think the problem I'm having here is that Rocky walks just a little too slow, but runs really fast. Eventually. It takes a second or two to get up to speed, and just as long to stop.

I know holding the run button is a stupid idea, but sometimes the temptation is too great.

Four continues left. Well, infinite would be better, but I'll just have to make do with what I've got.

That might be the creepiest extra life pick-up I've ever seen.

At least I'm assuming it's an extra life, I can't find a way over there to pick it up. For all I know it could summon a dark god or something.

You know, I think those kidnappers actually did Melody a favour. No one should be allowed to live in this place. In fact, I'm surprised anyone's survived it.


Okay, I've found a piano on a carpet, and it stands out too much to be part of the background. Therefore it must be a trap. The trouble is, I have no way of knowing what's going to happen when I walk in there.

It's going to try to kill me, I'm sure of it. I just don't know how.

Well I knew something was going to happen, but I definitely didn't expect the piano to flip out and start wrecking the floor.

Worryingly the screen won't scroll away from it, so I'm just going to have to sit here and...

Son of a bitch! The piano smashed through the floor dragging the carpet down with it. Now I have to keep running on the spot, jumping furniture, until I reach the end of the carpet.

I screwed this up at first because I struggled to get Rocky to start running, so he was dragged down the hole and killed. Then I had to use up another continue, replay the whole level up to this point... and got him killed in the hole a few more times. In the end I deliberately walked into an enemy to get rid of his hair to make sure there was no way I could accidentally attack instead of running.


Damn, that's one ugly ghost. He looks like a cross between a clown and an egg.

This time I'm pretty sure I'm in a boss fight, so I'm gonna have to fight this hideous abomination. Suits me, I hate clowns.

I managed to get a single hit in before he ruined my haircut and started throwing rings at me. The rings seem simple enough to avoid (though I fucked that up), but hitting the guy with no magic hair left might be a challenge.

Fortunately I soon get another chance to try it with full hair, as I'm killed and reappear back at the last checkpoint.

I'm not sure why they had to put the checkpoint so far away from the boss though. I have to go through the rooms on the right, drop down a pipe, then head through more rooms heading left. Every single time I fuck this up.

Plus I have to wait for a gap in the fire and fight off evil cans on the way.

I just don't see the reasoning behind putting the checkpoint so far away. Unless killing these cans is supposed to be practice so I can hone my skills and stand more of a chance against the boss, all it's doing is wasting my time.

And then the boss kills me.

And then I use a credit and replay the entire level and the boss kills me a few more times for good measure. I'm sure I must have been like one jump away from killing him this time too. But I'm out of credits, so that's as far as I can go.

Having limited credits was a easy way for developers to increase challenge and drag a game out, but for me all they do is kill my interest. Because even in good games I don't much want to go back through everything I just did, and it makes me feel like I'm wasting my time playing it. I'll probably just run out of continues before the end, so why bother at all?

I just generally don't like being forced to replay stuff, I get bored and frustrated and start making mistakes. On the other hand I have no problem replaying levels in games like Super Mario World and Donkey Kong Country, because there's usually a reason to do it. If they'd put in some secrets and a level select, I'd probably be going back through levels voluntarily and enjoying it!

Well... maybe not in this game, but you know what I mean.


  1. I was looking for the name of this game since a lot of years. I remember it, funny game, so cyberpunk lol. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Thank you! Finally, I've been looking for the name for ages! Ahh, nostalgia..


Semi-Random Game Box