There's a few different Aladdin games, but this is the Genesis/Mega Drive variant, by the makers of Global Gladiators and Cool Spot and probably lots of other games I haven't played yet.
Sega's sound chip pulls off a half decent version of 'A Whole New World' here, but the Amiga and DOS versions surprised me by having actual vocals come in during the chorus. Though you only get the one line, and it's cut off at the end.
"A whole new world, a new fantastic point of view. No one to tell us no, or where to go, or say we're only..."We're only...? Only what?
Cool Spot. Which is helpful.
Not sure why we're saving Princess Jasmine already though, Aladdin hasn't even met her yet.
LEVEL ONE - "AGRABAH MARKET".
Cool Spot, because they've taken out the time limit, meaning I can sit watching the idle animations for as long as I want. That's genuine Disney animation that is.
Also it's a step up from Global Gladiators too because for once I don't have to collect anything. I can go straight to the exit if I want. Though grabbing more apples for ammo would probably be a smart move.
Oh, and yeah he still does this animation even when he's out of apples.
Apparently Nintendo didn't approve of all this guard slaughter, because when the SNES got an entirely different Aladdin game due to licensing rights our hero turned up unarmed. To be honest though, I think that does make more sense for his character.
But on the other hand, I like hitting enemies with a sword, even if the thing doesn't have much range to it. I have to get right up in their face before I can hit anyone
It's funny how in the movie Princess Jasmine nearly loses a hand after stealing an apple, but in this they're just floating everywhere. You can pick them out of the sky for free, as many as you like. Well, 99 of them at least.
Global Gladiators and Cool Spot is this mid-level shop where I can spend my gems on giant glowing golden heads or wishes. The instruction sheet at the start didn't explain what wishes are, but seeing as it's twice the price of a 1up, I'm guessing they'll be continues.
Well he looks like a trustworthy guy, and I'm sure his resurrection magic is entirely legit, but I think I'll hold on to my cash until I can afford the wish.
It's always nice to get free stuff, but I've got to wonder how the Genie's helping me out when he's still trapped in the Cave of Wonders and we've never met.
Just as I was getting the hang of keeping my eye on the sky and dodging things falling from above, a guy walked out from the side and instantly caught me, and that's the end of the bonus round. The bastard.
LEVEL TWO - "THE DESERT".
It's okay, I'm the chosen one, I'm destined to come across it sooner or later. Hopefully.
Plus the controls are more awkward, and I have to switch between equipping sword or apples with the space bar instead of them getting a button each.
It's not immediately obvious in any of them how to jump up here though. It took me a while to figure it out, because although the level is full of these trees, I wasn't able to jump on any of them until now. Games need to keep things like this consistent or else the player doesn't know what options are available to them.
LEVEL 3 - "AGRABAH ROOFTOPS".
But first I have to find magic flutes to charm magic ropes and make them fly me up to the rooftops. I don't think I remember this bit of the movie.
A CONSIDERABLE NUMBER OF FLOATING ROPES LATER.
This thief is apparently a boss, but he's a total pushover. I got him backed into a corner and kept pressing the attack button until he was dead. And that was the end of the boss fight.
Global Gladiators and Cool Spot, but at least they didn't have bosses. Though I realise I might be in the minority with that opinion.
Anyway this guy wasn't much trouble in the end. I jumped the barrels and threw the apples (and ran to get a restock of apples) and then threw more apples, and eventually he exploded. And that's it for the city guard.
Except, Aladdin's already working for Jafar in this game, he's just got the scarab for him, and he was totally willing to go to the Cave of Wonders. So having him locked him up is a bloody stupid thing to do really.
LEVEL FOUR - "SULTAN'S DUNGEON".
Prince of Persia now, well except for the gameplay part. And they were kind enough to let me keep my sword, instead of... OH SHIT IT'S A BAT! KILL IT KILL IT!
Damn these things are annoying like a Castlevania bat. Okay they're not likely to knock me back into any insta-kill holes, but they're still a bastard to hit. Probably my toughest enemy yet, not counting Donkey Kong (but including the thief boss.)
The game definitely more linear than Global Gladiators and Cool Spot, but that's mostly because there's no reason to backtrack and find alternative paths. On the other hand there's more variety to the gameplay than in either of them.
You know, these beams and chains in the foreground are really starting to annoy me now. They're a distraction and they make it hard to see what I'm doing sometimes.
LEVEL FIVE - "THE CAVE OF WONDERS".
I killed a few bats, and jumped a few platforms, and ended up at a blind jump. This is the only way I can go so there can't be anything THAT dangerous down there surely?
I've got 25 gems so I should probably find a shop and stock up on continues before I suffer too many bat-related fatalities and lose them all. Hey, I just noticed that my gems look exactly like the one on that statue. That's weird.
It's nice that Virgin Games put the extra effort into making these one off encounters (with actual Disney animation for each of them!), but I really wish they hadn't bothered.
Oh no, wait, he just dropped me off down here and left without me. Okay then. At least I got a health refill and a checkpoint. The game's actually been pretty good with checkpoints so far, I usually restart fairly close to where I was killed.
I wasted so many lives trying to make it over these bloody platforms, but in the end I finally made it. The nightmare's over now, forever.
LEVEL SIX - "THE ESCAPE".
The jumps at the end of the last stage were just a prelude to the shit I have to go through on this one. And look, this is the first jump on the level. I'm struggling just to make the very first jump here! Where's that bloody carpet when you need him?
Not sure about those neon signs, they seem very anachronistic. Though I'm sure if the Genie was standing next to them I wouldn't have given them a second thought.
It doesn't help that the ledge I had to run across is the same colour as the background. I jumped too early because I didn't even realise it was there until afterwards.
And of course straight after this boulder falls out of the tunnel, another one rolls out the next hole to replace it.
No checkpoints on this level by the way. I gotta memorise each section and then do the whole thing in one perfect run. I don't know what they were thinking.
But this level really is ridiculous, it feels like it belongs in a different game. The other levels weren't without a bit of challenge, but this is like a difficulty brick wall out of nowhere.
And that's my last life. Game over.
I really want to like this game, because... well, it looks fucking awesome. It's slick, it's got variety and charm, and the gameplay is very solid. Plus I get to run around with a sword. But it also likes to be a total bastard on occasion.
Out of the three systems I played on, I think the Genesis/Mega Drive is the winner, but not by much. All three versions are very similar, but the DOS version suffers from a smaller screen, and the Amiga's dodgy controls make the jumps even harder.
Somehow I don't think I'll ever get past that lava level, but I can't imagine I won't play this again anyway, so I'll give it the gold star. Because only being able to play half of a good game is better than sitting through an entire bad one.
1993 - Aladdin (Genesis/Mega Drive)1993 - Aladdin (SNES)
1994 - Aladdin (Master System)