Holy shit... people still used telegrams back in 1994? Apparently someone must have, as the last telegram service in the world was/will be shut down this month.
Zero works as a henchman for the evil lord of the clowns! I can't say I saw that coming. Wow, I suppose our hero must show up as an antagonist in the Aero games then.
Cool Spot beach then. Bloody crabs, they don't respond favourably to being stomped on. I've got to remember to fight the urge to jump on things.
Fortunately Zero can survive a hit as long as he has some Z shaped hitpoints left.
Time to go catch some Zs!
My keen instincts told me that this half obscured object was a jump activated switch and I was half-right. It's actually a pump to inflate a secret level door. A few jumps is all it takes to open it up, but then I just had to keep jumping on the pump to see what'd happen and ended up blowing it up. So... don't do that.
It took me a while but I eventually stumbled across the correct solution: I had to double-tap the jump button on the ground, which gives him a bit of extra height compared to a regular double jump. Another good reason why I'm an idiot for never reading the manual.
But no, Zero decides to climb the cliff and head towards Shit Mountain instead! Well I'm sure he has his reasons, as he's presumably been to this place before.
Eggs, on the other hand, are my most dangerous and cunning enemy, as I can never see the tiny little hopping bastards. But they can sure as hell take one of my Zs away if I so much as brush against them.
Oh there aren't any eggs in this screenshot by the way so don't bother trying to spot them. OR ARE THERE?
My stalker chased me around this bit with machine gun fire for what felt like a good ten seconds before getting bored, which ain't much fun when I'm busy trying to inflate a secret door on a ledge surrounded by spikes. Not instant death spikes though, it should be noted.
This isn't even a 'running out of time' punishment event, the game just decided to torment me further.
SOON, INSIDE A BONUS DOOR.
I... wow. I guess from now on I'll have to make damn sure to only bounce on them as much as I absolutely have to and then move my furry little tail elsewhere before I lose it.
At least the game has infinite continues that restart me at the beginning of the stage I'm actually on. Very reasonable. Plenty of checkpoints around for when I lose a life too.
I'd mention the differences between the two versions, but I think you can tell the major changes just by comparing the screenshots. The Super Nintendo version has better sound and music, more colours and overlay effects. The Sega version on the other hand has a much bigger screen and doesn't suffer one bit from having less buttons on the controller.
I mean I 've figured out how to dive already, I can slam into the ground full speed like a pro, but I'm not seeing how diving downwards helps me jump over this wall.
LATER, ON STAGE FIVE.
SNES Zero on the other hand lost about thirty thousand continues at this point.
Right, back to the last checkpoint then. Immediately before the lava diving.
SOME SEMI-SKILFUL PLATFORMING LATER.
Who even set all this crap up anyway? Was it rogue lumberjack Jacques LeSheets, or was this an early lair used by Zero himself back in his supervillain days?
A THOUSAND RETRIES LATER.
I'm just going to go stick my head in a bucket of water for ten minutes then come back to this. It's too hot for lava levels, man.
TEN MINUTES LATER.
He usually kicks my ass within seconds, but weirdly his health isn't reset when I lose a life so I can beat him in a war of attrition! Except I only have 2 lives left, so I can't. Oh well.
So what did I think about the first few stages of Zero the Kamikaze Squirrel? They made me tired, frustrated and miserable to be honest. Though it's hard for me to pointpoint why exactly, as on paper the game seems pretty well designed. It has infinite continues and checkpoints, it doesn't have a time limit, Zero is a joy to steer around the screen, the graphics and animation are top tier, the music sounds like it's been stolen from some cheesy 80s movie, and it's as slick and fluid as anything you'll find on a fourth gen console. Plus you play as a Japanese ninja squirrel wearing jeans and a headband, this should have been a slam dunk for me!
I suppose what it comes down to is that I found the enemies irritating and no fun to either fight or avoid, and that just sabotaged the whole experience for me, as the bastards are everywhere. Still, I enjoyed it way more than Aero the Acro-Bat.
The Super Nintendo and Genesis/Mega Drive versions of the game seem basically identical in layout and gameplay from what I can tell, with the SNES version having the better presentation and the Sega version giving you about 33% more pixels of screen space. The game is good at panning the screen over when you're moving to show you what you're about to run into though, negating a bit of that advantage, so I'll just call them both winners and then never play either of them ever again.
That's my opinion of Zero the Kamikaze Squirrel anyway, but you've probably got your own interesting thoughts about what you've just read. Or maybe you've played it yourself and want to explain how I'm wrong about everything. Comments are always welcome.