Thursday 11 April 2024

The Lion King (Genesis/Mega Drive)

Developer: Westwood Studios
| Release Date: 1994 | Systems: Genesis/Mega Drive, SNES, MS-DOS, Amiga

This week on Super Adventures, I'm voluntarily playing a movie tie-in game from the 16-bit era! Maybe this is one of the good ones though. I mean, there have to be some good ones, right?

I've actually played The Lion King before, so I already know what I'm getting into here... and I know I won't be getting very far in it. Games were generally more challenging in the 80s and 90s, so when you load up one that was notorious even back in its day for its extreme difficulty, you know that you're in for a bad time.

The game was re-released for modern platforms a few years back by Digital Eclipse, so I'm sure it has all kinds of new quality-of-life features now (or at least a gallery to look through when you're stuck). I'm not going to be playing that one though. I'm going back to the original games with all the original frustrations.

Disney's Aladdin
famously got two different platformers, a Sega version by Virgin Games and a Nintendo version by Capcom, though it also had a third version for 8-bit systems. For The Lion King, all the 16-bit systems got the same game, by Command & Conquer devs Westwood Studios, and that's what I'll be playing. Though I'll also take a look at the 8-bit games as well, because I'm curious.

Alright, I'm going to see if I can finally get past the graveyard stage for the first time in my life.

There's nothing all that interesting going on in the menu, no passwords, no saves, no level select... but it does have a sound test! Plus it has an option to change the buttons, which also gives away that there's some adult content in the game later on. I mean content that you play through as an adult.

You don't see many games where the protagonist physically grows up by the end... and I expect that most players didn't make it far enough to see it here either. The difficulty setting apparently just changes how many lives and continues you get, so putting it down to easy isn't going to make the game a cakewalk. I'll just leave it as it is.

The game starts with Timon saying "It starts," with a proper sound clip from the movie and everything. I mean I'm assuming it's from the movie, I don't actually know, I've never seen it!

I only know who Timon is because I played Timon & Pumbaa's Jungle Games a few years back.

Anyway, the guy doesn't seem all that enthusiastic about the game, but I'm going to try to find the fun.


One thing I've discovered from writing about all these platformers, it's that the developers loved trees and couldn't wait to show them off. If a platformer has a forest level in it, chances are that it's level 1. Not this time though! This time I'm in the African plains and I've got rocks to look at instead.

Fortunately, the game doesn't have a timer, so I can just stand here forever, admiring the pixel art. Disney had a lot of success the previous year with Aladdin's revolutionary hand-drawn sprites, so they got their animators to work their magic on this as well. The background looks a little strange, with all those vertical lines, but those probably wouldn't have been visible back in the 90s on a CRT screen. You'd only see the illusion of extra colours that the Mega Drive hardware couldn't do.

(Fake screenshot I've edited in Photoshop)
I can already tell that the music's going to be really good as well. They've taken the same approach as Aladdin and reproduced the tunes from the movie. I mean, I assume that's what they've done, as I haven't seen it.

Here's the SNES version, which has less vivid colours, but more of them. It doesn't have to rely on the dithering so much and has it more detail in the leaves. Other than that, it really does seem to be exactly the same game, with the same beautiful animation. I can really believe that's what a lion would look like climbing up a ledge.

Simba's one of the rare platformer protagonists that runs on four legs, so he's not a completely anthropomorphised animal. Very cartoony though.

Right, that's the hedgehog sorted out. Now I need to go look for a plumber to roar at.

My kitten's adorable roar attack recharges fairly quickly, but as far I can tell its only purpose here is to flip hedgehogs. Sure it affects other enemies, but so does jumping on them and that's much faster and less awkward.

You can't let your guard down around these hedgehogs, by the way. Even flipped they'll still get you with their spines if you touch the spiky side.

Do startled bugs actually explode in real life? Is this something I need to be aware of?

I'm still trying to get used to the way that Simba leaps around. I don't know if you can tell, but I'm walking forward for a split second to make sure he uses his long jump instead of his high jump, as once he's in the air I'm committed. I can steer him in the air, it's not Castlevania, but his high jump won't give me enough distance to clear gaps.

Hang on, is that a fancy looking bug beneath the floor? I wonder how I get to that.

I had to go over to the left and drop down onto a platform hidden beneath the camera. Now I need to leap over to grab the bug without jumping up too high and ending up back on the floor above.

Most bugs in the game restore some of your health, but this one extends the life bar. Permanently. I don't know how many of these there are in the game, but if you know where they all are you're going to have a huge advantage.

I also found a checkpoint up here, which I can appreciate. Even if I'm not planning to throw any lives away on level 1.

Aha, so there are trees on the level after all!

The DOS version seems to have started me off with an extra life. Plus I found a secret 1up in a hidden cave this time, so I'm doing alright here. I'm sure that bug over there gives you something interesting as well, but what that is will have to remain a mystery as there are no clues in game. (I looked it up and it gets you a bug-collecting bonus stage after the level).

It seems like this DOS port has inherited the enhanced graphics of the SNES game, but with the wider resolution of the Mega Drive version. They haven't redrawn the sprites to compensate for how the picture gets stretched taller on a PC monitor.

This means that in their correct aspect ratios, the different versions should look something like this. SNES looks wider, DOS looks taller, and Mega Drive is just right. I expect that the Amiga port looks fine as well, just with black borders.

Anyway, I just hit a second checkpoint and there's a bug next to it and I'm going to go get that bug.

Oh no, the game tricked me! The bug is above a hill, so when I walked over to it Simba suddenly started rolling down and there's nothing I can do about it! The game had been very nice to me so far, but now it's showing its true colours.

Oh, also there's a boss fight here.

You can beat this hyena basically by accident, which is good because I had no idea what I was doing. I tried jumping on him, but that ended up hurting me instead. So I ran away to get some space and he just leaped straight onto me... which also hurt.

Fortunately beating up a confused little lion cub is tiring work and the hyena becomes vulnerable when he's out of breath, so my random flailing around killed him before my life bar ran out.

The Amiga version was put together in a bit of a rush, so when I dropped into the boss arena the hyena was already waiting there and already tired out. I just landed right on his head and won instantly! Also it went down in one hit instead of two, so that's something else that's different for the Amiga port.

This port uses 'up' on the joystick to jump, as is tradition for Amiga platformers, but I've been having no trouble with the controls, and it's actually very slick for an Amiga port. It requires an AGA Amiga to run, so I'm sure it's making use of the enhanced hardware's extra power... which makes it a bit weird that they couldn't make the colours look as good as the SNES game.


Hey it's that bonus level I unlocked! I have to keep running back and forth as Pumbaa collecting the bugs before they hit the floor, because... uh... a 1up drops down occasionally? That seems to be all I'm getting from it. Hang on, I looked it up and it seems that you can also get continues and upgrades from it, which would've been nice to see.

The Amiga version doesn't have the bonus stages, so no bonuses for Amiga players. It's not so bad though; the Amiga game starts you off with 7 lives on normal difficulty!

The Amiga version skips this cutscene as well, which I suppose is a good thing as it means less loading time. But if you play any of the other games you get to hear James Earl Jones saying "Anything the light touches is our kingdom".

I think the SNES version has better voice quality, but that's not a huge shock considering it's got a sound chip designed to play audio samples.

The DOS game has the same art as the SNES version again, though it has black bars on the side to avoid stretching the image any more than it has to.

Okay, the next level is called "Can't Wait to Be King"...

Game Boy
...unless you're playing a handheld version which calls it "The Mane Event". Or you're playing the Amiga version, which skips the whole stage entirely! It's going to be a while before you see any more Amiga screenshots here.

I think what happened with the Amiga game was that the guy porting it over just didn't have the time to get all the stages finished and tested before it had to get released. Everyone was in a real rush to get this out around the same time as the movie, so the original console versions were created in just seven months and then the Amiga port had to be done in two months.


That is the cutest idle animation I've ever seen in a game! Also, why am I finding so many butterflies in games this year? It's weird.

Sadly butterflies aren't the kind of bug that gets you extra health, so I should get moving. It's getting late now... in fact the sky just turned from blue to yellow in an instant!

Level two starts off really simple. You just have to jump from giraffe to giraffe, over and over. Jump, jump, jump, jump, jump, that's it. Though if I wait too long they lift their head and Simba rolls into the water and drowns. Also, I have to remember to take a step forward before jumping to make sure I'm doing the long jump, or else Simba falls shorts and drowns. And even if I get it right, I have to land in the right place on the head, or Simba sails right past and drowns.

It's so frustrating because it's so simple. I can make it across no trouble because it's not even a challenge... until I make a tiny mistake at the end.

I mentioned earlier that the 8-bit games aren't really ports of the 16-bit original, but they clearly wish that they were. They bring over everything they can, it just loses too much in the translation to be considered the same thing.

Here's a fun fact for you: The Jungle Book, Aladdin and The Lion King were the final three official NES cartridges to be ever be released, and The Lion King was the very last. It only came out in PAL regions, so Wario's Woods was the last game in the US and Adventure Island IV was the last in Japan, but this was the last one worldwide. The end of the NES era.

At least according to Wikipedia.

Alright, here I am, roaring at monkeys.

There are two of these monkey puzzles on this level and I think the main reason for that is that the developers were told to make the game last longer and it was too late for them to add anything else.

I've heard that people struggle with the monkeys, but honestly it doesn't seem like there are enough possibilities here for it to be much of a roadblock. The idea is to get the monkeys arranged so that they throw you around like Sonic the Hedgehog until you reach the one that lobs you over to the next bit of level. But you can only flip two or three purple monkeys, so it's basically a switch-flipping puzzle. Flip all the monkeys, get launched by each rhino until you land somewhere new, see if you can flip another monkey from there, repeat.

It's awkward and not much fun, but it is different at least and there's no time limit or even danger for the most part.

Master System
Here's the same part on the Master System, looking a little less impressive. This time there are fewer monkeys and you can flip them all. It's still pretty straightforward though. Also the reason it's zoomed out so much is because this was made in the era when Master System games were ports of Game Gear games, so everything was designed for a smaller screen.

You know what I miss? Checkpoints. It's been ages since I've seen a checkpoint.

They could've put a checkpoint right before this ostrich riding section, no one would've complained!

This is another bit that's repeated twice in the level. The first run is basically a tutorial, you just follow what the arrows tell you, jumping over pigs, ducking under birds' nests and double-jumping over pigs and birds' nests. Those bloody camouflaged pigs. Purple pigs should be the most visible animals in the world, how is it even possible that they're so hard to see?

Anyway, after some more platforming you then have to do the ostrich jumping again without the arrows and... it's just as simple really. I got caught out a bit trying to double-jump over nests when the pig wasn't there, which gets you killed, but I could definitely get through it. Until I couldn't.

SNES (in slow motion)
I'm playing the game on multiple systems so I'm getting a bit of practice and reacting a little quicker over time. But eventually I started screwing up consistently, failing time after time when I reached the bit where you have to jump with the ostrich and then jump again as Simba. It's frustrating as it used to be easy and now it's not! Even Donkey Kong Country's mine cart level is less of a pain because at least that communicates what you did wrong.

In the end I went frame-by-frame through the footage looking for clues and spotted the problem: Simba reacts in pain but it was the ostrich that had collided with the nest with its back leg. So now I know that I have to jump a little bit late so that the bird makes it through the gap.

So yeah, it's definitely doable, even on the SNES version with its narrower screen and less time to see what's coming. It's not like it puts you in the middle so you have no hope of reacting to what's coming up.

Game Boy
Oh no, Game Boy version, what are you doing?

I really haven't been getting on with Game Boy game or its NES brother. They both feel awkward to control for some reason, like the jump button isn't as responsive.

Anyway, back on the 16-bit game I finally reached the checkpoint near the middle of the stage! What an amazing beautiful sight! You'll have to take my word for that though as no one wants to see a picture of a checkpoint.

Here, have a stack of hippos instead. I never saw the film so I have very little context for this, but platformers are weird in general so I'm just rolling with it.

This bit's pretty simple, I just have to jump from tail to tail to make it across the instant death water. The trouble is I have to be weirdly precise with my jumps for Simba to grab the next tail, and I keep missing and throwing lives away. The checkpoint's right there so I'm not having to repeat anything and I should probably be grateful that Simba can grab them at all with his lion paws, but I have to be honest, this is really pissing me off now.


Meanwhile, on the DOS version, you can just grab this hippo at the start and skip the whole thing. It makes it very easy to get that free continue over there.

There's also an extra life at the end of it, but you only get to pick it up once. If you die and respawn at the checkpoint, the 1up is gone. Some games (like Donkey Kong Country and Sonic the Hedgehog 3) just let you keep picking up the same extra life on every run, to make a difficult section less punishing, but Lion King wants you to be punished.


The second bonus level is Bug Hunt, where you play as Timon and grab as many bugs as you can... I assume. I started off by jumping to the right, hit the spider at the top, and instantly lost, so I can't really tell you what the level's about from personal experience.

Hang on, those spiders have the Marvel Black Widow logo on their back, what the hell? Okay I'm going to have to go visit Google for a second because I am very curious about what's going on here...

Alright, I never knew that black widow spiders have a red hourglass shape on their abdomen. I'm learning spider facts here, and I guess Black Widow facts too.


Damn, the start of level 3 drops you into a nightmare world of bones and you have to fight two hyena bosses simultaneously to open the exit! I thought this was a fun game for young children!

I managed to get through this using luck and an extended life bar more than well-executed strategy, but it does help to understand how to fight these guys. They walk up to you and then leap into the air to pounce, so in an ideal one-hyena scenario the ideal strategy is to wait for them a short distance away, then bolt out of the way the moment they jump. Once they've worn themselves out enough you jump on their head, and doing this twice kills them. It gets harder to stand still and wait when they're coming from both sides though!

Oh, I should say welcome back to the Amiga version, which jumps straight here from level one. Feels like forever since I've seen it.

These vultures are a lot like the hyenas, as they're a test of nerve. It seems I have to stand still and let it hover overhead menacingly. Eventually it screeches and swoops down, and then I can jump up onto it and knock off a hit point. Two hits and it falls off the screen, featherless. This is really easy to pull off on the Amiga version and not so easy on other systems, as the bird is somehow never underneath me when I land.

SNES (in fast motion)
I'm so stubborn that I kept trying this for a minute and a half. Even though you can just walk away and continue with the level. All it gets you is some health bugs and a 1up.

The guy really struggles to latch onto these poles sometimes. It seems like I have to face the wrong way, wait until he's on the bottom of his swing arc, and then press jump to somersault backwards onto the next pole. Or I could play the Amiga version instead and just jump up like in a regular game! This shouldn't be a challenge.

I'm surprised by how okay the Amiga version's joystick controls are. I expected it to be a clear and noticeable step down from the console games but it's holding its own.

How the hell do I get through this barrier of bones? I've played the game before and I know I got further than this, but I can't remember how. Simba can't just pick the bones up with his paws, he doesn't have opposable thumbs. Maybe if I roar at them real loud...

It took me a while but I finally figured out how it's done. Turns out that Simba has a roll move that's activated by... I don't know, jumping and then ducking in the air? Something like that. The important thing is that I'm through now and I never have to wonder how to pull off a roll again.

The NES game is way zoomed out as it's basically the Game Boy version with a larger screen, which does have one benefit: you can see if a pit is going to kill you if you fall down it. This is important as there's a lot of falling required to make progress, and extra falling is encouraged to find secrets hidden below. The game likes to include blind drops into pits that may have treasure or may just kill you.

What could possibly be worth risking a life for? Continues and permanent upgrades are mostly what I'm after. The more secrets you know, the easier the game gets.

I finally reached a checkpoint! It's just off screen on the left. Man, it's so nice to know I don't have to return to the start of the level anymore. The game works on Dark Souls rules where if you lose a life the bosses stay dead but all the other enemies come back. Also, you have to replay the last 15 minutes of gameplay because the checkpoints are too far apart.

That's why I'm going to be very careful around this instant death geyser underneath me. I know it's going to start rising any moment so I need to quickly leap from side to side to climb up and get out. It's not difficult, I'm just tapping jump a lot, it's just repetitive.

The geyser is replaced with lava on the Amiga version! Or it could be sewage I suppose. Whatever it is, Simba clearly wants none of it.

Getting up these ledges is absolutely effortless on Amiga, you just hold up on the joystick and off he goes, so I made it up here to the top of the tunnel with no trouble. All I had to do was step to the left and keep going in that direction.

Unfortunately I saw a bug on the ledge above and figured I'd go the extra mile and grab it. I assumed, like an idiot, that the challenge was getting up here in time, but nope. It's actually a test to see if you're dumb enough to waste a life jumping up to get a health bug you don't even need. I'm stuck up here now, I can't get back down without jumping into the lava!

I'm having a bit of trouble here with all these vultures up here at the top of the level. I'm trying to leave them alone and run past them, but they're not like the lizards and hedgehogs who just patrol their ledges, these guys follow me.

Hang on, I've spotted a continue! It's that swirly thing down there under the floor.

I took a leap of faith and fell down the hole, landing in spikes. I lost a bit of health, but it put me right next to the continue so it was totally worth it. Trouble is I couldn't get back out again, so I had to take another leap of faith, sending Simba sailing down into a bottomless pit... to his death. So that didn't go so well.

But trading a life for a continue is an excellent deal, so I'm happy. Even if I have to escape the geyser again, because there's only one bloody checkpoint on this whole level.

I've been racing past vultures and leaping over hyenas trying to survive long enough to reach the next health bug, and it's right over there! One more leap and I've refilled my life bar.

Unfortunately I took this screenshot exactly one frame before touching the hyena's invisible hit box and losing a life. Now I have to go climb up the tunnel to escape the geyser again.

Still, it could've been worse. The stage is designed as a spiral, so you start in the middle, go left, down, right, up and then left again over the top. So if I'd messed up here and fallen down that gap on the right I would've landed back at the very start of the level!

Oh great, it's another bit where I have to defeat the enemies to open the wall. If I'd known this was coming up I would've tried to kill the vultures and hyenas individually along the way instead of dragging them all here with me.

In fact, this is a bit where even more hyenas come in and you have to keep killing them, which is a bit hard to do when you're fighting off a screen full of other enemies with their own patterns you need to keep in mind. The sad thing is that this is the Amiga version where vultures are easier to jump on and hyenas only take one hit, so I almost pulled it off. That would looked really good as a GIF. The internet would've finally respected my skills as a gamer!

Instead I have to go climb up the tunnel to escape the geyser again.


Damn, I've never got up to stampede before! This is the furthest I've ever gotten.

The game's put the platforming on hold for a moment and now I'm sliding across the screen trying to avoid wildebeest as they gallop in from the animated background.

I'm not doing a great job of it though, as it's a bit misleading about how much space you have. It looks like I'm safe in this big gap on the left, but nope I got hit and lost health. This was the wrong place to stand. The actual safe place is in front of the wildebeest in the middle. If you look carefully it's feet are one pixel above Simba's, showing that it's further back! Also it's been there galloping for a while as the others went rushing past it.

Now it's making me jump over rocks! Though to be honest it's still the wildebeest I'm having trouble with. You get a warning when a rock is coming so you just get out of the way when it's time, but with the stampede you're stuck trying to judge distances in fake 3D. It'd be trivially easy with a different perspective.

Still, it looks pretty good for a 16-bit system, even if the Amiga game is missing the crowd of animals in the background. Also the lighting is flipped for some reason.

I have to admit, I wanted to quit this level right after it started and the longer it drags on, the more I want out. Fortunately the game's doing its best to accommodate me. I didn't upgrade my life bar on the Amiga game so I can only last two hits, and there are no checkpoints here to break the level up into more manageable challenges.


I ran out of enthusiasm on the Mega Drive and SNES games, I ran out of continues on the DOS game, but I'm somehow still here playing the Amiga version. The extra lives really help, as they mean you only have to replay from the last checkpoint, not repeat the entire bloody level.

I still only have the starting life bar though, so it gets really annoying when rocks randomly fall out of nowhere and hit me while I'm climbing up a ledge. What the hell was I supposed to do about that?

It is nice to be up against the easy enemies again for a bit though. I don't have to stand and wait for them to be vulnerable, or stay and fight them all to make a wall crumble.

Crap, easy enemies aren't so easy when they're blocking a hole and I can't jump. I can't even stop and roar at him, not that it'd help, as there's a boulder chasing me!

I did try doing it though. I tried everything, throwing away life after life, until I finally gave in and checked YouTube to watch how someone else get past it.

It turns out that I was supposed to use the roll move to flip the hedgehog over. You'd think that would've been the first thing I thought of with all the Sonic 3 I've been playing lately, but I assumed I had to jump to start a roll and I've never been able to hurt an enemy with it before.

Oh come on, that was close enough! I know it wasn't perfect, I can see that I missed, but it was close enough. Also the console versions would've brought the lives counter to 0 and given me one more chance, so I didn't have quite as many lives on the Amiga game as it seemed.

The game has 10 levels and I made it to the middle of level 5, so that's basically halfway through the game right? Man, I was so close to reaching the adult Simba stages, but still so far away.

Game Gear
Here, have some extra game over art from the Game Gear game.

A lot of the time a Game Gear port will just be the Master System port with a smaller screen (or vice-versa), as the two systems have near identical hardware. But the handheld has larger palette of colours to choose from and this is one of the games that actually makes use of that, giving players a superior game over experience (and slightly nicer colours in general).

On the other hand, the NES port has better colours than the Game Boy version, because it has colours.

The Lion King is basically what happens when a fairly decent developer teams up with talented Disney animators to recapture the magic of Disney's Aladdin in just six months or so. Also they're told during development that they have to make the game take longer so it can't be finished in a single rental. It's a rushed licensed movie tie-in that looks and sounds really good, and has the difficulty ramped up to keep people stuck on the same levels for hours. The first level promises a fun game that isn't going to stress out young kids too much, but it is lying.

This isn't a Shadow of the Beast situation where the game's challenging due to terrible game design, this is actually a slick, fairly polished console platformer... it just demands more precision than you think you'll need and punishes you for every mistake. Some platformers ask you do tricky-looking platforming and make you feel great when you pull it off, this makes you feel bad for failing something that looked easy. Especially as it means you have to repeat half the damn stage. Or the entire damn stage, if you've ran out of your extremely limited lives (they're less limited in the Amiga port).

The game could've softened the blow a bit with saves or passwords to let players make some permanent progress. Unlimited continues would've been nice at least, though to be honest on a couple of the versions my willpower ran out before my continues and I just turned the game off. I've only got so much patience when I'm being asked to do the same section of game over and over again, all because I missed a hippo's tail by half a pixel. Okay, that's a bad example as the hippos are right after the checkpoint, but you know what I mean. You've seen what I mean.

On the plus side, you can improve your chances by learning the levels and locating the upgrades. I'm not keen on how exploration requires blind leaps when there are bottomless pits everywhere, but it's nice I think that there's more to getting good than just mastering the challenges.

Which version should you go for if you want to give it a try? I'd expect the new release is probably the best, Digital Eclipse know what they're doing. But when it comes to the original, there are four different versions and they all have their strengths and weaknesses, so I'm not sure which of them I consider the best. Actually that's not true, the Amiga game is clearly the best as it skips whole levels, meaning there's less game to get through! Plus it gives you a ton of extra lives, and makes the enemies and platforming easier. I didn't pick up a single health-extension bug and I still got further than in the other games. You could argue that it has the best rendition of the music too, but that's subjective. Each of the versions makes great use of its systems' sound hardware, so if you like the sound of Mega Drive games you might prefer that version.

When it comes to visuals they're all among the very best looking games on their systems. Well, except for the PC port, which isn't quite as impressive as Cyberpunk 2077. It's limited by SNES art it's inherited, but it's also got some genuine DOS platformer jankiness to go along with it. I expected the Amiga version to look better than it does, seeing as it requires an AGA chipset, but it doesn't look bad. Especially as it still has all the beautiful animation... well, most of it.

The SNES version demands the most precision, the Amiga port is the most forgiving (and has the most floppy disk swapping), and the console games are the slickest, but whatever version you go for you're getting a pretty platformer with great music, a bit of variety in the gameplay, and bastard hard stages. The game really needed more playtesting and refinement (and more levels if they really needed to make it last longer). To be honest, playing it made me miserable and it was a relief to finally turn it off... but I liked the first level and as licenced games go it's above average, so I'm going to give it my shiny 'I'd play it again' star.

It's going to have to find a way around to it if it wants to claim it though.

Thanks for reading! If you have any thoughts you want to share about The Lion King and you're not typing them into the box below right now, then you must have more important things to do and I won't keep you from them.

Though you could also make a guess at what the next game will be.


  1. uh,the next game is a delisted one that shut down? Looks like The Crew.

  2. The Lion King is actually quite close to the movie to an almost astonishing degree. The music is very recognizably taken from the movie (albeit remixed on occasion), and elements like the Ostrich Ride, the elephant graveyard and so on are taken from the movie as well. (Even the porcupines - not hedgehogs, actually - to some degree, even if they are very prevalent in the game but only feature un a very small scene in the movie). There are only a few elements created solely for the game, but you never quite got far enough here to see them (like another boss fight in the Hakuna Matt's stage, which would've been the next down the line).

    I remember getting this game the Christmas after the movie was released. The day after, I had already beaten it. So I never quite understood why so many people considered it such a tough game. Then again I played tons of platformers back then...

    I think it's a great game, save for a few elements like the pink monkeys, and the labyrinth sequence in the penultimate level - now THAT one is irritating, especially when you've finally reached the end and seemingly can't continue. You really only get out of that one by accident the first time through. It's like you said: these elements were clearly just added to prolong game time, and the overall experience suffers a bit.

  3. Do startled bugs actually explode in real life? Is this something I need to be aware of?

    Well, not QUITE like that, but I've almost assumed that these bugs were supposed to be Bombardier Beetles, even though they look more like Rhinoceros Beetles (one of which shows up for a short while in the movie, right before the stampede sequence).

    1. I learn from the internet that the Bombardier Beetle essentially uses a miniature, organic version of the engine from an Me-163 Komet interceptor as a defence mechanism. It has a chamber in its bottom where it can mix a pair of chemicals that spontaneously ignite in contact with each other, one of which is hydrogen peroxide.

      I'm going to file this under "things I didn't expect to learn while reading Super Adventures in Gaming's article on the SNES Lion King game".

  4. I'm voluntarily playing a movie tie-in game from the 16-bit era! Maybe this is one of the good ones though. I mean, there have to be some good ones, right?

    Hudson Hawk is quite good. Better than the film, which, depending on who you ask, is a variable accolade.

    1. I used to see Hudson Hawk in magazine ads all the time, so I probably will have to actually play it at some point to get closure on that. But then I'll also have to watch the movie to compare them, and I'm not sure I'm willing to make that sacrifice.

    2. In fairness, the film isn't terrible, and certainly isn't as bad as its reputation suggests. If it had been made in Hong Kong with Chow Yun Fat and Tony Leung in the main roles, it would probably be considered a classic.

  5. I only know who Timon is because I played Timon & Pumbaa's Jungle Games a few years back.

    Fun fact: Timon and Pumbaa are based visually on Ren and Stimpy, and narratively on Rosencrantz and Guildenstern.

  6. I think what happened with the Amiga game was...

    I vaguely remember something about them expecting it to be a quick port of the Mega Drive version, because of the similar 68000 hardware, so they only allocated a couple of months to it. Then the source code turned out to be in an unfamiliar format, so it had to be written more or less from scratch.

  7. Hang on, those spiders have the Marvel Black Widow logo on their back, what the hell?

    Because Disney owns Marvel, and paid so much money that the ownership rippled back into the past. Duh.


Semi-Random Game Box