Sunday, January 2, 2011

Legend of the Ghost/White Lion

So, the Legend of the White Lion is probably an NES game that you've never heard of, and there's a good reason for this. (The title as it appears on the screen is Legend of the Ghost Lion, but in the game the damn cat is referred to as the White Lion, and I'm too lazy to go back and redraw an image that it took me exactly thirty seconds to create.)

We'll go over the basic plot with the help of images in a moment, but for now I'm going to explain game play. It's a turn-based RPG. You click here for this guy to do that, you click there for that guy to do this, and yadda yadda yadda until everyone in your party/group/congomerate is done taking a turn hacking at some enemy. In this game, it can be orcs, or zombies, or some flying lion called a manticoa.

Now, I love the environment, and I give a lot of thought to how I should be recycling. (I fail in the actual act of recycling.) I suppose the artists of this game are positive ecophiles, because I noticed a LOT of recycling. The same basic image was used for several different enemies; they were just colored differently and had varying hit points.

Okay, now that you have an idea of how the game is played, and how it could take so FREAKING long to play this when you have to arrange eight different things to make one strike on some stupid-looking flying lion.

Enter: The plot.

Meet a young girl named Maria. Her parents are missing after going off into the ether to seek out the truth behind the legends of the White Lion. You get the impression that she lives somewhere on the African savannah, and her parents are doing something that sounds vaguely racist, like "studying the natives." They're not going to call it something neutral, like "anthropology."

Yeah, you're not going to know what follows that "and." Check out that awesome 80's hair. She disembarks with a spear. Now, that spear is not a weapon, oh no--it contains the spirit of a warrior named Moja that she can call on whenever she's in trouble.

Meet Moja:

There he is. Ta-da!

Now, in searching for her parents, Maria and her spear spirit travel into a magical world, where instead of hit points (like in a normal RPG video game), you have courage, and instead of magic points, you have dreams. Oh, yeah, and instead of leveling up, you find fragments of hope.

This was a game made for girls, folks. Apparently girls can't handle complicated things like "hit points" and "magic," despite the fact that we are practically bathed in unicorns, princesses, and wicked witches from the age of 2.

Maria and Moja bounce from pixellated area on the map to pixellated area on the map in this magical world, fighting monsters, visiting towns, pillaging treasures, and picking up all kinds of crap that has spirits in it to help complicate the battles.

Let's meet some of these friends:

I know he looks like Dumbledore, but he's some dude who pops out of a lamp.

And now meet the nameless halfling. I don't know what he's half of, but here he is:

It would be much cooler if he looked like Elijah Wood.

And now, for the nameless elf:

And now, the Wing Man:
Unfortunately, there are no seedy bars in this world where Maria can go pick up guys, so Wing Man's true talents are not realized in this game.

And now, for the Centaur:

Yep, half-man, half-horse. Looks about right.

And the giant:

I just imagine that he just yells "GIANT!" whenever anyone says something to him, and that the other spirits hate his slobbering guts.

Oh, yeah, and there's a giant snail, but I somehow didn't get a screen shot of that. In case you were wondering, it looks like a giant snail.

So, after trudging around for what seems like forever, Maria and her posse finally enter a pyramid, kill a bunch of monsters, and finally come across the creature that she's been looking for, because for some undisclosed reason, this will somehow reunite her with her parents.

Readers, I present to you, the W. Lion.

Yup, it sure is a white lion.

So, Maria and her gang whack the shit out the legendary White Lion.

And what happens when they succeed?

Oh, snap! The enemy was riding along in a magic lamp all along! And what does he have to say for himself when he's found out?

Oh, don't worry. Ol' Twana spouts off some shit about the importants of dreams and hope and courage, and a lesson is learned by all, and he gives Maria some fancy pendant to help her along in her quest.

And then, it turns out, Maria has been sleeping all along!

Well, probably not sleeping. It turns out that she almost drowned in a river, so she was probably unconscious and delusional. She gets scolded for it by her mother.

But don't get upset, gentle reader--Maria is wearing the pendant, proving that she had her mind fucked with by some creepy old guy!

And at the end, we get treated to the following images of Maria remembering her journey through the magical land of...whatever it was.

Now, normally I like to sum things up with a final thought, but there is no final thought here. This game was so odd and nonsensical that all I could do was mutter, "My brain, my brain..."

My husband, who usually watches as I play these games through for these blog posts, got so bored watching it that he generally went off and did something more interesting.

So, here we are. No special insight, no little nugget of wisdom for you to take away. Just join in the confusion, and try to avoid the creepy gaze of Twana if you have to scroll back to the top.