Monday, February 14, 2011

The Loin King

This Valentine's Day, I've got something extra special for everyone. Put on some Barry White, because it's time for the story of the greatest lion of all time: The Loin King. Only on the Super NES.

Because someone had to keep all the female lions happy.
And that someone...
...is The Loin King.



Here is our hero, Simba. He's small and orange. Right now he is merely The Loin Prince.

Climb, you magnificent bastard! Climb!

Look at that mighty meow roar!

There's a storm coming that the weatherman couldn't predict. But if anyone has the savoir faire to deal with things, it's The Loin Prince.

The boss of the first area is one of those bastardly hyenas. It only takes one hit to beat, unlike all the later hyenas. Oh yeah, Young Simba attacks by stomping on the heads of his foes, Mario style.

Here's the second level, the bane of children everywhere. Why? Because it's different from every other level in the game. I don't think it even has any enemies, it's just a big puzzle. I have a lot of trouble figuring it out this time around, and it takes me a while. As a kid I couldn't do it. I imagine a lot of kids gave up on it altogether. Then again, kids can be smarter than adults when it comes to puzzle solving, so maybe not.

And then there's the REALLY DIFFICULT ostrich riding section, where you have to leap over obstacles with almost no warning. It's... actually not that tough for me at this point, but judging from what I've read about this game, this part gives people tons of grief.

"What the hell is THIS?" says Simba as he stumbles upon a Hippo Orgy. What's that giraffe doing in there?

Back to the normal levels, as Simba takes on the Elephant Graveyard. This stage isn't too difficult or interesting, but at the end you fight THREE hyenas and they're all tougher than the first boss. Yow.

The nefarious Scar appears for the first time here, looking on as our naive hero prances away. I don't know what Mufasa expected. Having two males in one pack is a RECIPE FOR DISASTER!

It's MADNESS. Despite being orange, the heroic Lion Prince is brutally attacked by gazelles.

With Mufasa dead, Scar and his hyena henchpeople take over, and Simba is chased away. The new Loin King... is Scar, and the Loin Prince is banished to the far corners of the planet. It's a dark day, punctuated by the giddy laughter of Whoopi Goldberg. She was great in Ghost. Good movie, that one. The scene where Swayze and Moore have a threesome with a pottery wheel is hot. Aside from The Notebook and Predator, it's the only "chick flick" I can think of that I found to be resonant. 

Our fearless hero is faced with the sun setting on his dreams. Either that, or the world's largest clitoris has risen over the horizon.

Simba slides at high speed to his doom! PROTECT YOUR BALLS, SIMBA!

Frog: "Sup"

Simba: "Hakuna Matata!"

 "........"


 "English, motherfucker! Do you speak it!"

Here, you have to climb the waterfall by jumping from log to log... but they fall SO FAST that it's an epic struggle to even gain any real ground. Indeed, it took me several minutes of constant jumping to make any real progress, and I'd often find myself losing ground and ending up lower than I'd even started.

ERGH! GET...UP...THERE!

Finally. Gah. That was as fast and furious as anything you'll find in an SNES game. No joke. And at the top you have to fight a really tough boss. It's like running up an escalator that is moving in the opposite direction at lightning speed, only to finally reach the top and take a furious, charging knee to the balls from UFC superstar Forrest Griffin.

And here's the boss in question. At the end of the stage, our hero is furiously spanked by a monkey. The tables have turned!

One of the DKC-style "grab a bunch of items to get extra lives" minigames has you playing as whats-his-name... the dude who isn't the warthog. He has the munchies, and the only thing that can cure him is collecting as many grubs as possible for fun and an assortment of great prizes. Such as a romantic dinner for two in Chinatown! A mere four minute walk away from Downtown Crossing. Don't let the complete absence of dogs and cats in that part of the city deter you from experiencing the authentic Asian cuisine!

A brief montage later, and the boy has become a man. The awkward puberty years were completely skipped over in the game.

This level has the greatest music in the game from where I stand. It's amazing, and it's lifted right from the credits of the movie.

Mufasa's Face: "You must take your place in the circle of life."

Simba: "But how? I don't know how to be an adult! I spent my teenage years in Hakuna Matata hanging out with a warthog and a... whatever that other little guy is, getting high and eating grubs."

Mufasa's Face: "It's simple, my child. You must take care of the lionesses and their needs. You must become... The Loin King."

 
Next up is a place that wasn't really part of the movie. Level 8 is based on Scar's musical dictator montage and nothing else. I don't know where this hellish place is supposed to be, but for some reason I've got to traverse it. It's also the hardest level in the game.

Back to the real world of areas that actually existed in the movie, it's Level 9. The lionesses await, and The Loin King is primed and ready for action.

Hyenae attack en masse here, but they're no match for Simba's mighty slashes.

And here we are, the final level. Simba versus Scar. Our hero is face to snout with the guy who murdered his father. I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that this is Disney's best movie.

POW!

Simba wins the fight, and Scar beats a hasty retreat. He's not getting away so easily.

Intensity abounds as Simba pushes through. This proves that sometimes, if you're paying attention, you can learn something from a cartoon lion.

Scar, round 2. He's considerably less cocky in this fight, and stays on the defensive. I give the game-makers props for having him be different in this encounter.

He retreats again, and I'm faced with one of the most difficult sections in the game. It's hard to climb these little platforms when they're all on fire.

Lightning crashes as Simba corners Scar at the top of the mountain. ...right here it looks more like Simba is the one cornered, though.

GROUND AND POUND, BROTHER! GROUND AND POUND!

"It was I who killed your father!"

I close in and HURL Scar off the mountain, and that's that. I really wish I had a better shot of the throw...

It starts pouring, and the fires gradually go out, as our hero takes his home back. And that ends our story. Since this is a G-rated game, we don't see what happens next. Let's just say it involves Simba, a bunch of lionesses, and some funky music.

That's it. It was great to finally finish this game. It really annoyed me at times, and it wasn't very good, but my love for the source material kind of trumped everything else. The Lion King is a brilliant movie, and watching it recently, I realized how great it truly is. It's story about justice, really.

::trumpets sound::

"Partake in my fertile loins!" he says while the female lions purr.


THE LOIN KING!

5 comments:

  1. I had this game for my Gameboy Pocket Waaaay back in the day. I loved it then. I'm sure it sucks now.

    The Lion King is one of the only non-Pixar Disney movies I can tolerate. That and Mulan and Aladin. But, only those. I kind of hate disney on the whole.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Word. I haven't seen Mulan myself, but I'm with you on the other two. Even as a kid I wasn't really into the Disney.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I've only just gotten around to reading this, and now I've laughed so hard I'm crying. Great, I have a lunch date with friends coming up and I'm sat here with mascara streaming down my cheeks.

    It was worth it tho. Also, I agree about Mulan and Aladin, altho I would like to throw The Little Mermaid in as well.

    ReplyDelete
  4. An inspired review, and the game's visuals remind me of the newspaper interview with the founder of Capcom that I translated last year. He said,

    "I anticipated the demand for games that were like Disney movies, so I pushed for clear and colorful graphics and that feeling of liveliness and immediacy. The fruit of our efforts was Street Fighter 2. It hit the arcades in 1991, but its release on the new Super Famicom [Super Nintendo] made it a huge hit."

    http://jsmyth.wordpress.com/2010/11/01/falling-seven-times-rising-eight-a-founding-father-of-video-games/

    Virgin Interactive got this game, but Capcom's skills would've helped the gameplay tremendously.

    Great comment from Sam!

    ReplyDelete
  5. That was pretty hilarious.

    ReplyDelete