Monday, December 11, 2023

Parodius (Super Famicom, 1992)

From the makers of Gradius, a game that will change the way we look at shooters! Also, what's going on in this box art? Is that octopus on meth?

(Originally posted in 2014. Reposted for reasons)

 This is Parodius! It's like Gradius, except it's a parody.

 There are four different characters to choose from, each with varied powers. You can go with the original Vic Viper if you want, but that would defeat the purpose of the game in some ways. I almost went with the Octopus, but I settled on the Pentarou.

Pictured here: Not Pentarou, but close enough.

 The first stage is some sort of shipyard. The game is colorful, I'll give it that.

 The first boss is... a cat-boat? What vile sorcery is this?

 Next we get a giant pirate bird with an outtie. This game is truly bizarre, to say the least.

 He's protected by a barrier of spinning penguins. Somewhere, Capcom just came up with their next Mega Man "shield weapon" boss.

To up the weird-ass quotient, here are some clowns. This might be a good time to mention that the abilities in this game are essentially the same as Gradius. Speed-Up is a good thing to go for a few times, and the weapons are fairly well balanced. Spread is the best bet out of those.

 Here we have...some sort of gigantic Vegas dancer. The key is to fly under and between her legs as she walks around. It's like the crab mech in Gradius. ...exactly like that. They just reskinned it.

 This might be the toughest fight in the game. The key is to just stay firmly between her legs for as long as possible, and move with the same rhythm that she does.

....teh hell.

The next boss is... America.

......I can't believe I'm playing this.

The next level is a strawberry ice cream wonderland.

 Horrifying attack pumpkins chase after our hero as he battles through... a temple of colorful jewels? I don't even know what's going on.

 Even this pyramid isn't safe from the weird-assness, as the pillars have knife-wielding monkeys carved into them.

 The next boss fight? A pack of mouths. Their dentures chomp with FURY.

 Here's some rad scenery! Just watch out for the vicious barrage of...chickadees?

A volcano is the next challenge. He hurls everywhere. It's unpleasant.

And here's a sumo boar-man who would like for us to know that Konami made this game, as he points at it like a WrestleMania sign.

 He attacks by stomping the ground, and since our hero can fly, it has no effect. Maybe he should seek employment as a Mario boss instead.

 As is tradition with Konami shooters, this game sports a few Moai heads. This one is the front of a spaceship.

 The next boss? Dennis Rodman.

 He fires penis-Moai statues from his mouth. Because gay jokes are hilarious! Parodius!

 Here's a fairly normal boss, a Gradius refugee if the game has any. Play as Vic Viper for this fight and it'll look like a regular game.

The next level is full of enemies protected by bubbles.

Not sure if this is a planetary nebula or the inside of a birth canal (hopefully Taylor Swift got royalties)

Wait a minute, that looks like... is! A sexy lady! I'm a hip guy, so I immediately crash Pentarou into her hip-bone.

 Yes, this is an actual boss fight in this game. It's well-animated, at least. She has several expressions.

In what can only be considered a significant step down from the goddess, the next boss is a spiked fish. At this point the weird-assness of the game has worn off a bit and it's becoming more of a regular shooter.

Pentarou grabs a megaphone and goes on a blistering expletive-filled rant! I did NOT see that coming!

 I've run out of things to say. Note how this area has the same layered, wavy sky as most other 2D 16-bit games?

  Naked pigs ambush our hero. I wonder how many drugs the designers of this game were on when they came up with it. My money is on shrooms.

 The final boss is a giant octopus who doesn't seem to want to be here. He's nowhere near as happy as he is on the box art!

As is final boss tradition, he has a second form where he grabs onto floor and ceiling rungs to help him corner the player. 

The planet(?) now explodes... like a popcorn kernel. Our hero escapes, but the shockwave sends him hurdling into space.
...straight for us! EVERYBODY DUCK!


...and he slowly sinks off of the screen.

That's the end. Well, this game probably wouldn't have translated to a North American audience in 1992. It's short, easy, and a little too weird for its own good. More bizarre than humorous, most of the time.

I wonder, if you choose the Octopus character at the beginning do you fight a giant penguin at the end? I will never find out.



  1. That scene at the end with Pentarou crashing into the screen... ::slow clap::

  2. Japan is sooo weird. But I have to applaud them for doing this.
    Unnerving to see a Mt. Fuji that's already erupted.