Wednesday, November 22, 2023

Godzilla (Game Boy, 1990)


Here's a game that a friend let me borrow in 1995 or so and I can't remember much about it. I had to beat the game for reasons, so here we go.

This game contains 64 stages that form a kind of maze, with the goal being to find and rescue his son Minilla (mini-Godzilla?) Somewhere at the center of the maze.

::high-pitched screaming is heard::

There's the cart. Brings back memories, cause at the time I got to play this, I only had like two games. So a new cart was still super-novel.

GOJIRA. As appeared on the Game Boy directly.

It gives you a rundown of all the game's enemies, with some impressive art for the system in this era. Mechagodzilla's ingame sprite looks like Bowser.

Rodan is the most annoying foe, as he flies around and can't really be avoided like the ground-based foes can.

So what kind of game is this? Action? Fighting? Brawler?, it's THE WORLD'S CUTEST PUZZLE GAME. Look at this tiny Godzilla.

Not...what I expected and I suspect a lot of kids bought this thinking they were getting something else.

It's probably most comparable to Donkey Kong. The one with Mario having to kind of solve puzzles to reach a goal. Right off the bat, Rodan is flying down from above so you're basically trapped in this first little alcove unless you bait him to fly down and miss. WELCOME TO GODZILLA, KIDS.

Godzilla's only attack is this short punch with...a giant boxing glove? It'll take out most of the enemies in one shot, at least.

The objective is to destroy all the boulders in a stage. Meanwhile more enemies are infinitely spawning in from those cave-looking things. Once the boulders are all destroyed, the exit(s) will appear. Exits are these arrows, so you can progress to multiple potential stages.

There's actually a whole big system of stages. Some have one exit, some have a few, and there's no way to just play all of them in order. This ensures that every playthrough will probably be different.

Someone made a full map of the game's stages. The fastest route to Minilla requires no less than 30 stages and you gotta be careful about which exits you take.

The monsters can climb vines too, so there's NO ESCAPE. And since Godzilla can't jump, you have to think really carefully about which way you go.

Another obnoxious foe is that...big eyed guy on the left there. They can't be defeated by normal punches like other foes, and you can only stop them by knocking a boulder into them. So they often become an issue. Did I mention you can't jump? If you're cornered, you're cornered. At least Godzilla has a life meter and can take a bunch of hits. The fact that the devs were restrained enough to not give him 1 HP, in THIS era of gaming, deserves some applause.

Also...what is that?

What the shit is that??

This level starts you with boulders materializing right over your head and instakilling you unless you run for cover.

They get really creative with the levels as this thing progresses. It's all about smashing all the boulders, except that...

...sometimes you have to smash them in a certain order, or keep some boulders "alive" to use as stepping stones. Vines will hold them up, weirdly enough.

Take too long in any given level, which starts to become more of an issue later in the game, and you'll encounter...

...this guy, the mightiest(?) of Godzilla's foes. He's indestructible and homes in on Godzilla, so once he spawns, you're on borrowed time.

ANOTHER stage that starts you with a boulder falling on your head! I hope these devs got a good laugh out of this. And they had the cheek to put "Good Luck!" in the blocks next to you here.

The puzzles get a little more complex as it goes on, but not by much. The lategame stages weren't much worse than the early ones. I often made stages harder than they needed to be by expecting them to be complicated when the solution was actually the most obvious move.

Weirdly enough, the enemies pretty much disappear as you get close to the endgame. From that point the only real thing to worry about is...

...this guy spawning and zeroing in on you, which essentially gives you a hard time limit on each stage. Once he's on the board, good luck getting much of anything done because he moves quicker than Godzilla does.

The last level involves forming a block-bridge and going in a lot of loops. It's a challenge because you barely have time to do everything before the hydra spawns.

Here we go, last few blocks! Hydra is chomping on Godzilla's tail! Will I clear the blocks before he runs out of HP?

Yes, just barely.




Well, this game was a pleasant surprise, a fun little romp. I expected to not like it, but By God it was too cute to dislike. Not because of Minilla the freakish hellbeast, but because Godzilla himself has the most adorable sprite. Fun little puzzle game here, but it doesn't really have too much to do with Godzilla outside of the monster shapes. So now I know for sure that I beat this game and can put it on the list.

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