This week we're going to show just how "meta" the Super Nintendo was, by looking at three Super Nintendo video games which have other small video games buried inside of them.
To make it even weirder, in two of those Super Nintendo games, your Super Nintendo Game characters have to cough up some in-game money to play the in-game games!
Let's start with the one everyone knows...
The Legend of the Mystical Ninja
Ok, this is an odd game. You play as one of these two weirdos:
...who travel around an incredibly modern Ancient Japan,
...whacking everyone you see with your weapon (a pipe/party-streamer/yoyo etc) and collecting their money for use in stores.
While there's platformer levels that lead up to the bosses, the most fun part of the game is definitely the stores: where you can buy power-ups (which get downgraded each time you bump into an enemy, sooo...don't bother unless you're extremely good at avoiding enemies), life-extending items, or most importantly, you can play goofy games.
Not only do you get the normal "will the dice roll high or low? Double your money!" kind of games, there's also a lottery, a horse-racing track, and most importantly: a video arcade!
Yes, the rumors are true: several Game Center stores (including one in the Carnival level, for example) let you blow your hard-earned video game cash on a chance to play Level 1 of the NES's Gradius:
It's all here, the waves of mindless ships and power-ups,
...and a big volcano-magma-projectile-doom wave followed by a base ship boss!
Well, actually I have no idea how faithful this is to Level 1 of NES Gradius (I was always a LifeForce kid, myself), but there's the full range of power-ups, from speed to missiles to lasers and options.
The biggest issue is you only get one life, and you can only play the first level. Whether you die or beat the boss, your reward is:
Next on the list is another "contains an old video game by the same company"...AND features our mascot (or rather, our mascot's son?):
Pitfall: the Mayan Adventure
Yup, the Super Nintendo's Pitfall game features a cameo by (presumably) Pitfall Harry:
He looks even more Indiana Jones than usual, even in shadow...and given that his son makes extensive use of a whip, it's surprising that the good folks at Activision didn't receive a letter from Speilberg's lawyers.
But be that as it may, the "Ruins 1" level features an oddly out-of-place little enemy on one of the platforms:
..and if you manage to go through the door he's guarding, you'll find another one of his brothers, AND a hidden trampoline to the left, which boots you through behind some MORE walls and eventually into a whirly warp...
...which, in a Being John Malkovich-like turn of events, deposits you in the old Atari version of Pitfall. Now, you to can:
...jump OR SWING over errant logs!
...use synchronized-swimming alligators as stepping-stones,
on your way to the goal of collecting irradiated butter!
And a good time is had by all.
Incidentally, Pitfall: The Mayan Adventure has a cheat-code that allows you to play Original Pitfall directly from the title screen. It's the seemingly innocuous "press 'A' six times then press START" cheat. However for some reason I've spent upwards of a half hour trying to get that to work, and only succeeded twice...
but since there's an infallible Level Select code (On the title screen, press: X, Select, A, Select, Y, A, X, select...then use the "L" and "R" shoulder buttons to change level), I found it easier to just go to the Ruins 1 level and use that as my Pitfall entry point, as described above.
...but now, let's get to the main event:
I...I don't know what to say.
I'm not sure how to explain myself to you, my video-game-enjoying reader(s). I could say that I'm running low on new Super Nintendo games to try -- despite my recent rekindled interest in platformers (which I'll talk about in the coming weeks), there's just not that many new titles on the shelves in CarlMarksGuy City, so sometimes something obscure has to win out, no matter what it actually is.
On the upside, I haven't bought any one of the FOUR* Ren and Stimpy Super Nintendo games they made.
*: this is kind of mind-blowing. If we consider "number of games about an intellectual property" to be a measure of that property's importance, Ren and Stimpy were evidently king of the '90s, have beaten out the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2 SNES games), Micky Mouse (3(?) SNES games), and the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers (3 SNES games). This despite the fact they only made about 6 episodes!
All that being said, I kind of enjoyed the Beavis and Butt-Head
video game. I guess the main thing I can emphasize is, "it's not as blatant a cash-grab as the Wayne's World
game." While it's a hop-and-bop platformer, there's no bottomless-pit jumps, and, well...starting a shitty game with a Level Hub rather than a "you must beat all the crappy levels in ONE order" can cover a myriad of sins.
Case in point, you can go right to the...
Turbo Mall 2000
Granted, you'll spend most of your time doing stupid things, like whacking security guards using a baseball bat with a boxing glove on the end, or wandering into a piranha tank:
...using in a combat engine that would make Duke Davis
feel at home. And you know what you have to face if you get out of the fish tank alive?
The world's first "Grocery Cart Mine Cart" level.
...but if you somehow manage to survive THAT, you end up in the most important part of any mall: the ARCADE! And if you've rummaged for quarters in pay phones or the change machine...
You're able to use those coins in the vending machine (for snacks that increase your health), OR you can play the most terrifying video-game-within-a-video-game ever:
I present you with video game screen evidence that Mike Judge's grusome twosome were adapted into a Street Fighter II
or Mortal Kombat
knockoff, and that abomination was embedded in the mall arcade. For if you spend your quarters right (wrong?), you could play against the computer in a spirited round of...
See Kung Fu Butt-Head execute a Crane Kick against Hammer-Wielding Beavis!
Witness Beavis perform flying hammer strikes and death-breath burps!
Observe the different fighting background, depending on if you go to the "Red Title" or "Yellow Title" copy of Butt Fighter!
...there are no words.
Well, it DOES give you two different attack buttons, as well as jumping, ducking, and blocking. That means it's already better than, say, Pit Fighter
— carlmarksguy, 2013-06-07