While we’re on the subject, did you know that Jekyll & Hyde has a secret ending? Both endings are shown here (4 minutes):
The “bad” ending is the normal one, and shorter, but is arguably a happier conclusion to the story. To get it, all you have to do is get to the end of Stage 6 with Jekyll. That’s all.
To get the other ending, get to Stage 6 with Jekyll, then turn into Hyde and get to the end of his version of the stage. Usually, if Hyde gets as far into his level as Jekyll has gotten into his, he’s struck by lightning and dies. But in this level he’ll be allowed to reach the end of his version of the level for some reason, where there’s a boss! Beat it, and when you return to Jekyll’s world the enemies will be gone, and he’ll be free to finish the level without harassment. However, ending events will be different….
Few games for the NES have been better treated by hindsight than Friday the 13th. At the time it was regarded as a terrible game with difficult play and nearly impossible to win.
But even then there were things about it that indicated that there might be a little more going on then than was first apparent. Publisher LJN was known for making terrible games, but they outsourced their work to different companies that often weren’t actually that bad, just given weird properties for video games (The Karate Kid? Jaws? T&C Surf Designs??) and approaching them with experimental gameplay. And for their part, all of LJN’s games are technically sound, and manage to hit their 60fps frame rate targets, which is much more than you can say for many other NES games, including some from big manufacturers like Capcom, like Ghosts & Goblins and 1942, both implemented by Micronics, or Strider, which as we’ve noted before is a mess.
It has come time, as we all knew it must, for Jeremy Parish to collide with Jason’s axe, and as befits the game’s redemption, his video is divided in half, first about its reception at the time, then later now that it’s appreciated a little better. Just don’t turn it off after the 8 minute mark, there’s still more than half of it to go!
Portopia is the biggest missing piece, to many US enthusiasts, of the history of Japanese gaming. It led to the creation of Dragon Quest, but it had a huge influence all on its own, which can be felt in a wide variety of other Famicom titles, including some that did make it to the US. Why do The Goonies II and Dr. Chaos have those weird room-based adventure sections? It’s because of Portopia, trying to mix its kind of menu-based first-person gameplay with the pre-existing side-scrolling platforming game style popularized by Super Mario Bros. It seemed random to Western players at the time, but Japanese players would have known exactly what those games were trying to do.
We’ve mentioned Jeremy Parish and his various Works projects before, and they’re always interesting and informative, a great antidote to the strident style of many popular Youtubers, and this one is especially important to anyone seeking to understand how the Japanese game industry grew and evolved in the Famicom era.
Just learned today from Jeremy Parish’s NES Works, Data East’s Cobra Command had an alternate title planned in case they ran with trouble releasing under that title, possibly due to its name’s similarity to that of the bad guys from the G.I. Joe cartoon show. According to The Cutting Room Floor, that title was, well, not so great: