Monthly Archives: June 2015

In the original game, the 6th world was Pluto. Ironically, despite being the smallest planet, Pluto was the largest and most diverse world in the game.
Entropy had a different layout, but was similarly huge and diverse.

board1

The board music was played by a violin instrument, a melody that started out sounding mournful and then it gets rather…I guess I would call it “distorted”? It made me feel depressed and unnerved. Not something I would want to hear while trying to sleep.

Strangely, none of the levels from the previous worlds were present here, instead there were eight brand-new icons. The bosses this time were Megalon, Battra, and Mechagodzilla.

board2

As usual, the first thing I did was go to the Quiz Level for another interrogation from Face. But I when I got there, I noticed something different; instead of the usual goofy GH1D0RA music, it was the Password theme.

The music change seemed to be intentional, because after the first two questions at the start, the quiz started to take on a darker tone;

; Quiz 3

<ol>
<li style=”margin-bottom:1em;”>Do you like Ice Cream?
<br />Answer: Yes, Reaction: Weird Face #1</li>

<li style=”margin-bottom:1em;”>Do you like clowns?
<br />Answer: Yes, Reaction: Weird Face #10</li>

<li style=”margin-bottom:1em;”>Is time slipping through your fingers?
<br />Answer: Yes, Reaction: Weird Face #2</li>

<li style=”margin-bottom:1em;”>Do you have any regrets?
<br />Answer: Yes, Reaction: Hurt</li>

<li style=”margin-bottom:1em;”>Do some people deserve to die?
<br />Answer: No, Reaction: Weird Face #3</li>

<li style=”margin-bottom:1em;”>Is it safe to go out at night?
<br />Answer: Yes, Reaction: Weird Face #5</li>

<li style=”margin-bottom:1em;”>Do you find it hard to sleep at night?
<br />Answer: Yes, Reaction: Weird Face #9</li>

<li style=”margin-bottom:1em;”>Have you ever killed anyone?
<br />Answer: No, Reaction: Weird Face #7</li>

<li style=”margin-bottom:1em;”>Do you want to kill anyone?
<br />Answer: No, Reaction: Angry</li>

<li style=”margin-bottom:1em;”>Are you actually accomplishing anything?
<br />Answer: No, Reaction: Weird Face #4</li>

<li style=”margin-bottom:1em;”>Does life have any real meaning?
<br />Answer: No, Reaction: Love</li>

<li style=”margin-bottom:1em;”>Do you like Mothra?
<br />Answer: No, Reaction: Maniacal</li></ol>

likemothra

I knew that last one was gonna be a gameplay related question, but I had no idea what the result would be. I answered honestly, because as I said before I never liked Mothra.

Nobody liked playing as Mothra in this game. And there was a good reason for that, every other time Mothra gets hit she gets slammed back to the left corner of the screen, and she sucks at fighting because her attacks are so weak. The only benefit Mothra had was being able to fly over obstacles in some levels.

So I answered No, and Face actually replied back to me, not only with the maniacal expression, but with text;

“TOO BAD!”

toobad

I was taken back to the map screen, and I was shocked to see that Godzilla and Anguirus has disappeared from the board, leaving only Mothra.
Face had just fucked me over. Needless to say, I was pissed. But there wasn’t anything I could do, and I’m willing to bet even if I had said “Yes”, I would have been stuck with Mothra anyway. Face giveth, and Face taketh away.

board3

I took a deep breath, and got ready to explore. There were two paths I could take through the board, I decided to take the lower one. This turned out to be a good choice for reasons I’ll get to momentarily.

The first world ahead me of was a forest, so I started there. Almost immediately, I got an eerie feeling. There was something about this level that just seemed “off” to me, even more than the previous ones.

Perhaps it was the pitch black background. I’ve always been afraid of being in a forest at night. Something about all those trees, makes me feel surrounded and vulnerable.

Forest1

And the fact that I was stuck as Mothra didn’t help. Playing the game’s previous worlds as Godzilla gave me a feeling of bravery, being in control of the King of The Monsters, I’d be able to handle just about anything in my way.

But it’s not like that with Mothra. No feeling of strength, or security. Now I’m just a weak, easily overwhelmed bug, traversing into the unknown.

Back to the level. The music had new instruments, sounding like woodwinds, followed by slow, rhythmic drums and chiming bells. Gave me this feeling that I was intruding into some dangerous place I really should not be.

After a while, I encountered the first enemies of the stage. Or at least I assumed they were enemies. They were strange, long legged deer like creatures. Instead of attacking, they were just idly walking around. I went to approach them, and they ran away.

forest2

I thought about shooting one with an eye beam to see what would happen, but it seemed wrong. These creatures were harmless. So I passed over them and continued through the level.

About halfway through, I encountered groups of the deer-like animals, and also two new creatures: A sloth like creature with a beak climbing on a tree, and hairy raptor-esque beasts that were preying on the deer.

It was very surreal watching these creatures interact. I didn’t feel like I was playing a video game, but rather that I was traveling through a forest in some other dimension.

The creatures ignored me for the most part, although the raptors did attack me when I got too close, or if I attacked them first. I know I shot one of them to help one of the deer creatures escape. I got clawed at, but confrontation was easily avoided by flying up to the top of the screen.

forest3

After that, I had to choose whether I wanted to play the levels with the hourglass, or the TV screen. I picked the latter. What I got was not at all what I expected.

Beaver

When I pressed the button to start a level on the TV Screen like I normally would, this screen with an animation popped up. There was also music in the background, which was the goofy Gh1d0ra music that used to be playing in the Quiz levels.

I was somewhat unsettled by this because it was just so strange. I also found it a bit spooky because I had a shirt that looked just like that when as a kid. After starting the animation, you could go back to the board by pressing any button.

After that, I had no what to expect of the rest of these icons. I went to try an hourglass icon next. I was somewhat relieved when an actual level came up.

timewarp1

It was certainly an unorthodox looking level. All brown, with time measuring instruments floating in the air and gigantic grandfather clocks in the background. The music was the same as the board screen.

And very early in the level I encountered something else I didn’t expect to see: Original enemies from the game!

timewarp2

And not just that, it seemed to be a whole fleet of them. And the yellow tanks, which were normally immobile, could now move. I took some damage, but it was nothing I couldn’t handle. But the most interesting thing about this level was the colored hourglass items.

hourglass

There were 3 of these:

# A blue hourglass, that made time slow down and filled the level with enemies from the past.
# A red hourglass, that made time speed up and filled the level with enemies from the future.
# A green hourglass, that set time to the normal speed, and filled the level with the original game enemies.

timewarp3

timewarp4

I encountered the blue hourglass first. As stated, the game started to slow down, and I saw the “enemies from the past”, which were five different types of prehistoric animals. I don’t know much about prehistory, but I believe all of these enemies represent real animals.

The level went into another segment, and I encountered the green hourglass, and then I fought the original enemies again. It was the same five types so I didn’t take any screenshots. But in the last segment, I encountered the red hourglass, and the enemies that must have been from the future.

Now, whether or not the game was showing me 8-bit renditions of creatures that will actually exist thousands of years into Earth’s future, I have no idea. But with that thought in mind, I found this particular segment to be very eerie, and it was made more tense because everything moved faster.

timewarp5

One of the future enemies bore a striking resemblance to something I saw in a book once, called “Troodon Man”. Another looked like some kind of organic spaceship.

timewarp6

There was only one of the fifth type of Future creature, and when it appeared, all the others ran for their lives, leaving me alone to battle it.

It could fly but its sprite didn’t actually move, and its single attack was firing a lightning bolt from its “face”. Even so, it was surprisingly powerful, and I suppose it could be considered a mini-boss.

timewarp7

After defeating it, it left a health power-up that restored the health and energy I had lost fighting it. Which was convenient! It seemed I would need all the help I could get to beat this world with Mothra alone.

After that previous stage I call “Time Warp”, the next stage appeared to be a Toxic Waste Dump.

toxic1

As you can see, the place looked grungy, and inhospitable.
The music was a short looping of an ambient synthesizer song. Listening to it made me feel like I had sniffed some toxic fumes myself, and it was messing with my head the whole time. I even felt like I was choking while playing this level.

toxic2

The enemies all seem to be mutated to some degree. In the above screenshot you can see green mummies with bird skulls, that jump out of the waste to spit projectiles. There’s also a brownish cow skeleton monster with spider legs.

toxic3

Halfway through the level I even saw one of the deer from the forest. It was alone, and when I saw it, it was drinking toxic waste out of a barrel with an anteater-like tongue.

toxic4

I was moving over to try to make it stop, but then this flock of skull birds came out of nowhere and started attacking.

The deer was scared by this and ended up running off the ground into the toxic waste. I feel bad for it. One of the birds bit me, but I regained health quick from killing all of them, they were rather weak.

I pressed onward. Of all the levels in Entropy, this was probably the most “normal”, in that there was little deviance from the “Move forward, smash things” formula in the original game.

toxic5

I encountered more creatures through the level, like tentacled blobs, and some kind of deformed thing with human-like teeth. I didn’t feel like provoking them into a fight, so I kept on flying near the top of the screen. I still had to deal with occasional flock of birds now and then.

toxic6

At the end of the level was a large, bluish green lake, and there I encountered another mini-boss. Some kind of a monster with a long neck and a whale’s skull. It attacks with a mouth projectile, and by charging into you. It also could go underneath the water and rapidly emerge from a different place.

It was harder to beat than the boss from the Time Warp, and it had a lot of health because it must have taken me three minutes to defeat it. It let out a really loud noise when it died, and then sank back into the water as I left the screen.

Back on the board, I went to the nearest level icon I hadn’t seen yet, which was a white tree. As I guessed, the level was a winter themed recolor of the forest stage.

winter1

But unlike the regular forest, I didn’t feel unnerved starting this one. I think the music had a lot to do with it. It was a gentle, calm song, it almost sounded romantic. It was quite stress relieving, and the forest itself looked much less ominous covered in snow.

I traveled through the first segment enjoying the atmosphere for four minutes, when suddenly I realized something: I haven’t seen a single creature since I started the level. Where are all the animals? Soon after, I left the screen, and the next segment started.

In the second segment, I was still in the winter forest, but now the music was gone. I was starting to feel suspicious, but then I reminded myself that there were other empty levels in the game and this was likely another one of those.

But then…I heard something familiar. It was the twelve second looping music from “UNFORGIVING COLD” starting up. I could feel my heart sink as I came across this horrible sight:

winter2

It was a whole group of dead deer creatures, covered in snow. Judging from the blackish blue tone of their skin, they must have all frozen to death. On closer inspection, some were missing body parts. Now I was frightened. But I still had to keep going.

Before exiting the level, I was really hoping to see something resembling the previous forest animals in a living state. And sure enough, I did.

winter3

It was a creature much like the beaked sloth, except this thing had white fur and was more of a beaked gorilla. It was walking very slowly when I saw it, but I was happy to at least see something alive. However, it didn’t stay that way for long.

winter4

A pack of raptors, who must have sensed that something else was still alive, came rushing in from the right side of the screen. The beaked gorilla didn’t stand a chance, as one of the raptors immediately lunged at it and ripped open its back legs.

These “winter raptors” acted far different from their temperate relatives. While the other raptors only attacked while hunting prey or when provoked, the winter raptors seemed to have all gone insane. They attacked everything in sight, one was running back and forth clawing at nothing. Even the noises they made sounded different, more high pitched and enraged.

winter5

As I left this second segment, I even saw two Raptors fighting to the death. They were both covered in injuries, and one of the Raptors had been blinded in one eye. I took a screenshot, but I didn’t stay to see who won the fight.

I only had to get through one more segment before I could go back to the board screen. But in this segment, I was no longer in the winter forest, but instead a very empty grassy plain, with a bright gray moon in the sky. The pleasant music of Winter Forest part 1 had returned.

moon1

And immediately, I started to feel dread. This is going to sound crazy but it’s the absolute truth: The game made this level from one of my memories.

After a long stretch of nothing, I reached a lake. And then, the moon moved down from the sky, and begin to hatch like an egg.When it did, a curled up humanoid figure fell into the lake as the moon halves quickly disintegrated.

moon2
moon3
moon4

I heard a splash when it hit the water, then a moment of silence. Then the screen began to shake, and a new creature emerged from the water;

moonbeast

And thus I was introduced to a monster I call the “Moon Beast”. This was the only screenshot I took, as I was focusing all my concentration on winning the fight. And it was the most difficult fight yet. Stronger than any of the previous bosses, this creature would have been hard to take down with Godzilla, and with Mothra it seemed nearly impossible.

I suppose I would consider myself fortunate that the beast lacked any attacks like Gigan’s saw, because if it had I would never have won this. I barely had three bars of health when I finally killed this abomination.

But what happened afterward is hardly what I could call a reward.

…I’ve been trying to keep my promise and suppress this memory for years, but it seems as if I have to get it off my chest. This is a very painful memory for me, but the game already knows about it and I think you should too. I’ll just tell you the important parts, because I don’t like bringing this experience back into my head unless I have to.

Back when I was in Middle school, I had a girlfriend named Melissa. She suffered from some kind of mental disorder that caused her to go into “episodes”.

When she was in an “episode”, she would stand or sit perfectly straight and still, and her face would instantly lose any expressions she had before. She would speak very clearly, without any hint of emotion. When it was over, she would start trembling and sometimes bury her face in her hands, and remain silent for several minutes. I can’t really convey the feeling it gave me in words, and I won’t try. You had to see this in person to understand.

But despite this, she was a very kind person and I cared about her dearly.
We liked to hang out in a field at night, and look at the stars. But one night she didn’t say anything to me at all, she just stared directly at the moon, trembling. I tried to talk to her, but she suddenly sprung up, and ran right into traffic. I tried to stop her, but I was too late. She got hit by a truck, and was killed that night.

I looked her right in the eyes when the wheels went over her neck. That sight has always haunted me.

I know that the game knows about this because after I defeated the Moon Beast…this happened.

melissa

uhoh

thisisntgood

notgoodatall

whatthe

 

When I got back to the game, I was getting very upset and confused.

I thought about the way the monster looked at me. The game COULDN’T have heard what I said, that’s impossible. It had to be a random occurrence. But why did it happen precisely at the moment I insulted the monster?

Nothing about this game made any sense. The new Godzilla monsters, the weird replacement monsters, out of place imagery like the green temples, quiz levels, and the red monster chases. It didn’t seem to add up in any kind of meaningful way.

If it was a prank, it wasn’t funny in any way I could understand, and they clearly put far too much effort into it.

If they were trying to make a genuine sequel with new Godzilla monsters, then why did they add..everything else?

Maybe it was some kind of art experiment? Some group project made by a bunch of really talented and crazy people, and they lost the cartridge somehow? Or maybe they intended for some random person to find it?

It was all just fruitless guessing. As far as I could tell, there was only one way to figure out what the deal with this game was: To play it through to the end. Maybe, just maybe, there would be something in the credits, an explanation by the creators as to why they made this. Or it could be something much more cryptic and strange, maybe even something horrifying.

Before I got a good look at the Dementia board, I considered replaying Trance to see if the red monster would look at me again. But I decided against it. I wanted to keep moving forward. I was also somewhat worried that backtracking might cause the game to become even more strange.

The Dementia board music sounded a lot like the Saturn music, except it was slowed down, and played with a piano-sounding instrument. Like most of these new map themes, it had a dangerous suspenseful feel.

While listening to the music, I looked at the Dementia board. There were four boss monsters this time: SpaceGodzilla, Manda, Gigan, and Baragon. I was surprised that there were two new Toho monsters this time. But the best surprise was still to come.

dementiaboard

I started the Quiz level. Here’s another list of results in the same format as the last one:

; Quiz 2

<ol>
<li style=”margin-bottom:1em;”>Can you Swim?
<br />Answer: Yes, Reaction: Happy</li>

<li style=”margin-bottom:1em;”>Do you like fish?
<br />Answer: Yes, Reaction: Sick</li>

<li style=”margin-bottom:1em;”>Can penguins fly?
<br />Answer: No, Reaction: Sad</li>

<li style=”margin-bottom:1em;”>Can it spin in all directions?
: <i style=”color:#9a9a9a”>(There was no clarification of what Face meant by “it” so I just guessed)</i>
Answer: No, Reaction: Surprised</li>

<li style=”margin-bottom:1em;”>Do you breathe oxygen?
<br />Answer: Yes, Reaction: Weird Face #8</li>

<li style=”margin-bottom:1em;”>Does it taste good when you bite a woman?
: <i style=”color:#9a9a9a”>(I don’t know who came up with this question, but I really hope they’re getting mental help)</i>
Answer: No, Reaction: Annoyed</li>

<li style=”margin-bottom:1em;”>Is it night where you are?
<br />Answer: Yes, Reaction: Weird Face #6</li>

<li style=”margin-bottom:1em;”>Do you like cats?
<br />Answer: Yes, Reaction: Confused</li>

<li style=”margin-bottom:1em;”>Is water wet?
<br />Answer: Yes, Reaction: Angry</li>

<li style=”padding:0 0 10px 0″>Have you ever broken a bone?
<br />Answer: No, Reaction: Happy</li>

<li style=”margin-bottom:1em;”>Do you like your job?
<br />Answer: Yes, Reaction: Hurt</li>

<li style=”margin-bottom:1em;”>Would you like a new monster?
<br />Answer: Yes, Reaction: Weird Face #11</li></ol>

wouldyoulikeanewmonster

I wasn’t entirely sure at the time what Face meant by “new monster”, but I couldn’t resist answering “Yes”, just to see what would happen.

The result was mind blowing.

dementiaboardanguirus

The game took me back to the board and I had a new playable monster in the form of Anguirus! Ever since I was kid, I always wanted to play as Anguirus, since he was my second favorite Godzilla monster (And plus I never liked Mothra all that much).

I moved my new Anguirus piece over to the level right next to it, eager to test out my new monster.

Before I get into the level description I’ll talk about Anguirus a bit:

Using the up and down buttons you could choose whether Anguirus stood in a bipedal stance or crawled around on all fours. It wasn’t a huge difference, but being able to stand was helpful in boss fights, and crawling sometimes helped dodge obstacles and attacks.

He could punch and kick like Godzilla, but no tail whip. Instead he had something far more interesting: The ability to curl up into a spiked ball of death and roll around. You could still take damage, but it was lessened. It was a good way of clearing out stage enemies, but unfortunately doing this also drained the power bar.

But the spiked ball wasn’t his only special ability. When you pressed Start, he would fire a beam of energy from his mouth. It resembled Titanosaurus’ sonar attack, and if this were a hack it may have been inspired by the Roar attack from Atari’s Godzilla fighting games.

Also of note is that when playing as Anguirus, the “Level” meter gets glitched up. Judging by the life and power bar, I’d say he’s on Level 10.

Now onto the level:

anguirusrevealed

As you might have guessed from the level icon, these levels are green palette swaps of the ground and background tiles from the Blue Mountains.
But what immediately caught my attention was the water, which has a transparency effect.

Was that even possible for an NES game? I know the Super Nintendo could do it, but I had never seen a transparency effect in a game on an NES.

The Green Mountains music was played with the same instrument as the Blue Mountains, but the melody was totally different. It was a very simple song with a lot of abrupt pauses, followed by a loud note every few seconds.

Anyway, I went through the usual strolling through the level. And again there were no monsters or anything, but pretty soon I had reached a cliff above the water.

angocean

There was nowhere to go but into the water, so down I went. The water transparency made things a bit harder to see, but it’s tolerable. After going underwater I encountered two new enemies: a giant piranha and some kind of spiky bottom feeder thing. I liked the piranha because I could easily tell what it was.

It was a sane enemy design that would appear in a real game, and there were very few enemies like this.

angocean2

They didn’t take much hits to kill, but they were quite annoying, and could considerably trim down your life if they got close enough. They also tend to travel in packs.

As for the bottom feeders, they’re easy to deal with. They swim along the bottom of the screen towards you, and are easily crushed with the roll attack or jumped over. In this screencap you can see me about to run one of them over, and there’s a pack of piranha behind it.

angfightingnowater

After I beat that level, I moved Godzilla onto the blue castle icon. I started the level and I got a title screen, with the text “UNFORGIVING COLD”.

unforgivingcold

The level itself looked like a castle dungeon made of blue bricks,with rows of identical white statue faces on the walls.These statue faces had a permanent look of horror on their faces.

There was also some flickering gray static, which didn’t really obscure my vision, but it adds to the very unsettling mood of these levels. The music was a twelve second loop of a low pitched choir vocalizing, that sounded very familiar to me.

Whenever I played through one of these levels I got this sudden, horrible feeling of anxiety. I had the feeling that the farther I progressed through the level, the closer I was getting to something unspeakably evil.

There weren’t any enemies, but these were the some of the longest levels in the game. I only played one level, but it took seven minutes to complete.

bluetemple

I didn’t want to admit it to myself at the time, but I realized something playing the blue castle level: This game has the power to make the player feel certain things.

I don’t mean in the sense that you get irritated playing a crappy game, or get unnerved by something scary in a game. What I mean is that certain events in this game can instantly make you start feeling something.

I know that sounds completely insane. I don’t blame you for not believing me, I wouldn’t believe any of this either if I didn’t play the game myself. But there is something very, very wrong with this game, and I still don’t know how to explain it.

So…then it was time to fight Baragon’s replacement.

Although Baragon was originally the smallest monster in the game, his replacement was the largest. It was so tall in fact, that the “ground” was noticeably lowered, and Not-Baragon’s head still barely avoided collision with the bar at the top of the screen. And he was just as frighteningly bizarre as he was huge.

confrontingnotbaragon

You may be wondering how he attacks without arms. Well, he has the most powerful kick in the game. But his other fighting technique is much stranger.

First he blasts a cloudy breath of pixels down at you, which causes you to freeze, then he walks back to the right corner of the screen and…extends a huge gatling gun from his abdomen.

notbaragonfreeze
notbaragongun

That might seem amusing to you, but it certainly wasn’t to me when I was playing the game. This attack is almost as annoying as Gigan’s saw, and Not-Baragon could have been unbeatable if he consistently used it. Thankfully he only did it twice while fighting him.

Once you unfreeze, you can run up and start damaging the gun, which does extra damage to him. This helped me to destroy him, and then it was time to play the third level type. I decided that I was going to use Anguirus to fight Manda and Gigan, and then fight SpaceGodzilla as Godzilla (it was only fitting).

Before getting into the battles, I’ll describe the third level type: The Arctic.

The Arctic is exactly what you’d guess from the name, an icy tundra with a few watery segments.

glacier1

The music reminded me a bit of “Northern Hemispheres” from Donkey Kong Country, in 8 bit form. A very dangerous sounding song, it made me think about being trapped in a tundra and freezing to death.

icemanfrozen

There were two new enemies in this stage. The first was a creature frozen in a block of ice. They block your way and you have to use the heat beam to thaw them out of the ice. They look a bit like a smaller version of Not-Gezora, only without the eye.

icemanfree

When freed, they do a strange crawling movement and push you backwards. It doesn’t cause any damage but it’s a bit annoying.

After dealing with the Iceman, I kept walking for a minute or two and came upon a water segment. I jumped in, and this time I managed to get a screencap showing how the water splashes when you jump in. Dunno how they programmed that, but it’s pretty impressive. Another interesting thing is how the screen changes focus when you go underwater.

waterjump

spikenowater

Here you can see the other new enemy, a little thing I call “Spike Walker”. They walk towards you and explode randomly(or instantly if you attack them), sending spikes in every direction. The spikes don’t do much damage but they did get me dangerously close to falling into a pit a few times.

glacierunderwaterwater

Oh, speaking of the pits: Down into the water, the game has a platformer element: bottomless pits. There weren’t any of these in the original game, since it was strictly an action game, but the pits were a neat addition.

magumafight

After getting back on land, I encountered a very unexpected miniboss: Maguma, the Walrus Kaiju. I know this game had some obscure monsters to begin with, but wow. Not that I’m complaining, it’s a pretty cool cameo for an unappreciated kaiju.

magumabeam

Maguma’s fighting tactics were very simple, he had a freeze beam, and he could charge into you. Not very challenging but certainly more entertaining than the Matango miniboss in the original game.

Magumaretreat

One really interesting thing about Maguma is that he doesn’t die when you defeat him, he turns tail and retreats. This was the first time I had ever seen an enemy monster change direction, let alone retreat. I tried to chase after him, but he dissapeared after I got in the water. Poor bastard.

And that does it for the Arctic. I’ll talk about the Manda fight next.

I forgot to mention before, but the music that played during the new monster fights is re-used from themes actually in the games.

So far the themes have been:

<poem>
Titanosaurus: Gezora’s music
Biollante: Hedorah’s music
Orga: Baragon/Moguera’s music
Manda: Varan’s music
Spacegodzilla: MechaGodzilla’s music
</poem>

mandafight

As for the fight, Manda was a fairly crafty opponent. When it realized one tactic was ineffective, it would immediately change to a different one.

mandafire

Manda used quite a few tricks, like spitting fire, biting, and the most irritating of all, constricting.

mandaconstrict

It doesn’t mercilessly drain your life down like Gigan’s cutter, but it was by far Manda’s strongest attack.

mandaatragon

One last thing to note (that I found pretty cool) was that the Atragon showed up during the fight to help me out. Manda crushed it with ease, but it was still cool.

After I slayed Manda, I played through an Arctic level for health power-ups and then it was on to Gigan’s replacement. When the fight started, I was very confused, because there was nothing there. I thought this was going to be like the Titanosaurus “fight” in Pathos, but just about the time it would have been going back to the map, a piranha appeared onscreen.

giganintro

But it wasn’t there for long. As soon as it appeared, the speakers emitted an ear-splitting screech, and Not-Gigan flew in and ripped the poor fish into pieces.

giganintro2

giganintro3

Well, that’s one way to get the player on their toes. That abrupt entrance scared the hell out of me and got my adrenaline rushing. Which in retrospect was a good thing, because Not-Gigan was one of the fastest, most unrelenting opponents in the game.

giganfight1

Not-Gigan was tough, but my new skills with Anguirus helped to even the score. This was still an incredibly intense fight! Not-Gigan’s attacks consisted of a some kind of blood laser he spews from his mouth, and a downward slash. I was expecting some hellish variant of the buzzsaw attack, but thankfully there didn’t seem to be one.

giganfight2

giganfight3

The Howl attack was invaluable in defeating him. I would have taken more screencaps of the fight, but I really had to concentrate.

After that, there was just one monster left to take down: SpaceGodzilla. As mentioned earlier, I used Godzilla for this fight.

confrontingspaceg

Spacegodzilla’s fighting technique was rather frustrating, but admittedly a very clever idea.

spacegfight1

SpaceGodzilla would use his energy to create two flying crystals, which would reach the ground and become crystal spires.

spacegfight2

These spires not only block you from reaching SpaceGodzilla, but it also allowed him to constantly recharge to full energy, and blast you with a deadly fully charged Corona Beam until you broke the spires.

spacegfight3
spacegfight4-1

SpaceGodzilla would eventually drain his own spires of energy until they shattered, but if you waited for that to happen you’d probably lose a lot of life. Heat beams actually seemed to re-energize the spires, so you had to use physical attacks.

spacegfight5-1

When you finally got close enough to hit SpaceGodzilla, he was no pushover. When I punched him, he hit me back just as hard. SpaceGodzilla does everything in his power to knock you back to the left corner of the screen, so he can create more spires.

By the time this was over, I only had about five life bars left. But it didn’t matter, because I didn’t need to fight anymore. I needed to run.

dementiaboardred

Here we go again. I decided right then that I really wanted to see the end of this game. As terrifying as these levels could sometimes be, I had to beat them to get though.

I decided that no matter what happened, no matter what the game showed me, I was going to get to the end. And I also made sure not to say a damned word while playing a chase level from here on.

For this chase I tried out Anguirus, since his roll attack allowed me to move faster than Godzilla or Mothra. The chase started off like the first two, except there was a river of blood below the ground. I was beginning to get the hang of it, and the extra speed from the Roll helped me get an edge on the red monster. Especially since I didn’t have to worry about a power limit, and could keep rolling endlessly.

angchase1

Like the previous levels with water, the ground inevitably reached a stop. So I rolled off into the blood. To my surprise, the hell beast didn’t follow after me, it just stopped at the edge of the ground and grimaced. “I guess it can’t swim” I thought to myself.

So I went “underblood” and continued moving. There wasn’t anything around, but I knew something was up. The chase wasn’t going to end that easily, could it? Surely something else had to show up. And sure enough, I heard the bellowing roar, sounding slightly different…

angchase3

…And the monster was following after me in a new aquatic body! I had no idea it was a shapeshifter. After it reappeared, the chase started to get into the difficulty I had expected. Being submerged slowed me down, putting me and the beast at about the same speed. The only thing that would keep me alive was fast thinking and reflexes.

I encountered some bottomless pits, in which mines floated up from. I assume that if you hit one, it would damage you and knock you back. Considering how fast the red monster swims, hitting the mines would be instant death, so I went through great effort to avoid them.

But that wasn’t all I had to be wary of. Halfway through the chase the hell beast revealed yet another surprise: a tentacle formed of intestine and tipped with a clawed set of jaws burst from its mouth, trying to pull me in and devour me. I only barely avoided both the tentacle and the mines, but I could tell the beast was getting desperate, because the chase was nearly over.

angchase4

And about a minute later, I had spotted a bit of ground that served as the exit. I leaped with all the might I could muster (without breaking my controller). The beast screamed with rage and jumped out of the blood river in one last attempt to drag me down, but I escaped its grasp. This time.

angchase5

I fell back on my bed and took a deep breath, satisfied with yet another successful escape. Now I was headed to the fifth world: Entropy.

entropy

I was still pretty shook up from the last level when I started “Trance”. Trance’s map music did nothing to ease the tension. As for how to describe it…have you ever heard the theme from Videodrome? That’s the closest thing I can think of it to compare it to.

I checked to see who the new monster was, and it was Orga. A monster who didn’t make his film debut until 2000, appearing in a game made in 1988. So much for my theories about Titanosaurus and Biollante. There’s no way this game was made in 1988!

trance2

Those guys at Toho may be smart, but I’m sure they couldn’t see that far into the future. If they could, they never would have gave Roland Emmerich the rights to make a Godzilla movie.

No, this had to be a hack of some kind. Which just opened up even more questions. Who made this hack? When? How ? And most importantly, why? The “why?” was the question that bothered me most.

My immediate assumption was to think Billy did this to pull a joke on me. But that couldn’t be right either. Billy didn’t know how to make a ROM hack.

And if he did, he’d probably just do something simple and stupid, like replacing all the monsters with crudely drawn genitalia. Unless Billy had amazing game editing skills, and a serious dark streak to his imagination that he never told me about, he couldn’t have made this. Is it even possible to put a hacked ROM into a cartridge?

Aside from all that, my eye was drawn to a new icon on the map: a question mark. I was really curious as to what it did.

trance1

I’m sure you’re also curious, So I’ll explain the “Quiz Levels” now, since this was when they start appearing. There was one of these per map from here on, and they always appeared near the start of the map.

When you start on a “Quiz Level”, you appear on a screen like this:

likedogs

As you can see, there’s a question at the top, a “yes” and “no” button, and a emoticon in the center. I refer to the emoticon as “Face” (real creative, I know), and for convenience, I’ll refer to Face as the one asking the questions.

The music for the quiz levels was a track actually in the game, it’s the one that plays when you try to use the “Gh1d0ra” cheat and get sent to an unplayable level.

Face asks you twelve “Yes or No” questions, and you move your monster to the buttons for your answer. When you answer, the question disappears and Face changes expressions for about eight seconds, then he goes back to neutral and a new question comes up. There was no time limit, nor any right or wrong answers.

Face has no respect for the player’s personal boundaries, and will sometimes ask deeply disturbing and personal questions, For example: (Do you like hurting people?) (Have you ever killed/raped anyone?) (Have you been molested by a family member?)

Other times he would ask questions that were either mind-numbingly stupid (Is the Sun hot?) (Is water wet?) or just flat out ridiculous (Does your dog like the President?) and maybe once per quiz, Face would ask you a question about the game.

With one exception, Face’s expression changes seemed to have no effect on the game, except for indicating what the game creator thought of your answer. His reactions rarely made any sense, and at first I thought they were randomly generated.

The questions never followed a pattern, Face never stayed on the same subject for more than two questions. Early on, there were questions that made me think Face was building up to something, only to then ask some stupid garbage.

Here are the expressions of Face that I saw while playing. I’ll separate them into two categories: The expressions I understood, and the expressions I didn’t.

First are the expressions I understood:

express1

# Neutral, his default expression
# Angry (If you try to attack Face, his expression changes to this, but nothing else happens)
# Sad
# Happy
# Sick
# Maniacal (Face made this expression when he was being an asshole. You’ll see what I mean later)
# Surprised
# Love
# Annoyed
# Confused
# Guilty/Hurt

And here are the others:

express2-1

Two of these only appeared once (Numbers #1 and #12), and I suspected they might have been in-jokes from the creator. Their respective questions were “Do you like Ice Cream?” and “Are you a tough guy?”.

As for the questions in the first Quiz: Luckily, I had a notepad and pen handy. I have problems remembering things, so I often carry one around to jot things down, and sometimes I doodle in it when I’m bored. So when the first quiz started I thought I’d record what happened. I’m glad I did.

Here are the first series of questions, my answers, and Face’s reaction:

; Quiz 1

<ol>
<li style=”margin-bottom:1em;”>Do you like the game?
<br />Answer: Yes, Reaction: Happy</li>

<li style=”margin-bottom:1em;”>Are you afraid
<br />Answer: Yes, Reaction: Surprised</li>

<li style=”margin-bottom:1em;”>Are you over 18?
<br />Answer: Yes, Reaction: Weird Face #5</li>

<li style=”margin-bottom:1em;”>Do birds have teeth?
<br />Answer: No, Reaction: Love</li>

<li style=”margin-bottom:1em;”>Is peanut butter good?
<br />Answer: No, Reaction: Sick</li>

<li style=”margin-bottom:1em;”>Does the moon rotate?
<br />Answer: Yes, Reaction: Weird Face #11</li>

<li style=”margin-bottom:1em;”>Have you had a job?
<br />Answer: Yes, Reaction: Confused</li>

<li style=”margin-bottom:1em;”>Do you like hurting people?
<br />Answer: No, Reaction: Annoyed</li>

<li style=”margin-bottom:1em;”>Is the Sun hot?
<br />Answer: Yes, Reaction: Sad</li>

<li style=”margin-bottom:1em;”>Do you like dogs?
<br />Answer: Yes, Reaction: Happy</li>

<li style=”margin-bottom:1em;”>Is the president good?
<br />Answer: Yes, Reaction: Weird Face #3</li>

<li style=”margin-bottom:1em;”>Does your dog like the President?
<br />Answer: No, Reaction: Angry</li></ol>

Now that I’ve explained all that, time for the gameplay.

After the Quiz level, I tried the new green temple icon first.

greentemple

Wow. Maybe this is why the game was so weird – one of the designers was clearly drugged out of his mind!

Jokes aside, I was quite impressed by the graphics of this level, as disorienting as they where (But I hate those creepy, blank staring statue faces). The music had a hypnotic, Indian techno vibe to it.

There where two new enemies in this level: a flying ghost type thing with a trunk, and a bat with a horse skull for a face. They appear at random, but I was lucky to get a screencap of them both:

greentempleenemy

Then I proceeded to a blue mountain level, expecting another nice, calm stroll.
I took my time walking through, and was completely taken by surprise when this happened:

notmoguerattack

Not-Moguera came speeding towards me and took off quite a bit of health with his tentacle screws! It only took me two minutes to kill him without having to worry about a time limit, but the boss monsters NEVER showed up in the scrolling levels in the normal game. I was worried as to what other rules the game would break.

After another blue mountain stage, it was time to fight Not-Varan, whose replacement was one of the most bizarre things in the game:

notvaran

This strange creature attacks you by kicking, and also opening up his chest and firing heat-seeking missiles. ….I still don’t get it.

notvaranmissile

The missiles where sometimes a pain to deal with, but I found out you could tail whip them out of the way. Not-Varan was probably the easiest of the monster replacements.

The same could not be said for Not-Hedorah.

nothedorah

Apparently the source of the horse-bats, Not-Hedorah was the most aggravatingly difficult monster to fight yet. Mostly because of his special ability: He could shriek and summon a small swarm of those horse-bat things.

I know there’s only two in the screencap, but every time he did this, about ten would arrive. The AI took advantage of the distraction and attacked twice as fast while the horse-bats where flying around.

nothedorah2

Once that annoyance was over with, I went through a green temple level to kill some enemies to restore my health. Interestingly, none of the horse bats showed up after Not-Hedorah was killed. And that was when I got an idea:

If killing all the monsters makes the red face show up, what would happen if I avoid fighting Orga, and go straight to the base?

So I gave that a try:

trance3
wontwork

The game told me there was no monster there when I tried to start the base level.
And immediately afterward, the game took control of my Godzilla piece and moved it in front of Orga. My little trick didn’t work, so I tried to prepare myself for another chase. But first, I had to beat Orga.

confrontingorga

The fight with Orga confirmed another thing: Whoever created this game hack was clearly a Godzilla fan. Not only because they picked a monster like Orga, but because they actually implemented something that happened in “Godzilla 2000” in a really neat way.

orgalaser

Orga’s primary attacks where a punch and a heat beam from his shoulder cavity. But once you had got him down to half his health, he did something new: He would expand his jaws and try to swallow Godzilla, in the process stealing your health and energy!

Orgaeat

But in doing so, he gave himself a new weakness: firing a heat beam into his mouth would take a devastating four bars off his life meter!

With that weakness revealed I soon beat Orga, and despite how much I had hoped otherwise, the red face appeared on the map where the base was, and the music stopped.

trancered

I readied myself as best I could. I started the level, and seeing that it was basically the same as the first, I didn’t waste a millisecond before I started hauling ass.

I soon encountered obstacles in the form of the ground tile, suspended in air. Most of them you could jump over or destroy, others you had to crouch under.

About forty seconds into it I heard the horrible bellowing roar and saw the spider beast following close behind me. Stacks of obstacles barely slowed it down, it would back up and then charge its way through them, smashing them into bits. And when the smaller obstacles got in its way, it would expand his jaws and swallow them whole:

bigmouth

I was afraid, but with fast thinking and faster button pressing I escaped him yet again. I felt really excited, and so I laughed and said “Not this time, asshole!” I decided to take a screencap to celebrate.

But when I said that sentence, just before the level ended, the monster did something that made my blood run cold.

It looked at me.

heheardthat

That wave of mortal terror overtook me again, and I sure as hell wasn’t laughing anymore.

I took another screencap of the next level title, right before I rushed to the bathroom to splash some water on my face. (And to take a piss that I nearly failed to contain when that fucking thing looked at me.)

dementia

 

Pathos was the same as Jupiter in layout, except the board was dark blue rather than green. The first thing I noticed was that all the usual level icons had been replaced by a blue rock and some kind of orange honeycomb shape.

There was one icon that had part of the Jungle Icon shape, but I didn’t pay much thought to it. I checked the other side of the board to see the new monster. Instead of Hedorah, it was Biollante.

 

biolboard

But that couldn’t have been right. “Godzilla vs Biollante” didn’t come out until 1989, and this game was made 1988. Perhaps Toho put Biollante in the game to build excitement for the movie next year, but changed their minds? I tried to rationalize the game’s abnormalities any way I could, but this would prove to be futile.

Pathos’ map song was the first new song I heard in the game. Like most of the new songs it was hard to describe, I’ll try.

It started out slow and suspenseful, much slower than any song in the game.
But every twelve seconds or so there would be a loud clashing sound, and the tempo changed. It was like the composer randomly played parts from five different songs with the same instruments.

I moved Godzilla over to one of the many blue rock icons that had replaced the jungle icons and started the level. The level resembled a blue mountain range with a blood red planet in the sky. But there was something odd about the mountains, they had a “shredded paper” look to them. I thought at first maybe the glitch had affected it, but it looked far too intentional.

bluemountains

I quickly noticed something else about this new level: There were no enemies, at all. Not even any obstacles.

I should also mention that this was were the point meter started to become glitched beyond comprehension. But it didn’t bother me much, I never keep up with game points.

So without having to focus on anything, I listened to the music while walking through the level unopposed. The music had a sorrowful feel to it. It would have been rather pleasant, had I heard it in a normal game.

The level went on for three screens, but with no obstacles around I finished it very quickly. I tried other levels of the same type to see if any enemies appear, but there were none. There was little else to be seen in the blue mountains, so I tried the other level type.

I started one of the orange levels, and my eyes were assaulted with a grotesque background of tumorous orange eyes. The “sky” was the same as the ground, so I I assumed the game was indicating that this level takes place in a cave.

yuck

The only enemies here were Matango Spawn, but as you can see the little bastards were everywhere. The music certainly didn’t help, with a mixture of screeching sounds and loud drum beats that sounded like a monster’s theme in a horror film.
After completing it, I tried to avoid playing through anymore of these levels whenever I could.

The map was short so it was only a few minutes before I was headed towards a rematch with Gezora and Moguera. But this time, their sprites and attack patterns were vastly different.

I fought Moguera first. Moguera’s replacement was a flying machine with a slight resemblance to a Pascagoula alien. It was a bit like fighting Mothra, only it moved with a lot more grace. It attacked by spinning its front tentacle like a corkscrew, and it still had an eye beam, except now it fired from the drill.

weirdgezora

This lanky aberration had replaced Gezora, and the new beast was more of a challenge. It would run and jump at a fast pace, constantly swinging its arms around making it hard to get close, and of course it tried to pin me in the corner with as much annoying resolve as ever. I defeated it using a combination of tail whips and heat beam spamming.

weirdmoguera

I defeated them and was going to fight Titanosaurus, but when I started the fight Titanosaurus was nowhere to be seen, and the game simply went back to the map with the Titanosaurus piece now missing.

There was no one left to fight now but Biollante, so I eagerly started the battle.

I was quite surprised that Biollante started the fight in her Rose Form. She was immobile and used tentacles to keep me away from the main body, which took the most damage.

biolrose

As expected, she turned into her Final Form after taking enough damage. The sprite looked pretty damn good for 8-bit.

biolfight

The battle technique was the same, except now Biollante could move, albeit slower than any other monster. Being hit by the tentacles did more damage now, and Biollante could do an acid spit, which I managed to avoid by jumping in the screencap:

biolacid

Not much more difficult to beat than Titanosaurus, it only took two rounds. But when Biollante was gone, The music had stopped, and there was a new icon replacing the base:

redboard

This icon wasn’t there before I beat Biollante. It resembled a red tribal mask, and I had a feeling of dread when I saw it. But it since it replaced the base, it must be the only way to exit Pathos. I moved Godzilla to the square and started the level.

run

It was a hellish looking place with no sky, and a flickering fire in the background. The fire looked far more advanced than anything I’ve seen on the NES.
There was “music”, in the form of a slow, steady drum sound resembling a heartbeat.

All the text on the top of the screen, and the life bar, were gone. In their place was a single bit of text in the middle of the screen that said “RUN”.

My feeling of dread had intensified. I cautiously walked through the level, but like the blue mountains there were no enemies. I paced around for a minute before thinking “Run? …from what?”

The first time it hit me, I didn’t even see it.

I heard a noise outside my room and turned back to see if something fell, and when I looked back Godzilla was dying. I figured it must have just been a glitch, but I wasn’t going to play through the game without Godzilla so I restarted the game and went to the password screen.

Have I ever mentioned how creepy the password screen music is? If you’ve played the game, you know what I mean. It doesn’t at all fit the mood of the game, it’s more like something from a horror game. Maybe they made it like that so kids wouldn’t cheat.

I was quite annoyed at this point, because I thought I was going to have to fight all the monsters again. But that didn’t happen. The game started me off right where I was before I started the red face level. So I tried again, making sure to pay attention this time.

That’s when heard a low bellowing sound, and then I saw it. This….thing.

Do you know that feeling your body has when you feel like you’re in extreme danger? You start to recoil and tense up as the adrenaline flows through your veins, and your nerves start to feel very cold?

That’s the feeling I had when I took this screencap.

hellbeast

I haven’t seen all the Godzilla movies, but I’m pretty damn sure THIS was never in any of them. It had to be something the creators made up. But what kind of sick fuck would put THIS in a children’s game?

hellbeast2

By sheer dumb luck, or perhaps the adrenaline boost, I managed to run fast enough to get away from it. It ran very fast, so much so that if you saw it you were almost certainly going to die. And when I say “die”, I mean your monster gets killed instantly if the creature touches them.

Once I had gone back to the map, I was so afraid that I was extremely tempted to just shut the game off and try to pretend this never happened. I couldn’t believe what I had just seen, it couldn’t have been real.

And even if I wanted to continue, I still had to get Mothra through this chase level. But as I stayed inactive on the map screen for a few minutes, my fear was replaced by burning curiosity. What the hell had just happened? What was the rest of the game like? I only had to beat this level with Mothra and then it was onto the next world.

But when I moved Mothra to the red face, the game registered it as me beating the level. I was quite relieved. I tried to prepare myself for the next world: “Trance”.

trance

When I was a little kid, the two things I loved most in life were Godzilla, and NES games. So naturally when Godzilla: Monster of Monsters came out, it was like a dream come true. Well, almost. To sum it up, most of the game revolved around getting through (very repetitive) outer space levels while smashing up tanks and jets, and then fighting against Godzilla’s monster enemies. Overall it was pretty mediocre, but back then I didn’t care. When I got the game as a present for my tenth birthday, I played it night and day, as much as I could.

Unfortunately I had traded the game for Amagon a year later, much to my regret when I found out what that game was like. Recently, I had bought a new NES system, and through a lot of hunting and asking around, my friend Billy finally managed to find a copy of Godzilla: Monster of Monsters.

I was pumped to play my favorite childhood game. It never even occurred to me to ask where Billy found it. He also gave me some other games like Legend of Zelda, Bomberman and some stupid thing called Action 52, but Godzilla had to come first.

So I started the game, and the nostalgia came flooding back like a tidal wave. Godzilla’s 8-bit theme song flooded proudly through the speakers and I was soon grinning like an idiot.

Some people laugh at me for playing such outdated games, but I’ve never had as much enjoyment for any games other than those on the NES. Those 8-bit games take me back to when things were much simpler, more…safe. But after what’s happened with this game I don’t have those feelings anymore.

I had forgotten how quick the fun of smashing things as Godzilla wore off in the scrolling levels. The game bombards you with bullets and things crashing into you from every direction, and you’re too big to avoid most of them. Although my excitement had worn down some, it wasn’t long at all before I got to my first boss battle.

My first opponent was Gezora, an obscure squid kaiju who had never been in a Godzilla movie.

The most annoying thing about fighting Gezora is that he always backs you into a corner and starts smacking you with his tentacle, and you’re unable to move until he gets off you. This move doesn’t do any damage, but it can stall you until the timer runs out and you have to start the fight over, and he regains some health.

It’s as annoying as it sounds. And of course, he did it when I fought him. Only for some reason this caused the game to glitch up, because once he started smacking me, he never stopped. The timer is supposed to end the fight in about forty seconds, but this lasted for nearly five minutes. After a while the graphics started to mess up, with little red blocks all over the place.

gezoraglitch

Which was weird, but I just took the game out, blew on it, and then started again. I wasn’t about to let a little glitch stand in my way. So I started again and this time defeated Gezora and the level’s other boss monster, Moguera without any problems.

So then it was onto the next planet: Mars. I browsed around the board and found something unexpected: where Varan’s piece should have been, there was instead a piece representing Titanosaurus. There were only ten kaiju in the game, and Titanosaurus was not one of them. Or so I thought. Perhaps Titanosaurus was originally intended to be in the game but was swapped out with Varan for some reason?

titanoboard

So I began to feel very excited – not only was I playing my favorite game, but I was playing a prototype of some sort with a new monster! Needless to say, I ran through the levels as fast as I could to see Titanosaurus in action.

Fought Gezora again and beat him before he could do his tentacle smack, but this time the glitch started happening when he died. Gezora’s sprite didn’t sink to the bottom, but instead seemed to be devoured by the glitch, and his eye started randomly spawning all over the screen.

gezoradeath

I know now that these glitches with Gezora were my first warning sign that something was very wrong with this game. But foolishly I ignored it, and proceeded on to fight Moguera, who this time had a glitch of his own:

moguerabig

Moguera was twice the size he should have been, which startled me. He was also considerably harder to beat than usual(which is to say, not at all), but soon I had defeated him also, and when he died yet another glitch happened:

mogueramelt

This happened extremely fast so I was lucky to get a screencap of it at all, but what happened was that the Giant Moguera sprite started to “shatter” and “melt”. Also if you look at the garbled text at the right corner of the screen, you’ll notice what appears to be a bird in a cage…I still have no idea what that meant.

At this point I was about to fight Titanosaurus, and I was worried as to what kind of glitches would happen this time. But to my surprise, Titanosaurus looked just fine, although all of the game’s bipedal monsters were the same height, Titanosaurus was a bit taller. But since Titanosaurus actually was taller than Godzilla in his film debut, I thought this was kinda cool.

titanfight

After a very fun fight with the monster that wasn’t supposed to be in the game, I took over the enemy base and proceeded not to Jupiter like normal, but instead to… “Pathos”:

pathos