If you were a kid in the 90s playing CD-ROM games, you probably played at least one Disney Interactive game. For kids learning how to use the computer, Disney games were the best of the best, the cream of the crop. 101 Dalmatians: Escape from Devil Manor, Disney’s Animated Storybook: Mulan, Disney’s The Little Mermaid: Ariel’s Undersea Adventure, you name it. All your favorite Disney franchises, right on your desktop!
Oh, and Nightmare Ned. You remember him, right? That great beloved Disney franchise? … No?
Nightmare Ned was a platformer game released sometime in late 1997 (it’s difficult to get an exact date, due to vague distribution of PC games at the time). It was, as far as I know, the only Disney Interactive game to not be based directly on an established IP – it only had a single season of a cartoon that was made after the game began development, and by the time the game released, the show was no longer airing even in reruns. It was Disney’s one voyage into making ‘original’ video games, and it disappeared as quickly as it came.
So what even was it?
Super Mario 64 did more than just bring Mario to the third dimension: it literally defined a new genre and revolutionized video gaming for the rest of eternity. It’s impossible to overstate just how important Super Mario 64 was to the world of video gaming. Almost every single 3D video game produced after Super Mario 64 has drawn from its groundbreaking new mechanics.
But it’s not all fancy industry-changing technology in the world of Super Mario 64. This game changed something else about the world of video games… it introduced a world of fear. With the new 3D world came new 3D horrors, and these scarred the minds of a whole generation of gamers.
Where would modern horror gaming be without Big Boo’s Haunt, the Mad Piano, and Unagi? Although these kinds of scares may now seem simplistic, the world of horror would not be where it is today if they did not give us a glimpse of the potential that 3D games could provide.
After the jump, we’ll see these revolutionary frights first hand, and learn about what it meant to see 3D fear for the first time.
Tomba! is a 1997 side-scrolling platformer released for the Sony Playstation by Whoopee Camp. Designed by Tokuro Fujiwara, creator of the Ghosts ‘n Goblins series, Tomba is an interesting platformer-RPG blend involving solving quests in an open 2D world.
In Tomba!, the world has been magically corrupted by seven magic Evil Pigs and turned into a surreal land. The events of the game are sparked into motion when one of the Evil Pig’s minions steals a bracelet that belonged to Tomba’s grandfather, prompting him to go on an adventure to recover it. Along the way he meets the inhabitants of his world and helps them solve the problems that the Evil Pigs have caused with their dark magic.
The game itself is eccentrically humorous, and doesn’t let go of its grip on that, to the point where it might be hard to see what’s scary about a game with sidequests like helping a monkey find his pants. But this is October, and you know what that means: being designed by the same person who made Ghosts ‘n Goblins, this game is filled with unexpected creepy frights.
Join us after the jump and we’ll see ourselves just what kind of madness these Evil Pigs have caused.
Banjo-Kazooie is a 1998 3D platformer game for the Nintendo 64 by Rareware, and is considered by many to be one of the best games for the N64 altogether. It involves a bear (Banjo) and his best friend (Kazooie) on a quest to save Banjo’s sister Tooty from the evil witch Grunty, who is planning on stealing Tooty’s vestal beauty for herself.
Although Banjo-Kazooie is widely considered to be one of the greatest hits of the 90s, that just means it’s filled with what a lot of those great 90s had in common: pure, pure fear. Although Banjo-Kazooie is a light romp at heart, certain areas of the game are filled with unabashed fright. And no, we’re not just talking about Mad Monster Mansion here – Mad Monster Mansion is child’s play compared to how terrifying some of these levels can get.
After the jump, we’ll journey with the bear and bird to the deepest, spookiest recesses of Grunty’s castle.
Welcome to Halloween! Or as most people like to call it, October! This Halloween, we want to talk about some of the stuff that scared us the worst when we were kids. It’s time to take a retrospective look back into the past with Retrospectacles’ Spooky Edition, Retrospooktacles, where we will be not just looking through our old memories, but the things that made them terrifying!
Croc: Legend of the Gobbos is a Playstation game that was released on September 29, 1997 by the now-defunct Argonaut Games. It was originally intended to be produced for Nintendo as a video game starring Yoshi, but Nintendo declined and decided to produce their own 3D platformer with Mario himself. If it wasn’t for Nintendo declining this offer, Croc could’ve been the first true console 3D platformer ever released.
Croc, to most people, might be a minor footnote in the history of 3D platformers. But to those who have played it as kids, we may just remember something very distinctive about it: it was creepy as heck.
After the jump, we’ll explore why this Yoshi expy had reason to fear for his life.
This is the first article in our new series, Retrospectacles, where we look back at beloved pop cultural sensations and break them down for the utterly cringeworthy things about them. From Sonic to the Catholic church, nothing is sacred from the eyes of dogmatic opinions and random development factoids. Speaking of Sonic, the poor blue hedgehog just happens to be our first target!
Sonic 3D Blast, also known as Sonic 3D: Flickies’ Island, was a 1996 platformer developed by Traveller’s Tales and Sonic Team. Published for the Sega Genesis a year before the console’s discontinuation, at one of the worst points of Sonic the Hedgehog’s lifespan as a franchise, there were a lot of things to go wrong here.
After the jump, we’ll delve into the history of the band-aid Sega used to cover up the gaping wound that Sonic X-treme left, touch upon the timeline of Sonic in 3D, find out about birds, and take a trip to Hell!