My Top 100: #14 – DuckTales

1989 - Capcom (Nintendo, Game Boy)

1989 – Capcom (Nintendo, Game Boy)


Sorry for the delay, but I had to take a week to disconnect from the world, recharge my batteries and get stuff taken care of…  now, where the heck was I?

Ah yes, DuckTales.  As I’ve said before, Capcom handled the Disney franchise pretty damn well.  From Mickey’s Mousecapade all the way through to Darkwing Duck (and a few games afterwards), I rented and enjoyed them all quite a bit, except TaleSpin.  I didn’t like the show all that much, so I never bothered renting the game.  I’m sure it was great, though.

I was already a big fan of the DuckTales TV show by the time the game rolled around.  I liked how it would always put its characters in the weirdest predicaments.  McDuck and his nephews would go to great lengths to find treasure, and it brought them all around the world, and even into space a time or two.  It didn’t matter how much sense it made; I thought it was great.

I’ve always wanted to dive into a pool filled with pennies, and swim around like it was water…  that would obviously never be possible in real life, but the show’s intro made it seem like such a fun thing to try.

DuckTales for NES was developed by the same folks who helped Mega Man and its sequels become so popular, and the two games play quite similarly.  For instance, the controls are nice and tight, even when bouncing around wildly on the pogo stick.  You can navigate the five levels in any order, and can even revisit completed levels to unlock paths and treasures found in other levels.  As a gamer who loved to explore and look around for secrets, that was pretty awesome.

Finally, the music is among the best the NES has to offer.  People seem to go crazy whenever they hear the Moon level music, and though it is indeed an amazing chiptune, it’s easy to forget that the game also has one of the best boss themes in gaming history.  The rest of the levels all have great themes as well, and all of them are good enough to be on my iPod.

An awesome soundtrack for an awesome game.  Plain and simple!



Before owning the game, I rented it I don’t know how many times, exactly…  but it was a lot.  Among the many places we rented games from, the local Co-Op was one of the more convenient stores.  While my mom would do groceries, I’d be picking out what game I wanted.  We didn’t have to make a special trip in any direction – we were already there, so why not?  Easy as pie.

One time after renting DuckTales, the young female cashier noticed what game it was, and made a comment about her own experience with the game.

“I can never figure out how to jump on the pogo stick!!”


“Seriously?  You just hold A and B.  How bad do you have to be to not be able to pogo jump your way through an entire level?”

Of course, I didn’t actually say it out loud, but I most certainly thought it.  Mom told her I had it all figured out, and that I was really good at it.  Maybe she knew that saying such a thing would inflate my ego, and keep my mouth shut about the cashier’s inability to jump with the pogo stick.  In any case, I walked away from the cash to wait for Mom at the exit, just baffled at the idea that someone could be so bad at video games.

Now, at the Co-Op, there was an enclosed exit area adjacent to where you entered the building, and where shopping carts were located.  The area in between served as a loading area of sorts, where cars could back up and have their groceries loaded into the trunk.  That’s where I waited.

As I waited for Mom, I heard this kid crying from across the loading area.  I went from thinking “what the hell is that kid’s problem?” to thinking “OH MY GOD HE’S PUKING, I’M GONNA PUKE TOO!”

Anyone who knows me, knows that I can usually deal with the goriest, most disturbing movies out there.  Make a character puke on screen, though, and I can barely watch.  The scene where Neo “pops” after learning what the Matrix is?  Gross.  That restaurant scene from Monty Python’s The Meaning of Life?  Forget it.  Can’t do it!

I know that most people will understand where I’m coming from, and it’s quite obvious that vomiting is an unpleasant experience (duh), but that’s just the one thing that I can’t watch.

Anyway, I walked away from that exit and back to the cashier as quickly as possible, trying to erase the memory of seeing that kid throw up, and crying so violently while doing it.  I managed to keep my cookies down, but I kept thinking “man, that looked like fruit salad”.  You know, the kind that comes in a cup?

Guess what I’ve never eaten since?  Fruit cups.  Can’t do it.


I can't go to the Co-Op without thinking about it. For real.

I can’t go to the Co-Op without thinking about it.
For real.

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