Part 5: Act 5Update whoo! With an ugly ms paint banner, as usual.
Act 5 (Baldurdash | blip.tv | Youtube | Download)
A vertical level, and a good one at that! Features my favourite song of the entire game (although act 6 is a strong contender). Its a short level and limits your movement, but it holds its own as far as vertical levels go. They used the pseudo-3d effect a lot in this one, and they do it well, too, coming up with different ways of utilizing it in different sections. Its amazing how much interesting stuff they could put in a level that is downright a straight path upwards. More importantly, they knew when to stop and didnt overuse the gimmick.
5-1: Go Headdy Go But wait... what is this here for? Why? Is it just for the bonus game? Just an introduction to the level? Why couldnt it simply be a part of Stair Wars, was there really a need for this? No enemies, no challenge, nothing. Just the stupid bonus game. This has got to be the most pointless chapter in the game. Im quite puzzled by Headcase, too. Especially the Slammer Head, since it serves no purpose; you lose it the moment you get to 5-2. The only reason I can think of is that Headcase needs to have another head in rotation besides Liberty Head, since it disappears when youve cleared the minigame. Weve seen a similar situation in 3-3, only that one had a Sleepy Head. Im guessing this was just an easy way to do it so they didnt have to reprogram Headcase to disappear or something. Beats me.
5-2: Stair Wars Trouble Bruin time! He didnt show up in Act 4, so we have to put up with his shenanigans again. His latest thingamajig is called Flying Scythe and he has two attacks: he either throws in the scythe that takes a chunk out of the tower (love that attack) or comes at you head on dealing massive damage. You need to be extra careful when he comes close, its really easy to fall and take falling damage on top of everything else. But as long as you keep to the bottom of the screen, you should be fine. As for the scythe, just get as high as you can and you're in the safe zone. This level reminds me of a stage in Mickey Mania that had basically the same idea (at least I think it did... it's been years since I played that), and the last stage of Battletoads to a lesser extent.
The SBP is dumb as hell. Because Trouble Bruins attack pattern is random, theres a chance youll get this on your first try without even trying. Conversely, you can kill him too soon if he forgets about his scythe. The key is to keep the fight going for about two minutes. Once again, no thought process here. I don't want to sperg out, but how the fuck did they not come up with anything else? A child could do better. I mean put a thing in there, like a button or something that says secret bonus point, make the fight end a bit differently, put in a different colored step, fill a tax return, ANYTHING!
Okay, I'm done.
5-3: Towering Internal I like this one. You run on a rotating platform that turns around depending on which way you run. Getting to a higher level requires you to rotate the platform so you can find Hangman. You can use the floor mechanic to your advantage by running in the opposite direction, thusly slowing down the enemy, or do like I did and run towards them. They went all out with the pseudo 3d-effect here and its extremely clever. Every new platform uses it in a different way, no copy-pasting here.
Armordillo is a really neat enemy, although I hate the fact he doesnt leave his hamster ball if you have Triple Head or Protector Head on, whether you attack him or not. But his circling around the platform is clever and this is the only spot in the chapter where you can move freely left and right and arent simply standing in the middle of the screen. Small things. I also realized what annoys me about Protector Head: it takes almost two seconds to start circling you and before that it doesnt deal any damage. There just isnt any reason to use it most of the time. I can think of one corridor in the game where it's actully useful, but generally I'd pick anything over it.
And yeah, more obscure SBPs. I never knew what triggered it until recently. Before that I either got it or I didnt. But yeah, not taking damage at all until a certain trigger? Well isnt that just dandy. What is it with these unimaginative bonus points? They're prime examples of useless added stuff that don't need to exist. I'd be perfectly happy if there was only one clever SBP instead of two really obscure ones. The points in Act 4 were inane, but somehow this is even worse. It's baffling how they came up with these, considering how polished everything else about the game is. Did they run out of money and outsource the SBP think-tank to a low-wage country? What happened? Not to mention it's really easy to screw up. It's really easy to get hit by the flamethrowers. Your best bet is to grab Hangman diagonally, so you'll fly right past them. Also don't stick around to see Balloon Kelly deflate like I did. Their path is unpredictable when they're flying around.
I keep calling Spinderella a "he" in the video. Trust me, I didnt miss the obvious reference to Cinderella, but cut me some slack, its a machine. Besides, my primary language doesnt have gender specific pronouns. So there. Case closed.
Awesome boss, I love it to bits. Having seen it a million times makes it sort of meh, since theres only one strategy and no heads to experiment with, but it's still fun. And that use of the Pin Head sprite to make it seem you're in the background gets me every time, that is just clever as all hell. This is Treasure at their finest.
Bino is the SBP once again (and the only one that's any fun), since that is the staple of boss fights. He always appears during your second chance to attack, so make sure you pay attention to the screen and get him before Spinderella does her spin-around thing. Getting hit by Bino could blow your chance, since he can outrun you, so jump over him when he appears and youre golden.