FANTASY ZONE is a... somewhat odd game from Sunsoft. Originally in arcades in 1985, versions of it have been released on several platforms over the years. In basic terms, it's a side-scrolling shooter like Gradius or Zero Wing; but it really goes a bit beyond that. It doesn't auto-scroll, so you're free to move left or right as you please. You don't just find power-ups floating around the levels - you buy them from the shops you can find floating around the levels. Most importantly, though, is the fact that everything is bright, colourful* and slightly ridiculous. These aesthetic features have earned Fantasy Zone the deceptively-shallow classification of "Cute-em-up".
*If not colourful, then at least very pink.
This is Opa-Opa (the player). At the time Fantasy Zone was released, SEGA was looking for its own mascot to rival Mario and this little guy was (for a while) the main contender. He popped up all over the place in sequels and cameos, but we'll come to that a bit later - we're going to be running through the game that started it all.
That is, we'll be playing the Master System version of the game that started it all. If you desperately need justification for this arbitrary decision, look no further:
- The NES version has one or two different (less insane) bosses, while the Master System is faithful to its bizarre predecessor.
- MAME doesn't like my computer, controller or recording software. Fuck you right back, MAME.
- I was always more of a Master System kid anyway.
"Started it all? Started what exactly?"
Well, I uhhh... don't know. The series sank into relative obscurity (although SEGA did see fit to remake it for the PS2) and Opa-Opa (the player) lost the mascot deal to some blue rabbit or something. Maybe it wasn't a cultural revolution, but it was a pretty good game. That's why I think it'll be a good LP, despite being crazy and short.
How this is going to work
This bit you're reading is the text part of the first update. The next part will be the video, which covers the first 2 of the game's 8 levels and is heavily post-processed for maximum arousal. The other updates will be similarly structured. There won't be a lot of reader interaction, I'm afraid - I've already gone left and named it Sexcopter in advance.
So let's go already!
Mostly just explaining game mechanics and whatnot.
With all the obvious editing I did to the first video, one might think that I edited out all the times I died or did something wrong and that this is going to essentially be a boring, flawless speedrun.
In actuality, the only reason those first 2 levels were completed so quickly is because I've had so much practise in doing them every time I get kicked back to the title screen for strolling into too many flying assholes. The game is hard. I've never finished it on my real Master System, and the first time I won on an emulator it was almost entirely due to the fact that I managed to map the savestate controls onto the controller's shoulder buttons so I could twitch a finger to go back a minute or two every time I fucked up.
Obviously I'm bringing this up because I die a lot in the new video.
Twice as long = twice as good
(which one it is mostly depends on how stroppy Google Video is being at the time, of course).
Ladies and gentlemen, I think we have a new record for Google Video Stroppitude - out of Monday and Tuesday, the correct answer was Thursday.
The video says it all this time, so I'll just skip to the link:
Mumbles, golf and cheating
Content time! Here's the final video for the thread, featuring a cameo appearance from Trin Tragula that he doesn't even know about.
The end is here
There are a few references to other Fantasy Zone games in this video, including the 2 direct sequels (one the same as this, the other a rubbish Pac Man rip-off), Super Fantasy Zone (the Mega Drive sort-of-spin-off-ish thing) and Space Fantasy Zone (which is the interesting one).
Some incarnations of the Space Harrier series refer to its world as the "Fantasy Zone". It's long been rumoured that the games are, therefore, connected. Space Fantasy Zone (for the PC-Engine) was a big "oh yes" to this theory - it was essentially Fantasy Zone with Space Harrier gameplay. It would have bridged the gap between the series, but NO! SEGA wouldn't let them release it (thank balls for leaking betas) and Space Harrier started calling it "Fantasy Land". So never mind.