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april 29, 2014

Captain Ed, famicom

Captain Ed is an uncommon famicom game. Incidentally,  Chrontendo wrote about it just a month ago or so. In his usual negative way, he calls it "an extremely strange game", "one of the least visually interesting shoot-em-ups I've seen in a while", and in his video he calls it "crap". (http://chrontendo.blogspot.se/2014_03_01_archive.html)

Luckily, I prefer to play games rather than superficially analyze them, and I played this game for 3 hours on Friday and another 2 hours on Saturday. I had a lot of difficulties with the last stages until I found a simple trick to beat the Medusa boss. The ultimate final boss was also tricky until I discovered that you can simply hold down the shoot button to have continuous fire until he dies.

The gamefaqs review didn't know either of this. Probably because he didn't have to replay the last stage for 2 hours... When you are game over and have to type in the 20 character hiragana password, your frustration level increases. I think it took me 5-10 minutes each time I had to type it in, although I did get better at it after a couple of times.

The video shows my gameplay and last stage. The game is a bit unusual to understand and I think it puts people off giving it a chance. I know it has put me off it for over a year now.  Clearly, this is one of the "weird Japanese games" that could mean just about anything. (if interested, see my review of Hana No Star Kaidou a few weeks ago. *shivers*)

Some basic information: you fly around and can shoot as well as hitting blocks to get hidden items. The red blocks take away some energy, and the yellow blocks takes away a little energy in the beginning of the game, but not on the last stages because you have a stronger shield. You can refill your energy either with hidden items or buy filling up at Gas. Important note about the gas station: TAP A to fill up, don't just wait.

After you have found a couple of warp areas and bought enough eggs and items from the shop (buy everything as you get money), you'll go to the boss stage automatically. Most bosses are simple and are basically just about shooting them straight up.

Did I cheat in the end...? That's like asking if it is cheating to use the pause glitch in Blaster Master. To most people that is a part of the game, unlike a cheat code that is by definition a cheat code. Should I not be allowed to press Select to enter the menu, if this is part of the game mechanics?

I was actually able to beat the Medusa without the trick on two occasions. The way to do it is because her balls after a while will enter a pattern of getting stuck from one corner to the other. But they are difficult to dodge until then.

Well, it certainly is a weird Japanese game, for those who appreciate those games as much as I do. The simple difficulty made me continue to play it until the end and certainly I enjoyed it enough to spend 5 hours with it, albeit the last of them in frustration.

Here is the 20 character password in difficult to read hiragana. I think it is cool, although unnecessary, that the password remembers your name too. My name is the top word up there.

Some bosses are Parodius funny, like this hardrocker. Watch out for his guitar.

The game also has some mini-games that allows you to make money. One of them is a simple betting cardgame that will almost guarantee you a profit, and another is some kind of beatmania game with a drum. My max profit for the drum game was 610$, please let me know if you get more than that.

You can usually get the game cheap. For 7$ or so I think it is well worth trying out.

And here is where airplanes come from.

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