the end days of the NES? The SNES was gaining popularity and the Genesis
was scrambling to keep up. At the same time, publisher made sure to
make crappy throwback editions of new games, to make sure they could
still have a foothold in the oversaturated NES market. The resulting
boom saw some good, like Vectorman, and well, bad, from abortive attempts
at multi-platform franchises. Like Alfred Chicken. Or in this case,
was the product of one of Data East's many attempts to make people believe
they could make games without Karnov in them. I think there was a Turrican
released sometime before all this mess, but the example I'm using here
is the Genesis version, Mega Turrican. Because it was the easiest to
find a rom image of.
a nutshell, Turrican is an intergalactic space warrior who battles a
Galactus ripoff named The Machine in various exciting locales stolen
from other games, with skills stolen from other heroes. For instance,
in the NES/SNES Super Turrican, he could roll up into a ball. And here,
he has a Bionic A- grappling hook, he uses to swing to places he can
just as easily jump to. His in-game appearance is rather inconsistent
at times, as he somehow manages to look more like his promo art in the
NES iteration than in this Genesis one where he looks like one of the
Spaceballs. At this point, I call your attention to The Turrican Picture.
in his contract with Data East, they decided he should only have one
piece of promotional artwork for all game boxes and print ads. That's
why I call it The Turrican Picture, one of the most-recycled graphics
I can think of. He looks like a seriously depressed Megatron. Nothing
screams action quite like a man in tres futuristic Battlestar Galactica
armor yawning against some random background.
suppose I could make the rest of this article crappily-Photoshopped
pictures of Turrican with his face on bathroom cleaners, but I 1) don't
feel like it, 2) got discouraged trying to make a cover for Turrican
Legends with some Megaman scans, and 3) think it's best left to the
experts. I've said my peace..
of the biggest letdowns (in a Data East game? No way!) is the fact that
the ads and reviews made it appear that Turrican was at least semi-nonlinear.
I mean, they showed the sprite pointing LEFT in a screenshot. In actuality,
there's no exploration or anything to that end; when you see him rolled
into a ball going through a narrow passage, it's because he HAD to.
I suppose the Gratuitous Corridor Scenes in the SNES game(s?) should
have been a tipoff, but the venerable Guardian Legend managed to combine
shooting stages and exploration rather nicely. You blow up boxes and
collect special weapons stolen from both Contra and R-Type's bins, and
fight lots of very generic alien hellbeasts. And when all else fails,
Turrican employs the ancient art of jumping on enemies' heads, causing
some of them to be squashed comically and run away screeching. Then
there's the aforementioned grappling hook which makes clearing gaps
as simple as stopping in your tracks, aiming, swinging back and forth
a while, getting shot and falling, then giving up and jumping.
does the future hold for Turrican, then? At best, this meandering little
bit will make him a running gag on gaming forums. And a limited theatrical