When I got back to the game, I was getting very upset and confused.
I thought about the way the monster looked at me. The game COULDN'T have heard what I said, that's impossible. It had to be a random occurrence. But why did it happen precisely at the moment I insulted the monster?
Nothing about this game made any sense. The new Godzilla monsters, the weird replacement monsters, out of place imagery like the green temples, quiz levels,and the red monster chases. It didn't seem to add up in any kind of meaningful way.
If it was a prank, it wasn't funny in any way I could understand, and they clearly put far too much effort into it.
If they were trying to make a genuine sequel with new Godzilla monsters, then why did they add..everything else?
Maybe it was some kind of art experiment? Some group project made by a bunch of really talented and crazy people , and they lost the cartridge somehow? Or maybe they intended for some random person to find it?
It was all just fruitless guessing. As far as I could tell, there was only one way to figure out what the deal with this game was: To play it through to the end. Maybe, just maybe, there would be something in the credits, an explanation by the creators as to why they made this. Or it could be something much more cryptic and strange, maybe even something horrifying.
Before I got a good look at the Dementia board, I considered replaying Trance to see if the red monster would look at me again. But I decided against it. I wanted to keep moving forward. I was also somewhat worried that backtracking might cause the game to become even more strange.
The Dementia board music sounded a lot like the Saturn music, except it was slowed down, and played with a piano-sounding instrument. Like most of these new map themes, it had a dangerous suspensful feel.
While listening to the music, I looked at the Dementia board. There were 4 boss monsters this time: SpaceGodzilla, Manda, Gigan, and Baragon. I was surprised that there were 2 new Toho monsters this time. But the best surprise was still to come.
I started the Quiz level. Here's another list of results in the same format as the last one:
1. Can you Swim?
Answer: Yes, Reaction: Happy
2. Do you like fish?
Answer: Yes, Reaction: Sick
3. Can penguins fly?
Answer: No, Reaction: Sad
4. Can it spin in all directions?
(There was no clarification of what Face meant by "it" so I just guessed)
Answer: No, Reaction: Surprised
5. Do you breathe oxygen?
Answer: Yes, Reaction: Weird Face #8
6. Does it taste good when you bite a woman?
(I don't know who came up with this question, but I really hope they're getting mental help)
Answer: No, Reaction: Annoyed
7. Is it night where you are?
Answer: Yes, Reaction: Weird Face #6
8. Do you like cats?
Answer: Yes, Reaction: Confused
9. Is water wet?
Answer: Yes, Reaction: Angry
10. Have you ever broken a bone?
Answer: No, Reaction: Happy
11. Do you like your job?
Answer: Yes, Reaction: Hurt
12. Would you like a new monster?
Answer: Yes, Reaction: Weird Face #11
I wasn't entirely sure at the time what Face meant by "new monster", but I couldn't resist answering "Yes", just to see what would happen.
The result was mind blowing.
The game took me back to the board and I had a new playable monster in the form of Anguirus! Ever since I was kid, I always wanted to play as Anguirus, since he was my 2nd favorite Godzilla monster (And plus I never liked Mothra all that much).
I moved my new Anguirus piece over to the level right next to it, eager to test out my new monster.
Before I get into the level description I'll talk about Anguirus a bit:
Using the up and down buttons you could choose whether Anguirus stood in a bipedal stance or crawled around on all fours. It wasn't a huge difference, but being able to stand was helpful in boss fights, and crawling sometimes helped dodge obstacles and attacks.
He could punch and kick like Godzilla, but no tail whip. Instead he had something far more interesting: The ability to curl up into a spiked ball of death and roll around. You could still take damage, but it was lessened. It was a good way of clearing out stage enemies, but unfortunately doing this also drained the power bar.
But the spiked ball wasn't his only special ability. When you pressed Start, he would fire a beam of energy from his mouth. It resembled Titanosaurus' sonar attack, and if this were a hack it may have been inspired by the Roar attack from Atari's Godzilla fighting games.
Also of note is that when playing as Anguirus, the "Level" meter gets glitched up. Judging by the life and power bar, I'd say he's on Level 10.
Now onto the level:
As you might have guessed from the level icon, these levels are green pallette swaps of the ground and background tiles from the Blue Mountains.
But what immediately caught my attention was the water, which has a transparency effect.
Was that even possible for an NES game? I know the Super Nintendo could do it, but I had never seen a transparency effect in a game on an NES.
The Green Mountains music was played with the same instrument as the Blue Mountains, but the melody was totally different. It was a very simple song with a lot of abrupt pauses, followed by a loud note every few seconds.
Anyway, I went through the usual strolling through the level. And again there were no monsters or anything, but pretty soon I had reached a cliff above the water.
There was nowhere to go but into the water, so down I went. The water transparency made things a bit harder to see, but it's tolerable. After going underwater I encountered 2 new enemies : a giant piranha and some kind of spiky bottom feeder thing. I liked the piranha because I could easily tell what it was.
It was a sane enemy design that would appear in a real game, and there were very few enemies like this.
They didn't take much hits to kill, but they were quite annoying, and could considerably trim down your life if they got close enough. They also tend to travel in packs.
As for the bottom feeders, they're easy to deal with. They swim along the bottom of the screen towards you, and are easily crushed with the roll attack or jumped over. In this screencap you can see me about to run one of them over, and there's a pack of piranha behind it.
After I beat that level, I moved Godzilla onto the blue castle icon. I started the level and I got a title screen, with the text "UNFORGIVING COLD"
The level itself looked like a castle dungeon made of blue bricks,with rows of identical white statue faces on the walls.These statue faces had a permanent look of horror on their faces.
There was also some flickering gray static, which didn't really obscure my vision, but it adds to the very unsettling mood of these levels. The music was a 12 second loop of a low pitched choir vocalizing, that sounded very familiar to me.
Whenever I played through one of these levels I got this sudden, horrible feeling of anxiety. I had the feeling that the farther I progressed through the level, the closer I was getting to something unspeakably evil.
There weren't any enemies, but these were the some of the longest levels in the game. I only played one level, but it took 7 minutes to complete.
I didn't want to admit it to myself at the time, but I realized something playing the blue castle level: This game has the power to make the player feel certain things.
I don't mean in the sense that you get irritated playing a crappy game, or get unnerved by something scary in a game. What I mean is that certain events in this game can instantly make you start feeling something.
I know that sounds completely insane. I don't blame you for not believing me, I wouldn't believe any of this either if I didn't play the game myself. But there is something very, very wrong with this game, and I still don't know how to explain it.
So...then it was time to fight Baragon's replacement.
Although Baragon was originally the smallest monster in the game, his replacement was the largest. It was so tall in fact, that the "ground" was noticeably lowered, and Not-Baragon's head still barely avoided collision with the bar at the top of the screen. And he was just as frighteningly bizarre as he was huge.
You may be wondering how he attacks without arms. Well, he has the most powerful kick in the game. But his other fighting technique is much stranger.
First he blasts a cloudy breath of pixels down at you, which causes you to freeze, then he walks back to the right corner of the screen and...extends a huge gatling gun from his abdomen.
That might seem amusing to you, but it certainly wasn't to me when I was playing the game. This attack is almost as annoying as Gigan's saw, and Not-Baragon could have been unbeatable if he consistently used it. Thankfully he only did it twice while fighting him.
Once you unfreeze, you can run up and start damaging the gun, which does extra damage to him. This helped me to destroy him, and then it was time to play the 3rd level type. I decided that I was going to use Anguirus to fight Manda and Gigan, and then fight SpaceGodzilla as Godzilla (it was only fitting).