Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Movies That Should be Video Games - The Goonies

My next movie-turned-game was already adapted for the Nintendo 8-bit in the eighties, sort of. It’s actually quite a classic. This game put the phrase “Ouch! What do you do?” into the Engrish hall of fame. That’s right - I’m talking about The Goonies. Only the Nintendo 8-bit version was called “Goonies II” with little-known subtitle: “The game nobody can beat expect for your college roommate (so he claimed) yet he forgot how when you found it at Gamestop 20 years later.”

This game is known as being impossible to beat and it doesn’t make a lick of sense. With the exception of the Frattelli family and Mikey, it doesn’t have much to do with the movie. For starters, you rescue a mermaid, talk to a wizard, and meet a superhero named Konami Man. To be fair, this is a sequel, so it really wouldn’t coincide with the movie’s plot. Plus it’s not even a game sequel to the original movie like most think. There actually was an original Goonies game – it just wasn’t released here in the states. So I say that doesn’t count. It’s time for a real Goonies game. Down here, it's our time. It's our time down here. That's all over the second we ride up Troy's bucket. So climb in my bucket instead dear reader and let’s take a journey through The Goonie Game.

The thing I loved most about The Goonies was that each character had personality. They were all so unique. They all had motivation, they all had charisma, some we liked, and some were annoying (ahem, Martha Plimpton). They also each had a special ability that furthered them in their quest, which makes this movie perfect for a video game adaptation.

The Goonie Game begins with the opening scene taken directly from the movie. We learn that the children will soon lose their homes and be thrown into a new school district. And then, in Mikey’s attic, the children find the old treasure map, and set off for one last adventure together.

When I first started thinking about the details of this game, I wasn’t sure how to handle the large cast of characters. Originally I thought, Mikey would be the main character, and you would see all the others walking behind him, sort of like a role playing game. They would step in when Mikey needed them. But then I thought, each character is cool and should be directly playable. So I stole a little idea from one of my favorite games growing up, Maniac Mansion. The Goonie Game will be nothing like Maniac Mansion in play style, but I think the way you select characters in MM is the way to go. In it, several characters are lined up at the menu screen. You can pick 3. The game changes based on who you choose because they all have specific abilities. You can even conquer the game differently depending on the kid you have chosen. After the opening scene, you see 5 goonies standing on the hill near the Frattelli house. Mikey, Brandon, Chunk, Andy, and Data, will be there, and you pick three. Mouth and Stef are left off the list, but only because they were comic relief and I couldn’t think of any powers to give them. And plus they’re worthless.

Nom nom nom

Each character has a skill and a weapon:
Mikey - Leadership / Pirate sword
Brandon- Strength / Mixed Martial Arts
Chunk - Sloth Summon / Truffle Shuffle makes the baddies vomit
Andy- Piano and puzzles / Field Hockey Stick
Data - Booty Twaps / Utility belt and strategically placed boxing glove

As far as actual game play goes, I see this being a 3-D adventure. Picture Tomb Raider, only replace Lara Croft and her two friends with Mikey and his two friends. You will mostly control Mikey, but the two other kids you chose follow closely behind him. You can switch to these characters when you need to use their abilities. When they are not in use, they will inspect the area, fight baddies, or talk to each other. Mikey’s “Leader” ability is used when they get lost or take a nap. He can whistle, and the group reforms (Press the X button on Playstation, the A button on X-Box, or actually blow into the wii-mote on Wii).

The goonies begin inside the cabin and make their way down through the caves as they do in the movie. The group has to overcome obstacles, traps, puzzles, mazes, waterslides until the finally reach One Eyed Willy’s ship. Along the way players can find treasure chests filled with upgrades to increase strength and speed (like sleeveless sweatshirts and headbands for Brandon). Players will also encounter several enemies that can harm them. Each character has a health-meter, and each time they are hit, they lose health. Nothing new there. Characters can gain back health points by eating cartons of rocky road ice cream or baby ruths.


In addition to bats, snakes, giant spiders, and maybe even a few dead pirates, The Fratellis follow close behind them. Mini-boss battles ensue when the brothers catch up to them. The final boss battle happens once the goonies find the pirate ship. I’m not entirely sure how that would work though. We may have to stray from the movie plot a little. Maybe Mama Fratelli finds an ancient medallion that transforms her into the kracken?

One in every Arby's kid's meal. Collect them all!


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