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Saturday, November 30, 2013

Black Friday Fix: Friday The 13th

* I realize this is being posted a day late, but hey, that's the holidays for you.

Tis the time of year where people rush about madly shopping for gifts and deals, sometimes having little regard for their fellow man. Yes
Black Friday has a history of bringing out the worst in humankind. So to celebrate the spirit of trampling folks for a deal, I bring you Friday the 13th from the NES.

Friday the 13th is a day that comes around every so often during the year. It is believed to be a day of bad luck. While not an official holiday, it is a day that everyone has heard of, and that was popularized in the movie franchise of the same name. As with most popular movies, it was eventually translated in to a video game in 1989 by none other than LJN. If you read my blog "Why The Fuck Is This A Video Game" you will remember that I said it was often common to take pop-culture icons and translate them in to video games with mixed results. Friday The 13th on the NES was definitely a flop.

Friday The 13th puts you in the shoes of one of six camp counselors at the iconic Camp Crystal Lake. Your goal is to save the 15 children and the other five counselors from the homicidal maniac Jason Voorhees. After selecting your counselor, you start in a cabin, and are told to light all the fireplaces. The cabin you start in of course has no fireplace, so you head out the door, after trying to find your way back to it. Once outside, you are met with an onslaught of zombies that pop out of the ground and chase after you. But don't worry, they can be killed with two hits from your rock. Just remember that it's easier to duck then throw the rock, since it curves on a trajectory, and will usually miss when you throw it while standing. This problem goes away when you finally get a knife or the machete.

So here you are outside, killing zombies. They will sometimes drop helpful items, including a lighter, that you can now use to light those fireplaces. So go ahead and wander aimlessly around going in to cabins, hoping that they have a fireplace. Some do, some don't, and sometimes they have Jason himself waiting for you. If you encounter Jason, this early you may as well give up, he kills you in like 3 hits, and you can't do anything to avoid him. GAME OVER.

Should you not encounter him in any of the cabins, you may notice that the number of counselors starts to diminish. If you reach zero, GAME OVER.

If during all this time of running around aimlessly all the 15 of children die. GAME OVER.

The trick is to listen to the music. When you hear the annoying  "Jason Alarm" switch to the map screen and locate the blinking cabin. This is where Jason is, and it's where you must rush to in order to rescue a child and/or counselor. It's quick enough to walk around the various paths and trails around Crystal Lake, but everything looks the same, so it can get confusing at times to know what direction you are heading. And if the confusing navigation wasn't enough, there is a countdown timer next to either the counselors or children. When it reaches 0:00 they die, and Jason disappears. The alarm also seems to act as a zombie alarm, and when it is going off, and you are rushing to the blinking cabin they will start to pop up by the ton. It takes precious time to fend them off, and you will either die in the process of trying to kill them, or time will expire, and you will lose a child/counselor.

Yeah I never spent much time playing this game, as I usually ended up getting frustrated with dying for no appearant reason. I know of no other games, where the number of lives steadily decreases as the game is played.

My advice. Avoid this game like you do the malls on Black Friday.