Luchian (luchian) wrote,

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An Arcade Game Review

Alright, my arcade questing continues to bring me curios from around the globe. The latest strange attraction being Sega's Moonwalker.
It's a rather standard kind of walking shoot-em up, with a teeny twist.

It stars Michael Jackson.

Yes, he got his own game. Yes, he squeals like a pig a lot in his usual high pitched fashion. Luckily his face is obscured behind a white hat whilst playing, but whenever he is hit by something, he yelps and whenever he has to talk to a boss character it's
like being verbally assaulted by a squaky toy.

The game is scary.

So here is the run down, just in case you're interested. Evil people have stolen a bunch of children and it's up to good old "MJ" to save them. At least, that is what the story appears to be. There is no nice happy intro letting you know what is going on. Just a scary picture of the man himself, looking, erm..... well...... like, erm, I
don't know how to describe his expression in adequate terminology.

Anyhow, you and two friends can then join the game to save the children. Now the two other characters? Who might they be? Well, Michael needs to have other Michaels around - the other characters are just him again, but in DIFFERENT COLORS.

The game begins, as all games should, in a cavern. Scary pinky purple clad folk pop out from the get-go to, erm, get you. But they don't seem to interested in you really. They will waltz right past you, turn around and shoot at the wall, then waltz away. You see
they don't really seem to care if you are there or not, because they have been instructed to just shoot at random objects or in random directions, because they must. There is no reason...... It's not possible to think that they could be trying to stop you. You can run
right up to a child and "rescue them" and the evil people just stand, watch, then shoot the other side of the screen then run off.

What could inspire such fear in them? Well, other than it's Michael Jackson coming to stop their evil plans.

Michael dances. When Michael dances, the evil folk must stop their quest to shoot nothing and DANCE WITH HIM. He forces them to dance by dancing.... and whilst this is going on, JO JO the invisible monkey then straps explosives to each dancer, because when
the music stops, ol MJ whirls around a green flame and all the dancing bad guys explode. They have no blood, no entrails and leave no mark. We're talking total annihilation by dancing. Is this phenomenon restricted to humans? HELL NO! The dancing must be performed by all bad guys, robots included. I'm not sure if it's a dance though.... maybe they are so scared by MJ dancing that they just have a spastic attack, which is what the dancing by everyone
seems to be.

So..... MJ attacks with dancing.... what else. Well, he has a glowing hand. It glows a lot and shoots this odd, erm, glowing substance at people, which - as you could imagine - kills them.
I know I would rather die than be touched by the glowing hand of Michael Jackson, or have him shoot his special glowing essence at me. It is white, BTW. It was once black, but the disease got to it (so he says).

Alrighty, dancing, glowing white stuff......... and one more trick up his sleeve.

Yes, every so often you see Michael's little pet monkey. This critter doesn't do ANYTHING to help you. But when Michael TOUCHES HIS MONKEY, he transforms from regular, standard scary Jackson into MEGA ROBO JACKSON. He grows very, erm, large and metallic and fires bolts from his arms at the poor enemies.

I don't know about you, but if I was one of these children, I wouldn't want to be saved by MJ. Even so, they seem quite happy to be saved from the enemies that are closer to mindless automatons and will give you special gifts, ranging from HEALING, to DANCE POWER to just saying thanks (by shouting MICHAEL at you).

I thought the game couldn't get any scarier, then I noticed that some of the bad guys didn't seem to be wearing any pants. Not all, mind, just some.

I had to quit at this point. I couldn't take it any longer. Mame offers us a wonderful gift in being able to play Arcade games on our PC. It had three drawbacks though. 1) It requires at least a high-end P3 to play some of the 90's games. 2) Seemingly a third of all the games it has emulated are Mahjong games and 3) Moonwalker.

If you want to try the game yourself. Download Mame32 from and get both the original and BOOTLEG versions of Moonwalker. You need both because Michael said so.

I am going to have to go now and practice dancing..... just in case I'm attacked by pants-less villains that don't even see me, that want to shoot my wall.
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