But first the usual reminiscence.
We may have told you about a place called Trading World that used to be in Bexleyheath in the early to mid nineties. It was a collection of small stalls and shops selling all manner of items. They had a few game stands there one that specialized in Amiga stuff (they had Mario baiting german platformer, Great Giana Sisters running at one time), and one dedicated to Console games with load of import games. Of the three games I remember them doing one was Super Ghouls 'n' Ghosts on the SNES(or its Super Fami incarnation Chomakaimura to be exact). The others were early hori shmup, Cyberlip for Neo-Geo and Marchen Maze which looked fucking impressive to my 12 year old eyes more used to the brown tinged hues of a C64.
Recently remembering this was a PC Engine game, we downloaded it and booted it up in Ootake. It still looks the part, even if the intro is entirely in Japanese, you can easily work out its based on Alice in Wonderland. Its by Namcot long before their change over to Namco and is based on an arcade game of the same name. Available for the Sharp X68000 also, its a middling vertical scrolling platformer, shooting game, complete with unsual enemies such as Tweedledum and a Mushroom smoking a fag (though we always thought it was the caterpillar which had the nicotine addiction in the original book). The premise is to make it to the end of the level and take down the boss Queen of Hearts.
The first level is Okashi land (i'e Sweetyland) and many of the enemies will try and push you over the edge in which case you lose one of you lives represented by a balloon. Make it to the end and you'll fight a boss, in this case an absolute git of a wizard who'll kill you stone dead in seconds flat.
We've yet to find if was localised for western systems, apparently its called Alice In Wonderland in western arcades and has an isometric viewpoint which the PC Engine lacks. We'll need to check if the X68000 does the same, but in any case the same can be said its barely average.
Anyway we don't have a scan of Marchen Maze but we do have a shoddy little ad from GameStuff.
|Hullo Buster are you looking for a good time dearie.|