The weather has been quite terrible in my local since last night; a super typhoon was headed my way, so I brought my cat into the game room, where we slept together. It felt much better to be on the inside, to get away from the howling winds and rain for just a few minutes. And the way that the glass doors to the balcony were shaking, it is only a matter of time before they break. So it was a wise decision for my furry buddy and I to move as far away from the outside as possible. We could have hung out in the bathroom all night too, I suppose, but that would have been one shitty experience, I am sure.
As always, it seems that typhoons always come on the weekend. I can’t have a hot date, and I can’t go shopping. I can’t even waste away my time in a brewpub, frantically stuffing french fries into my face. Nor do I get the benefit of having a day off from work. No, I am always stuck at home with a severe case of cabin fever, praying that things clear up by Sunday (which they won’t). And then I look around the house desperately for something to do. So I usually turn to my backlog of games, which is a good thing for you guys, since you get to enjoy a nice update 🙂
Over the past three and a half years, I ended up with a special 8 in 1 multicart in my possession. Unlike a lot of my collection, I don’t remember where I got this one from, though I suspect I either purchased it locally or grabbed it from a guy in Thailand. The multicart itself is numbered XB-F868, and was most likely made to go with the XB Famiclones that have been circulating around. Briefly playing through the cart when I first got it, I knew it was a keeper, but it was only a few months back where I finally had time to play through this cartridge properly. And that brings me to Elf Legend, the game I want to talk about.
Up until now, I have never seen anyone reference Elf Legend online. Google searches reveal pictures of cosplay folks dressed as Link. Perhaps the game is undumped, I’m not sure. So what is Elf Legend exactly? It is a hack of Chip n Dale Rescue Rangers 2, and quite frankly, it is the game Chip n Dale 2 should have been.
Our adventure starts out with two schmucks standing together on the title screen. Reminiscent of the Teletubbies, I actually thought that this was some sort of Teletubbies hack before doing more research and seeing that the names were all wrong. Either way, I am not the expert on said topic, and XB did publish an original Teletubbies game on one of their multicarts, so this could indeed be another Teletubbies game. Either way, it’s still just a hacked version of Chip n Dale 2.
The protagonist’s names are John and Pika, so I guess that lizardish character is supposed to be related to Pikachu somehow. After choosing your character, your receive a military-style briefing, which turns out to be quite humorous, but for the wrong reasons:
Cock say “You will perform a hard mission, that is you will to rescue Mario who was seized by enemy. Okay?”
Phew. Just from the text alone I thought this game was going to cross Rescue Rangers with some sort of fetish, but it appears that the one character’s name is “Cock”. Last time I played through the game I didn’t bother to read the introduction, and it added some confusion towards the end of the game. The Engrish in this game is pretty funny, and the ending sequence is even funnier, due to the poor name choice of Cock. But we’ll examine that later. Furthermore, why should I rescue Mario? Maybe he ended up kidnapped in Super Mario Bros. 17, which is a hack of the original Rescue Rangers. Who knows. Either way, sorry Mario, I love you, but I’d rather rescue the beautiful princess to your pudgy ass.
Elf Legend itself is essentially Chip n Dale: Rescue Rangers 2, although it has been heavily hacked. Although the stage layouts remain the same, some of the enemy sprites have been changed, along with those of the hero. Other background graphics have also been changed here and there, where needed. The pirates also messed around with the pallet of the game, and thus (imo) the game seems much more vibrant, much more alive. I prefer the brighter colors to the boring ones of the original game.
In addition, some of the music has been changed. The first stage’s tune, for example, has been sped up and tweaked so that it doesn’t sound anything like the original. While I wish that more of the music had been changed (level two, I’m looking at you…), these minor changes all add up and help to separate the game from its original incarnation.
To be honest, I used to hate the second installment of the Rescue Rangers series; growing up, Chip n Dale: Rescue Rangers was the very first game that my brother and I owned, alongside Rescue: The Embassy Mission (technically Dad’s game) and Super Mario Bros. / Duck Hunt. My brother and I played Chip n Dale for hours growing up, and we also played with my brother’s childhood best friend. With a game steeped in nostalgia, we were excited to learn of the sequel, many years later. Then when we finally did manage to obtain a copy of part 2 from Funcoland, we were highly disappointed. The stages were generic, the music felt lackluster, and the game was ultimately just a shadow of what the original was. This led to my brother and I bashing the sequel quite often, saying things such as “Rescue Rangers 2 sucks”, yet about a year ago we met back up and decided to give the game a fair shake, ultimately concluding that the game isn’t a bad game at all – it just isn’t fair to compare this game to its nostalgia-fueled prequel.
And that is part of the reason why I like Elf Legend so much. The game tries to distance itself from the Rescue Rangers franchise, yet the enjoyable play mechanics from the original Rescue Rangers game are still intact. So those of us who grew up with the original Rescue Rangers game, yet missed the sequel (and I suspect the vast majority of us did, seeing that the sequel got a late release) will be able to enjoy the game for what it is, without directly comparing it to the original gem. Thus nostalgia doesn’t stop us from being biased towards the game, doesn’t stop us from enjoying it.
I also find the dialogues to be extremely amusing. For anyone that has studied Chinese, or has many Chinese friends, these translations should be quite familiar. They warm my heart, as I have many friends that say things of a similar vein, just due to not being proficient in the English tongue. One of the dialogues, for instance, says something about “use run”, which really cracked me up. Many of my friends say “use walk”, “use run”, etc, such as “We can catch that bus if we use run.” I guess it is not so funny for many, but if you know people that actually speak in this manner, it becomes somewhat endearing. With that said, I am sure there are many grammar constructions that English speakers use when translating directly into Chinese, which come across in the exact same way. 😉
The end of the game has possibly the “best” dialogue of all, thanks to the one character having the name of Cock. When you beat the game, the ending rolls, and a few sentences in, we are presented with the following beauty:
Pika: “As if I dream about our cock praise me now…”
Then another character (Jone maybe, I forget) has the following to add:
“You are so romantic.”
The initial time I played through this game, I had skipped the introduction screen, so I had no idea that the one character was named Cock. Can you imagine playing through the game and being presented with this sort of text at the end, out of context? Suddenly Elf Legend went from G to X-rated, in a matter of minutes. Maybe this is just coincidence, or maybe these are sexual innuendos, which the hackers had intended. We’ll never know for sure, but we can use our own judgments here 😛