Discs of Tron, Arcade

The second video game based on Disney‘s famous 1982 movie, Tron, released into arcades in 1983 by Bally Midway. The first one is here.

Discs of Tron focuses on the disc-throwing game, as seen in the film between Tron and Sark, and it was one of the first games to feature a playfield set in a 3D space.

You basically throw discs at each other and have to catch your opponent out by hitting their ass. Well, not their ass – just catch them off-guard. Or knock them off the platform.

As the levels progress the difficulty gets harder. Your opponent, Sark, becomes more and more aggressive. Platforms begin moving vertically, requiring you to aim up and down. Actually, aiming upwards can be the key to beating your opponent, because bouncing a disc off the ceiling, and onto one of your opponent’s platforms will make it disappear for ten seconds. Which can be a huge problem for him. Or you, if he does it to you.

It’s strange that the developers didn’t include a simultaneous two player game, with player two controlling Sark. But then again: this was 1983 and we were stupid back then. 🙂

More: Discs of Tron on Wikipedia

Castle of Illusion Starring Mickey Mouse, Megadrive/Genesis

Developed by Sega and released for the Megadrive/Genesis in 1990, Castle of Illusion Starring Mickey Mouse is a masterpiece platform game that has stood the test of time extremely well.

The game itself is pretty simple: running, jumping, climbing, and swimming, with Mickey on a quest to save Minnie Mouse from the evil witch Mizrabel.

Mickey’s main weapon is his bounce, which he can perform while jumping and which helps him defeat enemies. He can also pick up items, such as apples and marbles, to use as projectiles to throw at enemies.

To defeat Mizrabel, Mickey must find the “Seven Gems of the Rainbow”, each of which can found behind a door, in a different realm, protected by one of Mizrabel’s henchmen. There are six different – graphically distinct – stages (The Enchanted Forest, Toyland, The Storm, Dessert Factory, The Library, and The Castle), with a boss battle at the end of each.

Castle of Illusion still looks and plays great to this day. If I had any complaint it would be that the Megadrive doesn’t have transparent pixels (like the SNES does), which means that the designers had to make do with using ‘stippling’ in the water sections (which is ugly and makes the game look dated). Otherwise: it’s marvellous (still).

A remake of Castle of Illusion was made by Sega Studios Australia in 2013 and is currently available on Steam.

More: Castle of Illusion Starring Mickey Mouse on Wikipedia

Goof Troop, Super Nintendo

Goof Troop is an attempt at a Disney-based Zelda-style game, by famed Japanese developer Capcom. It’s based on a ’90s television series of the same name and was first released in 1993.

The emphasis in Goof Troop is more on solving puzzles than gaining experience or collecting money, and (of course) you play the famous Disney character Goofy, who is the lead character in the TV series. A second player can play simultaneously as Max – Goofy’s sidekick. Max moves more quickly than Goofy, but Goofy can deal more damage to enemies.

Graphically, Goof Troop is wonderful. The characters are all beautifully-drawn and animated, and the backdrops are also clean and colourful. Nothing gets in the way of the gameplay, which consists mostly of finding your way through a maze of screens by locating keys; opening doors; disposing of enemies; and defeating the boss at the end of each level. There are five levels in total: Spoonerville Island beach, a village, a haunted castle, an underground cavern, and a pirate ship (where you must finally defeat the Disney arch villain, Pete).

One interesting thing about Goof Troop is that it was designed by Shinji Mikami – the director of Resident Evil (and its sequels) – and it was one of the first games that he worked on.

Goof Troop is still a great game to play now – particularly two-player. It’s an oft-forgotten SNES and Capcom classic!

More: Goof Troop on Wikipedia