DuckTales (1989) for the NES (Nintendo Entertainment System) by Capcom
I thought long and hard about what classic NES game I wanted to write about next. Many were put on a list (and I’ll get through them eventually), but as soon as I wrote this game’s title down, I knew it had to be next because I couldn’t get the DAMN SONG OUT OF MY HEAD!!! That game is none other than Ducktales by Capcom. The game was released in North America in 1989.
I admit: I never watched the cartoon. OK, I can’t say never as I was exposed to it and probably got through an episode maybe once but I never connected with it. I always ended up changing the channel before the first commercial break before I stopped attempting to watch it altogether.
Imagine my surprise when one of my buddies had this game and I got hooked on it immediately. Besides the catchy theme done 8-bit style, I think this game could have had other characters and have been just as good. I never enjoyed the game BECAUSE it featured characters from the Ducktales game, I enjoyed it because it was one of the best and most fun NES games I ever played!
The premise of the game, for those who have never played it for some strange reason is Scrooge McDuck travels to different locations across the planet (and beyond) to search for five treasures that will increase his wealth.
The levels McDuck gets to explore are: African Mines, The Amazon, Transylvania, The Moon, and The Himalayas. Each level features its own enemies, hidden areas, and amazing 8-bit music (listen above to the embedded vid). Some levels also have multiple ways of clearing them as well as secrets to find.
The controls of this game and how Scrooge McDuck handles is part of why this game is so good. He can use his cane to hit objects to get rid of enemies but he can also pogo on it which allows him to land on top of the enemies to get them out of the way. He also can use it to bounce over hazards, avoid enemies, and get to areas that would be unreachable by using a standard jump.
You know a game is f’n good and a classic when Capcom spends the money to update the graphics and re-release it for newer consoles like they did in 2013 with Ducktales Remastered. The game the same with the controls and detection but the music and graphics were updated, some extra characters where added, two new levels were thrown in, bosses had different patterns than the NES game, and some of the levels had expanded areas to lengthen the game and bring new experiences to seasoned gamers, like myself, who played the tar out of the NES version. It was well worth the money.
There was also a sequel produced in 1993 that I never played and a port of the NES game for the Nintendo GameBoy in 1990. The game closely follows the original but adds some new characters and areas. Unfortunately, it didn’t have the elaborate colours (as the GameBoy didn’t have colours) and but some pretty good graphics for the little system.
This is one of those games that has charm, character, and exudes good vibes when you play it. New players can pick up this game and feel successful just getting to the end, while more hardcore players will try and find all the secrets in the game. Hell, people love to speedrun this game. For some reason if you’ve never played it, go out of your way to play it – even the Remastered version if you can’t get a hold of the NES version.