LITTLE RED HOOD March 01 2003

A reader recently referred to the site TheRedEye.net, a great place to find rare nes roms and prototype dumps. A section of this site is devoted to Sachen, a Taiwanese company that probably never received Nintendo's Seal of Approval. I most likely won't feature any more of these games in the future, since RedEye after all devotes a whole section to the subject and all the information you'll want is or will be available there. But Little Red Hood is simply too nuts to leave alone. So here it is:

THE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO LITTLE RED HOOD!

Once upon a time in a country far, far away (Bahamas, judging from the vegetation), Little Red Hood strolled through the forest to visit her grandma.

That's pretty much all that remains of the original concept in this Taiwanese adaption of the French fairytale. Now, that we are used to. Most games based on movies, books or other media usually take great liberties. What separates Little Red Hood from the rest is that not only is the original story arc abandoned, but the basic conventions of gameplaying are also thrown out the window. Think you know your bird's-eye view adventure games? Think again.

If I sum up the basic concept, it doesn't sound that bad; To finish a level, Little Red Hood must avoid the enemies and find the key. Now, how would you find a key? The most logical explanation would be to search for it. This is where the problems begin. To find the key, you must walk down the staircases that randomly appear in the forest. In one of the little forests under the big forest is what you're looking for, but only if you've done a certain sequence of actions. One such sequence could be 'kick at least 21 trees and pick the fruits that fall down - go down 13 staircases - get key in sublevel - go down another four staircases - exit level'. This wouldn't be much of a problem if you were given clues, but of course you have to wander around until you by chance find the right thing to do.

In all levels (consisting of two screens) you will find two stores. Here is what you can buy:

Invincibility potion protects you against all enemies for a short while except the enemies that you need protection against.

Anatomically correct human heart restores your health.

Slingshot can be thrown at enemies. No, you don't sling anything with it, you throw it. And only one particular type of enemy can be hurt. To finish level seven, you need to buy two of these. You won't need them, the key just won't appear until you do.

While we're at it, let's take a look at the enemies:

Frankenstein's Monster may or may not be Frankenstein's monster. These guys are the only enemies that can be killed, but once you get rid of one, another instantly appears three feet away.

Cobras live under rocks and in underground forests.

Fish live in the sea. I now realize it'll be a bitch trying to write anything interesting about the rest of the enemies.

Hedgehogs hang out with cobras. Frahamawan sure has an interesting ecosystem.

Bull is a key guardian. He kills you instantly if you try to pass him, so to get to the key you'll have to walk into an enemy and then run like hell and grab the key before you can be hurt again.

Bear thinks Squirtle is the best Pokémon.

Wolf isn't in my line-up because he isn't in the game.

Yeah, I know, the bear is probably supposed to be a wolf. I will however not accept that before he sprouts a tail. Also, he shouldn't claim to be a wolf when he has the same brown hue as the dirt around him. Unless he's a wolf with a fibre-optic cloaking suit.

I wish I had a wolf with a fibre-optic cloaking suit.

Before we take a look at the levels, it's necessary that we get the controls out of the way. If you press B, Little Red Hood kicks. She can't kick enemies, this attack is only used against trees. If you kick a tree, fruit will fall down. Fruit makes the key appear in some levels. If you press the A button, you'll jump. Except if you have a weapon. If you do and need to jump, you'll have to spend all your ammo first. Luckily, you'll only have to jump at one point in the game: level 3.

Now, this is where things get complicated. To jump across this river, you'll have to wait at point 1. When turtle A moves towards position 3, jump. Don't worry about direction, you always jump forward. You'll hit your head mid-air when you pass the root of the tree at point 2, and you'll then ricochet toward point 3, where you'll hopefully land on the 2*2 pixel area of turtle A's back that you can stand on. When you jump onwards, you have to take the turtle's motion into consideration. Which means that if you jump to the right, your motion curve will move upstream, and you'll land 45 degrees further up than you started (point 4). Carefully calculate turtle B's movement (but don't wait longer than a second before you jump, or you'll fall off turtle A's back) and jump at the precise right moment to land safely. Remember that turtle B must be passing the shore at this moment, as you can't stand on its shell, but must walk onto dry land upon impact. You'll have to do this about twelve times before you can finish the level, and you'll die if you as much as touch the water.

Level 6 is an underwater level. It's the only underwater level in the entire game, and it's over in thirty seconds. I don't know why it's there.

By the way, Little Red Hood is absolute shit.

Well, that's pretty much it. Nine levels consisting of two screens each later, I reached the end. If there had been any more levels I wouldn't be writing this now, as I would simply not be able to withstand any more searching for the thing that I will know what is when I find it and maybe a key will appear after I do so. The conventions of this game are in fact so incredibly alien that I'm not sure I can call it a game at all. It's awful, it's frustrating, it's poorly coded and it's up for download. Drop by TheRedEye.net for more Sachen crap.

Little Red Hood (24 KB)

Update: Just before I was going to upload this page, I stumbled across the box art for Little Red Hood. I guess the Frankenstein monsters were karate pirates instead.

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