Adventures In The Magic Kingdom
Review By: Gringo

Turmoil has swept Disney's Magic Kingdom! The big parade (that woefully dull thing that happens in the Florida-based tacky park every day) can't go ahead, because the key to the park's gate is locked inside Cinderella's castle. Oh no! Mickey Mouse, Donald and Goofy have a heated debate for three hours, and finally realise they need six keys - left in various rides in the park - to open the castle and let the fun go ahead. At this point, Mickey turns to face you (yes, you! The happy gamer!) to suggest "Hey, maybe you can help us find the keys!". Lazy fucking mouse! Go find the cunting keys yourself! This may well be your first reaction, but sadly the NES didn't come with a thought-input device, so you're stuck with embarking on a series of adventures...in the Magic Kingdom! See how those clever designers came up with the title? Now, just in case you think this game could be a fun way to explore the theme park without paying the extortionate entrance fees, heed my warning. HEED IT GOOD! Not only is your character dressed in a bizarre camp orange cowboy suit, but you also get a very limited chance to see what the theme park has to offer.

NO FUCKING CROWDS! Hahahaha!

As it is, you're limited to going on five rides to get five keys. The sixth key you get by answering some simplistic questions about Disney's history. You've got to wonder why this game didn't take advantage of even more rides. Imagine if your character could play the Hall Of Presidents level! A wacky trip through American history, whupping the asses of past Commanders-in-Chief, from Washington to Clinton. Hey, for the up-to-date measure, you could even have the strange cowboy-hat wearing character having a showdown over oil, insider dealing and small-minded foreign policy with George W. Bush! Ooh, controversy! And you want a suggestion for the end-of-level bad guy? None other than Richard Nixon, in full robot suit! Okay, the joke's run out, so I'll move on swiftly. Instead of planning my way around the park, I decided to roam around, choosing the rides I'd go on at will. I am Johnny Rebel! Devastated to discover that It's A Small World wasn't an option (how I'd loved to have trashed every square inch of that monstrosity), I wandered - albeit via the NES - into Tomorrowland. There, I found the racer cars. Little did I realise that when you say "race" in Disney World, you're actually saying "slower than an old person climbing up the stairs."

Tomorrowland Speedway

I've just realised I haven't explained why I mentioned the NES in the first paragraph. Have you guessed yet? It's because Adventures In The Magic Kingdom is a NES game (or was, seeing as they don't make NES games anymore). Explanation over! So the Tomorrowland Speedway was the first ride I went on in this game. It promised non-stop racing. OOH! NON-STOP RACING AT SEVEN MILES PER HOUR! All you have to do is manage to get to the end of a circuit which is littered with retracting bridges (never saw them in the Magic Kingdom - imagine if little Jimmy crashed down into a river?), stars (yes, stars) and jump ramps. In other words completely different to the real thing. Damn you, fruity non-realism! Damn you all to hell! Strangely, it doesn't seem to matter if you come first in the race. I certainly didn't, and could see at least two cars that passed the finish line before me. Did that matter? Fuck no! With a disgruntled comment of "RATS!" from the guy you're supposed to have beaten in the race, I was declared supreme winner. Key number one was mine! I decided to stay in Tomorrowland for the next game, and wound up on one of Disney World's best rides.

Space Mountain

Except in this game, it's no longer a good ride, it's just a shit way to pass five minutes. Quite possibly the most annoying game theme ever plays while you race along inside the cockpit of what appears to be some sort of spaceship. The sum total of fun in this level extends to pressing left, right, up and down when instructed to do so, or pressing A or B to shoot meteors and strange UFOs into millions of pieces. The major problem being that you get about two seconds to perform said actions, before the game says "Fuckshit! Too slow! You lose points!" and KABLAMMA! You get hit by the meteors and rocks, and lose energy (quite how a spaceship loses energy, I have no idea) for failing to follow simple galaxy directions. The goal is to get from Planet A to Planet F. I couldn't get further than Planet C, and so cursed the stupid game for all it was worth. Fed up with the taste of the future I'd had in Tomorrowland, I decided to visit those rustic yokels over in Frontier Land. First stop was one of the park's biggest rides. All aboard the Gringo Railroad for a journey into mayhem! Train leaving now! WHOO-WHOO! That's meant to be a train whistle.

Big Thunder Mountain Railroad

Goofy opens the ride by telling you (I say you, I actually mean the cowboy-hat wearing character you play) that you have to get the runaway train to a certain station. Fun! So I set off on the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, zooming past boulders, stop signs and other exciting train-related objects, before crossing a bridge and racing past dinosaur skeletons. Yes, DINOSAUR SKELETONS. What? The? Fuck? The game doesn't even acknowledge the strange inclusion of the dinosaurs, as you just race past their rotting bones. Someone was clearly on crack when designing this game. That, or they just copied and pasted some background graphics from Wacky Dinosaur Skeleton Rail Racer, a little known NES gem of a game. Strangely, I actually managed to get the train into the right station, and picked up one of the keys needed to complete the game. Goofy congratulated me and called me "Pardner". I shouted "cunt!" at the game. It didn't shout back. As I said, you can get the sixth key by answering questions about Disney' history. Bored of the rides, I did this, but found my Disney knowledge was sorely lacking. Yet another key I failed to pick up. You know something? Keys fucking suck!

The Haunted Mansion

But in the interests of quality journalism (uh, actually just boredom) I realised I had to try every ride available. So off I wandered to The Haunted Mansion. Mickey Mouse helpfully informed me the mansion has 999 ghosts, but ominously warned, "they're always looking for number 1,000!" Anything - even being turned into a ghost - would have been a sweet release from the grasp of this game, so I ventured on in to the spooky house, determined to laugh at the cheap buggies they make you go round in, the soundtrack that hasn't changed since 1972, and the freakish mirrors that make it look like you're going round the ride with a skeleton sat next to you. Sadly, despite writing that long sentence, I got none of that. It was just a stodgy platform game, involving you throwing candles at ghouls and goblins and flying around on possessed chairs. No, really, possessed chairs. Mercifully, the level is very short and I had very little difficulty in beating the grand total of six ghosts that tried to attack me. So I didn't get turned into The Haunted Mansion's 1,000th ghost. Instead, I got a key. I knew I wouldn't beat the game, but I also knew there was only one ride left, so off I went to Adventure Land, or whatever they call that place.

Pirates Of The Caribbean

You can only go on one ride in Adventure Land, and it's one of the park's most famous. YO HO HO. Yes, it's a fun-filled boat ride through dated animatronics singing the same line about it being a pirate life for them over and over again. Well, it was. BUT NOT ANYMORE! Now Pirates Of The Caribbean has turned into an action-packed platform game. You have to jump around some burning houses, facing weird-looking pirates as you rescue six kidnapped women. Strangely, when you rescue them, they simply disappear. Not much of a rescue, really, is it? Also, there isn't even a badly done version of the song from the ride, which contributes to the general cheap feeling you get about the game's production values. Thankfully, like The Haunted Mansion level, this one is very easy and I soon had another key. However, because I'd fucked up on Space Mountain, it meant the gate to Cinderella's Castle couldn't be opened. In turn, that meant the Magic Kingdom parade couldn't go ahead. HA HA! SCREW YOU, MICKEY MOUSE! Just think of all those idiot tourists who paid $50 just to get in the park and watch a parade! Oh, wait. The game's not real.


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