Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Kirby's Adventure ~Dream 5~ The Trials of Butter Building

Hey, happy November! Or at least for birthday's comin' up!

Let's kick off the new month with Butter Building!


Man, do I love this song.

Butter Building, the third world we explore, is interesting in that despite cementing the rule that all of the worlds from here on in must have six levels, all of them are incredibly short and focus on a single objective. For those not familiar with the game, Kirby's Adventure mainly focuses on platforming with some extra twists in the level design. Here, all but one, perhaps two, of the levels are built around a single game mechanic and it's very jarring in comparison to the other worlds. For someone who first played this game nine years ago, it's something that hasn't aged well. Us experienced gamers need meat in our levels!

Don't get me wrong, though. Butter Building introduces some fun mainstays of the game, one of them being vital to reach 100% completion in the game. Not to mention there's also what is hands down the coolest graphical effect on the NES console that I absolutely have to go over.

So what exactly are some good examples of the "sole objective" I mentioned earlier? I suppose I'll give three examples, then move on to some of the best stuff.


The first stage in the building is a simple one. You enter the building and beat the shit out of a miniboss, who is a walking clock. His yielding power? A microphone Kirby screams into to kill everybody onscreen.
It is truly something that must be believed. BABEBAAWWWWWW!!!!!

After that, it's a cakewalk to a room that holds a rather interesting oddity. Behold the following screenshot:

See the little room hidden by a barrier? Unfortunately I couldn't find a better screenshot for this, but in your first run of this level, there's a big, mysterious switch located on that silver platform. But how do we reach it? It turns out that if you smash through some Star Blocks at the bottom of the main room, you'll find a hidden passage way leading straight to the switch! You can either hop on it or badger it with a power to activate it.

So what does it do? See, there's switches like this hidden all over the game, and they unlock extra doors in the world hubs that lead to more mini-games and Warpstar Stations, where you can hop on over to any world instantaneously. If you look at the screenshot above, you'll notice that this switch unlocked the Arena, a feature we'll be going over next time.

The thing is, many games have little secrets like these switches, and it's just another reason as to why video games are so addicting. Many gamers crave for the thrill of scavenging through every single inch of game worlds, leaving no stone unturned as to find hidden items and new areas. The reward for such endeavors? More replayability, extra game modes, or simply even bragging rights. Is it a constructive use of one's time? Absolutely not. But we just love these wacky video games too much to care.

We'll be covering these switches briefly every now and then, so be on the lookout. They were very clever with some of them!

But waiiiittt a another level there's...

It's that masked knight again! Just what's his deal?

YARRGGHHH!!!! Leave me alone!!

After that's all done, you head straight up on an air current filled to the brim with cannons and spiked, floating enemies called Gordos.

It's too late to grab that 1-up...

And then that's it. The shortest level ever made.

Finally, on the second to last stage, there's a build-up to a rather tough miniboss.

See that lollipop in the righthand corner? That's Invincibility Candy, which works exactly like the Star from Super Mario Bros. Once you touch it, Kirby becomes invincible and begins glowing. Also, the music gets really funky. You're just obliterating everything in your path. AND IT'S FUN.

And once it all ends, you encounter this guy.

ItalicItalicI had a real hard time with Bonkers, the ape wielding that hammer, when I first played this game. So far, all the other mini-bosses had been a cinch, but this guy was hard! While you could simply fly over behind their backs and attack from their blind spot, Bonkers has a penchant for constantly attempting to ram into you or either jumping very high to prevent you from doing so. Plus, there's the factor of the giant hammer and the exploding coconuts he tosses at you.

We all encounter tough spots in our games, no matter how good of a gamer we are. There's always going to be that one pit we can never seem to jump over, or that swarm of aliens we can never get by, or that boss that's simply just too tough. For me, this mini-boss was that definite experience, and I was so excited when I finally triumphed over him. I wasted no time in swallowing him and being able to wield, what else, his own hammer!

Pssst! Awesome tidbit: You can smash stumps with the hammer, which are often the key to finding switches. Also, it feels so good to smash bad guys with really gotta experience the weight of it yourself.


So, let's get into the best stuff.

Now this is a difficult spot? See those penguins? They have icy breath that can freeze you upon impact, and shortly after they'll take the opportunity to slide down and tackle you. The trick is to quickly leap up and swallow one, transforming into Ice Kirby, therefore having the ability to breathe ice yourself!

...this is actually one of my favorite powers as well. When you freeze an enemy, they turn into an ice block and you can kick it away. Plus, I like the change of color and the sound effect the power makes.

So, anyway, you wait for the other penguin to finish his attack and that's when you make your move. After that, you have two precious, recurring items embedded in rock: The Maximum Tomato, a favorite snack of Kirby's that heals all of your health, and the 1-up, which gives you an extra life. They can only be achieved by breaking the bomb blocks, and to be honest with you I never figured out how to grab 'em until recently. You have to perform the sliding kick maneuver, in which you'll slide through the explosion and immediately fall towards the item. Happy days!

Oh my god! It's Fred the Spanya-er, wait, no, it's just Bugzzy. This beetle is probably the only mini-boss I have trouble with nowadays, and that's because if you touch him, he'll automatically trap you into his pincers and suplex you. IT HURTS.

Naturally, you have to keep your distance. And hey, once you swallow him, you'll gain the ability to german suplex any enemy in six different combinations.

I'm not kidding.

Aagh! I have a love-hate relationship with this part. See, these enemies called Rockies have a habit where they fall out of nowhere and land on you. Under normal circumstances, it's easy to avoid, but to this very day I cannot find a way to avoid them in this very room. The problem is that not do they both fall at incredibly fast speeds, but the space we're in is so narrow. No matter how much I lean to one side, they still have enough room to scrape me. It just sucks.

However, I will not give up. No matter how many times this section deters me....I keep trying to find a way to dodge them. I will find a way to avoid the Rocky menace. For the sake of the children.

Screenshots can't really capture what's going on here, but there are several moments in Butter Building where the building actually rotates in 3D. 3D!

Actually, not quite. Thanks to some eye-tricking technology known as parallax scrolling, it gives the impression that the building is rotating in three dimensions. What makes this so impressive is they made this work on the NES of all consoles, and as such it makes this detail one of the most memorable parts of the game...and funnest!

Want to see it for yourself? Then check out the video below. It appears at around the 2:11 mark.

So who's the big bad guy of Butter Building? Why, none other then Mr. Shine and Mr. Brights, imposters who have the supernatural powers of the sun and moon!

This won't end well.

It works like this: one of the astral bodies will leap up into the sky and change the time of the day. For example, if Mr. Bright, who is the sun, hops on up, then Mr. Bright, who is the moon, will take over the fighting. However, the partner in the sky will also launch deadly attacks of their own, such as this:
Yikes, Sun Beam!! And the guy on the ground is gonna be gunning for you! So you have to alternate carefully between attacking and dodging, preferably when the skybound partner is not unleashing his wrath.

Once you take out one of 'em, they retreat the sky and remain there, but can still attack. At this point, however, it's only a matter of time until your victory.


So, I'd say we're about halfway through. I think we're gonna make it in time.

As for the Epic Yarn review, I honestly have not had a chance to work on it thanks to a whirlwind of a week. I plan to get crackin' on Friday and alternate between that, Adventure and my upcoming essay. It's gonna be busy!

Seeya this weekend.

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