Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Zero the Kamikaze Squirrel

Zero the Kamikaze Squirrel

Due to me being sick with the flu. I didn't really get the chance to do much. But I finally had the chance to pull out my old SEGA Genesis and play the only 2 (well 3) games I still have for it. One of them being Zero the Kamikaze squirrel.

This takes me back to the days when games were difficult to play. This is definitely difficult. You're not gonna get through the entire game easily your first run. The plot is pretty much a side story of the Aero the Acro-bat series. Zero gets a letter from his girlfriend saying that his home is being cutdown and used to make conterfiet money. Zero gets angry and rushes over to home but not before getting a warning from his master not to go.


Controls are something to get used to. Zero has a lot of tricks and the game wants to make sure you make use of all of them. You can get away with forgetting some of your moves but you're definitely gonna use all your moves through this game. And not just one time either.


The music is rather forgettable. It does fit the stages. But I wouldn't have these songs in my head for a long time if at all. The sound effects are nice...but I think they can get annoying after awhile. Particularly Zero and his sterotyped Bruce Lee sound effects can get on my nerves a bit.


Enemies are unique and can annoy you in one way or another. You really only see one recurring enemy throughout most of the game. But where you end up seeing that enemy is rather appropriate in placement.

Level design its up to the player if they like it or not. It's pretty common these days as to level types. A beach, volcano, forest etc.  Some people might complain of cheap deaths but that's how platformers are. At least 80% of the good ones anyway. If Sonic and Megaman can get away with it for decades why not this game? My most frustrating parts in this game was the volcano stage at a part where I had to jump from rope to rope as fast as possible or burn to death. And the 2nd part of the paper factory where I have to jump carefully through machines or instantly die. I would complain about the jet ski/motor boat stages but they're short enough that once I'm through them it's over and done with.

Level 1: Beach

So the game starts off with Zero flying on a plane only to be shot down and you're already rushing through a beach dealing with enemies. I would like to say that first stage is simple. But only if you're actually taking your time and not trying to rush straight through thinking you're invincible. Too many things here love to take cheap shots at you.

Level 2: Caves

The second stage the caves. Ramps up the cheap shots and starts giving you test to see if you can use Zero's moves properly. Thankfully its rather lenient right now. But you might get frustrated with the sub-bosses and bosses.  2 of the Sub-Bosses can only be damaged by certain moves and you learn that you can't rely on your shurikens to pull you out of a jam despite having so many. The boss is rather simple if you're patient. Doesn't stop the cheap shots from happening but patience is key.

Level 3 the Volcano


if you haven't got a game over yet. You will now. Thankfully all a game over does is put you back at the start of the level. (and there's a level select code if you really need one but the game's so short there's really no need for it).  You can't argue that there should be some sort of save system or bad game design cause of unexpected BS comes your way. First off there's tons of lives littered about not to mention unlimited continues. 2nd this kind of thing was common with adventure games still common today but developers don't do it much due to risk of fans complaining. 

Needless to say the Volcano stage will frustrate you a bit especially if you don't know how to use your moves. The first boss is rather simple. In fact he's an idiot when you see his pattern. The 2nd one will anger you when you get hit by one of his attacks and then he uses an attack that has next to no safe spot to stand in. Well with that done you can move on.

Level 4: Rapids

The River stage. This is frustrating beyond frustrating. Seriously easy to die. The deaths are funny here the first few times but then get annoying after the 15th time. If you haven't realized before that this game doesn't want you to just rush through the game. You should hopefully realize that now. Pretty much running into anything spells death for you. No bosses here. The level is hard enough.

Level 5: Forest

Well now Zero makes it home to his forest. Yeah its being cut down. But honestly this stage is a rather stress relief compared to the last few. It's kinda maze like however. You can easily reach earlier checkpoints you already passed without even trying. The boss here is rather simple if you take it slow. 

Level 6: Toxic

Now let the frustrating begin again. If you thought the river stage was bad. This is worst. The game decides to take away all the freebies and says you hit something you're dead. You either need some godlike reactions or good memory to know where everything is. Also doesn't help to have the game try to rush you by throwing enemies you can't attack in your way. You want to speed past them but you know the moment you do, you're gonna die by running into something. Luckily this stage is only one part. Still sucks that you have to start from the beginning if you die.

Level 7: Factory

Final Stage the paper factory. Introduce us to 2 new enemies and more ways to die. One of them being a hazmat kind of guy. Throwing bombs. The other some sort of officer that you don't want near you. They jump on your head. You gotta mash out or die because they'll beat your head into a bloody pulp.

That's only half the issue. The real issue is the obstacles. Especially in part 2. Part 2 can easily frustrate you with sections of instant death. And that the game practically forces you to keep moving. Once you get past that. Its boss re-fight time. Zero trashes them in a rather cool way and moves along.

Part 3 is really just 2 boss fights. One you fought before and is a total pushover compared to your first encounter. The other is who you think is the final boss of the game. Le Sheets. I find him rather annoying when he doesn't cooperate. Trying to keep him in one spot without him jumping around can be difficult at times. 

Part 4 The final boss. Guess who?  Yeah that clown you met in the intro.  Who happened to have your girlfriend captive. Well you got all the reason to kick his ass. He's definitely not a pushover like the others. Forcing you to attack according to what move he uses. He's either lobbing grenades or shooting fireballs at you. After awhile he goes into a rather invincible state. This is where it helps to own the manual to the game. The manual states that Zero's most powerful move is his nunchaku. Go figure, a squirrel being a kung fu/ninja knock-off character and his strongest move is something that was common in 90s kung fu movies. Well still not done. The boss is reeling but protecting himself from you. You're girlfriend gives you help and you finish him off. Then watch the ending and the credits.

Well I believe the credits loop at this point so. The game's over.  Not much else to say at this point. I enjoyed this game as a child. Yeah it didn't age well but what hasn't. It doesn't have what gamers of today are looking for in there games. But who cares. I enjoy it. It's borderline Ninja Gaiden for me. Or you could say this was my Ninja Gaiden since I never owned or played the NES versions. It was nice to whip out the old Genesis.  You might notice the sound is Mono. Cause the Wire used only had Yellow and White. There was no red. I was actually surprised to find such a cable was made. Breathing life back into my genesis. I didn't want to use an RF adaptor. Those things are rather complicated to deal with in this age considering how everything is setup now with TVs.

The Cable I bought costed me less than 10 bucks from ebay. There is one with Yellow, Red, and White cables. But those are for the Model 2 and Model 3. I have the Model 1 Genesis.