|Game: Little Nemo: The Dream Master (Capcom, NES)|
For this month's "Maps Of The Month" featurette, I wish to draw your attention to Chiasm's Little Nemo: The Dream Master (NES) maps.
Long before Capcom diversified into many genres, it was most known for its platforming games on the NES. Among their Mega Man and Disney-licensed games was another platformer called Little Nemo: The Dream Master. Though based on the classic Winsor McCay comic from 1905-1911, the gameplay could easily be called original.
Instead of blasting everything in sight like some game heroes might, Nemo goes through most of the game armed only with a bag of candy. When he needs skills to get around obstacles, or when he must actually resort to fisticuffs, he throws some candy out to feed and tame potential animal companions, each with their own unique skills. At the time, this was uncommon in video games.
The game isn't terribly obscure, but isn't the first game that comes to people's minds when they think of the NES. In a 1991 Nintendo Power article, "Unsung Heroes of the NES", Little Nemo: The Dream Master was one of the underrated games they mentioned. If you haven't played this game before, you might want to check it out. And if you need help getting around, check out the maps. The maps that Chiasm made are pretty thorough - instead of just showing the stage layout, the NPCs, animal friends, keys, and teleportation-like exit points are marked. Beautiful, complete maps - and useful!
So to recognize the effort put into making these beautiful and useful maps, Chiasm's Little Nemo: The Dream Master maps will be known as VGMaps.com's Maps Of The Month for December 2004.
|Game: Castlevania II: Simon's Quest (Konami, NES)|
For this month's "Map of the Month" featurette, I wish to draw your attention to Wileee's Castlevania II: Simon's Quest (NES) map.
I once wrote a detailed list about trends in sequels. The second game in a series is often the most well-known, or the one with a special version (ie. Metal Slug, Tony Hawk's Pro Skater, Street Fighter, World Heroes, Fatal Fury, etc. etc. etc.), or, as in the case of Castlevania (and Super Mario Bros. and The Legend Of Zelda and a few others), the second part might be a totally different type of game from the first and third.
Before the recent "Castleroid" games (as in, clearly based on the 2D Metroid games), Castlevania games were usually stage-based platformers. But Castlevania II: Simon's Quest was an early departure by having a less linear adventure. Simon Belmont was apparently not very good at killing Count Dracula the first time around (but then again, it now looks like no one knows how to kill him for real), so he goes on a quest (hence the subtitle) to retrieve a few of Dracula's body parts to reassemble him again to kill him again. Say what you want about the story, but it sets up a different sort of gameplay.
Dracula's castle (apparently often referred to as "Castlevania") is usually where nearly all of a Castlevania game might take place. But in this game, Simon's checking out more of Transylvania, going through towns, forests, swamps, and creepy places galore. He's buying stuff from NPCs, using items to get past obstacles, and often getting lost. But he wouldn't be if he had Wileee's map. Yes, a single map, a huge map, that shows everywhere that Simon might be on this journey, indoors and outdoors. It may be a terrible night to have a curse, but it'd be a lot worse if you have no idea where you are.
So to recognize the effort put into making this large and complete map, Wileee's Castlevania II: Simon's Quest map will be known as VGMaps.com's Map of the Month for November 2004.
|Game: The Goonies II (Konami, NES)|
For this month's "Maps Of The Month" featurette, I wish to draw your attention to TerraEsperZ's Goonies II (NES) maps.
The Goonies is a movie that I meant to see for a long time, and finally did recently. It must still be somewhat popular because every time I went to the nearby Blockbuster Video, it was always rented out. At least, every time I was thinking of renting it, until the time I finally did, which was actually a surprising number of visits. And because it wasn't there all those times, it intrigued me more, and increased my desire to see it.
Of course, there's no point to that story, even if I tied in the actual story of that movie, because the two Goonies games on the NES didn't have very much to do with the movie. I don't recall any giant mice that dropped bombs or a mermaid in distress.
The second game reminds me of Dr. Chaos/Friday The 13th (indoor sequences) and a mix of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles/Duck Tales/Legacy Of The Wizard (certain portions of the maps). But I never got far in the game because I always got lost. If I ever do try this game again, I'm sure I'll be thankful for TerraEsperZ's Goonies II maps.
So to recognize the effort put into making these beautiful and useful maps, TerraEsperZ's Goonies II maps will be known as VGMaps.com's Maps Of The Month for October 2004.
|Game: Pokémon: FireRed & LeafGreen Versions (Nintendo, GBA)|
For this month's "Maps Of The Month" featurette, I wish to draw your attention to Jaromaru's Pokémon: FireRed & LeafGreen Versions (GBA) maps.
When these maps were first submitted to me long ago (based on the Japanese version), Route 01 was the 1000th map that I put up for this site. I actually had a lot of maps that day, besides the already-numerous Pokémon FireRed & LeafGreen maps, but if I counted them when they were listed alphabetically it came out to be that. VGMaps.com's 1000th map turns out to be the map of the remake of the first area of the greatest-selling RPG franchise on the most popular handheld series from the longest-running major game company, Nintendo. Wow, that's a mouthful.
This particular set of Maps Of The Month is also well-timed, as it coincides with the North American release of the game. This is also the first time that we've had a repeat of a Mapmaker of the Month. Congratulations, Jaromaru! Pokémon games are quite large with numerous maps, so to repeat that feat with this franchise really is something.
So to recognize the effort put into making these numerous and complete maps, Jaromaru's Pokémon: FireRed & LeafGreen Versions maps will be known as VGMaps.com's Maps Of The Month for September 2004.
|Game: Kid Icarus (Nintendo, NES)|
For this month's "Maps Of The Month" featurette, I wish to draw your attention to Bergles' Kid Icarus (NES) maps.
Kid Icarus is kind of a cult hit. When Kid Icarus first came out, it was considered to be Metroid's sister franchise. Lately, Metroid has enjoyed huge success. Kid Icarus, still nowhere to be seen. It never even got a Super NES game...poor Pit only had adventures on the NES and Game Boy. Who knows why or how the "Captain N: The Game Master" cartoon had Kid Icarus characters on either side...
For the NES game, Bergles has mapped out everything that this game has to offer. Horizontal stages. Vertical stages. Dungeon rooms. And, if you don't mind spoilers, Bergles has even captured each of the different endings, while also listing the criteria for each. You don't see maps this complete that often...
So to recognize the effort put into making these informative and complete maps, Bergles' Kid Icarus maps will be known as VGMaps.com's Maps Of The Month for August 2004.
|Game: Super Mario World (Nintendo, Super NES)|
Compiler: Stefan Mahrla
For this month's "Maps Of The Month" featurette, I wish to draw your attention to Stefan Mahrla's Super Mario World (Super NES) maps.
|Game: Pokémon: Ruby & Sapphire Versions (Nintendo, GBA)|
For this month's "Maps Of The Month" featurette, I wish to draw your attention to Jaromaru's Pokémon: Ruby & Sapphire Versions (GBA) maps.
|Game: Mega Man III (Capcom, NES)|
For the very first "Maps Of The Month" featurette, I wish to draw your attention to Revned's Mega Man III (NES) maps.
Congratulations and thanks to the Mapmakers of 2004!