2007

Game: Mega Man 8 (Capcom, PSX)

Compiler: Zeric

For this month's "Maps Of The Month" featurette, I wish to draw your attention to Zeric's Mega Man 8 (PSX) maps.

 

This month, December 2007, marks the 20th anniversary of the first Mega Man game.  Since then, Mega Man (in his various incarnations) has starred in dozens of games spanning no less than nine distinct series.  There's the original Mega Man series, the related Game Boy Mega Man series, the Mega Man X series, the related Game Boy Color Xtreme series, Mega Man Legends (and its sequel and an N64 port), the Mega Man Battle Network series, the Mega Man Star Force series, and the Mega Man ZX series.  His friend Zero also takes up his moniker in the Mega Man Zero series, and there are other games in which Mega Man has starred, including a board game, a racing game, a soccer game, and some fighting games.  And some of his games have been remade or ported - counting all those, his total number of games surpasses a hundred!  He is one of Capcom's mascots and has been featured in some cartoon series and comics, as well.

 

So to celebrate this anniversary of the original "Blue Bomber", Zeric vowed to complete the only game that was missing from our collection of Mega Man (classic) maps - Mega Man 8.  (That game was itself made to celebrate Mega Man's 10th anniversary.)  And indeed, Zeric succeeded!  He overcame the challenges that mapping a PlayStation game presents (becoming the first Mapmaker Of The Month to earn the honour by mapping a fifth-generation console game) and filled a mega-sized hole in our atlas.  Happy Anniversary, Mega Man!

 

So to recognize the effort put into making these mega maps, Zeric's Mega Man 8 maps will be known as VGMaps.com's Maps Of The Month for December 2007.

 

Discuss the Maps Of The Month here!

 

Game: Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga (Nintendo, GBA)

Compiler: Peardian

For this month's "Maps Of The Month" featurette, I wish to draw your attention to Peardian's Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga (GBA) maps.

 

One of the biggest hits on the GBA, this RPG featuring everyone's favorite super plumbers brings us to a new land - instead of the Mushroom Kingdom, we visit the adjacent Beanbean Kingdom.  Mario and Luigi (and even Bowser) venture there to reclaim Peach's voice from the evil Cackletta, and it's no less an adventure than any they have ever been on!

 

As you would expect from a Mario game, the Beanbean Kingdom is vibrant.  And as you would expect from an RPG, it's also vast.  To fully map out a Mario RPG would be a feat for anyone, but it's a repeat accomplishment for VGMaps.com's biggest Mario fan, Peardian, who had mapped out Super Mario RPG: Legend Of The Seven Stars a couple years ago (and that was featured as Maps Of The Month as well).

 

So to recognize the effort put into making these "superstar" maps, Peardian's Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga maps will be known as VGMaps.com's Maps Of The Month for November 2007.

 

Discuss the Maps Of The Month here!

 

Game: Castlevania: Harmony Of Dissonance (Konami, GBA)

Compiler: Zeric

For this month's "Maps Of The Month" featurette, I wish to draw your attention to Zeric's Castlevania: Harmony Of Dissonance (GBA) maps.

 

Drac's back!  And we know what that means - more Castlevania!  This time around, Simon Belmont's grandson, Juste Belmont, must venture into Dracula's Castle after the kidnapping of his friend Lydie, which will lead him on quest to collect the parts of Dracula (much like in Castlevania II: Simon's Quest 50 years earlier), and also to save his friend Maxim, who has been possessed by the Count.

 

One twist in the story is that at one point, Juste learns that the castle he has been fighting through is actually two separate castles.  Like in many other "dual-world" games, the rooms are very similar in layout between the two castles, but he must frequently travel back and forth between the two in order to collect all the equipment and relics he will need to be able to defeat Dracula...for this generation at least.

 

The two castles mean, of course, twice as much adventure!  Actually submitted to the site before sprays's Circle Of The Moon map (honoured back in June), this pair of Dracula's Castles was the first time VGMaps.com received a full "Castleroid" map.  It had long been a dream to have one of them mapped, and Zeric came through with two!  And they're huge!  (Luckily, they're also broken up by area, just in case your browser can't handle the full maps.)

 

So to recognize the effort put into making these massive milestone maps, Zeric's Castlevania: Harmony Of Dissonance maps will be known as VGMaps.com's Maps Of The Month for October 2007.

 

Discuss the Maps Of The Month here!

 

Game: The Legend Of Kyrandia - Book Two: The Hand Of Fate (Westwood Studios, PC)

Compiler: TerraEsperZ

For this month's "Maps Of The Month" featurette, I wish to draw your attention to TerraEsperZ's The Legend Of Kyrandia - Book Two: The Hand Of Fate (PC) maps.

 

A genre that I would consider oldschool would be the point-and-click graphic adventure.  While the genre isn't exactly dead per se (with the releases of Sam & Max: Season Two and Zack & Wiki: Quest For Barbaros' Treasure before the end of the year), the games are still few and far between, and not as cherished or as beautiful as the games that came out in the 1990s.  Or perhaps that's just nostalgia speaking.

 

Regardless, it doesn't take much to see that The Legend Of Kyrandia - Book Two: The Hand Of Fate is an example of beauty.  Hand-drawn VGA graphics beauty, that is - colour and detail abound.  Even Darkmoor Swamp looks good!  As Zanthia tries to save the world from disappearing, you'll be there beside her with these maps by multi-Maps-Of-The-Month-maker TerraEsperZ.  Though the game isn't as maze-like as its prequel, it's still nice to see the areas all laid out so you can hunt down your next item or plot point with ease.

 

So to recognize the effort put into making these maps from a game from a genre sorely missed, TerraEsperZ's The Legend Of Kyrandia - Book Two: The Hand Of Fate maps will be known as VGMaps.com's Maps Of The Month for September 2007.

 

Discuss the Maps Of The Month here!

 

Game: Krusty's Fun House (Acclaim, Master System)

Compiler: Maxim

For this month's "Maps Of The Month" featurette, I wish to draw your attention to Maxim's Krusty's Fun House (Master System) maps.

 

Krusty's Fun House (as well as Krusty's Super Fun House) stars Krusty the Clown (of "The Simpsons" fame) in a Lemmings-esque puzzle platformer game.  Krusty must eliminate rats that have overrun the rooms of his Fun House by creating a path for them to reach the goal, which is really an extermination device operated by another Simpsons character.

 

The premise is simple, like in any puzzle game, but the challenge level is not.  It doesn't take very long before the rooms get large and almost labyrinthine, especially when you consider that you have to navigate them while also leading mindless rodents to the "goal".

 

This game has appeared on a number of different platforms, but Maxim (clearly a Master System fan) has captured it first on Sega's 8-bit console, and considering that it's on the Master System, the graphics are incredible.  But surely the maps for a game like this are as handy as they are handsome.

 

So to recognize the effort put into making these "krusty" maps, Maxim's Krusty's Fun House maps will be known as VGMaps.com's Maps Of The Month for August 2007.

 

Discuss the Maps Of The Month here!

 

Game: The 7th Saga (Enix, Super NES)

Compiler: KingKuros

For this month's "Maps Of The Month" featurette, I wish to draw your attention to KingKuros's The 7th Saga (Super NES) maps.

 

King Lemele has sent out seven apprentices to search the world of Ticondera for seven magical runes that give the holder unimaginable power.  As one of the apprentices, your quest will cross paths with the other six, who may help you or hinder you.  The journey is already difficult enough as it is, as a game of constant leveling up of your character, but at least you'll never be surprised about your surroundings.

 

On the seventh month of the seventh year of the millennium, it's a good time to recognize this set of maps from The 7th Saga.  Though, really, any time is a good time to appreciate a set of maps from an epic Super NES RPG.  KingKuros has gone the extra step to label the contents of treasure chests and other locations where items can be found.  Wherever you are in Ticondera, KingKuros has got your navigational needs covered.  Check out those large overworld maps!

 

So to recognize the effort put into making these detailed maps for a difficult game, KingKuros's The 7th Saga maps will be known as VGMaps.com's Maps Of The Month for July 2007.

 

Discuss the Maps Of The Month here!

 

Game: Castlevania: Circle Of The Moon (Konami, GBA)

Compiler: sprays

For this month's "Maps Of The Month" featurette, I wish to draw your attention to sprays's Castlevania: Circle Of The Moon (GBA) map.

 

Circle Of The Moon, the first of many portable "Castleroid" games, has a story not unlike just about any other Castlevania game...Dracula's alive again, his castle has reappeared, and it's up to a vampire hunter or two to defeat him.  This time around, it's 1830, and the vampire hunters are Nathan Graves and Hugh Baldwin.  But, hey, it's Castlevania, which is always a good thing, and it's in the vein of the 2D Metroid games since Super Metroid, or the PlayStation game, Castlevania: Symphony Of The Night, which are great games to even be compared to.  And it's portable!

 

But, when fully mapped out, sprays's map certainly won't fit in your pocket.  It's the biggest map on the site so far!  (File size-wise, anyway)  At over 16 megabytes, hopefully your browser can handle it!  Every corridor, every room, every intricate detail within...every pixel!

 

Any map or maps of an entire Castlevania game are likely Maps Of The Month, and maps from a "Castleroid" game even more so.  Why wait 'til Hallowe'en when I can honour Circle Of The Moon this June?

 

So to recognize the effort put into making the largest map on the site so far, sprays's Castlevania: Circle Of The Moon map will be known as VGMaps.com's Map of the Month for June 2007.

 

Discuss the Maps Of The Month here!

 

Game: Final Fantasy Legend III (Square, Game Boy)

Compiler: Dammit 9x

For this month's "Maps Of The Month" featurette, I wish to draw your attention to Dammit 9x's Final Fantasy Legend III (Game Boy) maps.

 

In Final Fantasy Legend III, adventurers from ruins of the future have come to the present to stop the Pureland Water Entity, which has been/is currently/will be flooding the worlds of the past, present, and future.  From the waters come monsters, wreaking havoc on the world in all time periods.

 

The Final Fantasy Legend series on the Game Boy were really part of the SaGa series - it's one example of at least a couple where the "Final Fantasy" name is stamped onto a game to help it sell better.  Regardless of what it's called, though, it's still an oldschool RPG, and maps are always welcome for any of those.  The time-traveling dynamic, unsurprisingly, means that there are multiple worlds to explore.  Not just the past, present, and future worlds, either, but also Floatland, Pureland, and the Underworld.  For an original Game Boy game, it's fairly epic.

 

Mapping out all the worlds in an RPG would probably be enough to warrant the Map Of The Month honour.  But Dammit 9x goes above and beyond that, by labeling every door and every treasure.  You won't get lost, and you won't miss out on items, either.  This is an example of how all RPGs should be mapped.

 

So to recognize the effort put into making these "legendary" maps, Dammit 9x's Final Fantasy Legend III maps will be known as VGMaps.com's Maps Of The Month for May 2007.

 

Discuss the Maps Of The Month here!

 

Game: Super Kid Icarus (Nintendo, Super NES)

Compiler: JonLeung

For this month's "Maps Of The Month" featurette, I wish to draw your attention to JonLeung's Super Kid Icarus (Super NES) maps.

 

More of a remake than an actual sequel, Pit is (once again) up against the forces of Medusa.  Medusa has taken over the Palace in the Sky, with Palutena as her prisoner.  Pit must use his trusty bow and magical arrows to reclaim the Three Sacred Treasures which will enable him to match Medusa's power and possibly save Angel Land.

 

Much like the original game, this is one of the most challenging games ever released by Nintendo.  Difficult climbs, long treks, and maze-like dungeons have defeated many.  The maps here will increase the chance of survival for anyone who attempts to take down Medusa, whether in an elaborate maze or even the straightforward but deadly climbs.  Don't be foolish - use these maps to your advantage!

 

So to recognize the effort put into making these handy maps, JonLeung's Super Kid Icarus maps will be known as VGMaps.com's Maps Of The Month for April FOOLS' 2007.

 

Discuss the Maps Of The Month here!

 

Game: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (Konami, NES)

Compiler: Chiasm

For this month's "Maps Of The Month" featurette, I wish to draw your attention to Chiasm's Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (NES) maps.

 

March is the month where spring begins.  At last, winter ends, and green returns to the surface.  And in the new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie in theatres by the end of this month, evil industrialist Max Winters will be challenged by four green heroes that have returned.  It's a good time to remember the Ninja Turtles in their prime.

 

In the late '80s and early '90s, TMNT was a particularly hot property.  Besides a cartoon, comics and toys, they had video games (of course).  The first NES game was a challenging platformer, and not very linear with its overhead-perspective outdoor scenes and multiple indoor locations in each area, and the combination of the two along with some dead ends and tricky obstacles made for a game that was somewhat labyrinthine.

 

Well, it helps that Chiasm stepped up to take on Shredder and the Foot Clan to bring us these maps of everything from the sewers to the Technodrome.

 

So to recognize the effort put into making these "radical" maps, Chiasm's Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles maps will be known as VGMaps.com's Maps Of The Month for March 2007.

 

Discuss the Maps Of The Month here!

 

Game: Solomon's Key (Tecmo, NES)

Compiler: Rick Bruns

For this month's "Maps Of The Month" featurette, I wish to draw your attention to Rick Bruns's Solomon's Key (NES) maps.

 

The world has been overtaken by demons, and it's up to the wizard Dana to recover the book, "Solomon's Key", in order to seal them away and restore order.

 

Not much of a story, but it's a puzzle game, after all.  And what a puzzle game it is!  It's got what counts, and that's challenge.  This game is still considered one of the most difficult puzzle games ever.  (Not only that, but it's the first non-Nintendo-developed NES game available on the Wii's Virtual Console.)

 

What might help you and Dana as you "block" your way through the rooms of the zodiac constellations are Rick Bruns's maps.  Every room (including the secret ones!) have been captured so you can plan your moves in advance before you even see the next stage!  All arcade puzzle games should be captured in this way: it's the juxtaposition of the basic simplicity of the rooms against the sheer difficulty of traversing them.  Oh, ambivalence!

 

So to recognize the effort put into making these puzzlicious maps, Rick Bruns's Solomon's Key maps will be known as VGMaps.com's Maps Of The Month for February 2007.

 

Discuss the Maps Of The Month here!

 

Game: Donkey Kong (Nintendo, Game Boy)

Compiler: Captain Drake

For this month's "Maps Of The Month" featurette, I wish to draw your attention to Captain Drake's Donkey Kong (Game Boy) maps.

 

A new year means a new beginning.  A chance to reflect on the past and to plan for the future.

 

In 1994, Nintendo looked back to the game that made them so successful back in 1981.  Shigeru Miyamoto's arcade masterpiece, the original Donkey Kong, was remade - thirteen years after its initial arcade appearance - and was released along with the launch of the Super Game Boy.  The Super Game Boy could play any Game Boy game through the Super NES, but this version of Donkey Kong used predetermined and enhanced colour palettes along with its own arcade cabinet-style borders to provide a fuller console experience, though none of the gameplay was lost if played on a Game Boy.

 

The gameplay started out the same as the arcade version, with the four original stages where Mario climbed a construction site to save Pauline from the clutches of the mischievous ape, Donkey Kong.  But after the fourth stage, Donkey Kong is not yet defeated, and Mario must chase him through another 97 stages in another nine worlds.  This is so much more than a remake!  The stages had new obstacles and puzzle elements, but Mario's repertoire of new moves can lead him to a happy ending.

 

Another thing that can lead you to a happy ending are the maps that Captain Drake has assembled.  He has mapped all 101 stages, which should come in handy when solving your way to Pauline.

 

Thirteen years after the more-than-a-remake of a then-thirteen-year-old game, VGMaps.com acknowledges this Super Game Boy masterpiece.

 

So to recognize the effort put into making these classic maps, Captain Drake's Donkey Kong maps will be known as VGMaps.com's Maps Of The Month for January 2007.

 

Discuss the Maps Of The Month here!

 

 

Congratulations and thanks to the Mapmakers of 2007!