Turrican: SNES

With the advent of the Nindies and the recent Konami re-releases, over the past few weeks the term Metroidvania has been slung about a lot at me. While this has not really given me a desire to play either Castlevania or Metroid, is has made me wanna play their estranged cousin - Turrican on the SNES: 


I decided to pick up the SNES version of Turrican and burn through that, though... my first fond memories and experience of Turrican was on the Commodore 64:
On the C64 the game was a different beast, for starters it was just "Turrican", not "Super Turrican".

Note:And just to add further confusion to the whole thing, there was also a "Super Turrican" on the NES, which was a mix of Turrican and Turrican 2... Phew...

Turrican on the C64, or the original Turrican had vast expansive levels and despite Turrican being referred to as a "Run and gun" it had many secrets and paths and caves to negotiate and explore which you certainly were not going to find if you were running and gunning. In my travels to replay this game, I stumbled up on a great site, here, which has painstakingly mapped all of these levels on the C64 out.
My initial experience of Turrican, is testament to how the value of games have changed and how we used to treasure games. Turrican cost me £3.99 from a John Menzies store, and I spent so long on that game, learning the ins and outs, finding 1-ups in hidden blocks, and all before the internet.
I don't think I got far past lvl 2 which was surprisingly ok, considering all the lastability for me was exploration of level 1 to it. But also, it was the C64. It was AWFUL, quite often you would deliberately die on level 1!  As between levels you used to have to stop/pause the tape player and then when you had finished the level press play again. and each time it was a fucking lottery as to whether the game actually loaded or if you were just left with bands of floating colours on a screen as it just "loaded" into infinity.

Granted, it's cheaty as fuck, but in my youth I also played this with an Action Replay Cartridge*:
Mainly because it was a fucking hard game too! I wasn't very good at it, 3 lives and that was your lot, It was great to be able to put in a "code" to turn off time and be invincible to find all those extra hidden areas, to routinely hunt for the hidden blocks and generally wander and appreciate the map, without the constant and unrelenting onslaught of death and destruction that would have otherwise been at your heels.

..,Sorry where was I...

Oh yeah SNES! Just to be clear I had a go at Super Turrican for the SNES, which as it turns out actually has less levels, and honestly I felt had smaller maps! Anyways lets have a look at the levels and what can bee expected in Turrican...

First up, World One, #Genericworld Sets a standard. On the bottom right of that pic you will see a wee Ed-209 thing, they are walking goomba like enemies you can jump on, and thent the get smooshed and can walk faster and can be jumped on again, like the blue standing dinosaur enemies in Super Mario World, you know the ones right?


World 1 Boss is a fist... Hang on! Is that Master hand? I think we know who our next Smash Bros Character is!
Turrican: Almost indistinguishable from Samus, just with more schlong.


There is a Lava World...

And an Ice world! complete with slidey ice trope too!

Now, World 4 is the real reason I have brought you here, and Kudos to you for reading through my nostalgic Commodore 64 bullshit! World 4 is special, a complete rip-off homage to H. R. Giger, more specifically the Alien films:
I mean just look at this screenie, here are little facehuggers on the right on that "platform" is an egg that facehuggers pop out of. And also yeah that "platform" is essentially the heads of Xenomorphs, two in profile and one looking directly at you, they even have an animated drool, why their heads are floating platforms I have no idea! 

Also fuck these facehuggers, grab on top you and drain your life bar so quickly, you can only shake em off by turning into a sphere, oh and you have to kill the egg or they keep spawning. Fuck those facehuggers!

On the C64 version of this level. I have what I believe to be a false memory of the face hugger after grabbing your face letting you go on minimum energy but after a few second you would just keel over and a chest burster came out and then you lost a life. - Nice idea for a mechanic but it seems a bit too much, it was also not present in the SNES version

Super Turrican came out just shortly after Alien 3 yet in this iteration they managed to squeeze the Alien 3 dogs into it, good for them!

Final big rip off boss, giant gold alien queen thing, spits bullets, you fight her on her tail which swooshes up and down, and you never see the rest of her body.

Oddly the game ends after this boss, the original Turricans went on for another level, which was robotic skyscraper future themed world and you fought a floating cube with faces boss, but I guess there is reasons for this only Factor 5 know (I bet its money).

Turrican was fun to return to, and playthrough, though in retrospect of this retrospect I should have found a way to play the C64 version. Don't get me wrong Super Turrican, did hold testament to the original Turrican I played, keeping the mechanics and the hidden exploration stuff, but because teh levels were altered it was the same but different. Like an itch in a hard to reach place, I have managed to scratch around it enough to get some relief, but ultimately I still need to scratch that itch!

Love and, More like Turrican't amirite?

Richie X

*There was also an added benefit to the Action Replay, it could take "snapshots" of the game code and allow you to dump where you were on a blank tape, and load the tape from that point and because of "magic" it also loads super fast.
I actually ended up doing this on World 4 for the C64's version of the H.R. Giger level as one of my mammoth exploration run-throughs of the game with invincibility and no time limit on. And it worked, loaded super fast, but it came with a catch, when you completed the level it had nowhere to go... the action replay had only taken a snapshot of that level, so when it was time to loading the next level "press play on tape..." Sad face.

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