Awesome Radical Retrospective: Monster Party (NES)
This week we’re featuring one of my all time favorite NES games, Monster Party. It has everything: ridiculous story line, great music, giant maneating shrimp, and tons of blood that slipped by the censors somehow. Monster Party has “awesome” writen all over it.
The game opens with a scene of the main character, Mark walking home at night with a baseball bat. Soon after an alien-gargoyle thing named Bert comes up to Mark and asks him to help rid his home planet of “evil monsters”. Mark doesn’t want to at first (who would, really) but Bert insists, saying Mark can use his “weapon” (baseball bat) to fight the enemies. I don’t understand why Bert wouldn’t come up to someone who had a gun in their hand or something. I mean, why does he go up to the kid with a bat? That’s the best he could do?
Regardless, Bert takes him to his home planet and the game begins. It’s a typical sidescrolling platformer, but you can walk inside open doors to explore extra rooms. At first the atmosphere is all nice and peaceful looking with smiling faces everywhere you look. There are some bad guys in black suits that shoot lasers at you and some menancing legs sticking out of the ground, but other than that it doesn’t seem too bad a planet.
Soon though, things take a turn for the worst. For example, the first open door you come across has a giant plant inside that says “Hello! Baby!” and then proceeds to shoot bubbles at you that you can reflect back at him to kill him. Weird. The second door has a dead spider with a fly circling it that says “Sorry, I’m dead”. Interesting, but nothing too crazy.
However, further down the road you come across a giant cactus thing with smiling faces all over it. Once you pass it, everything goes crazy. The ground is filled with skulls dripping with blood. The smiling faces are gone. New enemies appear such as walking eyeballs and weird looking dogs with human faces. The music changes from upbeat to haunting. Everything goes to hell. At the time, something like this would probably not be allowed on a NES system, it was just too gory, but the censors must not have seen it because initially the game looks very happy.
Even more interesting are the bosses. From Wikipedia:
The bosses range from more normal enemy fare such as ghosts and severed heads, to the bizzare such as giant punk rockers, a gigantic cat that throws kittens, a cow-man that sends smaller cows out to attack, and killer shrimp. The dancing zombie duo in Stage 5 are invincible unless the player lets them finish their dance routine, after which they self-destruct. There is even a boss that is, literally, a dead spider. The spider’s corpse simply says “Sorry, I’m dead” and disappears, concluding the “boss battle” as soon as it is started.
That’s right. Killer shrimp. Check out this boss montage, it’s classic (also note the crazy Enter Sandman music in the background).
Overall this game is one of the most awesome radical NES games. Easily a 10/10, for the shrimp/onion ring boss, alone.