Quattro Adventure
by Vanor Orion

There is no doubt in my mind, or any room for deliberation: This fucking abomination of code programmed into silicon, and wrapped in shitty gold plastic IS the worst fucking NES video game I've ever played by far in my short life.

"Abandon all hope, ye who enter..."

I'd actually managed to purge all recollection of those horrible days from my rather venerable long-term memory when armake21 put Quattro Adventure up on Youtube as a part of his Games That Suck series. And then all the horrible memories came flooding back at me and threatened to drown me in nostalgic terror, the likes of which that would have sent Edgar Allen Poe running for the hills. I don't know who the people responsible for this game are, but they need to be shackled over bamboo shoots, of that much I am certain.

Now for those of you that don't know, Quattro Adventure is exactly what it sounds like: Four video games in one, and in the case of this particular title, was for the Nintendo Entertainment System. I inherited my copy of the game from my cousin Kevin when he gave me his NES and games for Christmas, eons ago. The cartridge itself was shiny gold, like the original Zelda. Unlike Quattro Adventure however, Zelda's quality gameplay squashed Quattro's quantity of games, proving once again that superior numbers don't always trump one lone, skilled warrior.

"Forget the Large Hadron Collider, THIS is more likely to create a black hole with its suckiness."

Especially when it's Miyamoto Musashi squaring off against four quadraplegic [REDACTED]s.

So, with that said, let's tackle this son of a bitch fucking piece of shit game! For this installment of my submission to SMPS.net, I decided to type it out as I played the game via emulator, so you'll get a much more accurate depiction of my feelings for Quattro Adventure as I play through it:

Linus Spacehead

Plot: You're a space alien-superhero-thing that has to find parts to fix his sunken spaceship.

Stage 1: You start out underwater, kinda like the beginning of of Planet of the Apes, only I wasn't cussing the TV screen because fucking fish were trying to hinder the astronauts' desperate struggle to reach the surface for oxygen. Apparently he can't swim either cuz he has to ride randomly-spawning bubbles to the top. And there's corals or some shit he can use as platforms, but can also impede his ascent. And then the fish conveniently hide behind these reefs and then pop out of nowhere to kill your ass instantly. Yeah, no health bar, or hit points; one hit, you're fucked. It certainly doesn't help that the bubbles you ride to the surface are very erratic in their patterns, and you may find yourself watching your oxygen gauge drop to nothing as you wait patiently for a bubble to arrive....that never does.

Stage 2: Well if you thought Linus's ascent sucked harder than a singularity, then wait 'til you try controlling this little turd laterally. Oh my god. His movements are very....imprecise. I think the devs tried to code this guy to have momentum, which is kinda neat. But the thing is that they seemed to have done this after they coded the god damn levels, because it's quite easy to leap to another platform dead-on, then slide right on off and die even though you weren't pushing in any commands. This problem with momentum also plagues jumping, as for some fucking reason Linus will make a small bounce upon landing from his initial jump sometimes, which can snatch victory from the jaws of successful platforming. Then there's the jumping itself. Once you commit to your jump, you can't have anymore say in the matter until you land on the ground. You can't control his direction mid-jump, and it sucks. And it's even worse when you try to jump over enemies, because you have to do it just so, or you fucking die!

"Get used to seeing this happen. A lot."

Stage 3: The last level was like a traditonal Super Mario Bros. stage. This on the other hand, is more akin to something from The Lost Levels. And as I've already explained, the controls are for shit. Now we have to navigate a bunch of floating blocks along this cliff. The first thing I notice is that if I land on a block just barely, it's like the laws of physics fucking collapse on themselves and Linus is somehow magically pulled safely onto the block. But this is where the weird jumping comes to bite you in the ass, because if you aren't precise, you're fucked; you'll land the block, bounce, and fall to your doom. There's birds flying around that stun Linus, and can cause him to fall off the cliff and die. If you fall from too high but manage to land on a block, you get stunned. I mean, I got hit by a bird and sent careening in the opposite direction and managed to make more progress because of the damn bird than from my own attempts to scale the cliff.

"You've gotta be fucking kidding."

I was actually gonna call it quits right here, but I decided that I needed to plod ahead and at least try to make an effort, no matter how much brain damage playing Linus Spacehead inflicted on me. I literally save-stated after EVERY jump. The path to make your way up could not have been anymore fucking vague even if Codemasters had made a new game today and gotten JJ Abrams and fucking M. Nyght Shamalan to pen the game's plot. Somehow though, somehow I got to the top, and just when I thought it couldn't possibly get any worse


it did. Now I gotta navigate a fucking swamp with precarious jumps, enemies that don't kill you but like the birds in the prior level, obstruct your jumps and knock you into certain death since 80% of the entire level is fucking water and if you fall into it you die. We got fucking giant alligators that flick their tails, and if you touch them as they do this, you're catapaulted backwards into almost certain death. Even if you manage to land on solid ground, a fucking bat or giant mosquito will make sure to finish the job that the giant croc started. Somehow, somehow, I made it through this level. Surely to Christ it can't get any worse? Right!?

"Dear god make the pain stop."

Giant ants and monkeys that are going Charles Bronson on your ass. Fuck this, I quit, next game!

Super Robin Hood

Plot: You're Robin Hood raiding some dungeon or castle or something to find treasure, and maybe some fluid gameplay controls and level design that wasn't programmed by the Marquis de Saad while you're at it.

I'm not really sure if this game has stages, or if the entire game ends if you collect all the treasure that it mandates at the beginning. I'll never know because I can't fucking get through the game without dying. This game has all the problems of Linus Spacehead only they're amplified a hundred fold. First off, Sir Robin has the same momentum issues as Linus, sliding around and always making you feel like he's just barely under your control. To clarify this, whereas the controls on Linus were more loose than a 90-year old woman of ill repute, Robin Hood's controls are very, very stiff.

"It's all fun and games until you actually try controlling this smarmy fucker."

It doesn't help that the level design requires so much precision on your part (which is impossible because of the shit controls) that if you fuck up even slightly, you get hit. Fortunately Robin has a health gauge. Unfortunately, it doesn't matter because you get hit by so much bullshit-positioned boobytraps and enemies too low to the ground and you can't duck and shoot because the game won't let you, so you're assured a hasty demise. You got lives, but fuck it, you need to be a god damn Grammaton Cleric to beat this piece of shit game. Next!


Boomerang Kid

Plot: You play a (presumably) Aussie kid who has to go through branching stages to collect boomerangs to progress to the next stage. Easy, right? Of course not!

"Cue the hallelujah chorus."

Okay, this one is probably the least terrible in the whole package. That's not saying much, but it's definitely a welcome respite after the last two. The whole point of Boomerang Kid is that you go through a single-screen stage, collect every boomerang in the stage whilst avoiding nasty obstacles such as animals, pitfalls, and falling too far, and then reach the exit before the time runs out. After each stage, you get to pick which stage to go through next, which adds a bit of variety in getting from Point A to Point B that the other two games didn't have This isn't a bad formula, and the controls are a bit improved compared to the first two, but on the other hand, there are some flaws marring it from actually being enjoyable:

"Just like real life, falling from a height greater than six feet is instant death."

--First off, the controls, while better than the last two games, are still kinda stiff, and don't allow much leeway in movement during jumps, which doesn't matter because...

--If you fall too far to the ground, you die. You have to platform just so goin up or down to assure that you don't exceed the height at which a plummet becomes fatal. This isn't helped by the spotty jumping mechanics that sometimes let you move whilst jumping, and sometimes doesn't.

--There's enemies and the only way around them is to jump or wait for them to move. You got no attacks. None, zilch, nada.

--Not to mention that whenever you pause the game, it does this:

I guess Codemasters thought that being able to pause the game and examine the path to completion for each stage broke the game. Ya know what Codemasters? I think it's time to tell you how much I wanna track down your development team for Quattro Adventure and break this fucking cartridge over their god damn heads!!!

So it's not the worst of them by far, but it's certainly nothing you're gonna drop Super Mario Bros. to play, that's for damn sure. One more to go.

Treasure Island Dizzy

"Say, didn't Yahtzee Croshaw mention this guy before..."

Plot: You play what appears to be a hard-boiled egg with arms, legs, and facial features. I think you're looking for treasure, but you'll never find it BECAUSE THIS GAME IS BULLSHIT! Allow me to sum this fucking game up visually before I actually put it to syntax:

"La de da, minding my own business, lu lu lu..."

"So happy that the controls don't suck, boing boing boing...."



I've had the music from this game stuck in my head for years, and it would haunt me for far longer than the nightmares I had about CHUD. This entire game can be finished in about 20 minutes. The whole thing is like one big puzzle from start to finish. You start out on a beach, and you have to collect items and exchange them or drop them off at certain places to progress, and anything can kill you in one hit, and you only got one life. Yes, that means if you get to the very end and die, you fucking start over from the beginning.

You'd have to have a level of patience that would have Martin Luther King Jr. and Ghandi beating each other senseless before you got pissed at this game. At the very beginning there's a bridge with two torches on either side, and if you jump and touch the fire, you're dead. If you go into the water without a snorkel, dead. There's boobytraps and shit, dead. Ironically, my mom was pretty good at the game, and even showed it a greater level of patience for it than I ever did. Then again, she kicked my ass at Atari 2600 Pacman. Overall, this isn't the worst of them, and the controls are probably the most responsive of them all, but that doesn't change the fact that I'd rather teethe my gums with razor wire before playing Treasure Island Dizzy willingly again.

I can't see how anybody without gamefaqs or a Game Genie beat any of these games back in the day. I gave each of these plenty of go's, but would eventually pop Metroid or Twin Cobra or Super Mario back in since gaming is supposed to be about fun and not wanting to strangle the fucking assholes responsible for this game because it pisses you off so damn much!!!

"So, whose ass are we gonna kick first?"

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