« Back home

Ultra Games: The Aftermath of Konami’s Hangover

Editorial by N3o [email protected] Posted in 2003

You know when you get drunk, find a whore, sleep together then 9 months later find a basket left outside your house with a child in it? Well, Nintendo and Konami were a lot like that. And their bastard child? Ultra Software Corporation. Conceived in 1983, they not only single-handedly plagued the souls of those whom owned the Nintendo Entertainment System, they also cursed Game Boy owners and damned DOS users to a fate worse than death. Fortunately, in 1991, they were killed in a not-so-tragic accident when one Hideo Kojima got “revenge” for the murder of the Metal Gear ethos via the weapon of mass destruction that was “Snake’s Revenge”. How ironic.

I have unearthed 16 titles that Ultra Games unleashed upon the unexpected hordes of people called “Gamers”, although I suspect that there are many more titles that they pulled from the depths of hell. While I wont go into detail of all of them (after all, coming up with 16 ways of saying “THIS GAME IS A MASSIVE PILE OF DONKEY SHITE” wouldn’t make for a very entertaining read), I will pull out a couple of spectacularly notable releases so that you may avoid the tragedy that is the “Ultra Games” brand (TM). Of course, by reading this, you’re all going to go and download these after seeing how they destroy my soul piece by piece. Heartless gits.

Nintendo Entertainment System

Why oh why did I press Start?!

I’m sure you’ve all been at this point before. You remember a game you played years ago as a kid and you quite enjoyed it. Then you come back to play it as an adult and its not so great… actually, screw that, I cant remember actually enjoying this on my ZX Spectrum (That’s right N3o, show your age…) years ago…

In the NES days, colours in games came in one of two varieties – lots of different shades of brown that don’t hurt the eyes but look boring and as many different bright colours as possible to “recreate a living, breathing, vibrant world”. Or was it “to promote ripping your own eyes out with a rusty fork”? I can never remember which of the two it was. TMNT (and anything released by Ultra Games for a matter of fact) falls under the latter of the two categories, and you’ll be treated to one shade of every primary and secondary colour in existence. Would be nice if it had any other shades of colour in between to stop them clashing.

…lying bastard

Anyways, if you can live with that, you’re quite mad. But, as I am a certified cynically insane person, I continued. To get squished. By a giant blue tank. Sadly, I am not joking. After becoming a turtle pancake, Splinter (the rat, remember?) kindly told all the other turtles that I had been “captured” and asks which of the other three shall continue in the quest. Now, if I heard that my friend had been crushed by a blue tank, I wouldn’t be in a rush to get myself killed as well. But then, Splinter did lie to them, saying I was “captured”. And, who knows, maybe they’re blind with rage? Of course, after anyone played this game for more than five minutes, you’d be blind with rage too. Or just blind.

…what are those alien thingies anyways?

Anyways, this time I selected Michelangelo and actually got past the giant blue tank this time around. And managed to get into a sewer hole. And I think I may have discovered where they got the engine for Snake’s Revenge, as the birds-eye view of this warehouse/factory/abandoned home combination that is world 1 suddenly becomes a side-scroller. And I was promptly attacked by a fly. Literally. I had no time to react and just had to grunt out the pain. And, after that assault, 3.2 million little alien creatures promptly ran over me. Again, this is sadly not a joke. If you take no damage in this game, you simply must have cheated. It is IMPOSSIBLE to avoid getting hit.

Well, this is anti-climatic.

To make up for this, the mini-boss was completely easy. Perhaps the two balances the game out. I really couldn’t care at this point. It runs. And runs and runs. And if it hits a wall, it runs into the wall. And doesn’t turn around. This means the boss solely consists of jumping over him and then slashing him in the back till he disappears. *shrugs* Then the pink rhino picks up April and runs into the door. Even if you jump up and slash him. I guess he’s immortal or something. After that, the 300 billion monsters soon dispatched of the rest of my turtles before I could get much further and they all lived happily ever after. Or something. I couldn’t really give a shit. The important fact is that when Ultra Games closed up shop, Konami took the license. And continued to make shite Turtle games. This would become known as “Konami’s Second Mistake”.

Nintendo Entertainment System

…damn you nefarious villain!

This has to be one of the shite-ist games I have ever played. No joke (like anything to do with Ultra Games ever is). Welcome to the town of Metro City. All was well at one point. Till the superhero of the town was captured and slain by someone. No-one knows who. It just happened. Anyways, as a result of this, every criminal organization in the world decides to come to Metro City for a piece of the action. Quite how they all fit into this city and why everyone else just doesn’t leave is anyone’s guess. Anyways, they kill each other trying to become the ruler of Metro City or something. Quite how they don’t kill each other in this turf war too is also anyone’s guess. Anyways, someone comes along and unites the clans or something. So you decide its a good time to become a superhero yourself. Great. Why not do it when they’re weak from all the turf wars or something?

Not all British cops are evil, y’know

Start up the game, and your instantly captured. Quite. Then the super-villain shows up and laughs at you. Then disappears again. Oooooookay. There is a bomb and a candle behind you. The idea is to move the chair to the candle and not get blown to bits! But, don’t worry to much, because your superhero powers will result in you only losing half of your health if you get blown up by the bomb! …Whatever. Anyways, once the candle has burnt you free, you can run into the next area. The controls, quite predictably, are crap. They’ve tried to make a point-and-click adventure on a NES. Which is like trying to render Sons of Liberty on a SEGA MegaDrive. The concept shouldn’t even EXIST. Anyways, A button allows you to examine items while B button allows you to manipulate them. Press either one and a little mouse cursor pops up which you move with the D-Pad instead of you. Which you manipulate with. Anyways, I go up the steps and see what looks like a cop. He must be on my side right? Obviously not. He started shooting at me without provocation. I tried to fight (A being jump and B being punch now), but we were never really meant to take on people with guns. So he killed me. Or not. I simply melted away…


And then I woke up. Tied to a conveyor belt. I dunno, maybe they were trying to recreate a Bond scene or something and I melted into the wrong scene or something. Anyways, my nefarious rival or whoever he is gloats and stuff. And he calls me Lampshade! THAT IS SO FUNNY!! HAHAHAH! CAUSE MY NAME IS NIGHTSHADE!!! HAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHA!!! …or not. Anyways, he vanishes again (Maybe he has the same melting powers as I…) and the belt starts moving. Now the answer to this should be obvious, as there is a lever cunningly labelled “STOP” within my reach. But you see, this is part of the nefarious villains plan, as when you manipulate it, the belt goes FASTER! With no hope for me now, I simply left the console to give me text which goes somewhere along the lines of “SQUOOSH!!!” or something.

…Fuck you

Then the game tells me I lost the game. Mr. Nefarious Villain had taken over now that his “worthy adversary” had been defeated. Well, if I constitute as worthy, I guess someone like Bob or George or even Ravi can take this pussy down. As for me, I really couldn’t give a shit. I was so genuinely fucking annoyed at this game, I just couldn’t bare to look at it anymore. This has to be among the epitome of Ultra Game’s shitty existence. I NEVER EVER WANT TO SEE THIS FUCKING WASTE OF BINARY DIGITS FOR THE REST OF MY FUCKING LIFE. Oh, and to rub it in, it said I had completed 0% of the game and I had the rank of “Complete Weed”. WELL, FUCK IT STRAIGHT TO HELL. This surely must be the work of the Taliban. Maybe this evidence was used to justify the War on Terror or something. I’d certainly agree to fighting the war based on this evidence. Poor Afghan people…

Nintendo GameBoy

To boldly go where no Game Boy game has gone before… down the shitter.

Now I cant say I’m a trekkie really. I’ve watched a few episodes of The Next Generation, but that’s only because they’re on after The Simpsons and I have nothing better to do. However, you don’t have to be a Trekkie to realize that Star Trek games have had a… less than welcome audience. Too techie? Too anally retentive? No, they just suck. And, anyone whose played with a 16-bit console or lower will know that there were a lot of Star Wars and Star Trek console games. All of which were shit. And probably where the prejudice for modern games comes from. This is one of them.

…challenge?! What the hell?! Am I on Jeopardy?!

The universe is once again in peril by some big giant machine. That consumes planets. And shit. Fortunately, Starfleet Command quickly dispatched all of their intelligent people to coming up with a device, and they soon come up with a prototype. Unfortunately for us, those crazy Klingons, thinking this weapon would be used to destroy them, attack, take the machine, and dismantle it. Oh, those silly Klingons and their zany antics!! They’ve condemned several races to limbo in the machines stomach! HOHOHO! Anyways, its your job to collect all 12 pieces of the device so that you can defeat the giant machine o doom and spoot!

This is beginning of the level. Note the lack of obstacles. That will change. Real quick.

This game is essentially 2-in-1. Both suck. Konami are good at making space-shooters. Hell, they made Contra, one of most legendary blow-everything-in-sight-up games ever. However, this was made by Ultra Games. And as well all know folks, like Snake’s Revenge, they took brilliant gameplay and fucked everything up. A nice addition is when you pause the game, you can divert power between Shields (determines how much health you lose when you run into something), Speed (determines how quickly you can get out of this hellhole) and Phasers (determines how easy it is to blow up shit). You are given a map and must direct yourself to the planet on the other side of the screen. To do this, you will have to pass through sub-stages. These consist largely of “Battle against rocks”, “Battle against rocks and Klingons” and “Battle against rocks and single-celled organisms”. All involve getting from one end of the stage to the other. Preferably alive. For if you blow up, you have to start from the beginning. If you manage to fly your duck from one end of the map to the other and into the big star thing, congrats. You now get to an even shitter part.


NOW YOU GET TO CONTROL THE LEGENDARY CAPTAIN KIRK!!! Whoohoo! Approximately 0.000005 seconds later, you’ll realize this isn’t quite what you had in mind. You literally get to “Trek” the terrain. Shame its so damn difficult. There’s hardly any space to move in, and I still managed to get lost! Controlling my Kirk, who walks like he’s a pimp or something, using my compass (by pressing Start), I made my way to where it wanted to me to go. Nothing. Absolutely nothing. So what do I do now? I decided to explore the terrain, see if I can find what I’m looking for. So I get all the way across the terrain. Bloody hell, that’s a lot of spiky trees and poisonous plants in the way. Not to mention quicksand. And I uncovered something – but its not good.

SLOWDOWN. Slowdown in a Game Boy game is unforgivable. Perhaps if they didn’t stick so many bloody trees on the screen it might not do that! Anyways, I digress. I got to the other end of the area, then Spock calls me. And tells me he thinks its in a rock. A bloody rock. There’s only 3 million of them around here. Great help. I just got so fed up of the uninviting terrain, the confusing layout and the general boredom-inducing shittiness of it all, that I simply shut it down. I couldn’t take it anymore. My soul had truly been broken from these three shitty games. And there’s at least THIRTEEN more. Oh well, on the plus side, at least its a Game Boy game, so it cant display garish colours like the last 2. But boy, does it try.

I hope you fucking pussies are happy. You’ve shown a manic depressive the true meaning of pain. The Ultra Games brand. I HATE YOU ALL!!! I WANT TO DESTROY THE ENTIRE HUMAN RACE FOR CREATING THE PEOPLE RESPONSIBLE FOR ULTRA GAMES!!! THIS IS WHY WE INVENTED ABORTION!!! DIE!!!!!!!! *goes on a mindless rampage*

The moral of this story? Like drugs, if someone offers you an “Ultra Game”, just say fucking no. Then draw X’s on your hands.

« Back home