Before Disney had an entire channel devoted to animated programming it didn’t produce, it served up a daily syndicated block of quality programming loved by millions throughout the ‘90s. Shame the same can’t be said about the games…
DuckTales: The Quest for Gold
Above: This is not the DuckTales you’re looking for
It should be instantly apparent we’re not talking about the cherished Capcom/NES classic, right? Those with cartridge deficient game platforms had to settle for this version featuring a hodgepodge of games types.
In order to defend your title of “Richest Duck in the World” you could fly a plane, rock climb, explore caves, cross a jungle river, and even the long neglected Webby got in on the game with a little photography action.
Above: “Please, I’m a very private elephant”
Chip 'N Dale Rescue Rangers: The Adventure in Nimnul's Castle
Similar to the DuckTales abomination above, the Rescue Rangers were also featured in a DOS exclusive completely lost to time. Playing primarily as Chip with a computer assisted Dale, players had to navigate nine levels of Dr. Norton Nimnul’s perilous castle in order to free Monterey Jack from a mouse trap. So no, the stakes weren’t very high.
Above: Sorta hard to see the chipmunks since their dermis is colored just a shade off Dirt
Above: Yes, that’s Baloo… flying upside down… through a stadium… littered with turrets and enormous cherries
Who could forget TV’s airship strewn, Jungle Book spin-off with the catchy calypso theme song?! Yet when compared to Capcom’s earlier efforts, TaleSpin was a bit of a bizarre let down. We know: Given the widespread popularity of Disney Afternoons and the NES, chances are you probably have heard of it. But we’re not here to talk about that game…
It’s the TurboGrafx-16 version that somehow managed to out oddball the NES version with its hyper obscure status and a presentation unsettlingly reminiscent of those CD-i Mario and Zelda games.
As if TaleSpin’s premise of bringing the Jazzy animals from 1967’s Jungle Book into a Miyazaki-esque setting of sky swashbucklin’ weren’t already batshit enough, you’ve got the craptastic guts of the TurboGrafx-16 producing screenshots like these, which are infinitely more fun to look at than actually experience. Though, to the game’s credit, it may have the greatest art Disney gaming has ever seen!
Whereas the NES version of Darkwing Duck was fortunate enough to be built upon the architecture of Mega Man, this version spawned from the monstrosity you just witnessed. Once again, what should have been a 16-bit superior ended up as a poorly balanced sidescroller featuring underwhelming music and design. In other words: A TurboGrafix-16 game.
Above: Who cares
Bonkers is notable solely for being the failed result of trying to adapt Who Framed Roger Rabbit for television. What was planned to be a world where classic Disney characters and humans could co-exist, ended up as a forgettable kids show starring a cat-like thing and diminished cameos from Disney’s C-List when rights issues reared their ugly head. Why wouldn’t the game reflected that?
Not pictured: The Mermaid’s Voice and that’s about it
Bonkers police mission was to recover a few stolen items with only the vaguest connection to Disney, while you run, jump, blah, blah, blah… Basically, you’re looking at the death rattle of Capcom’s once proud Disney Afternoon glory. Sad, really. Either due to a weak license, bored developers, or an aging gamer demographic, this old buddy cop cliche pretty much sums it up:
Sep 22, 2009
When you wish upon a console, dreams occasionally come true
And other reasons why the series shouldn’t be doomed to die