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Let's Play Maui Mallard - Chapter 4 (Genesis 1)

Posted September 12th, 2018 at 1:35 PM by Rainbow Chara X
Updated February 7th, 2019 at 2:57 PM by Rainbow Chara X
Tags lp#7

Ready for round 2?

Donald in Maui Mallard is the original Genesis version of Maui Mallard that was only released in Europe for some reason. The reason I'm covering this version too is because this and the SNES versions are vastly different when you put them side-by-side.

Their level design and aesthetic of this version differs enough to get its own chapters, and well... it feels like a piece of history I missed, seeing as I've never actually owned or even knew there was a Genesis Maui Mallard until high school.

There was also a PC port released on Windows, but all it does is clean up the visuals of the Genesis version and give it an orchestrated soundtrack. That's neat.

With that said, let's keep it going in...

Chapter #4 - Mojo Redux (Genesis 1)


I should mention that not only is this my first real attempt at Genesis emulation, this is also my first time ever playing this version of Maui Mallard.

To say I'm in unfamiliar territory would be an understatement, given how I had to use a different method of getting screenshots for this game.

MM Genesis only has three buttons, and I don't think the L and R buttons even work for this, so this is what we're working with.

[Current OST: Mojo Mansion (Genesis) / Mojo Mansion (PC)]

There is no intermission theme between levels like the SNES version, mind. You straight up start with the level music, which I do have to say is good for Genesis standards.

The PC soundtrack is nice, but I'm not quite a fan of it. I don't know, there's something about the bits they add that I'm not fond of, given how I already thought the base songs were excellent and just needed a tune up...

Like in the SNES version!

The same opening screen as before, but quite a bit different. You see, Maui does not start off with a good gun... you have to collect the blue beetle to even shoot.

If you don't have at least have that or special ammo, you'll be shooting bubbles that don't even have the decency to harm anything.

It's very silly but I see why they did it that way.

Once you do get the basic bug bullet, it never runs out (as opposed to the SNES's regenerating 50 bullets) but it also doesn't travel far and can't travel through walls.

It's also not very strong, because apparently special weapons have actual strength ratings in this version! (If you can kill an enemy in 2 hits with the red/white bullets, the regular gun will do it in four, for example.)

I... I'm kind of glad they changed that for the SNES version, given how it came out later. (1995 vs 1996)

The stone duck head is instead a freaky-looking tiki duck. If this doesn't tell you what you're in for, then I dunno what to say to you.

Enemies in the Genesis Maui Mallard explode into a green skull and let out a human-like scream of pain. Everything does it, even the small spider that I just shot here.

If there's anything I can give the Genesis version is that they crank up the morbid nature of Maui's adventure - everything here is just a little bit more grotesque-looking and there's more black comedy.

I kinda like it cause this is still an example of a dark cartoon setting that doesn't linger on the edge for too long.

A brand new enemy you can find here is this tiki head that'll shoot out mucus (bleugh) at you, and here's the evil sinus spirit that the butler shoots out at you.

See, they knew how to have fun!

... Also, yes, that frame with white lines is supposed to be a mirror. I couldn't figure out if there was something important with it due to all the goodies in the back, but oh well.

There is no Luau Loot in this version - instead, there's just a bunch of gold bags everywhere. It doesn't tell you how much you need to enter Babaluau Baby either, you just kind of have to guess and hope you've grabbed enough.

Maui's going to leave this island rich either way.

The return of the bright-eyed piranha and oh god he ate Maui!

Thankfully it doesn't instantly kill you, it just does 25 damage - it hurts, but it's manageable.

That face is a perfect example of how they dabbled in freaky tiki stuff, and I love it.

Maui also has different idle animations than the SNES version - one of the things he can do is bring out this chicken instead of his map, and that's pretty funny.


If there's anything I really love in this game, however, it has to be this. Poor Maui.

The blood hand is more obviously a fire hand in this version, so I wonder what caused the change.

I find it interesting that we just now get a shrunken duck head checkpoint instead of starting off with one. Also there's a better look at the spider enemy in case you wanted to see it.

Did you miss me, scary hollow-eyed duck head?

... Cause I didn't miss you!

A better look at the tiki head enemy in a glorious animated gif. I love the work that goes into these animations - they're one of the better parts of this game's visuals.

The red beetle ammo functions the same as the SNES version, but the white beetle ammo is a long-shot that does more damage than your normal shot.

They give you a lot, by the way, because the basic ammo is kinda bad.

Another look at his idle animation along with these cool-looking, spinning spade things.

You can't bounce off of them like in the SNES version, and the window for standing on them is pretty strict. I was actually stuck here for a bit until I realized you could pull a lever to make them all stop and work as proper platforms.

... Yeah, MM Genesis will make you solve problems the hard way. I'll get to that in a bit.

Combining the red and white shots gives you this star projectile that moves real fast and homes in on enemies - I'm not quite sure if it even does more, but it sure looks cool.

Sometimes when you kill an enemy, this gold bar flies out. I'm pretty sure it counts as mega loot, so grab it the instant it appears.

I mean, I sure would.

There's no loading screen for levels either. The change is a fade to black and that's about it - the music doesn't even stop.

This level in particular, you have to go to the left and get the help of a flying beetle that lights up the way for you. It somehow summons these platforms to your aid and you have to be careful of falling into the water.

But wait, didn't the water only do one damage before? What's the problem, then?

This is why. It's death water in the Genesis version.

That has to be the most drastic change in a level obstacle I've ever seen - harmless in one game, a death-dealer in another.

What, can he not swim or something?

There isn't much to this level other than pressing a button on the floor to make this tiki head move. There is, however, this new sub-weapon!

The Genesis has another form of beetle ammo - the bomb! It flies down from your gun and explodes, and customizing it with the other beetle ammos makes it super deadly.

A spread shot explosion (white), or a homing spread shot explosion. (red)

The best part is that you can actually combine all three types. Doing so lets you shoot off a nuke that destroys everything on screen - it's nuts. The downside is that it's costly, so you can't just spam it... but it's super useful.

A bit of pacing around later and we finally make it to the organ room!

... Yeah, really. There's not even much to this level in the Genesis version anyway, the only thing you can do is ride it to the top.

This will never not be amusing to me, just saying. The point of the climb is to grab as much special bug ammo and money bags as you can, because there's no going back down after you reach the top...

... Where this horrendous abomination awaits.

[Current OST: Boss (Genesis) / Boss (PC)]

Why yes, the Genesis version does in fact have a dedicated boss theme unlike the SNES version where it just had the level music playing in the background. (Shame we never got a SNES version of this song, but I'll settle for these two versions.)

That said, damn the spider boss is freaky in this one. It just showed up in the other game, but here you get to see it assemble its legs and crawl after you. It's just eugh.

It likes to slam the ceiling (dropping rocks) and crawl around, but as long as you jump out of the way you should be fine. No better time to use up all of our super bullets anyway!

(Also, huh - I just now noticed the volcano in the background. Could that be the same place as level 4? That'd be sweet if it was.)

[Current OST: Level Complete (Genesis) / Level Complete (PC) ]

Hell yeah.

It's like... there's parts that both games lack that would be hella cool if they (somehow) made a modern re-release. Because I'm really digging that level complete animation.

Another change is that you get the password here instead of having to complete Babaluau Baby to get it - that's cool, I guess.

Speaking of which...

Yeah, Babaluau Baby is also completely different in this version (albeit having the same look with the cartoony clouds, suns and moons).

The three items in front of us are: an extra continue token, zombie powder, and an extra life.

The zombie powder is an extremely valuable item in the Genesis version because it's actually semi-permanent! Your max health is increased permanently until you die, so if you're a really good player you could finish the game with like... I dunno, 400 health?

They're definitely more of a real treasure here than the SNES version.

Are these guys all Muddrakes? Curious.

The Muddrake lady with the shield will bash you away onto a different rail of the ride and getting hit by any attack in this stage will not hurt your health, but remove a collectible like an extra life (etc.) instead.

It's definitely more interesting and dynamic than the whole "climb the smug-ass stars" Babaluau Baby from the other game.

There's even these fire dancer guys that you have to speed through before they land a hit on you.

Go ninja, go ninja, go.

And I can say that without a hint of shame because that's actually what this game is about!

... Okay, maybe a little shame.

[Current OST: Ninja Training Grounds (Genesis) / Ninja Training Grounds (PC)]

Whoof, that PC version. I do not like it, if only for the weird beginning and some of the instruments they use.

I dunno, when you compare it to the SNES version which had an absolutely masterful rendition, it just doesn't compare. (Genesis version is alright.)

Another aspect of the Ninja Training Grounds in this version that I'm not as fond of is immediately starting out with a dark stormy setting.

It's not as heavy-hitting as having a clear sky before muk hits the fan, you know.

We can even collect ninja talismans before we get Cold Shadow, but they don't do anything just yet.

This is what it looks like when you don't have any bug ammo, by the way. It's kinda pathetic.

Nice to meet you again, Mr. Witch Doctor Man. Glad to see you're still kicking after the beating I gave you in the other game.

That said, whoa that was nuts. Ninja souls just pour out of you like crazy! Certainly explains why there's suddenly enough to fill a temple.

Cold Shadow is... interesting in the Genesis version. He doesn't have different belt colors (unfortunately) and his ninja energy constantly drains instead of exhausting it per strike... but he's hella strong.

Enemies don't have invincibility frames in this version, so he could beat the crap out of them with his bo staff... and each strike is also much stronger than the basic gun.

He still suffers from not being able to climb and lacks a ranged option, but he's really badass regardless.

The shin-stab technique is less powerful in version because it comes with a lot of end lag, so it's not as useful... instead the overhead swing takes its place.

Yeah, you can swing and instantly combo into another attack when you land on the ground. It's kind of Aria of Sorrow esque with how you can cancel ending lag by doing attacks as you land.

... Also, whoa, I did not see that angry duck face in the enemy death explosion until just now. That's kinda freaky.

This does not release talismans, but is instead a point where you have to grapple from. The swinging mechanics are a pain in the ass in this version, because you have to account for physics.

If Cold Shadow isn't at the end of a swing, he will fall to the ground like a brick. This becomes a problem later on, and no sir I do not like it... especially since the overhead attack can whiff actually clinging onto these.

Hello dummy, nice to see you again.

Getting to pilot the stone mecha duck will always be cool - shame we just can't fight in it.

Not as impressive without the brilliant purple sky/ocean in the background, but I can still imagine baby Dan getting nostalgic over this if he had Genesis Maui Mallard instead.

I will never get over the poor duck getting low kicked in the nads, though. Like ouch.

Every level from now on will signify the end with this "Pau!" sign that looks pretty neat, not gonna lie. I guess if you wanted to do more exploration, this is your cue to ignore it but... nah.

Cold Shadow resets every level, so you have to grab more talismans to re-activate him... and well, actually transforming into him is pretty tedious.

You have to hold down the Powerup button (the same one used to switch between special bug ammo) until Maui transforms into his ninja counterpart, but they never tell you this. You have to figure it out on your own, which I don't think I would have appreciated as a kid.

Skipped some of the level to show off the same grotto from before - more zombie powder is always good, even if I'm never going to keep it due to how admittedly shaky I am as a player of this game. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

This sure is one perilous journey, not gonna lie. This Donald/Maui got himself into some real muk if he's swinging over beds of spears and terrifying angry duck-faced pillars.

... Teleport? What's that supposed to mean?

Does Cold Shadow have the ability to teleport?

God damn, that's cool. But how do we pull it --

... Kay. What are you getting at, game?

How in the hell are you supposed to dodge an instant death attack like that?

At the very least they have the decency to give you an extra life every time you die so you don't lose progress because of this horsemuk.

But hmm. What is the secret of the "Teleport"? I'm honestly confused here.

Wait, never mind, I got it! (And Cold Shadow looks so cool doing this, too.)

The secret is that you have to press the Powerup button and tap the direction to perform this uber-dash to evade Hernae's ball of rage. Not quite sure why they call it "Teleport" because you're clearly just doing the Sonic run, but... you do you, game.

I've heard that they expected you to figure it out by yourself, hence why they give you a respawning extra life during this section but... come on, that's dumb. An actual display of the button combination would have been nice, as opposed to just guessing.

Not much of a warning if you already killed Maui like five times before this conversation happened.

... Ya crazy duck lady.

I can kind of see why they omitted this section from the SNES version, even if the """"""Teleport"""""" spell would have been nice.

[Current OST: Boss (Genesis) / Boss (PC)]

Hey, it's the ninja generator! I still like how it looks like an old martial arts master, but this version has some tricks up its sleeve like bombs and fire waves along with the ninjas it summons.

The first red guy it summons isn't too hard, just smack him around.

The blue ninja it summons likes to slide around with his bo staff, so put an end to that the instant he starts doing it.

The green ninja shoots fire at you and the brown one charges at you with a pseudo Teleport charge, and they hurt quite a bit.

Cool gauntlet regardless, if only for how they showcase different abilities through the different ninja colors.

They start throwing out multiple ninjas at a time once you defeat enough of them. This can be a bit of a problem if you don't catch the occasional fruit punch that the statue drops.

Pretty sure I'd have a headache if it didn't.

The last ninjas are ones clad in all-black - they possess the powers of every other ninja and have a gimmick of their own.

Each time you kill one, it splits into two more. Pretty intense stuff, right?

Thank goodness Cold Shadow's staff is so beefy, otherwise this would be a mess.

The ninjas are finally destroyed, and so is the statue.

There is no weird buzzsaw emblem phase in this version though, so we pretty much won.

Next time on Maui Mallard Genesis, we'll tackle... the entire other half of the game! Yeah, really. See you guys then.

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