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Monster Party: Let's Go Again (One Off #6 - Ch. 2)

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Monster Party: Let's Go Again (One Off #6 - Ch. 2)

Posted October 22nd, 2017 at 8:28 PM by Rainbow Chara X
Updated April 28th, 2018 at 11:32 PM by Rainbow Chara X
Tags one off

So far, this Halloween has consisted of two RPG Maker games and a rehaul rom hack of a game I already played. I couldn't ask for much else, to be honest.

Chapter #2 - Roundabout Nightmare (Finale)
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Spoiler:




Round 5 is practically the same barring some trickier platforming. I still find it really unusual that this place never goes through a messed-up transformation like the first level, but at the same time that'd be too predictable.

Plus, like I said last year, maybe this is also part of the Dark World's real face.



There's some initials carved out onto a tree that I can't quite make out, but my bigger concern is the dreaded shark!



Teehee.



Yeah, even the enemies haven't been changed. I mean, why would you? Fishbones, shark fin and Stretch Dragon are classic.

I did notice that they cut down Stretch Dragon's health by quite a bit, seeing as Mark could kill them with just his bat.



"Gonna keep thrillin' til you stop trying to kill us!"

[Current OST: Dancing Zombies]

Whoa, that background is sweet. It's even a little bit spooky with the pitch-black mountains. It's a damn sight more interesting than the weird underwater clam cave these guys originally had.

Speaking of which, the zombie boss is back! Hooray.



I like how they make it more obvious that you're not supposed to attack them. Personally, it'd be rude of me to interrupt their dance anyway.

Imagine coming back from the dead just to have one last dance only for some kid to smack you into dust. That's... pretty sad, honestly.



Mark was this close to chugging the beer here, but the zombies decide they've had enough for one day and leave for the dance floor in the sky.



Oh my god.

That is... that's really a lederhosen-clad Jason Voorhees.

This hack keeps coming up with new ways to surprise me, I swear. Oktoberfest is German folk/beer festival that just happens to take place on Friday the 13th, so I just have to clap for that one.

I love the sense of humor the guys behind this project had, even if some of their references get... really out there.



Combat-wise, he's the Catch My Javelin boss from the original but he throws beer mugs at you. Good stuff.

He kicked my ass though... as one would expect Jason to do, clad in funny clothes or not. I had to find a good sweet spot to hit his mugs back with because remember, Mark's bat has realistic deflecting properties to it.

Projectiles don't just fly back to where they came from, so that made this a bit more difficult.



Well, there's the end of the level, but remember what the secret room in Round 1 told us?



Yeah, you can walk past the exit into a secret room! The water doesn't hurt you when this happens, thankfully. (Otherwise I'd have a migraine.)



The secret message rooms are real neat and all, but I have to admit that I wouldn't have known about them if I didn't see the video that exposed me to Let's Go Again in the first place.



Oh no, it's my ~favorite~ level! How did the guys at the Overhaul Project tackle this one?



[Current OST: Round 6]

It certainly looks more like a haunted mansion as opposed to the empty castle from the real Monster Party.

I would have appreciated not listening to the mind-numbing NES Xylophone and ghost wail combo again, though. Like seriously, why does the longest stage in the game have the shortest and most annoying song?



The Monster Party level editor the guys were using must have been a real good one if it allowed them to edit tilesets like this.

But yeah, here's some more ~useless trivia~:

"Fun is Infinite" is a term from the hidden screen of Sonic CD, a true brown pants experience if I've ever seen one. Oh, don't take my word for it, just look for yourself:



This is from an actual Sonic game. I don't know why Sega decided to put it in, but it must have been some master class trolling on their behalf. Imagine being the guy who discovered this in the first place.

"Call Edna" on the other hand is a reference to Maniac Mansion, a puzzle game that was also on the NES. It had you controlling a fun cast of 80s stereotypes that rummage through the mansion of the wacky Edison family so you can find a meteor (I think?).

Call Edna in particular was an in-game call girl number that the creators of the game cut out the last second. This is not the only form of censorship this game went through, but that's a story for a different day.



The white jeans from the original have been replaced by a pair of blue shorts with red boots. I don't get it.

I find it interesting that Mark/Bert don't change colors like they did in the original game. By now, both of them would be orange for some reason I can't comprehend.



Bert's head is missing its top half, but the bigger problem here are the rogue tables and chairs that roam the house. They go down easy, but it's real hard to not get hit by them first.

The maze is as insufferable as ever though, and this time I don't even have a map to follow due to the different format. Fun, fun.



This hellish trick is the road to the boss. Yeah, just drop Mark into a pit full of spikes - he'll shrug it off.

I don't understand why they put in level design that would work better for Bert even though he's a temporary transformation. Even the original Monster Party got it right.



I have no idea what Savage Harvest is supposed to be, but one of my friends did mention that there was a real movie by the same name. It was about travelers in Africa that get chased by hungry lions, but this looks more like a schlock exploitation horror movie.

Also, Mark is feeling pretty blue.



I walked into this room expecting an eldritch nightmare but instead we just get some normal-looking floating heads. (The chameleon face room from the real Monster Party is still one of the most terrifying things I've ever seen come out of the NES, by the way.)

I'm pretty sure it's a reference to the movie They Live (basically, humanity has been replaced by aliens and run society in secret), but I'm not 100% sure.



It is far, far easier than the Chameleon Man due to the room not being pixellated throw-up, however. Once you find the real one, a few swings should be enough to get rid of them.

It's even easier if you're Bert because you can just fly up to them. (I did die quite a bit in the mansion itself though, not helped by the pit of doom)



The animated backgrounds are always a treat to look at, though.



So... the only way to get out of the spike room is to hope the pants and the room itself will drop a random pill... Otherwise, you're stuck there forever.

That is really bad level design, holy crap. It's such an off-putting decision in an otherwise excellent hack.



I can't believe Edna is dead, oh no.



The end level door has its own room that doesn't seem too impressive aside from the cobweb detail, but get a load of this:





Granted it was real tough to get due to being a one-frame lightning strike animation, but it's a detail I just had to show.



Round 6 definitely looks better than the original, but it's still a slog of a mansion. Thank goodness we're moving onto...



[Current OST: Round 7]

The Tower of Terror.

This is still the most unique stage in the game due to the vertical aspect. I took a lot of hits just going up this place. I don't get to show it off, but the Elephant Man has a blue head instead of a grey one when you knock his rag mask off.



The imps have become a far bigger problem this time around due to them taking an extra hit. Combine that with the more difficult platforming and it just invites stress.



We don't get to hear Royce introduce himself this time around, but I see what you guys are doing.



He's still super difficult if you're not Bert, however. I dunno man, it feels kind of weird in hindsight - I know I said Mark and Bert were a good duo in the first LP, but the latter has such a big advantage with flight and laser beams that it's like... why did he bring a kid to fight with him again?



I just had to stop to show the outside of this window. It's even animated in-game, but I didn't take the time to make a gif of it because we'll be seeing it in full when we get to Round 8.





What the muk?!

Why is Jeff the empty room template of the Tower?! I can't understand why they put in this trainwreck of a creepypasta character, but... that still caught me off guard the first time I saw it. It doesn't help that it's genuinely kind of terrifying due to the limited NES palette and the patchwork assortment of reapers that make up the rest of the room.

It's the same principle that made the Chameleon Man so unsettling to me the first time around.



Anyway, here's the second boss of the Tower and it's... the bride of Chucky? Not exactly, but this is still far more creative than the spider boss recolor from the original game.



Despite her predictable pattern, she proved too much of a problem for Mark to handle... so Bert flew in and blasted her with his fireball barrage.



Honestly, the real spooky thing about this boss are the eyes underneath the bed. What kind of monster is that guy?



*Sigh*

Hi, Death. This is what, like the third time I've fought you in a game?



He meant what he said, by the way, because this pair of screenshots are after he had already killed me. Yeah, don't mess with the reaper and his pesky flying skulls...



Normally I would be freaking out due to the massive game-breaking glitch in Round 7 (effectively if you kill the third boss here, you permanently lose the key and you're stuck), but the Overhaul Project guys actually patched it out! Nice, no worries here.



Oh hey, we're at the final level already. Monster Party is a pretty short game, jeez.



[Current OST: Round 8]

Wow!

Round 8 really got a facelift, goddamn. These are some of the prettiest NES-era graphics I've ever seen. They managed to transform an otherwise basic cloud level into a fully animated sea of clouds and starry skies. (It might even be enough to warrant Moonsong from Cave Story as a background theme)

It's almost enough for me to forget that this is the heart of a dark overlord's lair.



Going to the left in Round 8 takes you to the final end level door, but it's less shocking here due to Let's Go Again's non-linear levels.

The bloody door is a fantastic omen for what's to come, though.



They replaced the cute little toga-wearing dynamites with... flying chickens. Boo, I say.



The witch enemies are completely naked this time, although they're way less of a problem compared to Round 1 and 3's end bosses. I shudder just remembering those two.



Granted, that's more interesting than what he said in the original, but that's a bit too tryhard.

I do like how the eyes in the borders are more like pairs than random scattered eyes. The final boss's face not being in the background is disappointing, but at least we get this cool castle interior.



Bloody Fingers Man is no match for Mark's trusty chainsaw bat, however.



Okay, that's pretty spooky. When you kill a boss here, all the eyes disappear and the windows go black. I find it to be a pretty unsettling change that keeps the deceptive feeling of the original Dark World Heaven.



This is just lame though. You could have made him say something about Bert soup, but nah vaguely imply that all the bosses are working together.

... That's actually kind of cool in hindsight, given why we even came here in the first place, but whatever.



Mr. Pharaoh Head would slaughter Mark due to their unpredictability, so Bert makes the shots for him. For a game originally titled Parody World during its development, some of these bosses are still pretty creepy.



But you, though.

For those of you unfamiliar, the dragon boss was the worst one in the original Monster Party. It would tail you at all times and dodge your attacks due to his weakpoint being his head - it's stressful no matter which character you use.

(Not only that, I think it's pretty uninspired compared to everything we've seen so far in both games.)



Thankfully, I found an amazing exploit where he will hover above you while you get to pelt him with Bert's lasers. I managed to do this without taking any damage the second time around, so...

Suck it, you pathetic excuse for a dragon!

All the normal bosses are gone, but there's actually an extra door beyond the Dragon. What does it hold?



Wait, what? Why are we back in the hell house?

Believe it or not, this is the bonus passage that D. B. Jocko talked about in the secret rooms before. Yeah, they went out of their way to program extra levels for you to go through at the end.

(Also, the reason the pants enemy is messed up is because despite this being the same "map" as Round 6, we're actually still in Round 8. That's my explanation, anyway.)



This is what you needed Bert for and good god, that would be sadistic for Mark. I don't get the increased reliance on Bert, to be honest - it kind of makes the game less balanced.



Also, ooh. That was perfect timing.



In this section, you get to jump over skeletons in a pool of blood. If that isn't romantic, I don't know what is.

Seriously though, I think it's real cool that they integrated the assets from the interlude screens into the real game.



In the next room over, you have to be careful not to get tricked because only the correct one will lead to the secret. I didn't notice the blue tiling over the vent so I went into the door.

Oops.



The last secret and it has to do with the final boss. That's cool and all, but I would have figured that out anyway.



Ultimately no matter what you do, you'll have to face the final boss anyway. It's not like Monster Party can be programmed to have different endings, so this was more to show bonus stuff off than anything significant.

Also, there was an invisible enemy here that dropped a pill when I killed it.



But yeah, let's not wait any longer... the final boss in the original was rather grotesque, so what will Let's Go Again bring to the table?



"Your only chance to survive... is to die, you little bastard!"



... Yo, who the psyduck is this?

I was going to say it looks like Mel Brooks or something, but I have no idea. Credit where credit is due, that's a pretty realistic face for the NES, but can someone please tell me what this guy is a reference to?

Edit:

The real origins for this one are dark, holy hell. So... this guy is actually the leader of a cult called Heaven's Gate that operated in the late eighties/early nineties. They believed Hailey's Comet would come and trash the Earth, so they committed suicide the instant the comet arrived.

In fact, the strange contradictory speech this guy gives as the final boss of Let's Go Again was a real speech he had. The bunk beds are even where some of the bodies of his followers were found.

Like... my god. Props to the Overhaul Project guys for such an obscure reference, but damn that's pretty messed up.



He's just as easy as the final boss from the real Monster Party - a few lasers and bat swings does him in, but I'm just speechless at all of this.



[Current OST: Ending Theme]

Nevertheless, we killed the final bad guy and now we get our happy ending!



Oh, we're doing this again? Bert, you're such a nice guy.



He's way too happy to get a grown woman as a prize... he is a kid, right?



[Current OST: Bad Ending]

It just wouldn't be Monster Party if the beautiful lady didn't turn into a disgusting monster, though. Honestly, I think she's just mad because we didn't give her a gift.



This is still the cheesiest scene in the game, I sw-



oH dear god

This is even worse than the melting in the original game, christ.



Good thing it was just a nightmare, but I think Mark has a bigger problem to resolve... his bedsheets, for one.



So Mark packs up his stuff and goes to sch... wait. This seems familiar.

[Current OST: Ending Part 3]



"Let's go again!"



Roll credits, everybody. In fact, that was a perfect time to drop the title because the credits really are here.

I'm so glad to be able to listen to this soundtrack again, just saying.



The ending is still classic, even if it's almost the same as before. But yeah, guys, that ends Monster Party: Let's Go Again!

What do I have to say about this revamped rom hack?



For one, I'm glad I could step back into the Dark World, albeit with better graphics and slightly tweaked gameplay. The original Monster Party was fun and all, but the work these guys put in is mind-blowing, especially given the hardware they were dealing with.

Gus Stevenson was actually how I found a copy of this hack - not only that, his page shed some light on the development history of Let's Go Again. I found it an interesting read, anyway.




I messed up with the last screenshot, but these are all the good people who helped in making Let's Go Again.

I'll admit, the platforming kind of suffered this time around due to really tight jumps that Mark could barely make. They really seemed to favor Bert's flying ability despite the fact he's activated via a pill that not many enemies drop.

Plus, I might just be bad, but I seemed to die quite a bit offscreen. It's a little frustrating, but the original Monster Party was just as hard, so I can't really get too mad at it. I do like how they streamlined the game by removing most of the empty rooms and fixed up certain things like the game-breaking glitch in Round 7.

Honestly, the showstoppers for this hack were the new bosses and the animated tilesets. Not only are they well-drawn, they stay true to the spirit of Monster Party even if some of it was pretty questionable. (Jeff's inclusion still boggles me.)



There's also this which I assume is a reference to Kano from Mortal Kombat, but it's just a throwaway gag for the ending.



With that said, that caps off this entry for the Halloween-a-thon and personally, I got nostalgic listening to the ending theme again so please tear me away from this game before I decide not to leave. I give Let's Go Again an 80/100 (Good).

Next time on the Halloween-a-thon, we tackle another horror-based platformer for the NES. It's a brand new face this time though, even if it is concealed behind a mask.

See you guys then.

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