For this month’s Mascot Mania I decided to head to Twitter for suggestions. I received some interesting responses along with the usual Bubsy or Awesome Possum. Trust me, those guys will have their spotlight here on Mascot Mania some day. I was searching for something I’ve never played before. A good friend recommended I give Ardy Lightfoot a go. Having never heard of this before I became intrigued so I asked him what it was. I wasn’t sure if that was the name of the game or just the name of some character from a game. He then directed me to a Wikipedia page so I decided sure, what the heck!
The first thing I found interesting about the game was that it had a brief story. It wasn’t long or anything. In short the “sacred rainbow” was shattered and you must collect all seven pieces which were scattered about the land. If someone collects all seven pieces they get one wish. Pretty cheesy and cliché but hey, it works and gets us to the game play faster! I have no freaking clue as to what Ardy is supposed to be. At first I thought he might be a dog dressed up as a farmer, sporting a fedora with a feather. But he doesn’t have dog ears! Maybe a weasel? I’m not sure but I suppose that doesn’t matter. Remember, this was the 90’s after all.
The game itself is pretty straight forward. It is a platformer but there isn’t too much platforming. Most of the game it felt as though I was just walking to the right. Luckily the platforming does pick up a little more as you get into the game. You attack by chucking a blue toad-like thing that looks like it’s straight from a Kirby game. The little toad eats enemies that he comes in contact with and serves as health as well. Get hit once, lose the toad. Get hit again and you die. The other method to attack is the typical jump on the bad guy’s head but you have to press down and the jump button so you use Ardy’s tail. Think Uncle Scrooge’s pogo stick from DuckTales. This is also used to reach higher places. Collecting a hundred stars gets you an extra life. Shocker I know, typical platforming tropes but it was still fun.
The music is what you would expect from a Super Nintendo game. Catchy and pretty high quality. Nothing too special though but enjoyable while you play. Most of the enemies, again, remind me of enemies from a Kirby game. Cute little ball type creatures who look like they couldn’t hurt a fly. Even some of the bosses reminded me of other Nintendo baddies. There was a mole boss who was identical to the big mole from Super Mario World and a fox that, you guessed it, reminded me of Star Fox. Another cool thing is the world map. Yes there’s a world map but it’s automatic. You can’t control it but you get to watch Ardy head to the next level or chase down a boss.
I discovered some interesting information about the game while researching on Ardy. Apparently Ardy got slapped with some good old fashioned Nintendo censorship. Ardy’s waiting pose was removed from the game for who knows what reason. I doubt Ardy stood there and flipped us the bird! In some of the forest stages there were some tied up crying animals that had to be removed and a boss who died a “gruesome death” by acid was completely left out. If you want to see this removed content you would have to track down a Japanese or European cart or there’s always the dreaded “E word.”
I think the world would survive without an Ardy Lighfoot reboot or remake. We live in a time where Mario takes the cake when it comes to platformers and nobody will want to give anyone else a chance. Let’s be honest, Sonic is barely hanging on and Rayman has an alright following but it’s all about the fat plumber. Some will argue that it’s always been about Mario and that is true to an extent. Sonic did steal some of his thunder in the 90’s. But I’m way off topic here. Ardy Lghtfoot was a fun game for what it is, but nothing special. One of the many 90’s mediocre platformers.
Chris Carboni or, as he’s better known on Twitter, Retrocore_RCVGM is a retro gamer who loves almost anything to do with old games. He can find fun in games that most would consider to be bad but that’s just because he is a Bad Dude. Bad enough to both rescue the President and not be a tuna head at the same time.