The Good Nintentions Gaiden series has — fittingly, but not deliberately — evolved into a running set of episodes about curios from the Japanese side of the NES era. This week we see this effect in action again with a fascinating Konami import title from the Famicom Disk System, Arumana no Kiseki.
This is one of those games whose story I’d love to hear. It so shamelessly rips off Indiana Jones, and specifically Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, that you really have to wonder if it was meant to be a properly licensed game. Konami already had a Spielberg property in hand — The Goonies — and the company produced several other licensed Famicom titles around this time, including Osamu Tezuka’s Hi no Tori and King Kong. But I was unable to find any firm details behind its history, so who knows…?
I’d also like to have included more footage of the game, but I couldn’t get beyond level three. I reached a point where I became trapped in a sort of canyon, where a spiked ball power-up respawned infinitely. I know the spiked ball is supposed to be able to break through walls, but I was unable to find a destructible wall before running out of continues. There are a lot of things I miss about the NES era, but unintuitive game design and frustrating mechanics ain’t part of that.
Also, now seems like a good time to mention that this video series is about to get a new name. Good Nintentions was a solid dad joke — I literally took it from a joke my father made when I was a kid — but as these video projects become a more serious endeavor under the Retronauts banner, both I and some of our prospective business partners feel it makes more sense to unify the different series. Thus projects like Good Nintentions, Game Boy World, and Mode Seven will now be the Works series: That is, “Game Boy Works”, “Nintendo Works”, “SNES Works”, and so forth. I love the Game Boy World name and would have been happy to use “World” as a brand of sorts, but the oldest Nintendo fansite on the Internet is called NES World, and it seemed a little gauche to swipe their name — that’s why I went with Good Nintentions rather than NES World in the first place
I’ve settled on Works for two reasons. One, because “Game Boy Works” has the same appealing, euphonic flow as “Game Boy World”; and two, because the name functions on a several practical levels. They’re video deep-dives into the workings of these creative works. And they’re comprehensive looks at those systems’ respective libraries, which is to say… the works.
And the new name will arrive at a good time for Good Nintentions (or rather, NES Works) in particular, since we’ve just finished with the NES launch library and are now moving along to subsequent and third-party releases. There’s a visual change in the library as we move away from the all-Black Box look, and a change in development ethos, so it feels like a natural break point.