Happy Friday! I’m ready to crank the air conditioning and hide from the sun all weekend. The humidity is through the roof in Toronto and the thought of adventuring outside is terrifying. I am going try and track down a copy of Super Adventure Island though, which make’s it a perfect piece for this week’s Flashback Friday.
Super Adventure Island was a side-scrolling platform game developed by Hudson Soft and originally released for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System in 1992 and later re-released for the Wii’s Virtual Console download service in 2011.
It was the first Adventure Island game released for the SNES and came out between the releases of the NES game Adventure Island II and Adventure Island 3. It was later followed by Super Adventure II, but Super Adventure Island was where it was at.
You control Master Higgins as he travels his way through five stages with four areas each. The first three areas in each stage has Higgins fighting his way through an obstacle course, fighting many traps and enemies, in order to reach the goal ball. The fill stages were reserved for boss battles. The stages are as follows:
- Jungle, volcano
- Beach, inside of a whale
- Treetops, mine
- Glacier, castle
The adventure begins with Master Higgins enjoying the peace and tranquility of his home, the mystical Adventure Island, while laying beside his beloved “Miss Jungle” aka the lovely Tina (erroneously called “Jeannie Jungle” in English manual) When the warmth of Tina’s soft touch suddenly becomes a chilling coldness, he turns around is shocked to find that the evil sorcerer, Dark Cloak, used a spell to turn Tina into a stone statue for eternity. Dark Cloak retreats to the legendary Ice Mountain across the sea, and Higgins resolves to defeat the wicked sorcerer in order the restore her to life. What a setup.
Higgins had two weapons: the standard stone axe and a boomerang. The axe could be thrown in two directions while the boomerang could be thrown four different ways. He could also gain the ability to shoot fireballs. But my favorite feature and most memorable would have to be the skateboard which would allow him to travel across the stage faster.
My father picked this up for me when I was 3 or 4 years old and I played the shit out of it. I absolutely loved the game. I thought I was Higgins. The funky island beat soundtrack that had traces of hip hop in them were outstanding. The complete soundtrack was made by the legend Yuzo Koshiro. He is often regarded as one of the most influential innovators in chiptune and video game music. Everyone from BT, Labrinth, Martyn, Darkstar and Just Blaze have mentioned that his music influenced their own.
Super Adventure Time is one of my favorite Super Nintendo games of all time and I hope to play it again soon. I must admit I don’t think I ever played the sequel but I love the cover art.
Thank you Hudson Soft for producing such a great game, among so many other incredible titles in the 90s. I miss your ever so charming logo. I hope you’re happy at Konami now.