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Page 1:
Mickey & Donald
Donald Duck's Speedboat
Donald Duck's Playground
Donald Alphabet Chase

Page 2:
Donald Duck
Lucky Dime Caper
Donald The Hero

Page 3:
Quackshot
World of Illusion
Deep Duck Trouble

Page 4:
Donald Duck no Mahou no Boushi
Magical Quest 3 Starring Mickey & Donald
Maui Mallard in Cold Shadow

Page 5:
Magical Tetris Challenge
Donald Duck: Goin' Qu@ckers
Disney's PK: Out of the Shadows

Page 6:
Duckburg P.D.: Donald on Duty
Donald Duck Quest
Donald Duck Quest 2
PK: Phantom Duck
Life of D. Duck

Page 7:
Al Lowe discussing Donald Duck
Darlene Lacey discussing Disney
Cameos & Appearances

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Donald Duck (ドナルドダック) / Snoopy's Silly Sports Spectacular - Famicom, NES (1988)

Famicom Cover

NES Cover

After having mostly been featured in educational titles since 1984, it was finally time for Donald to get his very own game on the most popular gaming device in the world - the Famicom. In Japan, Kemco had acquired the rights for the use of Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck in their video games. These rights did not include countries outside Japan however, so many of the Kemco developed Disney titles remained in Japan and faded into obscurity. Due to the this fact, the only Donald Duck exclusive game on Nintendo was not brought over to the Western market, instead it was given a makeover with another popular character - Snoopy from The Peanuts.

Donald Duck is a multi sports event game much in the style of the various track 'n field and Olympic games on NES and Commodore 64, though with an easier learning curve to allow for younger players to fully enjoy. Donald and his friends travel to Italy to compete against each other in the various events presented in the game. For some reason Donald now lives in New York which is located on a cloud, and the Olympics had last been held in Rome in 1960. Players can either pick a single event to compete in, go through all events Olympic style, or go head to head against a friend. In total there are six events to choose from.

Sack Race

Jump down the street in a sack and avoid the open potholes. The longer the button is held down, the further you'll jump.

Boot Throwing

Hold the boot by the strings and build up momentum by swinging it. Hold down on the D-pad to swing and push B to throw.

Pogo Stick

Time your jumps and leap over the bars. Clear four bars in total to finish the course.

Overboard

A fight for survival on a swinging boat down the Grand Canal. Push A and B to get the opponent overboard.

Tower of Pizza

Balance a tower of pizza by slowly walking towards the finish line. Tread carefully so the pizzas don't fall.

River Jump

Pole vault over the river and avoid falling into it. Push A to run and B to position the pole. Timing is essential here.

The main single player game goes through all the events one after another and awards you points depending on how well you performed in the event. Once you gone through all the events, you start over again for another round and if you did well enough, you'll be awarded a medal and an end sequence. If not, it's just simply game over.

Donald Duck (Famicom)

Even though these games are fairly easy and instantly accessible, they aren't without their fair share of frustrating elements. The Sack Race is especially annoying because once either player is left in the dust, Dewey will push the slow poke right up behind the leading man, essentially cheating them back into the game. The River Jump is near impossible. The goal is to time the pole vault not too early and not too late, but the margin of error is incredibly slim. The rest of the events work reasonably well as they are solo efforts or well balanced, though their life span is fairly short due to the small obstacle courses or limited gameplay.

The graphics are also affected by a lot of flickering, leading many of the sprites to always blink or lose half their bodies. The colors are often very strange as well, with Donald becoming green or having a black hat. Certain landmarks of Italy are present in the game, as the Grand Canal and the Coliseum, though the Coliseum seems to be located in the woods rather than in the center of Rome. The music is forgettable to say the least, with some generic Olympic style tunes or the boring sounds of Italy. Sound effects are near non existent. Even Donald's iconic bickering is missing. There is also some slight Engrish scattered around, like "bars" being referred to as "bers".

It's a fairly shallow experience overall, and it feels like Donald was picked very much at random. The locations and the characters do nothing to enhance any distinct Disney feeling. It seems as if Kemco had developed the game for something completely different but once they were in possession of the Disney licenses, it was shoehorned in order for the game to sell. Indeed, huge chunks of it seems to be a port of Alternative World Games by Gremlin Interactive for the Commodore 64, although with the two of the events missing. On some websites, Wikipedia included, it's stated that the game was developed in order to capitalize on their Roger Rabbit Famicom Disk game. This is completely false as Donald Duck was developed and released in 1988, while Roger Rabbit was developed and released in 1989.

As mentioned before, the game was eventually released as Snoopy's Silly Sports Spectacular in the US a few years later. The only change to the overall game is the change of sprites, being all Peanuts characters rather than Donald Duck and his friends. It is often referred to as one of the worst sports games on the NES.

Donald Duck (Famicom)

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Donald Duck (Famicom)

Donald Duck (Famicom)

Donald Duck (Famicom)

Donald Duck (Famicom)

Donald Duck (Famicom)

Donald Duck (Famicom)

Donald Duck (Famicom)

Donald Duck (Famicom)

Donald Duck (Famicom)


Version Comparisons


The Lucky Dime Caper Starring Donald Duck - Game Gear, Master System (1991)

Master System Cover

Game Gear Cover

Even though Sega had already put out the Genesis and seeing great success with it, the Master System had a loyal and affectionate fan base which still supported the software coming out well into the '90s. This was especially true in Europe and South America, where plenty of platformers were exclusively released and given special edition boxes with extras for the passionate fans. At the time, Sega were also in possession of some highly lucrative licenses, such as Asterix and Disney. This led Sega to develop some stellar games like the classic Castle of Illusion Starring Mickey Mouse in 1990, and one year later it was time for Donald to finally get his very own platform game, something fans of his had been clamoring for nearly a decade.

In The Lucky Dime Caper Starring Donald Duck, the sailor suit-wearing quacker must travel the entire globe in order to help Uncle Scrooge, Huey, Dewey and Louie. Magica De Spell has not only stolen Scrooge's Number One dime, she also stole Donald's nephews and has locked them up on different corners of the world. Scrooge is distraught and asks Donald to rescue them and retrieve the dime, but Donald isn't quite up to endangering his life and fight Magica. Once Scrooge promises a huge reward however, Donald boards his plane right away and sets out to rescue his nephews.

The game takes place in two acts. First, there are three predetermined levels to save Huey, Dewey and Louie. Once they are saved, they tell Donald that their lucky dimes were stolen as well and begs Donald to find them along with Scrooge's dime. This now opens a set of three new levels which can be done in ever which order you'd like. In total there are seven levels, with Magica's castle being the very last destination.

The Lucky Dime Caper (Master System)

It follows the basic platformer structure everyone is familiar with, and feels similar to Castle of Illusion in many ways. There are few on-screen stats of any kind and no points shown, rather just a time bar and a power counter. In addition to jumping over the gaps and other environmental dangers, there are many adversaries trying to stop Donald at every step. The main weapon in the game is Donald's hammer, which he starts each level with. This hammer remains in his possession until he is hit, though he can jump on the top of enemies to defeat them, and they will leave behind bonuses and weapons at random which enables Donald to equip the hammer once again. These bonuses can also be diamonds to improve your high score at the end of the level, 1-ups or stars. The stars is what is used to power up Donald's weapon. Each star collected shows a small red dot on the left side of the screen. At 1 or 2 stars, nothing happens, but on the third, your weapon gains twice the speed and at 4 Donald becomes invincible for 15 seconds. After picking up 4 stars however, the power resets and the weapon goes back to normal, so it's wise to avoid picking 4 stars and just keep the fast weapon. Donald can also equip a frisbee, which can be shot in multiple directions.

The levels offers little new in terms of side scrollers. The standard ice, desert, underwater and lava infested castles make their law-required appearances. The level designs also remain fairly straight forward and relatively easy for anyone to stroll through, though there are some hidden treasure rooms that can be found to stock up on some 1ups and stars, and certain obstacles like vine swinging and steep rotating slopes help to keep the game interesting. All the levels are surprisingly short however, almost at the point where you are surprised that the end stage boss is already in front of you as you have barely even started the level. Each stage has these bosses which is usually a crazy wild animal like lions and bears, though later on you will fight Magica's minion crows. At the end of each level you will get a high score, and before and after each level there are some colorful and funny cut scenes.

While Castle of Illusion was a fantastic game, Lucky Dime Caper feels a bit off in several ways in comparison. Donald moves so agonizingly slow, and his jump is one of the very worst in Sega platformers. It seems like he is jumping with stones in his pants pockets, and the guy doesn't even wear pants. You can never get the right momentum, and to make matters worse, Donald slides a lot when landing so you're sure to hit an enemy or two. The hit frame on the enemies is also extremely narrow, leading to many jumps that seems like it should have killed the enemy, but for some reason does not register. Especially in later stages, where you have to navigate through small ledges with enemies on them and projectiles from all angles, you are bound to take after Donald and flip the rage switch.

It's almost as if the game was rushed. It certainly feels a bit empty with the lack of onscreen information and some rather empty areas in the game. Lucky Dime Caper is certainly enjoyable at times, not to mention it looks and sounds absolutely fantastic for a Master System game. It doesn't quite reach the heights of the other games out at the time like Sega's own Asterix or Castle of Illusion, but for fans of Donald, the flaws can be forgiven and the game has its charm and moments which should keep them happy.

Lucky Dime Caper was only released in Europe and Brazil on the Master System, though the US got a Game Gear version later on. This version is for the most part similar, though with some noticeable differences. The intro is different from the one found on Master System, some music is missing, some level layouts have been changed to fit the smaller screen, bonus items are placed in predetermined spots instead of given by defeated enemies, 4 stars only gives additional points and Donald does not lose his weapon if hit. Smaller screen aside, this version feels a bit more playable than the Master System version. A special edition box set was also released in Europe, with a t-shirt and cassette tape with various hit songs from Disney movies.

The Lucky Dime Caper (Master System)

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Publisher:

Genre:

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The Lucky Dime Caper (Master System)

The Lucky Dime Caper (Master System)

The Lucky Dime Caper (Master System)

The Lucky Dime Caper (Master System)

The Lucky Dime Caper (Master System)

The Lucky Dime Caper (Master System)

The Lucky Dime Caper (Master System)


<<< Prior Page

Next Page >>>

Page 1:
Mickey & Donald
Donald Duck's Speedboat
Donald Duck's Playground
Donald Alphabet Chase

Page 2:
Donald Duck
Lucky Dime Caper
Donald The Hero

Page 3:
Quackshot
World of Illusion
Deep Duck Trouble

Page 4:
Donald Duck no Mahou no Boushi
Magical Quest 3 Starring Mickey & Donald
Maui Mallard in Cold Shadow

Page 5:
Magical Tetris Challenge
Donald Duck: Goin' Qu@ckers
Disney's PK: Out of the Shadows

Page 6:
Duckburg P.D.: Donald on Duty
Donald Duck Quest
Donald Duck Quest 2
PK: Phantom Duck
Life of D. Duck

Page 7:
Al Lowe discussing Donald Duck
Darlene Lacey discussing Disney
Cameos & Appearances

Back to the Index