And now for those insider, veteran-type tips that I promised everyone in my last post about this hidden gem of the NES era.
- DO NOT leave the first area of the game without first getting the Stone Hands and the Dragon Feet.
Making sure to grab these two power-ups early on will make the rest of the game SO much easier. Both can be found at the book store in Grotto Mall for $26.95 a pop. ‘Equipping’ them turns one punch or kick into three in rapid succession, tripling the power of each. You can KO most of the basic enemies and temporarily disable each boss you encounter.
- Try to get your hands on a couple Isis
You can find the Isis Scroll at River City’s one and only hidden store: Merlin’s Mystery Shop. It’s located in the interior of the Armstrong Thru-way and all you have to do is move along the upper edge of the street while pressing up on the D-pad. You know you’ve found it once some invisible doors open.
The Isis Scroll sticks out because it is indeed the cheapest item in the place, only costing $20. Don’t let this fact fool you or put you off from purchasing them: it truly is a blessing in disguise. Each one that you use raises your character’s throwing power by a whopping 20 points! Think about that. 20 whole points in one go, that’s insane!
I can’t exactly remember how many you’ll need to grab, but I can tell you this: you’ve used enough of them when your guy is able to KO enemies just by throwing random junk at them. Yeah, that’s a thing and it’s awesome!
- Avoid running into walls or other obstacles when your health bar is empty.
I’m only telling y’all this because I wish someone had been around to tell me when I was a kid playing this game. Believe it or not, you actually CAN knock yourself out this way. And yes, you will still lose half your money and be sent back to the last shopping center that you passed. Ain’t that a bitch.
- Karma Jolts can save your life!
Every pharmacy and drug store is sure to carry these. You can get them for $15.25 each and they are easily the best health restoration items in the whole game. What they do is restore all of your health AND temporarily increase the amount of total energy.
Personally, I never used Karma Jolts very much in the past, but I really can see how having one around can be a Godsend when I’m on the verge of getting my 8-bit ass handed to me. Yet again. Because I decided to be an idiot and let myself get trapped between two of those blasted SQUIDS. So stupid.
- Get. The. Grand. Slam.
I still feel a little dense for never finding this wonderfully awesome thing on my childhood playthroughs of this game. It wasn’t until I was in my mid-twenties and playing on a Wii console that I finally broke down and bought it at the Oak Hill Mall book store for. . .$57.50?! Are you serious?!
I would soon find out that the Grand Slam skill was worth every bouncing coin that I spent on it. Remember what I said about the Stone Hands and Dragon Feet and what they do? The Grand Slam is pretty much does the same thing . . .but with weapons and pretty much anything else you can get your hands on. How cool is that?! I can still recall how I giddily ran around mowing down swarms of enemies with boxes, trashcans, and tires. So satisfying . . .
- You’re never too old for toys.
If you’ve got extra money to blow on something seemingly stupid, then you should really consider stopping by Toys Galore, the toy store located in the Flatirons Mall. Admittedly, I never really paid much attention to this place in the past. I was of the opinion that toys in a game like this would be a waste of money.
But my curiosity got the better of me during one of my more recent treks through River City and I just so happened some cash burning a hole in my pocket. I decided to splurge on one of the more expensive toys. I wasn’t expecting it to do very much. Boy, was I wrong!
I found this page that lists all the items that can be purchased, how much they cost, and how they help your character get stronger. It’s some pretty surprising stuff when you consider the fact that we’re dealing with toys and other playthings. I think one or two of these items are actually video games . . .
Armed with the Stone Hands, Dragon Feet, Grand Slam, a few Karma Jolts, and a bunch of Isis Scrolls you are now free to run from one end of the game to the other. You have my blessing. And when you get to the final confrontation with SLICK on the roof of River City High, give him a good kick to the face for me!