The early days of Nintendo were some strange times indeed. Programmers and developers alike had to rely on their innovation and the players’ imagination to convey ideas through the limited systems at their disposal. This (along with almost no sort of reliable translation process for games) lead to several strange and wonderous games being produced for the NES. One of these games in particular entertained my brother and I for hours and hours without end: Monster Party.
Monster Party was a game for the Nintendo Entertainment System where a young boy named Mark gets approached by a gargoyle-like monster named Bert while he is on his way home from a baseball game. Bert explains that he is a kindly monster from a planet far away. Bert’s home planet is in trouble, as all of the good monsters of his world are being oppressed by an evil force. He asks Mark to save his world, with the help of his baseball bat.
The game itself is a side-scrolling platformer, where Mark battles random enemies on his way to the exit of each stage. Along the way, there are doors which contain the boss encounters of each level. The first boss you “battle” on your way through Stage 1 is a dead spider. Not an UN-dead spider, just a dead one. The boss apologizes for being dead, and dissipates before your very eyes. Boss encounter over. This happening sets the bar pretty high for weirdness, but it only gets more odd once you get to Stage 5 and the Zombie Twins appear.
As you enter their lair, they merely ask the player to “Watch My Dance.” Unlike modern zombie foes, the twins make no effort to attack (or eat) our hero. If Mark (or Bert) hits the zombies, they will decay into the ground, and then reanimate and continue their romp. The only way to win this “battle” is to watch the twins dance until they dance no more, and return to the grave. Skip to about 40 seconds in to see the twins in action.
Very odd, but a damn catchy song.