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Article - 'A Look Back Part 3' by Rowain

An item about Game Design posted on Aug 1, 2004


This was an older article that I wrote for DOP, but it never really got many readers. Since I'm here now, I figured "why not post it here?" Why not INDEED. Covers an old game called Captain Novolin. The weak of heart need not click THIS link.


A Look Back Part 3
By Rowain

In case you haven't read my Look Back series before, it's basically a humorous look back at some terrible games and movies of our past. Please keep in mind that all opinions expressed henceforth are mine, and mine alone. If you are in any way offended, please disregard this article. If you disagree, please, feel free to tell me why. Thanks, and enjoy the article.

Note: this appeared awhile ago on Darkest Oblivion Productions and has been resurrected and reworked for the NEW GENERATION.

The year is 1992. Diabetes runs rampant amongst the innocent population of America, and people remain uneducated as to how it can be controlled. The country calls out for a hero, an avatar of justice to save them from the darkness.

And thusly, a hero was born! Enter Captain Novolin, the caped crusader of proper diet and regular insulin dosage, and just what kids aged 6-12 needed. Not only is Captain Novolin cleverly named, but he's also the most ill-concieved marketting ploy EVER.

So let's break this game down.

Released for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System in 1992, Captain Novolin, as I mentioned above, is a game about diabetes. I'm serious. The entire point of the game can be described by the screenshot below.

Are you scared yet? No? Then my work isn't done!

The gameplay mechanics of Captain Novolin were revolutionary. Not only did the game break genre boundries by allowing your character to hope AND look like a moron at the same time, but it also allowed you to make NOISES as you hopped. Noises... jumping... wow! That's a recipe for fun!

But what's hopping without the danger of accidentally hopping into a deadly foe? That's why the developer cleverly decided to add a vast repetoire of space scum, a fiendish collection of sugary monsters. You'll face the deadly jumping donut, the frightening charging soda can, and the horrifying twizzler that spins towards you in a set pattern of altitude changes. Now tell me. How much would you be willing to pay for the chance to fight these dastardly demons of sugar?! 500 dollars? 1000 dollars?!?! Oh ho ho! Don't answer yet, shitface, because it gets better! (I'm serious, don't answer yet. STOP IT.)

That's right, because just when you think the game has reached a level of enlightenment that would make the Dhali Lama himself vomit with jealously, Captain Novolin throws another exciting feature into the fray!

Between every level, a stereotypical black doctor comes on the screen and helpfully reminds you of what to eat for every meal! That's right, not only do you learn about how mobile jumping donuts are, but you also have your diet planned by an inanimate black man that wouldn't pass for real at a costume party. HOLY JESUS! HOW DID HUMANITY SURVIVE BEFORE THIS?!?!

And STILL, the gender-bending captain has something up his sleeve. Not content with avoiding soda and twizzlers, he has you now inject insulin between stages. This is accomplished by matching a coloured tab with another coloured tab. The colourblind need not worry, however. Despite the fact that you're too retarded to match two colours in a game concieved by equally retarded marketting execs, doesn't mean you'll die from a lack of insulin (which, I've heard, diabetics need to uh... like, live). Oh no, don't worry. The game just goes BZZT, and the captain is back on screen, blow-up muscles bulging under his ambiguously gay spandex costume.

I'll be honest. I never completed the game. Despite the fact that the enemies attack in well organized groups of one or two, the actual game is so damn hard that any diabetics who actually PLAYED IT were likely cheering for diabetes in the end.

Some screens:

The title screen, made by 100% pure asian slave children!

Apparently pressing down on your arrow key once to inject insulin was considered difficult by the brain surgeons that released this garbage. Aiola!

The Captain considers laying a citizens arrest on this dangerous individual.

2 seconds after this screen was taking, the Captain was hunched over, clutching his stomach in a sugary spasm of death.