In my experience, instruction manuals for NES games weren’t always available – they were more of a luxury than a nessecity. Whether I bought used games at the local VHS rental center or got them at garage sales, the box and manual most likely were not included. Sometimes, not having the instruction manual to a Nintendo game could be fun and somewhat adventurous – you have to get a feel for the game yourself, and when you finally figure it out and get past that pesky boss or troubling level, you can feel like you’ve really accomplished something. For Yo! Noid this was certainly not the case, because it was unlike any other Nintendo game I can remember playing.
So picture this (keeping in mind that the internet wasn’t there to have my back with information on such a kooky game): I’m probably 10 years old, and I’m really excited to come across a new game I’d never heard of. It’s a few years after Noid commercials have ceased, so I only know who this bizzaro red character is because my older sister clued me in to the fact that he had something to do with pizza. He kind of resembles a rabbit with his long ears, but has that creepy puppet face of something I would have seen off of the fantasy half-world of Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood. So needless to say, I’m PUMPED to play this game, and what-do-you-know? I fire up the NES and my character flies out of the sky weilding a yo-yo.
The first level is straightforward enough – you’re on some sort of docks creaming bad guys with the yo-yo; Noid’s leaping abilities leave something to be desired, but it’s nothing a Super Pit Fall player hasn’t dealt with. You finish the level, collect your bonus points for extra time, and WHAT’S THIS? Some sort of pizza-eating-card-strategy game? And it’s against another (yet different-colored) Noid? This makes absolutely no sense, but it looks awesome. Turns out these Pizza Eating Contests are after every other level, involve strategy and a gameplan (especially in the later stages) and can be quite infuriating. If you lose one of these Pizza challenges you get sent back to the beginning of the corresponding level and any progress you made in that level is lost. Prior to Pokemon and Yu-Gi-Oh! and all those other things I don’t understand, this aspect of the game was pretty ahead of its time.
Navigating through the gameplay levels is pretty difficult – one hit from an enemy and the Noid dies, so perfection is the name of the game here. Some levels Noid gets a skateboard, and others he has a helicopter. There are scrolls strewn about the levels that add up to certain kinds of magic spells that come into play in later levels. Since there are no ways to save your progress, you have to learn to ride the helicopter on the fly or else you’ll quickly find yourself back at the docks in level 1. I never had the perseverance to get past level 12 or so (I’ve recently found out there are 14 stages – turns out the internet is useful) but I still consider this one of my all-time favorites. After reading up on the game and finally learning some real tips and tricks, I plan to revisit and finish what I started. I just found out that the final boss is a pizza eating contest.
Remember Yo Noid! (NES) ?
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