“You guys, I’m hungry. I know when my stomach growls there’s trouble.”
Chunk says this very line hoping stop his friends from venturing into the Fratellis’ hideout in search of pirate’s treasure. And he’s right; there was plenty of trouble awaiting Mikey, Mouth, Data and others on their journey in “The Goonies.” Whether it was the booby traps or the mobsters chasing them, the Goonies dealt with plenty of problems. But these issues led to a wonderful movie experience that reminds many people of fond childhood memories and adventures.
With this in mind, I wonder if anyone’s stomach at Konami growled a bit when developing an NES sequel to the movie, even though the first game was never released in North America for Nintendo’s home console. There’s also the fact that there is no movie sequel, so The Goonies II features a completely unique plot. Do not expect Sloth to shout “Hey you, Guys!” There is no chance to ride up Troy’s bucket. And Data is not by your side with his wacky inventions. (Konami Man, however, makes an appearance.)
You assume the role of Mikey, though the pixilated version sports some reddish hair and killer yo-yo skills. The Fratellis have somehow escaped prison again and are detaining six of the Goonies in cells below their hideout. Not only that, but there is a mermaid named Annie (not Andy from the movie) asking for your help. As such, Mikey must find his friends and save the princess … I mean mermaid.
Mikey must have lightened up his hair after the events of the first movie. Maybe some sort of witness protection program? As you can see, the Fratellis find him again, as he ends up back underneath their lair for some platforming goodness.
Though mermaids are not the only mystical creatures the Walsh boy encounters on his journey. You will battle dragons, angel skeletons, and even Eskimos and seals. Yes, all of these crazy enemies live below the Fratellis’ hideout. Somehow the underground lair leads to snowy terrain, waterfalls, a long, rundown bridge and jungle areas. And here I thought Sloth was odd.
The game mechanics also proffer something a bit atypical. The basic premise for the title is a platform game, which has Mikey jumping around with rather competent controls. He also finds some weapons to battle the enemies littering the Fratellis’ lair, such as a boomerang and slingshot. Things change drastically, though, when Mikey enters a room. The perspective shifts to first-person, and all of a sudden, the game turns into almost a point-and-click adventure, with pixel hunting being a key feature.
Welcome to the first-person perspective of The Goonies II. Mikey has found some jumping shoes. Sadly, they are not as sweet as Data’s slick shoes… or as crazy!
This allows Mikey to also venture between two different parts of the environment, with a front portion and back part. You may not even notice there are two totally different sections, since there is only small text on the START screen to let you know. Thank goodness for game design evolution because navigating both worlds is an annoying and frustrating chore.
To ease your frustration, there is a delightful rendition of Cyndi Lauper’s “Goonies ‘R’ Good Enough” song in the game. The MIDI beat really bumps and keeps your head rocking during the opening scenes. Sadly, the song slowly fades away as you delve deep in the adventure, but this small nod toward the film is much loved.
“Hey Mikey, you saved the day!”
The Goonies II may not be the best fan service to the film. But there are enough tidbits to make fans of the movie smile on occasion. You also cannot help but laugh at the absurdity of this game sequel. Battling sliding seals with a yo-yo on an icy platform, all supposedly under a mobsters’ lair, has a funny appeal to it. Be sure not to forget the goal, either. A mermaid needs Mikey’s help.
Even with these crazy aspects, The Goonies II somehow runs headfirst into trouble and comes out the other end better for it. Konami by no means made a perfect game, but the flawed adventure sticks with people who have played it. And thinking back on the title, many people smile while reminiscing about The Goonies II, sort of like the movie.