That game is evidently Turrican II, known not only by being an excellent run n’ gun on its own right, but also because it has one of the best soundtracks ever. Ever! There’s no “arguably” or “imho” to found there and I can take the hit for such arrogance. It’s that good.
After a while I boasted that I used to finish the game with more than 40 lives remaining. Mark seemed genuinely impressed, as was the friend that accompanied him. But I said to myself ‘No! You’re a 32 old married man, stop bragging about useless things and be honest with yourself, it’s time to come out and tell the whole truth!’. It was time for redemption and finally admit that I was never that good playing videogames. So I said ‘It’s quite easy actually, anyone can do it. Just toggle the autofire or rapid fire on the Joystick, grab the rebound shot power up, keep firing away and watch everything turn to shreds’.
|It's like having one yo-yo on each finger|
I do remember when I bought Turrican II. It was a Friday night and I went to the store with my parents before returning home after visiting my grandmother. I don’t remember every detail, like why did I chose this particular game. Maybe the store guy recommended it to me, or maybe I liked the cool name. When I arrived home and started playing it, the game didn’t impressed me right away. It was ok, but it was the kind of colourful platformers that the Amiga excelled at and even at the age of 10, I already had my standards (which might not seem so obvious by reading the other entries on this blog). The one thing that impressed me right away was the music. It was pure bliss: epic, ethereal, energetic and otherworldly. It lifted the what it seemed average gameplay to great heights.
I bow myself to Chris Hülsbeck, mighty wizard of sonic alchemy. Many time was passed on the game main menu just listening to all the music in the game. Eventually, I learned how good the game was also, with its vast and intricate levels and huge, menacing bosses. This is the first time in a long time that I’m going to play the game without any kind of autofire. I’ll probably stink, but I don’t care. As long as I have my Turrican II sound menu, I’m totally fine.
After so many years, the build up to the main menu music still makes my heart race and puts me a big smile on my face. It’s one of those games that every single small detail has such a big meaning for me, like the main character moving in the background during the credits in the main menu, or the cool tune while the level is loading.
I wrote enough already about the soundtrack, but I will make room for a little more. The songs still sound amazing after all these years and provide a backbone for the dreamy atmosphere this game has. While Turrican is evidently inspired by Metroid, both in mechanics and some aspects of the visuals, I do prefer the overall feel of this game. It’s pure bliss.
|This game is full of waterfalls. It adheres to the principles of Feng Shui|
|For some reason, this robot has risen from the soil|
The game, like many other of its time, uses the unfortunate leftover from arcade gaming that is time limits. It makes no sense in a game which such huge sprawling levels that demand exploration. I lost a life just because I was taking a stroll and admiring the scenery (while being stung by bees I must add).
|This feels as good as popping bubble wrap|
This game sits among the best that were produced during in its time, but it’s hard to measure it against contemporary platformers, but that wouldn’t be fair anyway.
Turrican II lives!
|I downloaded this image from the internet. Like if I could reach this level without autofire|