#678 – Totally Rad


                                   This cover does not properly represent how much “early 90s” is contained within the game.



                                                                                    That boss is looking fab-u-lous!




DEVELOPER: Aicom Entertainment

GENRE: Platformer

RELEASE DATE: March 1991


Totally Rad is what happens when slang gets its own video game. The protagonist is Jake, a “cool dude” who happens to be learning magic from a creepy old wizard named Zebediah. When his “fly girl” Alison and her “old man” get kidnapped by an underground mutant named Edogy, Jake puts on some G’NR and takes his magic to the streets of L.A.. The gameplay is standard platforming – run, jump, the whole bit – save for Jake’s magic. Instead of acquiring different forms over time, Jake has everything he needs from the outset. It’s up to you to experiment and deduce what magic works better towards different foes. But you do have a limited Magic bar, so experiment conservatively. Jake’s magic options include full healing, half healing, time stop, shields; water, wind, fire, and stone attacks; and, most importantly, eagle, fish, and lion transformations. The latter are crucial for boss fights. Much like Mega Man, you could just use the Mega Buster/Jake’s Magic Wand on all the bosses, but equipping the right weapon/animal transformation will ensure that much quicker (and easier) victory.


Even with the magic bits, though, Totally Rad feels totally average. The magic gives the game a little variety, but, if you have any experience with 8-bit platforming, it’s nothing you haven’t played before. If anything, Totally Rad is worth playing just to experience the cutscenes. They’re absolutely ridiculous with laugh-out-loud antiquated dialogue, and bizarre facial animation from the characters, particularly the wizard/pervert, Zebediah. Totally Rad is a time capsule that has not aged well at all, but that’s also part of its charm. Check it out, dudes.





                                                                                        “Dunno, babe. What do you think, Zeb?”



                                                                                                             “Uh… what?”


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Latest posts by Dylan Cornelius (see all)

  • This is another one that got a weird makeover (from “Magic John”) in translation. 🙂

    I watched a longplay of it at one point, since I was always curious after having seen it in Nintendo Power way back when… The magic never seems to get put through its paces; the game is pretty much over before it's begun. As you say, I guess one can play the game a bunch to experiment, but it's hardly the same. (I actually notice this quite a lot among the third-party platformers.)

    Also: “There are many people living underground. They are all extremely ugly.” (Couldn't dig up the exact quote or a screenshot, but more of Zeb's wisdom later on.)

  • This game is amazing. It doesn't have THE best gameplay, but it's still fun to play, and the magic element that grows with you each level really rocks. Being able to transform into different forms AND do spells? Pretty awesome. Cool, huge bosses, nice soundtrack, unique and quirky story and feel. What's not to love dude? I'd at LEAST give this one a B+, if it were me.

  • Mo Orange Drank

    Nineties, huh? And here I'm thinking that Fly Girl's hair is half-Godfather, half-Flock of Seagulls.

  • Dead or Alive Fan

    This is another game that it's the first time to ever know, after a fast search saw it complete for less that 15 bucks, so without a doubt it has to be at my personal collection.

  • FieryReign

    This is one of Jaleco's best games on the NES. Way better than the abundance of crap you've been giving B's to lately… You honestly think Toobin and Tom and Jerry are better games? So what that its pure 80s, look at your profile photo, dude? Were you an extra in Weird Science?

    • DylanCornelius

      Well, yeah. That's why I gave them 'B's.

      I'm not sure what insulting my appearance has anything to do with Totally Rad. You're welcome to troll on another NES review site if you'd like.

  • retrogamer_88

    The parallax scrolling backgrounds and huge boss sprites were a real treat in 1991 NESland, but man, I hated the way Jake would slide back from angled surfaces.