#678 – Totally Rad

The 1990s are here and ready to feast.
Bust out the Yikes! pencils and Lisa Frank folders, and let’s play.
Run, young protagonist, run!



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.


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7 replies on “#678 – Totally Rad”

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&#039s begun. As you say, I guess one can play the game a bunch to experiment, but it&#039s 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&#039t dig up the exact quote or a screenshot, but more of Zeb&#039s wisdom later on.)

This game is amazing. It doesn&#039t have THE best gameplay, but it&#039s 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&#039s not to love dude? I&#039d at LEAST give this one a B+, if it were me.

Nineties, huh? And here I&#039m thinking that Fly Girl&#039s hair is half-Godfather, half-Flock of Seagulls.

This is another game that it&#039s 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.

This is one of Jaleco&#039s best games on the NES. Way better than the abundance of crap you&#039ve been giving B&#039s 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?

Well, yeah. That&#039s why I gave them &#039B&#039s.

I&#039m not sure what insulting my appearance has anything to do with Totally Rad. You&#039re welcome to troll on another NES review site if you&#039d like.

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.

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