The Goonies

Is it just me, or is one person a tad bit bigger than the rest?

Review Date: February 17, 2021

Release Date: February 21, 1986 (Japan date; game was never released in the US)

Platform: NES

Publisher: Konami

Genre: Linear Platformer

Anecdotes: I’ve moved on from the NES launch. I’m up to 1986, when Nintendo starting opening itself up to titles from other companies. I’ll be getting into some excellent stuff from lots of third party developers soon, but first, let’s get into a licensed title based on a 1985 movie, which oddly was never released on the NES in North America.

Obviously, there are no childhood memories of this game. The game was never sent over here. However, I wanted to play this because Goonies II, its sequel, WAS sent over here. There will be a handful of games on the list that never got to the United States. Most, if not all, of those are from the NES/SNES era, and some of them are parts of series that only had some games released; others are standalones that were picked to add variety to the list. The only restriction was that games must be in English or Spanish or have little text.

Description: A boy (I don’t know who; while researching, I found the names Sloth and Mikey, plus the possibility of being unnamed) has to rescue his six Goonie friends from behind doors.

There’s a Goonie! For those that have never played this, it appears his location is randomized, so he could be behind any door in the stage.
And this girl makes six, so I win!

Positives: This is one of the games I’m playing for the first time as I review it, and I really enjoyed it. I had no problem getting to stage 4 on my own. The difficulty is very fair, made easier if the player has knowledge of how to get power ups. Generally, though, bombing every door and not leaving until after finding the Goonie is the best strategy. The items that can be found offer some nice benefits, especially defensively. For example, the flame suit allows Mikey/Sloth/Mr. No Name to walk into flames as if they weren’t there at all.

Having extensively played the second game, it’s great to see where some of the ideas came from. Bombing doors was a major concept here, although tamed way down in the sequel. Items like the raincoat, slingshot, and the helmet appeared in both games. The front and back concept started here, using skull doors to connect them. And I’m going to wrap up the list of positives by saying that the theme song, “Goonies ‘R’ Good Enough” was used extensively in this game, but not overused.

Negatives: There are tons of hidden powerups and point boosters, But the way to get them is really cryptic. Only the headphones I found without help; I had to consult a walkthrough to know what else could be found and how to make it appear.

I’m surrounded by rats, but at least I have headphones!
Now look at that collection of goodies…and that collection of Goonies, too.

More Screenshots:

Oh, yeah, players will quickly learn to hate the Fratelli family.
I found a cross. It serves the same function as the Super Mario star.
Hey, it’s Konamiman! Too bad he doesn’t refill health in this game.
Here’s another thing carried over to II: the waterfall. I have a raincoat, though, so its presence doesn’t affect me at all.
I played the game and finished it, so that ship has sailed.
Congratulation to the hero, whoever it may be.

Grade: B

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