The Anatomy of Mega Man | 2 | Any color you like

Even more important in the equation of how to play Mega Man than the cues provided by the level design are the workings of the titular hero himself. While Mega Man does indeed emerge into this world with a terribly minimal move set, that alone doesn’t define the limit of his abilities. The entire premise […]

The Anatomy of The Goonies | 3| You smell like phys ed

The complexity of The Goonies definitely peaks early – level three brings you to the game’s midpoint, but nothing that follows this stage comes anywhere close to the intricacy of this one.  Consisting of seven different areas spread across the “front” and “back” portions of the map, stage three sprawls in a far less linear […]

The Anatomy of Mega Man | 1 | Any which way but loose

Sorry, human race; I’ve decided to be reckless and run two Anatomy series at the same time. After speaking with Keiji Inafune this past week and hearing him talk about some of the early days of the original Mega Man, I got to thinking about the game’s design. And, well, that got me thinking about it… […]

The Anatomy of The Goonies | 2 | Do you boys like tongue?

The Goonies doesn’t waste any time upping the stakes for you. After the simple, straightforward first level, which contains all the basics you need to know to play the game at a fundamental state, the second stage becomes considerably more complex. As in the first stage, your goal – the locked door – appears directly […]

The Anatomy of The Goonies | 1 | Good enuff?

Having spent the past few months exploring one of the most intricately crafted video games of all time, I figured it might be nice to have a break from the serious stuff and look at something much less substantial. So let’s explore Konami’s The Goonies (for the Japanese Famicom) and its sequel (which came to the […]

Next up

In honor of Martha Plimpton’s current TV show being canceled, and the downward career spiral that led Josh Brolin to star in Gangster Squad, next up we’ll be looking at the NES Goonies series, possibly the world’s only video games in which an asthmatic preteen saves a mermaid from convicted counterfeiters. This is no country […]

Talk about your own anatomy

Uh, or something like that. I’ve opened an Anatomy of Games section on Talking Time for two purposes: One, so you can add stray observations or corrections to Anatomy articles once the comments have closed for spam prevention; and two, so you can have a central location for writing and promoting your own works in […]

The Anatomy of Super Metroid | 19 | The secrets of Super Metroid

Like any good game, Super Metroid contains plenty of secrets. Some intentional, some less so. The sheer number of working parts in the game that collide as you put the programming code through permutations the developers couldn’t have predicted or accounted for inevitably make for some surprising interactions. Some of the details are simply there […]

The Anatomy of Super Metroid | 18 | Zebessinia, Henry

The defeat of Mother Brain doesn’t mean it’s game over, of course. It wouldn’t be Metroid if you didn’t have to run desperately to the exit before the enemy base explodes. You have three minutes to reach your gunship before Mother Brain’s lair detonates. While the notion of an escape sequence should feel like old […]

The Anatomy of Super Metroid | 17 | Family reunion

The game uncharacteristically wrests control aways from the player as the super metroid chows down on the sidehopper, and as soon as it’s completed its snack you regain power over Samus again. There’s just a split-second before it swoops down and latches onto Samus and begins depleting her health many times faster than any other […]

The Anatomy of Super Metroid | 16 | Reprise

With Ridley down, there’s just one place left to explore. Unless you’ve not explored all the other places you couldn’t get to before you acquired all your cool gear, in which case there are many places left to explore. Go on, explore them. I’ll wait. No, really, take your time. OK, done? Great. So now […]

The Anatomy of Super Metroid | 15 | A dish best served cold

With the Screw Attack, Samus Aran’s essential arsenal is now complete (barring one final power-up that you experience so briefly and use in such a limited capacity that it amounts to a set piece). You can go anywhere. Do anything. Acquire any item. The entirety of Zebes is now at your fingertips, and a 100% […]