Disney's Aladdin (video game)
Cover art for the NES version
|Developer(s)||Virgin Games USA (MD/GEN)
Virgin Interactive, Inc.
Disney Interactive Studios, Inc.
NMS Software (NES, GB)
Virgin Interactive (other platforms)
|Designer(s)||David Perry, Disney|
|Release date(s)||Mega Drive
Disney's Aladdin is a series of platformer video games based on the 1992 motion picture of the same name. The series consists of three drastically different games: one developed by Virgin Interactive for the Sega Mega Drive, which was ported to various other formats, another developed by Capcom for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System, which was later ported to the Game Boy Advance, and a final version developed by SIMS for the Sega Master System and Game Gear.
Mega Drive/Genesis version
Disney's Aladdin for the Mega Drive was developed by Virgin Interactive's studio of Virgin Games USA and published by Sega in 1993. This was due to the fact that Sega had both obtained a license for publishing video games based on Disney's motion picture and established a collaboration deal with Disney's animation studios which was a first in the video game industry, so Sega of America tasked the Virgin Games USA development team with the programming duties because of their successful previous efforts with McDonald's Global Gladiators and 7 Up's Cool Spot. The game has been noted for its use of traditional animation, which was produced by Disney animators under the supervision of Virgin's animation staff, including animation producer Andy Luckey, technical director Paul Schmiedeke and animation director Mike Dietz, using an in-house "Digicel" process to compress the data onto the cartridge. The game also featured arrangements and original compositions composed by Donald S. Griffin.
The player controls Aladdin, who must make his way through several levels based on locations from the movie: from the streets and rooftops of Agrabah, the Cave of Wonders and the Sultan's dungeon to the final confrontation in Grand Vizier Jafar's palace. The Sultan's guards and also animals of the desert want to hinder Aladdin in his way. He can attack either close range with a scimitar, which can deflect certain projectiles, or long range with a limited supply of apples. Next to apples, Aladdin can also collect gems which can be traded for lives and continues from a traveling peddler. Finding Genie or Abu icons enables bonus rounds. The Genie bonus round is a game of luck played for apples, gems or extra lives, and continues until the player runs out of Genie tokens or lands on Jafar. In Abu's bonus round, the player controls the little monkey who has to catch bonus items that fall from the sky, but without touching any of the unwanted objects like rocks and pots.
A port of the game was produced for the Nintendo Entertainment System, which was later adapted into a Game Boy version, which was compatible with the Super Game Boy and later ported to the Game Boy Color. The PC versions (Amiga and DOS) were also based on the Mega Drive/Genesis version, featuring enhanced music and sound effects. 
|Release date(s)||Super Nintendo
Aladdin (アラジン Arajin ) for the SNES was developed and published by Capcom separately from Virgin's version, since Capcom still held Disney licensing rights for Nintendo consoles at the time of the film's release. Although the game is still a side-scrolling platformer, it is significantly different in both presentation and gameplay. Similarly following the movie's storyline, players control Aladdin as he jumps on enemies, vaults off stumps and performs various acrobatic feats to get through levels. Throughout the level, Aladdin can collect apples to throw at enemies and golden scarabs which unlock bonus stages. Throughout each level there are various diamonds (collecting all within a level also unlocking bonus stages), with players able to unlock an extra challenge if they collect 70 red diamonds. The game was later ported to the Game Boy Advance with extra stages, though all the songs based directly on the original movie were replaced with new music, possibly because of copyright reasons. It was also unofficially ported to the NES in 1995 by Hummer Team.
Master System/Game Gear version
Tec Toy Indústria de Brinquedos S.A. (Brazil)
|Release date(s)||Game Gear
This version was developed by SIMS and published by Sega, and released in 1994 for the Sega Game Gear worldwide and for the Sega Master System in Europe. Sega went on to produce this game since they already had the necessary intellectual property licensing rights in order to publish the Virgin Interactive game on the Mega Drive/Genesis. The game is also significantly different in gameplay compared to its Mega Drive counterpart. There are three main types of level, chase levels in which Aladdin must outrun enemies while dodging obstacles, exploration levels in which Aladdin must carefully navigate traps and solve puzzles, similar to Prince of Persia, and carpet levels in which Aladdin rides his flying carpet.
On release, Famicom Tsūshin scored the Mega Drive version of Aladdin a 35 out of 40. The game was awarded Best Genesis Game of 1993 by Electronic Gaming Monthly. They also awarded it Best Animation. The game was reviewed in 1994 in Dragon #211 by Jay & Dee in the "Eye of the Monitor" column. Both reviewers gave the game 5 out of 5 stars. Mega placed the game at #12 in their Top Mega Drive Games of All Time. The Mega Drive version sold 4 million copies making it the best-selling Mega Drive game that was not a pack-in. The SNES version sold over 1.75 million units worldwide.
- Horowitz, Ken: Interview with Dr. Stephen Clarke-Willson Accessed February 12, 2008
- NEW GAMES CROSS REVIEW: アラジン. Weekly Famicom Tsūshin. No.257. Pg.39. 12–19 November 1993.
- Electronic Gaming Monthly's Buyer's Guide. 1994.
- Jay & Dee (November 1994). "Eye of the Monitor". Dragon (211): 39–42.
- Mega magazine issue 26, page 74, Maverick Magazines, November 1994
- Horowitz, Ken (2006-03-28). "Interview: Dr. Stephen Clarke-Willson". Retrieved 2011-12-26.
- Platinum List (Capcom's Bestsellers) Capcom Investor Relations Page Accessed February 12, 2008
- "Company Profile". Capcom. May 2002. Retrieved 2011-02-15.
- Disney's Aladdin Mega Drive/Genesis version at MobyGames
- Disney's Aladdin Master System/Game Gear version at MobyGames
- Disney's Aladdin SNES version at MobyGames
- Aladdin Nasira's Revenge gamespace on GameSpot
- Aladdin Chess Adventures gamespace at IGN
- Aladdin (Sega Genesis) at the Internet Movie Database