Little Red Hood
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|Little Red Hood|
Cover art of Little Red Hood
|Developer(s)||Taiwanese original (Sachen)|
|Publisher(s)||HES Interactive, Sachen|
|Designer(s)||Thin Chen Enterprise|
|Release date(s)||1990 (Taiwan, Australia)|
Little Red Hood is an unlicensed Taiwanese NES video game by Thin Chen Enterprise (as Sachen). It is often regarded as a considerably rare title, going for several hundred dollars on Internet auction sites.
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Little Red Hood is loosely based on the Little Red Riding Hood story. The player takes on the role of the main protagonist "Little Red Hood" whose objective is to reach her grandmother's house.
The majority of the levels feature Little Red Hood in a forest filled with goblin-like enemies. Little Red Hood must avoid these enemies while attempting to reach the next stage.
Little Red Hood can jump over obstacles and perform a kick during the game, however the latter is ineffective at dealing any damage to any enemies.
In each level there is flashing staircase which appears randomly, leading the player to a room with some enemies, treasures and sometimes a randomly appearing key. If the key is not present then the player must leave the room and enter the randomly appearing staircase again in a continuous fashion until it does appear.
Upon collecting the randomly appearing key, Little Red Hood must return to the forest area and collect at least twelve pieces of fruit (which fall from the trees when kicked) to make a non-flashing staircase appear which leads to the next stage.
In the forest segments, aside from the goblin enemies, Little Red Hood encounters new enemies as the stages progress such as hedgehogs and snakes. Larger enemies that guard the key, such as The Big Bad Wolf and the Bear cause instant death upon contact while the smaller ones damage Little Red Hood's health, which is represented by hearts. The larger enemies are sometimes found guarding keys and due to the nature of the game, are impossible to bypass requiring the player to either purchase and invincibility potion or purposely take damage from a smaller enemy to enter a post-hit invulnerability phase and then walking through the enemy.
By kicking rocks Little Red Hood can find useful items such as money (which is represented by gold crowns), health regenerating candy and a white dog which wanders the area, killing any small enemies it comes in contact with. However, enemies may appear from under rocks instead. Occasionally a balloon will appear which will take Little Red Hood to a bonus area in the clouds filled with gold crowns.
There are multiple stores scattered throughout the forest (which all sell the same three items) which Little Red Hood can enter and, using the crowns obtained through gameplay, buy either a potion which gives temporary invincibility, a heart which restores one point of health or a slingshot which fires a projectile (itself).
World 5 takes a different approach from the usual forest segment and instead requires the player to guide Little Red Hood, who swims through an underwater level and must find two pearls while avoiding enemies such as fish.
In World 8, the key will not appear in the staircase segment until Little Red Hood has obtained an invincibility potion and three slingshots from the shop.
On completion of World 10, the player is rewarded with a message saying "Oh!My dear Little Red Hood! Thank you for your coming!" showing Little Red Hood running toward her grandmother.
A 2 player mode exists but is unfunctional upon selection on a normal NES console. However, playing the game on an emulator that has the option to bypass illegal opcode (meaning it can bypass small errors in the game, but not big) will allow you to access 2-player mode (in a Super Mario Bros. multiplayer style, where each character takes turns playing). The 2nd player looks like player 1 (red), but in a frozen flashing state based on the invincibility potion (green). Otherwise, the 2nd player still functions like the 1st player, and can go into all the same levels and areas as 1st player without trouble.
Sachen included the game in multicart releases. Home Entertainment Suppliers sold the game in Australia and used a cover of a blond Red Riding Hood kicking creatures instead of the cover of the East Asian Red Riding Hood and two wolves.
Being an unlicensed game, the developers had to bypass the 10NES chip found in the standard console. Rather than using the Color Dreams method of voltage spiking or reverse engineering the 10NES chip as Tengen did, they instead included a slot on top of the cartridge, so a licensed NES game could bypass the chip, a method that would later be replicated by Color Dreams' successor, Wisdom Tree, with their Super NES game Super Noah's Ark 3D. It is not necessary for the NES top-loading consoles (such as the Control Deck), because the 10NES chip was not included.
It was speculated that this game was stopped in programming soon after development began, but was later released anyway for quick money when Thin Chen Enterprise were in desperate need of cash. The unfinished nature of the game is clear with the random appearing of staircases, items appearing in inaccessible areas, two items appearing in the same place, never being able to determine when the key would appear, having to take long periods to complete a level, and the kick being useless except as a way to obtain fruit, since development stopped before enemies were programmed to take damage.