Make like a tree, and get out of here!
Maybe that was a bit much. Perhaps you think I should have just settled for the title text alone. No. I'm not going to try and trick you; you deserve to know upfront just what you're getting into, so that you might have a chance to turn back, feel you the necessity (you just might). I have integrity. Not enough to keep me from playing a game with a title screen like this, unfortunately, but there is some amount of integrity present, I tell you.
Before anything else, a really boring dissertation of our protagonists' choices of clothing. Feel free to skip to the next part. Skip all the way to end, if it suits you. In fact, never stop skipping. Skip, skip, skippitydippity-doo. Why not? I can't see you (as far as you know).
So right away we see that Skunny's jacket has an S on it (and I can tell you it's the jacketed one with certainty only because the other name begins with an R). If this was real, and I make no error when I say I'm glad it isn't, the first thing I'd notice would be the fact that Skunnald wears a jacket, yet no pants, despite Rosald being fully dressed (right down to the bright yellow underwear that Copysoft takes each and every unnecessary opportunity to creep me out with). However, this is a sprite-based side scrolling video game, a place where non-symmetrical letters just aren't welcome. I've seen a lot of people try and pull this off, and not once, not even one time, have they ever been able to get through the entire game without horizontally mirroring it a whole bunch of times. And it's not like this is a D or a B, or even a seriffed lowercase l, this is an S. They're just taunting the FlipX Evil God with something like this.
Actually, they did a fairly good job keeping S stable, in the same sense that they did a fairly good job making this game, which they did not. They even messed it up in one of the scenes from the introduction, and that doesn't even use game sprites! I've corrected it here, because after the monsters in this game and the license plates in this game, it just makes me look bad. Like it's some kind of secret criterion I search for. And if it is, it's not a secret anymore. Besides, such a glaring mistake (unless they would have me believe it is now a Z) really detracts from the otherwise brilliant prologue.
If you think I'm going to draw attention to the lack of commas or misspellings of the word their, throughout this story, then you probably won't mind if I don't make any nut jokes.
Don't be fooled by the phrase super hero. In this instance it means only that Skunny is a hero described by friends as being super. Also, if you've ever wondered what it takes to become a squirrel supermodel, now you know that it is a bow attached to your head. By this way of thinking, Skunny could also potentially be a supermodel, as they both look exactly the same. Certainly, I prefer this anthropomorph gender ambiguity to the alternative, but I wasn't expecting you to remember that page.
Those insects must be crazed, because otherwise it might occur to them to use the nut for themselves, rather than simply hiding it.
Another shocker, right there. From my own personal experience, I know that the stranger the place in which I find something, the less likely I am to consider it "to eat." Obviously, I need to practice more.
So what we learn from this is that the only people willing to make a Skunny video game are subhuman freaks. What we learn is that the programmer has no hands, which means the code for this game must have been typed out by that creature's feet. Well, I feel stupid now. Before I saw this picture, I had just assumed some corporate executive typed out this game's code with their feet. This is why we ought not to assume.
Are you sure? What if it's one of the leprechauns I keep in there? I had a hard time deciding whether this page of the introduction was subtle genius or supreme idiocy. Fortunately, the second portion made up my mind.
Alright, so now we're more confused than when we began. So what can I tell you about actually playing this game? Once again, I find myself turning to Those Amazing Guys over at file_id.diz to summarize it better than I ever would want to:
Help Skunny the Squirrel save his girl. Or
help the girl save skunny. Excellent graphics
in this race against time game. 10/26/93.
|Now if that isn't the most futile and depressing mission statement I've ever read, my name's Arnold (my name isn't Arnold). The people who made this game are essentially telling you Sure, you can help Skunny save Girl, but what good will that do? You'd do just as well to help Girl save Skunny. The fact that either one can save the other at any time must have some kind of deep, symbolic meaning that I am incapable of understanding. Or maybe the Copysoft employee who wrote that (I'm guessing the lizard) is just retarded.|
|It's called Back to the Forest... this must be the same forest from the Barney game, because you never find any trees. Every once in a while there's a tree stump, however. Forget the toads, lumberjacks are the real enemies here. Or perhaps they are really trying to get Back to the Forest, but they can't, because the closest thing resembling one is in the background, and they can only move two-dimensionally. Skunnald faces a similar dilemma in this as far as I can gather wholly unauthorized sequel. That page used to have pictures on it, but I know not where they've gone. Of course, I'm just assuming it's unauthorized. Hey, that game's zip file is like eight megabytes. I'm not going to spend forty minutes downloading a game I know is bad just to see if it's authentic or not. But then... how couldn't it be? I've changed my mind. There must be some kind of official connection, because Skunny is simply not worth ripping off. You really couldn't not do better. The very same reason none of the images on my scanner page have obnoxious, file size doubling, photoshoppy copyright notifications on them. Go ahead, take my pictures, get yourself laughed at. Ehhh...|
Like most games, this one occasionally pauses to give you instructions.
Alright, alright. Calm down. Moves, huh?
They can look up...
they can look down...
both of these serve no purpose, and look really stupid. They fit in very well.
I changed the cyanish background color, because this was absolutely unreadable before. Through my efforts I've reduced the unreadable level down to just about.
|A squirrel with attitude. That sounds familiar... where have I heard that be- oh! Sonic move over! Thank you for reminding me! I'm glad to say (relative to how glad the rest of this page makes me) to say that no examples of Skunnald's attitude are to be found beyond this screen. Comments like that are only made with the intent to snare the all important delinquent woodlund animal demographic. Quite skankly, I'm fed up with their unruly behaviour, and have to give credit to anyone who'd attempt to infiltrate their ranks with the intent to defy them like our squirrel friend here. Now that I mention it, Skunnald doesn't look all that much like a squirrel. However, Sonic also does not remotely resemble a hedgehog, and in fact isn't even the right color, so I think I'll let this discrepancy pass.
The real difference between the two, is that you can tell the other's game was designed around a rodent that runs fast. With this game, it seems more like an afterthought. There certainly wasn't any forethought. It seems very much like Copysoft made one version of this game and decided it wasn't Sonicripoffy enough, so then they tripled the speed of everything, without regard to...any of it, really. No gradual acceleration, no suitable physics engine, no creative level layouts. None of the stuff that should have been ripped off.
So you play the game by running at maximum/only speed to the left or right, hoping you don't fall into a hole in the ground. While this would certainly make a great Olympic event, Olympic events have traditionally made for terribly lousy video games.
|As opposed to a good fall, I suppose? If you don't get hurt, no one's going to say that looked like it didn't cause permanent injury! What a splendid fall! As long as we're on the subject of its failings, I have to say that fall, as a season, is also rather unsatisfactory. That's right, unsatisfactory. How unsatisfactory is it? If fall had a report card, I would write a U on it. That's how unsatisfactory fall is.
|And how about that beat the clock to finish the levels part, ehhh? In my experience, I've never found time limits to be something I cherished about a game. They're one of those things that's always been around, yet never explained, not unlike the term game over. I suspect there's some rare disease that only affects video game characters. When they reach the exit, there's a cup of water which they swallow their medication with (them's some big pills), but if they don't get there in time, they need to jump off the screen (one more otherwise unexplained phenomenon), and then rush to the exit of the previous level, where the last cup of water was (which explains why they start over at the beginning of the current level, rather than resuming where they left off). Lives in these cases represent how much water is left in the cup. If only this information had been publicly available ten years ago, Raya Systems might not have felt compelled to make Captain Novolin. I can't remember what I meant by that, and its context isn't helping, so I guess it's not funny. Ehhh...
I'll do that. Just please stop shouting. *whimper*
Good gargiblio, will you shut up about the clock already?!
It says to bash the scenery, and whether they mean to physically assault it or make derogatory comments in reference to it, neither are any kind of excuse for letting it get that ugly. It's like those people who claim that everything on their website is terrible, yet somehow get offended when anyone agrees with them. That reminds me of someone
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Nope, I forgot.
Uh-huh. This game has made me weak.
I tell you, this game could be considered "main feature" like "spray" style faucets in public restrooms might be considered a convenience. So it shows you what happens when the toad attempts to eat the fly. The copysoft website warns:
I've only ever heard stuff like that said sarcastically, so I'm not expecting all that much.
- End Of Level Interval (Careful not to laugh too hard)
So the toad's toungue catches the fly, hopefully with the intention of eating it...
the fly's head becomes really big and un-fly-like...
So I struggle through bad gameplay and raging boredom to defeat a toad, only to see a fly just mutate itself to eat one. So why don't the flies destroy the toads then, if it's so easy? Well, you might have noticed that the introductorily mentioned "crazed insects" didn't want Skunnald to succeed. And the reason they don't is because that would mean less toads for them to eat. Skunnald wants to destroy all the toads, like some kind of anthropomorphic pantsless Hitler, whereas the insects want to leave enough toads alive that they can perpetuate their species, so there continue to be abundant toads upon which to feast. Wow, this game is deep.
and the fly eats the toad. Nevermind that the fly's too small to plausible swallow the toad. The less you mind anything in this game, the easier you forget it.
Mentioned are 256 color graphics, and documentation for the game insists in a rather unusual form of English that they are hand painted. Now, this means to imply that someone used a paintbrush and painted a beautiful flowing landscape on a canvas, and then digitally inserted that into the game. But it could also mean that someone dipped their hands in paint, and smeared them along a computer screen, which someone then traced in mspaint. That sounds about right. And then Super VGA took over from there.
You see, back when the graphics card was introduced, people suddenly had more colors than they knew what to do with. Now, you didn't see stuff like this on the console systems of the time because the Japanese developers who dominated those had gradually been getting more colors to use in their arcade games throughout the eighties, and knew how to use their powers for good. Also, they weren't retarded lizards. If PC games were your specialty, the most you'd ever had were 16, and now all of a sudden you have 256. Now you need to let everyone know how many colors you have. You must out-VGA your opponent.
Moraff, for instance, liked bland, bland graphics contrasted by insane, pointless color-cycling thingies that were ALWAYS VISIBLE, in one way or another. Other people utilized the "obsessive compulsive color inclusion" method, in which every time one color from a set is used, every other color must also be used, like some kind of special needs gaussian blur. This looks horrible, but that's not the point. The point is that you eventually end up having a game with graphics that look like they've been special needs gaussian blurred, and last year no one else did.
A good example can be found in this game's cloud-resembling-objects.
Note also the gradient which makes up the remainder of the sky-like-area. Ah yes, the days of gradients. Those smooth, perfect, eye-scalding gradients.
Some things about consoles that did not affect PCs was that every color's RGB value needed to be in multiples of eight, and no single object could contain more than 16 colors, two things in strict violation of the teachings of Gradient. Also, they had artists who were hired based on actual artistic talent, rather than their willingness to make a Skunny game, so they knew better than to use gradients anyway.
It's obvious that Copysoft had high, failed aspirations for this. First of all, they made six games, all with Skunnald in them, and I'd never heard of any of them besides this one, and I only knew about this because of my foolish determination to find one good game (it wasn't this one) on some stupid shareware CD. It was three years before I had internet, and it was probably another year before I realized I could download games off of it. Ehhh...
ANYway, Copysoft thought they were going to break into the software business, alright. Oh yes they did.
Copysoft made themselves a website, and I would reckon it hasn't been updated since before any software companies had websites. It mentions only these games, and boasts such features as keyboard support, invincible enemies and adjustable volume levels. Also, convenient, easy to read scrolling text says things like
The site's for sale, by the way.
No one ever wants ridiculous inquiries. I actually once saw one of those for great sex call... (actually, I don't think great was implied) advertisements on a restroom wall. Underneath it, underlined, no less, was THIS IS NOT A JOKE! It is a shame, because I'm sure both parties miss out on a lot of potential customers by saying stuff like this.
Yes, if you're going to open fire upon these games, please don't miss. Bullets can only be used once, you know.
|SAVE OUR PIZZAS|
Skunny has been given the job of getting back the recipe of the Pizza that has been stolen by the "Evil Chef Of Cadiz". Skunny must travel back in time to ancient Rome to retrieve the recipe.
Didn't they steal this idea from a Garfield cartoon?
No, not the comic strip, I mean that animated one, that had the pig and the egg with legs as characters, for some reason. What is it about orange cats that necessitates new characters that they never even meet being added to their television shows? Remember that Heasthclivet cartoon, that had those cats who lived in the junkyard, who weren't relevant to anything, yet still got two thirds of the show to themselves? What was going on back in the 80s? Maybe it wasn't as bad as the events which led to the formation of Copysoft, but the fact remains it shouldn't have happened.
Ehhh... anyway, Romans didn't have tomatos (which my father will tell you regardless of your non-inquiry if you ever attempt to screen said cartoon in his knowledgable presence), so that recipe's no good.
It's a fairly well documented fact that in addition to overseeing the invention of pizza, BIGUS TITUS is also credited with having the first ironic nickname, being known as Little Caesar by his friends, until of course he betrayed and murdered them for calling him Little Caesar.
|LOST IN SPACE|
This game is a rework of the Atari Classic "MOONBUGGY". We've brought it right into the 90's with 256 color VGA graphics and some of the weirdest aliens you have ever met.
I'm guessing a rework is like a remake, except without any of that "permission" stuff. This game was overlooked, possibly because of it's name, which just doesn't have the drawing power of a classic like Moon Rangor. And just between me and you, I've never met any aliens.
That would be a travesty, all right. But answer me this: if Skunny is atttacking them where they live, how could they be considered invaders?
Armed with a small bi-plane, a few bombs and a truck load of luck, SKUNNY must destroy key installations and rid the world of the tyrant SADMAN INSANE!Do you happen to know what percentage of a truckload fits into a small bi-plane? I get the feeling whoever's sending Skunny on these missions will be satisfied with non-success. And what of Sadman Insane, ehhh? So he's a man that's sad. Well, I'd be sad too if my name was Insane. He doesn't need to be blown up, he needs to be cheered up.
But they were busy.
I think I've had quite enough of Skunniness for now, so I leave you now with one last bit of sound advice from Copysoft.
PLEASE DON'T USE IRQ 10, SKUNNY DON'T LIKE IT. YOU WILL NOT HEAR ALL
THE SOUNDS IN THE GAME !!
Ha ha, get it? It's sound advice because it's about sound. Ugh. I want to die.
...but I want them to die more.