Monday, March 11, 2013

Goat Jump


Old video games tend to be a source of weird shit – PC titles, obviously, but even unlicensed cartridge games were fairly easy to do on a lark, as I’m sure some people remember first-hand and others have heard.

I like to collect these weird games when I can; most of them are just shiity shit made by mongoloids, but some are funny or even creepy. Take Goat Jump – I got it from a pawnshop owner that I know who knows I buy old games. I don’t know if Goat Jump is the actual name, because the original label has been peeled off and a small one affixed with just those two words.

Anyway, Goat Jump is an apparently unlicensed NES game. Pop it into your NES and it starts right up. There are no credits, no start screen, and no explanation. The graphics consist of a scrolling ranch/prairie with the player being a really shittily-rendered, small cowboy. The ‘goats’ don’t really look like goats, but I guess they don’t look like anything else, either. A makes you jump, while B doesn’t do anything. Pressing start will pause the game, where the screen is mostly filled with the word ‘STOP’ in white block letters; pressing select will make your character stop moving and a loud buzzing sound will play. The music is low-quality psuedo-western beeps. Walking into a goat causes the same buzz to emit as if you’d pressed select, and the screen switches to black with the word ‘LOSE’ filling the screen. The game has to be manually reset from there.

The gameplay consists of you jumping over goats. Your apparent reward for this is one point per goat, with the scroll speed and number of goats slowly increasing. Around the fifteen-minute mark, things start getting strange. The music is occasionally interrupted by loud beeps or scratching tones out of sync with the music. The goat sprites begin to become varied, with color errors and such; some are really just incoherent masses of colored pixels. Your cowboy sprite kind of flips back and forth, so it looks like he’s moonwalking. This gets steadily more severe, and the terrain is eventually effected, too, with gray sky, brown trees, and red pixels which I assume are supposed to be blood. By this point the music is incoherent screeching and beeping with no tune, your sprite is gliding along on his back, and the goat sprites are half-sunk into the terrain. You come to the end of your journey around the half-hour mark, where you enter your first and only building rendered shittily in gray brick. From there, your sprite glides into some sort of threshing machine or something and a shitty ‘scream’ plays; you get 100,000 points. A black screen with ‘YOU ONE’ [sic] pops up, with a really fucked-up goat sprite dancing below the words.

Again, the game has to be manually reset. Graphical and sound glitches appear earlier or randomly in subsequent playthroughs. Goats are replaced with your cowboy sprite laying on its back with ‘blood’ on it (and occasionally missing pieces). Randomly, your cowboy is replaced with a goat, and, bafflingly, a large boot.

Like I said, weird. I’ve never found any information on Goat Jump anywhere. I assume it was a joke or a personal project or something. What the fuck.

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[I LOVE this one, can't fully explain why, but it's up there in my top faves. I must be the only one who loves this so much. FSR I recall another version where at the end, the cowboy simply glides and lands into a grave, the end. ??? - Owner]

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