• Welcome to Talking Time's third iteration! If you would like to register for an account, or have already registered but have not yet been confirmed, please read the following:

    1. The CAPTCHA key's answer is "Percy"
    2. Once you've completed the registration process please email us from the email you used for registration at percyreghelper@gmail.com and include the username you used for registration

    Once you have completed these steps, Moderation Staff will be able to get your account approved.

  • TT staff acknowledge that there is a backlog of new accounts that await confirmation.

    Unfortunately, we are putting new registrations on hold for a short time.

    We do not expect this delay to extend beyond the first of November 2020, and we ask you for your patience in this matter.

    ~TT Moderation Staff

Let's Play X-Men Genesis




Welcome to Let's Play X-Men: the Genesis/Sega Mega Drive platformer from 1993!

X-Men games have a storied history, and the 1993 Genesis entry feels like an inflection point where they really became something cool. By 1993, home consoles had two less impressive X-Men outings: "The Uncanny X-Men" (NES, 1989) which is mainly remembered out of frustration and "Spider-Man/X-Men: Arcade's Revenge" (SNES+Genesis, 1992) which has the look and feel of a very early gen 16 bit title.

X-Men 1993 is a step up -- more visual detail, larger characters, the mutant powers feel fun and powerful, and you can even swap heroes on the fly during stages (with a fixed swap limit per level, however). Like you'd probably expect from X-Men games, your mutant abilities are limited by a recharging mutant power meter.

Here's who the player gets to control:



Wolverine: his mutant power extends his claws for increased damage and range. He also has an always-active healing factor, which once in a blue moon you might notice restoring a tick of health. Wolverine is the shortest character and a short jumper, which is a significant factor in some stages.

~~



Cyclops: his mutant power shoots an optical blast. Aimable in all 8 directions and each shot has a dirt cheap mutant power cost, You can basically play Cyke as a ranged character. Minor abilities include 1) charging up his beam for a ricocheting optic blast and 2) a super spin jump blast that fires in all directions at increased cost, giving it questionable utility. Cyclops is tall and the best jumper.

~~



Gambit: his mutant power shoots an explosive, homing playing card. Charging up your card will increase the homing slightly, but you generally you have to pray that your cards will connect sooner rather than later and hope for the best. Gambit also fights with his staff instead of kicks and punches, giving him probably the best basic attacks. Gambit is tall, has a very tall crouching pose, and is nearly as good at jumping as Cyclops.

~~



Nightcrawler: Every X-Men video game has to have a "B-cast member" elevated to the playable roster, and in this game it is Nightcrawler. Nightcrawler's teleportation is a unique homing attack and shortcut tool rolled into one. If you've played this game, you remember Nightcrawler, I'm absolutely positive.

Teleportation is tricky. You can influence the teleport by which direction you hold, with VERY brief taps being the best way to teleport past walls. Hold it too long and you'll use more power, plus the teleport may even U-turn on you and bring you back to where you started. Mastering Nightcrawler can feel like mastering the cape in Super Mario World, although if we're honest it usually feels like his mutant power has a mind of its own.

The interesting "expert" way to use Nightcrawler is to not tilt the d-pad at all. This makes you an invincible, stationary hazard to enemies. The secret is that this consumes very little mutant power, making it almost too good. Nightcrawler is short, a bad jumper, and his jumping attack sends him into a fast dive.

TELL ME SOMETHING WEIRD ABOUT THIS GAME

You don't get lives, continues, or checkpoints. When you die the mutant you were controlling is now dead (semi-permanently) and you start the level over. Essentially your 4 lifebars become 4 lives that you'll manage by swapping out each mutant before they die.

Surprisingly for such a system, your health isn't topped off after levels either. You have to allocate inter-mission refills to each mutant individually. Yeesh!

You can feel how this affects the design of the game. Finding all the health refills during stages (minor secrets, usually) is suddenly quite important for longevity. The lack of real continues means that the process of "learning" a stage involves multiple attempts with different mutants, instead of multiple attempts with the same mutant. Since the mutants all have jumps, punches, and kicks that are so different from one another you can't always rely on your previous knowledge and muscle memory to make it through next time.

IS THE GAME ACTUALLY AS GOOD AS I REMEMBER? OR IS IT ACTUALLY AS FRUSTRATING AS I REMEMBER?

Describing X-Men 1993 an "inflection point" feels apt. It's going to be a cool game for some, but not quite there for others. Weird hit detection? Weird jumps? Yep, it's got that. There is a fun absolute level of challenge to conquer, but often there is a wall of knowledge on how a boss works or how a section is supposed to be tackled before you can give it a real shot. The partner swapping system plays into this as well, with picking the right mutant lending a degree of "Mega Man"-style thinking... that is, deploying the right mutant can help solve levels effortlessly.

ALL RIGHT WHAT AM I IN FOR?
This is a 6 episode video LP (recorded in advance) split into two playthroughs so that every mutant gets a chance to shine.​
A new episode will be uploaded every other day.​
First episode will be posted tomorrow.​
 

Mogri

Round and round I go
(he)
Staff member
Moderator
I was never a Genesis kid, but I remember enjoying this game (and not getting very far).

Your Nightcrawler image isn't loading for me. never mind, it is now
 

nosimpleway

(he/him)
Had this as a kid, I gotta say that pathfinding around some of the trickier parts with Nightcrawler's teleport is a ton more satisfying than World's super cape. Lookin' at you, lighthouse level.
 
Some (all?) of the game gear games also have that hub. Maybe some of those have an intro level set there before and he's thinking of those? (Not sure, just seems not impossible.)

Good call, X-Men 2 on Game Gear ("Gamesmaster's Legacy") seems to have a proper first level in the Danger Room. But I think Falselogic is too funny to let that ruin his joke.
 

Mogri

Round and round I go
(he)
Staff member
Moderator
Comics show him with muscles a-ripplin', but how much lifting do you think he really does when he solves all his problems with lasers?
 
With fast and loose comic logic, I think the various Danger Room activities can count as Cyclops' bodybuilding sessions. Eye lasers or no, you gotta show off your bod.
 
Last edited:
I remember playing this a lot while my dad was in rehearsals. I don't remember what theatre it was or the play he was rehearsing, but a couple other actors had kids close to my age so we all hung out and did our homework (played video games together) in one of the storage rooms of the theater. Someone brought in their Genesis and this game, I only remember playing Nightcrawler but remember watching the other characters, maybe we each switched off for each character? Such a vague memory.
 
Here are the in-game dossiers for Cyclops and Gambit, as I don't stop to read this during the video:




Also making her brief appearance is Jean Grey (Cyclops' one true love) whose telekinesis power is an integrated game mechanic for how the player recovers from falling into pits. Remember, there are no "lives" in X-Men, and falling into a pit instead costs hitpoints. You have left/right control as she floats you out of the pit until she releases you (or you press a button, I think). I always associate this pit-recovery mechanic with 'Beat' from the later Mega Man games, although earlier examples might be Joe & Mac and the Angel's Feather item in Kid Icarus.

If I had to guess, I bet the concept of letting the player float out of pits originated in some early arcade game, since most arcade games are all about respawning on the spot, and if the game has lots of platforming this might be one way the designer handles the need for safe spots to bring the player back to.

Other characters we see briefly in the video as bosses & NPCs are Juggernaut, Zaladane, Deathbird, and Lilandra. If you are like me, those last few are unfamiliar. Zaladane is a mutant in the Savage Land with sorceress-like powers. Deathbird and Lilandra (two sisters) are nobility from the extraterrestrial Shi'ar Empire. I was never too familiar with the alien stuff in the X-Men mythos. The X-Men seem to interact with the Princes and Empresses of these alien races, all of whom basically have "natural" superhero-level abilities. From my current vantage point I feel this comes across as a little tacked on, and weakens the X-Men's connection to the common (non-mutant) man on Earth, which is really a more core part of the X-Men's appeal.
 
Last edited:
Question: Is the professor a hacker? Didn't he create the Danger Room?

I would say he's not a hacker, if I remember correctly the Danger Room was either a gift from the Shiar (the aliens, I'm probably spelling that wrong) or used their tech. But I don't think I've ever read the comic where that happened, just references to it.

But since this game is based on the idea of a virus infecting it who knows. I also think there's been at least a couple occasions where Xavier has read someone's mind to learn a skill so let's pretend he just mind-read a hacker.
 

nosimpleway

(he/him)
Saw the thread announcement yesterday, saw it updated today, read up, started the video

and then the wubwubwubwubwubwubWUBWUB BWAAAAAAH on the title screen grabbed me by the scruff and bodily hurled me back to 1994
 
episode 3: Cyclops/Gambit Playthrough, stages 5, 6, and Magneto

Expect musings on Psylocke's screen time and the only instance of branching paths. Featuring ginger haired henchman that think they are so cool.

*Addendum to the commentary where I'm talking about Mojo: his deal as a villain is that he is a parody of television executives. He rules a dimension where, among other things, the power structure is dictated by television programs. Mojo keeps a population of slaves and enjoys creating gladiator-style reality shows.

Next episode will be the start of the Wolverine + Nightcrawler playthrough.
 

nosimpleway

(he/him)
It is immensely stressful to watch your guy stand around while you explain enemy patterns and gate puzzles while the end of time steadily marches ever closer
 
Haha, it wasn't stressful for me I guess. Maybe because I had an intuitive feel of how much time I really had.
 

Mogri

Round and round I go
(he)
Staff member
Moderator
Is fall damage reduced on lower difficulties? I have a hard time seeing how this game would be significantly easier without some radical changes.
 

nosimpleway

(he/him)
It is, but it still ramps up level by level until it's devastating anyway.

Like functionally there's not much difference between two hits that take 90% of your health and two hits that take 50% of your health, ya know?
 
Last edited:

nosimpleway

(he/him)
Camping out in front of the door of the Shi'ar transport ship in a pending teleport for the entire trip makes you completely invincible, takes out every soldier as they come through, and still doesn't completely deplete Nightcrawler's mutant power meter. It's just that efficient.

You can hold a direction and tap the A button to teleport only about half a screen's distance. It's useful when using his power as an actual dungeon bypass, and is much easier on the power meter too. No more zipping to the other side of the wall then back again before he reenters the material plane.
 

Beta Metroid

At peace
(he/him)
Other characters we see briefly in the video as bosses & NPCs are Juggernaut, Zaladane, Deathbird, and Lilandra. If you are like me, those last few are unfamiliar. Zaladane is a mutant in the Savage Land with sorceress-like powers. Deathbird and Lilandra (two sisters) are nobility from the extraterrestrial Shi'ar Empire. I was never too familiar with the alien stuff in the X-Men mythos. The X-Men seem to interact with the Princes and Empresses of these alien races, all of whom basically have "natural" superhero-level abilities. From my current vantage point I feel this comes across as a little tacked on, and weakens the X-Men's connection to the common (non-mutant) man on Earth, which is really a more core part of the X-Men's appeal.
As someone who didn't really get into X-Men until the movies and accompanying media blitz, it was a bit surprising to discover just how much of the 20th century X-Men are steeped in globe- and galaxy-trotting adventures exploring space and fantasy realms, with time and interdimensional travel thrown in for fun. I grew up thinking the metaphorical racism was at the core of X-Men plots, but in my admittedly limited exposure, it seemed to be pushed to the back burner more often than not prior to the first movie (or at least the ratio of those types of stories relative to the "space/Savage Land/mysterious island adventures" shifted significantly around that time).

I think a low-key, but very visible example of this is how in the '90s animated series, Xavier just cruises around in a fancy hover chair that no one seems to bat an eye at. Weird alien stuff was just an expected part of the franchise back then, even in the material aimed at more casual/mainstream audiences.
 

nosimpleway

(he/him)
re: Healing Factor
You get the occasional bit in stories of healing powers out of control causing more problems than they help. I think there's an audio log in Bioshock talking about how one of the Little Girls broke both her legs, and they healing-factored back together crooked, so the surgeons had to repeatedly break and re-set her legs to get them in the right spot to heal straight.

There's also supporting character Feral from Strong Female Protagonist, who eventually realizes her healing factor makes her the ultimate organ donor -- she can donate her lungs and heart and liver and so on and then just grow them back before lack of them kills her, and thanks to the same healing factor anybody who needs a new whatever take one from her, so she's saving more lives than she ever did as a superhero. Unfortunately her healing factor also ultrametabolizes painkillers, so she just has to endure, y'know, getting the entirety of her viscera removed a couple of times a day. Things get better for her later on.
 
Top