Hello everyone, and welcome to Inside the Guide, an article where I discuss writing guides for videogames. For those of you who don’t know me, I’m Michael Gray, also know as The Lost Gamer, one of GameFAQs’ most prolific writers.
To be honest, folks, I’m feeling a bit under the weather this month. Have you seen how good all the new writers are? It’s obvious that these noobs are doing their hardest to replace me. Well, they can’t replace me! Nothing can stop me from writing this column! You hear that? NOTHING!!!
Anyway, this month I’m writing about three different NES games designed to help kids learn how to read: Big Bird’s Hide and Speak, Sesame Street ABC, and Mickey’s Safari in Letterland.
Big Bird’s Hide and Speak
Big Bird’s Hide and Speak is a ridiculously easy game. The most complicated part of this game is spelling three-letter words. That means writing a guide for this game was a piece of cake: All I had to do was describe six game modes, all of which are nearly identical, and the guide was done!
The hardest part of the guide was creating that picture of Bert in ASCII to put at the top of the guide. That looks like Bert, right? Sorta? Well, I guess it doesn’t really matter, as no one ever needed to use this guide.
Sesame Street ABC
The game does not accept “did” as a word.
Speaking of guides no one has ever needed, Sesame Street ABC is another game where you have to spell three-letter words. Fun! Hey, “fun” is a three-letter word! And so is “hey”! Oh, and so is “and”! Aren’t three-letter words fun, kids?
There wasn’t a whole lot of content to my guide, because, well, there’s not a whole lot of content for this game. I felt so bad about ripping off my readers with this guide that I made an online supplement, starring Error from Zelda II: The Adventure of Link. Um, yeah. All I have to say about that is that I had alot of free time back when I was a sophomore in high school.
Mickey’s Safari in Letterland
Mickey and Ludwig Von Drake argue over which one of them is more obsolete, now that kids don’t watch their cartoons anymore.
Moving on! The third game in my series of games that involve spelling three-letter words (Do I sense a new category for Top of the Heap? Yes, I do!) is Mickey’s Safari in Letterland! This game should be easy to beat, just like the others, right?
As it turns out, the game is not super-easy to beat. See, the game designers adapted the three gameplay modes for three different age groups by assigning different controls and levels to each mode. So, unlike some games where you can’t tell the difference between the gameplay modes (I’m looking at you, Prince of Persia series), which gameplay mode you pick makes a big deal of difference in the level of difficulty.
The game is still easy to beat, but it’s hard enough that I had to write a couple of paragraphs (in one case, eight paragraphs) for each level describing where to find the hidden diamonds. The good news for me, in writing this guide, was that all the easy/medium mode levels are covered in hard mode. So all I had to do was play the game through once on hard mode, and just copy/paste my instructions from that into the easy/medium mode sections. I love it when I can cut corners in my guide writing!
So that’s it for this month! Make sure to work on your spelling skills, everyone!