Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (NES)
|Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde|
Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde is an action game developed by Advance Communication and published by Toho in Japan, and Bandai in North America. It is the first game they released in North America, and the only game for the NES where their name is mentioned in-game.
In the game, you play as Dr. Henry Jekyll, on his way to his wedding with Miss Millicent. However, it won't be a walk in the park; as there are several people inconveniencing the good doctor to get to his wedding. Some of these include a man shooting ducks in the sky, a grave digger, but the most dangerous is the Bomb Maniac, who appears frequently and drops bombs near Dr. Jekyll. This causes the townspeople nearby to panic and run into Jekyll while they're trying to get away from the bomb. Also, Dr. Jekyll has no means of attack besides his cane, which can only be used for attacking bees. He can also hit the townspeople with it, but it doesn't affect them and only damages Dr. Jekyll. Hitting Elena McCowen with it automatically turns the good doctor evil. There are also some animals who will try to ruin the good doctor's day, such as a bird pooping extensively, a dog named Murphy, and a cat named Luna.
When Dr. Jekyll takes too much stress (damage), he will turn into Mr. Edward Hyde. The game then starts from the right and auto-scrolls to the left. You are playing the same stage that Dr. Jekyll was in, but at night and in reverse. If Hyde reaches the same spot Dr. Jekyll was defeated at, the Gods will intervene and strike him with lightning and kill him. However, Mr. Hyde has an advantage over Dr. Jekyll; he can attack enemies. He can either punch with the B button, or by holding Up and pressing B, you will fire Mr. Hyde's Psycho-Wave, a powerful weapon that goes in a crazy wave-like pattern and will dispatch most enemies in a single hit. When you are Mr. Hyde, you must go back to being Dr. Jekyll as quickly as possible. To do this, you must kill as many enemies as possible, which reduce the stress meter. When the meter fully goes from the H to the J, then the player will return to Dr. Jekyll where he last collapsed.
The game is one of the first to have more than one ending, which is decided whether you finish the game with Dr. Jekyll or Mr. Hyde. Hyde can pass Jekyll's place on the final stage without fear of getting struck by lightning because he goes up to the rooftops, thus separating their paths. There, Mr. Hyde will encounter the demon Letule, which can only be defeated when the stress meter is back to normal. If the player does this, there will be no more obstacles or people in the Dr. Jekyll section of the game, and he can easily get to the wedding.
The Japanese has 6 levels, and the USA version reuses some levels. This was due to the change in hardware in the cartridge when it was brought over to North America. Also, both versions have the stages in a different order. Because of the stripped stages, there are also some enemies that appear in the Japanese version, but not the North American version.
The game was received poorly by critics. The most criticized thing about the game is the fact that Dr. Jekyll has no means of attack, or rather an attack that does nothing (except kill bees). Also, it can be hard to avoid the bombs from the bomb maniac, as even if the player is far away from the explosion, they will still be caught in it. In addition, Dr. Jekyll can only walk, so completing each stage can be a chore since it goes by so slow. Like most games from the same developer, the game does offer infinite continues, so there's no reason to worry about getting sent back to the beginning.
The game has a soundtrack of 14 songs, which was quite a lot for an action game from the 80's. One bit of trivia is that the Title Screen music in this game was previously used in the game Rygar (NES), though pitched in the key of G, rather than A. Another fun piece of trivia is that an arrangement of Dr. Jekyll's theme played on a Japanese commercial advertising the game. However, only a few seconds of the song can be heard. Some believe that ACC ripped off Tecmo, but in reality, Michiharu Hasuya composed the music for both games. To create music on the NES, Michiharu had to write the music in 6502 assembly language, using a sound driver he modified from Yoshiaki Inose.
There are two main themes; one where you're Jekyll, and the other when you're Hyde. Some of the other characters/enemies in the game have their own themes as well, such as Elena McCowen, who can hurt the good doctor by her awful singing. Like Hasuya's other works, the noise and triangle channels are not used; only the two square channels.
There is also a song that appears to go unused in the game. It sounds like it may have been meant as the Game Over music, but the Game Over screen is curiously silent. It could have also been used for one of several enemies that don't get their own theme.
Atwiki.jp says the following about the game's soundtrack:
|01||Title Screen||Michiharu Hasuya||Michiharu Hasuya||0:45||Download|
|02||Henry Jekyll||Michiharu Hasuya||Michiharu Hasuya||1:16||Download|
|03||Elena McCowen||Michiharu Hasuya||Michiharu Hasuya||0:19||Download|
|04||Rachel Theme 1||Michiharu Hasuya||Michiharu Hasuya||0:17||Download|
|05||Rachel Theme 2||Michiharu Hasuya||Michiharu Hasuya||0:05||Download|
|06||Throwing Women||Michiharu Hasuya||Michiharu Hasuya||0:26||Download|
|07||Jekyll to Hyde||Michiharu Hasuya||Michiharu Hasuya||0:05||Download|
|08||Edward Hyde||Michiharu Hasuya||Michiharu Hasuya||3:48||Download|
|09||Carotta||Michiharu Hasuya||Michiharu Hasuya||0:19||Download|
|10||Nunu||Michiharu Hasuya||Michiharu Hasuya||0:25||Download|
|11||Onoria||Michiharu Hasuya||Michiharu Hasuya||0:31||Download|
|12||Hyde to Jekyll||Michiharu Hasuya||Michiharu Hasuya||0:06||Download|
|13||Ending (The Wedding March)||Felix Mendelssohn||Michiharu Hasuya||0:43||Download|
|14||Unknown||Michiharu Hasuya||Michiharu Hasuya||0:04||Download|
- Recorder: Doommaster1994
- Game Credits:
(Source: Music comparison, sound code comparison; Game lacks credits.)
There are no credits in either the USA or Japanese version of the game, as well as their manuals. While there is no concrete evidence Michiharu Hasuya composed the music to the game, there is more than enough circumstantial evidence to prove that he wrote the music to this game. First, Michiharu confirmed on his Facebook page before it was deleted that he composed the music to Rygar (NES), which shares a track with Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, as well as similar musical styles. The game also uses Michiharu's sound driver. Also, the developer Advance Communication Company would go on to credit Michiharu in several of their games. While the other main audio staff at ACC were Osamu Kasai and Masaaki Harada, the game does not match their musical style. They also have never been credited in a game that uses Michiharu's sound driver.
- mobygames.com/game/24013/dr-jekyll-and-mr-hyde - MobyGames.
- gamefaqs.gamespot.com/nes/563406-dr-jekyll-and-mr-hyde - GameFAQs.
- en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dr._Jekyll_and_Mr._Hyde_(video_game) - Wikipedia.
- w.atwiki.jp/gamemusicbest100/pages/2633.html - Atwiki.jp (Japanese).