7. M.C. Kids

M.C. Kids (1992, NES) by Virgin Games

Current NES Any% Leaderboard (speedrun.com)

6 games down in the Trials, and I’ll be honest: I was wondering if I hadn’t gotten in over my head. At this point in my journey, I was trying to do 130 speedruns in one year. They were all in order, so I had juggernauts like Rocky, Independence Day, and Top Gun looming in my head. Not to mention, I hadn’t really enjoyed the previous games that much. I’ll be frank: going into M.C. Kids, I was wondering if the Trials weren’t a mistake. But that all changed once I believed in magic, super sized my resolve, and caught a break today with Link_7777 and WR holder Schaaa helping me to understand and learn this game’s complex routing and gameplay.

This game is honestly a hidden gem. A lot of folks make fun of it because it’s full of McDonald’s memes and references, and who can blame them? On the surface, it appears to be a Super Mario Bros. 3 clone, but upon further inspection plays… a lot more like a hybrid of 3 and Mario 2 USA… and that is by NO means a bad thing! Bright and vibrant graphics, amazing chiptune music, and relatively tight controls (once you get used to them) make for a pleasant experience.

Though this speedrun doesn’t have a lot of fancy tricks or tech (outside of the final boss fight), the ability to route different cards, 1-ups, and pathways is right up my alley, making for a dynamic speedrun experience and amazingly fun game to play. I can imagine that grinding this game for a while wouldn’t get as old as most NES titles. Combine the pleasant presentation with the solid gameplay, and honestly, of my first 7 titles in the Trials, M.C. Kids was the best so far.


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