142. Darkwing Duck

Darkwing Duck (1992, TurboGrafx-16) by Turbo Technologies, Inc.

Current Any% Leaderboard (Speedrun.com)

Sometimes, you pick up a controller and you say, “Eww!  This feels like a weighted dog turd attached to the back of a poodle’s tail as he wags, and wags, and wags…”  This game, the TurboGrafx-16 version of Darkwing Duck (itself a different version than others, based on the popular Disney cartoon from the early/mid 90’s) felt like that to me, the first time I played it.  It controls heavy like Batman, but slippery like Kid Kool.  However, as I played it more and more, I was able to adjust to the jank relatively quickly, and started putting up some solid runs and times.  And… I kind of didn’t hate it as much?

Darkwing Duck on TG16 was a Turbo Technologies game (unlike the NES version, made by Capcom).  It consists of exactly 4 levels and you can basically just hold right for 80% of the game.  It’s a pretty easy game, both to learn and to speedrun.  There’s mostly just pitfalls to avoid, and the boss fights are simple patterns to memorize.  It feels like this game was made for 10-year-olds, and it shows in how easy the speedrun was to learn.  You control DWD, as he shoots (lol, we never fire the gun in the speedrun) and jumps his way through the goons of the town, who stole a painting to bait DWD into a showdown against a giant DWD robot they built to take him out.  Honestly, they could’ve just added more pitfalls and cheap deaths, the way DWD controls, but the levels are very bland and uninspired, making even the shoddy controls more an annoyance than a hinderance.  Once you adjust to the slippery feel of them, you can easily navigate most of this run, save for a few jumps here and there.

There is some cool speed tech to be seen here; some skips and boss quick kills, and a really cool damage boost and masher skip in the final level, add some flair to an otherwise boring run.  And the run being as short as it is, kind of entices you to try it more and more.  And I can’t stress this enough, you can learn this in an afternoon!  If you’re looking for an easy way to be THE terror that flaps in the night, look no further!  But if you want a more enjoyful, fulfilling experience, learn the NES version instead, even if it’s 10 times harder.

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