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Super Space K'Noidtrix

Willybeamish

Developer Infinite Laser Dog
Publisher Dynamix
System Sega CD
Release Date 1993 (on The Adventures of Willy Beamish)
Mode Single player only
Media CD-ROM

BackgroundEdit

The Adventures of Willy Beamish is a point and click adventure game with some puzzle elements where players control Willy Beamish, a middle school kid, through his last day of school and beyond. The player must figure out what is needed to be done in each scene in the game (accomplished via Beamish picking up and/or using various objects, as well as interacting with various people and animals) in order to advance their way through the game; make the wrong decision in a scene and the game could end. The main goal in the game is to make it to Nintari video game competition, where Beamish hopes to win the contest, as well as unraveling an evil plot by some villains.

In Beamish’s bedroom at his house is the Nintari video game console, where Super Space K'Noidtrix, a mini-game within The Adventures of Willy Beamish, can be played when the console or tv is clicked on with an onscreen cursor.

Game playEdit

The player controls a spaceship at the bottom of the screen that must shoot blocks tossed by monsters at the top corners of the screen. Each block is made up of four squares; if any of the squares in a block reaches the bottom of the screen, all the leftover blocks in the bunch remain frozen in place. If any sequential blocks are thrown on top of them, they will stack higher and higher and the game will end if a stack of blocks reaches the top of the screen (along with the game ending if the player were to lose all three lives). If a block reaches the bottom of the screen, all squares will turn yellow, which are worth the least amount of points (blocks are worth much more when they are airborne), and unless the player is able to destroy the blocks, they can hinder the player’s ability to move their cannon.

During a level, monsters will throw 50 blocks (known as "pieces"), which there is a slight pause at the end of the level before the next one starts. The difficulty level increases by the monsters throwing out blocks faster and faster. Colliding with any square will decrease energy (which is represented by a bar at the top of the screen, along with the number of remaining pieces thrown during a level, the current level the player is on, and lives left also being displayed), and if the player’s ship runs out of energy they will lose a life. Over time, the player's ship's energy level will slowly increase on it's own once it has taken a hit from a block, just as long as the player does not make contact with any more blocks.

Losing all three lives will end the game.

Power-ups/special weaponEdit

Helping out the player are power-ups for their spaceship, which catching one of these power-ups will increase the shot power to either the player's lasers (marked with an 'L') or cannon (marked by a 'C'); the cannon firepower is thicker than the laser's, but once two additional laser power-ups are caught, the laser shots fire at a wider arc than with the cannon power-ups. Catching one cannon power-up will increase the player's ship's firepower to two shots at once in each direction (and with the laser power-up, the player must catch two of those before they start earning two shots), which the player's ship's weapons can be upgraded four times maximum, resulting in four shots being fired in each direction.

The secret weapon can also totally obliterate surrounding blocks, although this function takes up energy and the player is unable to fire their regular weapons in the meantime (as it can take several seconds to activate). An F (fast) capsule will also speed up the player’s cannon for 20 seconds, whereas an S (slow) capsule will slow down the monsters’ ability to throw blocks.

Catching a Mr. Ick Pellet[1] is detrimental to the player, which will downgrade their cannon back to firing single, rather than multiple shot bursts at a time.

ControlsEdit

Starting outEdit

  • Bring up Super Space K'Noidtrix–B button when cursor is on Nintari or tv in Beamish’s room
  • Start game–Start button (on title screen)
  • Quit game/return to The Adventures of Willy Beamish–A button (on title screen)

In-gameEdit

  • Move spaceship–D-pad (left/right)
  • Fire left–A button
  • Fire upwards–B button
  • Fire right–C button
  • Activate secret weapon–press and hold A, B and C buttons
  • Pause–Start button
  • End game–A, B, C and Start buttons together

ScoringEdit

  • Blocks (yellow) after landing–3 points each
  • Yellow squares (while airborne)–10 points
  • Green squares–50 points
  • Red squares–100 points
  • Purple squares–150 points
  • Shooting block containing power-up or Mr. Ick pellet–10 points

The Adventures of Willy BeamishEdit

In The Adventures of Willy Beamish, Beamish is stuck in detention on the last day of school for getting in trouble by his pet frog Horny making off with the principal’s toupee during a school assembly. The player must make the right decisions with Beamish in certain situations or else the game could end, as Beamish interacts with various characters with whom he could get in trouble with (various school personnel, his family, an evil baby sitter, the town villian Leona Humpford, etc.). Also interacting with various characters such as his best friends and Horny can also help him advance through the game in hopes of entering and winning the Nintari championship, along with uncovering and ending an evil plot by bad guys.

The player guides Beamish through over 50 locations and various people via using an onscreen cursor to do various things per scene, such as picking up and using objects, interacting with other characters, and solving puzzles.

TriviaEdit

  • The Nintari company, nor console does not exist in real life, as it is obviously a combination of the real-life video game company names of "Atari" and "Nintendo".
  • When the Nintari console is clicked on, the entire title of the game on the opening screen seems to be "Monster Squad Super Space K'Noidtrix", suggesting that this was one in a series of Monster Squad games and/or it was some kind of a license from a fictitious Monster Squad entertainment entity of some sort (such as a line of toys, tv show, movies, etc.). A hint book was also sold through Dynamix (which consisted of a menu from the fictitious Slice of Life pizza joint found in the Willy Beamish game with tips on the back), plus a separate notebook full of scribbles, references to certain in-game characters, and newspaper clippings of Beamish’s, one of which had an ad from a person selling their Nintari, along with the Monster Squad game. A "coming soon" ad of Monster Squad 2 was also included in the notebook, along with the Nintari logo also being found throughout.
  • The Adventures of Willy Beamish was released on several platforms, but only this version included the Super Space K'Noidtrix game. In the PC version when the Nintari is clicked on, a cutscene of Super Space K'Noidtrix is shown being played, but the game itself cannot be played on that port of the game.

LinksEdit

  • Super Space K'Noidtrix gameplay can be seen here (starting at the 6:56 mark)
  • Reviews of Willy Beamish can be seen on the Video Game Critic (D) and Stage Select (6/10) websites
  • Click on the appropriate tabber below for a review and playing tips.

ReviewEdit

Super Space K'Noidtrix is a nice, addicting break from the very slow Willy Beamish game (when you CAN play it, as your mom can lock up your Nintari setup during a game), even though it's not much to look at graphically (although the flying monster pattern in the level one background is cool though). Controls also respond perfectly, although your spaceship moves somewhat slow though, and the sound is fairly good (the explosions), and even though the music pieces are catchy, they don't always seem to belong in the game (along with the voice samples either)!

All you do is shoot, try not to get hit by falling blocks, and prevent the blocks from getting to the top of the screen; very simple to understand and play there.

There are a few problems with the game though, one being the slow speed that your cannon moves (until you collect a fast powerup). Another one is that, since the "Nintari" is one, if not more video game generations behind the Sega CD, what causes it to go downhill (which happens with a lot of old games) is that you're given the basic game premise, then it just gets faster and faster and doesn't get any better; it'd help if there were ways to freeze up the screen and/or have some variety with different goals to achieve during a level and/or a boss to face and defeat (is a Super Super Space K'Noidtrix homebrew not out of the question for someone to do?).

Another problem with the game can also be it's strength, although sometimes it can also be its weakness, as it depends, and that's with the game being random: sometimes you have a crappy game because of this -- as you can get quite screwed -- and at other times you constantly get the slowdown pellet and/or the fast pellet during a level, making the game a lot easier.

So, I can't quite give this game a 7 out of 10, as the games are quick and can be enjoyable, but the difficulty level ramps up in a hurry, leaving you with hardly any room for strategy or anything.

6.75 out of 10 for Super Space K'Noidtrix, with a 6/10 overall for the Willie Beamish cd as a whole (Beamish takes FOREVER to load and, although pretty funny, there isn't much of a "game" to it at all)

(review by Darrylb500)

Playing tipsEdit

In order to play Super Space K'Noidtrix in the first place, you must go through the first several minutes of a Willy Beamish game to the point where Beamish comes home from the last day of school, then save the game while he's in his room. From there on, just click on his Nintari or the bottom of his tv to play K'Noidtrix.

During a game, the monsters will alternate tossing blocks from the sides of the screen; i. e. after a batch of blocks are tossed from the left side, then the monster on the right will toss a batch. Keep this in mind from what direction these blocks are going to come from so you can head off in that direction, the better and quicker to dispose of them. You will also have to be proficient in figuring out when it will not be worth it to try to make it to a side of the screen to try to deal with blocks, as your ship moves slowly for the most part, and make it a point to fire upwards to take care of blocks from overhead while also simultaneously shooting to a side (left or right) to clear out blocks that are about to, if not are already making contact with the ground. Getting underneath every batch of blocks will not be possible for long in any given round, and it is also not a good idea to shoot a block containing a pellet you don't want (Mr. Ick, a low-powered laser when your cannon is already at full strength, or vice versa) from below; these are better to be taken out from the side if you can't move quick enough to dodge a falling pellet that you don't want.

Make sure you also don't always rush into a set of blocks while you are shooting, as you might miss one (or more) and lose some energy in case one or more blocks haven't been shot and you end up colliding with them.

Either before you start obtaining power-ups or your ship's power-ups were knocked back down to single shots via grabbing a wrong power-up by accident (Mr. Ick or otherwise), until your ship starts shooting multiple shots, not all blocks, once they land, can be shot even when you're at a dead stop against one or more blocks. However, if you back your ship away from one or more blocks while shooting, all the blocks can be shot then, due to using a slightly different firing angle.

Once you start getting power-ups, keep in mind your upward firing angles will change; i. e. instead of shooting at a block that’s overhead, you will have to move your spaceship a little to the left or right, since your shots will no longer be firing straight up any more, they will be firing off at an angle when they are firing two shots. Also be sure you are aware with how many power-ups you have in your possession that you're comfortable with: if you don't like the squiggly shots with the cannon power-ups, stop collecting them once you're firing three shots at a time, or the squiggly shots with the laser before they start spreading in a wide arc, for example.

Make sure to get a speed pellet (to slow down or speed up your ship's movement) NO MATTER WHAT; chances are pretty good that this will improve your situation, especially if you catch a slowdown pellet. Other pellets (like a Mr. Ick) you can do without, but not one involving speed.

Once the game starts progressing, quickly keep tabs on the top of the screen for stats (ship's energy level, and probably more importantly, how many block pieces are left in a level) or pause the game and look at the stats then, as it's important to know how many blocks are left during a level. Because once you're near the end of a level and pieces are stacking up to the top of the screen, you need to plan what to do from there: start clearing out what blocks you can that have already landed; do NOT shoot the very last block(s) that is/are still falling at the end of a level, as that will start up the next level, and then you'll be in trouble. Clear out as many non-moving blocks as you can, as you will get a break and the next level will not start up as long as a block is still in play; once the last moving block has been shot, you only get a one or two second pause before the next level starts, so it is imperative to keep the current level going for as long as possible in case you have many stationary blocks left to destroy.

Sometimes even a Mr. Ick pellet will help, in case you accidentally max out on a series of power-ups that you didn't want, which you can then switch back and start stocking up on the other power-up if you wish after your ship has been downgraded to only firing one shot per direction.

Finally, make sure that you don't blindly grab any power-up falling from the top of the screen in case you don't know what it is, as it could knock down your ship's firing ability in case you're not currently collecting a certain pellet or you caught a Mr. Ick one. Make sure you're familiar with falling pellets' colors: the slowdown pellets are pink, increase spaceship speed pellets are green, Cannon power-ups are yellow, Lasers are red, and Mr. Ick pellets are red with a white border.

Good luck with a fast-moving, brief game that usually doesn't give you much of a break.

(Tips by Darrylb500)

ReferencesEdit

  1. Per Willy Beamish instruction book.

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