Friday, January 2, 2015

NES Forgotten Favorites: Whomp Em'

Console: Nintendo Entertainment System
Genre(s): Action / Platformer
Players: 1
Developer: Jaleco
Released: 1991

Here in the United States the Nintendo Entertainment System was home to well over 700 licensed titles in its lifetime. While its closest competitor, the Sega Master system only had around 114 games released on it during its life. With a game library that large it was, and still is very easy to miss out on some really good titles. In this article and in articles to follow we will be taking a look at some of the more common, yet under-appreciated games released on some of our favorite consoles and handhelds. Whomp Em' for the NES is one of those games that never seemed to get the respect it deserved. Whomp Em' is the westernized alternative to the Japanese action platformer Saiyūki World II: Tenjōkai no Majin. Taking the role of Soaring Eagle, an 8bit Native American badass with a spear, you will find yourself battling through what can only be described as a Megaman clone with a dash of Peyote.


As Soaring Eagle it is your duty to track down 7 legendary Totems, and with them defeat the greater evil that currently controls your world. Luckily for you each of these Totems is being kept safe by an Evil Master. So after a brief introduction level you are free to choose whatever Level and Evil Master you would like to take on. Each patiently awaiting your arrival at the end of a basic but sometimes cruel platforming level. Enemy's are regularly triggered by your slight advancement through the level, so trying to sprint through the level would not be well advised here.

 To assist you in making your way through these worlds Soaring Eagle has a few different attacks with his standard spear.  He is able to thrust it in front of him while standing, ducking, jumping, and climbing. Also, while jumping Soaring Eagle can stab above him and below him, which will prove to be very useful in certain situations.

Throughout the levels you will pick up many power ups from fallen enemies. Such power ups can be hearts to refill your life, gourds that increase your lifebar, potions that act as extra lives or continues, and power ups for Soaring Eagle increasing his attack and defense.

 After traversing the level and defeating the Boss you will acquire a legendary Totem, and thus unlock a new power for our hero. You will find some Totem powers are much more useful than others. Some you will most definitely need to advance, others you could honestly get by without. Each has their strengths, and each have their weaknesses. Here is a brief rundown of the different Totem powers available.

Once you have acquired all of the 7 Totems you will gain access to the final challenge and be forced to due battle the merciless madman behind it all.


I loved the graphics in this game, Characters animations are humorous and well done. Levels are very well animated and often have some really cool details in them. Some of the bosses are more polished than others, but overall the graphics are great and far surpassing many NES games. Graphics on Final Boss were very impressive.


The music and sound in Whomp Em' was actually really good and I felt it definitely added to the overall experience. Each level has its own unique song and each one really accented the level well. The forest level was probably my favorite of all of them. Sound effects could have had more variety but its not something that really stands out.


The controls in this game were tight and responsive. They never posed a problem. There are some very cool and different control implementations on the very last level of this game. It occurs when Soaring Eagle enters a zero gravity area. Great idea that I definitely did not expect.

   Directional Pad  - Controls Soaring Eagle's movements

   START            - Press to select a Totem to use

   SELECT          - Pauses/resumes the game, shows how many more Gourds
                              before you get an extra Heart

   A Button         - Jump

   B Button         - Strikes with Soaring Eagle's spear or Totem

*Tip: Soaring Eagle can also strike while jumping. Pressing UP and B while jumping will strike enemys above you. Pressing DOWN and B while jumping will stab enemys below you.

Zero Gravity Area

Final Impressions:

 I thoroughly enjoyed playing this game and would definitely recommend it to any fan of Megaman games or retro platformers. It is a relatively easy game (with the exception of the last level) that offers a new take on a classic formula. The main character is great and I really wish they would have made a Whomp Em' 2. Worth picking up but do it quick cause the price is only going up. Currently hanging out around the 20-30 dollar range.

Bonus Pictures:

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