It’s funny how a game that was a staple on one platform can end up also becoming important to many others. Disney’s DuckTales has become a fixture in many people’s childhoods, due to both the original run of the 1987 animated series and recent revival in 2017. The DuckTales NES game was a classic on that system, and the care and effort put into DuckTales: Remastered made it just as important.
Unfortunately, well, it’s now delisted. So let’s take a moment to raise a glass to a wonderful remake of a fantastic game.
Life is Like a Hurricane Here in Duckburg
The NES version of DuckTales was a bare basics affair, where we generally knew what was going on, but DuckTales: Remastered kicked it up with more story segments fleshing out the plot and voice acting that included actors from the original TV show. (Alan Young returned as Scrooge McDuck and Russi Taylor came back as Huey, Dewey, Louie, and Webby, for example.)
After an attempted Beagle Boys heist, Scrooge realizes that a painting in his office is actually a treasure map. It notes that valuable items are hidden away in the African Mines, the Amazon, the Himalayas, the Moon, and Transylvania. He heads off to each location to uncover their secrets. However, this treasure hunt has an unexpected twist ahead.
D-d-d danger lurks behind you!
It’s the care that went into this remake that made DuckTales: Remastered so majestic. The core level design is unchanged. Things were fantastic back then, and the only thing that got adjusted for the new version was how it looked. Every character is hand-drawn, with the characters looking how they did in 1987. The environments are 3D, but handled in such a way that these 2D characters still feel like they are a part of the world. You can still go through the five levels in any order you would like. Every secret you remembered back in the day is still there, from extra hidden rooms to treasures you could find by swinging Scrooge’s cane in the right place. The music features a rearranged, orchestral soundtrack or the original 8-bit music, which is perfect since no one should ever mess with the Moon’s theme.
But, it’s the new elements that help make it stand out. Scrooge’s pogo-ing is easier to pull off. You have two control options to use for it, so you can go with the more comfortable one. You can go back and replay things for more money, which you can put toward DuckTales collectibles. The ability to buy items and use them is helpful. You can check a map, in case you’re getting frustrated as you go along.
More importantly, the new level segments do a great job of challenging people and adding even more ambiance. How did Scrooge find the map? The new tutorial level at his residence shows us and gives us a safe space to learn to pogo. What’s that final confrontation like? Well, there’s a better retelling that makes it more dramatic and daring.
Everyday they’re out there making DuckTales!
Alas, DuckTales: Remastered is now gone on one front. This means that, like the game it paid tribute to, there’s only one way newcomers can get it. They’d have to hunt down a physical copy. Fortunately, it did get released on discs for the PlayStation 3! It won’t be lost in time. Though, considering this had to likely do with a license expiring and the new DuckTales TV show thriving, maybe we could one day be lucky enough to get a whole new adventure with Scrooge, his family, and his friends.