velcrozombie wrote:That was an entertaining read
but I did beat the game after getting it for Christmas without any cheats. I would have been 12, so maybe this applies more to the 8-year-old kids who probably did rage-quit. I do remember beating up Scar for over an hour and wondering why he wasn't dying, then either turning off my Genesis in frustration or getting sloppy and letting him kill me - I later did the same thing at a cousin's house for 45 minutes before I finally tossed him off the cliff. Today it would have been a quick-time event but I doubt it would have been as satisfying that way.
*Shudders.* Don't even joke about it. I'm surprised Kingdom Hearts didn't go there.
So, this is probably where I should probably come clean: I had to look up the cheats. But "I kept at it and then slogged through the rest of the game, because games were expensive back then, and even a mediocre game was vastly superior to none at all." felt like the wrong kind of an anti-climax. (Though the stampede scene was a great argument for owning a Super Nintendo.)
Worse, I'd feel obligated to try to explain why I enjoy games like Ghouls N' Ghosts and Rhondo of Blood, which seem more like sadomasochism done right, but not Virgin Interactive's approach to game design, where exploration is used to simply pad out the game with more chores, and the combat engine comes across like a happy play date that devolves into a life or death slap fight between two declawed kittens. I don't know how in-depth about game design you're willing to go, but...compare the original scene, for how hard some of those swipes could be hitting when either lion lands a direct hit. Their bodies move. They roar in pain. You can feel their power. Who wouldn't want to control that kind of power?
It's the secret to every successful beat-em up or one on one fighter, or even pro wrestling and comic books. The selling of the move is more important than the move itself.
And that lack of selling was a part of a larger problem with most Western design in general, around the time. As far as the psychology of the games go, there was only a general sense of challenging and/or frustrating the player, and little thought to the smaller rewards along the way, beyond the usual collectables and an ending. To me, the second stage of the Lion King, which exists only to frustrate and kill players during a moment when they probably should be feeling a bit overconfident, summed up everything wrong with that school of thought.
But kudos to you for those ironman matches, even if that's not the way the game's meant to be played- I'm kind of in awe of anyone who can fight a boss for over an hour and still return for round 2.