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Benjanime's Halloween Retrospective

You know, Halloween has always been my favorite holiday of the year. Not because it's ten days after my birthday, but that it gives you the chance to go around door to door and haul a stash of candy home. And even though those days for me are long gone, it's still nice to treasure the moment in seeing the smiles on children's faces as they watch their candy bag pile up with sugary sweet goodness. So today I'll be looking back at some memories of my own Halloween candy-grabbing memories, which I like to call...




My first Halloween night to remember was when I was at the mere age of six. It was 1993, and I didn't really have a store-bought costume. I went as Frankenstein with green paint over my face and my hands where the skin was visible, and my step dad crafted the two bolts out of tin foil, while I had to use my church suit for a vest and an old striped shirt. I didn't have the classy brown shoes to wear, so I just wore the tennis shoes that I had at the time.





My first time being out in the neighborhood as well as different parts of town was a real treat (no pun intended) as I was astonished at seeing different houses on each block having many decorations, and no house looking the same. The night was cold though, so I carried a jacket with me. Before my time was over in Trick-Or-Treating I began to feel itchy from the tin foil bolts on my head so I had my mom remove them before we headed home.

My next Halloween memory takes me to the year 1995, and this time I went as Wolverine from the X-Men. The costume came with foam claws, but to me they got in the way so I left them home. It was a pretty warm night and everything went fine until I made a goof of myself at one house. As I approached it I heard an eerie voice from a speaker "Wolveriiiiine, come to the doooor". I followed from where I heard the speaker, from the side of the house as I heard "Noooo, on the other siiiide" and I walked over as my mom chuckled and the person at the door kindly apologized for putting the speaker away from the entrance.





My last memory of Halloween, nay, the last time ever going Trick-Or-Treating, was at the year of the Millenium. I was just getting into my teens, and I was currently staying with my Aunt down in Gloucester, Virginia. My cousin and I went as a couple of M&M's and the costumes even came with the little cartoon gloves. No parental support was needed this time around and it was a pretty smooth night in going out for candy. I expected a lot of kids crowding the houses but since we were living out in the countryside there wasn't a lot of civilization around town. I guess you could say my last Halloween went out with a poof rather than a bang.





But now as I sit here as an adult giving out candy it's still nice to have a chance at having leftovers after the day is over, even if I don't always get that chance. One more Halloween memory that I feel I need to bring up that doesn't have to do with Trick-Or-Treating is playing an NES game that I'm sure some of you may know already, Monster Party.





Monster Party was a rather, eccentric game in the NES library to be honest. You play as a boy named Mark who ventures into a world of monsters after being told by a flying monster named Bert that his world needs saving, so with Mark's trusty baseball bat in hand he goes with Bert into different levels, and each one having a handful of monster bosses to fight, all the while defeating them to gain a key that gets Mark to the level exit and onto the next level.

Some bosses seem spooky enough, but others were just downright weird. One in particular is the shrimp, shishkebab and onion ring trio boss. Yes, you read that right. In the second level you fight what looks to be three of those foods that hop around as you time your hits right as you follow them in the direction they go. Weird! Weird I say!





But the gameplay, while sounding fun isn't without its faults. It's quite difficult and you'll find yourself hunting down health pickups after defeating enemies through levels. If you're lucky, one of them will drop a pill and turn you into the laser-shooting monster himself, Bert, who becomes useful for boss fights. The bosses you fight also have some goofy dialogue, such as a mummy that says "my legs are asleep!" and a possessed Chinese armor that says "I.... Am a slowpoke". As far as strangeness goes in an NES title, I would recommend it. Just be prepared for a good challenge.

And now for some history. While Monster Party came to the conclusion of becoming another weird NES game, It was originally going to be a darker, more macabre kind of game. The Japanese title was "Parody World: Monster Party", and the title screen had oozing blood, as opposed to the green ooze that was in the final version of the title screen.





Also as you'll notice, this was originally from a different developer. The staff at Nintendo were strong with censorship being in their system's games at the time, as to reference Mortal Kombat II having no blood, so while Parody World: Monster Party was being developed they were told about this, thus leading Bandai to take the helm as to make changes to it and eventually release it for the U.S. only.. In 2011 though an auction was made for the Japanese prototype that was cancelled, and said to be a finished copy, but was sold and to this day no rom dump for an emulator exists, so we may never know what the entire game was going to look like. All we have shown for the Japanese footage is from screenshots of its beta that came from a magazine long ago.







The second photo is what the first level plant boss would have looked like, as he had a different design and also a microphone and a stereo with him. This was obviously a take on the singing plant from Little Shop of Horrors, but who knows. And in the final version he's an eggplant, and the mic and stereo aren't present. He was supposed to shoot notes at you, but the finalized eggplant shoots bubbles instead that you have to deflect with your baseball bat.

Well I hope you enjoyed reading this little retrospective of my favorite holiday. See y'all next time, and have a safe Halloween!
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fuschnikt Posted on Nov 24, 2014 at 10:14 PM

Greatest NES game ever. I played it for the first time in a number of decades this Halloween. I realize more and more just how terrible I was at video games as a child. And yet I loved them so much. I finally defeated the game this year, only to find that, as a child, I had only every made it halfway through level two.

shakin steak Posted on Oct 28, 2014 at 03:19 PM

Like this year, in 2008 Halloween was on a Friday. So I went to a Halloween party on Friday and another one on Saturday.

If the weekend isn't enough of an excuse, you could always celebrate El Dia de Los Muertos.

Benjanime Posted on Nov 08, 2013 at 05:24 PM

that does sound weird. but i assume that any kids that actually missed out on halloween night wouldn't mind it

Vaporman87 Posted on Oct 22, 2013 at 05:59 PM

Does it make any sense to you that there is a local community having a costume party/dance on Nov. 2nd? How can you feel like you're in the Halloween spirit AFTER Halloween? It's like opening your Christmas presents 3 days after Christmas day.

Benjanime Posted on Oct 04, 2013 at 03:39 AM

aww, you were really lucky vapor. i wish my schools had a lot of stuff to offer like that

Vaporman87 Posted on Oct 03, 2013 at 06:11 PM

These school festivals usually involved cake walks, bobbing for apples, fishing for grab bags (with a gym pad standing upright and someone behind it tying the grab bag to the end of a "fishing rod" that the player tossed over the wall), a "ghost walk" or haunted house experience, and more games and food.

Mr Magic Posted on Oct 03, 2013 at 04:09 PM

There's always one next to one of the churches here every year called Candyfest.

Benjanime Posted on Oct 03, 2013 at 03:28 PM

my school didn't have those, just pizza parties and candy that got passed out.

Vaporman87 Posted on Oct 03, 2013 at 03:14 PM

Did anyone else attend a school that held a "Halloween" carnival/festival? I always looked forward to them in elementary school.

Mr Magic Posted on Oct 01, 2013 at 08:17 PM

There was this church I used to go to, and during one Halloween season, the regular people would come on Sundays, but on the night of the big Halloween festival, the church would fill up with these people I've never seen before! And after the festival was over, they never came back!

Vaporman87 Posted on Oct 01, 2013 at 08:05 PM

@Ben: That seems extremely goofy to me. We too have an "open house" type of event during and after the hour long Trick-or-Treat event held at our church.

Trick-or-Treaters come and enjoy free chili, peanut butter sandwiches, and drinks. During the TorT, we hand out bags of goodies and prizes.

It's nice to be able to go there and relax and eat warm chili after walking almost 2 miles throughout the neighborhood with the kids in tow.

But we wouldn't be THAT picky about the costumes. Just no bloody/gory/scantily clad visitors in the Fellowship Hall (They can still have someone else bring them chili).

Benjanime Posted on Oct 01, 2013 at 07:52 PM

speaking of costumes my older brother told me that he went to a halloween night event at a church once, but he got thrown out. he wore a taz costume, but on the back it showed his full name, "tasmanian devil". the fact that the word "devil" on it was the reason why :|

Vaporman87 Posted on Oct 01, 2013 at 07:02 PM

@crow: You were the Penguin? That seems like a strange character choice (I've never encountered anyone dressed as The Penguin that I know of). But then again, I kind of like it that way. I wouldn't have liked wearing the same thing everyone else was.

Mr Magic Posted on Oct 01, 2013 at 06:05 PM

I remember a couple of costumes I wore from my trick-or-treating days. In '92, I was Penguin from Batman Returns, and a couple of years later, I was Red Ranger from Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers.

In the first picture towards the end of the article, it looks like Mark approached Casper the Friendly Ghost lol. But anyway, it was a good, well-written article. I like.

Vaporman87 Posted on Oct 01, 2013 at 05:20 PM

This was a fun read. I'm like you, I have so few memories of my Trick-or-Treat outings.

Sure, there are some there... like the time I have mentioned before where we soaped a neighbor's tractor and garage windows (who me?), or some of the masks I wore-including a most memorable one that was hideous and had light up eyes. But unfortunately they are so few and far between, and it makes me sad that I can't recall more.

I can go back to my Cub Scout days and remember being at a cabin that was made into a haunted house for us, and being afraid to go in. They also did this at our grade school, sometimes having the haunted house in a classroom, and other times on the stage in the gymnasium.

It is fun now though, taking my kids through the neighborhood, all of us dressing in a theme (Star Wars this year). I'm making new Halloween memories, and letting my kids do the actual begging for the candy. ;)

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