Disney's DuckTales is a side-scrolling platform game for the Nintendo Entertainment System. It was first released in the United States in 1989, making its way to Europe and Japan a year later. It is loosely based on the animated TV show of the same name, following Scrooge on another globehopping adventure.
As anyone familiar with the Disney television series of the same name will be able to tell you, Scrooge McDuck is one rich bird. Not one to shy away from public displays of outlandish opulence, he enjoys nothing more than swimming in huge great piles of jewelry and gold coins, diving into his hoarded treasures with glee. One might imagine that Scrooge would be content to simply wile away the hours wallowing in his accumulated fortune, but this is one duck whose thirst for coinage simply will not be sated, and he spends his time during the game travelling to various exotic locations around the globe in an effort to become even wealthier. The various places that he goes to, which can be played in any order, include Transylvania, The Amazon, The Moon, African Mines and The Himalayas, each with their own distinct music, enemies and graphical presentation.
The player controls Scrooge McDuck as he traverses the five areas of the game on his search for more money. Scrooge cannot touch or jump on the enemies without losing health, and so he must rely on his trusty walking stick which he uses to pogo on top of enemies' heads, and to collect treasure and items that he finds locked up in little floating treasure chests scattered around the world. This unique take on the standard "jump on heads" gameplay mechanic is one of the game's most distinctive features, and encouraged many players to forego the act of walking entirely as pogoing is generally faster and leaping off an enemy increases the height of the jump, allowing the player to reach new areas. Scrooge can also use his impressive pogoing ablities to get past nefarious spikes and other hazards, keeping his fragile webbed feet away from danger as his cane does all the work.
- Scrooge McDuck - The player controls Scrooge throughout the game, making use of a variety of techniques, while collecting different items.
- Huey, Dewey and Louie - Donald's nephews pop up in various spots in the game, usually to offer hints or to restrict areas (e.g. in the Moon level) Scrooge does not yet have access to.
- Webby Vanderquack - Serves a similar function as Scrooge's nephews.
- Gizmo Duck - Briefly appears to blast a wall open.
- Launchpad McQuack - Helps Scrooge over a pitfall in the Amazon. Also, he is found in every level (except Transylvania) where the player has the option of letting him take them back to Duckburg. If certain conditions are met, the player will enter a bonus round. Launchpad can be used only once per level.
- Gyro Gearloose - Shows up only in the bonus level, where he will launch diamonds at Scrooge.
- Mrs. Beakley - Appears in certain levels where she will drop life-regenerating food to Scrooge.
- Bubba - If he is released from the ice in the Himalayas, he will reward Scrooge with an extra energy slot.
- Magica De Spell - Scrooge fights this recurring sorceress enemy in Transylvania.
- Flintheart Glomgold - Scrooge must stop his rival Flintheart from reaching the treasure before he can.
- The Beagle Boys - The Beagle Boys show up occasionally, usually as guards of a passage or have taken Scrooge's nephews captive.
DuckTales contains a special ending shown when the player finishes the game with at least $10,000,000 and has found both hidden treasures. The alternate ending shows the same newspaper from the normal ending except the picture shows Scrooge McDuck with a crown on his head. The paper states that he "stunned the world with his discovery of 2 lost treasures".
Another ending, far more difficult to manage, involves completing the game with $0 in Scrooge's bank account. The ending newspaper notes that, while he's found the treasures, Scrooge is sad that his fortune has vanished while he was away.