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Overview

Kid Kool is a side-scrolling platformer for the NES, developed and published by Vic Tokai. It was originally released in 1988, and is based on high-speed running and difficult jumps.

Kid Kool was originally named Kakefu Kun no Jump Tengoku: Speed Jigoku in Japan ("Kakefu's Jump Heaven: Speed Hell") and featured a then-popular child actor named Kenji Sagara. Since the license wouldn't mean anything to westerners, the localized version's name (and the game's hero) was changed.

Story

Kid Kool takes place in an unnamed fantasy kingdom where the King has fallen deathly ill. His only hope to get well again lies with the Seven Wonder Herbs. The King dispatches the young Kid Kool on a quest to retrieve the herbs. He must travel across the kingdom and return with the herbs in less than three days, or the king may be lost...

Gameplay

Kid Kool is played on a standard NES pad, where left and right are used to run, pressing A jumps, and B throws Kid Kool's animal companion and blunt weapon "Wicky." Wicky is a small, red, fluffy creature similar to a Tribble which can be thrown to knock out enemies, and later retrieved. Enemies can also be defeated by stomping from above.

The physics in Kid Kool, although primitive, impose a sense of momentum when running and jumping. The titular character accelerates from a slow jog to a dash, and is unable to change the direction of his jump in mid-air. Some setpieces in the levels make further use of the game physics; flagpoles, for example, bend proportionately to how fast Kid Kool is moving when he hits them, and they can fling Kid Kool either very high in the air or over a great lateral distance. This sort of gameplay makes Kid Kool similar to other early physics-based platforming games like Super Mario Bros or Sonic The Hedgehog.

The pretense of the King's illness also places a time limit on the game. Kid Kool's mission to find the Seven Wonder Herbs in three days translates to three hours' worth of in-game time. The player will get a different ending based on whether or not they were able to finish the game within that time.

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