Skullmonkeys: 1970

It’s easy to die in Skullmonkeys. There’s no notion of “health” in this game: being hurt in any way costs a life and sends you back to the last checkpoint. Extra lives are fairly easy to come by, so success in the game hinges on whether or not you’re picking up new lives faster than you’re losing them.

Fortunately, every level has a bonus room where you can pick up more lives with little or no risk, while listening to the bonus room song, “Invisible Musical Friend”. (Hearing this for the first time is the high point of the game.) But that’ll only take you so far. The last couple of levels eat up lives like they’re candy. And that’s why there’s the 1970s.

The 1970s is a special bonus area accessible from the bonus room on level 11, but only if you’ve found three “1970” icons hidden on different levels. Why “1970s”? Mainly because it gives them an excuse to put the screen through distracting psychedelic kaleidoscope effects. It’s a very slippery level, consisting mostly of bottomless abyss with small platforms, many of which act like conveyor belts so you can’t stand still on them. Because it’s a bonus area, you don’t get to try again if you fall off. You just get thrown into level 12 with no possibility of going back. To understand how inconvenient this is, you have to understand one thing about the game’s save system: it doesn’t have one. It’s old-school enough to simulate saving by giving you a status code whenever you finish a level. You don’t get a code at the beginning of the 1970s. If you fall off, the only way to get back in is to play all the way through level 11.

But if you do make it all the way through the 1970s without falling off, you wind up in a roomful of extra lives. I reached this today, and wound up with a full load of 99 lives to squander.

When I reached the final level, I still had 94 lives. I still have not competed the game. The final level consumed them all.

2 Comments so far

  1. Sn2g on 3 Jun 2009


    I was searching for this level since a long time… Thank you a lot for your explain! I will try it now :P

  2. Manolis 13 MoonEmp on 17 Mar 2012

    “The final level consumed them all.”

    Pure terror! Lol!

    The original Neverhood is on my To Play List like forever (with thousand others).. I checked it out back in the day but postponed it for… ages.. Too bad the sequel is not an adventure though :/

    Hope the game delivers.. If so I will give it a try..

    p.s. After I caught up all posts on CRPG Addict I’m starting reading through all of your posts here and hopefully commenting.. Hope it’s ok! Cheers from Greece

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