First released in 2004 as a freeware PC game by developer Pixel, Nintendo has recently ported the smash indie hit “Cave Story” to its 3DS hand held gaming systems. This version is similar to the original, but includes many refinements and the addition of difficulties. At a cost of less than $10, it is definitely game worth buying.
The plot of “Cave Story” focuses on an amnesiac protagonist named Quote who awakens in a cave identified by the game as “Start Point” with no memory of his past. He eventually wanders into a village populated by Mimigas, a race of sentient humanoid rabbits. Many of their number have been abducted by a mysterious, but sinister figure known as the Doctor and his minions Balrog, a large robot, and Misery, a powerful sorceress. The Doctor wants to experiment on the Mimigas and turn them into mindless monsters whose only desire is to destroy.
As the game progresses, the player slowly uncovers secrets of his past, as well as the past of the game’s other characters. The player attempts to stop the Doctor after uncovering the true nature of his plot, along with secrets about the mysterious floating island in which the game takes place. The plot is much more involved than just this summary, but it is impossible to describe it further without ruining the joys of the game.
In “Cave Story” there are many different locals to explore, such as the Egg Corridor which contains many Sky Dragon eggs that are used to escape the island, as well as the Outer Wall, the edge of the floating island that the player scales in order to fight the Doctor. The player fights the Doctor and his minions with a variety of weapons, from the low level “Polar Star” to the “Nemesis.”
The game is simplistic, but not in a negative way. It is uncomplicated, endearing, and a beautiful throwback to early platform games like Metroid. It has the amazing sense of discovery and exploration found in “The Legend of Zelda,” the fun of “Metroid” and “Castlevania,” and a plot that few games can match. “Cave Story” is a must-play game, regardless of what system is used to play it.