James Pond 2
James Pond 2: Codename RoboCod, also known as Super James Pond, is a platform video game and sequel to James Pond. The game was developed by the same British video game developers as the original game. The theme music by Richard Joseph is an upbeat rendition of the RoboCop film theme.
James Pond 2 was originally released on the Amiga, DOS and Mega Drive in 1991 by three different publishers. The game also appeared on Amiga CD32, Atari ST, Game Gear, Commodore 64 and SNES. The SNES version was called Super James Pond in North America, whereas in other regions it was named Super James Pond II. More recently the game was released as a budget title for the PlayStation, Game Boy Advance, and Nintendo DS, and as a download on the PlayStation 3.
Plot[edit | edit source]
The game takes place immediately after its predecessor, James Pond. Although Acme Oil Co. has been destroyed by James Pond, Pond's arch enemy Dr Maybe survived and has retreated to the North Pole where he has taken over Santa's workshop. Dr Maybe is holding Santa's workers hostage (in most versions of the game they are penguins, in some they are elves), and has turned many of Santa's helpers into his own twisted and dangerous assistants. James Pond is recruited to infiltrate Santa's grotto, free the captive penguins, retrieve the stolen toys for the children of the world, and defeat Dr Maybe once and for all. This time, however, due to the greater risks involved in this mission, Pond is given a robotic suit and the code name "RoboCod" (a pun on RoboCop). This suit gives Pond superhuman strength and agility as well as enabling him to stretch his midsection almost indefinitely and reach otherwise impossibly high areas.
Gameplay[edit | edit source]
James starts outside Santa's toy factory. There are many doors, each of which leads to a stage with many differently-themed levels, 50 in total. Hostile creatures lurk in these levels, and they come in many forms. There are no weapons in the game, so James must jump on them to defeat them. After completing two "doors", James goes on to another door where a boss is awaits.
James's body armour enables him to extend his body vertically to incredible lengths and grab hold of the ceiling or platforms above him. This allows him to travel along the ceiling and drop down on the top of an unsuspecting enemy, or to get to otherwise inaccessible areas. James can also pick up items that provide points. Power-ups include extra lives and wings that grant James the ability to fly. From time to time James may enter vehicles, namely cars, planes or flying bathtubs.
Product placement[edit | edit source]
In the original UK version of the game, the penguins featured as in-game product placement for the McVitie's biscuit company's Penguin Biscuits, making it one of the earliest games to use this form of advertising. According to a 1994 article in the UK edition of PC Gamer, Penguin outsold arch-rival KitKat for the first time in the product's history soon after the release of the game.
Game Boy Advance/Nintendo DS version[edit | edit source]
James Pond 2 was released for the Game Boy Advance and Nintendo DS in 2005. Both versions are identical except for the addition on a map on the second screen of the DS. The version of the game released for Nintendo's handheld consoles is largely different from that of the original. The graphics have been improved to take advantage of the consoles' newer hardware, and whilst the levels retain some of the themes of the originals, their layout is entirely different. In the new versions, McVities' sponsorship branding has been removed from the game, and Robocod must rescue Santa's elves, rather than penguins. In addition, the hidden levels have been omitted entirely. These recent iterations are re-makes rather than ports of the original game.
Reception[edit | edit source]
References[edit | edit source]
- Upchurch, David (December 1991), "RoboCod", ACE (London: EMAP) (51): 62–67
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