For this month's "Maps Of The Month" featurette, I wish to draw your attention to Eishiya's Catmaze (PC) maps.
Inspired by Slavic mythology and described as a "fairy Metroidvania", Catmaze has you guide the sorceress Alesta to find a way to Nav, the world of the dead. As the name implies, the way is labyrinthine... and has lots of cats! Not to mention side quests, boss battles, skills to acquire and multiple endings. This indie title is impressive enough even before pointing out that this grand adventure was developed by just one person, Slava Gris. When's the last time that you played an epic made by a lone coder/artist?
For this month's "Maps Of The Month" featurette, I wish to draw your attention to Vorpal86's Felix The Cat (NES) maps.
The Professor wants Felix's magic bag, but Felix refuses to relinquish it and instead uses its magical abilities to help him fight off the baddies, as it provides Felix weapons like a boxing glove up to a tank. Otherwise, this platforming game that features a licensed character is pretty standard fare for the time, and not very groundbreaking as it is a later release for the NES, when the Super NES was already available.
That's not to say it isn't enjoyable, and Vorpal86 shows love for this game, not to mention thoroughness, by mapping the game twice - each of the 23 areas in the nine rounds have a standard map but also an unmarked map with just the terrain and no items, enemies, or bonus areas. You'll have no trouble making your way to Poindexter, Master Cylinder, and the Professor!
Compiler: Will Mallia
For this month's "Maps Of The Month" featurette, I wish to draw your attention to Will Mallia's Demon's Crest (Super NES) maps.
A sort of underrated game, Demon's Crest still manages to make it in the initial wave of twenty Super NES offerings for the Nintendo Switch Online service. And why not? The gameplay is solid, the story has multiple endings, the graphics are detailed, you might even say gorgeous, despite its macabre theme. So even though its sales back in the days weren't so great, the Switch's sales right now are awesome, so chances are, you already have access to this adventure! Go stop Phalanx and take over the Demon Realm for yourself, if you dare! Will Mallia's maps might help - even if the game isn't quite as gruellingly difficult as the Ghosts 'n Goblins or Ghouls 'n Ghosts games to require a guide, they're still nice to take a gander at, in that gorgeous yet ghoulish way. Go, gargoyle guy!
For this month's "Maps Of The Month" featurette, I wish to draw your attention to Geminiman's and Grizzly's Mega Man: The Wily Wars (E) (Genesis) maps.
And in a way it's more than just one game, as it is a compilation of the first three Mega Man games previously released on the NES, but now with 16-bit visuals and arranged music. A save feature is now available, replacing passwords. And a new challenge, "Wily Tower", has been added, where Mega Man tackles new stages and encounters three new bosses - appropriately called the "Genesis Unit" - based on characters from the classic Chinese novel, Journey To The West, before taking on Dr. Wily yet again.
This month's selection doesn't just recognize a key game included in the Sega Genesis Mini, but also the 30th anniversary of Captain N: The Game Master, where Mega Man was a major character. (Though maybe ironic that we would focus on Mega Man's first non-Nintendo game...)
Geminiman (fitting name) and Grizzly did not actually mean to collaborate on these maps. But they each submitted some maps at the same time, with only one map being a duplicate submission. Great minds think alike! Such a coincidence hasn't happened before or since!
For this month's "Maps Of The Month" featurette, I wish to draw your attention to RyuMaster's Final Fantasy Adventure (GB) maps.
Speaking of "Sword Of Mana", that is the title of the GBA remake of this game (with its maps recognized here as the Maps Of The Month for February 2012), as this is actually the first Mana game. The Japanese title, "Seiken Densetsu: Final Fantasy Gaiden" means that it is a Final Fantasy spin-off, but other than sharing a few elements (such as the Moogle species) the Mana series has grown into something quite different from the typical Final Fantasy games. If you want to get even more confusing, the European title of this game is "Mystic Quest", which is unrelated to the Super NES game, "Final Fantasy: Mystic Quest". (Though the European name for that was "Mystic Quest Legend", and no one should be confusing any of these with the other Final Fantasy games on the Game Boy, The Final Fantasy Legend and its two sequels, which are actually part of the SaGa series...)
Collection Of Mana, a compilation of the first three games of the Mana series, comes out this month in a limited physical edition for the Nintendo Switch, allowing you to play Final Fantasy Adventure if you can't get a hold of the original Game Boy game. Along with the incredible Secret Of Mana (Super NES) and the official North America debut of Seiken Densetsu 3 (Super Famicom), now named Trials Of Mana, it's really quite the bundle of adventure! Though you would think they could have included Sword Of Mana, the Game Boy game is indeed where this all began.
For this month's "Maps Of The Month" featurette, I wish to draw your attention to Zerker's Ultima VII: The Black Gate (PC) maps.
Ultima VII: The Black Gate is the favourite Ultima game of Richard Garriott (Ultima creator and the real-life counterpart to Lord British) and also one of the first real open-world computer games. And what a world it is! It's so huge - Britannia is a whopping 24576 x 24576 pixels! And there is a high level of interactivity with the many, many objects found within. This was certainly an achievement in 1992, and it's still well-loved to this day.
PC game mapper and Ultima fan Zerker has mapped all of Britannia's overworld. As if this 89-megabyte monster wasn't enough, he's also mapped a version showing the interior areas! Both nearly 604-megapixel maps may choke up your browser - but if you can view them, it's the largest, most detailed version of 2D Britannia in this whole classic CRPG series.
For this month's "Maps Of The Month" featurette, I wish to draw your attention to gRE3N744's Samurai Shodown (Super NES) maps.
The original Samurai Shodown was for Neo-Geo hardware, but of the numerous ports, the Super NES one is one of the better ones, retaining all of the characters and stages. While maps are not really known to be useful for the fighting game genre, they are still interesting in that they showcase a variety of unique areas, oftentimes associated with particular characters which may add some personality and style. In this case in particular, we have animated maps!
gRE3N744 has mapped every area as an animated GIF, except for Kochi and Texas which are static, however, having added a second version of every map with the featured fighter at that location, ready for battle, every map has motion! I've raved about animated maps before - like TerraEsperZ's map of "The Revolution" stage in Battletoads for the NES back in September 2011 - but I think it's particularly cool to have an entire game mapped out like a short looped video of the time and place, than just a singular snapshot. The crashing waves of Gairyu Isle, the flaming sky at Yamagata, the rushing waters of Ixipalotal - you don't just see them, you watch them. If only there are more maps like this! (We've always wanted 3D maps on VGMaps.com, and while this isn't three-dimensional in the typical sense with the third being depth, we could bring in the fourth dimension, time, in place of it.)
Compiler: George s
For this month's "Maps Of The Month" featurette, I wish to draw your attention to George s's Popful Mail (J) (Super NES) maps.
For this month's "Maps Of The Month" featurette, I wish to draw your attention to qwert_vs_qwerty's Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III: Radical Rescue (Game Boy) maps.
Compiler: zagato blackfist
For this month's "Maps Of The Month" featurette, I wish to draw your attention to zagato blackfist's Inindo: Way Of The Ninja (Super NES) maps.
For this month's "Maps Of The Month" featurette, I wish to draw your attention to TerraEsperZ's The Flintstones: The Surprise At Dinosaur Peak! (NES) maps.
Game: Silva Saga II: The Legend Of Light And Darkness (J) (Seta, Super NES)
For this month's "Maps Of The Month" featurette, I wish to draw your attention to FlyingArmor's Silva Saga II: The Legend Of Light And Darkness (J) (Super NES) maps.
Congratulations and thanks to the Mapmakers of 2019!