Real Monsters platform SNES
Klasky/Csupo, the Los Angeles-based animation studio made famous by Rugrats, had another Nickelodeon hit on its hands with Aaahh!!! Real Monsters. Debuting over the Halloween weekend of 1994 on SNICK, the cartoon follows the monstrous misadventures of Ickis, Krumm, and Oblina. The three monsters-in-training study at the Monster Academy underneath the city dump where their homework assignments involve scaring the pants off of humans.
Gabor Csupo told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette a little about his inspiration for the show’s crazy creeps.
”Every child is fascinated by unknown creatures. My boys are very fascinated, ” he said. “They used to go into the backyard to hunt monsters with a flashlight. They never see them, of course, so they can be anything. That is why our ‘Real Monsters’ are a little bit funky and funny-looking.”
Aaahh!!! Real Monsters walks a fine line between Beetlejuice and Ren & Stimpy gross-out humor and family-friendly sweetness by throwing in some adolescent lessons with the gratuitous shots of body hair and toenail clippings.
A huge marketing push followed the Nicktoon’s success, and the Monsters could be seen on everything from Mattel action figures to Happiness Express tattoos and toothbrushes. Video game adaptations were inevitable.
Viacom New Media showed off Aaahh!!! Real Monsters for the SEGA Genesis and the Super Nintendo at E3 in 1995, alongside other Nick software properties like Nickelodeon Director’s Lab and Are You Afraid of the Dark? The Tale of Orpheo’s Curse for the PC.
Both versions feature more or less the same gaming experience, but there are some differences in the levels. The Super Nintendo game, for example, has more varied bonus rounds, while the Genesis game overall offers a greater challenge.
No matter the system, Aaahh!!! Real Monsters relies heavily on teamwork. The Monsters can perform Triple Monster Moves that are necessary for navigating the city dump, a school, a post office, a museum, and the booby-trapped home of a geeky monster hunter. The player can choose which Monster to control and unleash different special scares to send people screaming, or fling garbage at them like rotten apple cores and high heels.
Meet the Monsters
Gromble is the dapper headmaster of the Monster Academy. In the game, he doles out tasks to the Monsters such as finding a carton of crusty Chinese food, or scaring the daylights out of Simon the Monster Hunter. If the Monsters prove themselves to be scare-worthy enough, he’ll present them with their Monster Academy diplomas.
Poor Ickis. He’s insecure and clumsy and, worst of all, looks just like a pink bunny. Pull on his floppy ears long enough, though, and this rabbit will roar and rear his fangs! His Triple Monster Move is the Frightening Fling, which sends the Monsters flying over pits and other hazards.
Oblina is a hardworking, studious student. She’s the definition of a teacher’s pet. Unfortunately for this goody two-shoes, she has to room with the likes of Ickis and Krumm! Her Triple Monster Move is the Tower of Terror that allows the Monsters to reach new heights.
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