In Wrecking Crew, the player controls Mario and attempts to destroy all of a certain set of objects on each of 100 levels. Each level takes place on a playfield divided into an invisible grid, each space of which can contain one object. Objects include destructible walls, pillars and ladders, indestructible barrels and ladders, bombs that destroy all connected destructible objects, and various enemies that Mario must avoid. Doors may also exist, which can be opened to cause enemies to move harmlessly into the background. In some levels, a construction foreman named Spike (Blackey in the Japanese version) chases Mario around and attempts to disrupt him by knocking down certain objects and causing him to fall to the bottom of the playfield. The player starts the game with five lives and loses a life when Mario comes in contact with an enemy or fireball. A second player can play as Luigi. The game is over when all lives are lost. The game can also be aborted at any time, and must be aborted if Mario becomes trapped in a barrel.
Because Mario lacks the ability to jump in this game, the player must figure out the optimal order in which to destroy objects – for example, if he/she destroys a ladder too soon, a wall may become unreachable and thus the player cannot finish the level, forcing him/her to sacrifice a life and start over. Destroying larger numbers of objects in a row (usually with one or more bombs) scores extra bonus points, and occasionally bonus items may appear that Mario can collect.
Wrecking Crew also features a level editor, which allows the player to design up to four of his/her own levels. However, this feature was designed for use with the Famicom Data Recorder, a cassette tape device that was only released in Japan, thus rendering it effectively unavailable to North American players. (The game's U.S. manual includes a note stating that the load and save functions "have been programmed in for potential product developments".)
Sequels and re-releasesEdit
At around the same time as the NES version, Nintendo released an arcade version of this game, titled Vs. Wrecking Crew, in keeping with its simultaneous two-player releases.
In 1998, Nintendo released Wrecking Crew '98, a sequel for the Super Famicom which takes a more competitive approach. It features characters from the original Wrecking Crew (including Spike), as well as the usual cast of Mario characters (Luigi, Bowser, and Peach). The game features the original Wrecking Crew game with some recoloring done, and also had a remake of the game called Wrecking Crew '98. The only similarity between the two games is that players control a person using a hammer to destroy blocks. The premise was instead that blocks were falling in from the sky at a constant pace, and the player must destroy blocks and move rows left and right to line them up in sets of three or more of the same type of panel. If they were able to eliminate multiple chains at the same time, in a row, or have a chain of more than three, than an attack would come at the other side. The game must always be played with an opponent in another playing field on the other side, unlike the original.
Wrecking Crew was re-released for the Wii Virtual Console in Europe and Australia on August 24, 2007, and in North America on November 19, 2007. This version supports saving level designs, which was previously not possible on the NES version of the game.
Wrecking Crew cameosEdit
- WarioWare: Twisted! (Game Boy Advance) - 2005 - Appears as one of 9-volt's games
- Dance Dance Revolution: Mario Mix (Nintendo GameCube) - 2005 - The song Destruction Dance is a remix of the Bonus Stage theme from Wrecking Crew.
- The Eggplant Man has a cameo appearance in Chibi Robo and is a trophy in Super Smash Bros. Melee, both for the Gamecube.
- The Golden Hammer is in Paper Mario, Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door and Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga with the name of "Ultra Hammer".
Also, in Donkey Kong '94, there is a similar item called the "Super Hammer".
- The Golden Hammer is featured as an item in Super Smash Bros. Brawl. It has an extremely similar appearance, appearing on a pedestal reminiscent of its appearance in Wrecking Crew. If you tap the attack button fast enough while holding it, you can float in midair, which was also possible with enough effort in the original Wrecking Crew. The music from the original game plays when the Golden Hammer is grabbed.
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