Video games levels are something which I feel have fallen to the wayside in recent times. Everything is so open world nowadays that ‘levels’ don’t seem to be as relevant, which I think is a shame. In these articles, I want to talk about video game levels that have left an impression on me. From the amazing to the downright awful, in some articles I might discuss multiple levels, one particular level or a series of themed levels. But I’ve decided to start with a game that holds a very special place in my heart. A game I remember watching my siblings play, a game with a variety of different levels dependent on which character you play as, a game that has some of the most fun, visual levels for the Mega Drive in my opinion.
But it also contains one of the WORST levels in video game history, in my opinion. And it took me and my sister almost 14 years to figure out how to beat. And even then I used the internet.
Let’s dive into World of Illusion.
One of the coolest things about this game is depending on which character you choose, you’re going to get different levels. And if you choose to play co-op, you’re going to get new levels too! As a kid, this was the coolest fucking thing. Mickey definitely gets the easier deal here - he does a bit of jumping up a mountain, gets to fly on a magical cork and at one point he just runs across a table.
Good job mate, save the world by standing on a table doing fuck all whilst poor Donald has to deal with FUCKING WATER LEVELS.
Spoilers if you fall in the water you’re fucking DEAD.
Most of the game is standard platform fun, with Donald’s levels being a bit more challenging but with equally bright colours and fun little gimmicks thrown in. This is really shown off in the games 2 Player Mode, where you have to work together to climb obstacles, pull each other up with ropes, and also pull Donald through small gaps because his ass is too fat. At one point causing an earthquake.
- Donald is t h i c c a s f u c k
This game is a bit insane.
One of my favourite levels in the game is once both characters can play. It’s officially the 2nd level in the game, and it all takes place up in the clouds.
It’s got a really nice, relaxing theme song thats very airy and well suited for the theme of the level. There are small clouds you need to jump on with juuuuussssst enough of a bounce to make each successful landing feel great and accomplished. You can breathe a small sigh of relief after every jump - until you walk a millimetre to the right and fall the fuck off and die.
And then theres these clouds with a weird face that move when you jump on them. But only once. So if you mess up the jump so lads you’re screwed. Also theres friendly fire in 2 player mode (genuinely) and the level of trust you need to have in the other player to not smack you in the face, causing you to freeze mid air and drop to your death is unbelievable. Genuine fights have broken out in my family because of this.
The coolest thing about this level, and the reason it’s one of my favourites, is that towards the end you get to play a giant cloud piano that either gives you sweets, cards, extra lives and then tries to blow you up.
Like I said, this game is insane.
As I mentioned at the beginning of this article, there is one level in this game which took me and my sister over a decade to figure out. In hindsight it’s really fucking obvious, which makes this even more annoying. It’s a co-op level, so the most fun you can get out of the game, which stopped us dead in its tracks every time we played. We’d get to this point, shrug, and turn the Mega Drive off.
Behold, the worst level in the game.
THIS FUCKING CUNT.
For some reason, everyone in my family thought what we had to do was continuously attack the doors and eventually one would open. I have no idea why we thought this. Whats even more annoying is the fact that we actually completed the Co-Op mode as kids so how the fuck did we suddenly forget?
After 14 years I finally decided to google what to do.
You press Up.
14 years of my life wasted because I didn't press Up.
But behind every door is a previous level that you have to play through again just to get back to the fucking doors and you need to do every single door before you can open the last door and its a waste of fucking time and its shit and fuck this fucking level its fucking bullshit and I'm not bitter you’re bitter FUCK OFF MICKEY YOU TABLE WALKING FUCK.
I will never get over this.
There are a couple of other levels in this game which really left a huge impression on me. There’s an absolutely wonderful Christmas themed co-op level...
Theres the Donald exclusive side-level thats held inside of a book...
And then my absolute favourite level in the entire game, and the one that inspired this list.
The level that’s made of CAKE.
Everybody loves cake.
This level is simply gorgeous. The food aesthetic is wonderful and always make me hungry when I was young. I love that all the enemies are food, they shoot out little bits of candy cane, there are cookie platforms you jump on, everything you walk on is cake, the background is cake- it’s just bloody amazing.
I’m just gonna post the entire level layout here so you can stare at the cake.
There’s little lollypop flowers, chocolate bar walls, cakes ontop of cake stands, the bottle at the top shoots Mickey (not Donald as he's thicc as duck) into space, the water looks like ice cream/milkshake that you need to ride a swan cake to cross, little gingerbread men with Cogsworth’s face try to attack you, you get chased by gummy planes and then you get to SWIM THROUGH JELLY.
As you can see the background is gorgeous too, with cakes and bright colours everything and the music, my god, it’s the happiest, bounciest tune in the game. Go out of your way to either play this game just for this level or find a Let’s Play on Youtube just to watch this level. It’s an absolute joy.
So there we go. A bunch of levels from one of my favourite childhood games. The game itself is pretty easy now, but the levels still look incredible and playing with game with a friend is definitely the best way to play. Just don’t forget to press Up on those doors.