GBA Platformer Course for Santa fetishists:

Santa Claus Saves The Earth (GBA)

It is true that back in 2002, it was a "thanks for existing" kind of game,
because action games with Santa control were rare.
At the same time, the Christmas game FANs had to be meditated upon.

How awful this game is and the difference between the GBA and PS versions... a truth people would like to keep taboo. (Lol)

But enough already!
Finally, I'm going to expose this game to the light of day.

Christmas Eve. Children all over the world were waiting for Santa's visit.
Just then, the evil fairy Nilam, who lived deep underground, was watching them.
Nilam pulled Santa into his magical world and trapped him there.  You have to help Santa!
...This is the story of the game.
PS version has more beautiful pictures because each character looks three-dimensional.
But I think the expression "GBA version is beautiful" is more fitting for this.

Area1: no passwords
Press A to jump, B to attack, LR to select a weapon. That's it.
The initial weapon is a bag (which you usually carry on your back). Swing it around while advancing backward.
It's a laughingstock. You have to get really close to the front of an enemy to hit it.
The other weapons are all flying tools: snowballs, cannonballs, and tomato bullets (lol), which can be fired continuously but have less offensive power than that bag.
All of these weapons have a limited number of uses, and the remaining amount is increased with supply items.
Area2: MALI8
It consists of many hidden rooms and is worth exploring, where you have to find the keys (up to three different ones) on divergent paths and open doors to move on.
The quality of the music and sound effects in the PS version is good. Some of the music itself is completely different.
Whether it's a great song is another matter, though.
The least I can say is that the taste of the music in the GBA version is terrible.

Area3: ATNA3
This is an indoor level. By the way, there are clocks and TVs in underground spaces and ice buildings,
but if it's a wizard's world, I don't blame it.
This is where levels start to get spacious (and also boring).
The tablet-shaped objects scattered on the map are scoring items.
If you take them, the test tubes in the upper left corner of the screen will be filled.
Red is the number of hundred, blue is the number of tens, and green is the number of ones.
When the red test tube is full, it is 1up.
Area4: TROFF
The type of terrain itself is the same as Area 1, although it seems new because of the extensive forest.
I call it "Forest and Underground". This is the second time.
By the way, there is no obvious difference between GBA version and PS version in terms of platformer levels.
In fact, I'd say they are the same. The lonely 1 colored sky in GBA version is the same in PS version.
PS is a 32 bit machine, isn't it?
It's a rare case that the PS version and the GBA version are the same.

Area5: NABR2
Boss:  Jester
After a short walk through a surreal space that looks like the inside of a toy box,
a boss enemy in the form of a clown appears.
He simply walks back and forth from side to side, and attacks by occasional magic bullet flying horizontally.
Jump over the boss and shoot him from behind with projectiles.
It's all over in the blink of an eye.
Area6: ONLI2
This is the second time of "Ice Building".
You must advance through propeller-shaped traps for the first time and flashing platforms that appear and disappear at regular intervals.
You will suffer them in whole of this game in general, so get used to them in this level where you can still make mistakes.

Area7: DM353
It looks novel because the background is floral wallpaper instead of bare brick,
but that's only a small part of it, and it's basically the same as the Area 3 background.
I call it "Indoors". This is the second time.
By the way lights here have a bit of a nice touch.
Area8: YKCI5
This is the third time of "Forest and Underground," which is more vast and flexible than the second.
Do not forget about the route. You have to collect the keys first, though.
You can press the D-pad down to look down, but you still can't see what's underneath.
So you fall down to see underneath, however, there are inescapable needles!
You will suffer those cases from this level.  In PS version, you can see a larger area, but the GBA version has a larger screen-to-Santa ratio, so the area you see on the screen is more limited.
It's the shortcomings of GBA version.  "Optimize maps for GBA version!" I would like to say.

Area9: HTRR3
This is the third time of "Ice Building".  It's a relatively short level without a key, but there's a place where if you step off the flashing platform, you fall into an inescapable needle mountain.
The meaning of inescapable means that the needle is laid at the bottom of a hole so deep that you can't jump back. The needles are a damage trap, but you have no choice but to die from continuous damage.
It's a living hell. If that happens, all your hard work in that level will be for naught.
When you die, all of your "collected keys" and "weapon ammo" are reset!
You have to start over from scratch.
On the other hand, the default number of tries after password restarting is always "3", so "then 1up is pointless!" That's what it means. Sadly, it is true.

Area10: SOFA2
Boss:  Ettin
This is the boss level, though the background is the same as the previous boss level.
The boss will jump up and approach you, but if you get far enough away from him and hit him with your projectiles, you can defeat him easily.

Area11: KAE24
If all your hard work was undone by falling into a living hell in Area 9, don't afraid.
This level is even more intense. The combination of moving platforms and vertical lasers make it a living hell if you fall to the bottom, and a living hell if you fall off a blinking platform.
And the location in this screenshot.
As soon as you see a moving platform coming at this position, you must drop down from the left to get on the moving platform, because if you go up one level from the position in the image, you can no longer see that moving platform below you!
Ride on a hunch? And beyond that, it's a dead end where a key is located.
If you take that key, you need to come back to where you came from.
If you fall down...of course, you'll be a living hell.

Area12: KAUS9
This is the fourth time of "Forest and Underground".
There are certainly places where become living hells if you falling off from a moving platform, but the previous level should have been far more painful.  You'll soon be able to complete this level.

Area13: OIR33
This is the fourth time of "Ice Building".  What I want to mean is that there are only three different backgrounds that are repeated four times each. Isn't that frustrating?! (Lol)
Look at a location of this screenshot where scoring items show to go down.
I scrolled down the screen, but the bottom was still there, so I couldn't see what was going on.
I thought, "Well, I'm being guided down, so let's try falling down," and to my surprise, there is a needle mountain at the bottom.What the hell does this fucking game want?
There is also a hole that becomes a living hell if you try to descend because of no hints.
And the goal of this level, unlike the others, is not a door, but a specific hole.  Huh...?!
Area14: VNO73
This is the fourth time of "Indoors".
Early on, the combination of moving platforms and vertical lasers is reminiscent of Area 11.
However, there's the problem after that!
You have to jump in a needle mountain to get down to the location in this screenshot.
The key is the back right corner, and the switch is the back left corner.
In other words, you're told to go back and forth in each direction!

The route to the key at the far right is short, but there are interval traps on small platforms, and the flashing platforms is a challenge: you have to scroll down the screen to even notice their presence.
There is an invincible item right before, but do not take it yet!
You'll find out why later, but anyway, go back and forth.
The route to the switch in the back left is long and full of flashing platforms.
You can't afford to fall down even once.
If you fall down in any of routes, you'll see, it looks like the screenshot on the left. The red pool is boiling.
"Come on in? Die?" It's like saying, It's a living hell.
The switch allows the moving platform in this screenshot to move.
Of course, you can't get on that moving platform from here, so you have to go over this needle mountain and climb up to the left once from the flashing platform that exists on the left.
On that needle mountain?  For this reason, you must save that invincible item.
Next, you'll head to the right on moving platforms, but if you simply stay on that moving platform, you'll get caught on another platform and fall.
Even if your jump seems to be within reach, you should try another way without straining yourself.
Because... if you fall... you're on a needle mountain as shown in this screenshot, right? Can you escape? Living hell!

Area15: LIE42
Last Boss:  Fairy Nilam
I wish there was a new background for the final boss at least.
It looks the final boss will shoot projectiles, but it won't.
It simply moves back and forth from side to side,
occasionally rising diagonally upwards (!). It's a simple move.
You can only do damage with your bag, but even then, there's too much difference between the difficulty of bosses and the difficulty of levels themselves till meeting bosses...  Kids might give up on this game?
Thanks to you, Santa Claus came home safely and made it to the delivery on time.
Hey, the End logo is on Santa's face.
That's enough.
I hope you are interested in these GBA Christmas games, which I've introduced in a series of four articles.
I hope this will be a good opportunity for you to actually play it.
So, have a nice holiday.

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