Holy Umbrella – Dondera’s Wild!! (1995)

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Aeon Genesis, one of the most productive ROM-translation efforts, has released another excellent translation of an old SNES-game. Holy Umbrella mixes sidescrolling platform-action with top-down adventure parts (mostly exploring cities, talking to others, buying equipment and saving).

The story is slightly bizarre. A young man finds an umbrella and gets transported to a magical land, which is under threat from your typical evil guy. Okay, this evil guy is less typical, as he/she (hard to say, looks female, but the backstory reveals him to be a man) is completely wacky and silly. There’s even a part of the game where the evil guy is lost together with your characters in the stomach of a gigantic whale. He joins your party until he betrays you. The game tries to subvert typical fantasy elements, but is straight enough to tell its own story without completely going bonkers.

The gameplay is typical for platformers and nothing you haven’t seen before, with some attack and health upgrades thrown into the mix. The only unusual element of the game is the addition of two more people you can collect, who have different abilities (double-jump, wall-jump, small size) which you need to beat the game. Overall, the game manages to be fun, even if it’s not a must-play. If you have no problem with the odd eastern type of humor present, you might like it.

If you wonder how to beat the Sphinx, you have to jump on the mummies, pushing the down-key, which catapults you higher and lets you the hit boss.