This week, a Nintendo cartridge that features one of the coolest Disney easter eggs you’ve ever seen – And it has absolutely nothing to do with the game itself.
If there’s something you need to know about me, is that I love Disney movies and cartoons. I grew up watching and adoring them. As an adult, I’ve been to a Disney park every year for the last four years, and I also love playing Disney games. So, it’s strange that I’ve never really covered Disney for any particular length, save for a few appearances in episodes of The Retrogaming Chart Show *Rest in Peace*. It feels good to finally dedicate an episode to something Disney related.
This video’s inspiration came from a tweet by Chris Scullion from the excellent Tired Old Hack (I’ll chuck a link in the description so you can check his work out for yourself out). What he tweeted about was so cool, that I just had to look into myself and share with you guys.
It’s related to a Disney game that doesn’t really get spoken about, ever. We think about Capcom’s Disney titles on the 8 and 16-bit consoles as licenses that are held in extremely high regard – Your Duck Tales, your Aladdins, your Mickey’s Magical Quests. But, the first game to come out of the Capcom and Disney partnership is never mentioned anywhere.
Mickey Mousecapade was a game developed by Hudson Soft and released for the Japanese Famicom in 1987 before Capcom picked up the publishing rights and localised it for American audiences in 1988. As far as I can tell, there is no PAL version. First impressions are not on this game’s side, as from the very start, you’ll bear witness to one of the worst Mickey sprites ever inserted into a video game. The Famicom had been around for four years at this point, and this game looks like an early release. Compare it to Doki Doki Panic, or Super Mario Bros. 2 to you and me, which was released in Japan at around the same time, and it’s clear that Mickey Mousecapade is lacking in the visual department.
Not that it fares better in any other department because this game plays poorly.
So, I guess you’re wondering why I’m dedicating a video to this game, to the point where I spent £10 on this terrible cartridge? Well, it’s not the game’s digital form I care about – But it’s physical one. In this situation, it’s the cartridge that’s special. No, it’s not rare or even highly desirable. There’s nothing special about the outside, the labels or anything like that – But, as in all of us, it’s the inside that counts, so let’s break this sucka open and see what the point of all this buildup is.
Using my precise game opening tools that basically amounts to a fancy screwdriver, if I open this cartridge up, you’ll see there’s a lot of empty space. This is nothing different, as the same is true of many other NES games. But if we take the PCB out, turn it around and look closely, there is either an incredible coincidence or one of the coolest hidden Mickeys you’ve ever seen.
If you look closely, you can see a tiny Mickey Mouse just above the cartridge pins. As far as I know, there are no other games that have this mark. I have other NES games, including Capcom’s Duck Tales, and they don’t have any Hidden Mickeys, which makes me think that this is more an just a coincidence.
It’s my belief that this was most certainly intentional, especially when you factor in that Hidden Mickeys are a Disney Easter Egg that have spanned decades. The story goes that the idea of Hidden Mickeys originated when the Disney Company were developing and building Epcot, the Walt Disney World theme park that Walt Disney himself planned to be an Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow, hence the name. After Walt died and the project’s focus was changed to be a more educational entertainment based attraction, they wanted to keep Disney’s characters away from the park. The team that designed the park, famously known as Imagineers, decided to make sure a little Disney magic was still a part of the EPCOT experience, so they snuck in subtle nods to Mickey Mouse in the form of recognisable silhouettes and profiles of the mascot.
Since then, these hidden Mickeys have made their way into every form of Disney entertainment, spreading throughout their theme parks and related merchandise, and of course, you’re bound to see one in the occasional Disney movie as well. So, with that knowledge, doesn’t it make sense that this tiny Mickey silhouette was completely and utterly intentional?
And isn’t that just a really cool Easter Egg, for a game that’s otherwise not worth mentioning? So, with that in mind, this week, I want you guys to tell me your favourite Disney game – So let me know in the comments as usual.
I’ll be back next week with another video, but until then, please take the time to share this video with your friends on social media – It would do me a massive favour. Have a great week.