M.C Kids

I’ve always been disappointed at how poorly M.C. Kids did in the market. When we started the project everybody was very excited. We were going to do a super fun game and it was for McDonalds. They were going to have Happy Meals for the game which they sell 1 million a day and run for 30 days so 30 million ads for our game would be placed. How could it lose?

They game was accused of being a copy of Mario but we didn’t think so. In Mario the object was to get to the end of the level. In our game, getting to the end of the level didn’t help you. You needed to find a magic card. If you didn’t find the magic card in the level you hadn’t accomplished anything. (An idea that is now used in Mario 64 so you could say they took the idea from us!) Each world had a character that would require a certain number of magic cards to be found for his world before he would let you on to the next.

All in all it was a good game. Better than most NES games at the time. For some reason though McDonalds didn’t agree and decided not to support it with a Happy Meal promotion.

What was even more personally frustrating was that Virgin came out with a string of games, Global Gladiators, Cool Spot, and Aladdin. None of which were as good a game as M.C. Kids but they had artwork and sound that helped get them a ton of attention. In M.C. Kids you could not only run and jump but you could pick things up, throw them, catch them. You could ride a boat. You could ride moving platforms. You could take a block and turn it into a moving platform. You could change the level by removing blocks. You could warp around levels using zipper warps. You could play the level upside down where the ceiling became the ground. There were spring boards to jump and and super spring boards that required extra weight to activate. Burning bridges, breaking ice platforms, breaking bridges, lava boats, sand blocks that revealed things behind them, treadmill platforms that you control. We had secrets on every level. Extra goals (finding all the cards instead of just the required number got you extra things). We had characters you could talk to that would give you hints on where you might find a card. We even had an extra secret world with 3 really cool puzzle levels.

Global Gladiators had almost nothing. Run, jump, shoot and invisible platforms. That’s it. 15 levels. We had 33. Cool Spot added a few more things and Aladdin added a few more than that but it still didn’t match M.C. Kids in features or fun. What made this so frustrating was that all it would have taken was to take the artists from those games and put them on the M.C. Kids engine and Virgin could have had some of the best games in the industry.

M.C. Kids had basically a 3 person team. Two programmers and 1 artist. Global Gladiators was given 5 or more artists.

It just goes to show that making a good game is not sufficient to having a hit game. Oh well, I guess as some would say, that’s just Sour Grapes.

Here are the many of the various maps from M.C. Kids.

Thumbnails and Images or a Zip file with all the images (2.5meg).

Here’s a list of which levels have which cards.  For example: Lake_2 has Grimace card #0 and Ronald card #1 (cards are numbered 0 to 5 cause I’m a programmer and programmers count from 0)  To find those cards, look up the map ‘Lake_2.gif’ on the page of maps above and find the two cards.  One is at the right top of the big waterfall.  To get it you have to carry a boat to the top of the waterfall and then take the boat across.  The other is on the right just under the finish line.  To get it, at the start of the level you have to jump to the left.  Then take the zipper and it will start you under the finish line so you can get the card.

Level Name Card Card # Card 2 Card 2 #
Clif_1
Clif_2
Clif_3
Clif_4
Clou_1
Clou_2
Dock_1
Fore_1
Fore_2
Fore_3
Fore_4
Isla_1
Isla_2
Lake_1
Lake_2
Mead_1
Mead_2
Mead_3
Moon_1
Moon_2
Moon_3
Moon_4
Moun_1
Moun_2
Moun_3
Moun_4
Ship_1
Volc_1
Volc_2
Volc_3
Grimace
Grimace
Grimace
Grimace
Puzzle
Birdy
Hamburgler
Ronald
Puzzle
Ronald
Professor
Professor
Puzzle
Grimace
Grimace
Ronald
Ronald
Ronald
Cosmic
Cosmic
Cosmic
Cosmic
Birdy
Hamburgler
Birdy
Birdy
Professor
Puzzle
Puzzle
Hamburgler

2
4
5
3
5
3
4
3
0
5
0
4
2
1
0
2
0
4
1
0
3
5
5
3
1
4
5
3
4
0

Hamburgler
Professor

Birdy

Cosmic

Professor

Hamburgler

Ronald

Cosmic

Hamburgler

Birdy

Professor

Puzzle

5
2

2

2

1

1

1

4

2

0

3

1

For more information about many NES games try these links:

Node 99 System Software: Emulators for many systems

tsr’s NES archive: Tons of info on NES games.

Burning Bridge

Clouds

Falling Platforms

Breaking Bridge

Finish Line

Lava Block

Map

Moving Platform

Snow Bridge

Spring Boards

Super Spring Boards

Treadmill

  • harry

    I really liked m.c.kids!I think the game rocked!I just wish there were more levels to the secret world.I also liked global gladiators and was upset that it was cancled for snes.I think m.c. kids was better than mario 3.It had a beter map and the levels were bigger and more secrets.

  • agriffin
    McKidless

    Guess that's why I heard through the grapevine that there would be such a game, but never actually saw it promoted.

    By the way, I found the secret for finding a way to put a title with my comments. (Did you notice?) I think the problem had to do with my screen resolution..the comment box was larger than the window itself, and even scrolling the entire width and height of the window would produced no results. But it's alllll better now.

  • ch4
    Yo

    Yo, i loved this game to pieces. I remember, when I was four, coming home from school and playing everyday untill I was chucked off. The parts I can remember most was the background in Hidden Glen, right at the top, the cyan sky with the outline of the mountain in white. I could also remember the music, the one on 1-2 (Gopher Grove), it rocked!

    Well, thank you, you made the best game ever. I even made a website about the game. http://www.mckids.freeservers.com

  • greggman
    Where to get M.C. Kids

    Someone sent me e-mail while my e-mail system was in transition and because of that I got the e-mail but I didn’t get a reply address.

    The question was “Where can I get M.C. Kids?” and the answer is unfortunately, I don’t know.  I’d suggest trying EBay, Yahoo Auctions or Amazon.com

  • mick
    title

    this summer myself cousin and friends have played M.C. kids so much that my cousin has become the ULTIMATE M.C. Kids player. HE IS MACK! thanks so much for making the greatest game ever. People should be saying Mario Who? Mick is Mario and Mack is Luigi, god bless all the people who worked on this game. NES CLASSIC!

    hit us back with any info about the game creating process or anything interesting like things that did not make the game

     

    thanks again

     

    Scott

    mentor ohio

    brunnerboy@yahoo.com

  • anon_selfcompressedhotmailcom
    Best NES Games of all Time

    This game has to be one of the best games that I have ever played… I dont ever remember the advertisements but i still play the game even to this day well not every day but whenever i break out my NES and my collection of 50+ games MC Kids is the most played!

  • anon_moonknight
    this game was hard

    when i was like 6 i got this game, and it was soooo hard! it was insanely difficult. i remembered sometimes when you were upside down and you couldn’t see yourself on the screen, i came up with the genious idea that you can take a sharpie, mark it in the top middle of the screen, and that’s where your character would be.

  • anon_Ivan
    The best game.

    I’ve always felt that M.C. Kids was the best game ever made. The music is great, the game is excellent, the levels rock. I remember the first time I played it for 6 hours straight and my Nes froze!

    Absolutely fantastic game.

  • anon_thegrimace
    Where is the Grimace

    I just played this shit just now, and i was expecting to see the Grimace and put him in a world of pain. But to my dismay I was unable to find the Grimace and beat his ass, this game is mad hard and it sucks, you suck for making it, it shouldnt have sold anything because it sucks.

  • greggman
    Are you sure you are playing the right game?

    The grimace is in the 3rd world.  I don’t have a picture of him around but his house is right here. You can’t fight him though.  Maybe you are playing Global Gladiators or that McDonald’s game by Treasure instead of M.C. Kids.

  • anon_Zyvexs
    dude Mc kids is god

    IM me at zyvexs nintendo is amazing!!!

  • anon_wazup
    Great game

    this is an awsome game dude. that goes to show you and everyone that it is all about gameplay over graphics. i think MC kids was an instant sucess and still is today!!! good work gregg.

    email me

    wazup92324@yahoo.com

    ps i want to develop games too. i want to put gameplay back into todays games!!!!!

    peace

  • anon_djbooth
    SorryAboutTheFormattingMySpaceBarIsBroken

    IJustWantedToSayHowMuchIEnjoyedMCKidsWhenIWasYoung.It’sAGreatScrollerGame.SuperMarioBrothers3IsMyFavoriteGameOfAllTimeButItWasJustTooEasy.MCKidsHadAReallyHardLastWorldAndIHadAHardTimeBeatingItWhichIAppreciate.

  • anon_Dillhole
    Mcdonalds land

    In the UK it was called “Mcdonaldland” and at first I though “what a stupid idea, a game based on mcdonalds” but I was wrong !! This game completed my childhood, and as I remember, it picked up some fairly good reviews in the British nes magazines.

  • anon_Horazio
    McKids One of the best games on the NES

    I think McKids is a great game,I really love it. I also have McKids ring tone on my Nokia mobile!(I downloaded it from a wap site).

    I think McKids is even better than Mario.

    You can find me at my website:

    http://groups.msn.com/gameland

  • anon_Harvy
    Top NES games

    My favorite NES games (and actually my favorite games of all time) are Mario 3, Star Tropics and MCKids (not necessarily in that order).  I’m inclined to think that it might have been a good thing that MCKids was not so popular (!) — think for a minute what happens to many (or all) popular games:  guides come out, everyone knows all the secrets and everything, and that takes the fun out of games like Star Tropics and MCKids (not so much for Mario 3, where it’s so easy and the point isn’t really to beat it anyway).  Personally, I’m glad my bro and I never had a guide or friends who had beaten either MCKids or Star Tropics.  Great game — one of the best ever made, IMO.

  • anon_Harvy
    P.S.

    What’s wrong with MCKids’ graphics?  For NES, I think they’re great — possibly surpassed only by Mario 3.

    And, wow — only 3 people to make that game…. yikes!  Good job, guys.

  • anon_chazle
    Are you kidding me?

    Mckids rocks the cazba.  I had never heard of it as a child, I would have been 5 at the time but when a friend of mine bought McKids for his collection this year I had to laugh.  A game based on McDonalds?   Look who’s laughing now after playing with him I got my hands the game as first chance I got.  I play it all the time.

  • Eugene
    MC Kids Rock!

    I LOVE THE GAME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    My btrother and I spent hours on it, and we love the soundtrack!

    Please, don’t feel lousy or anything for you have enriched the childhood of 2 very young (then) kids. I love it!

  • kidatheart
    DANG!!!

    The M.C. Kids game rocked!!!  I loved it.  Me and my mom used to play it for hours and hours.  I thought it was the best game on nintendo and supernes combined.  It was awesome excellent job!!!  You should make an update version for Gamecube.  I think it would do excellent!!!                                                 

    P.S.  I’m looking for it on nintendo, does anyone know where I can get one?  If so please email  RIPLilRIPsta187@aol.com.  Thank you!!!

  • extremegamer
    kick butt game

    my friend and ni played this game for hours on end, we still do, and we’re 16! it beats mario because it’s actually a challenge, mcdonalds is dumb for not promoting it, its a kick ass game!!

  • JordanGavaris
    Mc.Kids

    I’m fourteen, and when I was very young my sisters got NES for Christmas. They had a number of games and one was McKids. I loved this game. I loved it becuase I loved McDonald’s, and becuase it was an all around great game for all ages. I don’t think it was a duplicate of Mario, and franky I found this game to be ten times better than Mario. So there you have it, my thoughts on this matter.

    Jord.. P.S. Is there any way to download this game onto my computer. You see my sisters sold our NES and the games when they got older. I just bought a NES from a used game store, but I can’t find McKids anywhere. Is there a way to get it? Send it to my E-mail.

     

  • Ringtone

    MC Kids is the best platform game for the NES.I also really loved the soundtrack.I even have the Level1 ringtone for my Nokia3510.

  • CubeNES
    Fun

    I actually played this game back in the day with my brother.  This game is pretty good.  What I remember most about it was two things:

     

    1.)  The music was great.  Very catchy.  Very upbeat.  Awesome tunes.

    2.)  This game was long…and hard. 

     

    I have to agree though, this game should have gotten more attention than it enevitably got.  Too many bad games are getting the attention these days.  It’s sad. 

    Keep it real.

    –  CubeNES

    (cubenes7@hotmail.com

  • Harvy
    revisited

    I posted a while back and came here again today.  MCKids is still the coolest game ever.  I was just struck by the fact that many people (including me) seem to have enjoyed this game with their brother.

    I would like to see a sequel–something much like the old one only expanded a lot, even if it were PC and not super-duper graphics.  Maybe if you guys get really bored sometime (hehe) you could port the game to PC with the level editor but remove some of the limitations on the original.  (Obviously to write on the NES you had to limit number of levels/size/number of just about anything.)  Who knows.  Anyway this game rocks.

  • Mandregorax
    Greatest game of all times..

    all my sundays when i was a little boy (im 18 now) were about playing mc kids, i have no idea how it came to Chile, but i thank the destiny for that… now, suddenly out of nowhere remembered about this game, and looked for the rom version on the web (dunno where my nes and games are… maybe with osama 🙂 ) and just beated it..

    now, i have a question, when you finish the game, it resets alone after some minutes so i can play the secret world? or i have to button reset it? because if the last one is the option, im screwed with the emulator… any help please?? mandregorax@hotmail.com my MSN btw…

  • Dawn
    How do you get to the secret land

    I have been trying for so long to get to the secret land and I think it is impossible.  Help me out!! I don’t even know how to get there or where to begin looking.  I have tried searching the web for hints and clues but it is more clueless than i am.  Help me please.  I love this game and would love it even more if I could figure out the whole picture.

  • Inspired Electronic Musician

    i used to love this game!!! (still do i guess). The other day i was making a track and was struck with memories of the game, the mood the game music provided was wonderful. You can hear my M.C Kids inspired track at my googlepage. http://ericneilj.googlepages.com/

  • MissingtheGame
    Best Game Ever

    I forgot about this game for a long time until stumbling over a Super Mario Bros. ringtone. It immentandaly reminded me of M.C. Kids. That game is one of the funnest games, it had it all.

    I wish someone never sold it *tear

  • Nathan

    I am a huge fan of this game. I hired it out years ago from the video store and i havent been able to play it since (i refuse to download roms).
    Back when I played it I realised it was a good game. I especially liked how you could turn upside down. Too bad it wasn’t a commercial success. It did manage to reach me in Australia though, so thats always good.I think it is really great that you are still in the industry. Keep up the good work.

  • ChillyWilly
    Puzzle Land

    This is on of the greatest games ever made. I must say that I’d never could play the original, just have the chance of playing MC MArio. But the work is yours, and is great.

    Also want to say that in the version I played, one of the puzzle cards (don’t remember which one) is placed in the DOCK_1 map.

    Good luck!!

  • MCdude
    this game was awesome

    I used to play this game at my aunts house alot because she was rich so she had a pool and these great nes games, and i remmebr that M.C Kids was the greatest game i have played and that it completetly surpasses mario.  But do u have any websites where you can get the M.C Kids soundtrack from?

  • An Absolutely Terrific Game, But One Question…

    … how the heck do you get the Hamburglar card in the third volcano level?

    I’ve been trying for roughly 10 years.

    … help! …

    But anyway.  Thanks for an exceedingly excellent game.

    ==Tom

  • Those Cards

    Well, looking at the map to get the card at the bottom right corner stand on the gray ledge to the right bottom of the card. Jump left, grab the card and fall back right (yes, it’s hard)

    To get the second card in the middle of the room, go all the way to the right side, hit the rewind blocks. That takes you back to the left. Jump up to the treadmill, up to ledge left of the treadmill and up to the one above that. Get a running start and flip yourself. Now, while upside down jump back up to the treadmill and ride it to the right. Be careful not to go too fast or you’ll fall off the end of the track. Near the end of the track is another treadmill, jump from the first treadmill to the second and take that right until you can jump to the card.

    After you have the card, take the treadmill back to the first one and the first one back to the left of the map. Flip yourself right-side-up and then use the treadmills again to get to the right and exit the level.

  • pk
    Nice bit of information

    Well done, you have a gift for easy explaining.It inspired me to make my first crude platformer! Take a look

    http://www.codeproject.com/useritems/deehtml.asp

     

  • ManOverboard

    I’ve had a good time reading through the articles you’ve written on MC Kids, from your experiences as a programmer to this particular one.

    I first read about MC Kids in Nintendo Power when I was 8 or so. There were maps of the first handful of levels, and they looked extremely intriguing. So when it came out, I rented it, hoping it would play at least a little better than, well, every other licensed game of that era. Boy, was I surprised! The difficulty level was definitely up there, but I couldn’t stop playing. Even today, it’s an example of an amazing platformer done right.

    I could probably write a long, wordy essay on how great I think the game is, but instead, I just want to say thank you for having a part in making it, and thank you for the articles. Games like this come once in a lifetime… if it’d been published as an original IP, under Nintendo or something, it could’ve been a legend, rather than the sub-sub-cult hit that it became.

  • JonLashier
    One of the best NES games

    I’m sure you’ve heard this a million times, but this was probably one of the best games on the NES, period.  I would say it was on the level of Legend of Zelda and DuckTales, it was really that good.  Although I can still play it being that  my original NES system is in good working order, I really hope it becomes available on the virtual console for the Wii, so everyone has a chance to play this marvelous game.  Unfortunately, I doubt that will happen due to the McDonald’s angle of the game.   

    One thing that amazes me is how people say it’s too difficult for children.  As a kid, I do remember struggling with it when it first came out, but it was a FUN struggle. Trying to find all of the secrets was a blast. Video games today are all about graphics.  No one seems to care about gameplay anymore.  It’s a shame.

    Anyway, kudos to being part of the very small team that made one of the best games of all time.

  • Meh, it’s a So so Game

    Certaintly is hard for a kids game 🙁 Although the Angry Nintendo Nerd didn’t like it, thats for sure, watch his review here: http://www.screwattack.com/Flash%20HTML/ANN/MC/mckidsintro.html

  • LOL
    MCkids..!?

    That game is just like a rip-off from super mario brothers..

    damn this game is not fun.. i hate it

    it’s useless playing it

    and a game based on Mcdonalds

    what is that?

    couldn’t you spared yourself time and money?

    instead you had to make a game like this?

  • hard compared to what? MGS? Bayou Billy? Ninja Gaiden :-p

    That review by the Angry Nintendo Nerd is awesome! 🙂

  • Herabec

    Heh heh, so you like the Angry Nintendo Nerd’s review, even though he is tearing apart your game?

  • jamesprower
    oh pleese…

    this game BETTER thwn global gladiotors? o me a grascious favour.shut up.for one thing,it was 16-bit.what did you expect releasing an 8-bit game?

    now,i dont TOTALY hate this game…as i have not got very far in it…but from what i can say,you where a little over confident…yeah,sure,some of the aspects where inventiave…but the one thing that really annoys me is those arrow platforms…what where you thinking? im sorry,but no…just no…they acctualy gave my 5 year old cousin headaches because she could’nt figure out a way past them.

    also,if your going to release it over here…pleese…get the damn name right.

  • alvarado
    Just bought it off ebay for 12.99!

    Gregg sent me the link to the Angry NES Nerd review. It was hilarious. It led me to read the posts here and I was impressed by how many people had such fond childhood memories of the game. I was especially touched by kidatheart’s post about playing it with his mom for hours. That kind of feedback is a priceless reward IMO.

    I’ve never played the game and I thought I had a copy of it stored away in boxes. I searched and found two NES systems and a few games but no MC Kids. 🙁 So I hit ebay and found one with a “Buy it Now” option. 🙂 There is at least one other available. Just search for “MC Kids”.

    I’m going to setup the old NES and play MC Kids with MY Kids.

  • Someperson
    Meh…

    I had this game since I was little, and I always thought it was awesome. It saddens me too that it’s gone unappreciated. Although I do find Angry Nintendo Nerd’s review very funny, I think this game should have received more praise than it did.

    And don’t take jamesprower seriously. I mean, I think my IQ just dropped 10 points just by reading his comment. That poor guy can’t even form proper sentences or spell correctly.

  • ZERO
    HOLY SHIT

    IM SURPRISED HOW THE INTERNET GIVES ME A VOICE THAT CAN LIKELY BE HEARD TO THE REST OF THE WORLD. BETTER THAN TELLING MY FRIENDS OR TALKING TO MYSELF. AND THIS SHIT BEEN HERE SINCE 97. MC KIDS SUCKED. IN MARIO 64 U DIDNT HAVE TO COLLECT ALOT OF SHIT TO BEAT THE LEVEL UNLESS ITS THE 8 RED COINS OR 100 COINS WHICH U LEARN WHERE THEY R BY ACCOMPLISHING THE 6 TASKS THAT COME WITH 15 STAGES ALONG WITH COOL HIDDEN BONUS STAGES THAT WERE FUN TO FIND. COULDVE USED A MULTIPLAYER MODE OR AT LEAST HAVE A TASK TO ACCOMPLISH IF U DONT WANT TO MAKE IT AS EASY AS GETTING TO THE END OF THE LEVEL.

  • rewrew
    hi

    im sorry but your game sucks fucking cock. Your game is so fucking shit I would rather have a rhino take a fucking dump on my lawn rip off cunt faggots 

  • Ilikeactualgoodgames
    why even bother?

    Hi guys

    I am parplexed with how many people actually like and play “m.c kids”, to say that this game is on par or even better then Super Mario is a sin to both Nintendo fans and people that generally enjoy playing video games. Super Mario is the game that invented the platform genre and has been remembered as the king of platformers since it’s first release, if m.c kids is better then Super Mario how come there isn’t another m.c kids? when you think of classic platformers you would think of such games as Super Mario 64, Super Mario 3, DKC 1,2,3 etc… yet not of m.c kids because it does not deserve the recgonition that you give it and what these actual good games recieve. Wether or not m.c kids gained the publicity it needed to create a sequal is besides the point that if it was actually good it would of been recognised by Nintendo collectors or even by Nintendo itself and most probably a sequal would of been made. So please take this in mind whenever you even mention this so called “game” in the same paragraph with corrospondance to such games as Super Mario and other great nintendo classics that this game is but a mere cheap advertising clone of.

  • ak

    I LOVE THIS GAMe!! I still play it today, yes i still own it!!

  • Iloveit

    we passed it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!finaly!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!i LOve this GAME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Eric

    Yikes! Lots of immature flaming going on here, eh? I guess they feel cool dropping the f-bomb since they’re about 10-years-old, or at least at that mental level.

    Anyway, I love love LOVE M.C. Kids!! I played it all the time as a kid. I still play the ROM of it every few months because there’s actual substance underneath the nostalgia. I love that you can hit multiple enemies with a block. I love that you can skip across the water. I love the whole card collection element. I love how the boat floats on waterfalls. I heard someone call this game a Rescue Rangers ripoff, so out of curiosity, I got the rom. That game is awful! A completely generic platformer with no physics programming. I think their nostalgia blinded their judgement.

    But how do you say the name? I’ve always called it “Em See Kids”, because I would think “Mick Kids” would be spelled “McKids”. Can you clear this up for me?

    But I totally second the level editor idea. Haha! That would be fantastic.

    “this game BETTER thwn global gladiotors? o me a grascious favour.shut up.”

    First off, you’re goddamned rude. Just because it’s the internet doesn’t give you the right to tell someone to shut up. Secondly, what make Global Gladiators so great? It has flashier graphics? 90% of the gameplay is shooting slime at monsters. How is that more entertaining than M.C. Kids? The rest is arch collecting and recycling minigames. In my opinion, Global Gladiators is terrible. As is your grammar.

    “if m.c kids is better then Super Mario how come there isn’t another m.c kids?”

    That’s simply an unfair point. Most of my favorite games have no sequels, and a lot of them sold poorly. Are they bad games? No. They just weren’t advertised well enough, or were too ahead of their time, or the gameplay wasn’t exciting enough. And yes, Super Mario did invent the genre, but it can’t be equaled or improved upon, according to you? I can’t say I agree. And I’m a huge Mario/Nintendo fan. I just enjoy this game more. It’s well programmed and fun, and is absolutely not a Mario clone. It plays totally differently. I don’t remember throwing blocks, collecting cards, or riding in boats in SMB3…