Adventure Island

Download Adventure Island and embark on an exciting journey with Master Higgins! Traverse challenging levels, defeat dangerous enemies, and rescue your beloved Tina. The tropical adventure awaits – play now!
a game by Hudson Soft
Genres: Adventure/RPG, Platformer
Platforms: GBA, NESNES (1986), GameBoy
Editor Rating: 8.1/10, based on 8 reviews
User Rating: 7.1/10 - 25 votes
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See also: Adventure Island Games

Face it - Master Higgins has his hands full. His strength is diminishing and there's a gang of creatures lying in wait for him. One mistake and Higgins will end up as a meal for some jungle-dwelling beast.

It's your role to guide Higgins, not only through the trouble of enemy attacks, but also to gather all the hidden fruit and weapons that he can find. Eating fruit keeps his strength high, and the weapons will keep him alive. Of course, running and well timed jumps don't hurt either!

Creature List

In his travels, Higgins runs into a whole series of animals, each requiring a specific method of handling. Here's a list for your assistance:

Sneil - The Sneil is generally harmless and just gets in Higgins' way. If you sit in front of one, he slowly creeps towards you, but don't wait too long - or your power will drop notch by notch, until you die. Shooting a Sneil is the best way to rid yourself of him, but you can jump over him if you have to.

Red Oct - This form of octopus has quite a bit of jumping ability: it bounces up and down on the water's surface. Again, shooting or jumping over it will put it behind you.

Blue Oct - Much the same as a Red Oct, although the Blue Oct differs in that it needs to be shot twice before it dies. The first hit on it turns it into a Red Oct. Simple, right?

Pooter - This little piggie may be going to market, but he's going to hassle Higgins first. Pooter simply cruises from right to left, and one shot will send the little piggie home.

Kello - There are two varieties of frogs that Higgins comes across: a green one and a brown one; only the brown one is a big concern, though. The green Kello simply sits in place, but the brown one will start jumping towards you if you come too close. Simply fire at him from a distance, but remember it takes two shots to clear him off the island.

Not having shooting power is another story. You'll have to time your movement with his leaps in order to get away from him. Believe me, it gets worse with two or more in a row!

Cavas - Here we have an annoying crowlike bird that will fly toward the left side of the screen, dipping and climbing as he goes. Shooting it is preferable, but timing his flight for a careful leap may be your only choice, especially late in the game.

Cobra - This snake sits on the ground to block Higgins' path. In some cases - when you have shooting power particularly - it will spit lethal venom at him. You should leap over the venom and dispatch the snake with an axe or fireball shot. If you don't have shooting power, you can leap over him.

Waler - The Waler is a long fish that's quite annoying to Higgins, but if you leap high when it hits a peak in its jump, you'll be fine.

Basser - A Basser bat hangs out on the ceiling until Higgins gets too close, then he drops down to Higgins' level and tries to scrape him off the surface of Adventure Island. Punch his ticket with a shot, or leap over him, but be careful: Bassers usually travel in groups.

Skeleton - This skull has a ring of fire around it, but poses little threat to Higgins, unless there are other creatures attacking at the same time. By the time you reach Skeletons, you'll find them easy prey.

Ice - What can you say about Ice, other than it's slippery? On Adventure Island, Ice lives in the form of icicles that drop just as you pass beneath them. This wouldn't be difficult except for the poor traction Higgins gets in the ice caves. Trying to stop, often slides him in the path of a falling icicle. If Higgins is on a rise, he can sometimes shoot Ice off the ceiling.

Zigmo - The Zigmo spider varies in its difficulty. Some simply hang from a string in Higgins' way; others slide up and down, which makes them much more of a hindrance. They aren't that hard to shoot or jump over, but waiting for them to get into the correct position wastes valuable power points. Try to clear them out fast.

Coyote - These are the only creatures that go from left to right. If you see a red flower on the ground, be prepared - when it passes off the screen, the coyote will appear at a quick run. It takes two shots to dispatch; the first shot will turn it blue and freeze it in its tracks for a split second.

There are four other creatures that we will pass in the first four levels of Adventure Island - the Area Bosses - but they only differ in the shape of their heads. Each one tosses fireballs towards you at intervals, but there's plenty of time to strike him in the head. If you stay close to him, his fireballs will fly over you. You have to put multiple hits into his head (which turns red, to signal a successful hit) to get rid of him and complete the level.

Hint - If you pause the game just after you knock the Boss' head off, you'll get a preview of what the next boss will look like.

General Hints

As veteran players of Adventure Island know, there are loads of hidden features in the game. The instruction booklet does very little to prepare you for what lies ahead. With that in mind, we've compiled a list of hints and discoveries - some obvious, some not - that may help you get further into the contest with more success and more points:


  1. A free Higgins is awarded at 50,000 and 100,000 points.
  2. The skateboard moves constantly forward. This means that you risk missing eggs that are hidden in your path or may end up slipping by a bonus level. Bonus levels, you ask? We'll get to them in a second.

To get rid of a skateboard, either hit a creature, rock or fire with it. You'll also get rid of whatever you hit in the process.

After you get firepower over your basic axe, it will let you shoot everything except campfires. Fires can only be destroyed by skateboards or when you are invincible with the Honeygirl.

  1. Don't waste your time getting every piece of fruit. If you backtrack to grab one, it will either disappear, you'll lose power notches or both. Keep moving forward.

A good example of this is an ice area. If you can, you should move through the falling ice and carefully time leaps over steps. In certain icicle locations, as in areas with small platforms to leap to, you'll have to move slowly and let ice drop in front of you.

  1. Though it doesn't say so in the booklet, there are two different milk bottles: white and red. Both fill Higgins' power bar to the maximum, but the red one also extends it. This makes his overall strength last longer and also gives him the opportunity for a bigger bonus at the end of a round.
  2. Our July issue's Easter Eggs column has a hint for continuing the game from where you last were during a session. Look for the egg containing the bee at the end of Area 1-1, just before the G sign.
  3. Be careful not to stumble on small rocks. Each trip costs you two power points. The only exception to this is when a rock contains a hidden pot.

Speaking of pots, it's a big boost to your score to get one every chance you get. They are worth 1,000 points when you touch one, and also double your round bonus when you complete a section.

  1. When you get a coyote, if you get him with a second shot while he is on the right side of you, you'll get a flag worth 1,000 points - though it's hard to do.

In Area 1, Round 1, Section 2: This is a hidden egg that contains firepower. If you are riding the skateboard, hitting the bird will usually reveal the egg.

In Area 1, Round 1, Section 3: Here is the location of the first bonus level, between the fourth and fifth totem pole. Dodge the Cobra's venom (shoot him if you can) and then stand here and wait for the platform to appear. The bonus level gives you the chance to build up your power line with lots of fruit. Use the "B" button to speed up your running to hit each spring. Don't worry if you don't get all the way through - leaving the bonus level at any point simply drops you back in the game, just before the Section 4 sign.

In Area 1, Round I, Section 4: At the end of the platform, there is a hidden egg. If you have firepower, this egg will contain a red milk bottle.

In Area 1, Round 3, Section 2: The hidden egg shown contains a key. If you miss this key, the next platform will drop; if you get the key, this platform will fly up, bringing you to a bonus level.

In Area I, Round 3, Section 3: The egg that's visible is an eggplant. Don't get this, as it will sap your strength. There's a hidden egg just before it, though, directly under the icicle. After the ice drops, jump where it fell and get the egg, which will contain a ring (provided you have firepower).

In Area 1, Round 3, Section 4: Don't try for the pot right away. If you do, and jump to the floor on the right, you'll get clobbered by a boulder. Instead, bypass the pot, let the boulder go by you or shoot it, and then time it carefully to get the pot - if you are daring.

There is a hidden egg, also, that is on the lip of the floor.

In Area 1, Round 4: Just before Section 2, there is a visible egg. If you shoot it or jump on it, it reveals a flower. If you kick it, on the other hand, it will instead bring up a white milk bottle.

In Area I, Round 4: This is the first appearance of the Coyote. Our Creature List explained how to defeat him.

This is the first Area Boss.

Area 2

In Area 2, Round 1:. On the third small island after the Section 3 sign, there is a hidden egg. This egg contains a ring, if you have firepower.

In Area 2, Round 1, Section 4: Just after a cloud platform falls out, there is a ladder of moving platforms. After getting the white bottle - it's not a milk bottle, but it does add to your power line - quickly jump up from platform to platform. When you top out, continue your journey to the right.

In Area 2, Round 3, Section 2: The hidden egg shown contains a key. If you take the key, the third platform will go up to a bonus level. Missing the key will drop this platform when you hit it.

In Area 2, Round 3, Section 4: Here you'll find two frogs in a row that are likely to hold up your progress for a while. If you jump off the platform and land too close to the frogs, the first one will fatally attack you. The best strategy is to land on the lip of the floor, then jump to where the first frog was sitting. The two of you will cross each other in midair, and you will land safely behind him. He can then be shot from the back.

The second frog is a green one and won't attack you, so once the first one is out of the way, the second one can be taken out.

In Area 2, Round 4: Just after the Section 3 sign, right after the red flower - watch out for the Coyote - there is a hidden egg that usually contains an extra Higgins.

This is the second Area Boss.

Area 3

In Area 3, Round 1, Section 1: There are two moving platforms here that take you to a raised step. If you have firepower, be careful not to shoot the rock at the wall, as it contains a hidden pot. Simply run into the rock, and the pot will appear with no harm to Higgins. Jump for the pot and go on your merry way.

In Area 3, Round 1, Section 2: After the pair of bothersome frogs, drop down two more steps to a long flat area. This is yet another bonus round.

In Area 3, Round 2, Section 2: If you don't have firepower and try to leap over this small rock, either the snake's venom or the boulder that follows it will get you. The best solution is to wait at the small rock until the boulder comes towards you. Jump over it and then all you have to take on is the Cobra.

In Area 3, Round 2, Section 3: After you start going downhill, there is a frog facing the other way. If you have axe power, he is easily killed because the axes drop towards the ground and hit him. If, on the other hand, you have firepower, leap just past him and get him to spring over your head, then jump behind him and shoot him. If you have no shooting power, leap over him and outrun him to the right.

In Area 3, Round 4, Section 2: You'll come across three frogs in a row, just after a campfire. If you have shooting power, you can clear all three, one at a time. If you don't have shooting power, carefully timed jumps are needed. Again, you should try to jump precisely where the frog is sitting. Before you get there, he will start his leap and cross you in midair.

In Area 3, Round 4, Section 2: The egg after the springboard and two rocks has an eggplant in it. Avoid it!

In Area 3, Round 4: Right after the Section 3 sign, there is a hidden egg that usually contains a red milk bottle. Other times it will hold a ring.

This is the third Area Boss.

Area 4

In Area 4, Round I, Section 3: At the fourth totem pole, there is a hidden egg.

In Area 4, Round 1, Section 4:The third rock contains a pot.

In Area 4, Round 2, Section 2: Between the two campfires, there is a hidden egg. If you have firepower, the egg contains a red milk bottle.

This area of the game has a lot of steps with rocks or campfires right near the edge. The layout will slow your progress and sap your strength, but, most importantly, test your jumping precision. You'll need to land just at the edge of the step, in front of the obstacle in your way.

In Area 4, Round 3, Section 2: After the two fires, the next floor will have a visible egg. If you have firepower, it will have a white milk bottle in it; this is extremely helpful in getting you through the remainder of the level.

In Area 4, Round 3, Section 3: After you clear a string of Skeletons, the rock shown holds a pot. It's best to jump over the rock and hit it from the right side; otherwise you may end up sliding off into the gap between the floors.

In Area 4, Round 3, Section 4: The third small tower will give you some trouble. When you land on it, you'll start sliding towards the gap, but stop Higgins' slide and place him on the far-left ice block. Avoid the bird, by shooting or jumping, and you'll also find a hidden egg right under you. This egg contains a key that will bring the bonus level at the next movable platform, just before a campfire.

In Area 4, Round 3, Section 4: Following the hanging spider, you'll see a frog waiting for you at the right. You can jump up and shoot him, if you have shooting power. If not, move Higgins right against the wall, and the frog will leap over you.

In Area 4, Round 4: When you get this Honeygirl, run as fast as you can. At the end of your invisibility, there are a few extremely difficult creatures waiting for - one Coyote and three Kello. If you don't run them down and don't have shooting power, this is one of the hardest areas to get past.

This is the fourth Area Boss. We've also given you a hint of the next boss you'll face.

We hope Part I of our Adventure Island Strategy Guide is helpful to you. Even if you've gotten through the game, the hints and tips we've provided may have made playing it more fun, and encouraged you to dig a little deeper into what this game has to offer.

We'll be back next month with Part II. Don't miss it!

Download Adventure Island


System requirements:

  • PC compatible
  • Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP

System requirements:

  • PC compatible
  • Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP
  • P-200, 32 MB RAM

System requirements:

  • PC compatible
  • Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP

Game Reviews

  • Manufacturer: Hudson Soft USA
  • Machine: Nintendo

Do you want to go on a vacation in the South Pacific? Come join Master Higgins on his vacation and see what trouble he can get into. Walk on clouds, ride a skateboard, throw a tomahawk. Look for hidden items to help you beat the Monsters. Can you elude those that are trying to beat you? How high can you jump? Can you get enough bonus points to get help... Can you travel the whole island without being beaten? How good a video game player are you? Will you take the challenge and go with Master Higgins on vacation?!

People say:

  1. Most exciting game I've ever played!
  2. I can't put this game down. I played for 21 hours!

No Fantasy Island

You are cast as Master Higgins, a bouncy and nimblefooted hero who ventures out to the balmy South Pacific to save the beautiful Princess Leilani from the clutches of the evil Witch Doctor. While hopping from island to island and cloud to cloud, you must survive against a barrage of attacks from giant snails, leaping octopuses and swordfish. As you hurl axes at the advancing sea creatures, you can boost your energy by plucking tropical fruits, like bananas and pineapples, from the air. As you reach the caverns, you are greeted by pesky bats, cobras, skullheads, and falling icicles. Once you get to the forest, beware the spiders, sly foxes, and frogs.

Adventure Island consists of eight grueling areas with four action-packed rounds in each area. At the end of each area is a boss whom you must defeat to proceed on your quest. But Higgins is continually losing energy as the game progresses and you must pick up fruit or milk to regain stamina.

At the end of each round, grabbing the bonus pot doubles your points. Cracking hidden eggs along your path could reveal more power-ups like a milk bottle (full energy) or even a skateboard to speed you around the island. Occasionally, the right egg rewards you with a miniature fairylike creature named Honey Girl who hovers behind you and renders you invincible for several seconds.


  • Fight off sea creatures as you hop from cloud to cloud.
  • Watch out for dangerous creatures -- eliminate them before they get too close.

But picking the wrong egg could reveal the dreaded egg-plant which drains your energy supply!

Your journey also reveals several bonus rounds. If Higgins is standing in the right place at the right time, a platform magically appears and elevates him to the bonus round.

Beware the seventh area, where hopping precariously along shifting ledges becomes very difficult. More unexpected hazards hinder your progress... be careful not to plunge into the dark abyss or crack the wrong egg! If you get past this area, you have the makings of a real hero.

Will you be able to save the Princess from a tragic fate?

  • To help defeat the evil bosses, stay very close and let him throw fireballs past you...after he throws, jump up and throw your axe at his head.
  • To find the first bonus round, go to area 1, round 1, section 3...stand in front of the fifth totem pole, and away you go to the bonus round!
  • Throughout the game there are magic areas, where either a bonus round or egg will appear. An easy way to find these: throw your axe...if it disappears, you're in a magic area!

What's left to take over when you've already conquered Nintendo screens, twice? For the Evil Witch Doctor and his colleagues in island badness, there's only one thing left to do: invade the Game Boy.

Deja Mu from Island II

Remember that brave little jungleman, Master Higgins, and how he rescued Princess Tina from the clutches of the Evil Witch Doctor in Adventure Island II for the NES? Well, the better you recall his past feats, the more likely you'll do it all over again successfully on the Game Boy. The first handheld Adventure Island is modeled after the second NES Adventure Island (minus the color, of course).

Island Hopping

Master Higgins hops on his raft and sets sail for eight islands of mostly-recycled adventure: Fem, Lake, Desert, Ice, Cave, Cloud, Volcano, and Dinosaur. Just as before, each island consists of several sidescrolling stages of running, jumping, skating, swimming, and of course shooting.

Egg-cellent Items

All the coolest power-ups in Adventure Island can be gathered, not by busting blocks, whipping candles, or even shooting spaceships, but by breaking open eggs strewn along the path. Most common is the good ol' throwing axe, your faithful companion to the end. Also look fa the Honey Girl's invincible protection. Hidden eggs are just that, but if you do find them, get set for a wild ride in a bonus stage or an airbane stage-skip.

Upon completing a level you play a head-spinning bonus game. Choose one of eight revolving eggs for prizes ranging from points to an extra life.

Hitch a Ride

Higgins hikes on foot most of the time but gives his dogs a rest when he finds a skateboard for rapid transit. Even better are the friendly dinosaurs which occasionally hatch out of eggs. Four are available, including a tail-flicker, a breath-belcher, a sky-flier, and an ocean-swimmer.

Tropical Terrorists

Death is swift and painful if one of the Doc's henchmen so much as touches Higgins. They're mostly insane islanders and wild animals, like pig-headed warriors, fire breathing snakes, and miniature octopuses. At the end of each side-scrolling stage is an overgrown boss beastie.

A Well-balanced Diet

Feed yourself with fruits, meats, vegetables, and milk to keep your strength going. Be quick, because edibles only appear on-screen for a limited time. Flowers are worth double the health boost of ordinary chow. If your life line drops to zilch, you're shish-ka-Fliggins. So many ways to die, so few ways to win!

Islands of Okay Adventure

Fludson's Adventure Island has always been well-known for its reliable but not extravagant Mario-like gameplay. Since the handheld version is close to a pixel-perfect version of the NES sequel, the same wisdom applies. The high points include better-than-average Game Boy character illustrations, easy-to-handle gameplay, and unlimited continues. The low points are repetitive obstacles, no passwords, and bland music.

It all boils down to a cart which is fun in the sun for Game Boy enthusiasts but won't give you more than a mild case of Island Fever.


  • If you're aboard a skateboard or a dino and you're hit, you'll lose the item but remain unharmed.
  • All your dinosaur buds except "Classie" are allergic to water.
  • Each time you finish an early area with an axe or a dino in tow, store it away for use in the final stages the game.
  • Sometimes, it's wise to pass up the skateboard, because it has no brakes which can cause you to miss valuable hidden eggs.
  • A strange-looking Rower planted in the background means an enemy is about to ambush you from behind.
  • When the penguins on the frigid Ice Island summon deadly snow storms, wait for the blizzard to appear, then weave in between the Rakes and take the penguins out with axes.
  • To waste the vicious Higgins-eating plant at the end of Level One, stand towards the middle area of the screen, jump high, and toss your axes.
  • In Area Three of Fem Island you'll find the Hudson Bee, which enables you to continue with your full inventory of dinos and axes. When you pass the first frog, climb up one ledge and down the next ledge. You'll land right next to the Bee.
  • After acquiring the Hudson Bee, repeatedly die and play through the first island to stockpile up to nine of each item. If you return to the section where you claimed the Bee, you'll score a 1-Up!
  • Throw axes everywhere to pinpoint hidden eggs, which will absorb your shots.
  • Avoid knocking eggs into bottomless pits by leaping directly on top of them or cracking open their shells with axes.
  • Look for obscure eggs which warp you past entire islands. The first one's hidden on Fern's Area Four, two paces after the first rock in the second clearing where there are no trees in the background.
  • Pop open the hidden egg at the bottom of the first hill slope in Lake Area 7lvo and you'll be rewarded with three free lives.

The evil Witch Doctor is up to her old tricks again, and this time she's kidnapped the Princess Lellani's beloved sister Tina. You are Master Higgins, the noble explorer who rescued the Princess last time, and you've determined to save her sister. In order for you to rescue Tina, you must pass through 8 different islands having 8 levels on each, a total of 64 levels! Fortunately for you, you're not alone, along the way you'll find many items and meet friendly dinosaurs whom you will ride. Throughout the islands you'll find fruit, be sure to eat it because your life meter is like a timer, and only by keeping it full can you stay alive. A new feature in the game is the ability to store power-ups and choose them when you need them most. Each island is guarded by a huge boss character. On the various islands you'll venture through forests, lakes, deserts, ice, caves, clouds, volcanos, and prepare for the final encounter with the Evil Witch Doctor on Dinosaur Island! Your beloved Tina awaits her rescue.

  • Machine: Nintendo

Princess Leilani was kidnapped and taken to Adventure Island in the South Pacific. The island is thick with tropical forest, caves, ocean and mountains. Many dangerous demons and creatures are waiting for you. Are you up for the challenge?! Can you live through Adventure Island to save Princess Leilani?

  • Manufacturer: Hudson Soft
  • Machine: NES

Peter Siamidis of Montreal, Quebec, Canada gave us a valuable continue tip for this tough scrolling game. If you jump right before the "G" sign at the end of Area 1 (see picture above), you'll find an egg with the Hudson bee in it. If you pick up the bee, you'll be able to continue unlimited times by hitting L and START when your game is over - actually, we discovered that if your controller is in any position other than center, the continue will work. You can only get the bee on your first game - hitting the reset button won't bring it back. Thanks to Peter for that hint.

The "Wonder Boy" for Nintendo! Great graphics and plenty of action insure lots of thrills!

Snapshots and Media

NES/Famicom/Dendy Screenshots

GameBoy Screenshots

See Also

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