Totally Rad

a game by Jaleco
Genre: Platformer
Platform: NESNES
Editor Rating: 7.8/10, based on 4 reviews, 5 reviews are shown
User Rating: 8.0/10 - 1 vote
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See also: 2D Platformer Games

Totally Rad takes the most awesome beach dude on a trip far below the sand, in pursuit of the totally ungnarly creature who made off with his beautiful girlfriend. Along the way, he runs into some totally gruesome monsters, who come after him with some pretty heavy magic. Luckily, he's got a few tricks of his own: magic boomerangs, electric shock claws, shooting stars, even telepathy. This dude even has the ability to change forms... from a bird to a lion to a giant lizard.

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System requirements:

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

Game Reviews

  • Type:Action
  • Available: April 1991
  • Levels: 5
  • Difficulty:Avg.

The master magician, Zebediah, has offered to train Jake his powerful magics. After much training Jake is attacked and his girl, Lisa, is kidnapped! Help Jake rescue Lisa using his awesome magic that can transform him into a birdman, a catman, or a fishman! Jake also has control of the various elements to wipe out a screenful of enemies in one swoop. The question is, why do these creeps want Lisa?

People say:


Now here's an example of Jaleco's brilliance that really shows their potential! Radical, awesome, gnarly, and just plain cool are a few words that describe Totally Rad! The concept is radical, the music is awesome, the magic is gnarly, and the characters are cool. Good work!


Wow! Now this is a game that I am continuing to play even after doing the review. The graphic and BGM are much better than average and the bosses...:well, they are something else! This game takes practice but it is fun nevertheless. One of the best in a long time.


Awesome! There's still hope for NES with games like this. Original in concept, this game has excellent graphics and game play. Full of technique and special power-ups plus plenty of variety. Hilarious end bosses take up the whole screen. If you don't get it, you'll be totally had.


Totally Rad is just that, totally rad! Even the best gamers will find the techniques involved in this cart to be challenging and satisfying. The graphics are good, and the music is upbeat. These end-bosses will knock your socks off as they are usually a full screen tall! Good work, Jaleco!!

  • Machine: NES
  • Levels: 5
  • Theme: Action
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Number of Players: 1
  • Available: April 1991

Most excellent, Dude!

Jake is the apprentice of Zed, a master magician. While preparing for his training. Jake is maliciously attacked by unknown assailants! While fighting off the attackers, Lisa, his girlfriend, is kidnapped, so Jake heads to the underworld to win her back!

Of course, Jake is not defenseless either. He has a powerful assortment of magic at his disposal, including magic that can transform Jake into different man-animals! He has mastered the art of elemental mysticism and can control fire, water, air, and earth spells.

As Jake Completes each level and destroys more enemies, his magics become more and more intense, then again, so do the enemies! Certain magics only work when Jake is himself, so plan your strategies carefully.

Jake, a regular dude with only marginal skateboarding skills, is having a bad day. His girlfriend Allison and her father (the smartest man in California) have been kidnapped by Edogy, an evil wizard. Now Edogy is forcing Allison's father to help him plan an invasion of California. In Totally Rad, Jake is a hapless champion against evil who is thrown into a showdown between white magic and black magic. Fortunately, you don't have to be a thrashing skateboarder to join this battle. Although the game's title suggests that it's a skateboarding game, it's really an entertaining action-strategy adventure without any heavy shreddin'.

Luckily, Jake isn't alone in his quest. Zebadiah, a kind wizard, gives him a crash course in magic. Jake gains mysterious powers that allow him to transform into a lion, an eagle, or a fish. Each animal has its own strengths that serve as Jake's weapons in the game. Half of the fun (and all of the strategy) in Totally Rad is figuring out when to transform into which animal - and when not to change.

You begin the rescue mission on an abandoned roller coaster. Eventually you'll travel through five stages, rich with color and depth. Naturally, your journey is filled with danger. Deranged pizza vendors, killer robots, and flying pigs are among your enemies. But your fireball blasts really do the job, especially if you hold down button B to build energy before firing.

You also have control over the powers of nature. Your magic triggers firestorms, avalanches, and floods that can destroy most of the enemies you'll encounter, including bosses. Conjuring up natural disasters drains your magic power, however, so use it wisely. If you exhaust all your power, Zebadiah won't replenish it until the next stage. And you're going to need lots of power, because there are countless goons to clear out before you face Edogy.

Totally Rad covers all the bases - it has superb graphics and great playability, and it requires interesting strategy. It's easy to let yourself be pulled into this mystical world where wizards really do walk the streets of California. An ideal mixture of challenge and sorcery make Totally Rad a great game for skilled players as well as aspiring magicians.

It's up to you, the reader, to decide if Totally Rad is a stupid name or a clever one. It doesn't really tell you anything about the game, but if you read between the lines, it tells you everything you need to know.

Totally Rad is another "guy game"; your character is a guy who runs from Point A to Point B shooting nasties and chasing after his kidnapped girlfriend, the "righteous babe" Allison. (Don't blame me, that's how the instruction manual describes her--and she is pretty cute for a video-game character.) The guy's name is Jake, and he's been trained in the ways of magic by a strange, grinning geezer called Zebediah. With his skills, Jake can fire energy blasts from his hands, cast spells and transform into three different half-human creatures.

Good-looking graphics make Jake's adventure a pleasant one featuring rich, brilliant colors. Parts of the scenery scroll by at different speeds in some areas; not with the pronounced depth you see in the arcades, but using enough to trick your eye with a nice pseudo-3-D effect. The "boss" characters are appropriately heinous. Rubyllia (at the end of Act 1) looks like Mr. Peanut, but top hat and cane have been replaced by fangs, claws, jackboots, an earring and a purple mohawk. Okay, maybe he doesn't look like Mr. Peanut.

Jake looks a lot like Ted "Theodore" Logan of Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure, and he definitely sounds like the vapid Ted when he opens his mouth. But his magical powers make him a formidable hero, and the ability to change his shape can be used to great advantage in many situations. Jake's animalistic alter egos look like minor league superheroes taking their shot at the big time: the "eagle" spell changes Jake into a winged warrior in blue; the "fish" spell makes him a web-footed wonder with green gills; and the "lion" spell lets him leap through the air as a whirling ball that can't be harmed (though this spell limits your attacking power to close-range encounters).

The biggest problem with Totally Rad is the hackneyed dialogue that appears on the screen during the intermissions. The instruction manual is similarly infested; words like "bodacious" and "gagsome" are sprinkled liberally throughout the text. Frankly, it's hard to believe that the storyline of the game was intended to be presented this way. When Jake delivers a line like "Who were those dweebs, anyway?" with a straight face, it looks like a badly dubbed karate movie. The game also refers to you as "dude" on occasion, effectively turning off half of its potential playing audience (or more, if you happen to be insulted by this type of jargon.) I'm sure there are kids who share Jake's vocabulary, and Totally Rad will appeal to those who keep up with the latest catch phrases--which is why the game will seem so dated in only a year or two.

There's nothing unusual here; just an entertaining game that somehow manages to shine through the distracting veil of "gnarly" vernacular.

Snapshots and Media

NES/Famicom/Dendy Screenshots