Originally, I was going to do this as a thing in the Ni no Kuni 2 LP if I didn’t finish it before April 1st. I did finish it (until the site wiped half the final update but it still counts) but I had all of these screenshots lying around so I said what the hell, why not?
Alf is… it’s kind of like Ni no Kuni 2 in that it’s completely incomprehensible and probably should’ve wound up buried in a remote landfill in Arizona. The game itself isn’t particularly long - the longplays.org video on YouTube is like twelve and a half minutes.
You might ask why I’m doing a 2D platformer in screenshot form. You might also ask why I did this on an emulator despite the fact that I own a Genesis and a flashcart that allows it to play Master System games. The answer is that this game is total bullshit that should never for any reason be attempted on real hardware.
I’m not going to make an index for this, because it’s only going to be maybe four updates long. Let’s get right into it, shall we?
There’s no “start” button on the Master System, so pressing Button 1 will take us to this screen with absolutely no warning that the game has actually started. As you can see, Alf has no jumping animation.
We can climb up onto the roof and try to activate the hover platform, but…
It’s out of gas. There’s no actual story here - as far as I can tell (and having watched a non-zero amount of Alf episodes) it doesn’t follow the story of the show at all. Alf crash-lands and has to fix his ship to go back to space. That’s about it.
There’s no indication of where we have to go, but if we go left, Alf winds up in a kitchen with a cat and a closed refrigerator.
We need this cat. Unlike most items in this game, we can collect the cat simply by jumping on it. We now have the cat, 200 points, and a stock of four extra Alfs because the show’s budget ran out at four spare Alfs.
It’s not immediately obvious since it does nothing on most screens, but Button 2 is the “action button”. We can press it once in front of the fridge and Alf will open it. This is absolutely crucial to progressing…
…What? By the way, getting the salami requires a second button press. I have several questions about this. One: who the hell buys an entire salami like that? Two: How does Alf know it works on bats? You know, I don’t know if I want to know the answer to that second one.
Now, you might ask where the hell there’s going to be bats in a suburban neighborhood. We could try the attic… or we could try this second nondescript door out of three.
Nothing much here… just a rat. We’ll be fine-
Instead, we need to press the action button to release the cat we picked up earlier, which kills the rat off. Maybe we can go get that poison or the mop or something.
The light switch is that purple line hanging down from the ceiling. Alf has to jump to be able to pull it.
Yep, nevermind that these people have a light at the bottom of the stairs (on a pull-chain, no less), they also have a secret cave entrance in their basement.
As soon as we go left, Alf will instinctively pull out and wield the salami.
Hitting the action button causes Alf to swing the salami about this far. This will kill anything in a very small area in front of him that extends vertically from his neck to his legs or so. Despite the animation, the salami will not touch anything coming at Alf from above. I question its usefulness against the bats.
We need to jump up onto the platform here, because if we don’t we get stuck in a narrow corridor with that rat (who can and will evade the salami) and eventually wind up at that bottomless pit you can see in the pic above.
We then get forced into a very narrow corridor anyway, this time with groups of two bats flying at us infinitely from the left side of the screen. This took me probably a good twenty savestates to get past. It is that annoying.
You know you’re getting to the end when the floor starts changing.
Oh, Alf. You’re the only one who laughs at your horrible, horrible jokes. By the way, the board we crossed to get here disappeared when we touched the shed.
We could keep going left, but the thing we need the gold nugget for is back in town - to the right. Thankfully, we can use the shed as a platform.
Of course, now we have a new problem. The bats, having decided that simply coming at us in a narrow corridor that makes them impossible to avoid wasn’t bad enough, decide to come at us from both directions. This causes MASSIVE amounts of slowdown.
The drop out of bat hell is particularly bad because there are rats that spawn from about where that rat is in the pic. You have to either kill the bat behind you and move forward just enough that the rats stop spawning or do a near-frame-perfect jump.
Near the entrance, we get another dick move from the developers of Alf. See how that bat in front of Alf is all folded up? That’s the state it goes into once you hit it with the salami. That particular bat takes about a second to fall through the platform, and it can still kill you while it is in that animation.
To the right of the room with the three doors is this room, which tends to spawn these slow-moving guys with jazz hands.
They just kinda slowly walk at you, doing the jazz hands thing. It’s usually easier to despawn them by leaving the room and coming back if they’re in your way.
Outside, we can see a jazz hands man in full-on jazz hands mode. The streets are particularly deadly because the people on bikes will spawn at random spots on the street. You can use the sidewalk, but jazz hands men spawn up there.
Three screens of this bullshit later…
And we find the only building in this town that’s open - the general store. It’s possible for the game to spawn a jazz hands in front of the door, but we got lucky… this time.
The store will accept our gold nugget as $50 (we don’t have to actually sell it) so we’ll use that to buy the key. The fish is a trap item - if you get it, I don’t think there’s any way you can progress.
Several screens of bullshit later, we’re back at the three doors room. We’re looking for an item that is going to spawn in one of three locations.
This room is one of them. That door in the back will only open with a key, but the item we need wasn’t in it.
The third door has two more closets like that one, and one of these will have the item if the first one doesn’t.
Got it. Also, I’m pretty sure Alf wearing a swimsuit is considered a crime against humanity. So, what are we going to do with a swimsuit, you ask?
Back in this room, we can use the key we bought to open the door in the back.
The problem is that the game likes to spawn jazz hands from the right side of the screen, so I had to despawn him and go through the door.
Yes, there’s a random lake in the back of this house with absolutely nothing to stop people jumping in. However, Alf (for some reason) won’t go in without the swimsuit.
Once we jump into the lake, the game changes to a weird sidescroller thing where Alf has to swim downward. That bar on the left is an air meter.
The scuba divers on this map are a major pain in the ass. They can track Alf from off-screen and fire harpoons as soon as he gets in front of them.
This one in particular is bad because if you try to go down the left side of the screen, he’ll block the path. Scuba divers (as well as the cats) will also kill you on contact.
Past the third diver is what appears to be a juvenile xenomorph in the sand. The teal area there will refill Alf’s air meter to full if he touches it.
What’s this? That’s one of the two things we came here to get.
You know, I wasn’t a huge fan of Las Vegas when I went, but the guy in a bootleg Pikachu costume who stood outside my hotel on the Strip and vaped weed was probably more entertaining than this game.
The next area is more open, which allows us to bypass the divers more easily. You know, why is it that Alf even needed this swimsuit to go in the water when he’s naked normally?
There’s another air bubble here, but it’s actually faster (and easier) to take the death assuming you can get down here with lives to spare… once we get the second item, that is.
By the way, the divers will automatically turn to follow you.
All the way down on the floor of the lake is… a giant clam? What is this, Dark Souls?
Probably toss it into the trash, just like you got tossed the second it turned 1990. I had to look online to verify that, by the way, and as it turns out Warner Brothers tried to reboot Alf in 2018. They had to give up because no one wanted to air it.
For the record, I spammed savestates and didn’t take the death.
Once out of the lake, we have to backtrack to where we started the game.
To the right of the starting point is this screen. This is where you wind up if you keep going left from the house.
In roughly the same place as where the General Store was on the other side is the Five and Dime. I got unlucky and had the game spawn a jazzhands right in front of the door, so I had to manipulate him a bit.
We now have $300. For some reason, the game makes us sell the pearl, but we need to go back to the General Store anyway and can sell it there. The Five and Dime has a lantern and… an Alf Book? What the hell is an Alf Book? Does it let Alf cast dark magic or something? Let’s buy that shit.
Naturally, Alf was a Sega kid. So, when do I get the dark magics?
Oh, god dammit! Fuck you, Alf! I’m glad your ass probably got sold to some kind of weird fetishist who uses you like Deadpool uses that unicorn!
Anyway, we’re almost at the halfway mark. Next time, we’ll… probably finish the game. Probably?