1. The California Raisins: The Grape Escape – Here’s a puzzler: it’s the ’90s and the California Raisins can do no wrong as a franchise. Neither can Capcom, the developer of such hit original franchises as Mega Man and licensed home-runs like the Duck Tales games. So why was it that a NES game based on the California Raisins and structured similarly to Duck Tales was basically completed and never released commercially?
Here’s the plot: some jealous haters have kidnapped the Raisins and their musical notes (?), and you as the sole un-kidnapped Raisin have to go through five levels to retrieve them. It looks like a pretty cool platformer, and the fact that your characters can (explicably) moonwalk and (inexplicably) shoot unlimited grape jellybeans gives a little uniqueness to the game. Unfortunately, it was not to be. It’s hard to imagine how the ax could have fallen this close to the finish line – the game was reviewed in published magazines and you can see the completed box art above with a Mega Man coupon offer.
Maybe the Raisins had fallen off of the pop-culture shelf by then? Or maybe those haters who stole the musical notes got the last laugh after all.
Thanks to the existence of review copies and the internet, emulation of this game exists. Here’s a playthrough. Rest in peace, The California Raisins: The Grape Escape, you were too beautiful for this world.