Tricks, Treats, and Feats: The Gyrocopter and Philmobile

            If you were to go trick or treating, I bet you’d be mighty surprised if, rather than candy, you were given the keys to a car.  While such a thing would probably not be all that exciting to a young child, who would surely rather a candy bar or peanut butter cup, a vehicle is certainly a useful treat for any gamer.  That’s right, today we are going to discuss two games with secret, optional vehicles.  And no, I am not talking about racing games.

            Let’s start with a game that should be familiar to a lot of us here, Donkey Kong Country 3.  This trilogy of platformers were classics on the Super Nintendo, and it was in the second and third installments that we got bonus worlds, complete with secret endings.  As veterans of the series surely know, if you zoomed around the rocks near Mekanos while honking your horn, a volcano called Krematoa would rise out of the sea.  This secret world was home to some very challenging levels which could only be unlocked by collecting every bonus coin in the game.  Needless to say, that was no easy feat.

Once you managed to complete every stage in Krematoa, including a very tough rematch with K. Rool, you could visit Funky, who would give you…the Gyrocopter!  This was pretty cool, considering every other vehicle up until that point had been water-based ones.  Not only was it a pretty awesome treat indeed being granted the ability to fly all about the map, but this vehicle was necessary in finding the remaining Banana Birds.  And once that happened, the secret ending could be unlocked….

The second game we will be discussing is Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch, a far newer game for the PlayStation 3.  One thing I really liked about this game was the fact that, even once the main game is complete, the developers actually included extra quests, giving you even more things to do.  (Most games just give you the option to play the game over again in hard mode.  Not the best reward, if you ask me.)  I’m not going to go into too much detail, but what happens is, a new path opens up near the town of Ding Dong Dell, which leads to a rather mysterious character called the Conductor.  He’s a rather creepy guy with an unnaturally thin body and a giant rabbit head, and though I continued to expect ill will from him, it seemed helping him out was a worthwhile cause.

The Conductor asks you to defeat a bunch of bosses from earlier in the game (okay, that’s not exactly the best way to extend the length of a game), in addition to a new enemy called the Guardian of Worlds.  After just a tad more questing, you are rewarded with…the Philmobile 2000 (named after Oliver’s friend, Phil, in case you were wondering)!  It’s really not necessary when you have plenty of other ways to get around (including riding around on the back of a dragon), but I have to admit that zooming all over the place in a car is pretty fun and a rather surprising extra secret indeed.

Both the Gyrocopter and Philmobile, upon my first completed playthrough of their respective games, were very surprising rewards indeed.  It’s always nice when a game developer takes the time to come up with a truly unexpected secret for their most dedicated players.  And now I’d like to hear from you, dear readers.  What are some of your most favorite post-final boss bonuses?  Please let me know in the comments below!

To the Duckmobile!

Screenshot from Flickr User: Games Weasel