Yokoi Kids Audio Show episode 10: Hunt For The Red October


Happy Karnovember everybody! It’s about two months too late but heres the Hunt For Red October episode. We have a special badly impersonated host, Christ Tuttle reading a letter to his younger self and Lord Reptile and I playing the versus mode..in public!

Check it out!

To: Nine year old Chris Re: Hunt for the Red October – Chris Tuttle

Dear Chris,

First off, congratulations on buying this game. You’ve just set off a lifelong love of submarine movies, which there are several of. In fact, I’ve seen so many at this point that they’re really starting to blur together in my mind. That could be because they all seem to repeat similar tropes, or at least to contain similar scenes.

One example is a scene where the sub is lying silently so that an enemy doesn’t detect any sound from them, and all the crewmen are frozen in place, staring quietly at each other while a single pencil rolls off a table.

And they definitely all have a scene where they’re sinking out of control, looking back and forth between the ships pressure rating of 2,500 ft and the current depth gage of 3,300 ft, listening to the sub walls creak and moan. It’s a bit cliche at this point, but man, something about being in a tiny metal pressure cooker at the bottom of the ocean really ramps up the drama and tension.

Anyway, I didn’t create a rift and send a transtemporal personal letter just to discuss movies. I did it to tell you about a Game Boy game, and this game doesn’t contain any of those scenes, so forget all about them. Unless you consider the fact that your sub can only take like 4 hits before it’s destroyed as an accurate depiction of the frailty of underwater battle, in which case, yes, this game is very faithful!

The game itself is tough but overall fair. After the very first engagement with tiny little enemy subs you’ll find yourself thinking “huh, if I have to fight all of these guys with my normal torpedoes, I am going to get killed immediately.” Follow that instinct! Missiles are the way to go. They are your nautical lifeblood. They’re pretty generously dispersed throughout the levels and it only takes one to sink the little guys, so it’s easy to stockpile a dozen or so. But don’t get too miserly with them. You’re constantly just a few shots from death, and when you respawn your missile count goes back to 3. That missile you try to save by getting cute might end up costing you 10.

The only other power-up you can use is kind of the central McGuffin of the movie: the caterpillar drive. This has very limited usefulness. I think whether it works or not is dependent on the AI of what’s attacking you. The tiny subs that just shoot straight torpedoes seem completely unaffected and will continue to attack, even if you’re invisible. The ships and smarter subs do seem blind to you while you have it engaged, but the duration seems a bit random. I have seen a sub drop torpedoes on itself until it exploded while I was using the caterpillar, which is always rewarding to see.

Lastly, stop calling it Hunt for THE Red October. I looked it up. The ‘The’ goes in the beginning, so stop saying that. You’re making us look like a butthead!

So, now the year is 2018 and I’ve had more than 25 years to play this game and hone my skills, I can proudly say that I’ve gotten to… level 6. Yeah, I haven’t beaten this game yet. It’s hard. But good luck, enjoy. Oh, and don’t ask Mom and Dad what the level 3 boss is supposed to be.


Chris Tuttle is a self proclaimed fan of the Yokoi Kids Audio Show. You can check out his twitter HERE

September 2018 – Hunt For the Red October (1991)


 Awesome! We get to play a spooky October-Halloweeny type game for September. Wait, it’s a game based off a movie based off a Tom Clancy book? Well shucks. It’s definitely a weird pick by Chris Tuttle, who had this to say about the game.

Looking back on it, it’s strange that little 9 year old Chris would choose Hunt for the Red October as one of my few gameboy games to own. I don’t think I had heard of the movie and I definitely hadn’t read the book. Tom Clancy, Sean Connery, and Alec Baldwin would have been completely meaningless to me at that age. So what drew me to purchase that game over any of the many others available at the Sears or Macy’s video game department?
I think it was the submarine. In the early 90s I wasn’t logging onto GiantBomb or even reading video game magazines to get reviews of games before buying them. All I had to go on was the cover art, and maybe one or two tiny screenshots on the back, depending on how patient the store clerk was to pull boxes out of a locked glass case for me. The red and black submarine on the box cover must have just called out to me as “cool”.
The game was hard, or I wasn’t coordinated enough for it. I remember playing it a lot, but only the first and second level. That’s  something of a recurring theme with the games I played as a kid, and without any FAQ or game guide, once I was stuck, I stayed stuck. Speaking of which, let me know when Yokoi Kids gets to Attack of the Killer Tomatoes. I didn’t have any strategy for taking out other subs vs boats vs planes, and just relied on reflexes to dodge and shoot. That probably has a lot to do with why my entire game experience for this was about a level and a half.
At some point I must have talked about this game with my Dad because I remember him telling me about the Caterpillar Drive and how it made the Red October a near-undefeatable super sub because it was invisible to radar. In the game, this translates to a somewhat mediocre temporary power-up,  which is something I feel was done a lot converting fictional power fantasies into playable video games. Why would extending Wolverine’s claws drain his energy!?
Anyway, I’m excited for this opportunity to go back and revisit a childhood favorite to see if it holds up to my memory as a challenging but fair game or if it’s a broken frustrating mess. I hope you Kids enjoy!
Lucky for you folks this game is extremely cheap and it’s the Tubthumping of Gameboy games. No, not because it’s awesome. Because you can basically find it everywhere. I see this game in every used Gameboy game shelf. Get it and talk about it why don’t ya? –RV