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The 1994 Disney film The Lion King received a unique adaptation on Nintendo 8-bit systems. While based on the 16-bit version, it adapts only a few of that game's levels directly, while others are completely new or just based on the general concept.

Players control the young lion Simba through nine levels (the NES version includes only the first six), most of which are side-scrolling platform affairs. At the beginning of the game, where Simba is a cub, he can jump and roar. Roaring stuns some enemies, jumping on top of them defeats them. Cub Simba can also roll along the ground, which allows him to destroy some barriers. Starting in level seven (i.e. not in the NES version), Simba has grown into an adult and gains the ability to scratch enemies with his paws to defeat them, but loses the rolling ability. Enemies to be destroyed or avoided include lizards, porcupines (which must be stunned to turn them over because they can't be jumped on), bugs, and spiders. The film's hyena lackeys also appear and are tougher to destroy than most other enemies. The final boss in the game is of course Simba's uncle Scar. Powerups to be picked up are bug icons that partially or fully restore health, one-ups, and lion icons that create a savepoint in the level.

There is some variation from the standard platforming: the film's stampede scene is recreated in a level where Simba is seen from the top and runs automatically to the right. He must be moved up and down to avoid being trampled by water buffaloes. Another level is seen in the standard platforming view, but consists of a number of interconnected rooms in which hyenas wait for Simba. He must defeat them before the entrance to the next room opens up. Picking up a special bug icon found in some of the levels activates the mini-game "Bug Patrol". In this game, the player controls Pumbaa who must catch bugs thrown from the top of the screen, avoiding big spiders. Catching enough bugs lets life and continue icons drop.


Disney's The Lion King NES The black screen of death
Disney's The Lion King Game Boy Getting hurt
Disney's The Lion King Game Boy Continue screen
Disney's The Lion King Game Boy Dead lion

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Alternate Titles

  • "Disney's Le Roi Lion" -- French title
  • "Disney's Der König der Löwen" -- German title

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Critic Reviews

Computer and Video Games (CVG) NES Jun, 1995 78 out of 100 78
Video Games Game Boy May, 1995 76 out of 100 76 Game Boy Jun 25, 2010 15 out of 20 75
Play Time Game Boy May, 1995 53 out of 100 53
Mega Fun Game Boy May, 1995 49 out of 100 49
Ultimate Nintendo: Guide to the NES Library NES 2016 2 Stars2 Stars2 Stars2 Stars2 Stars 40
neXGam NES Nov 20, 2014 2 out of 10 20
The Video Game Critic Game Boy May 31, 2014 F 0


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The game uses David Whittaker's sound engine although he never gave the developers permission to use it.
Contributed to by Terok Nor (30902)