Defunct Games
31 Bonus Levels of Christmas

It's that time of year again, a time when Defunct Games celebrates the holidays by posting a daily theme article that should inform and delight gamers all over the world. This year we're taking a look at 31 of the best-known bonus stages in all of video games. Each day we're going to look at a different level and review it, while also trying to figure out what makes it tick. Join us as we post a new episode of the 31 Bonus Levels of Christmas every day leading up to the biggest holiday of the year!
Devil's Crush: Boss Battles
[ Console: TurboGrafx-16 | Year: 1989 | Grade: A- ]

From an artistic point of view, Devil's Crush was way creepier than the relatively tame Splatterhouse!
The Context: When you pull that plunger you have no idea the kind of Hell that's coming down on you. This is Devil's Crush, the sequel to the 1988 arcade hit Alien Crush. In this TurboGrafx-16 pinball classic, players use their ball to take out the Devil's forces and rack up high scores. This is done by slamming into chanting monks, destroying dragon eggs before they hatch and waking up the lizard women in the center of the table. Players who create enough destruction are whisked away to one of several bonus rooms, where they take on boss encounters. Win or lose, they're spit back out on the board and it's back to stomping out the Devil's control over this board.

The Rules: The player is forced to go one-on-one against a number of giant monsters using only their shiny pinball. There are several variations on this bonus stage, including one where you battle three large headless

Even with my name on another pinball game, I say that Devil's Crush is the best game of its kind!
faces, fire-breathing dragons and an army of shielded knights. There isn't much room to move around, but players are given a second set of flippers to even the odds. Defeat these demons to earn bonus points and climb the leaderboard. Just don't worry about completing these stages; there is plenty of time for a second try.

The Verdict: These stages are a nice diversion from the main table. The bosses don't exactly play fair and the physics are sometimes questionable, but after spending so long looking at the same three screens it's awfully nice to battle something new. Though there is some luck

Battling dragon heads is just one of the amazing things you would never be able to do on a real pinball table!
involved, there's also a surprising amount of strategy required to beating each baddie, so you can't go in without a plan. These bonus stages help illustrate difference between real pinball and their video game counterparts. You couldn't battle a fire-breathing dragon on a real pinball table, but it's just one of the many amazing moments in Devil's Crush.

Completely Missing the Point: Despite its promising premise, Devil's Crush has no end game. You simply earn as many points as you can until you max out the score. Ultimately there's no way to defeat the true evil that is permeating throughout this board. Perhaps that's a good way to look at pure evil, as something we'll never be able to stamp out. No matter how many criminals we arrest and terrorists we try, there will always be more. So maybe we should give up. Perhaps it's time to just accept our limitations and be done with it. I can't go on knowing that no matter how amazing these episodes are, this holiday show will never fully stamp out true evil in the world. That's why I'm announcing that after only four episodes, I've decided to end the 31 Bonus Levels of Christmas. I can't go on.
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