Green Goblin

        Way back in March, I talked about Scorpion, a boss from the first Spiderman movie game. Today however, I will instead be talking about both a boss and a playable character. Last time I talked a little about Oscorp and how they specifically sent robots after both Spiderman and Scorpion, apparently to use their DNA to produce a serum that would give people superhuman abilities, and make them a ton of money. Today I’ll be focusing a little more on the corporation, as the game itself quickly starts to do so.
        Immediately after the Scorpion battle, we are treated to a cutscene where the head of Oscorp, Norman Osborn, has apparently been fired by his own board since he wasn’t able to produce this serum, and decides to “teach them a lesson they won’t forget.” He tries the prototype serum on himself, kills his assistant, and then the scene ends on the image of a green suit and some kind of purple machine.
        After that we cut to Peter Parker at some kind of festival, which is quickly put in danger as a man wearing the same suit flies in and blows up a balcony, knocking Mary Jane onto one of the floats. Spiderman saves her, and then you have to chase and fight the Green Goblin. While you are saving her, he will fly by on occasion and pepper Spiderman with gunfire or flying blades shot from his glider device.
        After she’s saved he will continue doing so, flying around to strafe you, but after taking some damage from Spiderman’s webbing attacks he will fly off. His glider can fly faster than Spiderman can swing, but keeping up isn’t much of an issue itself, though he does occasionally leave behind floating mines you need to avoid.
        He will throw some bombs at a radio tower, forcing Spiderman to stop it from collapsing by webbing up the supports. After that Goblin will continue trying to kill you, adding in a few other tricks like homing bombs that split up into four smaller bombs. Aside from hitting him with webbing, you can also dive kick him, which makes him pause for a moment as he recovers, and you can actually jump on top of him to punch him in the head a few times, though he will eventually throw you off and this can be hard to accomplish.
        Some more health lost, and he flies off again, this time to blast a bridge. Same situation as before, except now you have a smaller area you can land on to fix it, and Goblin is more likely to knock you off it. Same drill as before, do a little damage after you fix the bridge and he’ll fly off , this time after a park, so it’s a wide open area with no buildings. He won’t flee now, so you’re free to fight him. Altitude is the most important thing, because that way you can literally get the drop on him, and it generally forces him to come to you rather than the other way around.
        After his health bar is nearly depleted, he will fly off, ending the level, and Spiderman will give chase. The next level starts out with the two fighting as Green Goblin’s theme plays, and much like the Vulture battle earlier in the game, Goblin has two health bars, blue and red. Blue is for his glider, indicating that he will land once that bar is depleted.
        Aside from the mentioned attacks, he may also drop flaming bombs if you are under him, but they aren’t exceptionally likely to hit you, or throw a bomb directly at you if you are close by, and he may also use a flash bomb to try and blind you. After his blue meter is depleted, he will remark that he didn’t think his glider could be damaged and jump off it as it flies off, smashing a building’s skylight.
        He won’t fight you anymore until you jump in, so now may be a good time to look for webbing power ups if you need it. A health power up is on top of the same building. On the ground, Goblin is, if anything, more of a threat. If he gets any distance he will lob bombs at you, both of the usual explosive variety, the flying homing kind, or more flash bombs.
        Up close he has many powerful attacks, and can even grab you out of the air if you jump near him, so you‘d best stick to ground attacks. He can start strangling you if he grabs you, which you can break out of, but I don’t know how to do so quickly myself. The basic combos will stun him provided he isn’t attacking himself, but only some of the more advanced ones will actually knock him to the ground. If you find yourself close to death, you can get back out of the building to find more health, just be careful he doesn’t blast you off the wall or something.
        Once he is reduced to a sliver of health, he will run off and get on his glider, forcing you to battle in the air once more. Beat his glider again and he will drop in another building, this time with electrical conduits that fires lightning between them, forcing you to be careful when you step. Even with just a little health left, he’s just as dangerous as ever.
        When beaten, you win the level, and he flies off, but the Light Mechs at his employ have set up bombs all over the city, when Spiderman must deactivate in the next level. I found that one especially annoying, since you have to swing all over the city on a time limit while being shot down by robots, but eventually it was done, and the next level has Goblin track Spiderman down and sic a horde of Razorbats on him, small golden enemies that can be beaten easily and don’t do much damage, but you have to destroy fifty of them and they come in massive swarms.
        In the end Spiderman simply has to run off and hide before they slice him to ribbons, which he does, and he takes a souvenir with him- one of the Razorbat’s wings. He examines it and finds out it comes from Oscorp, so guess where the next four levels will take place?
        The first of these Oscorp levels is done in stealth- Spiderman is meant to go through the level and get four codes off four different computers to open a door at the end of the level. If you are spotted by an employee, they will run off to a terminal and set off the alarm, which causes an endless amount of Super Soldier robots to appear. These things are very durable, able to take about six hits, and fire off painful laser attacks.
        One or two wouldn’t be an issue, but if they spot Spiderman they will all converge on his location and more will appear endlessly. If spotted, Spiderman should hide somewhere when he cannot be seen- indicated by his mask on the health bar darkening- and wait for the alarm to die down. Of course, it’s best not to be seen at all, and if they do spot you, to web up and beat the employees before they can trip the alarm.
        The next level has Spiderman talk to a scientist about Oscorp making chemical weapons, and the man instructs him to shut down a weapon that could potentially destroy the city. The area is less giant rooms and more long hallways, and now the rooms are brighter and there’s laser traps that set off the alarms. I think the first level was harder though, if I am honest. Level number three, on the other hand, has Spiderman run into Oscorp’s biggest weapon- the Super Mech.
        As the cutscene indicates, this thing cannot move, likely unfinished, but it has a giant laser that it will blast Spiderman with. However, it will only do so if Spiderman gets far enough away from it. Unfortunately, for Spiderman to destroy this thing, he has to first take out ten shield generators, several of which are on the opposite end of the room, so you’re likely going to have to go over there and get shot at. It won’t stop firing until you leave that area, but you can protect yourself with a Web Dome, and its laser can take out the generators for you. However, my preferred method is just to target the generators and fire Impact Webbing at them. Two hits or so will destroy them.
        Several of the generators are also on top of the Mech itself, protected by laser turrets, rocket launchers, and the many Light Mechs that hover around it like bees. The Light Mechs of course can be beaten, but the turrets cannot be destroyed, meaning you’d best keep moving. Four of the generators are on the Mech’s back, two are under its neck, which is its vulnerable spot, and the rest are on the other end of the room. All of them glow brightly. Once all of them are destroyed, the neck area, some kind of sensor array, will be vulnerable, allowing Spiderman to destroy it. Luckily, the sensors seem to be very delicate compared to the rest, and will go down in a couple of hits.
        However, unluckily, destroying this thing puts Oscorp in a state of high alert, and the final stage here has Spiderman flee while Super Soldiers are running amok looking for him. The way out has been blocked, forcing Spiderman to find switches and turn off both the giant laser barrier, and the turrets that would shoot him down if he got close. After that he has to make his way back the way he came in the first level, except now there will be a army of angry robots after him. Definitely a panicky level.
        However, once that is done Spiderman makes his way to Mary Jane’s house, having found out that Green Goblin plans to kidnap her. Thus we come to the final two levels. Too late to stop the kidnapping, Spiderman chases down Goblin across a level. Unlike before, his speed is much more annoying because you have to stay close to him or you’ll fail the level, and because he leaves a lot more mines as he goes.
        But once you chase him to the Golden Gate Bridge, it is time for the final battle. He sets Mary Jane down on top of the bridge and lights it on fire, forcing Spiderman to rescue her while being shot at, again. But once she’s down on the ground, it’s time to face the villain. Since he’ll be after you rather than fleeing, you won’t have any trouble reaching him, though you may have some trouble actually avoiding his attacks while he breathes down your neck.
        The glider will take damage a little faster, but the Goblin is aided by his glider now, which will occasionally fly by and snipe at you, and he has a new trick once you ground him where he will create a shockwave using his bombs, notable by the distinct white glow and how you’re suddenly unable to get close to him. He might do these of his own volition, but he will always do this before his glider swoops in and picks him up, forcing you to knock him out of the sky again.
        Of course, there are some health and webbing power ups hidden around if you need them, but I doubt you’ll have much of a chance to explore the bridge. There are also some cars that Spiderman can throw at Goblin for massive damage, but given how long it takes to throw them and how fast Goblin is, I was lucky to pull the trick off once, either because of being attacked or just his speed.
        However, while the setting is dramatic and Green Goblin has some new tricks up his sleeve, it isn’t too much more difficult than your first battle with him, it just feels more epic in scale, and for good reason. It’s the final battle after all, even if it isn’t harder it will at least feel harder.
        After beating him Goblin will reveal his identity, shocking Spiderman, and try to impale him from behind with his glider, only to fail and hit himself instead thanks to the Spider Sense. With his last breath, he begs Peter to tell Harry, his son, that he is sorry. This is actually a bit different from the movie, where he instead told Peter not to tell Harry, and in fact the next two games seem to work as though he said the movie line instead. However, confusing though it is, one very good thing comes from this line change.
        Specifically, you get to play as Harry in the Goblin gear, basically letting you play as a heroic version of the Green Goblin! The developers didn’t make any new levels, but they did painstakingly add in new lines and such to actually explain why Harry is retracing Spiderman’s steps, and explain why you can play as him in the first place. Apparently he found an odd invoice in his father’s belongings, which made it seem he was hiring the Skull gang to do his dirty work, so Harry dons the Goblin suit and equipment to find out what he was up to.
        In regular combat, Harry is identical to Spiderman, except that enemies actually take one extra attack to kill, presumably because he didn’t take the serum that drove his dad nuts, so he just has regular human strength. He also doesn’t have webbing, but instead uses the bombs and weapons from his father’s arsenal that use up the energy meter. He can use all of them except for the flash bomb, and that shockwave bomb the Green Goblin used in that final battle, so now you too can blast your foes with bomb barrages and homing rockets.
        In addition, he can summon up to five Razorbats to act as minions. They will follow and attack enemies of their own volition, but they are very weak, destroyed in a single blow, and even if all of them gang up on one enemy, he will still die more slowly than if Harry just punched him. Still, any backup is better than none, and they certainly make a good distraction. Harry can also put on a burst of super speed where he can run over enemies, sending them flying, but this uses up the energy meter.
        Instead of swinging, Harry instead uses the glider. It can fly, making travel a bit more simple than Spiderman’s swinging, and can float up and down with no issues. Of course, this also means that Harry cannot crawl on walls and the like, but he is easily more maneuverable in the air. In addition, the glider gives him access to new attacks, as dictated by three new meters.
        The overheat meter fills up when Harry fires bullets or makes the glider go faster than usual, and when it fills up the glider temporarily overheats, so he has to wait again to use either. The purple meter goes down when he uses the glider’s blades, which actually home in on enemies. And finally, the orange meter lets him use flaming bombs, which are much more useful in your hands as you are fighting ground-bound enemies most of the time. The bombs explode when hitting the ground, scattering hit enemies and blasting them off their feet. Both the purple and orange meters refill shortly after being depleted.
        Now that we know how Harry plays, let’s go back to the story. He battles the Skull gang leader Spike, same as Spiderman, and once again not only does Harry have lines for this, even if in some cases it’s the same lines Spiderman said, but Spike has unique lines for this battle, and actually all of the bosses do! It may be just a substituted word, like Shocker refering to him as a ‘freak’ instead of a ‘webhead’, but even so, it’s a little heartening to see that level of dedication and care.
        But back to the story, no more sidetracking. Spike didn’t know anything, and Harry is a bit bitter he didn’t find out anything, but is soon distracted by seeing a Light Mech floating nearby. This is the same level where they attacked Spiderman, but for Harry it skips the segment where Spiderman attempts to take pictures of himself, so you just fight the Light Mechs. They are actually slightly harder with Harry, as Spiderman can take them down with just a webbing shot, webbing their circuits or something, but Harry has no such recourse and must take them down with his weapons.
        He wonders afterward if someone at Oscorp is trying to take him out, but this line of thought is thrown off when he sees Shocker and Vulture doing the same schemes Spiderman stopped them for, and his sense of justice forces him to fight the two. It goes about the same, but two things I want to note- the segment where you have to zip down a subway tunnel and hide between them to dodge Shocker’s attacks is much easier thanks to the glider’s turbo, allowing Harry to go down the tunnel before Shocker can even fire a single blast. Secondly, all three Vulture levels are easier- Harry can’t maneuver the walls like Spiderman, so he instead just destroys the wooden barriers with bullets, he can keep up with Vulture more easily, and his homing blades can quickly ground Vulture himself.
        Then come the Scorpion levels, not much to say there, and then the levels I mentioned above, where another Green Goblin shows up, doing the same things Norman did. His voice is even the same, just deepened to an almost inhuman level. This fellow, who I call the Hobgoblin, because it seems like the same character, seems to be terrorizing the city like Norman did and wants to enlist or kill Harry to do the same. Exactly who it is is never revealed, but given he restarted the same experiments and programs Norman was doing, it’s likely he’s some high up executive in Oscorp.
        In the end, Harry faces down the Hobgoblin on the Golden Gate Bridge, same as Spiderman fought his father. I think the fight is easier with Harry, both because he can keep up with the Hobgoblin in the air, and because he can use his glider even if his enemy is grounded, allowing him to make better use of his arsenal.
        And that is about all there is to it! The Green Goblin utterly dominated the game’s plot from the second he arrived, as the rest of the game’s levels had nothing to do with anyone but him or his company, and unlike the previous villains he comes off as superior to Spiderman in combat, whether in the air or especially on the ground, but nevertheless Spiderman must persevere and stop this madman before he destroys everything.
        And the player’s reward for doing well at the game is to be able to play as the Green Goblin, and a heroic one at that! Clearly the game knew what a tremendous character he was, and made sure to use him as much as they could. And from my experience, both facing the boss and playing as the character, they did a very, very good job.

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