Outside of his work delivering toys to the children of the world, it is fairly common knowledge that Santa Claus is something of a superhero. Don’t believe me? Then clearly you’ve never seen 1964’s classic film “Santa Claus Conquers the Martians.”

Stop everything you are doing this very instant and go watch it. The article will be here when you get back.

If that doesn’t convince you, then I suggest you spend some time playing Daze Before Christmas. Released in 1994 for the Mega Drive, the game is a platformer that features you as  Old St. Nick. Your mission is to rescue your elves and reindeer from a malevolent snowman. Fail to rescue them and Christmas is ruined, so no pressure. In addition to the villainous snowman, Santa must defeat enemies like giant rants and evil toys. He does this by using his magic, which transforms them into presents. Once he’s transformed his enemies into gifts, he collects them in his sack (presumably to distribute at Christmas…meaning one of your gifts may have once been a giant rat).

Your health was measured in Christmas hats displayed at the top of the screen. Lose too many Santa hats and you lost a life. You gained power-ups by finding packages throughout the levels. However, the jolly old elf had to be careful. Some of the packages were booby trapped.

If all this isn’t enough to intrigue you, I promise that I’ve saved the best for last: Anti-Claus. No, Anti-Claus was not a villain. He was the Jekyll to your Hyde, and your invincible form. You transformed into Anti-Claus by drinking a cup of coffee. Instead of neutralizing enemies by changing them into presents, Anti-Claus simply clobbered them with his bag of gifts.

The game was developed by Funcom and released by Sunsoft and has become something of a collectors item, fetching a pretty steep price if you can find an authentic copy. That’s because the Mega Drive version was only released in Australia. A port for the SNES was released in Germany, but nowhere else. A release in the U.S.A. was planned, but ultimately cancelled. Fortunately, if you’re really intent on playing the game you can find emulations or reproduction carts.

 

Shaun Jex Shaun Jex (69 Posts)

Shaun Jex is a lifelong gamer, a journalist, and pop culture historian.His love of video games began with a Commodore 64 he played growing up, late night sessions on his NES, Game Boy and Sega Genesis, and frequent trips to the local Tilt arcade. He edits the Citizens' Advocate newspaper in Coppell, Texas and writes about Disney and Walt Disney World history for Celebrations Magazine and the Celebrations Magazine blog. He runs a weekly vlog called "The MCP" dedicated to retro video games, and a channel with his wife Kara called "The Marceline Depot," dedicated to Disney, amusement parks, and travel.