>> Saturday, October 20, 2007
On the surface a cute platformer with one too many anime themes, The Apprentice reveals itself to be slightly more than we ever imagined with a host of Game Over manoeuvres from Fatality to Animality and even the controversial Nudality scenes! It's doubtful this would have ever made it passed Philips Media censors if they had prior knowledge but it slipped through undetected and the game was stamped "suitable for all ages" by the voluntary age rating body ELSPA. Here's a little sneak preview of what's on offer...
Truly the defining game for CD-i is found in this cute title from The Vision Factory also known as SPC Vision. The game is brilliantly colourful and has some amazingly detailed levels from the backgrounds to the characters "The Apprentice" shows a high production value throughout. Taking advantage of an upgraded CD-i player with Digital Video Capabilities, the expanded memory provided by the hardware offered extra sound effects to an already very solid game. For some reason the USA version of The Apprentice plays a different soundtrack compared to the European release for the introductory scene.
Unfortunately a sequel to The Apprentice was never developed, however the idea was considered as can be seen from these Artists Impressions courtesy of an ex-employee of SPC Vision who goes by the nickname cdidev and his CD-i Developer home page provides even more tantalising information from this talented yet underrated company. Through this website cdidev also reveals some interesting cheat codes for The Apprentice including Level Select and codes to activate special Game Over endings including one Fatality, two Animality and a selection of five Nudality animations (See "Fatality, Animality and that Nudality" below). A Space Invaders game can also be activated that is in fact an early prototype of the Invaders game featured in Golden Oldies 1 released three years after The Apprentice.
Here are the codes to activate The Apprentice cheats: All codes must be entered by holding down button 2 and moving the CD-i controller as indicated.
Enter the following codes in the Title Screen to activate the following:
Level select: up up down down right right left left
Space Invaders: up right down left up down left right
To watch the Game Over animations, enter the following sequence:
Fatality: down right left left
Animality 1: up right down left
Animality 2: up left down right
Nudality 1: right right down left up up
Nudality 2: left left down right up up
Nudality 3: right left right left down up
Nudality 4: left right left right down up
Nudality 5: down down right up up left
These must be entered before Marvin stops walking, otherwise the normal panda animation starts.
Well past the commerical demise of Philips CD-i, Cheat Codes for The Apprentice have only recently been released on April 24, 2005 by an anonymous developer from SPC Vision that we only know as cdidev. One of these cheat codes opens up a mini game which turns out to be a Space Invaders clone only this time with a typcial SPC Vision twist substituting the alien hordes with cute teddy bears and chicks of the feathered variety! This cute little Space Invaders clone was called "Marvinvaders" by the SPC Vision team and is possibly the cutest classic conversion ever undertaken!