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Episode 57: The Indoor Kids
The Indoor Kids Level With…
The Indoor KidsThe Indoor Kids

The Indoor Kids #57: The Indoor Kids Level With You, w/ Jordan Morris

Remember back when every video game had an ice level, a fire level, and an underwater level, regardless of whether it fit into the plot? We do, and we invite you to come reminisce with us on some of the best and worst individual levels in video games from the 80s through today! Then tell us about your favorites!

Follow @Jordan_Morris on Twitter!

Watch our Nerdist Channel YouTube show! Just go to and hit subscribe, and look out for lots of fun with Kumail and Emily playing video games together!


Follow @indoorkids, @kumailn, and @thegynomite on Twitter! And email us at [email protected]!


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  1. Dave says:

    Magitek armor is the ‘mech’ in FF3/6. You do get it 2 more times, but the magic you get in it is considerably better.

  2. samichi says:

    Opening Level for MegaMan X on SNES! It was, and still is amazing.

  3. michael says:

    Oh boy, I’m way behind on this podcast.

    And I’m just going to go ahead and make my thing mentioning Revenge of Shinobi. It has a great train level where you have to dodge Dennis-Hopper-Head-severing obstacles on top of a train as passengers walk around down below.

    Also, R of S is one of the first times I noticed a game’s music. Especially this stage:

    On my list of levels I don’t care for is the fall-to-your-death level. Precision jumping over a bottomless pit isn’t that great unless you’re the fly in Kid Chameleon.

  4. Dean says:

    Say what you will about the rest of the game, but the tanker section of Metal Gear Solid 2 is pretty great.

  5. onReload says:

    @anthony pickett, they do mention Megaman, ’cause they bring up Bubbleman’s stage, from MM2.

    Jordan, “Gill” is the final boss from the SF3 games. And Seth definitely has some moves from Gill/Urien, like the tackle, his sweep, his crouching fierce…and I kinda like a character who embodies a bunch of other character’s moves. even if it’s a dick boss.

  6. Anonymous Canadian says:


  7. Bri says:

    The intro to NBA2k11 where the game would boot up to Game 1 of the 1991 NBA Finals was pretty memorable.

  8. Jay says:

    The level in Contra III: The Alien Wars where you start riding a motorcycle, later you hang from a flying helicopter and then you jump from missile to missile in mid-air trying to bring down a giant alien ship. That’s the definition of badass.

    Also, pretty much every level of SMB3, SMW y DKC. The SNES was a good system.

  9. Ben Z says:

    I actually liked the underwater Zelda:OoT temple. Plus, you fight Dark Link in the water temple.

  10. John says:

    You guys need to do an all music episode of Indoor Kids.

  11. Bugberry says:

    I feel the original Pokemon theme deserves some love.

  12. Chad says:

    I actually know @jordanmorris. It’s weird hearing your friend get called out in a podcast you listen to every week.

  13. Joshua Bryan Hammack says:

    I thought both opening levels of both Arkhams were great, particularly Arkham City.

    I hated the sub-boss of the Titans in Arkham Asylum. They felt cheap. In fact most of the bosses in that game I disliked. I liked. That should be an episode for the indoor kids. Either awesome bosses are just cheap bosses.

    I did like the opening of Chrono Cross, but one of my favorite opening level was the Final Fantasy for NES. I remember trading with my best friend at the time trying to rescue the princess. (That seemed to be the plot in most of those games at the time.)

    It took awhile to level up take on the dude that took her. You rescue her, and have to trudge back to the castle. Yeah… we beat the game… or so thought. (What the game continues after rescuing the princess. Who’d of that. You cross the bridge, and then the game goes to the credits and the theme of Final Fantasy plays. (That would be in my top five, as was the music that played during the successful encounter.) Nope you just finished the prologue of the game. It was my first RPG and I was hooked.

    I loved Sunset Riders. Haven’t thought have that game in years. I remembered loving being the Poncho cowboy with the shot gun.

    I loved Ducktales! I remembering being real proud of beating that game.

    Excellent episode K&E! Be sane. Be safe. Be happy!

  14. Mike Swayz says:

    My most memorable level is Cool, Cool Mountain in Mario 64. I grew up in N.H., snow days were magical, wondrous adventures. I had a fixation with snow that persists to this day.

    I was obsessed with Cool, Cool Mountain and I’d play it over and over. I was 8 when Mario 64 came out and I would set my alarm for 4:30 to play N64 in the dark until it was time to walk to school. I’ll never forget setting my alarm and seeing the advisory SCHOOL CLOSED caption on the news scroll and pumping my fist like Tiger Woods yelling

    “SCHOOOL’S CLOSED! SNOW DAY yeah, COOL, COOL MOUNTAIN YEAAAAAHHHH” to a mostly disapproving household. I played Mario 64, read Calvin & Hobbes Yukon Ho! in a snow fort, drank a gallon of hot chocolate and lost a boot in the snow from jumping off the porch. If I watched a Bulls-Sonics game that night it may have been my finest day.

    I played Mario 64 with my late fiancée a couple of years ago and she wasn’t as thrilled with dropping baby penguins into oblivion as I was. “No! Get him to his mama!”

  15. Fawoosh says:

    I’m surprised Megaman X wasn’t mentioned for its opening level.

  16. anthony pickett says:

    How was MEGA MAN not mentioned? It is the father of differnt environment levels.

  17. Rob says:

    Great episode. I too suffer from a “clicked-out” right thumb from excessive gaming in my youth. As far as memorable openings go, I always remember the train ride into Black Mesa from Half-life.

  18. Zombeast says:

    The most memorable particular level of any game for me would have to be half-life 2 We Don’t Go To Ravenholm.

  19. MikeSol says:

    Darklink is a mini boss in the water temple. 😀
    And the mask in majora’s mask turns you into a zora. :3

  20. ryan sz says:

    The opening to Bioshock 2 was actually pretty good because it takes you through the New Year’s Eve party/massacre that was talked about in the first game.

    Another opening level I liked was the opening level to Dead Island, while the game had a lacking story, the first level was fantastic as you saw people jumping from their balconies and it starts right away where you’re being chased by zombies in the dark, horrifying.

    The dream level from Max Payne pissed me off so much, I actually stopped playing it for a couple years until the sequel came out. You had to follow that damn trail of blood so closely or else you would have to start all over.

    And it was Sonic the Hedgehog 2 that started with the tubes and running down the tubes to collect enough coins to get chaos gems. in the first Sonic was the pinball special stages for the gems.

  21. Daniel A says:

    I have fond memories of the Jungle King/Hunt theme song as my mom owned a candy store and it was the first arcade game she got in the place.

    Spy Hunter and Tron deserve an honorable mention as I liked the 8-bit sound better than the original score.

  22. Traxe says:

    Here in canada its a commonly held belief that strippers don’t have souls, so we think its ok to fastball small chunks of metal at them in exchange for seeing them nekkid. And to make things more interesting, sometimes you get to try and knock a loonie off that she has stuck to herself on or around a “specific” area.

    On topic Max Payne crying baby level ranks as the worst level i can think of right now.

  23. Overlord says:

    Worst stage is the crying baby dream in Max Payne.

  24. Jeff MacDonald says:

    As a person with a bachelor’s degree in music I feel qualified enough to say Kumail is not tone-deaf. Unfortunately I don’t think I can say the same for Jordan.

  25. R0M174 says:

    Hey just a quick tip to all my SuperMario3 peeps. You can kill the Evil sun, with a turtle shell. Great idea emily, good podcast guys.

  26. Jake E. says:

    The opening theme to Chrono Cross is for sure my favorite. Scars of Time.

  27. dunny says:

    The original Ninja Gaiden’s theme is another good one.

  28. Ty says:

    Drunk intro? If yes, I like it!

  29. Kyle S. says:

    I never played the Dick Tracy game, but what Kumail described sounds kind of like Golgo 13 where you would transition from side-scrolling to first-person. It was pretty clunky, but if you wanted FPS action on the NES it was either that or Cabal.