It’s been a while, but with it recently popping up on the Switch Online service, I gave it another go. This time, I’d remembered how damn difficult it was, but even so, a few later levels (especially one which was an autoscroller) are properly brutal.
Yes, I used save states. You have to, and not even because it is difficult – it’s just so, so long and there aren’t any built-in save options or passwords or anything. All you can do is make use of a cheat where you skip from level 2 to the end boss. I did that, obviously, but then started again and played it properly.
It still stands up pretty well today. Collision detection is a bit hit and miss (oho!), and the music is mostly dire, but the platforming and the hat powers you get are both fun. All the baddies that shout DIE! at you a lot is also funny.