Donald in Maui Mallard, known as Maui Mallard in Cold Shadow in North America, is a platforming video game developed and published byDisney Interactive. The game was released in Brazil in 1995 and in Europe on December 8, 1995, for the Sega Mega Drive/Genesis. It was also ported by Eurocom Entertainment Software to the SNES and released in North America in November 1996, in Europe on November 28, 1996, and in Japan on December 20, 1996. A Microsoft Windows port followed two years later and was released in North America on September 30, 1996. It was ported one last time to the Game Boy in North America in August 1998.
The game was developed by Disney Interactive for the Sega Mega Dive/Genesis and Microsoft Windows, by Eurocom Entertainment Software for the SNES, and by Bonsai Entertainment Corp. for the Game Boy. Despite being the original, the Sega Mega Drive/Genesis version was only released in Brazil and Europe and never saw a North American version due to Nintendo securing an exclusive publishing contract for the game; however the Sega Genesis version did eventually see an American release, but only as a Sega Channel exclusive. The game was one of the first games to be released under the Disney Interactive Studios label.
The game premiered for the North American market at Walt Disney World in September 1996. Three Maui Mallard kiosks were prepared in the Disney Interactive exhibit at the Innoventions plaza of EPCOT. Visitors could play the full game for an unlimited period of time and interact with Attractions Hosts and Hostesses who were available to play against them and share tips and tricks.
The game stars Donald Duck in a metafictional role as duck detective Maui Mallard, who adopts the name "Cold Shadow" when he dresses up in ninja garb. For the North American versions of the game, all Donald Duck references are omitted for unknown reasons and the main character is only known as Maui Mallard. Though the end of the game informed the player to look forward to Maui's next adventure, there have been no other appearances of Maui Mallard or Cold Shadow in any medium.
Besides typical platform game gameplay (running around, jumping from platform to platform), one of the game's most distinctive gameplay features is allowing to switch the player character's form to suit one's needs. The player begins the game as Maui, whose only mean of self-defence is an insect-launching pistol that can launch several forms of bugs, some of them combined for greater effect. However, once the player reaches the second level, Maui transforms into Cold Shadow, his ninja alter ego, who defends himself with short-range attacks using a staff. Cold Shadow's staff is also primarily used to explore the level further, such as climbing a narrow tunnel. After the second level, the player can switch back and forth between Maui and Cold Shadow at will, provided he has enough ninja tokens for the transformation. The amount of ninja tokens Maui or Cold Shadow holds determines Cold Shadow's strength – who can then chain more and more attacks as his skill improves – when played as him in the SNES version. On Genesis, however, Maui needs to collect red ninja tokens instead, the amount of white tokens being useful for metamorphosis alone. Some levels of the game, however, prevent Maui from transforming at all, as Cold Shadow cannot bungee jump on vines, for example, which forces the player to use Maui throughout the level.
Maui Mallard is a "medium-boiled" detective visiting a tropical island when the mysterious Shabuhm Shabuhm idol goes missing. Shabuhm Shabuhm is considered the island's native guardian spirit, and unless the idol is recovered, the whole island will explode. Maui is put on the case, and his investigations lead him through a creepy mansion to a native village, where Maui is thrown into a volcano as a sacrifice to the native gods. Maui survives the volcano, and the islanders put him through the "test of duckhood", which Maui passes, gaining the natives' trust. The natives tell Maui that the only one who knows the location of Shabuhm Shabuhm has long since died, and Maui goes to recover his remains from the bottom of the sea before going through the land of the dead to escort his soul into rest. Ultimately, the location of Shabuhm Shabuhm is revealed, and Maui goes head-to-head with an evil witch doctor over the idol. Maui is triumphant, and as a sign of their gratitude, the islanders name their island after their hero, despite their misgivings that the name "Mallard" has little potential for attracting tourists.