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Remembering SEGA CHAN!

Re-introducing the old forgotten SEGA CHAN!

▲CLICK for full size!

As some of you may now the SEGA Enterprises were developing arcade hits even before the video game era came around. However this friendly and muti-functional servo robot from 1982 shows how vanguardist the company was at providing high-tech entertainment.

I was only 2 years old when SEGA CHAN was released, and probably many of you weren't even born yet. However I guess it must have been surreal to see one of this old-school Japanese robots in action at that time.

SEGA CHAN was mainly designed to serve as very cool and high-tech way to promote establishments and gather curious customers. However seeing as how it was forgotten in time, and no future models were designed, it probably was one of those ideas that was just too ahead of its time to be successful.

I guess stuff like SEGA CHAN was the way how the people of the '80s envisioned the future. Problably back then they though that by now every stablishment around was going to be handled by robots, or at least have some kind of robot helper.

A small retrospective about reprogrammed games

In the halcyon days of video games it used to be very common than when a certain game company wasn't currently planning or just wasn't interested in translating one of their popular works into a specific game system, another game company would just buy the license and do the translation and publishing work themselves. This was a very convenient practice that benefited both game companies, but specially us game fans since thanks to it we were able to play many games that perhaps otherwise would have never been released.



Licensed reprogrammed games were highly predominant throughout all of the '80s and until the late '90s in most PC and home video game systems. For example, with the exception of「Street Fighter II'」and「Super Street Fighter II」all of the CAPCOM arcade games that were released for the [SEGA Mega Drive] system were reprogrammed by SEGA. And in the case of the [NEC PC-Engine] all CAPCOM games released for the system were reprogrammed by NEC. Likewise a great deal of the arcade and console games that were translated for the many PC platforms were reprogrammed by companies that focused more in the PC market, while in turn most PC games that were translated for consoles were reprogrammed and published by companies that focused more in the console market. This was not only practical but it also made a lot of sense, specially from the marketing point of view, as in general consumers are more likely to purchase a product from a well-known brand name in its respective market area.

「Power Drift」for the PC-Engine (reprogrammed by ASMIK) was the only console translation of the popular SEGA arcade racer during the 16-bit generation. Power Drift was also reprogrammed by ACTIVISION for the various Western PC platforms. Speaking of which, Western PC systems were filled with sub-par reprogrammed games that had nothing to do with what gamers were getting in Japan.

CAPCOM and SEGA were overall the big name game companies that handed down the most licenses, although the much smaller Nihon Falcom was probably the one that licensed the most games in relation to their number of released games. Surprisingly the big game companies that licensed the less games were NAMCOT and KONAMI which usually reprogrammed and published their own products across most of the video game platforms of the time.

Obviously the quality of reprogrammed games varied greatly and accordingly to the talent and dedication of the developer in charge of the translation, and of course, accordingly to the difference in power between the original and the destination systems. The PC-Engine in particular is notable for having one of the game libraries with the highest amount of reprogrammed games thanks in no small part to its parents companies NEC and Hudson Soft which together licensed games from a lot of different game developers, even including games from their direct rival company at the time SEGA.


In Japan the owners of the [Sharp X68000] personal computer were lucky to have some of the best reprogrammed games of their time, like an arcade perfect port of the [SEGA SYSTEM-24] game「Bonanza Brothers」in all of it's high-res arcade glory. Also, one of my favourite reprogrammed games was the Mega Drive version of「Senjou no Ookami II」which although it was lacking the 3-player simultaneous action from the original [CPS-1] version, the new gameplay mechanics implemented by SEGA in its new [ORIGINAL MODE] made the gameplay deeper and arguably more interesting and challenging than the original arcade game.


This type of third party reprogramming fashion ran out of steam by the end of the '90s. As games were getting more complex and production costs were increasing considerably, it is very likely that licensing costs also increased to a point where it just wasn't worth it anymore for most game publishers. Something important to note about licensed reprogrammed games is that more than a corporated decision, they had more to do with fan-service and the personal desire of the developing studios to have such games. Licensed games were never high-budget productions nor they ever became smash-hits or system-sellers, since if the games had such potential to begin with, they most likely would've been published by its own parent company in the first place.

While licensed reprogrammed games are not extinct, the practice is only but a shadow of what it used to be. And unfortunately the ones who lost the most with its downfall was us game fans. (T^T)

Psychic 5 (Arcade) 1/2

PSYCHIC 5

■ Original Title: サイキック5
■ Publisher: Jaleco
■ Developer: NMK
■ Release Date: 1987
■ System Specific: Arcade
■ Genre: Action
■ # of Players: 1 Player Only

Video game company NMK (Nihon Maicom Kaihatsu) was certainly among the best「low-profile」dedicated arcade developers of their time. Founded by the former Tehkan Ltd. (now TECMO Ltd.) staffers that developed the arcade cla$$ic「Bomb Jack」, NMK was established in 1985 and remained active until 1996, leaving behind a selected but diverse library of high-quality games. Throughout most of their active years NMK worked principally as a subcontractor under more prominent game companies, and this unfortunately prevented many of their best games to become associated with the NMK brand name. It was really only after the company filled for bankruptcy in 1999 that NMK truly began to get their much overdue and deserved fan appraisal.

I have already covered in this blog the excellent「Super Dimension Fortress Macross」games that NMK developed for BANPRESTO, and this should give a hint about the quality of NMK as a game developer. But other notable NMK releases include game titles such as 「Thunder Dragon I & II」,「Task Force Harrier」(UPL),「Butasan」(JALECO),「Bomb Jack Twin」,「Operation Ragnarok」(SNK) and「Makai Densetsu」(JALECO). But perhaps their finest work ever was the game that rose them to prominence in the first place: The 1987 hidden masterpiece Psychic 5!

※ABOUT PSYCHIC 5

Psychic 5 is a multi-directional scrolling action game of a very unusual and novel design for it's late 80's release date. The game became notable for its deep gameplay mechanics and complex scoring system that were unparalleled in comparison with any other contemporary arcade game of the period. And while the game never became a smash hit, nor it earned NMK much fan appraisal at the time as it did to its publisher JALECO. Nowadays Psychic 5 has become a respected「cult」game and a testament of NMK as a game developer.


Psychic 5 can only be described as an unique「out of the box」type of game that gave a new twist to the simplistic and otherwise common game tasks of collecting items and getting a high score, handling them in a very unorthodox and distinctive manner that was real innovative for a 1987 game. The single player team based gameplay mechanics were also unconventional at the time, specially for an arcade action game. In fact Psychic 5 was released the same year that Nihon Falcom released their cla$ic title「Dragon Slayer IV: Drasle Family」, which was another game that became notable for its team based gameplay mechanics (although they weren't implemented as seamlessly or as intuitive as in Psychic 5). The influence of Bomb Jack can also be seen in Psychic 5 as the action is mainly handled vertically, instead of horizontally as it's the norm of 2D side-scrolling action games.

So NMK implemented PC game level gameplay mechanics into Psychic 5, but since Psychic 5 is an arcade game it could not be as demanding as a PC game, and this is perhaps where NMK's brilliant programming really shines. Psychic 5 is designed in a way that the player is not required to fully understand or even make use of the scoring system to enjoy and complete the game. However, players that understand and take advantage of the game's unique gameplay mechanics will undoubtedly find Pyshic 5 more enjoyable, rewarding and even more challenging!

※ GAME OBJECT ※


In Psychic 5 the player commands a group of five different individuals with ESP powers properly named「ESPERS」. The player must take advantage of the special attributes of each ESPER to traverse the 8 maze-like game stages called「Scenes」with the ultimate goal of defeating the Devil King「SATAN」who will be waiting in his throne at the end of each Scene. At the beginning the player will only have access to the two default ESPERS AOKI and AKIKO, while the rest of the characters must be rescued throughout the adventure before they can become playable. The player must also complete each Scene under a 2 minute time limit, and failing to do so will result in the loss of a player life. However the player can obtain valuable extra time through special items or by reaching the various check point barriers located in every area. Something unique to Psychic 5 is that the player will always get an extra life from defeating the Scene boss SATAN.

【 HOW TO PLAY 】

■ 8-way Joystick ... Handles character movement
■ A Button ... Jump
■ B Button ... Attack

Special Controls

■ Joystick up + A Button ... High Jump
■ Joystick up (hold) after jumping ... Hover
■ Joystick down after jumpng ... Quick Drop


【 Commanding the Psycho Soldiers !! 】

※Character Ability

All of the five playable ESPERS have their own set of special attributes that makes them different from each other. Knowing how to make the best use of the unique abilities of each ESPER is the key to succeed in the game. Besides the four main character abilities explained below, there are two other relevant character attribute which are not listed:「SIZE」and「SPEED」. The character's size is actually a very relevant attribute in Psychic 5. Characters with a small size will be less likely to get hit by the enemy or by the various hazardous contraptions found in the game. Small characters will also be able to move through the narrow areas no one else can.

JUMP ... Determines how high the character can jump. Only characters with a high enough jump ability will be able to reach the higher areas that may be necessary to continue exploring the area.

HOVER ... This ability determines how long can the character remain airborne after jumping.

POWER ... This is the more specialized ability and it determines how proficient the character is at throwing down the locked doors that will be blocking the way throughout the game. Characters with a low power ability will take longer to push down the doors and this can result in a serious time loss for the player.

ATTACK ... Determines the amount of damage the character can inflict on the enemy.

※Character Description

It is very likely that the inspiration for the design of the five ESPERS is based on the popular teenage detective club novesl, in which teenagers of all physical and social types despite their differences join together to form a club and solve mysteries.

NAOKI ... The baseball cap-wearing rascal and leader of the gang. Naoki is the overall best balanced team member and the ideal choice to start any Scene.

AKIKO ... The only female team member. Little AKIKO is the smallest character of the group and this gives her a lot of advantages. Her high hovering ability also makes her good boss killer alternative and an excellent character for exploring. But most notably AKIKO has perhaps the highest hidden potential of the group. Under the effect of the「P」 item (MAX ATTACK ability), AKIKO can become the deadliest and more efficient team member.

BUNTA ... The obliged overweight (and probably rich) team member. At the beginning BUNTA will be the natural enemy and boss killer of the group, as thanks to his high attack ability he will be able to defeat SATAN with just three hits. BUNTA also has the highest power ability of the group, which means he can throw down locked doors like domino chips saving up a lot of valuable time. Unfortunately his low jump ability makes him unable to reach higher areas, and thus an unfit character for exploring.

MAKOTO ... The obliged intelligent and geeky team member. MAKOTO is the tallest character in the game and this makes him very susceptible to get hit by the enemy or get crush by the moving platforms. MAKOTO does have the highest jump ability of the group and is also the fastest character, but in reality that does little to compensate for the many downsides of his big size.

GENZHO ... The trademark grampa character. GENZHO is a very interesting character to use as he has the highest hovering ability and his Psycho Wand is the most powerful weapon in the game So once you've rescued him, he can replace BUNTA as the boss killer team member. His only real drawback is his awfully low power ability, so don't waste time trying to push any doors with him.

【 TECHNIQUE 】

Psychic 5 has many diverse and fun gameplay mechanics. Use the following special techniques to help you beat the game!

The Psycho Hammer


ESPERS can use their psycho hammers to attack the enemy. If an ESPER is not strong enough to defeat an enemy in a single strike then they will stun it instead and render it harmless for a couple of seconds. When the enemy is stunned it becomes possible to walk through them without the risk of getting hurt.

Rescue your companions!!


The Devil King SATAN has trapped your companions inside various magic jars and scattered them all over the different game areas. Remember to be always on the look out for any trapped companions so you can add their strenght to your team.

Use the Telephone Booths!!


You can swap team members at the telephone booths that will be located at various convenient spots in every Scene. Make good use of them and pick the right ESPER to deal with the task at hand.

Check Point?

Check point barriers will add 30 valuable seconds to your time limit. Pay special attention to the「ON」sign as some barriers can only be accessed from one side.

Keep-A-Knockin'

Throughout the adventure you will come across various locked doors which cannot be opened and the only way to advance further will be to throw them down by moving and holding the joystick in the direction of the door. But just how fast can an ESPER complete this process will depend on his/her POWER ability.

Don't step on the scale models!!

These annoying scale model houses can slowdown your walking speed by half and also prevent you from jumping (so you don't break them I guess?). Make sure to avoid walking through them easily by using your hovering ability.

Who turned off the lights!?

Touching the「SW」light switch will turn off the lights and you will be unable to see the background for a few seconds. It will also disable any flames in the are, which can be used to your advantage.

Smack the Witch!!

The Devil King SATAN has sent the evil witch ZARA to spy on you! So if you have the chance smack her with your hammer and steal her broom! Riding the broom has the same effect than the TIME STOP item but with the added advantages of flying and invisibility. Furthermore you will be able to throw down locked doors with a single strike and even use telephone booths!

A Question of Time!!


Remember that you're in a race against time so try to not dilly-dally around! There are various ways to gain extra time like special items, reaching the check point barriers and riding the witch broom.

Psychic 5 (ARCADE) 2/2

Breaking the food bowls for points and items !!


You can break the many bowls laying around the area for food items that can be collected for bonus points. Collecting food items will also award you with various random「special items」that will be placed automatically in the 5 slot item panel located on the top of the screen.

Unlocking the secrets of the boxes !!

There are two types of items that can be obtained from the「 ? 」boxes:「default」and「random」. Default items never change and can always be found on the same「 ? 」box. Random type items on the other hand can only be obtained by collecting the food items from bowls. Only one item can be on screen at once. If you break another box the other item will disappear.


To make use of the items stored in the item panel you must break an「 ? 」box when the desired item becomes highlighted by the yellow square.

One last important fact about items from「 ? 」boxes is that only one of them can be on screen at once, so breaking any other「 ? 」 box will make the last item disappear. This applies to even special items so don't forget it!

※ITEM LIST

Collect the 5 letters and get an EXTRA LIFE!

POWER UP!! (Doubles character's Attack)

TIME UP!! (40+ Seconds)

TIME STOP!! (Stops time and freezes enemy movement for a limited time)

You can gain double the score points

※Default only items:

100 PTS

2000 / 4000 PTS

【 HOW TO SCORE BIG TIME 】

Getting a「HIGH SCORE」was something that was becoming gradually less and less relevant in the side-scrolling action games of the late '80s, and always on a far second plane to completing the game. Fortunately Psychic 5 revitalizes this old gaming practice by giving it more depth and some actual extra challenge, thus making the whole score-getting process more rewarding and fun.

These are the various types of score bonuses that can be obtained in Psychic 5 and how to get them:

TIME BONUS !

This is the simpliest and most basic type of bonus. Basically when you clear a Scene you will get 100 PTS for every reming second you have left. NOTE: for the purpose of this bonus, one minute「1:00 」will count as 100 seconds.

ENEMY BONUS !

Defeating any type of normal enemy will give you 1000 PTS, but you can gain an additional 500 PTS bonus for any spawned lesser enemies that remain on screen when their parent enemy is defeated.

100% BONUS !

You can earn this bonus by collecting all food items of the same type in a Scene. This bonus is worth 5000 PTS per completed food set.

ALL 100% BONUS !


This bonus can be obtained by breaking all the bowls and collecting all the food items in a Scene without missing a single one. This bonus is worth 10000 PTS「 multiplied by the Scene number」.

ALL GOLD BONUS !


This is the more complicated bonus to get but also the more rewarding. Basically, this bonus requires that you obtain all of the possible bonus points from collecting all of the food items in a Scene, which can only be done with the help of a special「Chain Bonus」. Normally getting a 100% Item Bonus will award you with 5000 PTS for any completed food set. However, by collecting the same type of food item in a row you can start a score chain bonus that will give you an extra 100 PTS per item. If you can manage to keep up with the score chain until you complete the set, then you will earn a 100%「M」agical Bonus that is worth 10000 PTS instead of the regular 5000 PTS. Do this with all of the food items in a Scene and you will earn the mythical All Gold Bonus which is worth 50000 PTS multiplied by the Scene number.

Collecting the same type of food item in a row sounds like something very simple to do right? WRONG!! there's actually a trick to it and it's very important so pay attention!

When you break a bowl, the food item inside will be the same than in the previous bowl「if you don't use your hammer anywhere in between after you hit the first bowl and before the second」. If you do though, the item in the next bowl will「shift」to the next one in the list. However, by continuing to use the hammer, the「item rotation」can make it possible to bring the first item back again, and this basically will prevent your score chain from breaking. For example; the first Scene has 4 types of food items: sushi/egg/soup/rice. So if you swing your hammer 4/8/12/16 times after breaking the「first」bowl, you will find the same item on the second one. This remains true unless you have already completed a set. If that's the case, you should swing your hammer 3/6/9/12 times to find the item twice.

In case you didn't noticed, the item rotation for each Scene can be figured out by multiplying the number of your desired item on the Scene food list with the total number of different items in the Scene. For example; on a Scene with 5 food items, you would need to swing your hammer 5/10/15/20/25 times to find your desired item again.

MAGICAL BONUS !


Not all magic jars will have an ESPER trapped inside. If you fail to meet certain *hidden* game requirements, or if you have rescued all characters already, then instead you will find a「M」Mark item inside. You can collect up to 5 magical for an amazing 1000000 PTS bonus!!

【 SECRETS 】

A game like Psychic 5 wouldn't be complete without at least a couple of secrets to further add up to the gameplay enjoyment.

SECRET BONUS !

Every Scene in the game has a hidden「Gold Icon」trapped inside a regular looking「 ? 」box. But of course this wouldn't be a secret bonus if you could obtain it by simply by smashing all the「 ? 」boxes in a Scene right? So the only way to collect this unique bonus will be to break the right「 ? 」box when the thousands digit of your score fits the number of your currently collected secret bonuses. For example: To get your first secret bonus the thousands digit of your score must be「0」like in「10048」. To get the second secret bonus your score can be「181300」, for your third「152200」and so on. Only the thousands digit of your score counts, don't forget it.

Currently I have managed to discover 6 out of the 8 possible secret bonuses in the game. You can click on a Scene to check their location.

SCENE 1 ~ SCENE 2 ~ SCENE 3 ~ SCENE 4

SCENE 5 ~ SCENE 6 ~ SCENE 7 ~ SCENE 8

GET ESPERS SOONER !

This is where getting the All Gold Bonus (at least in Scene 1) shows its real reward. Normally you will get MAKOTO in Scene 3 and GENZHO in Scene 5, but you can actually get them sooner by doing the following:


If you get the ALL Gold Bonus in Scene 1 then you will find MAKOTO in the magc jar of Scene 2 (otherwise you will find a Magical Bonus in it).


If you get MAKOTO in Scene 2 and get the Secret Bonus of Scene 3, then you will find GENZHO in Scene 3. However if you fail to meet any of these requirement you can still get Genzho in Scene 4 by getting the All Gold Bonus in Scene 3.

SEE YOU NEXT GAME!


Konami Wai Wai World - Famicom (3/3)

Konami Wai Wai World

5th Step: Fuuma Stage


This stage can be though during your fist visit. You will need to rely in Kong's high attack power and jump ability to get through the stage.


Mantle (Flying ability for Konami Man and Lady obtained!

Now that you have finally obtained the Mantle, Konami Man and Lady will become the most useful characters in the game alongside Kong. At this point it is highly recommended that you take the time time to revisit the Goemon and Simon stages to collect the 4 items that were previously out of reach, specially the Power Capsule and Armor that will be making the game a lot easier for you. You can exit the stage from the warping portal located in the opposite platform from where you just picked up the Mantle.

6th Step: Item Collection

The Power Capsule and Armor will be indispensable from this point on, otherwise you will find yourself underpowered against the hardest enemies in the game. You can use your newly acquired flying ability to get to the item's locations faster.

Goemon Stage


Power Capsule (Attack Power of all characters increases) obtained!


Maneki Neko (Goemon weapon) obtained!

Simon Stage


Heat Gun (Konami Lady weapon) obtained!


Power Armor (Defense Power of all characters increases) obtained!

Now that you have collected the 4 missing items, it's time to go back to the mission and continue from where you left off.

7th Step: Fuuma Stage (revisited)


Now that your characters are stronger this will be a totally different stage. You will no longer need to rely on Kong and you can clear the stage very easily with just Konami Man or Lady.


The boss can be easily defeated shoot 'em-up $tyle with Konami Man or Lady. Alternatively you can use Simon and his Holy Cross attack to defeat the boss faster at the expense of more bullets.

Fuuma rescued!

Original Game: Getsufuu Maden「月風魔伝」
Character Ability: Fuuma is able to destroy special blocks with his standard Katana attack.
Weapon Ability: The shuriken burst attack has the wider rage of all special attacks. Furthermore the shurikens are capable of destroying the special blocks better than any other weapon. The attack will consume 3 bullets.

Shuriken (Fuuma weapon) obtained!

8th Step: Moai Stage


This will be the most challenging stage in the game, but by now your party will be strong enough that it is very unlikely you will have any problem beating it. You can use Kong, Fuuma and later Moai to destroy the special blocks found throughout the stage.

Rice Ball (Auto-Resurrects a companion/ 1 time use only) obtained!


Your characters individual abilities will certainly come in handy throughout the stage. I don't think you will ever need it, but try not let any of your companions die so you don't waste the Rice Ball on this stage.


The boss is really a pushover and can be easily defeated by any character. Just try not too waste too many bullets on it.

Moai Rescued!

Original Game: Gradius「グラディウス」
Character Ability: Like Goemon, Moai is an anti-air specialist, however he has even more trouble than Goemon when dealing with ground enemies. Moai's standard attack is the head piercing, which has a high attack power.
Weapon Ability: Moai's ring attack is as powerful as Kong's rock throw, and is also capable of destroying the special blocks. The ring attack uses 1 bullet.


Ring (Moai weapon) obtained!

9th Step: Waruda Stage


Konami Man! The Vic Viper and Twin Bee are read to go!

Hurry to Gate No.3 and get ready to lift off!

The time has come to crush the enemy. Go Konami Man! Shoot down Waruda!


The shooting stage is really more of a fan-service bonus, so it's very simple and easy. You can push the [Select] button to change between the Vic Viper and the Twin Bee.


It's finally time to storm Waruda's base. The stage is completely linear so all you have to worry about is conserving your life bar, which will not be very difficult. The most annoyiing enemies in this stage will be some flying parasites that can drain your life bar. Try to not let them get to you since it can be problematic to shake them off.


You can fly to get pass the mid-boss without getting hit!

You finally get to meet Waruda which is a three-headed alien. Kong will be the best character to use since his attacks are the most powerful. You can climb on the lower head which makes hitting Waruda easier.(Kong won't fit so you have to use another character to climb on it) Just ignore the parasites and use your special attacks until you run out of bullets. An alternative strategy is to use Mikey's fast slingshot attack until you run out of bullets or health, then change to Kong and use his megaton punch to defeat Waruda.

Waruda has been defeated but you're still not free of danger! The place is about to explode and you have to escape before the time limit runs out.


Escaped!

SEE YOU NEXT GAME!


Konami Wai Wai World - Famicom (2/3)

Konami Wai Wai World

Listen Konami Man and Lady! To rescue your companions you first will need to locate the key to their cell. The key will probably be guarded by a "Boss" enemy or it could also be found at a hard-to-get area.

As you companions increase in number your party will grow stronger and your mission will become easier.

Konami Man

Original Game: Konami Wai Wai World「コナミワイワイワールド」
Character Ability: Konami Man can equip the Mantle to fly in the air. His standard punch attack is fast but has a limited range.
Weapon Ability: The weapon of Konami Man is the Beam Gun. It has a normal attack power and uses 1 bullet per shot. The Beam Gun can also be used while flying.

Konami Lady

Original Game: Konami Wai Wai World「コナミワイワイワールド」
Character Ability: Konami Lady can also use the Mantle to fly. Compared to Konami Man her kick attacks have a better range, specially against flying enemies.
Weapon Ability: Konami Lady can equip the Heat Gun. Unlike the Beam Gun, the Heat Gun can penetrate the enemy and hit multiple targets. The Heat Gun uses 1 bullet per shot.

Dr. Cinnamon Comment:

Both Konami Man and Lady can use the「Mantle」to fly in the air and reach otherwise inaccessible locations. This ability will be necessary to collect the most powerful items in the game, but it can also give them an attacking advantage if used in conjuntion with their special weapons.

Unfortunately the Mantle alongside the rest of the heroes equipment was stolen by Waruda's followers.

Suggested Stage Clearing Path

1st Step: Goemon Stage


The Goemon Stage is best place to start the adventure. It has a very simple layout and can be easily cleared with just Konami Man and Lady. The「Power Capsule」(increases the attack power of all characters) and「Maneki Neko」(Goemon weapon) items can be found in this stage, however you will not be able to collect them until you have obtained the「Mantle」item for Konami Man and Lady.

Before you exit the area you should to play chou-han at one of the gambling rooms located in the middle of the stage. The other games are in reality a waste of time to play, but playing chou-han lets you max your bullets very easily since you will have a 50/50 chance of winning and every time you win your bullet amount will be doubled. Maxing your bullets at this point will save you a lot of time later in the game.

Goemon rescued!

Original Game: Ganbare Goemon「がんばれゴエモン」
Character Ability: The pipe attack is one of the fastest attacks in the game and is specially effective against enemies coming from above thus making Goemon the ultimate anti-air character. Goemon is also the only character capable of opening the treasure chests located throughout the game.
Weapon Ability: Goemon can throw gold coins at the enemy for moderated damage. Each coin will use 1 bullet.

2nd Step: Simon Stage

Re-live the epic battle!

The「Heat Gun」(Konami Lady weapon) and the「Power Armor」(Increases defense power of all charcters) can be found in this stage, but you also will be needing the Mantle to collect them.

Simon rescued!

Original Game: Akumajou Dracula「悪魔城ドラキュラ」
Character Ability: The famed "Vampire Killer" whip has the longest attack range in the game, however the swing motion is slow and can leave Simon exposed to an enemy attack.
Weapon Ability: The Holy Cross can be thrown like a boomerang and is capable of hitting all the enemies on its path twice. Up to 3 crosses can be thrown at once for a devasting attack. Each cross attack will use 5 bullets.


To collect the「Holy Cross」(Simon weapon) you need to climb on an invisible ladder located in the rightmost upper corner of Dracula's room.

Holy Cross obtained!

3rd Step: Mikey Stage


Beam Gun (Konami Man weapon) obtained!

Mikey rescued!

Original Game: Goonies「グーニーズ」
Character Ability: Mikey's small body allows him to pass through narrow passageways no one else can. His kick attack has the lowest range and attack power in the game and he is also unable to attack while crouching.
Weapon Ability: Mikey is an expert with the slingshot which compensates for his weak melee capabilities.


Slingshot (Mikey weapon) obtained!

4th Step: Kong Stage

You will need to have Mikey in your party to be able to fully explore the stage, so make sure not to lose him.


Simon can easily defeat the stage boss with his Holy Cross attack.

Kong rescued!

Original Game: King Kong 2: Ikari no Megaton Punch「キングコング2・怒りのメガトンパンチ」
Character Ability: Kong has the highest attack power and jump abiility in the game. However his big size makes him easier to get hit by the enemy. His standard attack is the powerful megaton punch.
Weapon Ability: The rock throw has a very high attack power and can destroy any special blocks in your way. The rock throw uses 1 bullet.

Bananas (Kong weapon) obtained!


This is the only regular stage in the game without a hidden warp portal, so unfortunately you will have to walk all the way back to the teletransportation machine... In the event that you hapen to lose Mikey on your way back, you can use Kong's high jump ability to exit the stage.

つづく。。。

Konami Wai Wai World - Famicom (1/3)

Konami Wai Wai World

Original Title:「コナミワイワイワールド」
Release Date: 01/14/1988
Publisher: Konami
System: Famicom
Genre: Action

The story so far

Oh my! This is bad! This is bad! We are being attacked by Waruda!

What are the Konami heroes doing? Why haven't they arrived here yet?

At this rate the Earth will fail into despair!


Beep -- Beep -- Beep --

 Doctor Cinnamon! Doctor Cinnamon! This is Konami Man reporting!

 The heroes... everyone has been captured by Waruda!

 I'm heading back to the laboratory right now, Doctor.


Ahh! Konami Man, you have arrived well.

Now let me introduce you to Konami Lady, the latest android which I have created.



Nice -- to -- meet -- you --


Konami Man and Lady, you are the only heroes left in our world!

You must protect the Earth from Waruda and rescue the heroes which have fallen captive.

Go Konami Man! Go and defeat Waruda!

Game Object


Your goal in the game will be to rescue the 6 Konami heroes which have been captured by Waruda. You can use the highly advanced teletransportation device located at gate No.2 to travel to the 6 stages where your companions are suspected to be imprisoned. You can select the order in which you want to explore each stage, however some stages will not allow you to advance further until you have obtained a certain character or ability. Once all of the heroes have been rescued you will be able to enter gate No.3 and travel to the final stage where you can finally put an end to Waruda's world conquering ambitions. If during the adventure you find yourself in need of physical attention, or if you need to use the password recovery system to keep track of your progress. Please visit the laboratory located at gate no.1. I'm sure Dr. Cinnamon will be able to help you out.

Game Controls

Control Pad ... Moves characters around
Control Pad [Up] ... It enters the gambling rooms
Control Pad [Down] ... Opens the gates at Dr. Cinnamon's base / Releases companion from prison (requires「Key」item) / Activates hidden warp portal
A Button ... Jump / Accept
B Button ... Attack / Cancel
Start Button ... Opens the status screen
Select Button ... Aircraft Change (Shooting Stage only)
Control Pad [Up] + [A] Button ... Character change
Control Pad [Down] + [A] Button ... Activates special attack (requires special item for each character)
A Button + [A] Button (hold) ... Fly through the air (requires「Mantle」item / Konami Man and Konami Lady only)

Hi! I'm Pentarou and I will be in charge of handling the warping machine.

As to why I don't join the adventure even though I'm a Konami hero too, only the developers know...

Don't worry, the warping procedure will be painless...for me anyway. Have fun out there and defeat Waruda!

Hee hee hee, I'm Cinnamon's younger brother Simon. I can resurrect any of your companions for the reasonable price of 100 bullets. You can request my services by selecting my name「サイモン」from the character database on Cinnamon's computer.

Now if you don't want anything, scram! I'm quite busy at the moment.

You can trust your progress will be recorded by my Etchi 005 super computer. So make sure to come back to the laboratory and retrieve your current password「パスワード」before quitting the game!

You can also use the Etchi 005 to access the character database, or request an appointment with my brother Simon. He doesn't like visitors much, but he will glad to take your bullets.

The Heroes


The playable heroes from Konami Wai Wai World. Knowing how to make the best use of their abilities will be key to succeed in the game! Before you can make use of their special attacks you will need to recover their special equipment which has been stolen by Waruda's followers. Special attacks consume「Bullets」which can be obtained principally from defeated enemies.

Hidden Warp Portals

After successfully rescuing a companion you will still need to come back to the base in order to proceed to the next stage. However having to walk all the way back to the teletransportation machine can be a tiresome process, specially since you and your companions will probably be exhausted by then. Fortunately Dr. Cinnamon has just confirmed the existence of what it appears to be warping portals hidden in 5 out of our 6 target areas. These portals are capable of bringing you back to to the base instantly saving you a lot of time and effort. Make sure to remember their locations!

Click on the stage name to check the location of the warping portal

Mickey Stage | Goemon Stage | Fuuma Stage

Simon Stage | Moai Stage

Shooting Part


Of course this couldn't have been a proper Konami game without some shooting action! Our motto didn't used to be "We Love Shooting Games!" for nothing you know! Currently the Vic Viper and the Twin Bee are undergoing repairments at gate No.3 since they were severely damaged during Waruda's initial attack. But I'm certain the repairments will be completed by the time you have rescued all of your companions.

Gambling

Don't forget to visit the casino games located at the Goemon and Mickey stages. You can win big time betting your own life bar and bullets!

There are 3 type of games to play and they are as follows:

Chou-Han

Roll a pair of dice and guess if their sum will be「チョウ」"even number" or「ハン」"odd number". If You win your bullet amount will be doubled. If you lose your bullet amount will be reduced in half.

Slot Machine


Push the [A] button to stop the spinning slots and try to get a winning combination. The game costs 10 bullets to play.

Prizes:

Crown x3 ... Resurrects dead companion
Apple x3 ... Life recovery
Grapple x3 ... Life recovery
Apple, Apple, Crown ... Bullet +100
Grapple, Grapple, Crown ... Bullet +100

Matching Card Game


Pick any 2 cards from the 5 cards on the table and try to get a matching number. If you win your life bar will be restored, however if you lose you life bar will be considerably reduced. Play at your own risk!

Kattobi! Takuhai-kun PC-Engine (PCE)

Kattobi! Takuhai-kun

Original Title:「カットビ!宅配くん」
Release Date: 09/11/1990
Publisher: Tonkin House
System: PC-Engine「HuCARD」System
Genre: Action

Kattobi! Takuhei-kun lets you take the role of a newbie motorcycle courier who has just inherited his father's home delivery company. As a motorcycle courier it will be your job to go around delivering packages throughout 3 different free-roaming areas. The task will not be easy as the police and a new and mysterious criminal organization will try to get in your way at any chance they can get. Throughout the game you will be able to buy new and more powerful motorcycles and upgrade them with weapons and acceleration systems that will help you fend off the many dangers waiting for you in the streets. The game features 30 progressively challenging missions and an auto-save back up function that will be keeping track of your progress.

Story

The courier industry is dominated by huge transnational enterprises while the small and middle sized companies are left in a "survival of the fittest" position due to the ruthless competition in the industry. The main protagonist's father was the owner of a mid-sized courier company in this industry. His company had managed to build a small but stable list of customers, and over the years the business had been prosperous. However... a catastrophe has befallen the courier industry...

A mysterious organization known as「Black Dog」suddenly entered the scene and began stealing the packages from all of the courier services one after another. Their criminal activities have affected the whole industry, but most especially the smaller courier companies. The father's company has also fallen victim of this and is quickly losing customers... The company, no, the whole industry is in danger!

It was at this point that the main protagonist takes over his father's company. Burning with determination, he is set on saving the company and put an end to the Black Dog reign of terror!

Game Controls

Control Pad ... Turns your motorcyle in the desired direction
Run button ... Pauses the game, pushing the Run and Select buttons together will reset the game
Select ... Opens the map screen
I Button ... Uses your currently installed bomb attack / Talk command
II Button ... Accelerator

Welcome to your first day of work!

The life of a motorcycle courier is not an easy one so pay attention! The streets are filled with all kinds of dangers like irresponsible drunk drivers, old hags with nothing better to do than faking accidents, potholes and various other road hazards, and of course those Black Dog creeps who are always trying to steal our packages. To make things worse, the useless police department only seem to spend time bothering us instead of fighting real crime! So try not to break any traffic laws doing things like disregarding traffic lights and one way road signs. You will have enough on your hands already dealing with those Black Dog punks, and the last thing you will need is to have the police also chasing after you!

To complete a job or "mission" as we will call them for now own, you need to collect the package from our hiring client and then deliver it to the destination specified by the client before the time limit runs out. Remember that we're offering a express delivery service so don't dilly-dally around! Most of the times the destinatary client will be waiting for you outside in the street. But there will also be some instances where they might be waiting inside of their office building. In this case, and if you're having trouble locating the client inside the building. Don't be shy and ask around! I'm sure there will be someone in there that will point you in the right direction.

Both the sender and destinatary locations will be indicated by a green mark on the map screen. Don't forget it!

You also need to pay special attention to your [Power] and [Damage] bars on the top of the screen, since if any of them drops to 0 you will fail the mission. The Power bar is your fuel gauge, or physical strength in the case of the bicycle. And it will keep decreasing gradually as you drive around and use your bomb attacks. The Damage Bar represents the condition of your bike, and it will decrease if you get hit by a car or something else.

Remember that every time you complete or fail a mission your power bar will be completely restored. However the current damage status of each of your available bikes will be stored, so keep that mind.

Area Coverage

Before we used to only offer our courier services in Tokyo and its bay area. But we have just opened a new delivery line to the capital of capitalism itself: New York City U.S.A.! To travel to New York you need head to the airport located in the bay area. Be aware that the tunnel connecting to the bay area is being currently overrun by Black Dog punks holding rocket launchers and other weirdos cosplaying as warriors of the past! So be careful, and do try to run over them if you can!

Unfortunately the streets of New York are no less problematic than the ones here in Tokyo. But at least over there you won't have to deal with those annoying old hags walking aimlessly in the middle of the street. Now I've already told you about Black Dog right? The mysterious organization stealing courier packages all over the world for who knows what purpose. Their black cars will be the biggest threat you will face, so if you see them coming just blast them away with your bombs. You know what, just blast away anyone who gets in your way, they deserve it anyway! Just don't be silly and start bombing the police patrol cars or they will never let you hear the end of it...

The Police

*sigh* The police don't seem to do anything else than harassing us. Shouldn't they be doing something better, like you know, stopping Black Dog? Anyway, if you break any traffic law they will dispatch a couple of patrol cars to get you. If they catch you we will have to pay a 10000 Yen fine. Blast away any of their patrol cars and they will suspend your driver's license for the next mission regardless of if you get away or not. Also, something very important to remember is that if the police catches you while delivering any *shady* packages *wink wink* they will arrest you and the game will end, so be careful!

Services

Before doing any delivery work, you should head to the closest shop and buy a bomb attack. Otherwise you'll be defenseless against Black Dog and the other many annoyances roaming the streets. An acceleration system will also make you life a whole lot easier. Shops will be marked with an [S] on the map screen.

At the bike shop you can buy the 400cc motorcycle for 350000 Yen and the 1100cc one for 500000 Yen. They also offer a repair service for if any of your bikes are in need of some maintenance.

At the gas station you can refuel your gas tank. If you're riding the bicycle you can also restore your strength by buying a refreshing drink from one of the vending machines. Gas stations will be marked by a [G] on the map screen.

Motorcycles

There can't be a motorcycle courier without a motorcycle can it? To be a great motorcycle courier you have to become one with your bike, so be sure to treat her right! Currently we only have a bicycle and a 50cc "Scooter" at our disposal. But if you work hard I'm sure you will be able to buy a better ride in no time!

Bicycle

Max Speed: 30km/h
Power Consumption: High
Damage Resistance: Low
Fuel Cost (10L / Full Tank): 1000 Yen (full tank only)
Repair Cost (20%): 4000 Yen

Description: Great for exercise but not really well suited for the job. Its low speed can be fixed with an acceleration system, but its power and damage damage consumption will still be too high. a factor that can make some missions more difficult to complete. The bicycle however has the advantage of not being held down by traffic laws, so you will not have to deal with the police while riding it.

50cc

Max Speed: 50km/h
Power Consumption: Medium
Damage Resistance: Medium
Fuel Cost (10L / Full Tank): 500 / 3000 Yen
Repair Cost (20%): 6000 Yen

Description: The favourite of motorcycle couriers all over the world! The Scooter will remain a dependable bike throughout the game.

400cc

Max Speed: 50km/h
Power Consumption: Low
Damage Resistance: Low
Fuel Cost (10L / Full Tank): 500 / 3000 Yen
Repair Cost (20%): 15000 Yen

Description: You will look like a pro will riding this beauty! The 400cc offers the best balance between durability and handling.

1100cc

Max Speed: 80km/h
Power Consumption: Very Low
Damage Resistance: Very Low
Fuel Cost (10L / Full Tank): 500 / 3000 Yen
Repair Cost (20%): 30000 Yen

Description: The most expensive bike will of course have the highest durability, lowest fuel consumption, and an unrivaled speed level. Unfortunately the handling is more loose than the 400cc model, and with an acceleration system installed the bike can become somewhat frustrating to maneuver. Make sure to leave it inside on rainy days.

Item List

Attack NO.1: 5000 Yen / Backwards bomb attack
Attack NO.2: 12500 Yen / Left & Right + Forward bomb attack
Attack NO.3: 10000 Yen / Left & Right + Backwards bomb attack
Attack NO.4: 7500 Yen / Left & Right bomb attack
Acceleration System NO.1: 5000 Yen / 10km/h speed boost
Acceleration System NO.2: 7500 Yen / 20km/h speed boost
Acceleration System NO.3: 10000 Yen / 30km/h speed boost

Other Items

Gasoline: Recovers 10 power points
Wrench: Recovers 20 damage points
Clock: Stops time and enemies for a fixed period of time
Barrier (Red): Invicibility for a fixed period of time (hit detection active)
Barrier (Green): Invincibility for a fixed period of time (hit detection deactivated)

Kattobi! Takuhai-kun is overall a very commendable game, specially for being such an obviously low-budget production. The developers were able to pull off the game's novel premise remarkably well, and that is certainly the game's biggest acheivement. It is only regrettable that the low production values prevented its concept from being developed further, as it obviously still had plenty of potential left. I'm certain that with a bit more of depth the game would have ended up truly remarkable. Still, Kattobi! Takuhai-kun is one of the most fun "under the radar" impots you can find for the PC-Engine.

SEE YOU NEXT GAME!

Osomatsu-kun: Hachamecha Gekijou - Mega Drive (MD)

Osomatsu-kun: Hachamecha Gekijou

Original Title:「おそ松くん はちゃめちゃ劇場」
Release Date: 12/24/1988
Publisher: SEGA
System: Mega Drive
Genre: Action

Osomatsu-kun: Hachamecha Gekijou is a comical side-scrolling action game based on the secondOsomatsu-kunanimated TV series released in 1988. Osomatsu-kun was originally a very popular manga and anime series during the '60s. The series was created by the renown manga artistFujio Akatsuka. Osomatsu-kun: Hachamecha Gekijou was also one of the four Mega Drive launch titles released for the system within 1988.

Pushing the [A] Button at the title screen allows you to select from three difficulty levels. However with the abundance of health replenishing items and easy to learn enemy attack patterns the game will remain very easy to beat regardless of the selected difficulty setting.

Game Controls:

Control Pad... Moves Osomatsu-kun around.
Start Button... Status / Item Select screen.
A Button... Use ItemB Button... Slingshot Attack.
C Button... Jump. Holding [Up] on the controller allows you to jump higher
.

Probably the first thing most people noticed about Osomatsu-kun back in 1988 were its bright colourful graphics and nicely-sized character sprites that gave them a small taste of the graphical potential of the Mega Drive. The trademark humour of the source material is also present in the many comical enemies that you will be facing.

The level design of the game can be very awkward. The game is set up like a maze and it is possible to keep going in circles if you didn't took the right way or fell in the right cliff. This can get very tedious and frustrating because you aren't really given any hints about which way you should be going. On the other hand the confusing level layout is about the only thing that maintains the longevity of the game since it only has three very short stages.

The Ribbons that you can collect throughout the game can be used to buy 9 different items at the shop: [Wings] Fly for a limited time, [Octopus] Speed up, [Fireworks] Damage the enemy, [Costume] Invincibility for a limited time, [Mustard] Blasts away all minor enemies on the screen, [Bone Fish] Summons a cat helper.

While the item effects are certainly amusing to see. With the exception of the [Costume] and [Mustard] all of the other items are very unpractical to use. But this is hardly a downside since in reality you won't ever find yourself in need to use any items as the game is already easy as it is.

Defeating the mid and main boss enemies will power up Osomatsu-kun's attributes. You can power up his slingshot attack power and range as well as his life bar. There's only one boss enemy in the game: the series main antagonist「Iyami」 who will be using various costumes throughout the game. Like with the rest of the enemies in the game he has very simple attack patterns that can be easily avoided. So he remains a real pushover.

And so we've come to a very easy and abrupt ending. Once you've become familiar with the stage's layout it is very possible to complete the game in under just 10 minutes. and I wouldn't discard the possibility of being able to do it in half the time if you really wanted to. So ultimately the few redeeming qualities of the game like it's decent anime graphics and humour are totally overshadowed by the lack of game content and challenge.

In the case of Osomatsu-kun: Hachamecha Gekijou being a launch game of the Mega Drive is not a good enough excuse as nothing can justify the game's extremely short length. But even worse than short the game feels incomplete. Like the first part of a longer game. Unfortunately this is an import game that doesn't really warrant a purchase.

SEE YOU NEXT GAME!