Released by Absolute Entertainment in 1989 for the Nintendo Entertainment System, A Boy and His Blob: Trouble on Blobolonia (yep, that really is the game's subtitle), features the adventures of our eponymous hero (the Boy) and his friend Blob (full name Blobert) as they race to Blob's home world to defeat the evil emperor.The main draw of this platforming game (which was created by David Crane of Pitfall fame) is that Blob has the uncanny ability to change into different shapes/objects depending on what type of jellybean the boy feeds him. From licorice to ketchup, each flavor turns Blob into a different shape, allowing the boy to overcome obstacles and complete each level.Numerous remakes were rumored since its release, but for twenty years the series consisted of only the original and a 1990 sequel for the Game Boy, The Rescue of Princess Blobette.It was finally resurrected on the Wii by WayForward Technologies, makers of Shantae and a bunch of licensed stuff, as a level-based puzzle platformer. The 2 main characters among with others were redesigned too.
Both games provide examples of:
Added Alliterative Appeal: Those jellybean names that aren't pun-tastic tend to be these. Both games have the Licorice Ladder and Tangerine Trampoline.
The original contains the Root Beer Rocket.
The Wii game replaces Root Beer with Cinnamon for the rocket, but gives us in return: The Berry Balloon, Bubble Gum Bouncer, Pear Parachute, Cream Cannon, Strawberry Shield (replacing Strawberry = Bridge in the original), and Cotton Candy Copy.
Eternal Engine: In NES version, the sweets factory. In Wii version, the earlier levels of world 4.
Fat Bastard: The Emperor of Bloblonia. In the original game, this was part of the alleged Aesop, because the game had a whole "candy is bad for you" theme and the Emperor was just a sapient blob of fat. In the Wii version, there's no such moral anymore, so he's just your standard big fat jerk.
Joke Item: The ketchup jellybean that Blobert won't eat (unless you trick him, in which case it turns him into a brick wall). It instead allows him to catch up, returning him to the boy's side if they get separated. (Functionally, the Berry Balloon replaces it in the Wii version.)
Parental Abandonment: In the Wii game, the Boy is especifically said to be around 6 years old. Where on Earth are his parents? The original looks like a teenager, so he's probably OK on his own, but still..
Awesome, but Impractical: The Vitablaster. It's a gun (made by feeding Blob an Orange jellybean) that can be used to kill enemies on Blobonia by shooting them with vitamins. However, doing so puts you at risk of dying and it's far more efficient to just roll the coconut a huge distance into the screen to make them go away.
Broken Aesop: The original game seems to be saying sweets are bad (marshmallows and chocolate kisses can kill you, and vitamins are used to destroy them) yet jellybeans are the Blob's source of power and peppermints are traded in for extra lives. Cherries (or more accurately, cherry bombs) are among the things that kill you.
Chekhov's Boomerang: The Apple Jack is only used to open the manhole cover and defeat the final boss.
Dummied Out: Tricking Blob into eating a ketchup jellybean will turn him into a brick wall. The brick wall is essentially just a stepping stone.
Gravity Is a Harsh Mistress: Sometimes, when screeching to a halt at the edge, the Boy will suddenly stand in midair. In true cartoon physics fashion, he will gradually look down, realize his situation, and fall, usually to his death.
Leap of Faith: Or more accurately, fall of faith. In the subway, placing the hole at the wrong position may cause you to fall multiple screens.
Script Breaking: Normally, getting past a screen on Blobolonia clears it, allowing you to pass without further interference. Throwing the bean off the left of the left-hand screen will trick the game to think that all such screens are cleared.
Under the Sea: The caves in your world have water in them, and you won't be able to survive unless you feed Blobert a jellybean that turns him into a bubble.
Unwinnable by Design: Wasting your beans is technically Unwinnable by Insanity as you have more than enough to naviagate known areas. However, there are only two lime beans - you only need one, but if you experimented to see that it creates a key, and accidentally throw the second on the ground, you can't reach the emperor.
A Winner Is You: The NES release is a particular offender in this department.
Bittersweet Ending: The evil emperor is defeated, but Blob has to return to his planet. The credits play a song called "Everything to Me" about how the blob is the greatest thing ever to happen to the boy, accompanied by a montage of pictures of them playing together with nobody else in sight, culminating in an end screen of him staring up at the moon.
However, given the fact that you can still redeem your treasure chests and play further challenge levels after the last boss, it seems that the Blob comes back after all.
Blackout Basement: Level 2-6. Blob helpfully eats a firefly to help you light the way, but if you don't have Blob cling close to you, you'll have no idea where you're going.
Also, the "grand prize" for completing the T-rex set of Challenge Levels in World 2 is an orb that you can use to turn the lights off and play any level in this manner if you want.
Bottomless Pits: A quick way to test them is to throw a jellybean down and watch the Blob take the plunge for you; if it's bottomless, he'll transform into balloon form and float right back.
Casual Video Game: The developers wanted it to be "accessible", so divided it into two parts: Ordinary story levels, and unlockable "Challenge" levels for the Challenge Gamers. What they neglected to mention is that the later levels of the story mode are every bit as Nintendo Hard. Ouch.
Combat Tentacles: The second boss, the Beast, has an entire back full of writhing, deadly tentacles.
Concept Art Gallery: At all the hubs after completing challenge stages. There are a few videos mixed in too.
Creepy Twins: One of the enemy types is a pair of twin blobs. Drop an anvil on one of them, and the other one will counter by transforming into a Giant blob.
Cuteness Proximity: Watch some of the hands-on promotional videos. Numerous ones contain some male, potentially jaded game journalist dissolving into a puddle of gibbering Baby Talk at the sight of Boy and Blob hugging.
Cutscene Power to the Max: The opening movie depicts the blob eating a bean and transforming. All in midair. (The blob actually can catch jellybeans mid-air, but he usually waits for them to land before trying to chase them down.)
Dark Is Evil: All enemy blobs are black (though the blob emperor himself is grey).
Disney Death: In the second-to-last level, right before the Eleventh Hour Superpower kicks in, one of the Emperor's blob-tentacles appears to squeeze the Blob to little bits. However, a few Swiss Army Tears—and the fact that he's a blob—help the Blob get back together in no time.
Ditto Fighter: A certain jellybean will make Blob turn into Boy's shape and replicates his movements. One of the enemies can also do so.
Dummied Out: The enemy concept art shows a Spider Blob enemy. It is seen standing among the other enemies in the finalized art. You never encounter it, however.
Family-Unfriendly Death: The emperor gets punched repeatedly in the skull by a giant robot, while bleeding black goo, and then, when he finally dies, he turns into a roiling mass of blackness as his face TEARS INTO TINY PIECES and he dissolves.
Also, killing the frog mooks.
Foreshadowing: The world 2 boss can be seen wandering around the background as you traverse his level.
Four-Fingered Hands: A rigorously enforced part of the Boy's design, to help make him as cuddly as possible.
Genre Throwback: Art style and the trailer of the game in inspired by 80-s cartoons and films.
Ghibli Hills: The Boy makes his ho— er, tree fort in some truly beautiful forest land. It's right next to Bubblegloop Swamp, though. (But it's still beautiful.)
Heli Critter: One of the pieces of native wildlife in Blobolonia.
Helpful Mook: Although they can still kill you, you can drop Anvil Blob on large enemy Blobs (and the small cannonball ones) to go on a Cranium Ride of sorts. The large ones will also happily toss your Cola Bubble around to help cover large distances. Enemy blobs can also weigh down pressure plates (especially the Enemy Clone blobs) and set off the exploding blobs that hover in midair.
Mood Whiplash: The absolutely beautiful opening levels are as lovely and as soothing as can be, full of fireflies and gently swaying trees... until you hit Level 1-10. "This music sounds... different. Everything's so red! I've got a bad feeling about this... HOLY CRAP OH MY GOD WHAT THE HELL IS THAT THING!?"
Shapeshifter Baggage: Officially, the Blob maintains the same volume in all transformations; larger forms (like the Cannon and Bubble transformations) are merely light and hollow. However, only the Anvil and Clone transformations are heavy enough to weigh down pressure plates.
Silence Is Golden: The game has no dialogue... at all. (Well, the Boy yells "Blob!" and "Let's go!") And barely any on-screen text. Even the "hint signs" just show pictures! It works, though.
Sound Test: One of the unlockable bonuses in the World 3 Hub level: A level with a variety of friendly Blobs, who play music when you feed them jellybeans.
Spoiler Opening: The opening movie displays many of Blob's powers, as well as three of the four major bosses.
Sugar Bowl: The game specifically set out to evoke a heartwarming, Disney/Studio Ghibli-esque feel.
Temporary Platform: Small floating platforms will shake and fall when you step on them, but they respawn, too.
The final challenge level (1-12) has one room where a basic enemy Blob moves back and forth across a Pressure Plate, toggling between two sets of platforms that are form your only way of crossing a bed of spikes (and a hill).
There Was a Door: Your first appearance in the World 3 hub involves crashing through the roof. Averted when going from World 4 back to World 1, since the boy and the blob just fly in through the open window instead.