Video Game: Dr. Robotnik's Mean Bean Machine

Dr. Robotnik's Mean Bean Machine is an 1993 Sega Genesis video game, being an interesting Spin-Off of the Sonic the Hedgehog video game series—or in this case, a spinoff of DiC's Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog cartoon series. Wheras most Sonic games are typical platformers, this game is, of all things, a puzzle game—or specifically, an American mock-up of the japanese puzzle classic Puyo Puyo!

The plot is centered around AOSTH's Dr. Robotnik, who, in an attempt to guarantee no fun or music on Mobius, kidnaps the citizens of Beanville to be thrown into a Roboticizer-esque device, the eponymous Mean Bean-Steaming Machine, to be converted into robotic slaves for the doctor. Unfortunately, Sonic himself is nowhere to be found, so you, the player, must take up the noble deed of bringing down Dr. Robotnik's scheme, but not before beating his mooks in their bean puzzle games!

Despite getting top billing, you do NOT get to play as Dr. Robotnik in this game. Gamers would have to wait until Sonic Drift, Sonic R and Sonic Adventure 2 before gamers could play as him, and this was only franchise's main Robotnik/Eggman character, but it would be another few years before he got his own fangame to himself, Super Robotnik Land.

Compare Sonic Spinball, which is a Spin-Off game very loosely based on Sat AM Sonic the Hedgehog. Also compare "Kirby's Avalanche" for the SNES, which was another Puyo Puyo mockup.


  • Absentee Actor: The first game in the Sonic the Hedgehog series not to feature Sonic himself in any form. This direction seems odd since the original Puyo Puyo utilised a player character and even featured them in cutscenes (which were edited to the enemy facing the screen for this retool).
  • Antagonist Title
  • Ascended Extra: The majority of enemies you face in this game were minor characters in the pilot episode for Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog ("Sonic Search And Smash Squad"). Most of them aren't even granted real names or speaking roles outside this game.
  • Body Horror: The beans being turned into robots via the Mean Bean Machine.
  • Briffits and Squeans: Plewds appear when enemies are close to losing. When they're in really big trouble, they start flashing as well. It's really disheartening to lose after this.
  • The Cameo: Scratch and Grounder make background appearances initially, and you get to challenge both of them later, as well as Coconuts. Many characters from the Adventures of Sonic pilot appear as boss characters in this game.
  • Collapsing Lair: What happens to Robotnik's lab when you defeat him.
  • Compilation Re-release: Is a staple of many Sega and Sonic the Hedgehog collections.
  • The Computer Is a Cheating Bastard: Scratch (the penultimate opponent, before Robotnik himself) outright informs the player that he cheats. Several of the AI characters move their beans with supernatural speed and are guaranteed enormous combos if the player doesn't hit them hard and early.
  • Cut Song: While heavily-redone versions of "Theme of Puyo Puyo" and "Brave of Puyo Puyo" were used in the final game, more faithful remixes of both songs are buried within the game's audio data.
  • Defeat Equals Explosion: Dynamight explodes upon defeat. The machine itself also explodes after defeating Robotnik.
  • Difficulty By Acceleration: The automatic drop speed starts increasing at Stage 4. It also speeds up if the player takes too long during a single battle.
  • Dolled-Up Installment: Take the Mega Drive port of Puyo Puyo, subtract the Beginner Course and all but one of the backgrounds, add passwords and different music, replace the Madou Monogatari characters with Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog characters, and you have Dr. Robotnik's Mean Bean Machine in a nutshell. The Game Gear and Master System versions follow a similar process.
    • Mean Bean Machine is interesting in that a (Cut-and-Paste) English translation of Puyo Puyo already existed beforehand. Compile or, more likely, Sega had it Dolled Up at some point due to perceived cultural differences.
  • Dramatic Wind: Sir Ffuzzy-Logik has this in his intro.
  • The Dragon: Scratch, being the opponent you face right before Robotnik.
    • Also Dragon Breath (right before Scratch) to a lesser extent, as he's the leader of the bounty hunters in the pilot episode of the show.
  • Dummied Out: Some discarded elements from the original Puyo Puyo still exist inside the game, including a half deleted Beginner course and some of the unused gameplay backgrounds and music tracks. A retooled sound test is also accessible in the game, but for some reason is only activated on Japanese region consoles.
  • Easter Egg: If you press buttons on the title screen, you can make some of the letters jump.
  • Everything's Better with Monkeys: Coconuts.
  • Evil Laugh: Wait long enough on the Game Over screen, and Robotnik delivers a grainy one—he also does this if you lose during the final battle against him.
  • Excuse Plot: Robotnik is turning beans into robots just to be a jerk, so you have to beat him and his robots in puzzle duels.
  • Expy: Has Bean for Puyo Puyo's mascot, Carbuncle.
  • Flying Saucer: Arms is shaped like one.
  • Hot-Blooded: Dr. Robotnik, evidently.
  • Mecha-Mooks: Robotnik's minions.
  • Miniboss: Coconuts, Grounder and Scratch, in that order. They appear every 4th level, concluding a tier.
  • Nintendo Hard: The entire game from stage 6 and onward, especially if you manage to get as far as Robotnik.
  • No Fourth Wall: Yes, YOU, the player, are really the one who has to save the day. No sign of Sonic, Tails, or Arle anywhere.
  • No Mouth: Sir Ffuzzy-Logik doesn't have a mouth.
  • Oh, Crap: Most of the opponents do a variation of this when their area begins to overfill.
  • Our Dragons Are Different: Dragon Breath, an armored robot with a dragon-like head.
  • The Pioneer: Davy Sprocket.
  • Pun: The first robot you fight isn't above making a crack about his extendable arms.
    • Every single enemy does this in their banter to some extent.
  • Punny Name: Has Bean, the little guy who sticks in the middle of the gameplay columns.
  • Slasher Smile: Most enemies bear a particularly evil grin whenever you're on the losing end.
  • Smug Snake: Scratch when he's winning. That's the face of nightmares!
  • Songs in the Key of Panic: A particularly frantic one is used whenever you overstack your beans. Especially effective since it is remixed from the final boss theme from the original Puyo Puyo.
  • Thirteen Is Unlucky: The final opponent, Dr. Robotnik himself, is the 13th one you fight.
  • Toothy Bird: Scratch, when he shows an Evil Grin whenever he gets the upper hand over you. And you won't like it when those goons grin.
  • True Final Boss: Not really a secret, but initially Scratch appears to be the last opponent in the line-up. Once you beat him, that's when it's revealed that you have to face Dr. Robotnik himself in one final showdown.

Alternative Title(s):

Dr Robotniks Mean Bean Machine, Doctor Robotniks Mean Bean Machine