"Cash you say? Does that taste good? I want some too!"Mr. Driller
—Taizo Hori, Mr. Driller: Drill Spirits
is a spin-off series to Namco's Dig Dug
. First released in arcades in 1999 and on the PlayStation
in 2000, the game stars young Susumu Hori (the son of Dig Dug
's protagonist Taizo Hori and Baraduke
heroine Toby "Kissy" Masuyo) in a race to drill through multiple colored blocks as far as he can without running out of air or getting crushed. Falling blocks of the same color will meld together, and disappear if the resulting combination is more than four blocks long. Air capsules appear every so often, and must be picked up to ensure survival. There are other hazards, such as the aforementioned falling blocks, and "X" blocks which, if drilled, cover you in poisonous gas that takes away from your Oxygen Meter
The series combines elements of a fast-action arcade game and a puzzle game
, due to the importance of watching how the blocks will fall as your character descends further into the earth.
Games in the series:
- Mr. Driller: Arcade, ported to the PlayStation and other platforms
- Mr. Driller 2: Arcade, also ported to PC and Game Boy Advance
- Mr. Driller G ("Mr. Driller Great"): Arcade, also ported to the PlayStation in 2001 (Japan only)
- Mr. Driller A ("Mr. Driller Ace: Wonderful Pacteria"): Released in 2002 for the Game Boy Advance (Japan only)
- Mr. Driller: Drill Land: Released in 2002 for the Nintendo GameCube (Japan only)
- Mr. Driller Drill Spirits: Released 2004 on the Nintendo DS, and first Mr. Driller game to be released overseas in 4 years.
- Mr. Driller Online: Released in 2008 on Xbox Live Arcade
- Mr. Driller W: Released 2009 for WiiWare
- Mr. Driller: Drill Till You Drop Released 2009 for DSiWare
Tropes used in Mr. Driller:
- Abuse Is Okay When It Is Female on Male: Mostly seem in Mr. Driller G.
- Action Girl: Anna Hottenmeyer.
- Aloof Big Brother: Ataru Hori.
- Ambiguous Gender: Anna Hottenmeyer.
- Ambiguously Brown: Taizo Hori.
- Art Shift: Depending on the Artist.
- Badass Adorable: Susumu Hori Because he's the only courageous enough to go and chase a massive destruction drill heading to the very earth's core.
- Badass yet Dysfunctional Family: Susumu's whole family.
- Big Eater: Taizo searches for an underground restaurant in Drill Spirits.
- Card-Carrying Villain: Dr. Manhole.
- Cartoon Creature: The Undergrounders.
- Competitive Balance
- Critical Annoyance: When the player's Oxygen Meter drops below 30 percent. It often takes just long enough to get the next air capsule that the player's air is still below 30 percent, and the alarm still sounding.
- Digging to China: If all else fails, just drill deeper!
- Falling Blocks: All around you, hopefully not landing on your head in the process.
- A Fête Worse than Death: Drill Land
- Indy Escape: The Drindy Adventure level in Mr. Driller Drill Land, which is basically a parody of Indiana Jones' movies.
- It is also possible to continue drilling downwards even as a falling block is bearing down right on top of you. In this case, the only thing that can save you is reaching the end of the stage or if the block combines with a same-colored block and stops falling.
- Instant Awesome, Just Add Dragons: The miniboss in the Hole of Druaga stage.
- Instant Awesome, Just Add Ninja: Keel Sark. Well...at least that's what his profile says.
- Jack of All Stats: Susumu.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Anna stared out a Susumu's rival in Mr. Driller 2, she later teams up with him in later games.
- Kid Hero
- Luck-Based Mission: The Star Driller stage, only if you keep hitting the "?" blocks.
- The Magnificent Seven Samurai
- Holinger Z
- Mineral MacGuffin: The Dristones.
- Missing Mom: After getting divorced from Taizo. Masuyo (the heroine from Baraduke) left home and since then she's rarely heard about. She makes a few cameos in the games thou.
- Non-Human Sidekick: Puchi and Usagi.
- Parental Neglect: Taizo Hori, you really have to wonder if he really cares about his children, he rather be spending time with his precious camels.
- Punch Clock Villain: The Ankoku Drillers, one of them even being a Minion with an F in Evil.
- Older Than They Look: Ataru is 17 years old? Seriously?
- One-Hit-Point Wonder: Though, given the "hit" in question is from large rocks/chunks of earth falling on you, this is perhaps justified. A few characters, such as the mining robot Holinger-Z, can survive one hit like this before dying.
- Oxygen Meter
- One of the Boys: Anna Hottenmeyer...hell, even her friends keep mistaking her for a boy.
- The Rival: Anna, who's obsessed about being a better driller than Susumu.
- Schmuck Bait: Any time an air capsule is surrounded on all four sides by "X" blocks (which is a good half of them). Newbies quickly learn that attempting to drill through them negates the capsule's benefit, requiring them to drill around the blocks to open it up another way.
- Sequel Difficulty Spike: Flashing "crystal" blocks were introduced in Mr. Driller 2, which spontaneously disappear after a few seconds, sometimes triggering chain reactions. Later games also introduced round "white" blocks, which don't combine with any other blocks and simply fall straight down.
- Sibling Team: Susumu and Ataru.
- Soundtrack Dissonance: Holy Dream playing in the Night Horror House stage.
- Shout-Out: Basically most of Drill Land's stages:
- Star Driller is a shout out of the Star Trigon arcade game.
- The Hole of Druaga being a tribute to Namco's The Tower of Druaga (not to be confused with the anime), you can even see an small cameo of Gilgamesh and Ki.
- Drindy Adventure definitely being a shout out of Indiana Jones movies.
- Susumu Can Breathe In Space
- Talking Animal: Puchi.
- Terrible Trio: The Ankoku Drillers.
- They Called Me Mad!: Dr. Manhole, he was acussed of stealing Dr. Z's inventions. Which he didn't.
- This Is a Drill
- Troubled, but Cute: Ataru, even if he's depicted as the Lone wolf character, there are few hints showing that he still misses his family.
- Tunnel King: Susumu Hori
- Underground Level: All of them!
- Villainous Crush: One of the Ankoku Drillers, Eguri, has a big crush on Ataru, and she's not afraid to show it.
- X Meets Y: Dig Dug meets Tetris.