Video Game: Mr. Gimmick

Gimmick! is a 1992 Japanese Platform Game for the Family Computer by Sunsoft, released in Scandinavia as Mr. Gimmick the following year. In this game, a father purchases a green mystic creature (mistaken for a Waddling Head doll) for his daughter's birthday. The toys in her bedroom grow anxious of the newcomer's popularity, and that night they come to life and kidnap the girl, taking her through a portal to a Floating Continent. Alone, "Yumetarō" (lit. dream + a boy's name) leaps after her to save her.

Yumetarō's main weapon is a bouncing star that he generates above his head. He can ride the star if he leaps on top of it. He can also carry in his inventory up to three of the following, in any combination: fireballs that can fly straight, bombs with a reasonable blast radius, and Healing Potions.

Frank Cifaldi made a very reverent Let's Play of the entire game as part of his 1UP blog.

Although not directly linked to the similar Hebereke series, Gimmick! was linked with it in a PlayStation compilation.

Gimmick! uses these tropes:

  • 100% Completion: Collecting the hidden treasure in each stage, which is required for the true ending.
  • Advancing Wall of Doom: A small wall in a small hallway in the fourth stage.
  • All In The Manual: In the Japanese manual, the names of the major enemies for the first three stages. In the Scandinavian manual, the name of the girl (Mary). In both, the father buying the protagonist in the storyline and the protagonist's name (Yumetarou in Japan and Mr. Gimmick in Scandinavia).
  • Beam Spam: The first phase of the fifth stage boss.
  • Bubble Gun: The weapons of the boss of the sixth stage.
  • Cartoon Bomb: One of the items you can throw.
  • Chain Reaction Destruction: The third and fifth bosses get destroyed in that manner.
  • Continuing Is Painful: You're locked out of the secret stage if you used a continue before reaching it.
  • Cut Song: Strange Memories of Death is never played outside of the Music Sampler.
  • Cranium Ride: Not only enemies and your bouncing star, but also... flying cannon balls?
  • Damsel in Distress: Yumetarō's owner.
  • Death Trap: The third stage has several of them, ranging from ceiling traps to arrow traps.
  • The Dev Team Thinks of Everything:
    • In the Minecart Madness section of the fifth stage, Yumetarō is chased by an enemy on a unicycle. Not only you can knock out the enemy and ride the unicycle, you can also fire the unicycle's turret with the B button!
    • In the second stage, it's possible to skip a large part of the level and fight the boss early. If you do this quick enough, you will find him... sleeping, with an alarm clock mook by his side. In this state, the boss is a movable object, so you can push him towards the edge of the arena and hit him with a star as he about to wake up, killing him instantly.
  • Difficulty By Region: In the Scandinavian version, Yumetarō starts with four more lives, and get extra ones more often than in the Japanese version.
  • Easter Egg: One oddly motionless enemy in the second stage can be controlled by the second player. Sadly, he can't take him out of his room.
  • Eternal Engine: Stage 6 is a gear-filled castle.
  • Energy Ball: A few of the enemies can fire these.
  • Every 10,000 Points: An extra life is earned at 10,000 points, and every 25,000 (in the Scandinavian version, 20,000) thereafter.
  • Excited Show Title!: Gimmick!
  • Floating Continent: Where the whole game takes place at. There are two of these. There's the larger main one where the most of the game takes place. Smaller one appears after collecting all the secret treasures.
  • Gangplank Galleon: The second stage.
  • The Goomba: Ohagi (lit. bean cake), those black beady-eyed enemies.
  • Healing Potion: Yumetarō can carry pink potions that refill health, and twice per stage he will encounter an orange potion that increases his maximum HP (initially two) by one.
  • Helpful Mook: A sauropod appears in the fourth stage shooting fireballs at Yumetarō. If it's attacked, though, it'll become friendly and take him across a lake.
  • Inconveniently Placed Conveyor Belt: In the first stage, and the last three. It's more believable in the sixth stage, which takes place in a factory.
  • Kaizo Trap:
    • There's one in the first level. In an underground section, there's a platform attached to a rope, hanging over a pit of spikes. Jump on the platform and it'll slowly take you to the other side... and open up halfway through, dropping Yumetarō into the spikes.
    • Once you defeat the second boss, he drops his sword onto the ship where it gets stuck. Yumetarō can still take damage from the sword.
  • Living Toys: Yumetarō is mistaken for one at first. However, the other toys come to life and kidnap their owner out of jealousy for his popularity.
  • Load-Bearing Boss: In the true ending, defeating the boss causes his fortress to self-destruct. Yumetarō and his owner make it out in the nick of time.
  • Minecart Madness: This is one section of the fifth stage.
  • Mini-Boss: In the second, third, fourth, and sixth stages.
  • Multiple Endings: Two of them: the sad ending that plays if all six secret items aren't collected or if a continue is used, and the true ending if Yumetarō defeats the True Final Boss in the secret stage.
  • Nintendo Hard:
    • Despite its cutesy looks, the game can be brutally difficult even on the second stage. A good part of the challenge comes from the high learning curve of using Yumetarō's star projectile.
    • It's even worse if you're going for the true ending. You not only have to get all six secret items and beat the hidden stage, but you have to do all that without using a single continue.
  • One Bullet at a Time: One of Yumetarō's more annoying limitations.
  • One-Hit Polykill: Yumetarō gets more points by hitting multiple enemies with one star.
  • Plot Coupon: You'll never see those secret treasures in use. A Floating Island just appears out of nowhere.
  • Save the Princess: In this case, Yumetarō's owner (named Mary in the Scandinavian manual). She can only be rescued by collecting the six secret items and clearing the secret stage.
  • Scenery Porn: There's a brief sequence where you walk through a submerged tunnel surrounded by moving fish. This part isn't there for any reason other than to show off the effort the developers put into the game.
  • Secret Stage: Get all the hidden items from the previous stages to reveal one. It's also the only way to get to the True Final Boss.
  • Sequence Break: You can use a bouncing star to skip almost three-quarters of stage 2. However, you'll miss one of the secret items.
  • Sequential Boss: The fifth stage's boss, after being defeated, comes back with a Spider Tank. The True Final Boss also has two forms; a horned figure disguised with a cloak, and a futuristic warrior armed with a Laser Sword.
  • Shark Tunnel: One part of the first stage. Thankfully, there are no sharks.
  • Shifting Sand Land: The fourth stage, at least the first part before you enter the ruins area.
  • Slippy-Slidey Ice World: The sixth stage, before the castle.
  • Some Dexterity Required: Those times where you have to throw the star so that it ends up underneath you, so you can do a midair jump off it.
  • Spider Tank: The fifth main boss.
  • Spikes of Doom: Every stage except the second stage and the secret seventh stage.
  • The Spiny: Spiky enemies in the second stage and cat-like Ohagi enemies in the secret stage.
  • Springs Springs Everywhere: Springboards can be found in the fifth and sixth stages.
  • Stalactite Spite: Those rocks in the third stage. Good lord.
  • Super Drowning Skills: Yumetarō can drown in water that's barely twice as deep as he is high.
  • Temporary Platform: Some of them.
  • True Final Boss: A mysterious fellow with a cloak and a sword, whose first form is strikingly reminiscent of Dracula.
  • Tube Travel: Transparent tubes show up in most levels to take Yumetarō from room to room.
  • Unique Enemy: They show up at the start of the fourth, fifth, and sixth stages.
  • Waddling Head: Yumetarō and most all of his enemies.
  • Wreaking Havok: The physics are astoundingly advanced for a Famicom/NES game. Getting all the secret items requires a cursory knowledge of how said physics affect your star's trajectory.

Alternative Title(s):

Mr Gimmick, Ptitle7o21f07n