Video Game / PuLiRuLa

A surreal Beat 'em Up Arcade Game from Taito, released in 1991.

PuLiRuLa revolves around two children, Zac and Mel, living in the magical kingdom of Radishland. When a sinister figure steals the "Time Keys" that control the flow of time, Zac and Mel are given magic rods by an old man and tasked with recovering the keys and saving the kingdom. They accomplish this by running around beating up robots and other extremely weird enemies with their rods.

This game provides examples of...

  • Alien Geometries: The backgrounds in stage 6 are a Shout-Out to M. C. Escher.
  • All There in the Manual: The final boss has a name, "Jack O' Colson".
  • Amazing Technicolor Battlefield: For some reason, when Jack O' Colson makes his entrance for the first time, the stage suddenly shifts to a bizarre dimension that not only has blocks that look more like a grid filled with holes than something you could stand on, the black background would also blink periodically, revealing it to be made up of eyes.
  • Background Music Override: Normally, when you summon helpers to help you fight enemies, some music appears to accommodate said helpers. However, this doesn't happen when you do this while facing the boss of stage 5.
  • Between My Legs: In the Japanese version, when you walk by the doors near the start of stage 3, out of two of them come a pair of disembodied female legs. If you open the one in the middle, a freaked-out pink elephant comes running out of a black void opening into outer space. The US version censors this, but the female legs can still be seen in the montage of stills during the ending credits.
  • "Blind Idiot" Translation: Sample dialogue from after you beat the stage 3 boss: "Also, this town, there is not that doll. Where it has gone."
    • "That town is so head that no persons can live in"
    • "A fellow called 'YU-YU' sucked up all rains."
  • Bookends: The first boss fight and the second part of the last take place in the same location.
  • Cephalothorax: The second boss.
  • Cute Witch: One of the most normal enemies.
  • Demonic Dummy: The first boss.
  • Deconstruction: The game's a deconstruction of the time keeper's role as the one who has to constantly crank up time itself using the Time Key. This is only revealed in the ending, however.
  • The Dog Was the Mastermind: The true identity of Jack o' Colson is none other than the time keeper of the player characters' village himself, fed up with his monotonous life of making sure that time is well kept just by constantly clonking a mechanical machine with the time key.
  • Easily Forgiven: The player characters forgave the time keeper for his actions during the game. However, it's implied by their dialog that this is more a case of giving him a second chance than him being easily forgiven.
  • Everything Trying to Kill You: The enemies have to be seen to be believed.
  • Eye Pop: Done by the fourth boss to attack you.
  • Fish People: There is a bonus level between levels 5 and 6 where you have to whack as many "reverse mermaids" (fish with human legs) as possible.
  • Jump Scare: The giant blue-haired human head in Stage 3 gives you this.
  • Magic from Technology: Apparently, time flow is kept simply by constantly cranking up a clockwork machine using the Time Key.
  • Mind Screw: The entire game is an example of this. Examples include a room with walls covered with human eyeballs, a gigantic realistic human head that can lick the player (and make him/her lose health), and enemy designs that all screw with your sense of reality.
  • Mix-and-Match Critters: Many enemies are this. For example, the fourth boss looks like a snail with spider legs and a bird head.
  • The Runt at the End: One of the possible effects of the Smart Bomb is a stampede of animals, and after them a single, very slow snail. However, an enemy who gets in the snail's path will suffer a lot of damage.
  • The Scream: The final boss parodies Munch's well-known painting when you hit him enough times.
  • Smart Bomb: Your "Magic" ability conjures up a (very) random effect that damages all enemies and makes you briefly invincible.
  • Time Stands Still: When the main villain steals the Time Keys, time itself is frozen, except for the main leads, enemies, bosses, and random pedestrians that you come across.
  • The Walls Have Eyes: The final boss area is a dark room, which sometimes lightens up to show lots of twitchy eyes on the walls.
  • Widget Series