— The end of each stage
A 1989 Arcade Game
, Trio the Punch: Never Forget Me...
is, essentially, madness given video game form. And not merely in the conventional way
, no. It is the scrawling on the walls, babbling incoherently while trying desperately to remember where you placed your arms form of insanity. Created by Data East
of Bad Dudes
fame, this game is also a Beat 'em Up
... or something similar, at least.
In fact, the gameplay is not that incomprehensible. Upon starting, you're presented with a choice of three characters: a ninja, a tough guy, and a swordsman. You then have a simple objective: Upon defeating enemies, they will sometimes drop hearts. You must collect a certain amount of these hearts to face the boss, defeat it, and clear the stage. Sounds ordinary enough, right?
Except it turns out that the gameplay is merely an afterthought to everything else, and the stages are usually trivial. Instead, the game focuses entirely on attempting to reduce its player to tears of confusion and anguish. Describing the entirety of what makes this game so utterly mindbreaking would be a several paragraph endeavor, but suffice it to say that with the armies of Karnov
, the (almost
) inexplicable "WEEBLES FALL DOWN!" stage, copious amounts of Engrish
, never-interrupted stage music, battles with pink sheep that curse you, a surprise appearance from Colonel Sanders, and a Gainax Ending
that gives Neon Genesis Evangelion
itself a run for its money, Trio the Punch: Never Forget Me...
succeeds in its title's plea.
In Japan, the game is considered to be one of the progenitors of "kuso-ge", or "crappy games", games known for their astoundingly horrible nature. In fact, the game was deliberately designed to be bad (and insane)
This game provides examples of the following tropes:
KAMAKURA: Thanks for cheering me up
MR. CHIN: Superb
SANTOS: I'm faint from hunger
MR. CHIN: Well done well done
- Game-Breaking Bug: There are a few. Including, according to at least one source, the ability to freeze the arcade machine if you get unlucky while performing your special move in midair.
- Giant Foot of Stomping: One of the bosses. The way to defeat it is to wait for it to break through the floor.
- It is possible to defeat it normally, though it'll take a little longer.
- Hoist by His Own Petard: If you leave the bomb-setting Karnovs alone, they will check up on their own bombs after a few moments, only to be killed in the ensuing blast.
- Interface Screw: Not in the game itself, but during the "Enter your initials" high score screen, the game randomly skips letters, going in no set order. By the way, you're timed. Good luck!
- Improbable Weapon User: The weapons used by the player characters range from a punching bag to what appears to be a giant grill lighter.
- Lost in Translation: Certain aspects of the game make slightly more sense with knowledge of Japanese culture. Slightly.
- Ludicrous Gibs: One of the ninja's special attacks involves getting hit by lightning and exploding into bits.
- Maneki Neko: One of the bosses.
- Mind Screw: The entire game.
- Ninja Log: The ninja character briefly turns into a log when he gets hit.
- Old Master: Mr. Chin, who upgrades your weapons with a "LUCKY! CHA CHA CHA" during a roulette section after each level, and battles you twice throughout the game.
- Patchwork Map: While there isn't any definite transition between stages, you go from a desert to a jungle in the span of a few stages, and end up in a pleasant park by the end.
- Shout-Out: The three playable characters appear to be parodies of other videogame heroes. Rose Sub the barbarian is clearly based on Rastan, Kamakura the ninja reminds of The Legend of Kage's protagonist, and Santos could be based upon the Bad Dudes.
- Standard Status Effects: Poison. There doesn't seem to be any way to cure it, either...
- Performing your magic attack "cures" you somehow...
- Time Stands Still: In the level "THAT WAS GREAT" the phrase "WEEBLES FALL DOWN!" appears bit by bit on the screen. When the exclamation mark appears, all action freezes. Yes, all action, enemies and player alike. Why? It's a reference to the Japanese children's game "Daruma-san ga koronda" (lit. "The Daruma doll fell down")note , which bears similarities to Red Light Green Light. Not that it would be out of place if it was completely meaningless.
- Too Long; Didn't Dub: The giant foot boss is labeled "TAROSUNOASHI" in Latin characters written directly on its sprite; clearly this is supposed to mean "foot of Talos".
- Victory Pose: Along with a heroic cry of... something.
- What the Hell, Hero?: Upon killing a dog, the game displays the word "CRUETY" (sic). Is it condemning your action? Hard to say, especially since you need to in order to complete the game...
- Widget Series: Not that that goes far enough to explain this.