Twinbee is a long-running Shoot 'em Up series by Konami, makers of Gradius. It's a much more light-hearted top-down entry into the genre, with the main ships being sentient beings with arms and legs and fighting enemies like watermelon slices and ladybugs.Yeah, it's a weird game.In its original format, only one of the games managed to be released in North America - Moero Twinbee: Cinamon Hakasei wo Sukue became Stinger upon translation. Unfortunately, that one is widely considered to be the weakest in the series, which resulted in none of the games getting exported for a long time. Much to the United States' detriment, of course, as later games managed to make some great improvements to the basic setup (including a Life Meter and a plot).However, the series is finally starting to see the light of day in the United States: Konami first released the original game as Rainbow Bell as a part of their Konami Arcade Classics collection for the Nintendo DS and some of the games are starting to appear for purchase on download services for each console.Here's a list of games in the series.
Twinbee (Arcade/Famicom/MSX, included in Konami Classics Series: Arcade Hits for the DS as Rainbow Bell)
Moero Twinbee (Famicom/NES, released in the US as Stinger)
Twinbee 3 (Famicom)
Twinbee Da!! (Game Boy, released as Pop'n Twinbee in Europe)
Detana!! Twinbee (Arcade/X68000/PC Engine, had an international arcade version titled Bells & Whistles)
Pop'n Twinbee (Super Famicom/European SNES)
Twinbee Rainbow Bell Adventure (Super Famicom/European SNES)
There was also a radio drama version named Twinbee Paradise which aired following Pop'n Twinbee, which was popular enough in Japan to last three seasons and a five-episode OVA series.Has a Awesome Music page.This series has examples of:
Market-Based Title: This series gets renamed regularly - the second game was released in America as Stinger, while Europe received Twinbee Da!! and Rainbow Bell Adventure under the Pop'n Twinbee moniker (since the SNES version was the first game in the series released there). However, with the PSP collection and the recent Virtual Console release using the Twinbee name, this may be at an end.
Punny Name: The "Waru" in Dr. Warumon's name comes from the Japanese word for "bad".
Ret Canon: Much of the series' story was fleshed out in the Twinbee Paradise radio drama and then brought back to the game. For example, the pilots of Twinbee and Winbee were originally nameless and were given the names Light and Pastel in the radio drama.
Scenery Porn: The first three games did have little dull scrolling backgrounds, but starting from Bells & Whistles, the lands or the skies you fly over are extremely detailed and beautiful, constantly changing as you go on.
The first level of Bells & Whistles really feels like flying over a small, but very wonderful land. You start flying above the forest, and then arrive into a small town: soon you're flying in mountain scapes which have train tracks on them, then you arrive into a large construction site... Just see it for yourself.