Ufouria - the Saga is a cult game made by Sunsoft for the NES in 1991 under the title Hebereke. It was ported to Europe and Australia one year later (but not in the US), where it received slight modifications to graphics, text and plot, but keeping its distinctive Japanese-ness.Plot for the Western version: on a distant world, there live many strange creatures, including Bop-Louie and his friends Freeon-Leon, Shades and Gil. One day the friends fall down a crater, Bop-Louie climbs down there to save them, but faints and later finds himself in a weird world... Okay, it doesn't make much sense, but the original Japanese story isn't much better.See the Hebereke page for tropes specific to the Japanese game, as well as the rest of the series.
The game provides examples of:
Aerith and Bob: The original Japanese names for the characters are Hebe, Oh-Chan, Sukezaemon, and Jennifer.
Cartoon Bomb: The icon for Gil's Secret Weapon. When actually used, they're green-and-white glowing egg-shaped things he launches from his mouth, which cannot actually damage enemies but are only for destroying certain blocks.
Death Throws: Bop-Louie falls outside the screen, eyes closed, when his energy drops to zero.
Every character has his unique death animation: Freeon-Leon shrinks to nothing, Shades curls into a ball and Gil just stands there, looking at the player and drooling.
Defeat Means Friendship: When Bop-Louie finds his friends, who have become amnesiac after having fallen down the crater, they will attack him on sight. When defeated, they will regain consciousness and join him on his quest to leave the strange world.
Drop the Hammer: Averted. Shades carries around a hammer, but never uses it as a weapon... at least not against the enemies.
Early-Installment Weirdness: Not that the other Hebereke games (never released outside Japan) aren't weird, it's just that none of them is a Metroidvania action adventure game. They're all puzzle games and multi-player multi-event marathons.
Everything's Better with Penguins: Bop-Louie was originally the titular Hebereke, who looked like an albino penguin with tiny eyes and beak. There are also, among the enemies, guys dressed as penguins.
Cute Kitten: Freeon-Leon the dinosaur was originally O-chan, a cute kitten, or at least somebody dressed as one.
At least two of the three key guardians are kittens. The third key guardian, the UFO boss, is probably an alien kitty.
Eye Pop: One of the weirdest things in the game is Shades' special ability. He uses the hammer he finds to whack his own head, after which his eyes pop out of the sockets and start floating around the screen, hitting and killing every enemy as if they were heat-seeking missiles! Unfortunately, it is the least useful ability and there are no places where it is really needed. But it sure is weird!
Not that useless - it can hit the knight two times in one shot, or three with careful positioning and timing, whereas Bop-Louie's Secret Weapon can only hit once. So by using Shades' Secret Weapon for that fight instead, you only have to charge up two or three times in the middle of the spear rain instead of six.
Gender-Blender Name: In the original version, Gil was named Jennifer, but his gender is always listed as male. And Leon is still female... we think.
Harmless Freezing: Enemies frozen by Freeon-Leon's breath turn back to normal after a few seconds.
Good Bad Bug: By collecting any secret weapon, you can use the secret weapon of all characters by simply switching character in mid-charge while still holding the button. This means you can delay collecting Gil's bombs until just before you head to the dark area, but makes low percent completion slightly more painful, as by utilizing this trick the bombs are the only Secret Weapon you MUST collect. See Sequence Breaking below for why this can get painful.
Metroidvania: Without the abilities of Bop-Louie's friends, you won't go far in the game.
Minecart Madness: One area is located in what appears to be an abandoned mine... Guess what you have to do there?
Minimalist Run: The only items you absolutely need to beat the game are the three keys, Bop-Louie's suction cup and Gil's bombs. Since this means never picking up any medicine to heal, and the crystals that replenish 2 HP each (and in a minimalist run, your max is 50) Randomly Drops from enemies and at a much lower rate than the throwing balls, this makes some of the later parts of the game tough, and a speedy kill of the diver boss impossible if you haven't gotten insanely lucky with your health drops.
No Export for You: The original game was never released in cart form in the US, though it came there via the Wii's Virtual Console service eventually.
Non-Indicative Subtitle: The game is not a saga at all, especially since all the Hebereke games made after it have nothing to do with it.
Pun-Based Title: It's a pun on "euphoria" and the fact that u have to control four characters.
There's also an actual UFO, and everything looks rather alien.
Sequence Breaking: It's possible, albeit very difficult (think subpixel positioning and frame-perfect jumping, making it pretty much a TAS-only trick), to skip Shades entirely.
By using the Good Bad Bug mentioned above, you can get a few (non-required, but making it useful for 100% CompletionSpeedruns) items that require Gil's bombs early, rather than backtrack to get them later. More useful is reaching the knight boss by bombing a wall before picking up the bombs, as that saves a detour later. Sadly, exploded brick walls return when you enter the character select screen - while this is no problems for vertical brick walls, as you can bomb it while stuck inside it, the horizontal screen of bricks you have to go through to reach the light switch is impossible to get past this way. Skipping Gil's bombs would otherwise have been the single biggest time-saver in the game, especially for a Minimalist Run that could instead spend ten seconds to pick up Shades' hammer.
Even without using the bug, Freeon-Leeon's Secret Weapon can easily be skipped by using Shades to bounce on the enemies hovering over the lava on the way to the knight, get hit by the last one, switch to Gil and use the Mercy Invincibility to get out of the lava before it starts sapping ten hit points per second.
Shout-Out: Some wall-crawling enemies have Mickey Mouse ears (they are called Mickeys in the Japanese instruction manual).