Ballz (sometimes referred as Ballz 3D) is a quirky Fighting Game, developed by PF Magic and released by Accolade for the Sega Genesis and Super Nintendo in 1994. It was later ported to the 3DO as a director's cut in 1995.
Hence the title, you play in a pseudo 3D game environment as eight spherical characters trying to beat The Jester and his henchmen.
This game provides examples of:
- Acrofatic: Tsunami, the sumo wrestler. Of course, it's hard to tell if he is fat since only two large balls represent his torso.
- Baleful Polymorph: The Jester's "little wish" that he teases in the game's opening. The first time you defeat him, he transforms you into a boss fighter, and form there you can cycle between the others bosses at will through the press of a button. One you press Start, you then replay the game from the start as the boss fighter, with The Jester promptly changing you back to your selected character when you defeat him as a boss.
- Bowdlerise: The SNES port altered it to say "You gotta play Ballz!"
- Carry a Big Stick: Kronk, the caveman. He carries a large white club.
- Critical Existence Failure: The combatants will always look and act fine until they lose their last bit of health and explode into a circle of balls.
- Dance Battler: Divine, the ballerina.
- Dummied Out: The Genesis version of the game was originally planned to have support for an early version of online multiplayer, which was meant to be accomplished by the abandoned Edge 16 modem adapter for the Genesis. The CES 1994 version of the game was playable with this option, but when plans for the adapter fell through by the time Ballz was released, the feature was scrapped from the final game. For some reason, the manual still mentions the option to use the peripheral.
- The character added in the director's cut version, Zombie, has data present in the Genesis version, but is very unfinished, as if they are made playable by hacking, they can only turn in place, and cannot move or attack at all.
- Feathered Fiend: Guggler, the game's first boss, is an ostrich.
- Guide Dang It!: In-game, it's never indicated what it means when the background instructs "Taunt The Ostrich". In truth, you're meant to taunt a later boss, an ostrich named Guggler, a certain number of times while her head is in the ground. Taunting gives the fighter an increase in attack power; if done right, the ostrich can be killed in one hit.
- Hurricane of Puns: The original manual has plenty of balls-related wordplay.
- Irony: This isn't the first game about fighters composed of multiple parts to have an ostrich as it's first boss.
- The Immodest Orgasm: The sound Divine makes upon being hit. It's also all over the title screen music.
- Kangaroos Represent Australia: Bounder, the kangaroo.
- Losing Your Head: One of Boomer's movies is taking his head and rolling it toward the opponent like a bowling ball.
- Mind Screw: There's a lot of bizarre nonsense to be seen in the smaller televisions next to the JumboTron. Perhaps the most disturbing is the eyeball zoom."Dual action pampering!""Taunt the ostrich!""No genie blink.""Yee-ha, Dino!"
- Mind Screwdriver: The above mentioned "Taunt the ostrich!" is actually a hint as to how to beat the first boss, who can gain back health incredibly quickly when its head is buried in the ground. If you taunt the ostrich over and over while its head is buried, the damage boosts will stack, and it won't do anything until you attack it. Ten taunts or so and any single attack will finish the job.
- Mirror Match / Palette Swap: Both combatants can pick and fight as the same character with only a difference in color to identify them. In addition, each fighter also has special "Belt" palettes once they advance far enough in single player.
- Non-Ironic Clown: Boomer, the air-humping clown.
- Ostrich Head Hiding: The first boss of Ballz is Guggler, an ostrich who sticks her head in the ground to heal when you're far enough away.
- Pungeon Master: The Jester is shown to be this in the game manual;"Who am I? I'm The Jester. That's all...The Jester. Wizard of Wit. Sultan of Insultin'. Poohbah of Putdowns. Tyrant of Trash Talk. Duke of Dozens. Ayatollah of I-told-ya-sos. Godfather of Gross-Outs. You wanna bust my Ballz? Lotsa luck, Chuck. It's going to take you a while to get to my level."
- Punny Name: T-Wrecks the dinosaur.
- Ramming Always Works: Crusher, the rhinoceros, manages to do this from time to time.
- SNK Boss: The final boss, The Jester, suffers from this. Teleporting, attacks from a long range, various tripping moves, and he resurrects himself when you knock him out once.
- Sumo Wrestling: Tsunami.
- Take That, Audience!: The unseen announcer, who is in control of the Jumbotron, will mock the fighter that is getting hit and will always add insult to injury for the fighter that gets KO'd. He will even complain about the lack of action if both fighters aren't fighting each other."Oomph!""Arrooga!""Ballzai!""Shattered and razzed!""Kiss the canvas!""Suck sidewalk!""You're splat on the mat!""Open wide for chunky...""Nibble on some knuckle!""Lick the mat, chump!""That's in your face!""Ooh! That's gotta hurt!""Administer smackies!""Get off your knees!""Beg, sucker!""Smell the mat!""Razz time!""Saddle up, sucker!""Who's laughing now, loser?""What's the matter? Lose your glue?""You didn't come in second. You lost!""Boomer go boom-boom!""Back to the circus, loser!""Is this a fight or a dance lesson?""Get the broom! Sweep away this loser!""Is that as humiliating as it looks?""Anytime you want to fight is ok with me.""Closer than spit on a stamp.""This is like watching a blank TV."
- Taunt Button: Taunting will increase the damage of your next attack, as long as they're not hit first, and the fighters can taunt multiple times to stack the effect.