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Video Game / Baraduke

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Baraduke (also known as Alien Sector) is a 1985 Shoot 'em Up arcade game by Namco, featuring a spaceman with a jetpack and a ray gun who, after receiving a SOS signal, goes in the depths of planet Paccet to brave the titular underground fortress Baraduke built by the invading alien parasites named Octy.

The game was one of Namco's most obscure titles and it would be more or less forgotten today, if not for its uncanny similarity to Metroid, which however was released one year after Namco's game. Unlike Metroid, it is a pure action title (being a coin-op this is a given) based on reflexes and the memorization of the maze-like levels.

There's another surprising similarity between the games: after having defeated the final boss, the end screen reveals that the player character "Kissy" is in fact a woman under her helmet and bio-suit, thus depriving Samus of her "first videogame hero who's secretly a girl" title.


Baraduke was never ported anywhere until 10 years after, when it was released for the Sharp X68000 computer, and in 1998 when it became a part of the "Namco Museum" compilation for the original PlayStation (appearing in Volume 5). In 1988 it received an arcade-only sequel, Bakutotsu Kijuutei, which starred Takky (Player 2 of the first game, but functionally identical) and if possible is even more obscure than its predecessor.

After those two games, Kissy disappeared for about a decade until Namco renamed her "Toby Masuyo" and "revealed" that she married the guy from Dig Dug and they had a baby, who became the protagonist of the Mr. Driller games. Kissy/Toby then appeared in a few of these titles and also in Namco × Capcom, but never starred in a game of her own again. The Paccets, meanwhile, made a cameo appearance in sprite form as one of many things Pac-Man can pull out for his neutral taunts in Super Smash Bros..


Baraduke and its sequel provide examples of:

  • Ash Face: While in the original game the player character exploded upon death, the sequel only turns her face black and smoky, as a consequence of the Lighter and Softer tone adopted.
  • A Winner Is You: The ending revealing Kissy's gender is just a picture with a few lines of text (that still say "YOU ARE A BRAVE MAN", though — unless it's referring to the most likely male player).
  • Checkpoint Starvation: Baraduke II's stages feature no checkpoints- each death will send you right back to the beginning of a stage.
  • Cyclops: The Paccets and also several enemies and bosses. Inverted with the Blue Worm boss that has lots of eyes.
  • Dueling Games: Not only with Metroid (that however came out one year after this one and for home systems), but also with Capcom's arcade shmup Section Z, similarly starring a guy with a jetpack.
  • Evil Counterpart:
    • The Sniper enemies look like a blue version of Kissy, move in the same way and shoot fast bullets from their guns. Apparently they were other explorers who were infected and corrupted by the Octy. In the sequel they no longer look like the player character.
    • The sequel adds Black Paccets, black versions of the friendly Paccets, to the enemy roster.
  • Eyes Are Unbreakable: In Baraduke II, whenever you shoot a friendly Paccet, they no longer just fall outside the screen, but explode, leaving behind their lone eyeball that can be picked up for a measly 1 point.
  • Family-Unfriendly Death: Kill a Paccet in Baraduke II and watch them erupt in Alien Blood. A lone Paccet also self-destructs on the title screen!
  • Eat Me: The Octy King can only be killed by damaging it's eye and then forcing yourself inside it's mouth to blast it away form the inside.
  • Game-Over Man: Paccet Ojisan in the sequel.
  • Guide Dang It!: To destroy the Octy King, shooting it in the eye is not enough, you need to enter its mouth and then shoot at its eye again. This is explained exactly nowhere.
  • Heartbeat Soundtrack: The original game has no BGM and no music outside of some brief jingles, just a creepy "thump-thump" beat that becomes a little faster when you are on your last shield.
  • Inferred Holocaust: In the first game the Paccets either get turned into shields for Kissy, kill themselves to stun the bosses or fall under our friendly fire. Who exactly are we saving at the end of the game?
  • King Mook:
    • The Octy King, the final boss of the first game, is nothing more than a much bigger and uglier version of the regular one-eyed Octy mooks.
    • The sequel has a monstrous Dark Paccet as the final boss.
  • Lighter and Softer: The sequel has a goofier, more cartoony aesthetic with some wacky touches; apparently Takky now flies with a jetpack and also a head propeller a la Doraemon. Also, the Paccets no longer have suicidal tendencies (see Suicide Attack below).
  • Live Item: Paccets in the original. The sequel also features them as collectables, except they now orbit around your character.
  • Nintendo Hard: It's almost like they don't want you to progress in the game. The original doesn't let you continue unless you change the coin-op's switch configuration to allow it. As for the sequel, well... see the next trope entry.
  • Press Start to Game Over: In Baraduke II, Takky is a One-Hit-Point Wonder (unless you can get the vehicle) with only one life on default settings (which can be upped to five by going into Service Mode and changing the settings), so it's perfectly possible to get a Game Over after mere seconds from the game's start.
  • Recurring Boss: The Blue Worm and Turning Eye bosses are the only two in the first game, besides the Octy King at the end.
  • Samus Is a Girl: And one year before the Samus, to boot!
  • Shout-Out: To Pac-Man. The Bagann enemies hiding in the capsules look like a monstrous version of the notorious pill-muncher, and one late level is shaped like the famous maze. A few secret bonuses are also lifted to previous Namco games.
  • Stalked by the Bell:
    • If you take too long to finish a level when the gate is already open, an enemy called Blue Spark (looking like a blue peanut) appears. It moves in an erratic fashion but, unlike most examples of this trope, it can be killed in two hits.
    • Baraduke II ups this by having a whole boss (the Turning Eye) creep on you until it obliterates you.
  • Suicide Attack: A very rare "good" example. If you still have any Paccets with you when you enter the boss stage, they will appear one by one above Kissy and launch themselves at the enemy. They'll die but manage to stop the monster for a few seconds.
  • Surprisingly Good English: The first game is entirely in English, with just a few minor mistakes in the text. This extends to the Paccet's digitized voice, that says "I'm your friend" with only a hint of Japanese accent.
  • Video Game Cruelty Potential: A secret bonus in the first game needs you to shoot the first 20 Paccets you come across, to make two precious items (actually caricatures of the two developers) appear.

I'm Your Friend!— Aaaaaugh! *explodes*


Example of: