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Video Game / Crazy Climber

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Released in 1980, this arcade game by the relatively obscure company Nichibitsu stood out from other games of the time by not being terribly focused on action and having a fairly sophisticated control scheme involving two joysticks and no buttons. Each joystick controls one of your character's arms and your goal is to scale a large building while avoiding obstacles coming down on you from above, windows closing on your hands to make you lose your grip, live wires, and a giant ape resembling King Kong (note that this game predates another game inspired by King Kong by one year).

For a game that you'd be hard-pressed to find someone who's even heard of it, Crazy Climber received a pretty decent amount of ports, remakes, and even legitimate sequels over the years, almost all of which never made it outside of Japan.

Crazy Climber has examples of the following:

  • Alliterative Title: The title.
  • Balloonacy: The second and third levels have a giant balloon you can grab onto to go up 10 windows...which isn't a whole lot of distance considering how massive each building is.
  • Endless Game: Complete the four buildings, and the game loops back to the first with increased difficulty. Subverted in the Famicom port, which includes twelve buildings and a proper ending.
  • Flower-Pot Drop: Enemies, or the closest thing to enemies in this game, will appear in various windows just to drop flower pots on your character.
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  • Hard Head: If you hold the joysticks in such a way that you keep the character's hands rooted on safe terrain, the falling obstacles will simply bounce off his head a number of times before actually causing you to lose a life.
  • Killer Gorilla: See below.
  • Lawyer-Friendly Cameo: The appearance of a giant ape resembling King Kong, who tries to punch your character. However, in the WonderSwan remake of the game, this particular hazard resembles the Kraken instead.
  • Nintendo Hard: As expected from a coin-operated game released in 1980.
  • No OSHA Compliance: The buildings. Where do we start? They have hundreds of windows open at a time, a couple of them are shaped in ways that defy gravity, there are live wires all over the place, and obstacles rain down like nobody's business.
  • Pragmatic Adaptation: As the original arcade game required the use of two joysticks to control the protagonist's climbing hands, the Atari 2600 version had to adapt these controls to work with a single joystick controller.
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  • Public Domain Soundtrack: When the top of the second building is reached, a rather frantic rendition of Scott Joplin's "The Entertainer" rag is played until the helicopter carries the climber away to the third building. Not all the familiar music in the game was public domain, however...
  • Scoring Points: What else would you expect from a game of this era? Notably, the helicopter at the top of each building doesn't actually need to be grabbed; doing so within the time limit (imposed when the sound effect of the copter plays when you're close enough to the top) only nets you extra points, and you can still complete the level if you fail to reach it in time.
  • Some Dexterity Required: The controls, especially by 1980 standards. Keep in mind that the arcades at the time were dominated by the likes of simple and intuitive games like Space Invaders and Pac-Man. For the Famicom port, the game replicates the arcade controls by using both controllers' d-pads to control both arms. The game also includes some joystick peripherals to attach to the d-pads to replicate the arcade experience.
  • Title Drop: An amusingly literal example. Starting with the third building, a new hazard in the form of a falling marquee sign threatens the beleaguered climber. The title on this marquee sign? "Crazy Climber." That's right — if you're not careful, you can get killed by the title drop!
  • Toilet Humor: Yet another hazard is birds pooping on your character.
  • Yet Another Stupid Death: Dying because you paid attention to everything but the window you're holding onto, causing you to get a nasty surprise when it closes on you.