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Video Game / For the Frog the Bell Tolls

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Since they were small children, the young Prince of Sablé and Richard, the Prince of the Custard Kingdom, were rivals in fencing. However, Richard always bested the Prince of Sablé, who dreamed to beat him some day. One day, word reaches that the Croakian Army, led by Lord Delarin, invaded the peaceful Mille-Feuille Kingdom and abducted Princess Tiramisu. Richard immediately sets out to save the kingdom, followed by the Prince of Sablé. With that, an adventure begins to save the Mille-Feuille Kingdom and Princess Tiramisu.

And frogs. A lot of frogs.

For the Frog the Bell Tolls (original title: Kaeru no Tame ni Kane wa Naru) is an Action RPG for the Game Boy, developed by Nintendo and released in 1992. It was influenced by their own The Legend of Zelda series, which inherited some elements of this game. The later released The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening has a cameo by Prince Richard in a house full of frogs and the even later released Super Mario RPG had a cameo by Prince Richard in frog form as an early non-boss enemy in the Japanese version (he's named Frogog in the translation). Since then, For the Frog the Bell Tolls hasn't gotten much acknowledgment by Nintendo, but Dr. Arewo Stein managed to appear as a recurring Non-Player Character in Wario Land 4, and there is a sticker of the Prince of Sablé in Super Smash Bros. Brawl. In Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, the Prince of Sablé appears as an Assist Trophy.

The game never got a release in America or Europe, but a complete fan translation exists.

This Game Provides Examples Of:

  • Affectionate Parody:
  • Anticlimax Boss: Parodied in-universe. When the Prince of Sablé encounters Lord Delarin, the latter is revealed to be... a normal-sized snake, an enemy too weak to even hurt you at this point. The prince verbally expresses his disappointment that the final boss is so pathetically easy. Then the snake transforms.
  • Bag of Spilling: The Prince begins the game filthy rich, but loses it due to unconcerned spending and thievery. He gets the stolen money back, but loses all his money again, this time to buy a potion that turns him back to a human.
  • Beef Gate: Since combat is automatic, "bosses" instead serve as gates to make sure you've acquired the best gear and stat upgrades available to you, rather than gameplay challenges.
  • Bewitched Amphibians: Frogs play a huge role in this game, as mentioned above.
  • Big Damn Heroes: The final battle is full of this, with no less than three separate arrivals of reinforcements.
  • Big Ball of Violence: How battles are generally done in this game. Getting stronger results in weaker enemies being defeated instantly, after which they fly off the screen.
  • Big "WHAT?!": The Prince, frequently.
  • Bland-Name Product: Nantendo, who apparently make strength-enhancing wristbands. Considering who made this game, it's doubtful that there were any legal reasons for this.
  • Chekhov's Gun: The stuff Dr. Arewo Stein is working on when he gives a upgrade to the Prince.
  • Convection, Schmonvection: The Prince and his mining crew manage to outrun a volcanic eruption after unsealing the Snake Killer sword, despite it happening right behind them.
  • Damsel in Distress: The princes think Princess Tiramisu is this, but then find out that no one knows where she is.
  • Dub Name Change: The fan translation changes Dr. Arewo Stein's name to Dr. Knit, presumably due to text limitations.
  • Edible Theme Naming: Various locations and characters are named after sweets, such as the Sablé and Custard Kingdoms, Princess Tiramisu, and Mt. Bavarian.
  • Emergency Energy Tank: Wine.
  • Experience Points: Averted, the player has to find certain stones that raise his stats directly.
  • Eye Scream: Lord Delarin gets blinded by a well-aimed sword throw during the final battle.
  • Forced Transformation: Initially, the potion of Mandola turns the Prince of Sablé, Richard, the entire Custard Army, and Jam into frogs. Later, the Prince can change forms at will, and even gains a snake form.
  • Foreshadowing: As he comes back from a Mushroom Samba, the Prince of Sablé briefly hallucinates he's talking to a beautiful woman, only to regain his senses and realize he's been hitting on the rather homely witch Mandola the entire time. Mandola actually is a beautiful woman, Princess Tiramisu, in disguise.
  • Heart Container: Or rather, "Heart Stones".
  • Hearts Are Health: Not unlike the Zelda series, your total HP (and enemy HP) is represented as hearts.
  • Hello, [Insert Name Here]: The player gets to name the Prince of Sablé.
  • Heroic Mime: Averted. The Prince might not have a canon name, but he does have a voice.
  • Hopeless Boss Fight: The Prince can't win against the mammoth. He then resorts to mind control.
  • Hyperactive Metabolism: Wine, and even bugs when he is a frog, replenish the Prince's health.
  • Hyperactive Sprite: All of the human Non Player Characters walk in place constantly.
  • Idiot Hero: The Prince of Sablé. He has very little understanding of the outside world, spends his money frivolously because he never learned frugality, and frequently gets taken advantage of by the common folk as a consequence.
  • Insistent Terminology: Dr. Arewo Stein insists that the Hyper Glove is not simply a Work Glove, even breaking the fourth wall to correct the game itself.
  • Just in Time: The magic potion that transformed Prince Richard and the entire Custard Army into frogs is designed to wear off when the Spring Bell is rung (hence the game's title). Said bell winds up ringing at exactly the perfect time: right after Lord Delarin has swallowed the Custard Army whole.
  • Karmic Thief: Jam only steals from the invading Croakian Army. He initially mistakes the Prince of Sablé for a Croakian, leading to some misfortune (and loss of fortune) for the Prince.
  • The Maze: The way to the witch Mandola on Mt. Bavarian. Thankfully, the way is described on a sign near the entrance.
  • Money Spider: Since enemies don't give experience points, the only reason to fight many of them (besides getting them out of your path) is for the money they drop. As a consequence, even wild animals frequently drop money on defeat.
  • Mushroom Samba: The Prince of Sablé eats an apple that messes with his head and causes his tongue to go numb, though he snaps out of it once Richard appears. Mandola describes it as causing relaxing dreams.
  • NPC Roadblock: Frogs and snakes with "bad attitudes" block some paths, and can only be passed with some transformation or puzzle solving.
  • Oh, Crap!: Played for Laughs right at the very end of the game. The Prince asks Polnareff if Princess Tiramisu (whom he is now betrothed to) was only pretending to be mischievous and flippant as part of her Mandola disguise. Polnareff assures him it was not an act, and Tiramisu's personality is exactly the same in either form. Cue the Prince collapsing with shock right as the ending screen rises up.
  • Playboy Bunny: The waitresses at the bar in the town of Pudding are dressed up like these.
  • Pointy Ears: As a witch, Mandola sports these.
  • Point of No Return: Lord Delarin's throne room.
  • Post-Final Boss: Insofar as a game with automatic combat can have one. After defeating Lord Delarin, the two princes duel each other for Princess Tiramisu's hand in marriage. Prince Richard ultimately chooses to concede before either can land a finishing blow.
  • Real Person Cameo: Shigesato Itoi mining for gold. No, really.
  • Recurring Riff: Almost all of the songs in the game contain the same short, six-note tone, which later appears in Richard's Villa during his cameo in The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening.
  • Reptiles Are Abhorrent: Lord Delarin, the leader of the Croakian Army, is a snake.
  • The Reveal: The witch Mandola is really Princess Tiramisu in disguise.
  • The Rival: Prince Richard. He does his best to stay ahead of the Prince of Sablé at every turn, even after becoming a frog.
  • RPG Elements: To a small extent. The Prince doesn't level up via an experience system, but he can obtain items and equipment that increase individual stats.
  • Running Gag: The Prince continuously loses and regains a large amount of money over the course of the game. However, it's never around when you can use it to shop.
  • Schizo Tech: On the surface it's a generic fantasy land with Medieval Stasis, but there are modern-day corporate buildings, robots, and other things.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Side View: The dungeon levels are mostly made of such segments.
  • Spikes of Doom: Small spikes deal little damage. Big ones kill in one hit.
  • Top-Down View: The usual view, aside from the Side View segments.
  • Unexpected Gameplay Change: Instead of being fully-automated like all other combat in the game, you must finish off Lord Delarin with a sequence of quick-time event sword thrusts, carefully timed to slip through the gap in his rotating barrier.
  • When Trees Attack: Fear Trees, which start out as tough enemies but are much easier to take down later in the game.
  • Witch Classic: Mandola fits the appearance and spends her time being mischievous. It's her magic potion that turned the princes into frogs. She's actually Princess Tiramisu, pulling a Batman Gambit that required her to disguise herself as a witch.
  • You Don't Look Like You: The Prince's in-game appearance is not at all like the illustration above, but instead that of an Ambiguously Brown boy.

Alternative Title(s): Kaeru No Tame Ni Kane Wa Naru, The Frog For Whom The Bell Tolls