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Video Game / Frogger

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The total lack of law enforcement on this road's a crime,
I'd write a letter, but I simply haven't got the time,
Give me a call tomorrow (if I haven't died),
And I can tell you how I made it to the other side (Up, left, up-right, right, right, down-left-up-up)
If I make it to the other side, (Up, left, up-right, right, right, down-left-up-up)
I hope I make it to the other side, (Up, left, up-right, right, right, down-left-up-up)
I gotta make it to the other side.
Paul and Storm, "Frogger! The Frogger Musical"

Frogger is an arcade game introduced in 1981. It was developed by Konami, and licensed for worldwide distribution by Sega/Gremlin. The game is regarded as a classic and was noted for its novel gameplay and theme. Frogger is still popular and versions can be found on many Internet game sites, as well as having spawned numerous sequels for a variety of systems.

The object of the game is to direct frogs to their homes one by one. To do this, each frog must avoid cars while crossing a busy road and navigate a river full of hazards. The skillful player may obtain many bonuses along the way.

The player starts with three frogs (lives). The player guides a frog which starts at the bottom of the screen. The lower half of the screen contains a five lane road with motor vehicles, which in various versions include cars, trucks, buses, taxis, bicyclists, motorcycles, or some combination thereof, speeding along it horizontally. The upper half of the screen consists of a river with logs, alligators, and turtles, all moving horizontally across the screen. The very top of the screen contains five "frog homes" which are the goals for each frog. Every level is timed; the player must act quickly to finish each level before the time expires.


The only player control is the joystick used to navigate the frog; each push in a direction causes the frog to hop once in that direction. On the bottom half of the screen, the player must successfully guide the frog between opposing lanes of trucks, cars and other vehicles, to avoid becoming roadkill.

The middle of the screen, after the road, has a median where the player must prepare to navigate the river.

By jumping on swiftly moving logs and the backs of turtles, the player can guide his or her frog safely to one of the empty lilypads. For some odd reason, the frog cannot swim. The player must avoid alligators, snakes, and otters in the river, but may catch bugs or escort a lady frog for bonuses. When all five frogs are directed home, the game progresses to the next, harder level.

Konami and Sega had a legal battle over who owned Frogger. Despite this, the original Frogger was the final licensed game ever produced and released for the Sega Genesis in 1998 (as well as the SNES in the same year, where it is the final cartridge ever released, but only the penultimate official SNES release in any format - the title of final release proper goes to Star Fox 2 in 2017 thanks to the SNES Classic) and Konami would bring installments of Contra and Castlevania to Sega consoles, and several years later Konami itself developed and published a Frogger game for the Nintendo 3DS, simply titled Frogger 3D (not to be confused with the Fan Nickname of the first Frogger game with polygonal graphics).


There was also a platform game titled Frogger: The Great Quest, which put the character in an open world.

Frogger was also featured in a subplot of an episode of Seinfeld, aptly named "The Frogger".

This series has examples of:

  • Animals Not to Scale: Frogs, turtles, and gators large enough to fit neatly on a vehicle lane.
  • Animated Adaptation: Yes...there was a Frogger cartoon show, as part of Saturday Supercade. No, it didn't feature him just jumping over things.
  • Anthropomorphic Shift: The games from 2001 to 2005 made him more of a Mascot with Attitude.
  • Art Evolution: Previously, the protagonist looked more like a bullfrog, but he is a green tree frog in the Nintendo 3DS game.
  • Difficulty by Acceleration: The obstacles speed up after completing a screen.
  • Family-Unfriendly Death: In the original game, the death of the playable character was limited to drowning or being flattened by a vehicle, and maybe being eaten by the occasional alligator. Other games in the series got a little more creative. The 1997 Frogger alone had: being mauled by a dog, crushed between spiked walls, getting run over by a lawnmower, etc. And in Frogger 3D, you have all those deaths, plus green blood oozes from Frogger. No wonder it was rated E10+.
  • Lily-Pad Platform: A series staple, since frogs are known for this.
  • Nostalgia Level: The classic level shows up a lot.
  • Retraux: The Nintendo 3DS version has the original level as a playable intro and replicates the sound and graphics as well. (After it's completed, it zooms out to an arcade machine displaying it and shows Frogger hopping off it.)
  • Sequel Number Snarl: There are three different games called Frogger II: A sequel to the original, a sequel to the first 3D Frogger, and another sequel to the original, for XBox Live Arcade.
  • Spiritual Successor: The Australian mobile game Crossy Road. It's the same concept, but with Loads and Loads of Characters and an endless, randomly generated level. Lampshaded by the unlockable Doge character from the above game; 'So clone' will appear on the screen occasionally, aside from other things.
  • Super Drowning Skills: And you're a frog. It's left up to the player's imagination as to why, but go figure.
    • Handwaved in some editions as the currents being too fast and dangerous for a frog to navigate. Reasonable in that real life frogs hang around ponds and swamps, not fast flowing rivers.
    • Frogger 3D also parodies this trope: if you drown in the water, you get the In-Universe "Frogs can't swim?" achievement.
    • It's never mentioned in-game, but the manuals for Frogger 2: Swampy's Revenge (the third game) and Frogger: Helmet Chaos reveal that Frogger suffers from a never-described childhood trauma involving water. The suggestion is that jumping into water gives him a panic attack, causing him to flail and drown. Still doesn't explain why every other playable character (including frogs) has exactly the same problem.
  • Timed Mission: You have limited time to get your frog home safely.

The original game has examples of:

  • 1-Up: Noteworthy in that it is difficult to earn as classic arcade games go. Getting all five frogs home safely is worth about 4,000 points; the default setting for an extra life is 20,000 points, which means you need to survive about five levels. And that's the only extra life you can earn.
  • Public Domain Soundtrack: Both played straight and inverted. Inu no Omawari-san note , along with Yankee Doodlenote  and Camptown Races are among the straight examples, but inverted by other songs (the themes from Rascal the Racoon, Heidi, Girl of the Alps, Hana no Ko Lunlun, and Moero Arthur: Hakuba no Ouji are heavily used as background music). The latter is why most ports, even otherwise arcade-perfect ports, change all the music (even the public domain songs).
  • Reality Has No Soundtrack: Curiously, the SNES port, released in 1998, contains no music at all, either on the menus or in-game.
  • Reptiles Are Abhorrent: Killer snakes and gatorsnote , plus annoyingly fickle turtles.note 
  • Re-Release Soundtrack: The 2006 re-release for XBox Live replaced the music from the arcade with new tunes. Most versions do, in fact, due to the copyrighted music used without permission (as noted above).

Other games in the series have examples of:

    open/close all folders 

    Frogger (1997) 
  • The Artifact: The game retains a pretty surprising amount of aspects from the original arcade game that many (particularly critics) argued didn't have a solid place in a home console game. For example, the Timed Mission aspect remains despite how large some of the levels are and you still are sent back to the start every time you rescue a baby frog with no checkpoints. The sequel knocked out a lot of these aspects.
  • Bee Afraid: Honey Bee Hollow (single-player) and Swarming Frogs (multiplayer).
  • Blackout Basement: Dark Dark Cavern, which requires you to eat several fireflies to be able to see farther.
  • Bragging Rights Reward: Technically in order to finish the game, all you need to do is find the golden frogs in every zone and finish the last level. As such, any levels at and past where the golden frogs reside in each zone are, in all technicality, completely meaningless. For that reason, finishing all the levels counts as this.
  • Cut-and-Paste Environments: Alongside the five retro levels, there are several stages that are just more difficult versions of preceding levels. A common element of these is that obstacles move much faster.
    • Spinning Lillies is a rehash of Lily Islands, except it's now night, and, as the name implies, every lily pad spins. A baby frog location was moved to a whole new area, at least.
    • Bow Wow Revenge is a recycled version of Bow Wow Falls, though it did add a new area in the bottom left corner of the map.
    • Loonier Balloons is, quite obviously, a different version of Looney Balloons. Very little of it was changed.
    • Crumbled Point is a reused Cactus Point. The obstacle increase is turned Up to Eleven for this level, though.
    • The dreaded Big Boulder Alley, which takes Boulder Alley and ups the ante to the extreme. In addition to increasing the already annoying amount of obstacles, they even added enemies that weren't in Boulder Alley, and moved two of the baby frog locations.
    • Boom Boom Barrel, a remix of Bang Bang Barrel. Once again, little has changed.
  • Excuse Plot: Pretty much. The "plot" given in the manual makes very little sense, summing up as "Frogger died a long time ago and while he was gone, a bunch of baby frogs went missing. Now he's alive again and has to save them." But it still doesn't explain the more nonsensical elements of the game, such as how they ended up in the sewers and in the clouds.
  • Giant Spider: The Cave Zone levels have a few, none more triumphant than in Webs Cavern.
  • Golden Ending: No pun intended; getting all the golden frogs allows you to see the game's ending upon finishing Tropical Trouble. If you miss any along the way, you simply only get to see the credits and nothing else.
  • Grimy Water: In the sewer zone, and probably the only place where Frogger's Super Drowning Skills are actually justified, since sewage actually would kill most living things.
  • Guide Dang It!:
    • The game gives almost no indication that you're able to superhop on a few of the hedges in Mower Mania. The only hint that you can is that a few of the hedges are flat and recessed on the top, but if you don't have a keen eye for detail, it's incredibly easy to overlook.
    • It is very easy to overlook the fact that one of the alligators that makes up the alligator bridge in Big Boulder Alley never goes under the water, even though he otherwise looks exactly the same as all the rest. That simple fact makes going across the bridge infinitely easier, though still not a cakewalk.
  • Living MacGuffin: The golden frogs. Getting one of them unlocks a zone, and getting all of them lets you see the game's ending.
  • Losing Horns: A solo trombone jingle plays when you get game over. Expect to hear it a lot.
  • MacGuffin Person Reveal: When you finish Tropical Trouble, the golden frogs are revealed to be this. If you missed any along the way, you don't get to see the ending.
  • The Maze:
    • Webs Cavern included a few mazes of webs to navigate through in order to rescue a baby frog. Made interesting by the fact that you were in a very dark cave.
    • Lava Crush may count as well, as getting the green frog required you to press certain switches in the correct order, and sometimes with careful timing.
  • Meaningless Lives: You only have three lives (or five, in the PC port) so Game Overs can and do happen, but all that happens is you get spit back to the main menu, where you can restart the level you just died on. Might as well have just had infinite lives, since navigating through the menus to pick up where you left off is annoying, especially if it happens repeatedly. And it often does on the harder levels.
  • Misbegotten Multiplayer Mode: In a case of Executive Meddling, Hasbro Interactive insisted the game needed to have a multiplayer mode, leading to one that feels quite tacked on as a result. The levels are quite difficult if you aren't familiar with the game mechanics, and one level in particular (Swarming Frogs) is going to be a Curb-Stomp Battle if one of the players is already familiar with the game from single player mode. In one particularly bad case, Jungle Rumble has a single flag that is much harder to reach than the others, which can lead to matches that drag on forever due to everyone fighting for the one flag if all the others get taken first.
  • Nintendo Hard: Oy. For starters, time limits are present on every level, so you can't afford to dawdle lest you die. For another thing, unless it's another frog, a switch, or a platform, a single touch from anything else will kill you. Third, you have to find each and every frog or start a new life from the same starting point. And some of the levels are not only difficult, they're difficult and have gimmicks which will make them an utter nightmare. Uncanny Crusher, anyone?
  • Poison Mushroom: There are a couple of red bugs around some stages which, if you eat them, subtract from the time limit.
  • Powerup Letdown: Super Tongue is an almost completely pointless addition. Auto-Hop and Quick Jump both have their uses, but Super Tongue just gives you a bit more reach on catching flies...which would be great, if it weren't for the fact that this is very seldom actually helpful. There's exactly one place in the entire game's set of 33 levels where you actually need it — there's a 1-up just barely out of reach on Lily Islands. Otherwise though, its functionality goes almost completely unused.
  • Shout-Out: The last level in the Sewer Zone is called Reservoir Frogs.
  • Sprite/Polygon Mix: The flies are all sprites in this game.
  • Stealth Pun: The level Time Flies. At first it just seems like a flying pun because the majority of the level is spent riding on a flock of ducks, but it's actually more or less a pun on all the time-increasing flies scattered across the level.
  • Ultimate Evil: A ridiculously extreme example. "Game Over, the ruler of all that is evil in good games", is implied to be the Greater-Scope Villain for every game in existence.
  • Unexpected Gameplay Change: Frogger Goes Skiing, where you, well, go skiing.
  • Video Game Settings: In order from first to last:

    Frogger 2: Swampy's Revenge 
  • Batman Can Breathe in Space: Frogger seems to have no trouble surviving being in space, despite having Super Drowning Skills.
  • Black Comedy: Basically everything Swampy does involving the baby frogs, including using one as a bludgeon, tossing them all over the place to distract Frogger and Lillie, terrorizing them on a make-believe TV show, and preparing to process and ship them as food.
  • Build Like an Egyptian: Pyramid Climb.
  • Collection Sidequest: There are 25 coins in every level, and collecting all of them unlocks one of a long list of bonuses.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Swampy is an Ascended Extra of one of the alligators of the previous games that Frogger had hopped onto. His response to that frog getting fame and recognition? Kidnap all the baby frogs and go out of his way to try to kill Frogger, in the name of Revenge!
  • 11th-Hour Ranger: An unnamed baby blue frog takes up the reins for the final stage in the story mode after Frogger and Lillie get captured.
  • Gender Flip: Lillie.
  • Go-Karting with Bowser: Swampy is an unlockable bonus character.
  • Green Hill Zone: The training area.
  • Idiot Ball: When Frogger comes across Lillie trapped in a cage over a pool of lava in the end game, does he free her? No, he just opens the cage door, hops inside and stays there, letting Swampy get the opportunity to start lowering the both of them towards the lava.
  • Indy Escape: Boulder Canyon plays this up, where you have to rescue a baby frog on the trap that sets off the boulder.
  • Lethal Lava Land: Lava Palaver.
  • The Many Deaths of You: This game took the opposite direction of the Family Unfriendly Deaths mentioned above and went more comical, such as Frogger inflating after getting stung by a bee or being flung up to the camera.
  • Minecart Madness: The mines provides a section where you hop across three mine carts to avoid the obstacles.
  • Retraux: The Super Retro Levels are done entirely in retraux style, with the cars, water, logs, turtles, and basically everything except the frogs themselves looking exactly like they did in the original arcade game.
  • Sequel Difficulty Drop: This one is generally much milder and tamer compared to its Nintendo Hard predecessor, mainly because the levels are now linear and the baby frogs serve as checkpoints. Also, the levels are filled with extra lives and you now get a move that lets you hop across two squares at once.
  • Timed Mission: Averted surprisingly, unless you are on Hard Mode or are playing the Super Retro Levels.
  • The Unfought: Swampy is never fought directly. He does manage to be a "Get Back Here!" Boss in spite of it, though, as one of the space levels involves pursuing him on a rocket as he drops obstacles and baby frogs.


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