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Video Game / Ganbare Goemon 3 Shishijurokube No Karakuri Manji Gatame

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Ganbare Goemon 3: Shishi Jūrokubē no Karakuri Manji-gatame (Go for it! Goemon 3: The Mecha Leg Hold of Jurokube Shishi) is a 1994 action game developed by Konami for the Super Famicom. It is a few steps more ambitious than the previous game, as it is equal parts side-scrolling and top-down action and allows players to switch between Goemon, Ebisumaru, Sasuke and the now playable kunoichi Yae at will to use the specific abilities of each character to get past stages that focus on exploration and puzzles.

The story begins when the Wise Man develops a time machine and tests it out for chasing after the women of the future. However, he's quickly kidnapped by Bismaru, a villainous nun who looks suspiciously like Ebisumaru. After meeting up with Sasuke and Yae, Goemon and Ebisumaru must prevent Bismaru and her tyrannical boss Jurokube from taking over the past.

It was followed by Ganbare Goemon: Kirakira Douchuu in 1995 and although the game never left Japan it finally received a fan translation in 2020.


Go for it, tropers:

  • 1-Up: There are two shops that sell 1-ups for 500 ryo. That's the only way to obtain them.
  • Absurdly Short Level: Two stages are oddly made up of a single puzzle and a boss — one of multiple signs of the game's development being rushed towards the end.
  • Action Bomb: Sasuke self-destructs from damage he sustained as a boss, but then appears safe and sound afterwards, saying he was joking. He wasn't even a target in the fight, anyway.
  • Alternate World Map: The future world has the same overall layout as the past, but is significantly expanded and has more futuristic locales (such as Ninnin Village being replaced with Mecha Village).
  • Bad Boss: Jurokube doesn't like his gonky main henchwoman Bismaru much, and sends her flying into the sky when she tries to confort him after he loses to Goemon.
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  • Bad Future: About two thirds of the game takes place in Neo Oedo, a future version of Oedo where Jurokube and his mechanical gang have largely taken over the world.
  • Bag of Spilling: Sasuke starts without his bomb subweapon and Ebisumaru starts without his charged attack.
  • Big Dam Plot: The Goemon Impact is used to break a wall outside of the flooded northeast town, which opens up said town as well as activates a healing waterfall further south.
  • Blackout Basement: There are dark areas in the Mechanical Hot Springs with only some objects visible to have some idea where to step on.
  • Bonus Boss: If you finish the game having collected all of the silver cats, after defeating Jurokube you will get to have a rematch with the Kabuki boss from the previous two games.
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: Turns out the Wise Man was brainwashed to work for Jurokube after being captured.
  • Brick Joke:
    • Ebisumaru spends the early parts of the game complaining that he's hungry. Once he arrives in the future, he immediately stuffs himself with the grass he crash-landed on.
    • At the top of the Mechanical Tower lies a statue of Jurokube posing like a manji. When he's defeated in the end, he is sent flying away in that same pose.
  • Call-Back:
    • When first piloting Goemon Impact, the crew tries to get him to run like in the chase scenes from the previous game but for some reason it doesn't work and they end up simply walking all the way to Bismaru Elegant.
    • When a villain mentions the hot springs in the snow area, everyone except Goemon is excited. A Running Gag in the previous games was him happily walking into the women's side of the springs only to find a bunch of okamas inside.
  • The Cameo: Pastel from Twinbee (and here she is called that instead of "Winbee") runs the Travel stations in the past. In the future, Shiori Fujisaki from Tokimeki Memorial works in them instead.
  • Camera Screw: Towards the end of Mechanical Tower, Ebisumaru must climb a tower by hanging on to a series of spinning poles. The problem is that every next pole will be just off-screen, making it difficult to judge when to jump.
  • Cast from Money: Subweapons drain money as usual.
  • Charged Attack:
    • Goemon and Ebisumaru can charge their subweapons. Goemon's charged coin can go through energy barriers and Ebisumaru's charged shuriken can bounce on walls.
    • Goemon Impact's right hook grows stronger the longer it isn't used. His snot bullets can also be charged by holding the shot button.
  • Chain of Deals: It is one of these that awards the last three metal plates.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: The heroes get chased by Bismaru Elegant and the King of Lottery long before fighting them with Goemon Impact.
  • Continuing is Painful: There are no save points within the action stages, so if you get a game over all progress is lost.
  • Cutscene Incompetence: Sasuke and Yae are captured at one point and imprisoned by common mooks. Sasuke is placed in a cell and Yae is tied up to a daruma robot. Amusingly enough, when they're ambushed they get startled and jump backwards over an energy barrier and into the prison grounds — which is impossible in normal gameplay.
  • Damsel in Distress: Omitsu is kidnapped again, this time by Bismaru after she destroys Oedo town. Subverted in that her time with Jurokube amounted to a date between the two and they part ways in good terms, much to Goemon's chagrin.
  • Defeat Equals Friendship:
    • Sasuke is first met as a boss because all the machines in the Ninja Estate including him were set to kill any intruders. A good slap on the head brings him back to his senses.
    • After being defeated, Jurokube realizes his legendary ancestor is not a villain, but instead the hero who just defeated him. He promises to be a kind ruler to future Japan from then on.
  • Descending Ceiling: The Mechanical Tower stage involves a spiked one.
  • The Dragon: Bismaru, a nun-miko who's a descendant of Ebisumaru, serves under Jurokube but is a more active threat than him.
  • Dungeon Bypass: When the heroes arrive at Jurokube's stronghold, Yae uses her feminine intuition to make Goemon Impact punch a hole straight where Wise Man is being held captive. This can be seen as a lampshade hanging of how the game is very obviously missing more than one action stage.
  • Eye Pop: At one point an upset Bismaru is seen with her eyes popped out.
  • Failed Attempt at Drama:
    • When Jurokube transforms his giant mech into a humanoid form, Bismaru crashes the head of the Bismaru Elegant on it for a Villain Team-Up. Jurokube gets increasingly annoyed with her from then on.
    • After being defeated, Jurokube leaps right on Goemon Impact's windshield and prepares a special attack that's the subtitle of the game, but the heroes blow him off before he can go through with it.
  • Giant Space Flea from Nowhere: Recurring cyborg villain Kabuki shows up from nowhere as the True Final Boss if the player has maxed out their health.
  • Grappling-Hook Pistol: Goemon's chain pipe upgrade allows him to latch on blocks marked with a manji.
  • Guide Dang It!: Trying to get all the silver cats without a guide is an exercise in frustration, as many of them are Permanently Missable Content and some of them are missable if you simply solve the puzzles of certain dungeons in the wrong order. This is particularly frustrating, as the game's Bonus Boss can only be fought if you have collected all of the cats in the game.
  • Heart Container:
    • Every action stage and some overworld areas have 4 silver lucky cat items, and for every 4 collected the player earns a heart. There's also a couple golden cat dolls that are worth 4 silver ones.
    • There are also Energy Tank pieces that let the walker mechs use their special moves for a longer time.
  • Hint System: It's easy to get lost halfway through the game, but there are characters who give hints at a price.
  • Hit Points: You start out with 5 hearts and the maximum amount is 16, making for a total of 32 HP.
  • I Ate WHAT?!: The daughter of the Nice Guy shop is happy with the food item she's been eating until she's told it is dog food.
  • Improbable Weapon User: Ebisumaru's weapon in this game is a hula hoop which is more useful on the top-down areas. The upgraded version is a tool for hanging on posts sticking out of walls.
  • Incredible Shrinking Man: Ebisumaru can learn a skill that, even though it sounds like it will make him slim, actually shrinks him.
  • Incredibly Lame Pun: Goemon calls the dam that must be destroyed to restore the water flow of the towns in the future a "Damn Northern Dam" and is quite proud of it. Sasuke and Yae groan at his comment.
  • Involuntary Group Split: Upon crashing the Goemon Impact into the future, Yae and Sasuke are separated from Goemon and Ebisumaru.
  • Laugh Track: The game has this for the heck of it.
  • Marathon Level: Each action stage is a pretty long metroidvania dungeon except for two that are suspiciously just a single puzzle and a boss.
  • Meaningful Background Event: The first glimpse of Jūrokubē is in some kind of ad playing on a monitor in the background of one of the future stages.
  • Megaton Punch: When enemy mechs get close and personal with Goemon Impact, throw a right hook to blow them away. In certain cases you can pull a little left arm combo before the hook, too.
  • Metroidvania: Each action stage is a maze where the player must the characters' unique skills to solve puzzles or collect keys that open previously inaccessible paths.
  • Mini-Mecha: The walker suits are first seen in escape sequences and blow up afterwards, but eventually the heroes obtain an enhanced suit they can travel around with to solve certain puzzles.
  • Mirror Boss: The standard final boss is Dark Impact, an Evil Knockoff of Goemon Impact with his same moveset.
  • Money for Nothing: Money actually sees a lot of use in the game from purchasing items, getting the walker mechs transported and subweapons being more important for puzzles and fights.
  • Motive Rant: Upon being defeated, Jurokube declares he has failed the legacy of his villainous ancestor and is further ashamed when he realizes that ancestor is Goemon himself, who is actually a honourable thief.
  • Multiple Endings: Defeating the True Final Boss awards a post-credits stinger.
  • Non-Lethal Bottomless Pits: Falling into a pit deals a full heart of damage and sets the hero back to the nearest ledge, but thanks to the game's metroidvania-esque level design, those are only seen during Stage 1. On the overworld, pits don't deal damage.
  • Non Standard Game Over: Normally the game over screen is blank, but if you lose a giant mecha battle you get to see a distant shot of Earth with the Impact exploding into a mushroom cloud.
  • Obvious Beta: The game is fully functional, but it is painfully noticeable that some of the latter action stages weren't supposed to be just a single corridor and a boss. The endgame involves a Chain of Deals that yields multiple mac-guffins at once, and the ending is a gauntlet of boss fights with dialogue that appears to poke fun at the absence of a proper final stage.
  • Party in My Pocket: Only one character out of four is visible on-screen during standard gameplay.
  • Permanently Missable Content: Make sure to collect every silver lucky cat in the action stages, because there's no turning back. That's not just HP upgrades you risk to lose, but the True Final Boss too! It gets especially troublesome because as soon as stage 3 solving puzzles in the wrong order makes it impossible to reach some cats.
  • Pintsized Powerhouse: It is necessary to pay a miniature bodybuilder to remove a boulder on Snow Child town.
  • Puzzle Boss:
    • The Lion Fortress' boss is a machine that's only vulnerable to its own bombs. The boss room has a cord device that will bounce them towards the walls and the ceiling in which the boss crawls on.
    • The Mechanical Hot Springs boss must first have the ice that encases it melted. Then you freeze the burning penguins that appear and knock them into the boss.
    • At the Demonic Fortress, the two bosses on opposite walls must be hit by lasers of the element opposite to their own, or else they'll counter attack. A conveniently placed mirror can be picked up for deflecting the lasers.
    • When up against the brainwashed Wise Man, the player must knock certain objects into the device on the background. The problem is that not all the objects that fall at the same time are deflectable, which draws out the fight.
  • Randomly Drops: Enemies can drop 5 or 10 ryo, healing items, scrolls or nothing. Later on, fuel balls for the walkers are added to the item pool.
  • Read the Freaking Manual: Goemon Impact has a few new moves and traits that aren't explained in-game.
  • Rings of Death: Ebisumaru's hula-hoop.
  • Shoot the Bullet: One of the Impact battles involves walking towards the "Damn Northern Dam" while shooting and punching the bursts of bullets from its turrets and guards.
  • Smart Bomb:
    • Use the Goemon Impact's pipe bombs to interrupt enemy attacks you have trouble dodging. It deals a lot of damage this time around, but bosses have noticeably more HP too.
    • Dark Impact naturally can use pipe bombs, but the player can actually either block the explosion or punch the bomb back at him.
  • Something We Forgot: Sasuke and Yae somehow forget the Wise Man in the future during the final battle, and only realize this after Jurokube leaves.
  • Spin Attack: Ebisumaru with his hula hoop. By mashing the attack button for a while he will spin out in a larger range but become stunned for about three seconds.
  • Super Drowning Skills: It is necessary to purchase a swim ring for Ebisumaru before even accessing the first stage.
  • Title Drop: "The Mecha Leg Hold of Jurokube Shishi" is Jurokube's last ditch move... that he's interrupted from using.
  • True Final Boss: To fight Kabuki after defeating Dark Impact, the player must collect every silver beckoning cat in the game.
  • Unexpected Gameplay Change:
    • On top of the Goemon Impact battles, there are now chase sequences where the heroes flee from some massive mechanical menace. The player must switch between all on-screen characters to make them avoid attacks.
    • The chase scenes before Impact battles are now slow shoot 'em ups of a sort.
  • Unsettling Gender Reveal: Referenced when a female NPC in the future is seen worrying about whether to tell her boyfriend that she's a "newhalf".
  • Video Game Cruelty Potential: You can't harm civilians in the overworld but you can still hurt guards. All nearby guards will become hostile but will stop as soon as one of them is blown up rather than keep spawning like in previous games.
  • Villains Out Shopping: Inside the Mechanical Hot Springs, Bismaru is seen covering herself with a towel and tossing things at the invading heroes alongside other women. She cannot be talked to or harmed.