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Video Game / Joy Mech Fight

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Joy Mech Fight is a Fighting Game that Nintendo developed for the Famicom, released in 1993. It had No Export outside Japan until it was re-released worldwide on the Nintendo Switch Online service in September 2023. It pushes the limitations of the 8-bit console by making all the characters have their body parts float separately, which makes for smooth animations with low memory costs. Surprisingly for a Famicom Fighting Game, the controls work well, and there are even full in-depth tutorials on each character's moveset.

The plot of the game tells of Dr. Little Emon, who created robots with the help of his best friend, Dr. Ivan Walnut. One day Dr. Emon finds the laboratory destroyed and the seven robots that were being worked on are nowhere to be seen. Turns out Dr. Walnut is behind it all, intent on conquering the world. Betrayed, Dr. Emon calls his eighth robot, the comedian Sukapon, to be reprogrammed into a battle robot to put an end to Dr. Walnut's plans.

Now why does that sound familiar?

While the game remains largely ignored by Nintendo overseas outside of cameos in the Super Smash Bros. series, you can check out its Spiritual Successor Uchu Mega Fight for more cartoony floating limb fighting.

Tropes featured in this game:

  • Aerith and Bob: There's robots with one-word noun names (like Flame and Tiger) or Japanese names (like Sukapon.) And then there's Zak and John.
  • Always Someone Better: The Moveset Clones are intentionally made to be superior to their original counterparts, with greater power on individual attacks and more useful special moves.
  • Anti-Air: Many of the bots have attacks used on the ground that are most effective when an opposing bot jumps at them. For instance, Flame and Blaze have Fire Fury and Rainbow Fury respectively. In Practice mode, if there is an attack that is primarily an Anti-Air, the description of the move will say "As enemy jumps at you, [Move name]!!" though there are some attacks where it doesn't, such as Jibber's Sucker Punch.
  • Artificial Stupidity:
    • All CPU-controlled bots will stick to using long-range attacks, projectiles, or charging attacks if you're on the other side of the screen, usually never bothering to approach unless they have no long-range attacks.
    • A computer-controlled Gel will switch between visible and invisible rather than staying invisible all the time. This is likely for the player's benefit, though, not to mention a human player would probably have difficulties playing an invisible Gel since they can't see him either.
  • Astral Finale: The final battle against Houou is set on the surface of the moon, with Dr. Walnut watching.
  • Bare-Fisted Monk: Giant and Sasuku.
  • Belly Mouth: Invoked with the design of Jibber (the "body" being the actual head of the bot, mouth included, and the small knight's helmet as the "head").
  • Butt-Monkey: Neo. Dr. Walnut dismisses it as "average at best" (and its Moveset Clone Nay doesn't fare much better there; Walnut has to have the computer tell him Nay "ranks as above average"), and Dr. Emon has to turn to his computer to find anything positive to say about it.
  • Cast from Hit Points: Eye has the move Eye Astrong, which depletes a small amount of energy to give an invulnerability effect that deals damage if the opponent makes direct contact.
  • Composite Character: Two; John, who shares attacks with Bokbok and Geo, and Gel, who shares attacks with Flame, Tiger, Senju, Sasuku and Sukapon.
  • Counter-Attack: How Eye's Eye Astrong primarily functions, though it also works if your opponent simply walks into you.
  • Cyber Cyclops: Eye, Wai, Geo, Grak, Giganto, Garborg, and the evil version of Tiger.
  • Death Throws: After a robot loses all its health, its entire body explodes and falls apart. In Stage 1 of War, defeating an enemy robot leads to its head being knocked aside, allowing Dr. Emon to reprogram it.
  • Decoy Protagonist: Flame. After being rescued, he slots into the first character slot on the character select screen and is the default character across all modes, yet the main protagonist role goes to Sukapon, who's in the very last slot instead.
  • Defeat Means Friendship: How you get your playable characters in 1P War: by reprogramming the first wave of encountered robots-gone-rogue.
  • Defeat Means Playable: You can play with further robots in other modes, if you can beat them at higher difficulties.
  • Dem Bones: Ghoston is a robot with a skull head and chest but no limbs, instead using the four glowing orbs that surround it to fight. Ivan claims he's actually a Back from the Dead Ra.
  • Difficulty Levels: Normal, Hard and Special. The first Stage is exclusive to Normal Mode and upon beating it, you can now play Hard mode. Defeat Hard mode to unlock Special mode.
  • Edible Theme Naming: Dr. L. Emon and Dr. Walnut.
  • Energy Ball: A good number of the robots employ these in their attacks, whether they're used as projectiles or not.
  • Epic Flail: Jibber, Giganto, and Garborg have them as arms.
  • Evil Counterpart: The last set of robots to the first one.
  • Evil Makes You Monstrous: The first seven robots have been given more menacing bodies under the command of Dr. Walnut, but after being rescued and reprogramed back to normal, they change back to their normal designs. Dr. Walnut also gets one when he becomes evil, and reverts back once he regains consciousness in the ending.
  • Evolving Credits: The staff roll gets several changes depending on which difficulty you beat the game on. On Normal, only Sukapon is shown. On Hard, the other seven heroic robots join the staff roll, and on Special, they're all colored into their 2P colors including Sukapon.
  • Expy: Dr. Emon and Dr. Walnut are expies of Dr. Light and Dr. Wily.
  • Face–Heel Turn: Dr. Walnut. In the end he loses his memories and is convinced by Dr. Emon that everything was a "bad dream".
  • Feathered Fiend: Dachon, who is modeled after an ostrich, is the first robot made by Dr. Walnut encountered after the seven stolen robots are all recovered.
  • Floating Limbs: Every single fighter; mostly done to save on Famicom memory.
  • Flying Saucer: Both Doctors have one of their own.
  • Freak Lab Accident: Implied in the game's opening sequence to be Sukapon's origin, with an angry-looking white robot in the process of being brought to life, only for the power to cut and the capsule to suddenly explode, which does cause the robot to be brought to life, but as the comedic pink Sukapon with Black Bead Eyes.
  • Gradual Regeneration: Every time one robot's life bar is knocked off, the other recovers a little of their own life bar as a reward.
  • Hearts Are Health: Or rather, they represent how many health bars you have left.
  • Hyperactive Sprite: The most notable one has to be Sukapon and the corresponding Moveset Clone Sukapokon, who are constantly twirling.
  • The Idiot from Osaka: Sukapon is implicitly this, after the game explains that he's a "comedy robot" who was undergoing training in Kansai. Dr. Walnut mocks Sukapon during the prologue as well.
  • Lost in Translation: The Fan Translation gives the two scientists more Americanized names, losing the Edible Theme Naming.
  • Moveset Clone:
    • Plenty. We have Zak and Superzak; Giant and Gaean; Neo and Nay; Senju and Ashura; Sasuku and Hanzor; Flame and Blaze; Tiger and Leo; Eye and Wai; and Sukapon and Skapokon.
    • Subverted with Ra and Ghoston. Dr. Walnut claims that Ghoston is Ra rebuilt from the dead, but they have zero attacks in common and share little other than their core being floating torsos and heads.
  • Multiple Life Bars: Rather than rounds.
  • Off with His Head!: During battle, if a mech gets hit several times in a short period of time, it gets stunned, requiring it to pick its head up and re-attach it to its body, usually giving the opponent a free shot. This is also the result if a mech loses all its energy and it still has a life or two remaining.
  • Palette Swap: Every fighter in the game has two different palettes depending on which side (either 1P or 2P) is controlling it. In the "Special" difficulty of War, all the CPU bots have 1P colors instead.
  • Playing with Fire:
    • Flame and Blaze, of course.
    • Shenlong, whose Fire Breath move is a long-range breath of fire which hits multiple times on block.
  • Rain of Something Unusual:
    • Flame and Blaze have the moves Fire Fury and Rainbow Fury respectively, where they punch the ground and embers quickly come down from above near where they stand. The game calls them Anti-Air attacks.
    • In a similar vein, Legend, whose Energy Torn move is an uppercut followed by embers raining down.
  • Rapid-Fire Fisticuffs:
    • The move Nonsense, in which the user endlessly flails their hands forwards. It is shared by BokBok and Skapokon.
    • John's Flailing attack.
    • Senju/Ashura's Multi Punch/Drill Bit involves combining this trope with Spam Attack- both their hands and drills are fired off simutaniously.
  • Rolling Attack: Sukapon's Sukapon Roll.
  • Secret Character:
    • Beating 1P War a second time on the higher "Hard" difficulty (or beat Stage 1, exit back to the main menu, re-select 1P War, and pick Hard) will unlock the 24 bots you fought in Stages 2, 3, and 4 in War mode for play in versus mode, including the Moveset Clones of the initial eight bots.
    • Beating it again on Special will add the four boss bots Dachon, Ra, Garborg, and Ho-Oh to the playable roster.
  • Shotoclone: Neo, Nay and Shenlong.
  • Shout-Out: Flame has a move similar to Terry Bogard's Power Geyser. The move is called Fire Fury.
  • SNK Boss:
    • In "war" mode at least. The first seven robots and Sukapon deal low damage with their attacks, and require great skill to use. In other modes where you can use the other robots, the bosses are not so bad.
    • Most blatant in the final wave of robots, who are just more refined and powerful versions of the original 8, except better in almost every way.
  • Songs in the Key of Panic:
    • The music speeds up when a robot is on its last life.
    • Ra's boss battle theme, which is an incredibly short, quick melody. Intensified when combined with the aforementioned last life speed-up.
  • Spam Attack: Neo's Multi Kick. Senju comines this with Rapid-Fire Fisticuffs in Multi-Punch, where his drills join in with his claw-hands.
  • Spell My Name with an S: As no official English version exists, articles covering the game tend to differ on how some of the names should be translated (the Final Boss's name could be translated as Houou, Hou-ou, Ho-oh, Hoo-oo, Feng Huang, or even simply Phoenix). For consistency's sake, this article will use the Fan Translation's names.
  • Super-Powered Robot Meter Maids: Justified in Sukapon's case. It was built to be a comedian, but was given upgrades to be a warrior because it was the only robot Dr. Emon had left. It went back to its original purpose after the game's events.
  • Technicolor Fire: Blaze's fires are rainbow.
  • This Is a Drill: Senju and Ashura have drills on their bodies that float just above their heads.
  • Training Dummy: Zak plays this role in the Move-Tutorials. He can be fully-controlled by the second controller, including the use of his Special moves.
  • TV Head Robot: Senju and Ashura.
  • Use Your Head:
    • Sukapon can headbutt with Koninaran and, as a Ki Manipulation of sorts, shoot heads with the Tondeker. Skapokon also has access to Tondeker, but trades in Koninaran for Nonsense.
    • Bokbok also has Head Spin, which a move similar to Konaniran, but trading increased range for reduced power.
  • Victory Dance: All the robots in the game have one.
  • Villain: Exit, Stage Left: Subverted at the end. Ivan tries, but runs out of gas, leading to his saucer exploding, resulting in Dr. Emon picking up his unconscious body from the Moon's surface and returning back to Earth, where Dr. Walnut reverts from his villainous facade.
  • Wake-Up Call Boss: Dachon. Its defenses are practically non existent but it's the first mech to completely outclass all of your own on the offensive side of things.
  • "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue: The two doctors return to being friends, and Sukapon returns to owarai to become the best comedian in the world!
  • Whole-Plot Reference: The plot is very similar to that of Mega Man. Though unlike that game, the robots you face in Stage 1 (which consist of the heroic robots gone bad) are reprogrammed back onto your side after defeating them instead of being flat-out destroyed in Mega Man's case.