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Video Game / Kinniku Banzuke: Kongou-Kun no Daibouken!

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Kinniku Banzuke: Kongou-Kun no Daibouken! is a Japan-exclusive Sports game developed by KCE Studios and published by Konami for the Game Boy Advance in 2001. It is based on the short anime series of the same name which is in turn based on the Unbeatable Banzuke sports show Ninja Warrior is derived from.

The game is made up of 7 reflex-based challenge minigames based on athletics competitions, like in Konami's own Track & Field series. Those are wrapped up in a story about Kongou, a young monk training to defeat a demon overlord from another world.

Also released by Konami in the same year for the GBA was Kinniku Banzuke Kimero! Kiseki no Kanzen Seiha, which like the previous Kinniku Banzuke GB games was a straight adaptation of the Ninja Warrior show and its four obstacle courses.


This game contains the following tropes:

  • Adapted Out: Out of 4 Sasuke stages only the final one, Spider and Rope Climb, is featured in the game.
  • Ascended Extra: Kongou is the Series Mascot of the Unbeatable Banzuke show, but in previous games he was just an unlockable character without any backstory.
  • Bald of Awesome: The protagonist and his father are both bald.
  • Bookends: Struck Out is the first and final challenge in the game.
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: After you meet a group of jolly high school rival kids, the Big Bad brainwashes them into crazy blank-eyed lackeys. On top of that they get turned into animals after the hero defeats them.
  • Disappeared Dad: The protagonist's father went off to fight an evil demon overlord and never returned. The protagonist finds him by the villain's doorstep at the end.
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  • Fake Longevity: Stages after the first third of the game introduce environmental hazards that not only make it difficult to clear tasks but also make some of them IMPOSSIBLE even if you were to play this on an emulator with auto-fire functions. To nullify those hazards you must buy a few of 4 types of gem items. They cost a currency you can only get by playing the challenges at the dojo over and over.
  • Game Over: Normally you get kicked back to the title screen if you lose at any point during the final gauntlet of the story. But if you befriend the martial artist boy, he gives you a special trinket that grants infinite continues.
  • Game-Over Man: The martial artist boy, should you befriend him, encourages you to try again if you lose during the final part of the story.
  • Guide Dang It!:
    • There's a bonus room in the game that asks for passwords that came with a trading card bundled with Kinniku Banzuke GB3. As of this writing there is no list or any information anywhere online about what those passwords are and what they unlock.
    • It is possible to befriend the black-haired boy who appears from a certain point on, but by making the wrong choices he disappears from the game instead. He makes the continue function available at the final gauntlet, but there's more — by setting enough records with him the plot switches to his viewpoint and leads into a Struck Out Bingo challenge and an unique ending where he earns some blessed food to heal Kongou-kun's mother with.
  • Heroic Mime: Subverted. The protagonist speaks very little throughout the game, but he does speak. In fact, it is right before the route where he passes the Player Character role to the black-haired boy that Kongou-kun speaks a full line, complete with a screen-filling portrait for him.
  • Improbable Aiming Skills: Struck Out is about Baseball pitching, Kick Target is about Soccer goal targetting and Nine Hoops likewise is to prove you can slam with the best. Those challenges have different inputs and will eventually require you to hit every single target available.
  • In a Single Bound: In the Monster Box challenge you must leap over a tall stack of plates. Towards the end of the game, you must leap over stacks of 50 and 100 plates. This is only possible if you equip a Wind Gem beforehand to make use of the fan gimmick in the area.
  • Marathon Level: The final area. 9 very demanding challenges in a row without being able to save.
  • Multiple Endings: The game normally ends with Kongou and his father coming back from the underworld and reuniting with Kongou's sickly mother. However, it is possible to unlock a story branch focused on the martial artist boy, where he earns medicine for Kongou's mom until she's healthy. An alternate ending plays where the heroes shake hands after Kongou and his father arrive.
  • Mundane Made Awesome: Towards the end, Kongou fights demons by pitching baseballs, kicking soccer balls and tossing basketballs. All in a very ordinary way.
  • Nintendo Hard: More like Nintendo Next-to-Impossible. "Some Dexterity Required" doesn't begin to cover the level of Super Reflexes and Smashing Survival skills you need to clear the game without wanting to throw your GBA out of the window.
  • Point of No Return: Once you enter the underworld, you cannot go back and you cannot save. For a string of 9 bloody hard minigames...
  • Previous Player-Character Cameo: Played with. In previous games Kongou is presented as either a realistic muscular man or as a chibi kid. This game features both versions as father and son.
  • Sequential Boss: The last 9 challenges must be cleared in one sitting. The final three in particular must be conquered back-to-back.
  • Some Dexterity Required: The Spider And Rope Climbing challenge at the end, oh God. In the first part you have to press L and R at the same time, hold them for just the right amount of time, release both at the same time and then repeat it several dozens more. Once you get to the rope, you have to tap L and R alternately at break-neck speeds. The icing in the cake is that those inputs are different from the (just as complicated) ones on the other GBA Kinniku Banzuke game released in the same year.
  • Timed Mission: On the final boss fight, you get 60 seconds to hit his first form 8 times and 30 to hit his second form 6 times. You can only miss once.
  • Unexpected Gameplay Change: Towards the end of the game an unique challenge is presented: the wall-and-rope climbing tower from the Sasuke/Ninja Warrior show.


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