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Video Game / Little Samson

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Little Samson (Seirei Densetsu Lickle, "Holy Bell Legend Lickle") is a Platform Game for the NES, published in 1992 by Taito. It was the only game from the obscure developer Takeru (also responsible for Cocoron) to be released outside Japan, albeit in very limited quantities.

When Ta-Keed, the Prince of Darkness breaks loose and wreaks havoc on the countryside, Emperor Hans summons the owners of the Majestic Bells of Power: A boy, a dragon, a golem and a mouse. These four heroes, Little Samson, Kikira, Gamm and K.O., assemble to fight Ta-Keed and his minions.

Tropes appearing in this game:

  • Balance, Power, Skill, Gimmick: In order, Samson (who can complete every stage by himself — albeit with difficulty), Gamm (who has the strongest attack but the slowest movement), KO (who moves the fastest but has the least health), and Kikira (a Lightning Bruiser whose shots fire at an angle).
  • Big Bad: Ta-Keed.
  • Blob Monster: One of the first enemies encountered is a blob.
  • Charged Attack: Kikira's fire breath can be supercharged by holding down a button. The charging up is indicated by her body changing color.
  • Deadly Ringer: The title character shoots bells at enemies.
  • Do Not Touch the Funnel Cloud: There are little funnel clouds that move from left to right or right to left and push characters around on contact. Players can ride on these to cross large gaps in certain levels.
  • Drought Level of Doom: The final stage is split into three levels with two bosses at the end of each, with no health refills or revivals in-between.
  • Easy-Mode Mockery: Easy mode cuts out the final level.
  • Emergency Energy Tank: There are potions that provide full energy refills. Only the specific character that picked a potion up can use it.
  • The Evil Prince: Ta-Keed.
  • Expy: The mid-game Dragon Boss, who is fought in a Platform Battle like Mega Man 2's Mecha Dragon.
  • Fake Platform: A 1-Up is deviously placed on a fake platform above spikes at the start of the cave stage.
  • Fighting Your Friend: Just as the party all comes together, Kikira refuses and throws a tantrum attacking Little Samson, starting the first Boss Battle and giving an idea of why she was cursed. As the manual says, she "may need some coaxing by Samson to obey."
  • Fire-Forged Friends: What Samson and Kikira are implied to be by the end. The latter sacrifices herself to save Samson showing how much she has changed. Luckily, her curse in turn saves her life.
  • Flaming Skulls: One of the bosses is a collection of green skulls that are on fire.
  • Forced Transformation: Every hero but Samson Was Once a Man. Kikira was once a young girl who had been turned into a dragon for being a jerk and Gamm was a thief who broke into the great wizard K.O.'s atelier and caused an accident that caused their transformation into a golem and mouse, respectively. Unusually, all three of the transformed characters seem happy in their new forms and retain them in the ending.
  • Fragile Speedster: K.O. the mouse is fast and able to climb even better than Little Samson but has the smallest health bar, dying in one or two hits without upgrades.
  • Frictionless Ice: The game has ice that every character but Kikira will slip a little on.
  • Glass Cannon: K.O., being a mouse, is the physically weakest of the four characters. However, if his bombs are set up right, he can kill enemies and bosses really fast.
  • Guide Dang It!: One hidden path requires the player to jump off a cliff during a boss fight.
  • Heart Container: Crystal balls add two units to any character's life bar.
  • Hearts Are Health: Big hearts restore four units of health, and small hearts only restore one unit.
  • Mighty Glacier: Gamm the Golem is the slowest and least maneuverable of the four characters, but has a lot of attack power, the longest lifebar without collecting any crystal balls, is immune to spikes and can attack straight up or down.
  • The Punishment Is the Crime: Gamm the Golem was once a great thief who stole a potion that turned him into a golem, the worst possible form one could have and be a thief. This caused his Heel–Face Turn.
  • Spikes of Doom: Spikes are found throughout the game. They sometimes take different forms such as thorns but are functionally the same.
  • Training from Hell: The Japanese manual claimed that harsh mountain life was what gave Samson the ability to cling to ceilings and walls with his bare hands.
  • We Cannot Go On Without You: If a character dies, they're out of the game until the player either beats the current level or the character in question has a health potion they can be revived with. If Samson dies, however, he's dumped back to the start of the stage / boss fight with his health meter refilled, but minus one life (and if there's no lives, Game Over.)