Mappy is a 1983 arcade game by Namco (now Bandai Namco). You are a mouse in a house of burglar-cats intent on recovering their stolen loot. You get from floor to floor by jumping on trampolines. Various doors are your only defense against the cats. The game music, composed by the late Nobuyuki Ohnogi, appears to be based on ragtime.
The player controls Mappy, the "Micro Police" officer, a police-mouse whose job is to collect valuables from a cat's house (one has to surmise that he is retrieving stolen goods). In hot pursuit of our hero are the "Naughty Folks"—a gang of five pink cats called Meowkies (Mewkies in the Japanese version)—and "Boss the Big Bit", a large red fat cat called Goro (Nyamco in the Japanese version). There are a total of 15 rounds in the game, after which it returns to the first round.
Levels 3, 7, 11 and 15 are bonus rounds. Each red balloon you pop is worth 200 points later. The last balloon, with Goro behind it, is worth 2000 points later. Bouncing on trampolines here is still worth 10 points. If you get all the balloons, you'll get a total of 5000 points plus a bonus of 5000 points. To completely clear rounds 11 and 15 requires noting a difference between rounds 3 and 7. If you wait too long after the HURRY UP message, a green spinning disc with Goro's face on it will appear. (It's been said that this is the spirit of Goro's ancestor.)
This game was and still is more popular in Japan than it is in the USA, possibly due to cultural differences. There have been sequels to this game (e.g., Hopping Mappy), but these were released only in Japan, with the exception of Mappy-Land for the NES. However, Americans probably do know about this through Microsoft's Revenge of Arcade collection, the "Plug-n-Play" games collections by Jakks Pacific, or the various Namco Museum releases.
It also got its own "Arrangement" version in 1995, adding in stronger trampolines that take two hits to change color, dual-sided doors, and trapdoors that can be used to jump or dive into other floors. Sega's Flicky was also heavily influenced by Mappy.
Mappy has examples of:
- The '80s: The era the original Mappy was released in.
- Animal Jingoism: A clever inversion of the usual "cat-and-mouse chase", in that you control the mouse police trying to catch the cat burglars.
- Anti-Frustration Features: The game is hard enough as is, so it has some features to ensure the player at least has a fighting chance:
- As long as Mappy isn't touching the ground, contact with airborne enemies will not harm him, as it would otherwise make the game downright unplayable.
- To ensure players don't camp out in the air for too long in order to abuse the above advantage, the trampolines vanish after using them a certain amount of times (to say nothing of the time limit). However, enemies using a trampoline will not affect them in order to keep the level playable.
- With the exception of Goro or his ancestor, the cats cannot open normal doors from the knob side themselves without being stunned, as otherwise, it would rob the players of a means of attack (though they're exempt from opening it on the other side, however). They're also programmed to not open special doors so they don't rob players of a chance to use them either.
- Just like Mappy, the cats can switch paths while jumping up, but not while falling down. Again, this is to keep the cats from getting too much of an advantage over Mappy.
- Bonus Stage: The aforementioned balloon levels.
- Cats Are Mean: Goro and the Meowkies are hardened criminals. And even though Mappy is ostensibly chasing them, they do the lion's share of the chasing in the game proper.
- Door Fu: You can use the doors to stun the cats. Sometimes, they do this to themselves.
- Everything Trying to Kill You: Two species of cats, a giant coin possessed by a deceased cat criminal, the tramples if you hop on one too many times, and the trap doors in the fourth mansion.
- Fake Difficulty: Not that the game doesn't try to give the player a fair challenge, but depending on what the cats' AI feels like doing, it is very easy to get cornered into an inescapable loss by the cats.
- Falling Damage: Played with; you can fall on a trampoline from any height, but if it breaks and there isn't a bottomless pit below it? Mappy go bye-bye.
- Giant Space Flea from Nowhere: After getting through the third and sixth worlds in Arrangement, respectively, you're suddenly forced to fight a giant, laughing robotic Goro toy that throws multiple Gosenzo Coins at you, either in an arc (world 3 fight) or in a straight line (world 6 fight).
- Hoist by His Own Petard: Trying to make a trampoline vanish on purpose to get rid of the cats? Too bad; Mappy will fall and die upon contact with the ground if you try that. On the flip side, the cats cannot open doors from the knob side without stunning themselves.
- My Rules Are Not Your Rules: Zigzagged. On one hand, the cats can't be killed, only momentarily stunned, and they can use the trampolines all they want without any repercussions (though this is actually a benefit for the player's sake), meaning you cant trick them into falling into a bottomless pit. On the other hand, they're not only bound to the same rules as the player but even have a major disadvantage since they can't open doors from the knob side without being stunned, or even open special doors at all for that matter.
- Nintendo Hard: One of Namco's more challenging arcade games, for a variety of reasons. Among them is that Mappy has no direct way of attacking save for opening certain doors, the trampolines vanish if you use them too much (leaving a bottomless pit in their wake which, if you're unlucky enough to use all the ones on the bottom, will make a level impossible to complete) and the cats can easily corner you if you aren't being careful.
- No OSHA Compliance: The trampolines disintegrate after Mappy bounces on them three times in a row.
- One-Hit Point Wonder: Mappy himself.
- One-Word Title: Protagonist Title.
- Player Nudge: To give a new player a hint to use the trampolines, the first thing Mappy does upon entering the house for the first time is bounce right off a trampoline and then look back at it, with a question mark popping up above his head suggesting he's inquisitive about it.
- Reviving Enemy: None of the cats can be killed, only momentarily stunned in order to buy time for Mappy to grab everything.
- Songs in the Key of Panic: Hurry Music type.
- Stalked by the Bell: Comes in two stages; first, a "Hurry!" message will scroll across the screen, after which the music and enemies are sped up and a few more Meowkies are dropped into the playfield. If the player continues to take too long after this, the invincible and unstoppable Gosenzo Coin appears to run Mappy down.
- Tactical Door Use:
- Doors can be used to stun Meowkies, and special doors emit microwaves that push them off the screen. The cats also can't use the doors themselves without being stunned, though as a tradeoff, they won't open the special doors on their own.
- The trapdoors in Arrangement, which can be used not only to quickly go up or down one floor, but also to stun Meowkies and push them up/down a floor.