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Video Game / Mendel Palace

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Mendel Palace (known in Japan as Quinty) is a 1989 game set in a fantasy world where a player has to fight animated dolls in search of his younger sister, a witch (named Quinty in the Japanese version) who took his girlfriend away (in the American version, it's a princess, but the concept's still the same). To achieve this, you have to travel through eight different dollhouses (comprised of ten rooms each, the last room being a boss battle) and attack the enemy dolls by flipping the panels from underneath them to send them flying into the wall. Once you've done that, you get to enter the witch's palace and fight her on her own turf to win back your sweetie.

This was the first title developed by Game Freak, who are better known nowadays for their work with the Pokémon franchise.

Originally published by Namco in Japan and Hudson Soft in North America, Mendel Palace/Quinty didn't see any re-releases for 30 years, when it became part of the Namco Museum Archivesnote  with a host of other Namco-published and developed NES/Famicom titles.

This game uses the following tropes:

  • All Your Powers Combined: In the final battle, Quinty is capable of turning you into any of her Mooks, rather than just the ones she's the boss of (Sumo, Wasser, and Mira). Properly using their powers against her is the key to victory.
  • American Kirby Is Hardcore: The cover artwork and modified title screen for the American NES version was actually a result of a misconception within Game Freak's staff, who believed that American players actually preferred mean-looking "realistic" characters.
  • Antagonist Title: The Japanese title, Quinty, refers to the main villainess of the game.
  • Art Initiates Life: The Vinci dolls. Cyan Vinci dolls make crudely-drawn humanoid figures, which walk slowly towards you. On the final floor of the Vinci Doll house, they draw clones of themselves.
  • Bald of Evil: Tako and Sumo dolls have no hair on them whatsoever.
  • Bonus Stage: A hidden, glowing Attack Panel exists in each house, and triggering it will send you flying off the stage into a room with no enemies and a lot of bonus panels.
  • Collision Damage: If you touch an enemy or get flipped into a wall (when transformed by Quinty during one of her boss fights), you will die.
  • Counter-Attack: The Sumo dolls counter any attempts to flip them by stomping and flipping a shockwave of panels toward you (the pink ones will Ground Pound, sending tile shockwaves in two directions).
  • Ditto Fighter: Mira dolls only move and flip tiles when you do the same.
  • Dub Name Change: Here are their Japanese names:
    • Bon-Bon (Player 1): Carton
    • Non-Non (Player 2): Parton
    • Candy (The Princess): Jenny
    • Moko-Moko: Walkman
    • Dragon: Jumper
    • Vinci: Artist
    • Sumo: Plump
    • Toby: Acrobat
    • Tako: Ballerina
    • Wasser: Swimmer
    • Mira: Mimi
    • Fighter: Cossack
    • The Witch: Quinty
  • Fat Bastard: The Sumo dolls.
  • Forced Transformation: The witch has the power to turn you into any one of the dolls. Sometimes this can be avoided; other times, like during the confrontation in the Sumo doll house, you'll want to do this on purpose. While you've taken on their forms, you're subject to the same rules as those of the mooks (i.e. being flipped into a wall kills you).
  • Game-Breaking Bug: You can crash the game completely and glitch out the characters if you flip the block to your right on the Sumo level boss fight right before the witch jumps up and throws magic at you. The sprites turn into mutated combinations of your arm sprite.
    • Of course, not many have probably tried this since the boss is one you can defeat every time by doing absolutely nothing - just stand in place and she'll transform you, flip the block you're standing on, trigger the sumo body's "auto-stomp" move which makes him attack and flip all of the blocks in the direction he was hit from and it sends her flying into the wall for an instant win.
  • The Heavy: Quinty has a right-hand man who steals Candy/Jenny away when you clear the Moko-Moko dollhouse. He shows up again as the boss of the Dragon House and Mendel Palace, and the sub-boss of the Sky Palace before fighting Quinty one last time.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard:
    • With enough time and patience, it is possible to get Vinci dolls to draw on all of the panels, preventing them from attacking you and giving you an automatic win, complete with a resign in defeat. This was mostly done to avoid an Unwinnable situation because you have no way of attacking them either if you have no panels to flip.
    • The boss battle in the Sumo house is also an example, as the witch's "curse" makes it one of the easiest battles in the whole game.
    • Since the Mira dolls only move and flip tiles when you do, it's possible to make them kill each other if positioned correctly.
  • In a Single Bound: Higher-ranked Toby dolls can almost leap off the screen if you spook them by flipping a panel.
  • Law of 100: Collecting 100 stars will give you an extra life and increase your walking speed slightly.
  • Marathon Level: Round 98 in Extra mode. The grid contains layers upon layers of Mook Maker panels, meaning that it will take a minimum of five minutes to complete as you're trying to deal with constantly Respawning Enemies, as well as them kicking at you repeatedly.
  • Mickey Mousing: In the Mira Dollhouse, the background music starts whenever you take an action, and stops while you're standing still. Once the "time's up" alarm bell sounds, the music plays normally.
  • Mook Maker:
    • Glowing portal tiles will generate new enemies (up to six on-screen at once), and then disappear.
    • Teal-colored Vinci dolls can doodle crudely-drawn human figures that spring to life, in addition to locking that tile in place.
  • Respawn on the Spot: Only in multiplayer. If one player dies, then they can return to life without resetting the board as long as the other player is alive.
  • Smart Bomb: The sun tile flips over all of the tiles in the room, and is a good way to clear a stage quickly, unless it uncovers some Mook Maker tiles.
  • Songs in the Key of Panic: With the exception of the Mira stages, the music will get faster once the time limit is up.
  • Spin Attack: Attack Panels allow you to crash into and destroy enemies without suffering Collision Damage or having to push them into a wall. Tako dolls also attack by spinning. If attacked and destroyed while they spin in place but before they fall down, you can earn an easy extra life.
  • Stalked by the Bell: If you take too long, the dolls become faster and more aggressive, change color and lose any restrictions they had on their actions (Wasser dolls get up and walk, and Mira dolls move and attack you on their own).
  • Your Princess Is in Another Castle!: You've cleared Quinty's palace and prepare for a face-off against her. But then, you cling to her and chase her to a castle in the sky. For a more traditional example, see The Heavy above.